produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #34 (Thursday 6/7/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day, September 1935

THE CALLISON HOME - CHARLES' STUDY

Trevor Callison2210 Elmwood Lane, Albanyville, IL"I think I've got an excellent job for Sara," Charles smiled as he rubbed his chin with his hand.  "And it will help us out as much as it will help her and Dane."

"Father, what in the world are you talking about?"  Trevor watched him closely.  He was clearly up to something.

"What I'm saying is that if I can get Sara this job, she'll earn enough money to solve her financial problems and it will also provide a great service to Callison Publications."

Trevor listened intently as he waited for Charles to fully explain his plan.


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THE CALLISON HOME - CHARLES' STUDY

2210 Elmwood Lane, Albanyville, ILTrevor Callison"So, what do you have in mind?"  Trevor sat back down in the chair in front of his father's desk and began to listen closely.

"Preston needs an assistant, Sara needs a job, and I need to find out exactly why he wants to back out of his contract."  Charles tapped his pencil on his desk as he spoke.  This plan all seemed very logical.  It would help everyone involved.

"You want Sara to spy on Thornton Preston for you?"  Trevor's eyes grew wide with shock.  "Are you sure it's safe to get her involved in something like that?  I'm sure she's not proficient at corporate intrigue.  How do you even know he'll hire her?"

Charles Callison"I can get him to do it just to give him a false sense that he's appeasing me.  Besides, Sara's a smart girl.  I just need her to keep her eyes and ears open.  I have a feeling that Thornton Preston's desire to cut ties with Callison Publications has to do with a lot more than money.  I want to know what that reason is!"

"I don't know if Sara's going to be willing to get mixed up in this."  Trevor rested his chin in his hand as he begin to think about the logistics of his father's plan.  It seemed to make sense, but surly Preston wasn't foolish enough to hire Sara based on his father's recommendation and not realize something was up.  "Don't you think he'll be suspicious if you pressure him to hire her?  Knowing that she's connected to us will make him very guarded around her as far as his business matters go."

"Like I said, she's a smart girl.  She can get the information we need.  And besides, with Preston paying her to be his assistant and me paying her to get information, the Manchesters' financial problems should be over in no time."  Charles leaned back in his chair and flashed a very satisfied grin.  "I'll contact Thornton Preston and set everything up.  This is going to be perfect."


THE DOCKS

Francis CallisonThe Docks"Oh, it's starting to get colder," Francis said as she pulled her jacket tighter around herself.  "I guess fall really is here."  She turned away from the crisp breeze that began to kick up off the river and found herself looking into Fred's eyes.

"Are you alright?"  He asked as he watched her closely.

"Of course!  Why wouldn't I be?"  She tried to hide her eyes that had become filled with sadness.  "We saw my husband out with his mistress and they were making a torrid spectacle of themselves.  Why wouldn't I be alright?"  Her sarcasm was not lost on Fred.

"Francis, dear, you are a beautiful woman.  You shouldn't let your husband treat you like that."  Fred reached out and pulled her closer.  He carefully placed his hand on her chin and lifted her head so that their eyes met.  "You have so much more going for you than that.  I don't think you even realize exactly how wonderful you are."

"Oh, Fred," Francis muttered as she blushed slightly.  She tried to look away but Fred fought to hold her attention.  "This is all just something I have to get used to.  No amount of crying on my part can change Charles' mind.  He's made his decision.  He chose that vile Annabelle over me and all the years we've spent together.  The only choice I have now is a divorce.  I'm not letting him continue to make a fool of me.  The only person he can make a fool of now is himself!"

"And he's doing a fine job of that!  He's a damn fool not to appreciate you.  I just don't understand how he can merely cast you aside."

"Fred, you're just too kind."  Francis had grown to appreciate Fred's friendship over the past few weeks.  He always seemed to be right there when she needed someone to give her a kind word and a show of support.  He was making her realize that maybe there was life after Charles.

Dr. Fred RutherfordFred leaned in to Francis and his lips brushed hers.  Francis allowed them to linger there only for a moment before she pushed him away.

"No, Fred, I can't!"  She quickly moved away from him and turned to avoid meeting his determined gaze.  "I-It's too soon.  The hurt is too fresh.  I'm just not ready for something like that yet."

"Of course, I understand."  He reached out for her again and gently laid his hand on her shoulder.  "I don't want to push you into anything you're not ready for."

"I just want us to remain friends.  That is what I really need right now."

"Then friends we shall be."

Francis turned to face him again.  This time her eyes were filled with the evidence of a deep, inner conflict that had begun to brew.  "P-please, Fred, just take me home.  Take me back to the hotel."

"Anything you ask, dear," he smiled as he slowly began to lead her away from the docks.  Secretly, Fred realized that Francis was closer to being his than even she realized.  Once that happened, he would have everything he needed.