produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #108 (Wednesday, 4/3/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Week Later
February, 1936 - Afternoon


THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 Mapleton WayLeticia Stokes"Mrs. Stokes," Ruby Thomas spoke up as she stood in the doorway.  "Dr. Rutherford is here to see you."

"Wonderful!" Leticia Stokes exclaimed as she quickly rose from her seat on the sofa and switched off the radio.  Prudence Hart and her trials would just have to wait.  "Tell him to come on in."

Moments later, Dr. Fred Rutherford sauntered into the room and immediately took Leticia into his arms.

"Darling, you have no idea now much I've missed you," he said with a smile as he looked deeply into her eyes.

"I've...missed you, too," she responded, more than a little surprised by his forwardness considering the opinions of her family concerning their relationship.  "To be honest, I wasn't expecting to see you today.  I thought you had that incredibly long shift to work at the hospital."

"Oh, I do," he nodded.  "But I just couldn't let a day pass without seeing you.  Just being in your presence brings a joy to my day like nothing else in this world."

"Fred, you say the sweetest things," she giggled in spite of her proper demeanor.  "But I...don't think it's a good idea to be so casual here.  I told you how Judith is less than thrilled with the idea of us seeing one another."

"To hell with her!" he exclaimed with a wicked laugh.  "This is exactly what I think of your daughter's approval."  And with that, he pulled her even closer and kissed her deeply and passionately.  Caught up in the moment and in her own feelings, Leticia did little to stop him.


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ALBANYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT - MAIN SQUAD ROOM

Albanyville Police Department"Hey, who was that on the phone?" Officer Russ Leeds asked as he walked into the office with a large envelope tucked under his arm.

"District Attorney," Detective Jim Fitzpatrick nodded as he returned the receiver to its cradle.  "He wanted to congratulate us on the fine job we did in solving the Lake murder.  He said that without our keen detective work, he wouldn't even have a case."

Russ looked at Jim carefully and was quick to realize that something wasn't quite right.  The phone call from the D.A. should have put him in high spirits, but instead he looked as if something were deeply troubling him.

"You don't sound too happy about that," Russ finally commented.

"Um...well..." Jim stammered.  "I guess that this entire investigation still has one too many questions that haven't exactly been answered."

Russ Leeds"Questions?"  Russ furrowed his brow.  "What kind of questions?  I thought that it was all pretty much cut and dried."

"Well, it is," Jim nodded, "but...well...I guess my own gut instincts are working over time.  Something about all of this just doesn't sit right with me."

"I think you're just trying to work another angle.  We've got all of the evidence.  We've got the proof that Francis Callison did it.  What more do you need?"

"I guess you're right," Jim sighed and then looked up at Russ and saw the envelope he was carrying.  "So, what's that?  What's in the envelope?"

"Oh! This!"  Russ walked over to the desk and tossed the envelope down in front of Jim.  "This is actually what I came in here for.  The Riverside Police sent this over.  Apparently, they've made a positive I.D. on that body they found in the river."

"Oh, really?"  Jim rubbed his chin as he thought.  "So, who is it?"

"I haven't looked.  I figured that you'd want to be the first person to know."

Jim Fitzpatrick"I sure do."  Jim quickly opened the envelope and slid out the police report before skimming over it.  As he read the identity of the body, his eyes grew wide with surprise and confusion.  "Well, this is interesting."

"Who is it?"

"Don't know what this really has to do with anything," Jim sighed.  "From everything in this report, it's just like I suspected---an accidental drowning.  Seems that the guy was a student over at the University."

"Does it tell you a name?"

"Yeah," Jim muttered as he read the report again, though this time much more thoroughly.  "The body belongs to a guy named Clark Saxon."


THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 Mapleton Way"I...I'm sorry," Fred muttered awkwardly as he slowly pulled away from her.  "I really shouldn't have...been so forward."

"No, it's all right," Leticia smiled warmly.  "If I'd had a problem with you kissing me, I would have told you.  I would have stopped you and I...didn't do that, did I?"

"No, I guess you didn't."  He grinned and then gently ran his finger along her cheek.  "Do you have any idea how beautiful you look today?  You nearly took my breath when I saw you.  You have such an effect on me that I...guess that I don't know what I'm doing half the time."

"Fred, if you think you're going to get somewhere with me by using flattery..."  She paused and smiled again.  "Then you're right."

Dr. Fred RutherfordWith yet another smile, Leticia reached out and took Fred's hand and slowly led him over to the sofa so that they could have a seat next to one another.

"You know, dear, I don't think I've felt like this in a long time," she said.

"Really?"  He cocked an eyebrow as he looked at her curiously.  "What do you mean?"

"Well," she began, "it's been a long time since I've had a man who's treated me like you do.  I don't even think that I can remember when a man's worked so hard to woo and romance me."  She blushed slightly as she bowed her head.  "It's...a little surprising, to be honest.  I'm not exactly some young ingénue."

"No, you're not," he agreed and took her hand.  "You're a mature, wonderful woman who is wise beyond her years.  You have a grace and a beauty that is unmatched---even by your daughters.  They can only hope to be as lovely as you are some day."

Leticia Stokes"Oh, Fred, stop," she giggled.  "You're going to make me blush."  She paused and looked up at him and gazed deeply into his eyes.  "You know, being around you almost makes me as giddy as a young school girl getting ready for her first cotillion."

"It's good to see that I'm having the desired effect," Fred chuckled, "because the only thing in the world I want to do is make you smile.  Making you happy is the most important thing to me."  He leaned in to her again and carefully brushed his lips against hers.  Just like before, she made no attempt to stop him or to push him away.

At just that moment, Ruby stepped back into the room, but this time she was not alone.  Nelson Stokes was standing by her side and to say that he was livid by the scene they'd walk in on would have been an understatement.