produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #142 (Wednesday, 3/12/03) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
June 1936 - Afternoon


SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr.Naomi Jackson"What's going on here?" Ruby Thomas asked as she stood in the doorway while her eyes darted from Naomi Jackson to the other people in the room.

She'd come by to visit her boyfriend's sister in hopes of bridging the rift that had existed between them, but she'd clearly walked in on a conversation that was certainly about something other than Naomi's job as a maid for the Manchesters.

"What are you doin' here?" Naomi snapped angrily, frightened that Ruby might ruin all of her plans.  "You spyin' on me?"

"No, Naomi, I'm not spying on you," Ruby firmly replied.  "I just came by so that we could work out our differences."

"Naomi, dear, I take it that you know this girl?" Joyce Preston asked, flashing her secret accomplice a look of caution.

"Yeah, I know her," Naomi muttered.

"Well, if you'd like to have a visit with your friend, we could put this off until later."  Dane Manchester briefly glanced over at his wife Sara and then exhaled slowly, relieved for the interruption.  The last thing that he wanted was to sign over any part -- no matter how small -- of his and his wife's inheritance to Naomi even if it was supposed to be for the care of her child.

"She ain't no friend of mine!"

"Naomi, what's going on here?" Ruby asked, her suspicions mounting.  "I...thought you were a maid here."

"I am a maid!"

"But..."  Ruby's eyes moved from Naomi to the other people in the room.  "What did you mean when you said that they needed to take care of your baby?  Naomi, what's going on here?"


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ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL - TALBOT'S OFFICE

Albanyville General Hospital"Did you see that?" Judith Linford asked -- more of an order than an actual question -- as she carefully pushed Dr. Talbot Campbell back into his office, shutting the door behind them.  "Did you see the way he was talking to that nurse?"

"Judith, it's not that unusual to see a doctor talking to a nurse.  This is a hospital, after all."  However, despite Talbot's rationalizations, he certainly had noticed the odd familiarity that had existed between Dr. Fred Rutherford and the young nurse.

"Well, I know that!  But...but, did you see the way they were standing?  Did you see the way they touched?  Surely you're not going to stand there and tell me that's the typical way your staff interacts with one another!"

"We have no way of knowing what was going on between them or what was being said."  His head turned towards the closed door as he began to sort through his own suspicions.  "I think that to jump to a conclusion based on just a few seconds would be doing a great disservice."

"Oh, honestly, Talbot!"  Judith shook her head, unable to believe that someone so bright and intuitive was acting so naive.  After a few moments of silence, she decided on a different line of questioning.  "So, who's that nurse?  I'm not sure I've ever seen her here before."

"Um...she's new," he explained.  "Just moved here from Madison a few weeks ago."

Judith Stokes Linford"Name?"

"Judith, I really don't see what you're trying to get at."

"Just curious.  That's all."  She walked back over to the door and opened it just a tad so that she could peer out into the hallway.  Seeing that both Fred and the nurse were nowhere in sight, she heaved a sigh of relief that he hadn't seen her and, therefore, didn't know what she'd witnessed.  "So, Talbot, who is she?"  She paused and waited.  "If you don't tell me, all I have to do is talk to anybody on staff here and point her out.  They'll tell me."

"Her name's Donna Allison," he finally revealed as he followed Judith out of his office and down the hallway.  "Like I said, she's only been on staff here a few weeks.  She's very quiet about her personal life..."

"I'm sure."

"...but I've been very pleased with her work.  She's a good nurse."

"Who seems to be good at playing doctor," Judith muttered under her breath.

"Judith, you can't read too much into this.  To jump to conclusions based on one...."

"Well, well, well!  What do we have here?" came the voice of Corinne Campbell as she walked up behind Talbot and Judith.  "My darling husband and his...patient."

"Hello, Corinne," Talbot responded coolly, not even attempting to turn around to look at her.  "What brings you down to the hospital today?  Auxiliary business?"

"Partly," Corinne nodded while she carefully examined the scene between her husband and Judith that she'd walked up on.  "But mostly because I wanted to see my wonderful husband."

Dr. Talbot Campbell"I've got a very full schedule today and don't have time for idle chit-chat."

"But you do have time for small talk with her?"  Corinne glared at Judith.  "Here for a full physical today, Mrs. Linford?"

"I needed to discuss some personal matters with Talbot.  That's all."  Judith folded her arms across her chest and took a defiant stance.  As much as she valued Talbot's friendship and respected his opinion, her views about his wife were an entirely different matter.

"Personal matters?"  Corinne cocked an eyebrow.  "Why doesn't that surprise me?"

"Oh, honestly, Corinne, do you have to do this here?" Talbot groaned, more than a little embarrassed by his wife's thinly veiled insinuations.

"I could ask you the same question!"

"Mrs. Campbell -- Corinne," Judith cooed with viperous innocence, "green really isn't your color."  With a sly smile, she leaned over and gave Talbot a gentle peck on the cheek.  "Thank you for all you help, dear.  I think I should leave you to your...wife."

As Judith strolled off towards the elevator, Corinne's eyes burned with hatred.

Corinne Campbell"Are you still going to try to insist to me that there's nothing between the two of you?" she snapped angrily in a forceful whisper.

"There isn't anything going on between us!  I've told you before -- she was my patient and now we're just friends."

"I'm sure."

"Look, do you have an actual reason for being here?"  He spun around and glared at her.  "I don't have time to stand around and listen to a bunch of wild accusations."

"Actually..." she paused and took a deep breath, "I wanted to go over some of the plans for the fundraiser.  I wanted to get your opinion on...."

"I told you, Corinne, whatever you and your auxiliary decide is fine with me."  He stopped and made a quick check of his watch to note the time.  "I've really got to get moving on my rounds."

Before Corinne could say a word of protest, Talbot walked away from her and down the hallway without as much as a "good-bye".  As she watched him walking away, she could barely contain her fury and outrage.  She was now more certain than ever that Judith was trying to take away her husband -- if she hadn't started making progress already -- and that was something that Corinne was determined to put a stop to no matter how she had to do it.


SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr."You are spyin' on me!" Naomi accused angrily.  "You're so dead set on findin' some way to make me look bad to Calvin that you'll string together a bunch of words you overheard into somethin' that's got nothin' to do with the truth!"

"I'm not sure what I overhead," Ruby tried to explain evenly.  "That's why I'm asking you about it."

"Do something with your friend," Joyce hissed into Naomi's ear through clinched teeth.

Sara Manchester"Naomi, would you like to introduce us to your friend?" Sara Manchester spoke up, slightly uncomfortable because of the obvious tension between the two girls.

Dane Manchester"I done told you!  She ain't no friend of mine!"  Naomi glared at Ruby.  "She's just my brother's girl."

"Well, we can see how close the two of you are."  Dane's eyes almost crackled with amusement due to the scene that was going on.

"Get her out of here," Joyce hissed again as she reached over and grabbed Naomi's arm tightly, causing the young woman to wince.

Joyce Preston"Naomi, I asked you a question," Ruby continued.  "Are you in some kind of trouble?  Is there something that Calvin needs to know?"

"The only trouble I'm gonna be in is because of you!" Naomi screeched and lunged at Ruby, grabbing her by the arm and dragging her out of the room.  "You just had to come over here and try to get me in trouble with my boss, didn't you?"

"T-that's not what I was doing!" Ruby insisted as Naomi pushed her out into the hallway, quickly sliding the large wooden doors of the library closed behind them.  "I just stopped by because I'd hoped that we could have a little talk."

"A talk?  About what?"

"Naomi, I know that we don't exactly get along."  Couldn't stand one another was more like it.  "But your brother and I love each other very much."

"Don't remind me."

"I really would like for us to get to know one another better.  I want to like you -- really I do.  And I want you to like me."

"Then keep your nose outta my business!"  Naomi's jaw tightened, her eyes firmly fixed on Ruby.  "What I do ain't none of your business."

Ruby Thomas"But, Naomi, I can't get over this feeling that there's something wrong.  I can't ignore this feeling that you're in some kind of trouble."

"Mind your own business!"  The more Ruby pressed her, the angrier Naomi got.  "I'm working here as a maid for these people.  Don't you think I'm humiliated enough by that without you comin' over and rubbin' my nose in it?"

"That's not what I'm doing!"  Ruby paused and inhaled deeply as she tried to regain her perspective on the situation.  "Remember, I'm a maid, too.  Why would you be embarrassed for me to see you at work?"

"I'm not you!" Naomi snapped.  "Unlike you, I'm better then this!"

"U-unlike me?"

"I've done better than this before.  I've been on stage in front of hundreds of people."  Naomi's face beamed with a pride that was also slightly bittersweet before returning to its previous coldness.  "I've just had a string of bad luck.  You, on the other hand...well...let's just say that a maid is about all you'd amount to.  Why you even think you're up to the standards of my brother is beyond me."

"Naomi, I...."

Naomi Jackson"He's a respected doctor," she continued.  "Of course he's embarrassed when his doctor friends ask him about his girl and he has to tell 'em that she's nothing but a scrub woman."  She paused and smiled slyly.  "That is if he even tells 'em the truth.  For all I know, he lies to 'em to spare himself the embarrassment."

Ruby stood in silence, unsure of what to say.

"Do us all a favor," Naomi said as she again grabbed Ruby by the arm and drug her towards the front door.  "Stay outta my business and stay outta Calvin's life.  We'd all be better off without you."

After slamming the door behind Ruby, Naomi exhaled slowly.  She'd definitely not expected to see her there today.  How much had she really overheard?  Did she know the truth about what Naomi was up to in Springhill Manor?  Naomi couldn't be certain.  However, she was positive that Ruby had heard enough to make her suspicious.  Ruby had already proven to be trouble for Calvin.  Now she was proving to be trouble for Naomi as well -- trouble that she most certainly didn't need.

For whatever reason, Calvin trusted and believed Ruby.  What if she went blabbing to him about what she'd overheard?  Worried that Ruby Thomas could destroy all of her hopes and dreams, Naomi knew that she had to find someway to discredit her and remove her from both her and her brother's lives -- for good.