produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #102 (Tuesday, 3/26/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Few Days Later
February, 1936 - Early Evening


Jim FitzpatrickAlbanyville Police Department"Well, the way I see it," Officer Russ Leeds began as he slowly paced around the office, "is that Francis Callison probably didn't intend to kill Annabelle Lake.  My theory is that she went to confront her and then Lake started to taunt her and provoke her."

"That would be consistent with what we know about Lake so far," Detective Jim Fitzpatrick nodded.  "By all accounts she was a very antagonistic woman."  He paused and furrowed his brow in thought.  "So Callison went to confront Lake about the drugging of her husband.  Lake taunted her about the continued affair after the fact.  We know that Lake had already revealed Mr. Callison's plans to marry her once his divorce was final.  That could have been enough to send her over the edge.  We know that Francis Callison has an intense devotion to her family.  If she felt that Mrs. Lake was a threat to that family, it might provoke her enough to take matters into her own hands and..."

"That's an awful lot of speculation for a department that claims to have all the answers," Larry Rawlings laughed as he walked into the room.

"Just trying to solidify the case for the district attorney," Jim muttered with a sigh.  He was less than thrilled with the prospect of being forced to deal with the annoying reporter again.  "What do you want?"

Larry looked at Jim and Russ and smirked slightly.  "Well, since you boys were so helpful with giving me the scoop about Francis Callison's arrest, I thought you might help me out with another case."

"And what might that be?"  Russ eyed Larry suspiciously.

"Oh, just a dead body that turned up on our side of Blue River."  Larry grinned broadly.  "No I.D. yet, but our boys seem to think that the victim was from Albanyville."

"Great!" Jim grumbled as he sunk down into his chair.  "Just what we need.  Another dead body."

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2210 Elmwood Lane"Douglas, I want to thank you for everything that you're doing," Francis Callison smiled weakly as she sat on the sofa, the stress of her arrest still bearing down upon her.  "I just...wish I could be more help."

"Francis, I'm going to do everything in my power to prove that you couldn't have killed Annabelle," Douglas Davis replied as he leaned forward on the sofa and took her hand for reassurance. "Anyone in this town who knows you can't believe that you could be guilty of such a thing.  I don't care what she did to you and your family, you wouldn't resort to murder."

"I...I just don't understand it," she sighed with a shake of her head.  "Y-yes, we fought---horribly, in fact---but she was alive when I left the lounge.  I...I can still see that smug little smirk of hers.  She told me that it didn't matter that she'd drugged Charles.  He would marry her anyway because she...she..."

Charles Callison"Darling, it's all right," Charles Callison whispered softly as he sat down next to her and put her arm around her.

She paused and inhaled deeply before speaking again.  "She said that he would still marry her because I was a cold and worthless wife.  She said that I was used up and that...that I couldn't fulfill his needs and...desires."

"The nerve of that woman," Charles grumbled angrily.  "How I could have been so blind?  I...I knew what kind of woman she was.  I knew that she was a lying schemer of the first order, yet...yet..."

Douglas Davis"Charles, stop torturing yourself like this," Douglas insisted firmly.  "Trust me, I knew Annabelle quite well.  She was my secretary.  I was well aware that she could be less than honorable in personal matters, but she was very bright and very astute.  She was probably the best secretary I ever had."  He paused and focused his attention directly on Charles.  "She wasn't stupid.  She knew exactly what your weaknesses were and she zeroed in on them.  She knew that you felt extreme guilt about what happened at the engagement party and she used that guilt against you.  Annabelle knew how to play her game and knew how to bend all of the rules to her advantage."

"I just feel so damned stupid!"

Francis Callison"Oh, Charles, I fell for it, too," Francis nodded.  "I played right into her hands with my own jealousies and insecurities.  While she was using your guilt to convince you to push me away, she was using my own pain against me.  She very cleverly convinced me to give up on you---us---without my even realizing it."  She looked away and bit her lip.  "And she's still playing with our lives---even from the grave!  Even in death, she's working her evil to keep us apart; but, this time, it's going to be because I'm locked up in a..."

"Francis, don't think things like that," Charles muttered as he held her tightly.  "We're going to get through this.  You heard Douglas.  No one in their right mind could possibly believe that you had anything to do with her death."

"Dad's right," Reginald Callison spoke up as he came in from the kitchen carrying a tray of fresh coffee with his fiancée Jillian Stokes at his side.  "Mom, you have a sterling reputation in this town.  No one's going to believe that you killed Annabelle."

Jillian Stokes"I agree," Jillian nodded as she took the coffee pot from Reginald and carefully began to pour everyone a cup.  "I bet it's no time before the police realize how ignorant they're making themselves look by charging you with murder.  For goodness sakes, you're a direct descendant of this city's founder!"

"That won't matter," Francis sighed weakly and hung her head.  "That just makes me an even more popular subject for public scandal and humiliation.  I've been avoiding the telephone for days.  Every time it rings, it's another blasted reporter wanting to get the big scoop from 'the socialite killer!'  I can only imagine what Corinne Campbell has been saying about all of this at the hospital."

"Darling, you can't think about things like that now," Charles said reassuringly.  "Once the truth comes out---once everyone knows that you're innocent---they'll be the ones looking like fools."

Reginald Callison"And besides," Reginald spoke up before taking a sip of his coffee, "I don't think anyone would really blame you for killing Annabelle.  In fact, I think that some people might view it as justifiable homicide because of the way she'd tortured you this past year!  She was asking for something to happen.  You couldn't help it if she knew all the right buttons to push and just happened to push one a little too hard.  I think that if Douglas can claim self-defense then..."

"Self-defense?"  Francis looked at her son curiously.  "W-why would I claim self-defense?  I'm innocent!  I didn't kill Annabelle Lake!"

"You're not...saying that you think your mother actually did it, are you?"  Charles eyed Reginald with astonishment.

With all eyes wide open with shock and bearing down upon him, Reginald swallowed hard and quickly looked to Jillian for support and reinforcement.  However, he immediately discovered that her eyes matched every other pair in the room.  Perhaps he'd misspoken.  Perhaps he'd revealed too much of his own theory.  He quickly knew that he'd opened his mouth too far and would find a difficult time explaining what he really believed. 


54 Spring Lake Dr."Helga, would you get the telephone?" Joyce Preston barked in annoyance as she sat on the sofa and thumbed through one of her daughter's movie magazines.  After a few more rings, she glanced up at the housekeeper who was continuing her daily chores without so much as even acknowledging her request.  "Helga!  I said answer the damn phone!"

Helga Grimm paused in her tracks, feather duster still in her hand and in mid-air, and turned to look hatefully at Joyce.  Then, without saying a word, she simply turned and continued as if nothing had been said.

"Well, fine, then!" Joyce shouted angrily.  "I'll just get it myself.  I swear, you have to be the worst excuse for a..."  She paused mid-rant as the receiver met her ear and promptly changed gears as her voice took on an uncharacteristically sweet tone.  "Hello?"  Her eyes grew wide from shock when she heard the voice on the other end.

Helga Grimm"You really shouldn't have called me here," she whispered as she turned her back to Helga.  "What if it had been Sara?  We can't risk....  I see."  She glanced over her shoulder to see if Helga was listening.  However, Helga was much too swift for the merry widow and covered her eavesdropping expertly.  

Joyce Preston"Look, sweetheart, I really can't talk right now," Joyce continued with a hushed voice.  "No, I'm not alone.  That stupid maid is hovering like a vulture.  I swear that she's just waiting for me to...I see.  Yes, I do think it's about time to put our plan into motion.  Well, I've been working on Dane and I...I see."  She glanced back at Helga again.  "I know it was rather surprising to run into you in Chicago like I did and...well, that's ancient history now, isn't it?  Well, after everything that I'd heard...oh, I do hear things."  She let out a small girlish giggle in spite of herself.  "You're welcome, dear.  Trust me.  This arrangement is going to be beneficial to both of us.  We're both going to finally get everything that we've ever wanted."  She furrowed her brow slightly and glanced over to the large grandfather clock in the corner.  "Now?  Well, I don't know if I can...I see.  I' there as soon as I can."

As Joyce continued with her cryptic conversation with the mystery caller, Helga had her keen ears finely tuned to hear every word.  "I knew you were up to something," she grumbled to herself as her face took on a rigid and stony expression.  "Joyous reunion with your daughter my eye!"