produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #21 (Monday 5/21/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
a few days later, September  1935


Lorraine BlakeAlbanyville General HospitalLorraine sat nervously in the doctor's office.  She knew she hadn't really been feeling well for the past few weeks, but she'd shaken it off as nothing.  She'd told herself that it was just stress.  After she'd collapsed in Patterson's arms, she could no longer deny that something was seriously wrong.

"Ma'am?" Dr. Rutherford spoke up as he entered the room.  "I think I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt what's wrong with you."

Lorraine looked up at him with a uneasy gaze.  His tone told her how serious things were.  Suddenly, she became very afraid.

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Charles CallsionCallison Publications"If Thornton Preston doesn't get that book to me soon, I'm going to fly to Los Angeles and get it from him myself!" Charles said angrily as he slammed his fist down onto his desk.  "He was supposed to have The Manhattan Conflict ready for the editors months ago!"

"Well, Charles, the word is that he's been tied up all this time working on the film version of Tainted Woman."  Douglas paced the office as he spoke.  It had been his idea to lure Preston away from McBride Publishing after having read the novel version of Tainted Woman.  It seemed like a sure bet at the time, but now...  "He wrote the screenplay for the movie and DeMille keeps asking for rewrites.  They're running way behind schedule."

"And their schedule is putting me behind schedule!"  Charles rose from his seat and joined Douglas in his pacing.  "I thought that book was supposed to be finished?  If it's so finished, where the hell is it?"

Douglas Davis"I don't know," Douglas muttered.  He stopped and leaned against the desk and thought.  Maybe this was all just a ploy to get more money.  True, the contract that Callison Publications had offered had been very lucrative...lucrative enough to get Preston away from McBride.  However, what other reason could be behind the delay?

"I'm afraid we should never have signed him."

"Charles, I'm sorry.  This is all my fault.  It was my idea.  Maybe if I go and speak to him myself?"

"Why would he speak to you?" Charles asked as he rested his chin in his hand.  "I can't even get him to return my phone calls!  Besides, this isn't your fault.  I was all for signing Preston.  Now, it seems like the biggest mistake I could have made.  We should have left him at McBride.  Douglas, I'm afraid we're going to take a big financial loss over this one."

Douglas buried his head in his hands.  There had to be some way he could talk to Preston.  There had to be some way he could fix this mess.


Trevor CallisonJoe's Cafe"That locket really means a lot to you, doesn't it?" Trevor asked as he looked over Grace's shoulder and caught her looking intently at the picture of her and her mother that the locket contained.

She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice.  She'd been lost in her own thoughts of her childhood and hadn't heard him coming up behind her.  "It's the only thing I have that reminds me that I did have some good times as a child."  It was those times Grace had always tried to focus on.  She deeply longed to forget everything that had happened later...her father's drinking, the fights, her father's death, and her mother's slow descent into madness.

"Have you thought any more about going to see your mother in the sanitarium?"  Trevor took a seat across from her at the table.  "You really should go see her, you know."

"I know," she muttered as she lowered her head.  "I-I just can't stand to see her like she is.  I don't want to remember her like that.  I don't want to remember all the bad things that happened."

"You can still do that and see her.  Grace, you've got to think about what could happen.  She's still not well.  What if something happened to her before you got up the nerve to go see her?  What if you lost your chance forever?"

Grace DavisShe thought about what Trevor was saying and realized he did have a point.  While her mother's mental state was the same as it was when she went into the hospital, her physical health was deteriorating as well.

"I-I just don't know if I can do it.  She won't recognize me.  She won't even know who I am.  She barely knows who she is!"

"Grace, don't make a mistake by not seeing her."  Trevor reached across the table and held her hand.  "If you don't go to see her and something happens, that will be something you'll have to deal with for the rest of your life.  Are you sure you'll be able to deal that?"

Grace knew that was something she wouldn't be able to handle, but she also realized that she couldn't stand to see her mother in her current state.  She just didn't know what to do.