produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



Episode #136 (Monday, 11/18/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
June 1936 - Evening


SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

Joyce Preston54 Spring Lake Dr."Dane, it's time someone taught Sara a lesson."  Joyce Preston's features grew softer and more pleading as she decided to try a different approach.  "She forced you into a marriage you didn't want and then she cheated on you with my husband so that she could get her hands on his money.  "

"I'm...I'm not so sure I believe that anymore," Dane Manchester muttered softly.  "No matter what faults Sara might have, she's always been loyal to me."

"You're a fool!" she snapped, again growing angry.  "You're a damned fool!"  Feeling that her emotions were starting to get out of control, Joyce took several long breaths to calm herself before speaking again.  "She's making a fool out of you, Dane.  It's clear that she has all the control in your marriage.  She forced you to marry her which caused your father to disinherit you and then she cheated on you with my husband so that she could get all of the money she didn't get when she married you.  She took away everything that you had and then gave a little bit of it back, but gave herself more so that you'd be dependent on her!  She's got you wrapped around her little finger and she controls every move you make!"

"No one controls me!" Dane barked.  "I'm my own man and I make my own decisions.  I do as I damn well please, Sara or no Sara."

"I'm sure you do."  Joyce smiled slyly as if she knew much more than she was willing to let on.  "So, Dane, what is it?  Are you going to remain Sara's little lap dog, bowing to her every whim, or are you going to be a man and teach her a lesson?  What are you going to do Dane?  The choice is yours."


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THE WISHING WELL SODA SHOPPE

The Wishing Well Soda ShoppeRandy Lamont walked through the front doors with his head hung low.  He didn't look at anyone or anything.  His mind was too full of thoughts to focus on anything else.  In fact, he hadn't even intended on going to The Well.  When he'd left home, he hadn't had a destination.  All he knew was that he had to get away -- away from his brother and away from everything that was going on.  Little did he know that he was about to run right into yet another part of his life that had been weighing heavily on his mind.

"Randy!" Maggie Callison called out as she shot up out of a booth and ran over to him.  However, once she reached his side, she stopped, realizing her over enthusiasm, and took a deep breath.  "I...I mean...hi.  How are you doing?  I didn't expect to see you tonight."

"What are you doing here?" he muttered, not really looking at her.  "I figured you'd be at home enjoying your big new house."

"Well, it is pretty nice," she admitted, "but a house is just a house.  If it's just me and Mom and Dad in it, it still gets pretty boring."

Slowly, Maggie's bright attitude and warm demeanor began to drag Randy out of his somber mood and his own tone began to lighten.

Randy Lamont"So, where's your boyfriend?" he asked curiously as he looked around the shop.  "If you're out on the town for the evening, he can't be far away."

"Stanley is not...."  Maggie caught herself.  "I don't know where Stanley is.  I think he said something about going to the library."  She looked down at the floor, unable to meet Randy's eyes.  "I...don't want to talk about Stanley."  She paused and looked up at Randy.  "I want to talk about you."

"Me?"  He let out a small laugh, surprised by and curious about her interest.  "What do you want to talk to me about?"

"Are you okay?" she asked with concern as she looked at him closely.  "You...don't seem like yourself.  You look like there's something on your mind.  Is there...something you want to talk about?"

"No, I'm fine," he muttered and then pushed past her, causing her to turn and follow after him.  "It's just...some things at home."

"Well...maybe talking about it might help."

"Nothing's gonna fix this," he grumbled as he threw himself into a booth.

Maggie Callison"You don't know that."  Maggie slid into a seat across from him, watching him the entire time.  "Oh, come on and tell me what's wrong?  Maybe I can help."

"I don't want to talk about it!"

His stern tone startled Maggie and she leaned back in her seat, unsure about what to say next.

"Randy, please talk to me," she finally said as she reached across the table to take his hand.  "This isn't...like you.  You're...worrying me."

"I said I don't want to talk about it!" he snapped angrily and jerked his hand away.  "Don't you listen?  What is it with you people?"

"W-what?"

"You Callisons are all the same!  You just want to stick your noses in where they don't belong.  Don't any of you know how to just leave people alone?"

Randy's words cut Maggie to the quick and she sank down deep into her seat.  Why had he said such things to her?  What had she done to make him so angry?  She wasn't sure, but his biting comments hurt her terribly and she fought to keep her bottom lip from quivering.

Eliza Campbell"Well!  Look who we have here!" came the all too familiar voice of Eliza Campbell as she quickly walked over to where Randy and Maggie were sitting.  However, as soon as she reached the table, she noticed the tension between them.  "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"  Her eyes darted from Randy to Maggie.

"No," Maggie mumbled, unable to look at either of them.

"Good!" Eliza smiled broadly in response and then slid into the booth next to Randy.  "So, what's going on?"

As her eyes again jumped from Maggie to Randy, they both sat in utter silence.  However, that silence said a thousand words.  Eliza had interrupted something -- but what?  That was something that Eliza was determined to find out.


SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr."Answer me!" Joyce snapped angrily.  "Are you a man or are you...."

"If you'd shut up long enough, I'd give you an answer!" Dane interrupted angrily, his mother-in-law's ravings quickly grating on his nerves.

She paused for a moment and inhaled deeply as she waited for what he had to say.

"Well, go on."

"I told you that I was going to help you put Sara in her place and that's exactly what I'm going to do."  He began to pace around the room, only stopping for a moment to look in her direction.  "You're absolutely right.  Sara's way out of line.  She can't get away with everything she's done.  I'm going to show her who's in charge of this marriage."

"You have a fine way of going about it," Joyce said as she followed him around the room.  "You're supposed to talk Sara into drawing up that trust fund -- not out of it!"

Dane Manchester"If you think it's going to be that easy, you've been fooling yourself."  He stopped at the bar and poured himself a snifter of brandy.  "You know good and well that Sara's a smart girl.  If I just threw all of my support behind this trust fund idea, she'd know something was wrong.  She knows that I wouldn't voluntarily part with the money we got from your husband."

"But, I...."

"That's why I've got to talk her into it, but make her think it was her idea," he continued as he ignored Joyce's obvious questions.  "Then I get her to talk me into it.  I can't be a pushover about this or she'll know something's up."

"You've got a point," Joyce muttered and then pursed her lips together in deep thought.  "Hmmm.  Talk Sara into it, but make her think it's all her idea."

Dane carefully glanced in Joyce's direction, making every effort to keep her from realizing that he was watching her closely.

"So, do you really think that your husband is the father of that girl's baby?"

"Honestly?"  She walked over to the bar and began to pour her own drink.  "I don't know.  It's very possibly that what she says is true, but I've got no concrete proof of it."

"Then how do you know that she's not the one conning you?"

"She very well could be," Joyce agreed with a slight nod.  "That's why we're going to use her to our advantage.  Give her just enough to pacify her and then cut her off without any recourse.  She's too stupid to read the fine print on the trust fund documents, anyway."

"Are you sure about that?"

Joyce Preston"I'm positive," she smiled slyly.  "If this plays out exactly as I've planned -- and with your help, I'm sure it will -- Naomi will only get a pittance of what she's expecting while the rest will be divided up nicely between the two of us."

"And Sara?"

"Oh, she'll still have a nice sum of money," Joyce grinned, "but it won't be anything compared to how much you have.  You'll finally have controlling interest in my husband's estate and your marriage."

"I like the sound of that."  Dane savored the idea as he took a lengthy sip of his brandy.

"Now, I think I'm going to go talk to Naomi and tell her that Sara's about ready to start drawing up those trust fund papers."  Joyce began to walk towards the door.  "It's only a matter of time before we all have everything we've ever wanted."

Once Joyce had stepped out into the foyer, she struggled to hide the Cheshire cat grin on her face.  Dane was a fool if he honestly thought that he'd see any of Sara's money.  Joyce had no intention of sharing her ill-gotten gains with anyone.

Meanwhile, back in the library, Dane downed the last of his drink and smiled broadly with satisfaction.  She'd bought it.  Joyce had bought every word hook, line, and sinker.  There was no way in hell he was about to let his mother-in-law or that girl get their hands on his wife's money.

As he turned around to catch one final glimpse of Joyce as she walked up the stairs, he noticed a gnawing feeling in his gut.  Something wasn't right.  Of course, his mother-in-law was a greedy witch, but his instincts were telling him that there was more than that going on.  But what?  Dane realized that his approach in dealing with Joyce was the right one -- keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  As she disappeared up the stairs and out of sight, he silently vowed to be stuck to Joyce like glue.