produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #26 (Monday 5/28/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
a week later, September 1935


Charles CallisonCallison Publications"Finally, Thornton Preston is going to set foot in this office and I'm going to tell him exactly what I think about his plans to pull out of his contract."  Charles nervously paced the floor as Douglas and Annabelle watched him closely.

"Charles, this contract is iron clad," Douglas spoke up.  "There's no way he can get out of it.  I drew it up myself."

"Douglas is right," Annabelle said as she walked over to Charles and laid a hand on his shoulder.  "He has to come through with The Manhattan Conflict.  He doesn't have a choice."

"Yes, you're right, but I know what kind of spiteful man he can be.  It would be just like him to hand over 500 pages of pure drivel and call it a day!"  Charles took a deep breath as his mind again began to focus on the financial losses his company might face.

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Callison PublicationsCharles Callison"Mr. Callison?"  Lorraine knocked lightly on the door as she pushed it open.  "Thornton Preston is here."

"Finally!" Charles exclaimed as he walked toward her.  "Lorraine, show the man in."

Moments later, Thornton was escorted in and finally stood face to face with Charles.  Thornton didn't look the least bit happy to be there.

"Ah, Mr. Callison, we finally meet," Thornton spoke up as he shook Charles' hand.  "I apologize for the long delay in this meeting, but I'm sure you understand considering all the work that DeMille has required of me for Tainted Woman."

"Yes, I'm sure."  Charles turned to position himself behind his desk and assume his role of authority.  "However, I hope you're here to discuss the delay in The Manhattan Conflict.  You're delivery of that novel is long overdue.  I expect that you've finally brought the finished manuscript for review by my editors.  Let's get this show on the road!"

Thornton PrestonAnnabelle Lake"Well, as I was saying, Mr. Callison," Thornton sighed as he turned away and carefully analyzed Douglas and Annabelle as they stood along the sidelines watching.  "Tainted Woman has taken up so much of my time that Conflict is no where near ready for submission."

"What?"  Charles' eyes began to burn.  Thornton was giving him the runaround and he knew it.  "That book was scheduled to hit the stands this week!  I haven't even seen the completed version yet!"

Douglas Davis"And I'm very doubtful you ever will," Thornton announced dryly.  He was well aware that all eyes were upon him.  "You see, this delay has given me some time to review my contract.  After careful analysis, I've come to realize that association with Callison Publications is not in my best interest.  I intend on being released from my!"


Baily ParkGrace DavisGrace's mind was filled with thoughts of her mother as she casually strolled across the park.  She came upon a young woman sitting on a bench working on a water color of the statue of former Albanyville mayor Grayson Baily which stood in the center of the park.

"Wow!" Grace exclaimed as she looked intently at the artwork.  "That's really good."

"Thank you," Janet smiled as she looked up at Grace.  She turned to face her and held out her hand.  "Hi, I'm Janet."

"Hello, my name's Grace."  She gave her hand a light shake.  "You do that very well.  I wish I had some sort of talent like that.  I can only seem to draw stick people."

"Well, it's something I've had to work at.  Granted, I view my artistic abilities as a gift, but I have to keep working on them so that they advance."  Janet watched Grace closely and quickly noticed that her heart was heavy with worries.  "Are you okay?  You seem like you have something on your mind."

"Is it that obvious?"  Grace let out a small sigh and then plopped herself down onto the bench beside Janet.

Janet Stokes"Very."  Janet let out a small laugh.  "Do you want to talk about it?  I'm a very good listener."

Grace thought for a moment.  Why should she tell her darkest fears to a complete stranger?  She didn't know Janet at all.  How could she know she was trustworthy?  Grace considered her options and then decided that maybe an outside opinion might be a good thing.  Maybe someone with distance from her situation and life could give her the answers that she searched for.

"I'm sorry," Janet blushed.  "I-I'm being nosy.  I really didn't aim to pry."

"Oh, no!  It's not that at all."  Grace lowered her head slightly as she chewed on her lip.  She desperately wanted to confide in someone, but quickly grew afraid of what Janet would surely think of her because of her family.  "I-it's just family's past has not necessarily been a pleasant one."

"Actually, I know what you mean."  Janet looked away for a moment as her face clouded over with thoughts and memories of a time that was best forgotten.  "I know exactly what you mean."