produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #71 (Monday 9/17/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day - November 1935, evening


THE CALLISON HOME - DINING ROOM

Charles Callison2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, IL"Um, Mr. Callison?" Hannah Meadows spoke up cautiously as she walked into the dining room.  "There is...there is a young man at the front door and he insists on speaking with you."

"Could you just tell him that I'm in the middle of a family dinner?"  Charles Callison furrowed his brow in annoyance.  "I cannot be disturbed!  Take his  name and tell him to telephone me at the office tomorrow."

"I will not be put off!" came the voice as it echoed from the foyer.  "I've been forced to wait my entire life for this moment and I refuse to wait any longer!"

A shocked and confused Callison family quickly turned towards the sound of the voice to find Burt Lamont standing in doorway of the dining room.


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DANE & SARA'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM

343 Anderson Ln. Apt. #1, Albanyville, ILDane Manchester sat quietly in his chair, completely absorbed in reading the evening edition of The Daily Post.  His wife, Sara, sat across from him on the couch, in silence, trying to preoccupy herself with a little cross stitch.  Though neither one of them said a word, the tension in the air was thick.

"So, are you just going to sit there all night and not even look at me?" Sara finally spoke as she glanced up from her stitching.  "You can't actually think that you can go forever and never say another word to me.  I am your wife, remember?"

"I would prefer that you didn't remind me," he muttered, never taking is eyes off of the sports section.  "Real married people don't lie to one another or deceive each other.  But, then again, this has never actually been a real marriage!"

"Not a real marriage?  How in the devil can you say that?"  Sara tossed her needle point aside and jumped up off of the couch and quickly approached him.  "Dane, I love you with all of my heart!  How can this not be a real marriage?"

Dane Manchester"You blackmailed me into this entire mess!  Remember?"  He glanced up from his paper, just momentarily, to shoot her a hateful look.  "If I'd had a choice in this entire matter, we never would have gotten married in the first place!  But, no, I went along with it to save my own future.  I tried to be the good husband.  I tried to put forth as much effort into this marriage as you seemed to be doing.  Little did I know what you were lying to me the entire time!"

"But I did it all for you!  For us!"  Her lip began to quiver as she knelt down beside him and took his hands into hers, forcing him to focus his full attention in her direction.  "I only took this job with Mr. Preston to make enough money to save us!  I couldn't bare it if you had to give up all of your dreams to become an attorney just because of me and our marriage!"

"So...you did it all for the money."  His lip curled into a sneer as the words of Thornton Preston's widow echoed in his mind...

"I'll tell you what this little tramp did!  She was having an affair with my husband!  That's what she did!  Why else would my husband leave you a cent?  You were sleeping with him and you conned him out of his fortune!"

"Anything for the money."  Dane quickly snapped his paper back up in front of him, putting a visible barrier between him and his wife.

Sara Manchester"You don't seem to be so upset with all of this that you're not opposed to taking control of your share of Mr. Preston's estate!"  Sara began to find her own temper beginning to rise.  Why couldn't he understand why she took the job?  Why couldn't he understand why she'd kept the truth from him.  "You're insisting that we move into that house!"

"It's our house, now, Sara," he muttered with a certain nonchalance.  "There's no reason why we shouldn't live there.  Why should we be forced to stay here in this little apartment when we own that big house?"

She stared at him blankly.  Maybe he did have a point considering the house.  It was theirs now.  Why shouldn't they live there?  As she began to contemplate what Dane had said, she suddenly became filled with a sense of foreboding.  Maybe the house and the entire estate would cause more trouble than it was worth.


THE CALLISON HOME - DINING ROOM

2210 Spring Lake Rd., Albanyville, IL"B-Burt, what's going on?" Trevor Callison asked as he rose from his seat and walked over to the unexpected guest.  "What's so urgent that you've got to barge in here, like this?  Not that I'm not grateful for the interruption."  He shot Annabelle Lake a hateful glance.

"Yes, what is going on here, Mr. Lamont?"  Charles eyed him cautiously.  He could clearly tell by the intense look in Burt's eyes that something of dire importance was on his mind.  But what?  "Does this have anything to do with your mother's recent passing?  I had intended to pay you and your brother a visit at the house to pay my respects, but things have been so hectic at the office lately, that..."

"Hectic?" Burt snapped with a sneer.  "Oh, I can just imagine how this family can get so caught up in their own lives that they can just easily forget the people they've hurt...the people they've stepped on...to get where they are!"

Reginald Callison"Mr. Lamont, I think you better explain yourself!" Reginald Callison spoke up as he quickly joined his father and brother as they stood facing Burt.  "What's so all fired urgent that you had to barge in here?"

"Mr. Callison is right," Burt muttered before taking a deep breath.  "This is about my mother.  You see, I was with her when she took her last breath."

Trevor Callison"Burt, I'm so sorry."  Trevor extended his hand in hopes of showing sympathy, but Burt promptly yanked his arm away.

"I bet you're all sorry!"  As the events of the past week began to get to him, Burt felt his face flush with anger.  How dare they just cast him and his mother aside like they were common trash?  How dare they deny him everything that was rightfully his?

"Mr. Lamont...Burt...what in god's name are you talking about?"  Charles eyed him closely as he tried to figure out what had gotten the caretaker of his stables so upset.

Burt took several long, labored breaths before finally speaking again.  "As most of you know, my mother passed away several days ago.  She was one of the most kind hearted, good natured human beings that I ever had the privilege of knowing.  I feel honored to be her son."

"I'm sure she was a fine woman," Charles nodded.  "I just wish I'd have gotten a chance to know her better."

"But you did know her!"  Burt turned his head sharply to glare at him.  "You knew my mother long before I ever brought her back here to Albanyville!"

Stunned with the announcement, Charles took a couple of steps back.  He had known Penelope Lamont!  He'd been sure of that the moment he'd met her that one time at The Gardens.  He'd just never been able to place her.  That uncertainty had haunted him for days and he'd hired a detective to find out exactly who she was.  However, he'd never received a report and had allowed it to slip from his mind.  After all, there had been quite a bit going on in his life, lately.

"However, I believe you knew her by a very different name," Burt continued.  "Would the name Nellie Burgess ring a bell?"

Charles Callison"Nellie Burgess?"  Charles quickly began to search the darkest corners of his mind for a hint of memory concerning that name.  It did sound familiar.  Who in the devil could Nellie B...  "Oh, my lord!"

"Ah!  So you do remember her?"  A self-satisfied smirk quickly covered Burt's face.

"Father, you knew Burt's mother?" Trevor asked as he looked at him intently.

"I...I was only acquitted with her, actually," Charles confessed as he hung his head.  "I do remember liking her very much.  She was such a sweet girl."

Maggie Callison"Who was Nellie Burgess?" Maggie Callison spoke up as she joined the rest of her family.  "What's going on?"

Charles slowly ran his fingers through his hair as he was forced to remember a period of time that he'd tried so hard to move past.  "You see, Nellie Burgess...Burt's mother...was your uncle Landon's girlfriend.  They would meet out at the stables to go horseback riding and I would trail along behind them.  Landon was never too thrilled about that.  He always wanted to be alone with her.  Of course, it was quite understandable that he didn't want his little brother hovering over him and his girlfriend."

"Your parents did not approve of my mother!"

"No, they didn't," Charles confessed with an embarrassed shake of his head.  "I...I never really understood that.  Nellie was so sweet and kind, but Mother and Father were very insistent about Landon marrying the proper girl.  He was heir to the entire Callison legacy.  They just didn't...think that your mother was of the right class.  I often heard Father and Landon arguing about Nellie."

"Your parents forbid them to see each other!  Your father even bought my grandfather's farm and threatened to have them evicted if Landon and my mother ever saw one another again!"

"I...I never knew that," Charles muttered as he hung his head, more than a little embarrassed by his own parents cruelness.

Jillian Stokes"R-Reginald?" Jillian Stokes spoke up as she joined her fiancÚ at his side.  "What's going on?"

Grace Davis"Shhh!"  Reginald held his finger up in front of his lips, not wanting to interrupt what appeared to be a gravely important matter.  Soon, Grace Davis had joined the duo as they stared at Burt with curiosity and confusion.

"I bet there's a lot you didn't know!" Burt continued with his tale.  "Do you remember that day out at the stables?  The day your brother died?"

"Do I remember?"  Charles inhaled deeply as a tone of sadness overtook his voice.  "How could I forget?  That was the day that my entire life changed forever."

"It was the day mine changed forever, as well."  Burt lifted his hand to gently massage his temple.  The stress of the entire situation was beginning to get the better of him.

"Yours?  How?  I don't understand?"  Charles looked at him as he tried to comprehend what Burt was saying.

Burt Lamont"You see, your brother was there that day to meet my mother.  He was supposed to meet her down by Spring Lake.  There was something very, very important that she needed to tell him."  Burt ducked his head in an attempt to hide his eyes that were misting over with tears.  "S-she never got the chance.  He died before she ever had the chance.  She was standing along the meadow under the trees and saw the entire accident.  She saw him die."

"Oh, my," Charles gasped.  "I...I never knew!"  He paused and looked at Burt again, trying to understand what his roll in all of this was.  "But, I don't understand.  How does this directly involve you?  What are you trying to get at?"

"You see, Mr. Callison, my mother had something very important to tell him...something she never got the chance to."  Burt took a deep breath and threw his shoulders back as he prepared to finally reveal a truth that had been buried for to long.  "You see, my mother was..."

Suddenly, Burt's announcement was cut short by the shrill ringing of the doorbell.  In unison, everyone turned in the direction of the sound.  Now, who in the world could that be?