THE CALLISON HOME - CHARLES' OFFICE

2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, ILCharles Callison sat at his desk pouring over Thornton Preston's contract.  It wasn't the first time and he was afraid it wasn't going to be the last.  As he carefully analyzed every line and every word, he grew more and more determined to find any reason why the troublesome author would want to break his contract.  However, as he turned to the next page, Charles found his mind beginning to wander back to the dinner he'd had at The Gardens with Annabelle.  Well, more accurately, his mind began to focus on the woman he'd met there.

Charles CallisonWhy had Penelope Lamont seemed so familiar to him?  Charles knew full well that they probably had never had an occasion where they could have met before.  But still, Penelope struck a cord of memory with him.  Was it her eyes?  Her manner?  He continued to rack his brain as he started to sift back through a lifetime of memories for some hint has to why he felt like he knew her.

Finally, Charles decided that he couldn't place her, yet realized that he couldn't get her out of his mind.  As he slid Thornton's contract into the top drawer of his desk, he reached for the telephone.  He had to know why he felt like he knew Mrs. Lamont.

"Yes, this is Charles Callison," he said as he cradled the receiver against his ear.  "Yes, I'm fine thank you.  Look, I've got a little job for you.  Well, nothing really urgent, but more like something I'm curious about.  Yes.  I need you to do a little digging for me.  I want to know everything there is to know about the Lamont family.  Yes, Burt Lamont is the caretaker out at the stables.  More specifically, I want to know everything you can find out about his mother.  I want you to find everything you can on Penelope Lamont."


THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

23 Green St., Albanyville, IL"Surely you've got good memories of your mother?" Trevor said as he held Grace's hand.  "Tell me some of them."

"Well..."  Grace paused as she allowed her mind to recall the days of her childhood...days before everything went so wrong.  Finally, a smile began to spread across her face and she took a deep breath.  "Actually, I do remember one time very clearly.  I was very small, only about six or seven."

Trevor Callison"Tell me about it, Grace."

"Okay.  Um...it was my birthday.  Momma made a special effort to come home from work early.  She always said that birthdays were our own special days...days that belong to us and us alone."  She hesitated slightly as thoughts of what would eventually happen to their lives began to creep in.  With a slight shake of her head, she quickly brushed those thoughts away.  She was only going to think about the happy times.

"Go on, Grace," Trevor urged.

"Well, Daddy was always working so much that he was never home anyway, so it was just Momma and me...and Douglas, too, of course.  Momma insisted that we were going to have a party for my birthday.  She told us all to get dressed up in our best clothes."

"And, of course, you did."

Grace Davis"Of course!  Momma and I put on our best dresses.  Mine was one of my favorites.  It was pink with ruffles.  I'd always thought it was so pretty.  It was the nicest one I had.  And Momma made Douglas put on a suit!  It was so funny."

"Funny?  How?"  He looked at her curiously.

"You see," she continued, "Douglas always hated wearing a suit!  He looked so uncomfortable when he pulled at his tie.  It's kinda funny when you think about.  Douglas hated wearing a suit and now he's a lawyer."

"Yeah, that is kind of ironic."

"Anyway, the three of us sat at the kitchen table...me, Douglas, and Momma...eating ice cream and cake.  We didn't have a lot of money, so I really didn't think I was going to get anything for my birthday."  Grace smiled again as the happy memories began to fill her heart with warmth.  "But, somehow, Momma managed to save enough to buy me the doll I'd seen in the store window.  I wanted that doll so badly.  I named her "Daisy" because she had little daisies on her dress.  Oh, how I loved that doll."

"And what do we have going on here?" Douglas asked with a slight chuckle as he walked through the front door and into the room.

"Grace has just been telling me some stories about when you two were kids," Trevor replied as he looked up at Douglas.  "Something about you hating to wear a suit?"

Douglas Davis"Yep, I hated those things," Douglas laughed as he quickly unknotted his tie before pulling it off and draping it over his chair.  "Still do.  You know, Grace, I'm really glad you've decided to try to forget about the past and heal old wounds with Mother."

"I-I'm trying Douglas, I really am."  Grace nervously looked down at her hands as she began to think about the disturbing visit she'd paid to her mother in the sanitarium.

"Family is so very important," Douglas smiled as he immediately thought about Lorraine and their child.  "In fact, I will have a big surprise for you both in the next few days."

"A surprise?"  She looked at him curiously.  "What kind of surprise?"

"Now, don't get over anxious," Douglas laughed.  "I can assure you that it's good news.  You'll just have to wait until I can tell you all about it."

Grace glanced from her brother to Trevor who shook his head to indicate that he didn't have a clue as to what Douglas was talking about.  Grace's curiosity was most definitely peaked, but she clearly knew that she wouldn't learn a thing until Douglas was ready.  What in the world could he be up to?


THE LAKE APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM

800 W. Rose St #3, Albanyville, IL"Hello, dear," Annabelle smiled as she breezed into the apartment.  "I had a lovely evening at dinner with Charles.  Things are going so well!  It won't be long before he forgets all about that boring little Francis."

Stephanie sat curled up on the couch staring vacantly off into space.  She was still filled with the memory of what had almost happened with Clark.  She only half heard her mother's boastings.

"Stephanie?  Are you listening to me?"  Annabelle lit a cigarette and turned to face her daughter.  She watched her closely and clearly saw her distraction.  "Stephanie, dear, what's wrong?"

"Oh, um...nothing.  I'm fine."  Stephanie just couldn't tell her mother what had happened.  She couldn't give her any more reason to distrust Clark.  Annabelle was already weary of him as it was.  Since Stephanie hadn't totally made up her mind about him, she knew she couldn't alarm her mother needlessly.  Maybe Clark's behavior had all be a mistake.  Maybe she had led him on and had given him the false impression that she was ready for the kind of relationship that he wanted.  She did have a habit of being impressively coy and flirtatious.  Maybe she had let herself get carried away in her own actions and had led him on.  If that were the case, she certainly couldn't blame him for the way he acted.

Annabelle Lake"Now, if you expect me to believe that you're sitting their moping on the couch and nothing's wrong...well, you've got another thing coming!"  Annabelle quickly sat down beside her daughter and took her into her arms.  "Stephanie, dear, tell me what's wrong."

"I said nothing!" Stephanie snapped as she pulled herself out of her mother's grasp and shot up out of her seat.  "Why do you always have to know every little detail about my life?  It's not your life!  Don't you have some nasty plot for Francis Callison to cook up?"

Annabelle gasped slightly at Stephanie's behavior before furrowing her brow and looking at her intently.  "Stephanie!" she chastised through clinched teeth.  "Don't you ever use that tone with again, young lady!  I am your mother and I care about you!  If something's wrong with you, I want to know!  I want to know so I can fix it!"

"Fix it?"  Stephanie turned to face her and glared at her coldly.  "Like you fixed it so I could have Reginald?  Like you fixed it so you could have Charles?  My life does not need fixing!  I said I'm fine!"

"It's that Saxon boy isn't it?"  Annabelle held her analytical gaze firmly on Stephanie.  Despite her daughter's protestations, it was clear that something was most definitely wrong.  "What's happened?  What's he done to you?"

Stephanie Lake"Clark hasn't done anything!  Why do you have to badger me like this?"

"I am not badgering you!  I'm just concerned!"

"Mother, just leave me alone!"  Stephanie ran across the room and grabbed her jacket before bolting out the front door.

Annabelle remained seated on the couch and let out a heavy sigh before taking another puff off of her cigarette.  Her eyes narrowed with determination.  She knew something was very, very wrong.  Stephanie would not be acting like this if everything was as well and good as she was trying to insist that they were.  Clark Saxon.  That had to be it!  That little weasel did something to hurt Stephanie.  Annabelle was sure of it.  If only her daughter would talk to her about it....  She shook her head slightly as her blood pressure began to rise.  "If that wretch has done anything to hurt my daughter," she grumbled to herself as he eyes began to fill with rage, "heaven help him after I'm through with him."



 


TOMORROW

Patterson turns to Dane for advice.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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