produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #153 (March 7, 2012) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
July 1936 - Afternoon

REGINALD & JILLIAN’S HOME – FOYER

2210 Elmwood Ln.Jillian Callison“Oh, it’s no use.”  Jillian Callison cried out as she took to the stairs, nearly two at a time.  She and her best friend, Lorraine Davis, had been preparing dinner for Jillian’s husband, Reginald, while doing the laundry, but had lost track of time chatting.  “I’ve ruined dinner – everything’s ruined!”

“Jillian, calm down; I’m sure it’s not that bad,” Lorraine said as she followed after her.   “Honey, slow down and be careful that you don’t….”

However, before Lorraine could complete her urgent cries and before Jillian could even contemplate what was going on, it happened.  Later, Jillian wouldn’t be able to recall whether it was one step or two that she’d missed in her panic.  The only thing she could remember was losing her footing and tumbling head over heels while becoming entangled in the laundry basket she’d been carrying.  Meanwhile, Lorraine could do nothing but look on in sheer horror and scream.

As Lorraine watched Jillian land in a crumpled heap at the foot of the stairs, she quickly rushed down and to her side.

“Oh, Jillian, are you all right?  Are you hurt?”  Lorraine knelt down besides her and began a quick inspection to make sure nothing was twisted or broken.

“I… I don’t… know,” Jillian muttered weakly, obviously stunned and winded.  “I think I’m… okay.  I….”  However, before she could utter another word, a searing pain pierced her side, causing her to double over and cry out.”

“Jillian?  Jillian!  What is it?”

“Oh, no,” she sobbed as panic quickly began to overtake her.  “The b-baby… It’s the… baby.”


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THE CAMPBELL HOME – LIVING ROOM

276 Spruce Ln.“Well, what is it?” Corinne Campbell asked as she held the telephone receiver to her ear and leaned back in her large wingback chair.  “What has that husband of mine done now?”

“It’s not Talbot I’m calling about,” Nurse Fay Rutledge said on the other end of the line.  She was huddled over the phone in the corner of the second floor nurses station and deliberately speaking in hushed tones so that no prying ears might overhear her conversation.   “Well not exactly, at least.”

“Tell me!  Tell me what you saw!  If you didn’t catch my husband doing anything, then I don’t understand why….”

“I just thought that you’d like to know what Judith Linford has been up to….”

“Judith?”  Corinne’s eyes grew wide with interest.  “What has that hussy done now?  What foolishness is she up to with my husband?”

Nurse Fay Rutledge“Well, I don’t know anything about any foolishness yet,” Fay began to explain.  “But earlier while I was working on some charts, I witnessed one Mrs. Judith Linford filling out paperwork so that she can become a volunteer in the children’s ward.  I heard her say that she was doing it ‘for the children.’”  Fay threw her hand up to her chest in a display of mock dramatics.

“For the children?  Oh, children my eye!”  Corinne began to feel her blood pressure start to quickly rise.  “You know as well as I do that the only reason that witch would even think about being around a bunch of sick children is because it would allow her to see Talbot all the time.” 

“Of course I know that, but I don’t think chasing around after your husband is the only reason.”

“Oh?”  Corinne cocked an eyebrow as she listened carefully for Fay’s newest piece of information.

“I think one of the reasons she’s doing this is so that she can deliberately get under your skin.”  Fay paused and looked around to make sure no one was listening.  “I heard her specifically say that you were the reason she was volunteering.”

Corinne Campbell“How like her!” Corinne spat as she began to seethe.  “Why am I not surprised that she’s doing all this just to spite me?  What a mean, vicious, petty….”  She paused as she began to hear the echoes of commotion at the hospital going on in the background of the telephone call.  “Fay?  Are you there?  It sounds like something’s happening.  What is it?”

“Corinne, dear, I’m going to have to phone you later.  A young expectant mother was just brought in down in the emergency room – in quite a bit of physical distress….”

“Yes, yes, I understand,” Corinne sighed.  “You go take care of whatever it is you need to do and leave Mrs. Linford and my husband to me.”

After returning the telephone receiver to its cradle, Corinne sat in silence and strummed her fingers along the edge of the end table.  So Judith thought that she could use the children’s ward as an excuse to hover around Talbot like a vulture waiting for lunch, did she?  Not if Corinne had anything to say about it!


SPRINGHILL MANOR – LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr.“Mrs. Preston?”  Naomi Jackson cautiously knocked on the slightly open sliding doors that lead in from the foyer.  “I hope I’m not… botherin’ you, but….”

“No, Naomi, it’s quite all right,” Joyce Preston sighed.  “Come in, come in and close the door behind you.  There are a few things we need to talk about.”

“That’s why I’m here, Mrs. Preston.”  Naomi fidgeted and shifted her weight from one foot to the other.  She could immediately tell that Joyce Preston was in a very dour and no-nonsense mood.  “I think we got trouble.”

“Trouble?  What kind of trouble?”  Joyce stepped closer to Naomi, eager to hear what had gotten the girl so obviously worried.

“You remember Ruby – my brother’s girl?” Naomi began hesitantly.  “Well, she’s… she’s been pokin’ her nose in where it don’t belong and askin’ questions.”

“What kind of questions?  Girl, spit it out.  What the devil are you talking about?”

“She’s been askin’ questions about me… my baby… what we’re really doin’ here….”

“Well, you didn’t tell you anything did you?”  Joyce’s eyes grew wide with panic.  She knew she couldn’t have all her plans ruined by Naomi running off at the mouth.

Naomi Jackson“Of course I didn’t tell her!  What kinda fool do you think I am anyway?”

“Well… What did you do?  What did you say?”  Joyce moved even closer, anxiously hanging on every word.

“I warned her that she best say outta my business,” Naomi replied matter-of-factly.  “I threatened her that she’d regret it if she messed this job up for me.”

“Wonderful.  Simply Wonderful,” Joyce muttered in annoyance as she again began to pace around the room while her head filled with new thoughts and concerns.  “Not only do I have my errant son-in-law to think about, now I’ve got this… this meddlesome girl to contend with!”  She paused and tapped her chin with her index finger as she sank deep into thought.  “This girl – is she the one who barged in here the other day asking all those questions and making all those accusations.”

“Yes!  Yes, that’s her!  Ruby Thomas – my brother’s girl and a thorn in my side.  She can’t keep her nose outta my business!”

“Simply wonderful,” Joyce grumbled.  “As if I didn’t have enough to deal with since that two-faced son-in-law of mine has decided to go turncoat on me.”

“Mr. Manchester?” Naomi gasped.  “But I… I thought he was supposed to be helpin’ us convince your daughter to sign over that money.  You said that he was on our side and….”

Joyce Preston“Now, now don’t you worry about that.  You leave my son-in-law to me.”  Joyce continued pacing around the room as the gears inside her head began to work overtime.  “I had a feeling that boy would try to stab me in the back, so I’ve already taken steps to insure that he keeps in step.  Now, as for your little problem….  I’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying ‘keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?’”

“I… I think so, Mrs. Preston.”  Naomi paused and cocked her head to the side as she thought about the phrase.  “But I… I’m not sure I understand what you’re gettin’ at.”

“Must I spell everything out for you, girl?” Joyce snapped.  “What I want you to do is make friends with this Ruby girl.  From what you’ve said, she wants to be friends with you because she’s fond of your brother.  Well, let her.  Confide in her – at least a little about nothing important – and then get her to confide in you.  She’s digging so hard into your affairs because you keep pushing back at her.  Stop.  Be nice to her.  Get her to like you.”

“Ah, I think I see what you’re getting’ at,” Naomi nodded.

“And while you’re at it, I want you to find out everything you can about her.”  Joyce smiled slyly as a plan quickly began to formulate.  “Then you tell me everything she’s told you.  Leave the rest to me.  By the time I’m finished, that girl will have so much upheaval going on in her own life, whatever is going on in yours – and consequently mine – will be the furthest thing from her mind.”