produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #149 (Monday, 9/27/04) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
July 4, 1936 - Evening

THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM - MAIN BALLROOM

Reginald CallisonThe Grand Sunset Room"You really did it, didn't you?" Reginald Callison asked with a sneer.

"Did what?"  Burt Lamont looked at him and shook his head, unable to understand exactly what his cousin was getting at.

"You just waltzed into this town a nobody -- just some guy who picked up his downtrodden family and moved in to take care of a stable of horses."  Reginald stood directly in front of Burt and stared at him.  "Then, suddenly, you're a Callison -- Landon's son.  And then you're wooing and romancing one of the heirs to the East Coast's largest textile companies.  Now that you've married Janet, you're a member of two of the most prominent families in this town.  You haven't just climbed the social ladder, you've run right up it!"

"How dare you try to insinuate that I'm using Janet!  Besides, I'm every bit a part of the Callison family as you are.  I'm a Callison by blood!  You've seen the documentation!  You've seen the reports and records that your own father's private detective found!"

"Documents and files and records can be altered and falsified to say whatever you want them to."  Reginald moved closer to Burt, getting practically nose to nose with him.  "I don't give a damn what those records say!  You're not part of this family and you never will be!"  He jabbed his finger into Burt's face to punctuate his point.

"Get out of my face!" Burt spat.  "I don't have to prove a damn thing to you!  Your father accepts me!  Janet loves me!  Those are the only things that matter."

"So," Reginald chuckled heartily with an air of amusement, "you've worked so hard to land yourself in a rather cushy spot, haven't you.  How much will it take?"

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me."  Reginald's jaw tightened.  "How much will it take?  I'm prepared to phone the bank first thing in the morning.  Exactly how much money will it take to send you packing out of this town and out of our lives for good?"


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THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM - MAIN BALLROOM

The Grand Sunset Room"I'm really proud of you," Patterson Monroe smiled as he lead his wife, clad in a completely different gown than she'd originally arrived in, into the room.  "It was awfully big of you to offer to go home and change.  You didn't have to do that, you know."

"I know," Stephanie responded coyly with a tilt of her head, "but I also know that by changing clothes, I'd be the better person for it."

"Honey, you really didn't have to do it.  Jillian's probably got a closet full of gowns that she's never even worn.  You bought that dress just for tonight."  He gently put his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him.  "Not that you don't look fantastic in that dress, but I know you put a lot of thought into the other one.  You wanted tonight to be special with a brand new dress.  You shouldn't have had to go home and change into a dress you already had hanging in the closet."

"Paddy, I know."  She couldn't help but laugh.  He was so concerned about her feelings.  "But, like I said, if I want everyone here to see exactly how much I've changed -- how much I'm not like the Stephanie Lake they want to keep me as in their minds -- I know I've got to change the way I react to things.  Now, the old me would probably have ripped that dress right off of Jillian and sent her packing home to change clothes, but that's not who I am now."

Patterson Monroe"So you and Jillian didn't get into a little tiff in the ladies room?"  His eyes narrowed as he eyed his wife suspiciously.

"A tiff?"  Stephanie tapped her chin with her index finger as she considered his choice of words.  "I wouldn't exactly call it a 'tiff' -- more like a discussion.  We calmly weighed the pros and cons of who'd go home to change and I made the offer.  Jillian tried to talk me out of it, but I insisted."  She turned away from him and smiled slyly.  "It was all very cordial, actually."

"Well, then, I'm proud of you.  I know that with the history you and Jillian have, it'd be really easy for both of you to dredge up all of that old stuff."

"Paddy, there's nothing for you to worry about."  She turned back around to him and smiled.  "In fact, we were so pleasant to one another that I kinda slipped and told her about the baby."  Stephanie lowered her head and blushed.

"Oh, Steph!  I thought you wanted to wait and tell Sara first."

Stephanie Lake Monroe"I know," she sighed, "but you know how I've been itching to tell someone ever since we found out today.  Jillian and I were having such a warm moment that it...just slipped out."

"You better go find Sara and tell her the good news, then.  If she finds out you told someone else before her, she's not gong to be too happy."

"But, wait, Paddy, that's not even the best part!"  She grabbed him and looked up into his eyes as she bit her lower lip.  "Jillian's going to have a baby, too!"

"W-what?"

"We're both going to have babies!"  She clasped her hands together tightly in excitement.  "Oh, Paddy, isn't that wonderful?  We got married at the same time and now we're going to have babies at the same time!"  As her head began to spin with ideas, Stephanie's eyes shifted back and forth as if she were considering every single one of them.  "Wouldn't it be something if one of these babies was a little boy and the other was a little girl and they grew up and got married to each other?"

"Whoa, Stephanie, slow down."  Patterson couldn't help but laugh at her excitement.  "Right now, let's focus on having the baby first.  We've got plenty of time to plan out the rest of their lives."

"Paddy, we're all going to be so happy!"  She flew into his arms and hugged him tightly.  "There's nothing but joy and happiness in our futures for all of us and nothing is going to happen to change that."


THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM - MAIN BALLROOM

The Grand Sunset Room"How dare you?" Burt spat back angrily, his hands balled up into fists.  "You know, to hear your father talk, you're nothing short of the second coming, but right now I see exactly what kind of man you are!"

"Don't be so sanctimonious, Burt," Reginald replied coolly.  "I'm the kind of man who would do whatever it took to protect his family and that includes getting rid of some opportunistic mongrel."  He moved even closer to Burt.  "Take the money, Burt.  It'll be much easier for you this way.  You'll have a tidy sum to go start a new life somewhere else where you'll be far away from this family."

"I'll tell you what you can do with your money!"

"Don't make this difficult."  Reginald was so calm and confident that it was rather unsettling.  "You know this would be best for all of us."

"How?  How can you do this?"  Burt shook his head in confusion, still in shock from Reginald's proposal.  "I...thought that we were friends.  We've always gotten along.  You've had no problem with me before."

"That's back when I took you at face value.  That's back when you were just a simple guy working on a farm who seemed to want to make the best out of his life."  Reginald stepped back and began to slowly pace around Burt.  "But then I saw to what lengths you'd go to do that.  You set out to con your way into not just my family, but Jillian's family, too.  I love my family, Burt, and I love my wife's family.  I refuse to let some two-bit hayseed with some outlandish story of long-lost paternity con his way into all of this.  It wouldn't be right -- not to my father and not to Janet.  How could you use them like this?"

Burt Lamont"You disgust me," Burt hissed, his jaw tightening up.  "I love Janet.  I married Janet.  And I've grown to care a great deal about your father and your family.  Look, I admit that I wasn't exactly ready to do back flips over the idea of who I really was and I came in with guns blazing, furious and angry with your family for throwing a innocent little baby and his mother aside like garbage, but I realized that it wasn't your father and it wasn't your family as a whole who deserved my anger -- it was your grandfather.  He's the one who caused all of this hurt and pain.  He's the one who should be reviled and held up for contempt!"

"Don't you dare drag my grandfather's name around in the dirt!"  Reginald reached out and grabbed Burt by his collar.  "My grandfather was a good man.  He was a hardworking and generous man who built this family and our business from the ground up!  How can you even attempt to make judgments and assessments about him when you never even knew him?"

"I never had a chance to know him!  He saw to that!"  Burt grabbed hold of Reginald's wrist as the duo began to struggle.  "I'll tell you what you can do with your money and your attitude -- you can take both of them and go to hell!"

"What the devil is going on here?" came the voice of Jillian Callison from behind them.  "Reginald?  Burt?"

The sound of his wife's voice startled Reginald and he immediately let go of Burt and took several quick steps away from him.  His face was beat red with anger and he was breathing heavily.  He couldn't have covered up the intensity of the situation if he'd tried.

"Honey, what's going on?  What happened?"  Janet Lamont raced over to Burt's side and took his arm.  "What's wrong?"  Her eyes instantly went to Reginald.  "What did you do?  What did you say to him?"

"Just telling the truth," Reginald muttered, unable to look in Jillian's direction.  He knew how overly generous and kind she was.  He knew she wouldn't be able to understand.  "And it appears that your husband and I don't see eye to eye."

"I'll say we don't."  Burt pulled Janet to him and put his arms around her.  "Look, don't worry about it.  I'm fine."  He placed his index finger under her chin and lifted her head gently so that he could look deeply into her eyes.  "Honest."  He paused and turned towards Reginald.  "It's over now.  We just had a little disagreement."  His eyes bore a deep hole into Reginald before he turned back to his wife and took a long, deep breath.  "I think I need some air.  Care to join me?"

Janet Stokes Lamont"Of course, I would."  Janet smiled warmly as her husband took her by the arm and led her away.  However, she couldn't help but turn back to look at Reginald.  She was certain that something serious had happened and it wasn't merely as innocent as a simple "disagreement."

"What happened?"  Jillian's tone was stern and severe once her sister and brother-in-law were out of earshot.  "What did you say to Burt?"

"We had a difference of opinion," he replied coolly.  "It's obvious that we don't agree on a few things."

"What I walked up on was more than just a difference of opinion!"

"Sweetheart, I think you're making too much out of this."  He gently took her by the arm and began to walk with her across the room back to where their families were gathered.  "I had to make sure that Burt's intentions towards Janet were honorable and he simply took it the wrong way."

"Reginald...."

"There's nothing for you to get yourself worked up over."  He stopped and turned to her and smiled.  "I love your family very much and anyone who intends to become a part of it better pass inspection."  A hearty chuckle punctuated the levity he was trying to inject.  "I was just testing him."

"Testing him?"  She gasped at how cavalierly he was treating what had happened.  "Reginald, you and Burt were almost involved in a full-fledged brawl!  That was no 'test,' as you put it."  She paused and inhaled deeply.  "Now, what did you say to Burt?  Either you're going to tell me or I'm going to find out from Burt!"

Reginald stood silently for a few moments and nodded, mentally weighing his options.  It would sound better coming from him, after all.  Finally...  "I offered to pay Burt to leave town."

The words hung in the air.  Jillian was visibly stunned and didn't quite know what to say.  "Reginald!"

"Now, wait!"  He threw up his hands to silence her.  "Before you go jumping to conclusions, let me explain."

Jillian Stokes Callison"Explain?  Explain?"  She raked her fingers through her golden hair, unable to fathom what he'd said.  "How could you?  How could you do something like that?  Burt's your own flesh and blood!"  His jaw tightened as she spoke the words.  "No wonder it looked like Burt wanted to slug you in the jaw!  I know I would have!"

"Jillian, like I said, I just wanted to test him -- to see what he'd do."  He took a long deep breath.  "And he passed with flying colors."

"Oh, Reginald, what were you thinking?  I know there's been tension between the two of you for months -- ever since everyone found out that Burt was your uncle Landon's son.  I haven't forgotten your behavior at the hospital the night that Daddy died!"

"You're making too much out of this."

"I don't think I am!  Reginald, I swear to you...."  Suddenly, a sharp pain pierced her side and she doubled over slightly in reaction.  "Ohhhh...." she moaned.

Reginald Callison"Jillian?  Jillian, what's wrong?  Are you all right?  The baby...."  He flew to her side and put his arm around her to support her until the pain had passed.  "What happened?"

"I...don't know," she muttered, quite startled and uneasy about what had just happened.  However, as soon as the pain had come on, it was gone.  "I'm...fine.  I don't know what it was, but...I'm fine, now.  It's gone."  She rubbed her abdomen gently.

"Should I call Dr. Campbell over here to take a look at you?"

"No, I'm fine."  Her tone was unnervingly calm -- almost as if she was trying to stave off her own internal concerns.  "I have a checkup scheduled for in the morning.  I...I'll ask the doctor about it then."  She allowed her husband to lead her by the hand, his arm still around her waist, as they continued to walk across the room.  "Reginald, please try to get along with Burt.  He's your family -- a part of both of our families, now.  Please, do this for me?"

"O-okay," he nodded, his eyes focused only on her.  "Anything for you, Jillian.  Anything for you."  And, in that moment, he meant every word he said because Burt Lamont was now the furthest thing from his mind.  His thoughts were only of his expectant wife and the unnerving sequence of events that had just happened.