produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #33 (Wednesday 6/6/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day, September 1935


The Page Turner BookstoreSara Manchester"Sara, you can't sit here and tell me nothing's wrong," Trevor said as he reached out to take her hand.  "Why, it's written all over your face.  Are you having problems with Dane?"

"No!  There is nothing wrong with my marriage to Dane!"  She snatched her hand away and quickly turned her head.  "Why is everyone so negative about my marriage?"

"Well, if there isn't a problem with your marriage to Dane, then what's wrong?"

She turned back to look at him and took a deep breath.  Maybe she should confide in Trevor about her financial problems.  Maybe he could help her find a job.  However, Sara wasn't sure she could trust him to keep everything a secret.

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Sara ManchesterThe Page Turner Bookstore"Honestly?" Sara asked as she still weighed the pros and cons of confiding in Trevor.  "Well...since Dane and I married, we've had...well...some financial problems."

"What?  How?  I thought Dane was pretty well off."

"His parents are well off.  Dane, however..."  She lowered her head in embarrassment over her troubles.  She hated letting anyone know what kind of problems she was having, but she did realize that maybe she couldn't fix this one on her own.  "Anyway, his parents weren't too keen on the idea of his getting married and told him that if he thought he was old enough to have a wife, he was old enough to support himself on his own."

"They didn't want him marrying you?"  Trevor laughed at the thought.  "That's a switch.  With everyone I know, it's the other way around.  I'd think they'd be happy to have you as a daughter-in-law.  You're the only person I know that can keep him in line.  You're the best thing for him!"

"Apparently, they don't exactly hold the same opinions of me."  Why, she wasn't sure.  She'd never even met any of Dane's family.  "Well, since we're financially on our own, we've been having a few problems."

"Like what?"

"Basic living expenses, Dane's college tuition..."  Sara paused and swallowed.  It was very difficult for her to confess her problems.  "He's been working at the printing plant at night after his classes, but he's not making enough money to support the both of us and pay for school.  I knew we were having money problems, but I didn't realize exactly how bad they were until I did a little checking of my own into our finances.  I-I'm not sure we're gonna have enough money to even make rent next month."

Trevor Callison"Oh, my god, I didn't realize things were so rough for you two."  Trevor put his arm around Sara and gave her a comforting hug.  True, he never really cared for Dane.  His interference in Reginald and Jillian's relationship only intensified that dislike.  Sara, however, was a different story.  He'd known her casually for years through Annabelle and had always thought she was an exceptionally bright and sweet girl.  A little headstrong, of course, but he'd always attributed that to a rather troublesome home life growing up.

"I-I'm trying to find a job to help out with the bills."

"What can I do to help?"

"Well...first of all, Dane must never know I'm doing this."  Sara realized that if she was going to let Trevor help her, she had to be up front about Dane's forbiddance of her working.  "He insists that I can't have a job.  He feels it's some kind of affront to his manhood or something.  He thinks that because he's my husband, he should be the one taking care of me...that it's his duty.  Under normal circumstances, I'd agree that's the way things are supposed to be.  However, sometimes dire situations call for drastic measures."

"You're trying to find a job behind Dane's back?"  He eyed her closely.  He really didn't like the sound of that idea and wasn't sure he wanted to be involved in this sort of deception.  "Are you sure that lying to your husband is a good way to start your marriage?"

"I don't have a choice!"  She began to grow anxious and fidgeted in her seat.  Was Trevor going to help her or not?  "Look, it's not like I'm doing this out of spite.  It's for his own good, whether he wants to admit it or not!  I can't let Dane give up on his dreams because of me.  I can't stand around playing the helpless little housewife when I can work and help support us.  He just can't ever know what I'm doing!"

"And how do you think you're going to accomplish this?"

" I said, Dane's been working at the printing plant at night.  I'm home all alone with nothing to do.  If I can find some kind of job where I can work at night after classes are over and be home before he gets home, he'll never know."  Sara slowly began to wring her hands.  All this talk about her personal life and her problems with Dane was beginning to make her upset.

"What about the extra money?  Don't you think he's going to notice that?"  Trevor began to go over the logistics of Sara's plan in his head.  It could work, but there were parts of it that weren't adding up.

"Dane's a very careful bookkeeper, I admit, but I'm also smarter than he is."  She blushed slightly at that confession.  She hated to feel superior to her husband, but she was fully aware that, in some instances, she was.  Though he did keep immaculate records, his accounting skills weren't the best in the world.  She was working towards a business degree, after all.  "Look, it's not going to be that difficult for me to alter his records to reflect the extra money.  He'll just think we're doing better at budgeting our funds than we thought we were.  I know Dane.  This is going to work.  It has to work."

"I-I don't know about this deception, Sara."  Trevor lifted his hand to his chin and began to think.  True, the sneakiness of it all bothered him, but she did have many valid points.  She had clearly thought this through.

"Please, Trevor!  Help me!  I've looked all over town and there's not a single job to be found anywhere!"  Sara's head sunk in desperation.  "I've tried waitressing, store clerk, everything!  Isn't there something I can do at the newspaper or Callison Publications?"

"Sara, I really don't think we need anybody.  The job market is kinda tough right now.  You know that.  Dane's pretty lucky to have gotten on at the printing plant.  There are always tons of guys lined up every day for work there."  He looked at Sara and saw the hopelessness that clearly showed in her eyes.  Finally, he let out a sigh of defeat.   "Okay.  I'll check.  Maybe I can come up with something."

"Oh, thank you, Trevor, thank you!"  She flung her arms around him and gave him a huge hug.  "I knew I could count on you!"

"Sara, I'm not making any promises.  I really don't know if there's anything I can do, but I'll check."

"That's all I'm asking."  She smiled as her sense of hope quickly returned.  "This'll work!  You'll see!"  Because, if it didn't, Sara realized that it wouldn't be long before she and Dane were out on the street.


Mary AlbanySunset Hotel, Penthouse A, Albanyville, IL"Calvin!" Mary exclaimed as she opened the door to find her housekeeper's son standing on the other side.  "Oh, it's been so long since I've seen you.  My, haven't you grown up!  Please, come in!"  Mary smiled as she led him into the living room.

"How have you been, Mrs. Albany?" Calvin asked politely as he stood with his hat in his hand.

"As well as can be expected considering everything that's going on in Francis' life right now."  Her thoughts drifted to her daughter's troubled marriage, but she quickly pushed those thoughts aside.  "Calvin, your mother isn't here right now.  She's gone to the market to run a few errands for me.  She should be back soon.  Can I get you a cup of coffee?"

"Um, no Mrs. Albany.  Thank you, anyways."  Calvin carefully glanced around the room.  Though it was furnished in a rather elegant style befitting the hotel, Mary had been diligent in adding her own homey touches.  The penthouse now had an air of both stringency and warmth.  He held back a small laugh when he realized that the decor was much like Mary herself.  "Actually, I'm not here to see Momma.  I'm here to see you, Mrs. Albany."

"Really, Calvin?"  Mary eyed him closely.  She'd known him since he was a boy and had always admired how Dorothea had instilled such a strong sense of respect and manners in him.  Now, however, those manners seemed to be tinged with something else.  What, she wasn't quite sure.  "Well, have a seat.  We'll chat until your mother gets back."

Dr. Calvin Jackson"I would prefer to stand."  Calvin's expression turned dour.  He couldn't allow himself to be swayed by Mary's false displays of kindness.  "Mrs. Albany, I've come here to talk with you about my mother."

"Why do you make it sound so serious?  We're all like family.  Come sit next to me and tell me what's on your mind."  She patted a spot next to her on the sofa.

"We are not family, Mrs. Albany."  He glared at her and noticed the shock on her face due to his firm statement.  "In fact, I would prefer that my mother no longer work for you.  I would like you to fire her."

"What?  Have you lost your mind?"  Mary's hand flew up to her chest in shock.  She couldn't believe what she was hearing.  "I will do no such thing!  Dottie's been with me for years.  I-I don't know what I'd do without her."

"I am tired of my mother working her fingers to the bone like a slave.  She's better than that!"

"So that is what this is all about!"  Mary quickly stood and approached him.  "Now you listen to me, young man, because I'm about to tell you a thing or two!"