The neighbours Clive Harris and Stuart Parsons are not the best of friends to put it mildly. When Oscar Blaketon tries to mediate between their families Parsons' wife Frances and his son-in-law John Nixon are rushed to hospital with signs of food poisoning. Naturally Harris comes under suspicion, but when Gina gets ill with the same symptoms PC Bradley is sure there is another reason. While Gina is in hospital her aunt Mary comes to Aidensfield to visit her. Bernie sells a car to Laslo Riles for Claude Greengrass, but when Riles goes bankrupt before he can pay Greengrass makes him pay in kind. Thus the old scoundrel suddenly becomes the proud owner of a snake.