produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #150 (Monday, 10/11/04) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
July 4, 1936 - Evening


THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM - MAIN BALLROOM

The Grand Sunset Room"You listen to me, Judith Linford," Corinne Campbell spat as she grabbed her by the arm and spun her around, "You think I don't know about you?  Well, you're wrong!  I know all about the type of woman you are!  You're a pathetic, miserable woman and you're not happy unless everyone else is as miserable as you are!  Well, I'm not going to let you have Talbot!  Do you hear me?"

Corinne grabbed Judith forcibly by the arms, pushing her slightly backwards and causing the heel of Judith's shoe to catch in a crease in the carpeting.  Thrown slightly off balance, Judith stumbled backwards and against the wall, but caught herself before she could fall.

"You're headed for a fall, Judith!  A big fall!"

Just then, Judith's eyes grew wide with horror.

"I won't let you do this!" Janet screamed as she began to shake violently.  "I won't let you ruin my life like you've always tried to ruin my life!"

"There's nothing you can do about it."

Janet's eyes began to burn with rage.  All of her life, Judith had tried to take away everything that had mattered to her.  She'd fought tooth and nail to make sure that Gordon wouldn't love her and tried to convince him to stay with his wife.  She'd been the one to convince their father to send her to the institution...a place Janet knew she didn't really belong.  Now, Judith was determined to take away the one man who could finally make Janet truly happy.  Well, Janet wouldn't let her!  Janet would fight her to the end.  She would never let her have Burt!

In an instant, Janet's rage began to boil over as she balled her hands into fists.  Keeping her eyes focused firmly on Judith, Janet lunged at her.  A stunned and horrified Judith turned just in time to see Janet's face, twisted in anger and fear, coming at her.  Judith moved to the first step at the top of the staircase in an attempt to move out of her way, but Janet crashed into her, sending her precariously off balance.

As Judith's ankle turned, her foot slid from the first step down onto the second step.  Her weight shifting dangerously, she reached for the banister but only succeeded into completely losing her footing.  As a terrified scream tore from Judith's chest, she tumbled head over heels down the long staircase until she landed in a crumpled heap at the bottom.

"Oh, my god," Judith gasped, her eyes wide with horror and shock.  "Oh, my god."

"What's the matter with you?" Corinne asked full of discomfort.  The mere look on Judith's face told Corinne that something wasn't right.  "Have you taken ill?  Or...or are you just faking it so you can garner some sympathy from my husband?"

"Oh, my god," Judith muttered again, utterly terrified by the myriad of thoughts and memories that were flooding back to her.  She dug her nails deeply into the wallpaper behind her to steady herself as the color drained from her face and her legs grew weak.  "Oh, my god.  I...I remember.  I remember."

Everything.


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THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM - MAIN BALLROOM

The Grand Sunset RoomDr. Fred Rutherford felt his heart pounding inside his chest as he walked quickly around the room.  His eyes darted from side to side, examining the face of every single person he came into contact with.  With every person he saw, one single thought went through his mind over and over -- could that be his blackmailer?

Realizing that his anxiety was getting the better of him, he stopped for a moment and took several long deep breaths.  He had to get hold of himself.  He was running around in a panic and he knew it, but he couldn't help it.  He'd worked too long and too hard to let some miserable opportunist ruin everything he'd achieved.  His  hands were shaking from nervousness and he knew he had to settle himself down so he quickly grabbed the nearest waiter and motioned for another glass of scotch.  He couldn't let this imminent threat get to him; he had to remain calm and he had to decide exactly what he was going to do.

"Fred?  There you are!" came the voice of his wife Leticia Rutherford from behind him.  "I've been looking all over for you.  Where did you disappear to?"

"I...um...went to talk to some colleagues from the hospital," he replied weakly, pausing only long enough to take several long sips of his drink.  "Had to go over some of the details of the benefit."

Leticia stood in front of him and eyed him up and down.  Perhaps it was the way he was standing or the obvious shakiness of his hands, but she could tell that something was troubling him.

"Darling, are you all right?  You don't look well."

Dr. Fred Rutherford"I'm fine," he muttered, his eyes looking right past her and out into the crowd of guests.

"But you don't look well."  She placed her hand lightly on his cheek.  He winced from her touch.  "Fred, you're as white as a sheet.  Are you getting sick?"

"I said that I'm fine!" he snapped, pulling away from her and downing the rest of his drink.  He lifted his hand to motion for the waiter to bring him another.  Once it was in his hands, he took another long drink and then a deep breath.

"You're not acting fine."  Leticia eyed him carefully.  It didn't take a genius to be able to tell that something was clearly wrong.  "Perhaps you've been working too much.  Or maybe you're coming down with something.  Surely, being around sick people all day puts you in contact with a lot of contagious diseases and such."

"I said I'm fine," he repeated firmly.  "Why do you always have to hover over me like I'm some sort of child who has to be watched every single moment of the day?"

Leticia Stokes Rutherford"Darling, that's not what I'm doing!"  She couldn't believe the words he was saying and the tone of his voice.  It was so unlike him to be so rough and argumentative with her.  "I'm worried about you because I love you.  You're my husband."

Fred hung his head and raked his fingers through his hair.  "I'm...I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have snapped at you like that."

"No, you shouldn't have."

"It's just that...."  His voice trailed off as he, once again, became distracted by the crowd.  "Perhaps I'm not feeling well.  Perhaps you're right."  He set his empty glass down on the tray of a passing waiter and grabbed another drink.  "Maybe I...just need some air."

"Let me go with you."  She took his hand and prepared to walk with him towards the terrace.

"No," he muttered, pulling away.  "I...I need to be alone for a bit."  He looked up at her, more softly and tenderly than he had been and gave a little nod of reassurance.  "I just...need some time alone to think and collect myself."

Without another word, Fred walked away, leaving Leticia standing alone, utterly confused and worried about her husband's physical and emotional state.


THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM - MAIN BALLROOM

The Grand Sunset Room"Good heavens, Judith, why do you always have to over dramatize things?" Corinne sighed with disgust as she shook her head.

"I'm...not...."  Judith's eyes were wide with shock and terror; her breathing was shallow.  Yes, she remembered everything about that horrible and tragic night.  Not only had Janet been there the night Judith had fallen down the stairs and lost the baby she'd secretly shared with Burt, but Janet had pushed her!  Judith had lost her child because of Janet!

"What in the devil is wrong with you?"  Corinne narrowed her eyes and examined Judith carefully.  "Judith?  Are you listening to me?  Have you taken ill?"

"N-no," she muttered shakily, even as she began to feel sick to her stomach.

"You're the most ghastly shade of green...."

"I'm fine."  Judith's voice was barely audible -- just above a whisper.  With slow determination, she stood straight up, inhaled deeply, and began to step forward.  However, she only managed to stumble and she again reached back for the wall to brace herself.

Corinne Campbell"Too bad Cecil B. DeMille isn't here," Corinne quipped dryly.  "This performance of yours is practically Oscar worthy."

"This isn't a performance," Judith hissed, her head snapping around in Corinne's direction, a fire in her eyes as her head began to clear.  The momentary fog that had enveloped her had passed and Judith saw and thought with a clarity that she was sure she'd never known.  Her memories were real and tangible.  She had full knowledge of everything that had happened the night she'd fallen.  There was no longer any doubt in her mind.  Boosted with that confidence, Judith stood up taller and straighter than she'd ever stood in her entire life.

"Corinne, Judith, what's wrong?" Dr. Talbot Campbell asked as he walked over to his wife and his friend.  "Judith, are you ill?"

"Oh, I see, now," Corinne seethed, her eyes darting from Talbot to Judith.  "This is all an act!  Just some melodramatic performance to prey upon my husband's sympathies!"

Dr. Talbot Campbell"Corinne, please."  Talbot shot his wife a disapproving look.  "Isn't it obvious that Judith's not feeling well?"  He reached out to take her by the arm.  "Judith, let me help you over to a chair so you can sit down."

"No!"  Judith yanked her arm away from him and began to walk away.

" I see."  Corinne's eyes blazed.  "You fake some sort of attack and then a stoic display of strength so that you can spark Talbot's concern.  Then you'll lead him off to some secluded corner and play on his sympathies!"

Judith Stokes Linford"Oh, shut up, you old hag!" Judith spat, physically pushing her out of the way, prompting a sharp gasp out of Corinne.

"Judith, where are you going?" Talbot asked with much concern.  "Corinne's right.  You don't look well."

"I'm fine," she replied with a voice full of steadfast confidence.  "In fact, I feel better than I have in months."

"Judith...?"

"Excuse me, please," she continued, walking away from him.  "There are a few things I need to take care of.  I need to go have a little visit with my darling sister."