Gavin McKinley says to Des tersely:
MCKINLEY: Listen, mate, I don't know what she's told you, but it's a pack of lies. He's *my* son and I'm taking him back.
DES (retorts): Strange. Bradley doesn't seem to be too keen to see you.
MCKINLEY: That's because I gave him a bit of a fright, turning up out of the blue like that. Come on, Brads, say hello to your old dad.
He holds out his hand - but Bradley bites his arm! Des snaps at McKinley to leave Bradley alone. He lunges at McKinley, but Jim pulls the two men apart. McKinley insists that he didn't come to start a fight - all he wants is his kid back. Eileen chips in that it's true: he *is* Bradley's real father. McKinley tells Des that Bradley was living with him until Andrea shot through with him. Des says:
DES: All right. I'll listen to what you're gonna say. Just come into my place.
ANDREA (warily): Des...
DES (sharply): He says he's Bradley's father. I've got a right to know why he thinks that.
The gathering breaks up. Clive asks Daphne if he should hang around outside, just in case. Daphne, however, tells him to let Des handle it himself.
Outside No. 28, Eileen goes to follow Des, Eileen, Bradley and McKinley into the house. Andrea, however, snaps at her:
ANDREA: Don't you dare step a foot in this house. You've done *enough* damage.
EILEEN (coldly): Oh no, you've fooled Desmond long enough. This time he is going to hear the truth.
Des, however, growls:
DES: Keep out of this, mum. This is between Gavin, Andrea and me. Now, mind your own business.
Eileen stands there, looking put- out - but then goes to walk into the house anyway.
The Ramsays head into No. 24, Charlene asking how anyone can be sure whose son Bradley is. Danny suggests blood tests. Max, however, retorts that that won't prove a thing; *he* reckons that Des ought to hand the kid back, no arguments! Madge says she's sure Des can sort it out for himself - he *is* a Bank Manager after all.
Des is pacing the floor, saying to McKinley:
DES: All right, let me get this straight: Andrea gave you reason to believe that you're Bradley's father; that's why you took custody of him.
Eileen tells her son that there's no doubt about it. Des challenges his mother, saying she's seen the birth certificate; was McKinley's name on it? Eileen admits meekly that it wasn't. McKinley snaps that Andrea told him that *he* was the father. Des looks at Andrea and asks:
DES: Did you?
ANDREA: Well, Ió
EILEEN (interrupts): It's about time you started telling the truth, young lady.
ANDREA (snaps): Look, why don't you just butt out?
EILEEN (coldly): I am not about to have my son made a fool of by a shameless trickster like yourself. Desmond, give the boy to Mr. McKinley - he must be anxious to return to Perth.
Des, however, snaps at his mother that one more word and she's out. Eileen growls at him that Andrea has *lied* to him. Des turns to McKinley and asks him why he didn't take Bradley on when he was born. McKinley replies that he admits that he didn't want to know about him at first - but then his conscience got the better of him; that's why he looked up Andrea, and she couldn't wait to get him off her hands - for a price, of course: $15,000. Andrea cries:
ANDREA: You *offered* that. And I really believed that Bradley *would* be better off with you. That was the biggest mistake I ever made.
She turns to Des and tells him that all McKinley wants is the money: his father has threatened to cut him out of his will if he doesn't produce an heir, and old McKinley is worth millions. McKinley insists:
MCKINLEY: I just wanted to make sure the kid had a proper upbringing - and that's more than *she* could ever do.
ANDREA (snaps): At least I *loved* him. *You* never have. His own fatheró
She breaks off and puts her hand to her head as she realises what she's said. Eileen tells Des gleefully that Andrea's *admitted* it. Des, however, looking furious, orders her to leave, and he pushes her out of the house, angrily. When she's gone, McKinley suggests that now that they've finally cleared up this misunderstanding, he thinks they should be on their way. Des, however, tells him that he hasn't said a thing that changes his mind; Bradley *stays*. McKinley snaps that he'll take this to court. Des points out that his name isn't on the birth certificate; he won't have a leg to stand on. McKinley looks at Andrea. He then turns back to Des and warns him that he hasn't heard the last of this. He storms out. Des sits down on the couch with Andrea and Bradley, who tells him that he was great. He adds:
BRADLEY: I guess that means you're stuck with mum and me.
DES (smiles): Yeah, I guess it does, eh?
As McKinley walks at speed back to his car, Eileen runs alongside him and tells him that he mustn't give up so easily. McKinley retorts that her dear son gave him no choice. Eileen insists that he must make Desmond see the light. McKinley reaches his car and then suggests that the two of them have a chat - it seems like they're on the same wavelength; but first he's going to book a room at Lassiter's.
Max is sitting at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper, and Madge, trying to set out the dinner things, tells him sarcastically not to worry himself: she'll work around him! Daphne comes in through the back door, with Clive and Zoe, and she asks Max and Madge for a word. She goes on that they've got a bit of a problem with the pancake contest. Madge comments that she thought everyone in the street was *thrilled* about it. Clive says:
CLIVE: Except Mrs. Mangel.
ZOE: The woman who thought the draw was rigged today at the Coffee Shop. Mangel by name, mangle by nature...
Madge comments that she doesn't really see that there's a problem: Max is going to withdraw from the competition. Max looks up from his newspaper and demands:
MAX: Who says I am?
Madge tells him that he's not going to challenge her to a public pancake cooking competition; he's not *that* big a fool. Max, however, asks her if the competition's too hot for her. Madge retorts that he couldn't cook a pancake to save his life. Max growls:
MAX: Is that right? Don't you worry, Daph, I'll be there. Don't let anyone tell you different.
Shane chips in that Daphne's reputation could be ruined if anyone listens to Mrs. Mangel. Max retorts:
MAX: She's been trying to stir up trouble round here for years. She's all mouth.
Madge tells him that the whole neighbourhood is going to be looking at his pathetic attempts to cook. A look of fury crosses Max's face and he rants:
MAX: I can cook all right. A man was OK when Maria left.
MADGE (gloats): Oh, you were happy enough to have *me* take over, though, weren't you!
MAX: Yeah - that's before I knew the only thing you could cook was casseroles!
MADGE: Oh, well you won't be wanting any dinner tonight, will you, 'cos that's what we're having.
Zoe quickly suggests a drink at the Waterhole. She, Daphne, Shane and Clive head out, leaving Max to look in the fridge for something to eat!
Bradley has gone to bed. Andrea tells Des that she'll put some dinner on, but Des says he thinks they should talk first. Andrea looks at him and says softly:
ANDREA: You've known all along, haven't you, that Bradley's not your son.
DES: I didn't realise for a while, but what with mum coming back from Perth, making all those noises, and Gavin showing up... I guess where there's smoke, there's fire.
ANDREA: I'm sorry. I had no right to deceive you.
DES: Why don't you tell me the whole story?
Andrea goes and sits next to Des on the couch and says:
ANDREA: Believe me, I've done my best since Bradley was born - but a single mother's pension isn't much, and my parents had disowned me, and it's just impossible to hold down a job when you've got a baby to look after.
She pauses before continuing:
ANDREA: About a year ago, things got really bad. I didn't have a job, I didn't have any money and my landlady was threatening to evict me.
DES (prompts): Then Gavin turned up.
ANDREA: Yeah. He was straight with me, I'll give him *that* much. He didn't want *me*, he just wanted Bradley so his father wouldn't cut him out of the will. I really didn't want to give Bradley up, but Gavin swore that he'd have the best of everything, and with all his father's money I knew that was true.
DES: But he said you signed an agreement.
ANDREA: Yes. I had to promise never to go nearly Bradley again, or see him or interfere in his life in any way - and for that I got $15,000. He was so upset. I knew then that I couldn't stick to it - so I promised him that I'd make some money and come back and get him.
DES: What went wrong?
ANDREA: Oh... stupid. This man asked me to invest in his business. He ran a chain of boutiques across Perth. So I did. I handed him over my money and I never saw it again - *or* him. Then my parents took me back in - because I didn't have Bradley any longer; and I heard on the grapevine that you were doing really well for yourself. Got me thinking. I remembered that we used to get on really well - 'til your mother put a spanner in the works. So, I borrowed some money, I grabbed Bradley out of boarding school and... you know the rest.
DES (sadly): You must've felt pretty sure that you could convince me that I was the father.
ANDREA: I knew you wouldn't throw us out, even if you had doubts. You've always been too soft for your own good!
DES: Are you sure that... that Gavin doesn't *love* Bradley?
ANDREA: What do *you* think? You met him. He doesn't care about Bradley; he just wants the money.
DES: Yeah. Right. Well, he's not going to get him back. Bradley's going to stay around with people who care about him. McKinley can go and jump.
Andrea puts her arms around Des and hugs him in relief.
Gavin McKinley is sitting at a table with Eileen, asking what *else* he could do: Andrea was living in a dump and he couldn't let his son grow up in conditions like that. Eileen assures him that anyone with a shred of decency would have done the same thing. McKinley shows Eileen the agreement that Andrea signed, but goes on that one day he got a call from Bradley's boarding school to say he was missing; it didn't take him long to work out what had happened. He adds:
MCKINLEY: I expected a 'phone call any day, demanding more money, but I didn't expect that he'd find another fool to latch onto so soon. I mean, no offence to your son, Mrs. Clarke.
EILEEN: Oh no, no, no. I have always had to protect Desmond from his own gullibility.
McKinley comments that the question is how they get around it. Eileen asks him if he's contacted a lawyer. McKinley replies that he hasn't yet; to launch a full custody battle would take too long, and his father's becoming impatient. Eileen remarks:
EILEEN: But I thought you said Bradley meant *more* to you than your father's money?
MCKINLEY: Well, he does - but you see... my father's a dying man. He could pass away any minute.
EILEEN (sympathetically): The poor man. I had no idea.
MCKINLEY: I'd even be prepared to forego the $15,000 as long I could be sure that Bradley would return to Perth with me - just to see the look of sheer joy on my father's face.
EILEEN: Does Bradley *know* about his grandfather?
MCKINLEY: No, no, I think he's had enough trauma as it is.
EILEEN: But what can *I* do to help, Mr. McKinley?
MCKINLEY: *Talk* to Bradley. See, *I* can't get near him. Gain his confidence. Explain to him that Andrea will be in serious trouble if I have to take her to court.
Eileen nods that she'll try. McKinley adds that, of course, if she was able to convince Bradley that it's best to return to Perth, Andrea would be sure to follow; she wouldn't be able to take advantage of Des any further. A smile appearing on her face, Eileen smiles that she'll do anything she can. The door to the Waterhole suddenly opens and Daphne, Zoe, Shane and Clive come in. Eileen whispers to McKinley that they're some of her son's neighbours and it's best if the two of them aren't seen together; she'll be in touch. She heads out and McKinley follows a few moments later. At the bar, Daphne comments that that was the guy who tried to kidnap Bradley. Shane remarks that he was probably just crying on Eileen's shoulder.
Andrea serves up beans and toasts and apologises to Des for it not being more exciting, but she's not in the mood to cook. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Andrea groans:
ANDREA: No visitors... not now.
Des opens the door to his mother and asks her coolly what she's doing there. Eileen tells him that she's come to apologise: she's a silly, interfering old woman. Andrea suggests that now that she's got that off her chest, would she mind leaving, as they're in the middle of dinner. Eileen asks where Bradley is, as she has a present for him. Andrea tells her that he's sleeping; if she leaves the present, she'll give it to him in the morning. Eileen reluctantly accepts this. She tells Andrea:
EILEEN: I intend to make friends with Bradley. From now on, we're going to get along splendidly.
With that, she heads out.
Behind the bar, Jack Lassiter pours a drink for Zoe and hands it to her. Zoe takes a sip and comment that it's delicious! Daphne asks what it is and Jack smiles that it's a Lassiter's special: a Loaded Dog! He goes on that what they want to do is give this woman they're all worried about one of those before the start of the pancake competition and it'll blow her head off! Daphne, however, muses that Mrs. Mangel wouldn't touch it. Jack then says to Daphne:
JACK: You've done a great job with that shop of yours - so good that I reckon I could find you a job here in the Complex.
DAPHNE: But I thought you already *had* tenants in your coffee shop.
JACK: Oh, they've gone back to Tassie. They reckon life's better over there, or something! They might be right at that, too! Well, what do you reckon? Interested in taking over?
DAPHNE: Just like that?!
JACK: Well, I reckon I'm a pretty good judge of character - I don't often make a mistake.
Daphne sits there and smiles in delight.
Gavin McKinley opens the door of his hotel room to Eileen, and asks how it went. Eileen tells him that Bradley was asleep; she couldn't get past Andrea. McKinley points out that he *warned* her it wouldn't be a pushover. He goes on that he's got to get back to Perth as soon as possible; his father will suspect something. Eileen asks:
EILEEN: Couldn't you tell him where Bradley is?
MCKINLEY: No way. Mrs. Clarke, my father's a very sick man. The shock of the news that his grandson's been kidnapped, it... well, it could kill him.
EILEEN: Desmond has promised I can see Bradley tomorrow. Please - be patient until then.
With that, she walks off, leaving McKinley looking annoyed.
Scott, Nikki, Charlene and Danny are watching TV in the lounge room, but Danny gets up to leave, heading through the kitchen and telling Helen and Jim that he'd better get going. Jim asks him if he and Scott have been fighting, but Danny sighs that he and Scott just don't get along like they used to. Helen tells him that she's sure he'll make some new friends through the bank. At that moment, Max comes in through the back door and tells Danny that his Aunt Madge is on the warpath: the damn pancake contest has gone to her head! He then turns to Helen and asks her quietly if she'll give him cooking lessons. Helen comments dubiously that she doesn't want to do anything to upset Madge. Max rants:
MAX: Blow *her*. I mean, she's got an advantage to *start* with.
JIM (laughs): How's that?!
MAX: Well, she's a woman, in't she? Learnt to cook practically before she could crawl! I mean, she's got it all over *us*!
Jim points out to Helen that an athlete's allowed to train before a big event; what's the difference? Helen rolls her eyes and gives in. Max declares:
MAX: For once - just once - I'm going to make Madge eat humble pancake!