Jessie running off after Mike asks her if she's being bashed by her father.
The next morning, Des is sitting at the kitchen counter, feeding Jamie, as Mike sits at the main table and says he reckons Jessie's in trouble at home. Des comments that that's *her* business. Mike, however, retorts that she was shaking like a leaf. Des remarks:
DES: This teaching game means a lot to you, mate. Do you reckon it's wise to get so involved with your students?
MIKE: Des, she's in trouble. I can *feel* it.
DES: What *sort* of trouble?
MIKE: I reckon her old man's bashing her up.
DES (sharply): What?
MIKE: Well, it happened to *me*, didn't it? I tried to cover up in the same sort of way.
DES: But I *know* Ted Ross. He does his banking with us - business and personal.
MIKE (shrugs): And?
DES: Well, he's a reasonable sort of bloke; bit detached... but stable... responsible....
MIKE (muses): Just like *my* dad, hey?
Des sighs that it's a pretty serious charge: Mike wants to be 100% sure before he takes any action. Mike assures Des that he won't go rushing in there blindly - but he's not just going to sit there if Mr. Ross is getting stuck into her every day. Des asks him where he goes from here. Mike says he might try and suss it out; talk to some of her friends. Des tells him just not to get so caught up that he forgets Mrs. Mangel's wedding. Mike replies:
MIKE: Don't worry - I'll be there. Beats me why she invited me - I was never good enough for her *granddaughter*, was I...?
Helen is wrapping a present on the kitchen table as Jim stands with her and says he always worries about giving people gifts that travel, as they might think you're encouraging them to stay away! Helen smiles that the honeymoon in England was already planned! Jim sits down to write the card from the family. As he does so, he asks how the hen's night was. Helen muses:
HELEN: Nell *did* lay a few eggs...!
JIM: Yeah - she invited Madge!
HELEN: And rewrote her entire history!
JIM: In what way?!
HELEN: Well, you'd swear Madge, I, *all* of us were her dearest friends and that we'd never exchanged a harsh word in our lives!
JIM: I hardly think that's a change for the *worse*.
HELEN: Neither do I - but you should've seen Madge's face when Nell fondly recalled *their* relationship!
JIM (laughs): I wish I'd been there!
Looking more serious, Helen says she wishes Beverly had been there too; it might have cheered her up. Jim, however, tells Helen that it'll take more than *that* to cheer Beverly up. Helen comments that time is the most important thing. Jim sighs that *he's* grieving too; he thought it would have been better if they could have got together and *shared* their grief. Helen tells him to try and be patient. Jim replies:
JIM: I just want to hug her and tell her everything's going to be all right.
HELEN: You *will*.
JIM: Yeah... I hope so. I don't even know if she's coming to the *wedding* with me.
HELEN: Well, leave Nell Mangel to worry about the wedding.
Bouncer trots into the lounge room of No. 32 with an item of clothing in his mouth! Mrs. Mangel - wearing her dressing gown and a face mask - chases after him. Jane comes in - wearing her nightdress - and asks what the matter is. Mrs. Mangel sighs:
MRS. MANGEL: He doesn't want me to go. Every time I try to pack something, he takes it out again.
JANE (smiles): Don't you worry about Bouncer - he'll be just fine.
Joe comes in and announces that he's just scrambled some eggs. He then looks at Mrs. Mangel and grins:
JOE: Geez, mum, you've laid the warpaint on a bit thick, haven't you?!
Jane explains about how Bouncer keeps taking Mrs. Mangel's clothes. Joe chases the dog out of the room. Mrs. Mangel collapses onto the sofa, groaning that she's got so many things on her mind. She asks Joe about the flowers. He tells her:
JOE: They're sweet.
JANE (suspiciously): Where are you getting them from?
JOE (vaguely): Oh... I've got this friend in the game.
JANE: Discount prices, huh?
JOE: I prefer to call it mates' rates!
An alarm clock sounds suddenly and Mrs. Mangel leaps up and says it's time to take her face off. She leaves the room. Jane asks Joe suddenly if he can smell something burning. Joe sniffs - and then realises it's the eggs!
Bronwyn opens the front door to find Mike standing on the step. As he heads inside, he asks if Sharon's home, but Bronwyn tells him that she's gone to the supermarket. The two of them head through to the lounge room and Bronwyn asks what's up. Mike explains that he wanted to ask Sharon a couple of questions. Bronwyn says:
BRONWYN: Can you ask me instead?
MIKE: Dunno. How well do you know Jessie Ross?
BRONWYN: Well, only through Shaz. Is there a problem?
MIKE: What do you reckon? Do you really think she's *that* clumsy?
BRONWYN (thoughtfully): Not like she makes out... Nerdy, maybe. More of a quiet little mouse. Why?
MIKE: I'm just a bit worried about her. I mean, she's got a new bruise or a graze every day.
BRONWYN: Like I said last night, maybe she's accident- prone?
MIKE (shrugs): Yeah, maybe...
Bronwyn asks Mike if he wants her to send Sharon over, but Mike says he's got to go out. He adds that he might pay Jessie a visit and see if he can meet her dad.
Mrs. Mangel is in the lounge room, ironing the dress she's wearing for her wedding, when Joe comes in with Helen. She tells Mrs. Mangel that she thought she'd just bring over their gift. Mrs. Mangel thanks her and apologises for not being dressed. Joe takes the gift and Helen asks Mrs. Mangel how things are going. Mrs. Mangel tells her:
MRS. MANGEL: I'm trying to concentrate on one thing at a time. At the moment, it's my dress.
HELEN (smiles): It looks lovely.
She then asks Mrs. Mangel to see the dress up against her. Mrs. Mangel picks the dress up from the ironing board and holds it against herself. Helen declares that it's perfect. Joe, however, looks down at the hem at the bottom and says:
JOE: Not quite - there's a loose thread here.
He pulls at the thread - but it causes a seam to split and about six inches of the fabric to separate! Mrs. Mangel exclaims in horror that he's *ruined* it. Helen takes the dress quickly and says it isn't the end of the world: she'll take it home and repair it. The 'phone starts ringing. Jane calls out that she'll get it, as Mrs. Mangel warns:
MRS. MANGEL: If one more thing goes wrong, I'll... I'll, I'll die. I *will*!
Jane comes in and tells her nan that it's Mr. Worthington. Mrs. Mangel cries:
MRS. MANGEL: Aarrrrgh! He mustn't speak to me. It's bad luck!
JANE: No, it's only bad luck if he *sees* you.
MRS. MANGEL: Are you sure?
Helen heads off as Mrs. Mangel walks out to the hallway and takes the 'phone. She listens and then says:
MRS. MANGEL: Oh no, everything's fine. ... A scream? Oh, just Joe watching some videos! ... Yes, yes, I'll see you then: in the church. Goodbye now.
With that, she hangs up. A look crosses her face suddenly and she exclaims:
MRS. MANGEL: The flowers. Joe - what about the flowers?!
Mike pulls up on his motorbike outside a house. He walks towards a man standing by a car in the driveway and asks him if he's Mr. Ross. The man says he is. Mike introduces himself and explains that he's prac teaching at Erinsborough High. He then goes on:
MIKE: Um, your daughter's in one of my classes.
MR. ROSS: So?
MIKE: Well, she seems to be having a bit of trouble.
MR. ROSS: At what?
MIKE: Maths - and I was just wondering if you'd consider having her tutored.
MR. ROSS: Perhaps... but, well, she's always struggled through in the past.
MIKE: Yeah, well, you know what sort of pressure they're under these days. Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that I was available.
Mr. Ross tells Mike that he's got a meeting, and he suggests that Mike call him. He climbs into his car, starts the engine and drives off. Mike climbs back onto his bike - just as Jesse comes down the driveway and calls:
JESSIE: Mike! What are *you* doing here? [Suspiciously] What did you have to say to my father?
MIKE: I just offered to tutor you in Maths, that's all.
JESSIE (mutters): Oh great. Now he'll think I'm flunking out.
MIKE: I didn't make it sound like that.
JESSIE: It doesn't matter. It would've been better for him to hear it from *me*.
MIKE: I wasn't trying to cause any trouble, you know?
JESSIE: Dad's got *enough* problems.
MIKE: Yeah, well, he was obviously too busy to talk to *me* right now.
JESSIE (snaps): He's got an appointment, OK? Not *everybody* has Saturdays off.
MIKE (insists): Jess, I was just trying to *help*.
JESSIE: Yeah? Well I don't *need* any help. Please don't talk to my parents anymore.
With that, she heads back inside, leaving Mike standing looking worried.
Helen is sitting on the couch, sewing Mrs. Mangel's dress back together. Jim comes in through the front door and tells her that it *was* a good idea for the kids to go and stay with Paul and Gail: you'd swear they're on holiday, they're having so much fun! He then asks Helen what she's doing, and she grins that it's the wedding dress: Joe pulled a loose thread and unravelled a seam. Jim muses:
JIM: He *is* a bit of a disaster area, that guy, isn't he?!
Helen smiles that, fortunately, as far as repair jobs go, this is a simple one. Jim comments that the dress is a nice colour. Helen nods that it *suits* Mrs. Mangel - and *she* knows now that the two of them won't clash! Jim remarks:
JIM: That's one thing women have over men: they can turn an occasion like this into an excuse for a giant spending spree!
HELEN: I don't know of anybody - man *or* woman - who doesn't enjoying buying something new. It can really cheer you up!
She adds that, for most women, a stunning new outfit can do the trick. Jim sits there looking suddenly thoughtful.
Des is sitting at the table as Mike makes some tea at the kitchen counter and tells him that Ted Ross played it all pretty close to the chest, but he still reckons there's something going on. Des sighs that Ted Ross is a normal bloke. Mike, however, retorts:
MIKE: Des, a *lot* of normal blokes abuse their kids - and if he's under a lot of pressure at work, then he might just like to let it off at home.
DES: Look, there's absolutely no evidence that he's beaten young Jessie. I'd go very easy if I were you.
MIKE: Yeah, well, I'm not going to lay any charges - yet.
DES: She went into bat for him, didn't she?
MIKE: Yeah, well, most abused kids don't stop loving their parents. They usually sort of blame it on themselves and then compound it with all sorts of shame if anyone finds out.
He heads across to the table and hands Des a mug. Des comments:
DES: Fair enough: you're up on your theory, but it's all circumstantial.
MIKE (admits): Yeah, you're right.
DES: So, what do you do now?
MIKE: Well, hopefully he's going to let me tutor her, and if I can get a bit closer, she might sort of open up.
Des warns Mike to be careful: if the Rosses accept him into their home and he causes trouble, it could all backfire. Mike insists:
MIKE: I don't want to cause any trouble; I just want to protect one of my students, that's all.
Des realises the time suddenly and exclaims that if they're not careful, Mrs. Mangel will be walking down the aisle *without* them.
Mrs. Mangel is sitting on the couch with a pair of shoes, which she's cleaned and painted and is trying to dry by flapping a rolled- up newspaper at them. She mutters at Jane that at this rate, she'll be married in her bare feet! Jane says she'll get her hairdryer. Mrs. Mangel asks her to get her necklace as well. As Jane dashes to her room, the doorbell rings and she answers it to Bronwyn. She heads through to the lounge room, where Mrs. Mangel is still flapping at her shoes and muttering that it didn't say on the label it would take forever to dry. Bronwyn interrupts her and tells her that she and Sharon chipped in together and bought her some hankies. Mrs. Mangel thanks her and asks her to put them on the table. Jane comes back in and hands Mrs. Mangel her necklace. Bronwyn offers to help her with the clasp, but Mrs. Mangel insists that she's OK. Jane starts up the hairdryer. Mrs. Mangel tries to put her necklace on - but all of a sudden, she loses her grip and the pearls fall off the string and drop all over the floor. Looking horrified, Mrs. Mangel cries:
MRS. MANGEL: Oh please tell me this is some kind of *nightmare*.
As she gets down on her knees to look for the pearls, Jane assures her that they can fix it. Bronwyn adds that they can re- thread them. Mrs. Mangel cries that it's getting so late, and everything's gone wrong... Jane insists that it will be all right. The front door bangs suddenly and Joe comes in, holding a box. Mrs. Mangel asks him in relief if he's brought the flowers. Joe puts down the box and takes out two wreaths! Mrs. Mangel stares at them and exclaims in shock:
MRS. MANGEL: They're *wreaths*!
JOE: Yeah. Only one owner!
MRS. MANGEL (sternly): Joe Mangel, for your information I am not going to a *funeral*.
Joe insists that they'll just pluck off the flowers and the green bits and make little bunches out of them. Mrs. Mangel, however, cries:
MRS. MANGEL: You needn't bother plucking *anything*. Just take them to the church as they are. This marriage is doomed anyway...
She collapses in tears on the couch.
A short time later, Mrs. Mangel is saying to her son tersely:
MRS. MANGEL: You can't have been *serious*, Joe.
JOE: Oh mum, they're still *flowers*, aren't they?
MRS. MANGEL: No they are not. It would be a dreadful omen, practically inviting *disaster*.
Jane finishes with the hairdryer and says they'll just let the shoes cool down and they'll be fine. The doorbell rings and Joe goes to get it, muttering that it's about the only thing he's *good* for. He opens the door to Helen, who comes in and tells Mrs. Mangel that the dress is all fixed - but she's afraid she has some bad news. Mrs. Mangel chuckles darkly:
MRS. MANGEL: Don't tell me the church has burned down...
MRS. MANGEL: The Reverend Sampson's been struck by lightning!
HELEN: No! No... Paul rang: the reception room at Lassiter's has been double- booked.
MRS. MANGEL (exclaims): Oh my heavens! I'll be cutting my cake on the *footpath*!
Helen comments that it won't be as drastic as all that; they'll still have a couple of hours - won't that be enough time? Mrs. Mangel sighs:
MRS. MANGEL (grimly): Oh, I suppose so - it is only a *small* wedding; although if *Joe* had his way, people would be coming to pay their last respects!
Bronwyn suggests that she could visit all the neighbours and get them to donate some flowers; they should be able to put *something* together. Mrs. Mangel sighs that she doesn't suppose she has much choice. Bronwyn asks Helen if Mr. Robinson will give them some of his roses. Helen suggests they go and ask. Joe says he'll give them a hand. Mrs. Mangel, however, snaps:
MRS. MANGEL: You'll do no such thing, Joe. You go straight to your room and put on your suit.
JOE (blankly): My *what*?
MRS. MANGEL: Your *suit*. Surely you're not planning to come to my wedding dressed like—.
She breaks off and says coolly:
MRS. MANGEL: You do *own* a suit...?
JOE: Well, I mean, I haven't had a suit since me *own* wedding. You know - I didn't think I'd be needing—
MRS. MANGEL (sharply): And just what *will* you be wearing?
JOE: Well, I've got this nice cardy...
Jane tells Joe quickly that the shops are still open. Joe mutters that it's such a waste of dough. Jane retorts:
JANE: Not if you want your mother to talk to you again!
Joe heads out. Mrs. Mangel cries to her granddaughter:
MRS. MANGEL: It's not exactly the way I imagined it, Jane...
JANE (putting her arm around Mrs. Mangel): Don't worry, nan - everything's going to be just fine.
Jim, Helen and Bronwyn head into No. 26, Bronwyn telling Jim that Mrs. Mangel will be *so* grateful. Jim tells her to just not take all the blooms off one bush. Bronwyn heads back out again. Jim is holding a large carrier bag and Helen asks him what he's got. Jim tells her:
JIM: Oh, er, well, I took your advice.
HELEN (uncertainly): My *advice*?
JIM: Yeah - about a new outfit cheering someone up. I've never bought anything for Beverly before. I hope she likes it.
He then adds warily:
JIM: It *was* a good idea, wasn't it?
HELEN (nods): Yes, it was - but don't expect miracles.
JIM: No. No - but it might be a start.
HELEN: I agree. It'll certainly show her that you're thinking of her.
JIM: *Thinking* of her? I never *stop* thinking of her. I just wish there was something *more* I could do.
Mike emerges from his bedroom and groans at Des that he *hates* wearing ties. Des tells him that you get used to it after a while. The doorbell rings suddenly and Mike says he'll get it. He opens the door and finds Jessie standing on the step. He asks her in surprise what she's doing there and she tells him that it's about this morning: she didn't mean to be rude, and the fact is she *could* use a tutor. Mike smiles:
MIKE: Good. Well, um, what night suits you, then?
JESSIE: Oh, that doesn't matter. I was just wondering if it would be possible to do it *here*. It's just mum and dad are both so busy; I'd hate to get in their way when they're relaxing.
MIKE: What would happen if you did? Would your dad punish you or something?
JESSIE: No! He wouldn't - he loves me, really he does. You don't know him like I do.
MIKE: Obviously not...
JESSIE: So when can we start?
MIKE: Well, tomorrow morning - eleven o'clock, if you like.
Jessie tells Mike that she really appreciates this, and she heads off. When she's gone, Des comments to Mike that she seemed pretty serious about her old man. Mike, however, says he still reckons there's something going on.
Jane is standing in the lounge room with her eyes closed. Joe tells her that she can open them. She does so - to find Joe standing in front of her, wearing a new beige- coloured suit. Jane smiles that he looks great: he's done her nan proud. Mrs. Mangel walks in at that moment and Joe smiles:
JOE: Don't you scrub up well for an old duck!
Bronwyn comes in and beams at Mrs. Mangel that she looks fantastic! She's holding a bouquet of flowers and Jane exclaims that they're gorgeous. Joe comments that she could have made a quid as a florist! Bronwyn explains that she used to arrange flowers a lot back in Narrabri. She adds that Mr. Bishop's taken the rest of the flowers to church and he'll come straight back to get Mrs. Mangel. Jane smiles:
JANE: So nan - how do you feel?
MRS. MANGEL (happily): It's a little difficult to explain! I don't think I've ever *felt* this way before!
Bronwyn heads off to get ready. Jane suggests to her nan that they sit down and relax. Joe comments that it hasn't turned out that badly, has it? Mrs. Mangel sits down in an armchair - and suddenly lets out a hiccup! She apologises, saying it's nerves! She hiccups again - and then again! Jane asks Joe to get Mrs. Mangel a glass of water. Joe heads off to the kitchen. Jane suggests to her nan that she try holding her breath. Mrs. Mangel gives it a go. Joe comes back in with a glass of water, but Jane explains that her nan's holding her breath. They all wait. After a few seconds, Mrs. Mangel exhales slowly - and then hiccups again! She takes the water from Joe and takes several gulps. It appears to work, and a smile of relief crosses Mrs. Mangel's face - until she then lets out another hiccup! Jane sighs:
JANE: Oh nan...
MRS. MANGEL: Oh Jane!
JOE: Oh geez...!
MRS. MANGEL (cries): What am I going to *do*? Walk down the aisle with the [hiccup] hiccups?!
She drinks some more water - and hiccups again!