produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #62 (Tuesday 9/4/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day - October 1935


54 Spring Lake Dr., Albanyville, ILSara ManchesterSara Manchester set quietly in the library as she kept her eyes firmly focused on Douglas Davis who sat behind the large wooden desk that had belong to Thornton Preston.  As she bit her lip in nervousness, she glanced over to a stony faced Helga Grimm who met her gaze with eyes filled with hatred.  Sara wrung her hands nervously as she thought about her reasons for being there.

"Douglas, when is this going to be over with?" she asked as she turned away from Helga.  "I-I still don't understand why I'm here.  Why am I mentioned in Mr. Preston's will?"

"Because you talked your way into it!" Helga snapped as she sprung to her feet.  "And then you talked Mr. Preston into his grave!"

"Miss Grimm, that's enough!" Douglas barked as he leaned across the desk.  "Let's just get this over with without fighting."  He exhaled slowly and then leaned back into his chair.  As he strummed his fingers on the desk, he quickly glanced at his watch.  "Sara, do you have any idea where Dane is?"

"N-no, I don't," she muttered as she remembered the horrible argument they'd had earlier.  He'd been none too pleased with her deception concerning her employment for Mr. Preston.  Sara feared that their marriage was now damaged beyond repair.

"Well, I guess we can wait for him," Douglas sighed.  "We're still waiting on Mrs. Preston to arrive, as well."

"Ah, looks like we have a full house," the voice echoed in the room.

In unison, Douglas, Helga, and Sara turn to see Dane Manchester, eyes still filled with anger, standing in the doorway.

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Sunset Hotel, Suite #2, Albanyville, IL"I can't believe you just let her disappear!" Reginald Callison shouted as he paced around the room.

"I didn't just let her!  She ran out, upset over the fact that I found out who she really was.  I went after her, but I couldn't find her!"  Burt Lamont was beginning to let the stress get the better of him.  He'd been worried sick about his girlfriend Janet ever since her sister Judith had revealed Janet's true identity and past mental instability.

"Well, she has to be out there somewhere," Jillian Stokes muttered as rested her chin in her hands.  "She just couldn't have vanished into thin air."

"She has to be okay!  She has to be!"  Burt sank down onto the sofa and buried his head in his hands as he thought about exactly how much he loved Janet and how his feelings for her would never change.

Jillian Stokes"Actually, I'm glad to finally meet you, Burt," Jillian said as she sat down next to him.  "I know that you must mean a lot to her.  I just wish the circumstances were different."

"Why are you all acting like this is such a big deal?" Judith Linford spoke up as she folded her arms across her chest and glared at them.  "It's not like the little twit hasn't run off like this before!"

"And if I recall, you had a hand in that, too!"  Jillian shot her and angry look as she remembered the roll she'd had in Janet's elopement with Gordon Scott.

"You are all making entirely too much out of this!  She's just run off to have a good cry.  She'll be back in no time."  Judith paused and smiled slyly.  "Unless you think she's way crazier than you're letting on."

Reginald Callison"That will be enough!"  Reginald spoke up as he grabbed her arm and gave it a painful twist in an effort to silence her.  "Shut up!"

"Ouch!" she winced and quickly pulled away.  She eyed him angrily and took a deep breath.  "The only reason I haven't slapped you is because I've grown to respect you very much, Reginald...despite Daddy's feelings about you!"

"Judith, shut up!"  The entire situation had been very difficult on Jillian's nerves.  She'd had to endure months of Judith and Janet at each other's throats as well as the stress of trying to keep Janet's sordid past a secret from Reginald.  Maybe, if she'd just confided in him sooner...

"Well, we've called the police and told them to search for her," Reginald said as he turned his back to Judith.  "But they said there's really nothing they can do...not yet, at least."

"What if you tell them about how nutty Janet is?"  Judith tapped her lips with her finger as if she were actually trying to think of ways to help.  "I'm sure that they might throw out the dragnet for her then in fear of public safety!"

Burt Lamont"I think we should just go out and look for her ourselves," Burt spoke up as he struggled to completely ignore Judith's remarks.  "We should search every inch of this city until we find her.  We've got to make sure she's okay."

"She's fine!"  Judith grumbled slightly.  Why in the world was Janet drawing so much concern?  She was fine, after all.  She'd only run off to have a good cry.  As soon as she got over her embarrassment, she'd come home safe and sound.  It's not like anything was going to happen to her!  Well, at least Judith hoped not.

"Well, Burt, you can come with me and Jillian and we'll take my car and do a sweep of the area by the stables."  Reginald turned to eye Judith carefully.  "You can stay here!"

Mark Linford"Can I ask what in the devil is going on here?"  Mark Linford's voice boomed from the doorway.  "Judith?  I've been stuck up in that blasted penthouse all night while you've been traipsing around town!  Do you know how boring it gets with only your maid to talk to?"  Of course, he was conveniently forgetting the several hours he'd spent having dinner and exploring both Albanyville and its attractive female population.

"Janet's missing, Mark," Jillian tried to explain.  "We're just getting ready to go search for her again."

"Missing?  I don't..."  Suddenly, Mark's eyes grew wide from shock as he finally spotted Burt sitting on the sofa.  He immediately recognized him and quickly turned to shoot his wife an angry look.   With a slight shake of her head, Judith silenced him.  She didn't need to have everyone discovering her connection to her sister's boyfriend.  At least, not yet.

"Mark, maybe you can keep your wife entertained until we get back," Reginald said as he slipped on his jacket and began to herd Burt and Jillian toward the front door.  "With any luck, we'll have Janet with us."

As Burt passed Mark, his eyes filled her nervous apprehension.  He hadn't forgotten the threats that Mark had made in New York.  Now that they were all together again, he prayed that Mark wouldn't follow through on them.

Judith Linford"Now, I see what's been going on!" Mark snapped as he spun around to face Judith once the front door had clicked shut.  "Now, I understand exactly why you've been so insistent on remaining here in Albanyville!"

"I...I don't get what you're trying to say," Judith stammered as she turned her back to him in an effort to hide her fear.

"You've been hanging around because of Burt Lamont...your lover!"  His eyes drilled holes in the back of her head and Judith felt every searing stare.  Mark and Burt had come face to face.  Now, what would she do?


54 Spring Lake Dr., Albanyville, IL"It's about time you got here," Douglas grumbled as he rose from his desk and quickly approached Dane.  "If you'll just have a seat, here, next to Sara, we'll get started in a little bit."

As Dane sat down next to his wife, he glared at her angrily.  "I'm still very upset with you for lying to me," he muttered to her as he folded his arms across his chest.  "This is something that I'm not going to forget any time soon!"

"Dane, please!"  Sara's eyes filled with heartbreak and anguish.  The last thing she'd ever wanted to do was betray her husband.  She'd only wanted to help them get out of their financial mess.  A situation that was, more or less, the result of their marriage.

Dane Manchester"I don't feel like discussing this with you now," he replied.  "We'll talk about this later...alone."

Sara nodded her agreement and then turned back to look at Douglas.  "When are we going to get started?  Why are we still waiting?  Can't we just read Mr. Preston's blasted will and get it over with?"

"I still don't understand why he put us, of all people, in his will!"  Dane looked at Sara curiously as he silently wondered what else she might be hiding.

Helga Grimm"That's a very good question, Mr. Davis," Helga spoke up from her seat on the sidelines.  "Why in the world would he name her, let alone her husband, in his will!  She lied to him and betrayed him!  She doesn't deserve anything!"

"I see you've made lies and betrayal a hobby now?"  Dane smirked angrily.

Douglas Davis"We'll start in just a little while," Douglas said as he tried to cut through the tension in the room.  "We're just waiting for one more person to arrive."  He glanced down at his watch and nervously noted the time.  "She's already late, as it is.  I would have expected that she'd want to be on time for this."

Sara Manchester"She?"  Sara looked at Douglas questioningly.  "Who's, she?"

"I believe Mr. Davis is referring to me," the voice came from the door of the library.

Everyone turned in the direction of the voice.  Sara was quick to notice the look of shock and anger on Helga's face.  Who was this woman who was briskly striding into the room?

Mrs. PrestonPulling off her gloves and jacket and draping them over a nearby chair, the woman took a seat at the front of the room, directly next to Douglas.  "Hello, Helga.  I hope you don't mind that I let myself in.  After all, this is my house, now," she smiled rather falsely.  "For those of you who don't know who I am, I am Mrs. Thornton Preston!"