produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #98 (Wednesday, 3/6/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
February, 1936 - Morning


Charles Callison2210 Elmwood Lane"Reginald, are you sure you want to wait and get dressed at the church?" Charles Callison asked as he paced around the living room.  "Maybe you should just get ready here and..."

"No, I'm waiting until we get there," Reginald Callison replied as he came down the stairs carrying the large garment bag.  "I don't want to risk doing anything that might ruin my tuxedo.  If this day isn't absolutely perfect, my clothes included, Jillian will kill me."

"Ah, haven't even said the 'I do's and you're already henpecked, I see!" chided Trevor Callison as he grinned smugly and rocked back and forth on his heels.  "I can only image what you'll be like after the wedding."

"Oh, you just wait, little brother," Reginald laughed.  "Your day is coming eventually and I'm going to remind you of that."

"Boys, we can discuss this after the wedding," Charles spoke up as he attempted to herd his sons toward the door.  "Right now, we've got to get to the church."  Not exactly paying attention to what he was doing, he opened the door and turned to leave, only to find himself face to face with Francis Callison, his estranged wife.  "F-Francis!"

"Hello, dear," she smiled and stepped into the room, followed by her mother and daughter.  "I hope you don't mind, but I thought it would be a wonderful idea if we all went to the church as a family."

Trevor and Reginald immediately exchanged knowing glances.  Perhaps this wedding was just the thing to bring the entire family together after all!

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54 Spring Lake Dr.Stephanie Lake hurriedly pulled on her coat as she raced down the stairs and towards the front door.  She just had to make it to the church in time.  There were important things that she'd put off for entirely too long.

Just as she reached the foot of the stairs, the door swung open and in walked Dane Manchester.  Not expecting their sudden meeting, Stephanie froze in her tracks.  She'd intended to stay as far away from him as she could during her stay at the manor, but now she realized that that was going to be easier said than done.

"What the devil are you doing here?" he questioned with an angry glare.

"" she stammered, unsure of what to say.  She'd been rather surprised, to say the least, when Sara had informed her that Dane wasn't aware that she was moving into the house.  Stephanie had hoped that Sara would tell him before she managed to run into him, but she clearly realized that that wouldn't be the case.  "I was just leaving."

"You better believe you were just leaving!" he snapped as his jaw tightened.  "After everything you've done, I can't believe you're stupid enough to come within fifty feet of Sara!"

"Everything I've done?"  She eyed him incredulously.  

How dare he!  He was the one who'd been intent on splitting up Reginald and Jillian so that he could reunite with Jillian.  He was the one who'd forced her into continuing with their nefarious schemes long after Stephanie had decided to give up on Reginald!  Yet he was still trying to make it seem like everything had been her idea!  It was almost as if he'd told the lie so many times that he'd even started to believe it himself.

Stephanie Lake"Now, wait a second!" Stephanie snapped as she glared at him angrily.  "Don't you even try to blame all of that on me.  I admit that I did some pretty rotten things, but you were up to your eyeballs, too!  Don't even try to act like you were an innocent victim in all of that mess!"

"Poor, poor Stephanie," he sighed with a shake of his head.  "Still sadly deluded, I see.  No one bought your story then and no one buys it now."  He smirked slightly.  "I've still got Sara---and this wonderful house, I might add---while you've wound up with nothing."  He glanced down and noticed the newspaper that was tucked under her arm.  "What's this?"

"Oh, it'" she stammered as she tried to turn away so that he couldn't see the headline.

However, he was much too swift for her and he reached out and snatched it away.  "Callison-Stokes Wedding Set for Today," he read aloud.  "Ah!  So I see, now.  You're all in a huff because your dear, precious Reginald is going to be lost to you forever."

"You don't know what you're talking about," she muttered in a tone full of annoyance.  "Whatever I had with him was over a long time ago.  I should have realized that then.  In fact, I would have realized that if it hadn't been for Momma and...and you!"

"Poor Paddy," Dane sighed with a shake of his head.  "I guess he really is a sucker.  He thinks you've changed but you're still trying to blame everyone else for your problems and mistakes.  He'll be so disappointed."

"You leave Paddy out of this!"

"I'm just glad that Sara managed to see you for what you really are."

"You listen to me, Dane Manchester," Stephanie began as her eyes narrowed menacingly, "you might have Sara flimflammed.  You might have conned her into thinking that you're a great guy, but I know better!  You better not do anything to hurt her or I'll...I'll..."

"You'll what?"  He stared at her with cocky self-assuredness.

She paused for a moment, her knowledge about his cheating on his college entrance exam right on the tip of her tongue.  However, she took a deep breath to calm herself and held back that revelation.  There was no need to show her trump card---at least not yet!

"I'll make sure you regret it," she replied calmly and then exhaled slowly.  "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have things to do."  Without saying another word, she spun around on her heel and stormed out the door, letting it slam loudly behind her.

Dane ManchesterWith a wicked chuckle, Dane shook his head and sighed.  Patterson was really getting more than her bargained for with that one!  Silently, Dane wondered how long it would be before Stephanie's prim and proper act began to wear off and Patterson was able to see her for the lying, manipulative girl she was.

As he began to push thoughts of Stephanie Lake out of his head, Dane glanced down at the newspaper that he was still holding in his hands and eyed the picture of Jillian Stokes carefully.  He'd been so preoccupied with his newfound wealth and Sara's nagging---not to mention his little fling with Kitty Benedict---that he'd nearly forgotten about Jillian's upcoming wedding.  He hadn't even realized that it was today!

Dane's eyes narrowed as he focused on the picture and he let out a deep sigh.  Poor Jillian, marrying that dolt Reginald.  Why couldn't she have listened to reason all of those months ago?  Why didn't she just dump that sap and come back to him like he'd asked her to.  As an intense looked covered his face, Dane glanced down at his watch and noted the time.  Maybe it wasn't too late.  Maybe he could still talk some sense into her.

Tucking the newspaper neatly under his arm, he turned and headed for the door, never even bothering to let his wife know that he'd returned home from his late night out.


Albanyville Police Department"Okay, Rawlings, why don't you explain exactly what you're talking about," Detective Jim Fitzpatrick said firmly as he eyed the slimy reporter carefully.  "What waitress?  Who is she?"

"You mean you don't know all about her?" Larry Rawlings asked with a look of false surprise and smugness.  "I would have thought that Albanyville's finest would be right on top of this case."  He paused and lit a cigarette and took a length draw.

"Just stop with the song and dance, Rawlings," Officer Russ Leeds broke in as he moved closer to the desk and joined in with Jim and his intense stare.  "What waitress?"

"Why should I tell you schmucks anything?" Larry asked with a smirk.  "Why should I help you?  You haven't been exactly forthcoming with me about any information you might have.  What's the trade off?"

"What makes you think that there's gonna be a trade off?" Jim asked as he felt his face flush with annoyance.  "I would think it should be your civic duty to bring a criminal to justice.  If this witness proves to be as important as you're implying that she is, I would think that you'd want to help the police in any way that you can!"

Larry Rawlings"Duty shmuty," Larry laughed.  "I'm in it for the story."  He paused and cocked an eyebrow as a grin spread across his face.  "Now, I might be persuaded to spill the beans.  Of course, there would have to be a few conditions."

"Conditions?"  Jim's jaw tightened and his teeth clinched.  

He had no intention of being indebted to the likes of Larry Rawlings.  However, they were more than a little stymied by the Lake murder, primarily due to the perpetual silence of their prime suspect.  Of course, they didn't believe for a minute that Reginald Callison was the guilty party.  He had to be covering for someone.  Unfortunately, you couldn't make an arrest or get a conviction based on suspicion and intuition alone.  They needed facts and those facts had proved to be all too evasive.

"What's your price and we'll talk," Jim relented with a sigh.

Russ Leeds"You can't be serious!" Russ exclaimed with a look of shock.  "You're not actually going to make a deal with this lowlife!"

"Hey!" Larry snapped angrily.  "If you want my help, you need to show a little respect!"

"Russ, trust me, I understand what you're trying to say," Jim muttered in an aside to the fellow officer, "but we don't have much else to go on.  Maybe this witness he claims to have might be the clue we need.  Let's at least play along with him and hear him out.  If it's all a wash and a scam just to weasel us out of a story, we'll just cut him off at the knees and he won't get a thing from us."

Jim Fitzpatrick"Well..."  Russ furrowed his brow as he thought.  "If you say so."

"All right, Rawlings, you tell us what you know and if it's worth it, I'll personally give you and The Examiner the exclusive story," Jim sighed reluctantly as he returned his focus to the persistent reporter.  "But only if it's worth it.  If this is all some kind of a con than no dice."

"Oh, this is worth it, all right," Larry grinned.  "And trust me.  Once you hear what really happened that night, you'll be thanking me later."

Jim shot Russ an uncomfortable look.  The last person he wanted to be working with on the Lake murder case was Larry Rawlings, but what choice did they have?  For Larry's sake, he better not be bluffing.