produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #88 (Wednesday, 2/20/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
January, 1936 - Late Evening


Sunset Hotel, Penthouse AFrancis Callison"That' of the reasons I came to see you."  Dr. Fred Rutherford eyed Francis Callison intently as he carefully began to formulate his words.  "I must admit that this visit isn't quite a selfless as I've led you to believe.  In fact, it might be considered rather self-serving."

"W-what do you mean?"

"Well....considering what happened at the party, it's pretty much common knowledge how Annabelle Lake managed to weasel herself in between you and your husband.  The drugging, I mean."  Of course, it was still a closely guarded secret, now known only to Fred himself, what role that he had, in fact, played in the drugging of Charles Callison.

"That she could stoop so low...could be so desperate!"  Francis shook her head vigorously, still amazed by the extremity of Annabelle's actions.

"Francis, I just wanted to know how...well...."  He reached out and grabbed her hand and gave it a tight squeeze.  "Since you now know that your husband's betrayal wasn't completely of his own choosing, how does that affect the state of your marriage?  Does knowing the truth change your feelings for him?  And, if so, where does that leave me and what's been developing between us?"

Francis stared at him blankly.  Those exact same questions had been bouncing around inside the back of her own head for some time.  However, they had never been put in such a succinct, verbal fashion.  Now faced the those questions and the requirement to answer them, she was left completely dumbfounded and utterly unsure of how she felt and of what to say.

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23 Green St."You can't get Reginald to say anything?" Lorraine Davis asked her husband as she raised her head from the needlepoint she was focusing on.  "I just can't believe that he would be so secretive about all of this."

"Well, I'm just as shocked and confused," Douglas Davis nodded as he continued to review his files while he adjusted a pillow behind his back.  "You know as well as I do that Reginald couldn't have killed Annabelle.  Why he's refusing to say anything in his defense is just beyond me."

"It sounds almost as if..."  Her voice stopped suddenly, interrupted by a horrible cough.  "As if Reginald wants everyone to think he's guilty."

"It almost looks that way."  Douglas looked up from his papers and over to his wife who was snuggled into bed next to him.  "Are you feeling any better?  It seems like you've been sick for weeks."

"Oh, I'm fine," she sighed, laying her needle point down to her side.  "In fact, I feel much better than I did a few days ago.  This bug just seems to want to hang around a little longer than I'd like for it to."

"Well, as long as you're doing better."  He smiled at her and reached over to take her hand into his.

During the past few months, Douglas and Lorraine's marriage, which had started under less than favorable circumstances, had slowly begun to change and grow.  No longer fighting the hand that life had dealt them had relieved them of quite a bit of pressure.  Now, they were finally starting to relate to one another as husband and wife instead of as two friends bound by an unborn child that neither one of them had planned on.  Consequently, both of them were beginning to discover that much deeper feelings were starting to take root.

"I just can't believe that in a few months, our baby will be born," Lorraine sighed as she rested her hand on her swollen stomach and felt the rumblings of the child it contained.  "It still seems so incredible that we're going to be parents."

"Trust me, I know exactly what you mean."  He smiled warmly at her and gently covered her hand with his, feeling the movement of their child.  Suddenly, the moment was interrupted by the intrusive ring of the telephone.  "Well, I guess the phones are finally working again," he grumbled in annoyance and reached over to pick up the receiver.  "Hello?"

"Oh, thank heavens, Mr. Davis!" Dr. Maynard said on the other end of the line.  "I just didn't think that these phones would ever be back to normal!"

"Dr. Maynard?  What's...what's wrong?"  Douglas sat up straight in bed and furrowed his brow as he listened intently to the doctor's voice.  "My mother?  Is she okay?"

"Oh, Mr. Davis, I've been trying to reach you all night."  Dr. Maynard paused to take a deep breath.  "I'd hoped that your sister could have gotten to you in time."

"Grace?  Doctor, what are you talking about?  My sister has been sound asleep in her bed for hours!"

Lorraine Davis"Douglas, honey, what is it?" Lorraine asked as she leaned over to him and strained to listen in on the phone conversation.

"I...I'm not sure," he muttered in response as he covered the receiver with his hand.

"No, Mr. Davis, your sister was here, at the hospital, just a few hours ago," Dr. Maynard continued, drawing Douglas' full attention.  "I'd been trying to reach you and she just showed up.  It was like...a miracle!"

"Lorraine, sweetheart, go down to Grace's room and check on her."

She nodded her response and carefully slipped out of bed and pulled on a robe before heading out into the hallway.

"Now, tell me what's so urgent?"  Douglas' thoughts returned to his mother.  "Why have you been trying to get in touch with us?"

"M-Mr. Davis, I'm...I'm sorry to have to tell you this...."  Dr. Maynard grew oddly quiet.  The silence frightened Douglas terribly.

"What?  What is it?"

"Mr. Davis, I'm afraid that your mother took a turn for the worse this evening.  That's why I was trying to get in touch with you."

"Just let me...get dressed and I'll be right there!"  Douglas swiftly climbed out of bed and began reaching for the clothes that were draped across the back of the chair by the bed.

"Mr. Davis, there' need to rush."  Another unnerving silence.  "It's too late.  I'd hoped that your sister could have reached you in time, but..."

"Too late?  Doctor, what do you mean 'too late?'"  A sense of dread washed over Douglas.  His mother couldn't be...

"Your mother passed away about an hour ago.  We did everything that we could.  I'm so sorry, Mr. Davis.  I had really hoped that your sister could have reached you in time."

"P-passed a-away?"  A blank expression covered Douglas' face.  His mother was gone.  There would be no more chances for a miracle recovery from the tragic fog that had clouded her mind.

"Douglas!" Lorraine called out as she quickly came back into the bedroom.  "Grace isn't in her room.  Her bed looks like it's been slept in, but there's no sign of her.  I checked downstairs to see if maybe she was getting some milk out of the icebox, but she's nowhere in the house and...and..."

"What, Lorraine?  What?"

"Your car's gone."

"Oh, dear lord," Douglas muttered as he raked his hands through his hair.

"Mr. Davis," Dr. Maynard continued on the other end of the line, "your sister left here to get you so that you could be with your mother at the end, but...that was hours ago!  She should have been there way before now.  Oh, I should never have...never have let her out on the roads in this weather."

Douglas Davis"Dr. Maynard, this isn't your fault.  When my sister is determined to do something, her mind's made up.  I can't even talk her out of it."  Douglas sank back onto the bed and let out a heavy sigh.  "T-thank you for getting in touch with us, Doctor.  I'll...make arrangements for our mother as soon as I can."

As a mixture of emotions began to swirl inside him, Douglas hung up the phone and finished his climb out of bed.  Hurriedly, he reached for his clothes and began to frantically dress.

"Douglas, Douglas, what's wrong?" Lorraine asked as she rushed to his side and gently put her hand onto his shoulder.

"It's...our mother.  She's gone."

"O-oh!  Douglas, I' sorry."  Although Lorraine had only gotten to meet Louise Davis a few times and her mother-in-law was not exactly in the most lucid period of her life, Lorraine had listened intently to numerous stories related to her by her husband.  Through these stories, Lorraine almost felt as if she had truly known the woman during the better period of her life.  Her heart broke for, not only her husband's loss, but her own, as well.

"And not only that," Douglas continued, now dressed and reaching for his coat, "but Grace somehow slipped out of the house and went to the hospital!  Dr. Maynard said that she left there hours ago and was headed back here to get me!  She should have been home by now!"

"Douglas, you don't think..."

"I don't know," he muttered as he shook his head, the thought of an accident in such horrible weather frightened him.  To not only lose his mother but his...  He shook his head again, the thoughts too tragic to acknowledge.  "I just...have to find her.  If she's stuck along the side of the road..."

"D-Douglas," Lorraine called out, stopping him as he prepared to race out the door.  She rushed to his side and took him into her arms before kissing him lovingly, tenderly on the cheek.  "Darling, be careful."

He silently nodded his agreement and then took a deep breath before venturing out in search of his sister.


Sunset Hotel, Penthouse A"Francis, are you still in love with your husband?" Fred asked intently.  "Does knowing about everything that Annabelle Lake did change everything?"

"I...I..." Francis stammered, unsure of what to say.  Finally, after collecting her thoughts, she took a deep breath and spoke.  "Of course I love Charles.  I am always going to love him.  That's something that's never going to change, with or without Annabelle's maneuverings.  However..."

"Yes?"  He looked at her curiously.  She seemed so adamant in her love and devotion for her husband, yet there seemed to be something else there.  Some other kind of hidden feelings.

"Well...I..."  Her voice trailed off again as she quietly remembered the past few months of heartache she'd suffered.  "I'm not sure that just knowing about her schemes can erase the hurt that those schemes caused."

Dr. Fred Rutherford"Well of course not!  Even though that woman tricked him into having an affair, even though it all originally happened against his will, that doesn't change everything that's happened since!  She only drugged him once!  She didn't continue to drug him to make him do and say all of those hurtful things!"

"But he only did those things because he thought he was protecting me!" she snapped suddenly.  "If he didn't care about me at all, he wouldn't have spent so much time and energy pushing me away!  Yes, it all hurt me terribly, but he was only doing what he thought was best for me in the long run."

Fred leaned back into his seat and eyed her closely.  Her impassioned defense of Charles and his behavior took him by surprise.  Maybe she wasn't quite as over her troubled marriage as she once tried to lead him to believe.

"You sound almost like you've completely forgiven him for everything that he's done."  Fred chose his words carefully.

Francis Callison"I...I'm not sure exactly what I feel in regards to the past few months," Francis confessed honestly.  "The only thing that I'm sure of is that I will always love Charles.  Whether that's going to be enough to repair the damage that has been done....  Well, I don't know.  Maybe too much has happened for us to be able to ever go back to the way things were.  Maybe it really is too late."

Fred sat on the sofa in silence and simply nodded as he listened to her emotional observations.  Privately, he has heaving a huge sigh of relief that Annabelle Lake would never be able to reveal his true role in her "seduction" of Charles Callison.  That was definitely one secret that she took to the grave.