produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #72 (Tuesday 9/18/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day - November 1935, evening


THE CALLISON HOME - DINING ROOM

Burt Lamont2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, IL"I...I'm sure that, in time, your parents just forgot about the baby.  They realized that it was best for them if both the child and its mother were gone."  Burt Lamont hung his head in sadness as he thought about how hard his mother's life had been.  "You know, nothing to put a blight on the sterling family name like a bastard child and it's poverty stricken mother."

"Oh, my lord," Charles Callison gasped as the full realization of his parents' deeds began to take hold of him.  "I have...a niece or a nephew?  What...what happened to the baby?  How do you know all of this?"

"My mother told me everything right before she..."  Burt paused and choked back a tear.  "Right before she died.  She couldn't go to her grave without a clear conscience.  She had to finally tell me the truth that she'd hidden for so many years...hidden in fear of your family!"

"The baby, Burt, what happened to the baby?" Reginald Callison asked as he grabbed Burt's arm tightly.  "Who is Landon's child."

Burt took another deep breath and looked Reginald square in the eyes.  "I am.  I am Landon Callison's son."


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THE DAVIS HOME - DINING ROOM

23 Green St., Albanyville, IL"Lorraine, darling, let's just not think about all of the ifs and whys," Douglas Davis said as he led her by the hand into the dining room.  "If we start worrying about the future, they'll be no time for us to actually live the future."

Lorraine Davis looked at her husband curiously as she thought about his philosophical musings.  "I...I guess you're right."

"Now, let's just sit down here and have a pleasant dinner before it all gets cold."  With gentlemanly grace, he pulled out her chair for her and allowed her to sit down before sliding it under the table and then taking his own seat.  "This really is a wonderful meal."

"T-thank you, Douglas," she blushed.  She'd worked all afternoon, against his urgings, to prepare dinner for them.  Ever since her collapse, weeks earlier, he'd insisted on doing every little thing around the house...cooking, cleaning, and waiting on her hand and foot.  Although she still wasn't entirely comfortable in her new roll, she was his wife and needed to act like it.

Douglas Davis"I would never have guessed that you were such an excellent cook," he mumbled, his mouth preoccupied with enjoying every taste of her delicious dinner.  "I would have rather guessed that you were a career girl who spent more time at Joe's Cafe than in the kitchen."

"Well, actually, Mother insisted that I learn to cook."  Lorraine briefly thought of the many afternoons spent in front of the stove with her mother while the other children were outside at play.  "And, to be honest, I really didn't have anything else to do.  I didn't have a whole lot of friends when I was young."

"Really?"  He looked up from his dinner, rather startled by her confession.  "I'm a little surprised.  I would have expected that all the little boys would have been lined up at your door."

"Oh, no, far from it."  His comment made her blush and she lowered her head in an attempt to hide her embarrassment.  "You see, Douglas, I was a rather...plump little girl.  Rather plump and rather plain.  I had the pigtails and the loose, drab dresses to prove it.  I never really liked what I saw in the mirror.  No one else seemed to, either.  Instead of forcing myself on any of the other kids, I just stayed inside with Mother and helped her with the cooking or just lost myself in reading one of her romance novels."

"Gee, one word I'd never think to use to describe you would be 'plain'."  He looked at her earnestly as he carefully began to analyze every curve of her face, every feature.  No matter how hard he looked, he just couldn't find a trace of the plain little girl that she was insisting that she'd been.  "You're beautiful."

Lorraine Davis"Well, thank you."  She blushed again.  "I really don't think so, but I...I can finally accept when someone else does.  When I was younger, nothing about me seemed to be in the right place.  Everything all seemed so out of proportion.  Then, one day, it seemed like everything was where it should be.  I never really understood it."

"You know, you could use that analogy with us."  Douglas smiled as he reached across the table to take her hand.  "Right now, everything kinda seems out of place, but one day you're gonna wake up and realize that everything is right where it should be."

Lorraine looked at him curiously as she tried to absorb his parallel.  Could he be right?  Could they really have a chance?  Would they suddenly wake up one day to find themselves in love?

"Just trust me on this one," he nodded as if to reinforce his statement.  "Everything will happen in it's own time...if you let it."

Suddenly, a sudden look of shock burst onto Lorraine's face as she yanked her hand away to grab hold of her stomach.  "Oh, my god, Douglas!"

Instant panic began to set it.  He quickly rose from his seat and rushed to her side.  "Lorraine?  What's wrong?  Oh, my god!  The baby!"


THE CALLISON HOME - DINING ROOM

2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, IL"What?" Reginald gasped in shock at Burt's revelation.  "What in the devil are you talking about?  You can't be Landon's son!"

"And why can't I?" Burt sneered as he spun around to face his new-found cousin.  "Is it because I'm a lowly stable hand?  Is it because I'd be a blight on the great Callison dynasty?"

"N-no, it's not it at all but..."  Reginald shook his head as he tried to process the news.  This had all come so suddenly...so unexpectedly.  "We can't just let you walk in off of the street and make accusations and proclamations like this!  How do we know you're not just some con artist trying to stake a false claim to our family's money?  How do we know you're telling the truth."

Charles Callison"Reginald does have a point," Charles admitted, still visibly stunned by the news.  "I'm...I'm sorry, but I just can't take you at your word.  I admit that Nellie Burgess was Landon's girlfriend, but how do we really know that you're telling us the truth?"

Burt took a deep breath as he tried to ease his rising anger.  They were still trying to deny him because of his social status...because they thought his mother didn't deserve to receive the love of one of the mighty Callisons.  He cringed slightly when he realized how right his mother had been about them all along.

"Burt, I'm sure you can understand our position," Charles continued as he reached out for the man who might be his nephew...the son of his beloved Landon.  "I'm sure you would feel the same way if the situations were reversed."

Burt Lamont"I would never deny my own family!" Burt snapped.

Trevor Callison"All we're asking for is some kind of proof," Trevor Callison spoke up.  "Anything that might verify what you've told us.  Without it, once this becomes public knowledge, almost anyone with a story like yours could suddenly come forth and try to stake a claim to our family.  Surely you understand our situation."

"I had assumed you'd all react this way," Burt muttered.  With firm determination, he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his birth certificate, the letter from Landon Callison to his mother, and the picture of Landon and his mother together and handed them to Charles.

"I...I guess you are who you say you are," Charles muttered as he carefully inspected each article of proof.

Reginald Callison"This doesn't prove anything!" Reginald shouted as he snatched the documents away from his father.  "These could easily be forgeries!  Just because you have a picture of them together doesn't mean anything!  They could have been friends!  That birth certificate could be a fake!"  His inquisitive newspaperman's mind led him to doubt such facts unless they had been verified and verified again.

"Mr. Callison!" Hannah shouted, her divergence from her typical meekness coming as quite a shock to the entire family.  "The envelope!"

"I told you to put it over there!"  Charles was going increasing bothered by his housekeeper's untimely intrusions concerning some silly manuscript.

Hannah Meadows"But, Mr. Callison," she continued, ignore his orders, "this isn't a manuscript!  This envelope was messengered by your detective!"

Stunned that the real proof of who Penelope Lamont was and the secrets that she held had been under their noses all along, Charles quickly took the envelope from a quite satisfied Hannah.  He immediately ripped open the envelope and began to carefully examine its contents.

"Father, what do they say?" Trevor asked as he attempted to peer over his shoulder.  "What did your detective find out about Burt and his mother."

"Oh, my god," Charles gasped as he covered his mouth in shock.  "It's true."

"What?"  Reginald looked at him curiously.

"What Burt is saying is true!  It's all here in black and white.  Penelope Lamont was born Penelope Cora Burgess...the girl I knew as Nellie.  She...she married Herbert Lamont in January of 1907, the same month that Burt was born.  However, she didn't leave Albanyville until November of 1906.  She was expecting a baby before she ever met Mr. Lamont."

"That doesn't mean that your brother was the father!" Trevor reminded.

"But this original copy of Burt's birth certificate does!  It's an exact match to the one he's shown us."  Charles carefully held them side by side for everyone to see.  "Burt is really Landon's son...a Callison."

"I told you I was telling the truth," Burt said with a note of victory in his voice.

"I...I just can't believe all of this," Trevor sighed as he shook his head.  "This is just all too much."

Charles looked at Burt with cautious eyes.  He was really Landon's son.  With nervous apprehension he extended his hand to him.  Burt, acknowledging the display of acceptance, clasped Charles' hand firmly before the elder of the two pulled him into an warm embrace.

"Welcome home, Burt," Charles said softly, his eyes misting with tears.  "You are a Callison...my precious Landon's son.  Welcome home."

Annabelle Lake"Well, I guess we should have Hannah set another place at the table," Annabelle Lake announced after having been unusually quiet through the entire turn of events.  "This is a Callison family dinner, after all."

Reginald ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.  He'd almost forgotten all about Annabelle and the farce of a dinner she'd planned.  Now, faced with both her false sense of charm and his newfound cousin, he was sure that no other surprises could happen.  Suddenly, his thoughts were broken by the sharp rings of the telephone.

Jillian StokesAfter a few moments, Hannah returned to the room and made a shocking announcement.  "Mr. Reginald, Miss Jillian, that was Mrs. Linford on the phone."

"Judith?" Jillian asked in confusion.  "What in the world would she be doing calling here?"

"It appears that your sister Janet has returned home."