produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #122 (Tuesday, 6/11/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Few Days Later
March, 1936 - Late Afternoon


THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 Mapleton WayJanet Stokes"Did I do all right?" Janet Stokes asked nervously as she sat on the sofa and sipped her tea.  "I didn't...say anything wrong, did I?"

"You were wonderful!" Jillian Stokes exclaimed and patted her sister on the hand.  "You went right into that hearing and told the judge exactly what you saw the night Annabelle was killed.  There's no way that Reginald's mother could have done it.  You saw Stephen Lake kill Annabelle and that's exactly what you told them."

"Yes, but the district attorney sure made some compelling points in his attempt to discredit her statement," Mark Linford spoke up as he stood at the bar, mixing himself a martini.  "Janet does have a past history of mental instability as well as memory loss."

"Mark's right, dear," Judith Linford sighed with a shake of her head.  "How are we to know that all of this wasn't just something that our little Janet simply made up in her head?  Lord only knows what really goes on inside that brain of hers!"

"Would you please stop talking about me like I'm not here!" Janet snapped and then fidgeted nervously in her seat.  "I know what I saw!  I saw Annabelle's husband murder her!"

"We know that, darling," Burt Lamont said softly as he sat down next to her and took her into his arms, "and we believe you.  We know that you didn't make any of this up, but...well...the district attorney and the judge don't know you like we do and..."

"And we're just praying that your statement will be enough," Jillian sighed with a shake of her head.  "Reginald and his family have been through too much over these past few months.  Surely they can see that Francis didn't do it.  Maybe this will be enough to convince them to, at the very least, postpone the trial."

"I just don't know why they shuffled all of us out of the court room," Burt muttered as he rubbed his chin in thought.  "Who else could possibly show up to testify?  Why would they seal the courtroom except for Francis' immediate family?"

"I...don't know," Jillian replied.  "But, whoever it was, it must have been important to..."

"Well, well, well!  Looks like the entire family's here!" Dr. Fred Rutherford exclaimed as he came through the door, closely followed by Leticia Stokes.  "Looks like we won't have to call a family meeting after all."

"Mother!  You're back!" Jillian exclaimed and rushed over to hug her tightly.  "How was New York?  Did you...take care of everything?"

"Yes," Leticia nodded weakly.  She began to feel a rising lump in her throat and she turned to quickly glance in Fred's direction.  He returned her look with a silent nod.  "Girls, there's...something that I...have to tell you."


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SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr."Now, just come right in here and sit down," Patterson Monroe said as he led Stephanie Lake through the large doors of the library.  "You've had a big day today and you need to rest."

"And I've got your room upstairs all fixed up for you," Sara Manchester continued as she trailed along behind them, carrying her cousin's suitcase.  "The only thing I want you to be concerned about is resting and getting back to normal."

"Honestly, I don't know why you're making such a big fuss over her," Dane Manchester sighed with a roll of his eyes.  "It's just Stephanie, after all.  She runs off with her dear old daddy, he flips out and goes loony, and she shoots him and..."

"Dane, will you just shut up!" Patterson snapped as he wrapped his arms protectively around Stephanie's shoulders.  "Stephanie's been through an unbelievable ordeal.  The last thing she needs is your 'expert' summarization!"

Dane Manchester"You know, this is just a bit too much for me today," Dane grumbled.  "Why don't I just leave you alone to share this tender moment."  With his jaw clinched in annoyance, Dane headed for the front door.  Moments later, the sound of the door slamming shut echoed throughout the house.

"Stephanie, I'm...sorry about the way Dane's behaving," Sara spoke up softly.  "After everything you've been through, that's the last thing you need."

"It's okay," Stephanie sighed as she hung her head.  "After all, it's Dane!  What else could we expect from him?"

Sara Manchester"Look, I'm going to take your things upstairs and give you two a chance to be alone."  Sara carried the suitcase towards the stairs.  "If you need anything, just call for either me or Helga and we'll be right here."

"Thank you, Sara," Stephanie smiled gratefully.

Once they were alone in the room, Patterson reached over and took Stephanie's hand into his.  "I was very proud of you today, Steph."

"Proud of me?"  She furrowed her brow in confusion.  "For what?"

"Oh, c'mon!" he laughed.  "You just got out of the hospital today and---before you even came home---you went to Francis Callison's hearing so that you could testify about what your father did.  You didn't have to do that, you know."

"Yes, I did have to do that," she insisted firmly.  "Mrs. Callison didn't kill my mother; Daddy did.  I couldn't just...let her take the blame for that.  I had to tell the truth.  That family's been through too much as it is.  It was the right thing to do."  She paused and let out a small laugh.  "Gee.  The right thing to do.  Who would ever have thought that I would do the right thing?"

"You've come a long way, honey," he nodded and gave her hand a squeeze.  "You're not the same girl you were a year ago."  He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her closer.  "I knew that you'd do the right thing."

"I just don't understand why they made such a big deal about my testimony.  I mean, they cleared the courtroom except for the Callisons and you and Sara.  Why the secrecy?  Why the big deal?"

Patterson Monroe"Well, I have to take responsibility for that," Patterson confessed.  "After everything you've been through these past few weeks, I didn't want to subject you to a bunch of overzealous reporters and gawkers.  I...um...asked Mr. Callison to make sure that you would be given a certain level of privacy.  He agreed with me."

"You...did that for me?"

"Darling, I'd do anything for you!"  He leaned in and kissed her tenderly on the cheek.  "Can't you see that?"

"Actually, yes, I can."  Stephanie looked away from him, a little embarrassed by the fluttery feeling that was stirring inside of her.  However, when she turned, her eyes landed on a framed photograph of her father holding her and Sara when they were little girls.  Seeing the picture of her father sent a chill through her body and she immediately began to remember the night that he'd reappeared to her after having been thought dead for years---the night that he forcibly took her with him.

"S-Stephanie, are you...all right?" Patterson asked with concern.  "You look..."

Stephanie Lake"I'm fine," she replied almost too quickly.

"No, you're not."  He kept his eyes locked on her as he watched her expressions.  Suddenly, it dawned on him.  "It's being here, isn't it?  Being in this room---in this house---is reminding you of...."

Before he could finish, she nodded silently.

"Well, then, how about I get you out of here for a bit," he suggested with excitement.  "I know that Dr. Campbell wanted you to rest, but do you think you're feeling up to going out to lunch?  Maybe The Gardens?"

"I'd love to."  She bowed her head sweetly, touched by his display of thoughtfulness.  "But, Sara's been so busy trying to get everything ready for me that I'm not sure I should..."

"She's going to understand," he reassured firmly.  "Now, get your jacket on and c'mon.  I'm getting you out of here."  He took her by the hand and led her into the library before turning to call up the stairs.  "Sara!  I'm taking Stephanie out to lunch!  We'll be back later!"  And with that, he gave her hand another gentle squeeze and smiled at her lovingly before leading her out the door.


THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

23 Green St."Now, you just sit right there and let me fix you some hot tea," Douglas Davis smiled as he hurried around the room.  "I don't want you to have to lift a finger to do anything."

"Douglas, I'm fine!" Lorraine Davis laughed before leaning over to the bassinet that sat next to her so that she could brush a lock of hair out of their newborn baby's face.  "I had a baby.  It's not like no one's ever had a baby before."

"Yes, but you had quite a few problems," he reminded before turning to see his sister Grace Davis coming down the stairs.  "And, Grace, I want you to help out, too."

"O-okay," she nodded weakly.  She was clearly off in her own world and was only half-listening to what he was saying.

"Are you...all right?" he asked with concern as he looked at her curiously.  "You don't seem...like yourself."

"I'm fine," she muttered before biting her lip in an effort to keep it from quivering.  She'd felt on the verge of tears for days---often bursting out into hysterical fits of sobbing during which she'd lock herself in her room.  She'd managed to keep her heightened emotional state a secret, but was realizing that she wouldn't be able to keep it a secret forever.  However, now was not the time.  She just couldn't bear to tell them what was going on.

Lorraine Davis"Honey, you don't look fine," Lorraine spoke up and then rose from her seat to walk over to her sister-in-law.  "Are you sure you're feeling okay?"  She reached out and placed the back of her hand on Grace's forehead.  "Hmmm.  You don't feel hot.  You don't have a fever."

"I said that I'm fine!" Grace snapped angrily just as the doorbell rang.

Lorraine and Douglas simply stood and stared at Grace, both quite taken aback by her outburst.  However, before either one of them could say anything in response, the doorbell rang again.

"You just hold that thought," Lorraine said firmly.  "Let me get rid of whoever that is and we'll continue this.  There's clearly something wrong with you and we're going to find out what it is."  She quickly walked over to the door and flung it open only to be completely surprised by their unexpected visitor.  "M-mom?"

"Lorraine!" Edwina Blake exclaimed and set down her suitcase and armload of gifts to open her arms wide so that she could hug her daughter.  "Oh, it's so good to see you!"

"W-what are you doing here?" Lorraine asked, still slightly in shock.  "Where's Dad?"

Edwina Blake"He's knee deep in classes and the university couldn't let him have time off," Edwina explained as she picked up her things and carried them into the house, only to have Douglas rush to her side to lend assistance.  "Besides, you didn't actually think that I was going to let you have a baby and not come to see you, did you?"

"Of...course not," Lorraine smiled before closing the door and turning to follow her mother and husband back into the living room.

"Mrs. Blake, it's so good to finally meet you in person," Douglas said politely as he hugged his mother-in-law and gave her a warm peck on the cheek.  "I know we've chatted on the phone several times, but..."

"I completely understand," Edwina laughed.  "I hope you don't mind my just dropping in?"

"Not at all, Mom!" Lorraine exclaimed.  "We just weren't...expecting you.  I wished you'd have at least called.  We could have picked you up at the airport."

"Oh, that's quite all right."  Edwina carefully looked around the room.  "Now where's the precious grandbaby of mine?"  Instantly, she caught sight of the bassinette and rushed over to pick up little Mikey.  "He's adorable!  You two must be so happy."

"We are, Mom, we are."  Lorraine stood beside her husband and wrapped her arm around him, hugging him tightly.  "And you must be Grace," she smiled when she saw the young woman standing quietly off to the side.  "Lorraine has told me so much about you.  It's nice to finally meet you, too."

Grace Davis"T-thank you," Grace muttered softly, more than a little uncomfortable.

"You must be so excited about having a new baby in the house," Edwina continued as she cradled Mikey in her arms.  "In my opinion, babies just brighten up a home unlike anything else in the world.  Of course, dear, I'm sure that you're finding that out."

"I...I..." Grace stammered, unsure of what to say.  Suddenly, she felt her lip begin to quiver again as tears began to well up in her eyes and she quickly bolted from the room leaving everyone else in utter shock.

"W-what did I say?" Edwina asked in confusion as she looked at both Douglas and Lorraine for some kind of answer.  "I...didn't mean to upset her.  I was just talking about the baby and..."

"It's...all right," Douglas sighed and then took the baby from her arms.  "She's been acting rather strangely for weeks.  We don't...know what's wrong with her.  I thought that maybe she was sick, but she insists that she's fine and..."

"Hmmm."  Edwina paused and furrowed her brow as she thought.  "She won't tell you what's the matter?  Certainly, there's something the matter.  People just don't react like that for no reason."

"We know that, Mother," Lorraine responded.  "We just can't get her to talk about what's got her so upset.  It's almost as if she's trying to seal herself off from everyone."

Douglas Davis"Well, maybe she won't talk to either one of you because she's too close to you," Edwina rationalized.  "Maybe that makes her uncomfortable.  Let me go see if I can get her to talk about what's wrong."  She quickly began to follow Grace into the kitchen.

"No, Mom, don't!" Lorraine spoke up firmly.  "I don't think that you prying into her personal matters is going to accomplish anything.  She doesn't know you.  I might do more harm than good."

"Yes, I suppose you're right," Edwina sighed with a nod.  "It's just that, well, even I can tell that she's acting peculiar.  I mean, she's almost acting just like you did when..."  She quickly stopped herself mid-sentence when she realized that she was about to voice an unfounded speculation.

"When I what, Mother?"

"I...um..." Edwina stammered.  "When you were that age.  Grace is only about eighteen, isn't she?  Well, Lorraine, you were quite moody at that age.  Why, you could go for weeks at a time without even saying two words to me or your father."

"Yes, I remember," Lorraine sighed and shook her head.  "But I don't think it's as simple as that.  There has to be more to it than that."

"I agree," Douglas nodded as he handed Mikey to Lorraine.  "She's just...not herself."

As Lorraine cradled her baby in her arms, she carefully thought about Grace and her odd behavior.  Yes, something was definitely wrong and Lorraine was most certainly worried.  With a look of firm determination, she made a silent vow to found out exactly what was going on.