produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #114 (Tuesday, 4/16/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
March, 1936 - Afternoon


Sara Manchester54 Spring Lake Dr."Um...Jim, come here for a second," Officer Russ Leeds spoke up as he knelt down on the floor beside the sofa.

"What it is, Leeds?" Detective Jim Fitzpatrick asked as he walked over to him.  The officer picked up a small object, nearly entirely hidden under the sofa, and handed it to Jim.  "Very interesting.  Mrs. Manchester, do you recognize this?"  He held it out for Sara to see.

"I...I'm not sure," Sara Manchester muttered as she looked at it closely.  "It looks like a cufflink."

"That's exactly what it is," Jim confirmed.  "Have you ever seen it before?"

"That's not one of mine," Dane Manchester explained as he, too, examined it before turning to look at Sara.  "Do you know where it came from?"

"I...I'm not sure."  She kept her eyes focused on the cufflink as she began to search her memory for some hint of recollection.  "It...looks familiar can't be what I..."

"What?" Patterson Monroe asked nervously.  "What is it?"

"I think I know exactly whose cufflink that looks like, but..."

"But what?"

"It can't be."  Sara paused and took a deep breath, more confused and worried than ever.  "Because he's dead!"

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76 Mapleton Way"Judith, you have to get out of bed sometime," Mark Linford said calmly as he leaned forward in the chair that sat beside the bed.  "You can't hide from the world forever."

"And why can't I?" Judith Linford replied softly and clutched the covers more tightly under her chin.  "Daddy's dead.  I killed him.  There's no...reason for me to..."

"Would you just stop it!" he barked as he jumped to his feet before reaching down to rip the blankets off of his wife.  "Stop hiding yourself away from the world like a coward!  You're doing the exact same thing that you did when you lost the baby.  Are you going to tell me that you're going to wall yourself up in this house for months now that you've lost your father?"

"You have no business talking to me like that!" she barked angrily.  "Daddy's dead!"  She paused and wrapped her arms around herself tightly as her tone softened.  "I'll grieve any way that I see fit."

"You're pathetic," he spat and then threw the blankets back down on top of her.  "Your father dies and it's all about you.  It's all about how you feel and how you want to grieve.  What about your mother?  What about your sisters?  Don't you think that they're grieving, too?"

"It's not the same," she muttered.  "I...I was driving the car.  I'm the one who caused the accident.  I killed him, they didn't."

Mark Linford"You listen to me, Judith!  You did not kill your father.  It was an accident---a horrible, tragic accident!"

Judith turned her head slightly and looked up at her husband.  She wanted to believe what he was saying.  She wanted to believe that her father's death wasn't her fault, but she couldn't.  How could she not shoulder the blame when she knew, in her heart, that her carelessness had been the true cause of the accident?  She shouldn't have been speeding!  She shouldn't have...

She closed her eyes tightly and buried her face into her pillow as if to block out the voices inside her head that had tormented her since she'd heard the devastating news about her father.  However, no matter what she did, she couldn't escape them.  She was to blame and she knew it.

"I just...don't understand why...the hospital called and told us that mother had been hurt," she mumbled.  "Why did they tell us to come right away when she obviously hadn't been in an accident?"

"I...don't know.  Maybe...someone just made a mistake."

Judith rolled over again and looked up at her husband.  "Mark, where were you that night?  Why weren't you at the hospital with everyone else?"

"" he stammered awkwardly and then began to nervously pace around the room.  "I had a business meeting.  I...didn't find out about the accident until...until everyone came home.  I told you that."

Judith Stokes Linford"But that...doesn't make any sense."  She let out a thin, weak, sarcastic laugh.  "Why would you have a business meeting?  You haven't done any kind of work since we've been in Albanyville.  You've just been content to live off of me and my family and..."

"That's part of the reason I had the meeting," he tried to explain as he fought to keep the real reason for his absence---a clandestine rendezvous with his mistress Helen Van Dyne---a secret.  True, he'd had a meeting---a telephone meeting, in fact---but that wasn't where he was at the time of the accident.  "I'm tired of just sitting around, not doing anything.  I want to get back to work.  I want to practice law again and I...well...I've had an offer from a firm in New York to..."

"A job offer?"  Judith furrowed her brow as she tried to piece together what he was saying.  "In New York?  What kind of...offer?"

"One of the top law firms in Manhattan has offered me a position.  They want me to start as soon as possible."  He paused and bit his lip, unsure about the timing of the news.  "I told them I'd take the job."

"What?" she gasped in shock.  "Without even talking to me?"

"It's my career," he reminded.  "And I'm your husband---whatever that means to you---and it's my decision.  We'll be moving back to New York by the end of the month.  It's about time we finally got out of this pitiful little town."

As Judith eyed her husband with a mixture of confusion and surprise, she silently wondered how she could leave Albanyville.  Her entire family was here, now, her father died here, Burt was here...  No, she couldn't leave now.  Somehow, she had to find some way to stop Mark from dragging her back to New York.  As she sunk back down under her covers, she carefully began to plan.


54 Spring Lake Dr."So, you have seen this before?" Jim asked as he carefully watched Sara's actions.

"I...well..." Sara stammered.  "It looks like one that I've seen, can't be the same one."

"You mentioned something about the owner being dead?"  Russ furrowed his brow in confusion as he carefully held his pen in preparation to write down anything that she might say.

"Yes, Sara, what do you mean?"  Dane looked at his wife curiously.

"Here, look at this," she said with a sigh as she walked over to the end table and picked up a photograph and handed it to the detective.  "What do you see?"

Jim Fitzpatrick"I see a man holding two little girls," Jim replied as he stared at the picture.  "I would assume that the girls in the picture are you and Miss Lake.  Truthfully, Mrs. Manchester, you haven't changed much."

"Thank you," she blushed.  "That is me and Stephanie."

"Who's the man?" Patterson asked as he peered over Jim's shoulder to get his own look at the picture.

"That's Stephen Lake---Stephanie's father."  She paused and took a deep breath as she waited for them to see what she was talking about.

"I...don't think I understand what you're getting at," Jim muttered with a shake of his head as he continued to eye the picture closely.  "What does this have to do with anything?"

Sara Manchester"Look!" Sara ordered firmly and then snatched the picture out of his hands before holding it up in front of his face.  "Look at his arm!  It's around us!  Look very closely."

"Oh, my god," Jim gasped as he suddenly saw what she was talking about.  "He's wearing cufflinks that..."  He held the mystery cufflink close to the picture as he tried to make a comparison.  "They looks exactly like this one."

"That's what I'm trying to say!"  She took another deep breath and slowly began to pace around the room.  "Stephanie and I gave those cufflinks to Uncle Stephen for Christmas that year.  That's one of them!  I'm certain of it, but..."

Russ Leeds"Mrs. Manchester, I was under the impression that Miss Lake's father died several years ago."  Russ took the picture and the cufflink from Jim and continued to examine them.

"He did," Sara sighed.  "Well, at least we think he did.  He just vanished without a trace.  Daddy and I were living in Ohio at the time and he wouldn't tell me the whole story and Stephanie has never really wanted to talk about it much, but...well...for all we've known, he died."  She paused and looked directly at the detective.  "That's why that cufflink can't be his!"

Patterson Monroe"Maybe Stephanie had it as a keepsake of her father," Patterson rationalized.  "Annabelle's death  brought back the pain she felt over losing her father and she was looking at the cufflink because it reminded her of him.  Maybe she just dropped it."

"That's impossible," Sara replied flatly.  "Those were the only cufflinks that Uncle Stephen ever wore.  When we gave them to him, I remember him telling us that he would always wear them because they would remind him of his little girl.  He was wearing those cufflinks when he disappeared!"

Dane Manchester"But I thought you said that your father didn't tell you a lot about what happened to Stephanie's father?" Dane spoke up, not sure he was completely following his wife's story.

"He didn't," she explained.  "I didn't find that out from my father.  Annabelle told me.  Right after I came here to live with her and Stephanie, we were looking through old pictures and talking one day and I asked her whatever happened to the cufflinks.  She told me that they went to the grave with Stephen.  At the time, I'd assumed that she meant he was buried with them, but Stephanie told me later---in one of the few conversations where I could get her to open up about her father's death---she told me that he had been wearing them when he disappeared.  That's one of the things they told the police when they were looking for him.  Of course, they never found him."

"Leeds, call the station and have them get in touch with the Chicago police department," Jim ordered.  "Have them send us everything that they have about Stephen Lake."

As Sara sunk down onto the sofa, she took the picture back from Officer Leeds and stared at it.  The more she thought about it, the more confusing everything seemed to be.  Stephanie was truly missing and it had something to do with Stephen Lake.  Sara just wasn't sure what it could all mean.