produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #67 (Tuesday 9/11/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day - October 1935


SPRINGHILL MANOR - 2ND FLOOR HALLWAY

54 Spring Lake Dr., Albanyville, ILMrs. Thornton Preston"Mrs. Manchester...Sara Manchester," Mrs. Preston said as a million thoughts rushed through her head.  No, it couldn't be.

"Yes?"  Sara looked at her curiously and was quick to notice how all of the color had seemed to drain from Mrs. Preston's face.

"Your aunt is named Annabelle?"

"Um...yes," she replied, more than slightly confused about the reasons for Mrs. Preston's questions.  "Annabelle Lake."

Mrs. Preston gasped slightly as her hand flew up to her chest in an attempt to silence her heart that seemed to want to beat its way out of her chest.  Oh, my god.  Oh, my god.  Mrs. Preston knew exactly who Sara was.


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THE CALLISON HOME - CHARLES' OFFICE - LATER

2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, IL"Well, Sara, dear, if you need any help just let me know," Annabelle Lake said as she cradled the telephone receiver against her ear.  She turned toward the sound of Charles Callison walking into the room and was quick to notice a strained expression on his face.  "Okay, dear, good-bye."

"So, how are Sara and Dane adjusting to their newfound wealth?" Charles asked in a rather detached tone as he sat down at his desk.  "I still can't believe that Thornton Preston left almost his entire estate to them.  It just doesn't...make any sense."

"I know, darling, but I just can't think of a more deserving couple."  She walked around behind him a gently glided her hands across his shoulders.  "They've struggled so much since they got married.  I have to confesses that I was less than thrilled with her choice of Dane Manchester as a husband; but what can I say?  Sara's inherited that notorious Summers' stubborn streak."

Charles Callison"Um, yes.  That she has," he mumbled as he allowed his eyes to drift to the framed photograph of his own family that sat on his desk.  As he only half-listened to Annabelle's words, his mind drifted to thoughts of what his own children would inherit from him...a penchant for heartbreak?  A legacy of betrayal?

"Okay, Charles, what's wrong?"  She stood back with her hands on her hips and examined him closely.  Although they were in the same room, he was clearly a million miles away.  Something was definitely on his mind.

"Oh, it's just...the kids," he muttered before letting out a heavy sigh and running his hands through his hair.  "I just can't get them to understand about the problems between me and their mother.  I don't think they're ever going to be able forgive me for this entire mess I've created."

Annabelle took a deep breath.  No matter how well things were progressing in her plans to marry Charles, her largest stumbling block would remain to be the rest of the Callison family.  Though he and Francis might actually divorce, would he really marry her without the blessings of his children?  Annabelle wasn't really sure.  She thought that he might have enough of an independent mind to do it...if only out of stubbornness; but still wasn't convinced that he wasn't vulnerable where his children's opinions were concerned.

Annabelle LakeAnnabelle rubbed her chin as she began to think.  How could she get the rest of the Callison family to support her relationship with Charles?  She sighed when she realized that "support" wasn't exactly the right word.  Tolerate was more like it.  As an idea struck her, she smiled broadly.

"Charles, darling, what about a dinner party?"

"A what?"  He quickly turned to look at her in confusion.  What the devil could she be talking about?

"What about a Callison family dinner party?"  She feigned a smile of warmth and delicately ran her fingers along his cheek.  "It would be a wonderful chance for all of us to be together in a not quite so difficult setting.  It would bring a more relaxed mood and maybe everyone can see me as more than an enemy from the outside and more as a friend."

Charles eyed her closely as he evaluated the suggestion.  Would such a party really bring forth the desired results?  Would a more relaxed setting actually smooth over the tensions his family experienced concerning Annabelle?


THE LAMONT HOME - PENELOPE'S BEDROOM

Burt Lamont2312 Spring Lake Rd.Albanyville, ILWith tears in his eyes, Burt Lamont hesitantly released his mother's lifeless hand.  Through his haze of tears, he gazed down at her and saw how at peace, how serene she seemed.  It was almost as if, in death, she were finally, truly happy.  He buried his face into his hands and sobbed, not just for the loss of his beloved mother, but also for the loss of his own identity.

Just moments before she'd died, Penelope Lamont stunned her son with the revelation that he was not a Lamont by birth.  He was, in fact, her child from a romance with her first, true love.  The shock had thrown him for a loop and now his heart whirled with emotions.

"E-everything you...need is in...in my top dresser...drawer."  Penelope began to gasp again for air as her voice took on a more faint and raspy quality.  "It's all...all you n-need to prove who...who you r-really are."

"Ma, who am I?"

"P-promise me t-that you'll finally g-get w-what's yours.  M-make them...make them give y-you your birthright."

"I...I promise."

Taking a deep breath, Burt pulled himself away from his mother and rose to his feet.  He turned to eye her dresser with apprehension and nervousness.  Did he really have the strength to finally find all of the answers to his mother's secrets that he'd been searching for?

He walked over to the dresser, each foot falling as his mother's voice echoed in his head, urging him onward.  With shaky hands, he pulled open the top drawer and instinctively reached into the very back to find a velvet box.  Burt pulled it out and eyed it with fear and trepidation.  He was about to find out everything that his mother had been hiding.  However, he clearly knew that that knowledge would change his life forever.

Opening the box, Burt found a small collection of papers and mementos, things he'd never laid eyes on before.  Including his own birth certificate.  As his eyes grew wide, he pulled it out of the box and read it carefully.

Burt's Birth Certificate

Burt let out a small gasp as he read his real father's name and leaned against the dresser to steady himself.  His father was a Callison...Landon Callison!  That meant that Burt was actually a Callison, not a Lamont.  He took a deep breath as the news tried to sink in.  He just couldn't believe it.

Setting the certificate aside, he reached back into the box and pulled out a photograph.  It was the same one that he'd seen in his mother's photo album.  She must have realized that he'd seen it and hid it away for safe keeping.  He quickly flipped it over to check for writing on the back, something he'd been unable to do the first time he'd seen the picture.  With hardly any expression, he read what was written in his mother's own handwriting...Me and Landon, March, 1906.

The only thing remaining in the box other than a few childhood mementos of his and Randy's was a letter.  On close examination, Burt realized that it was a letter written to his mother by Landon Callison.  He felt his heart beginning to beat faster as he read what the letter contained...

 March 16

My darling Nellie,

As I write this, I can only think of you.  What our parents are doing to us is cruel and heartless, but don't give up hope.  I love you with all of my heart and I long to see you with every waking moment.  My dreams are filled with thoughts of you and our love.  I don't know if it's wise, but I have to see you.  Another moment without gazing into your eyes or seeing your smiling face seems like an eternity of damnation.  I know we'll have to be careful because if we were ever discovered, there'd surely be hell to pay.  We cannot allow them to keep us apart.  I pray that this letter reaches you and I count the seconds until I can see you again.

All my love forever,

Landon

 

Burt let out a heavy sigh as he slowly began to realize the truth.  Landon Callison was his father.  Burt was, in fact, a Callison.  As he turned to look back at the body of his late mother, still laying peacefully on her bed, he thought about his final promise to her.  He had all the information and all of the proof, now what in the world would he do?