produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #66 (Monday 9/10/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day - October 1935


THE LAMONT HOME - PENELOPE'S BEDROOM

Penelope Lamont2312 Spring Lake Rd., Albanyville, IL"B-Burton, I'm...going to die," Penelope Lamont muttered weakly as she lay in bed and gasped for air.

"No!  Don't say that!"  In spite of himself, Burt Lamont couldn't control the tears that were building up in his eyes and they quickly started to overflow.

"Before I die, there's something...something I have to tell you."  Penelope paused and took a long, deep, raspy breath.  She looked even more weak and frail than before and Burt knew that she didn't have much time.

"O-okay, Ma," he muttered softly, trying to fight his overwhelming emotions.  "Okay.  Tell me.  What is it that I need to know?"

"B-Burton...I have lied to you your entire life."  She rolled her head away as if to hide her embarrassment despite the circumstances.  "I...I just can't go to...my grave with...with that on my...conscience."

"Lied?  About what?"  What in the world could she be talking about?  Had she progressed so far that she was no longer in her right mind?  Was she that close to....  "Ma, just don't think about that now!"

"I...I have...to."  Using all of the strength she could muster, Penelope rolled her head back over and looked her son in the eyes.  "I'm going to die and...I have to tell you...the truth."


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SPRINGHILL MANOR - FOYER

54 Spring Lake Dr., Albanyville, IL"And what are you doing here?" Helga Grimm questioned sternly as Mrs. Preston breezed through the front door and into the foyer.  "You can't just show up any time you want.  You don't own this house!"

"That is a travesty," Mrs. Preston grumbled as she stood and glared at Helga.  "I can't believe that little twit Sara managed to con Thornton into leaving her everything!"

"No, you just can't believe that he was smart enough to see you for the lying, manipulative shrew you are!"  Helga eyed her closely.  "Why are you here?  What do you want?"

"Helga, dear, it's simple.  I have some personal records that are among my darling Thornton's personal effects."  She paused and cautiously looked around the foyer, making note of all the details.  She smiled and thought about how lavish everything was.  The manor would be a rather nice place to live.  "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get them.  Show me to his office."

Helga Grimm"Actually, I think it would be best if you just tell me what you need and I'll go fetch it for you."  Helga was never one to be fooled by her late employer's wife.  Mrs. Preston always seemed to be up to something and this instance didn't seem any different.  "I can't let you go digging through Mr. Preston's things."

"He was my husband!"  Mrs. Preston felt her face flush with anger.  She and Helga had never gotten along.  Helga had gone out of her way to convince Thornton not to marry her.  She'd even faked a fainting spell at the wedding in hopes of halting the ceremony.  "Now, show me to his office!"

"He, might have been your husband, but he sure didn't leave you a cent in his will.  That speaks volumes about how he really felt about you!"

Mrs. Thornton Preston"You know what, Helga?" Mrs. Preston said as she began to seethe.  "If you're not going to help me, then I'll just have to find his office, myself!"  She pushed passed Helga and quickly began to search the house.  "This place isn't so big that I can't find one little office all on my own."

"I can't allow you to do that!"  Helga began to grow more and more annoyed as she trailed along behind Mrs. Preston as she explored the house.

"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't need your permission."  Mrs. Preston quickly climbed the stairs and began to investigate the second floor.  

After a quick search of rooms, she flung the door to Thornton's office open.  With a self-satisfied grin, she realized that it wouldn't be long before she found out the truth.  Why had Thornton left his estate to Dane and Sara Manchester?  She had her suspicions.  Surely, Sara had been sleeping with the old codger in an effort to bilk him out of his money and Dane had been her accomplice.  Once the merry widow could prove that, she would finally get everything that should rightfully be hers.


THE LAMONT HOME - PENELOPE'S BEDROOM

2312 Spring Lake Rd., Albanyville, IL"Ma, just don't say anything," Burt said as he carefully stroked her forehead and attempted not to let his fear show.  "Just save your strength and let me go call the doctor."

"No!"  Penelope began to grow agitated and struggled to speak.  "Burton, l-listen to me.  I have to tell you the...t-truth."

He sat there in silence, looking at her.  Was she about to tell him the dark secret that she'd been hiding from him?  Was she about to tell him her real reasons for hating the Callison family so much?  Did it have anything to do with that photograph of a man he didn't recognize?

"But, I need to call the hospital!"

"Oh, B-Burton, there's...there's no time...for t-that."  She struggled to swallow back a tear as she thought about her life.  In spite of all the trauma and tragedy, it had been a happy one.  Besides, out of tragedy had come Burton...her pride and joy.  "I have to t-tell you...the truth."

Burt LamontHe nodded silently.  It was something she needed to do.  Besides, maybe her confession would finally shed some light on answers to all of the questions that he'd had.  And, if she were finally able to say all that she needed to, there might still be time to convince her to allow him to phone the hospital.

"Tell, me, Ma," Burt said softly, trying to fight his fears.  "Tell me what you have to say."

He reached over to her and gave her frail hand a reassuring squeeze as if urging her to go on.

"B-Burton, what I'm...what I'm about to...t-tell you...happened a long...long time...ago."  Penelope tried to take a deep breath, but could only let out an unnerving wheeze.

"G-go on."

"It's about...about your f-father."

"Pa?"  Burt furrowed his brow and looked at her curiosity.  "W-what does all of this have to do with Pa?"

Penelope Lamont"N-no, Burton.  Not your...not your Pa."  She rolled her head away in an attempt to cover the tears that were filling her eyes.

Did she truly have the strength to reveal her deepest, darkest secrets?  Did she have the strength to change her son's entire world?  She quickly realized that she didn't, but she also knew that she had no choice and even less time.

"N-no, not about y-your...Pa."  Penelope took a deep, labored breath.  The time had come to finally tell the truth.  "This isn't about...him.  I-I'm talking a-about...about your...r-real father..."