Caleb Hodgekiss, an ex-convict, finds him and takes him to his house where his wife takes care of him. Hodgekiss volunteers to get the donations from Walnut Grove, but plans to take the donations for himself. However, his experiences with the people of Walnut Grove, especially Mary, bring about a change of heart. Nellie has been mis-treating Bunny, who was Laura's horse until she sold it to Mr.
Oleson in "Christmas at Plum Creek". When Nellie falls off the horse and appears to be seriously injured, Mrs. Oleson blames Laura and wants Bunny to be destroyed, so Laura takes Bunny and hides him. Nellie exploits Laura's guilty feelings, but then Laura makes a discovery which leads to a comeuppance for Nellie, and Bunny becomes Laura's horse again.
In the Hero Township horse race, Laura and her horse Bunny go head-to-head with Nellie and her new thoroughbred, which Mrs. Oleson has bought for her, against the wishes of Nels. Laura has to battle all kinds of adversity and needs a pep-talk from her Pa when she begins to feel sorry for herself. However, Nellie does not properly prepare for the race, so the stage is set for a close finish.
Carrie goes along with Laura and Mary when they go out collecting insects for a school project, but Carrie wanders off and falls into an abandoned mine shaft. As the townspeople battle to find a way to rescue her, Lars Hanson clashes with the man he blames for the death of the woman he loved.
When Charles' mother passes away, he travels to Wisconsin and persuades his father, Lansford Ingalls Arthur Hill , to go back with him to Walnut Grove. While staying with Charles and his family, Lansford begins to form a special relationship with Laura, and this is strengthened when he tells Laura that she was named after her grandmother, Lansford's wife. Laura continues to remind her grandfather, Lansford, of his deceased wife, and their relationship continues to grow. However, it falls into jeopardy when Bunny, Laura's horse, is badly injured and has to be put down.
Laura's grief becomes anger against Lansford, which makes him go away without warning, but that brings about a change of heart in a repentant Laura. The Galender brothers settle in Walnut Grove, causing trouble for the entire community by intimidating and terrorizing the inhabitants. When Caroline becomes one of their victims, Charles decides to take action. Charles is seriously injured while on a hunting trip with Laura.
The only person she can find to help her is Sam Burl Ives , who is almost blind, but still able to find his way in the forest. Together, they manage to get Charles to Sam's cabin and then they go out to find medical help. After the death of his father, Joseph Strokes, the half-breed son of a Sioux Indian and a white woman, moves to Walnut Grove. Joseph and his mother move in with her father, Jeremy. However, the old man rejects Joseph because he feels angry and ashamed that his daughter married an Indian. After Joseph gets attacked by bullies, his grandfather has a change of heart and shows up at school to reveal Joseph's father.
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Mary is severely injured when a horse kicks her in the stomach while she is putting him away in the barn. When her condition deteriorates, it becomes clear she needs an expensive surgery to save her life. Charles and Mr. Edwards are forced to take dynamiting jobs for the railroad to fund the surgery. Nellie discovers that Laura has "borrowed" a music box from her room and decides to blackmail her. In order to stay quiet about Laura's crime, Nellie demands that Laura abandon her new friend Anna Katy Kurtzman , who has a stutter, and join her new club.
Eventually, Charles discovers what happens and teaches Laura a lesson about lying. In the end, Nellie gets her comeuppance, as well. The school holds an election for school president. Mary, Nellie and Elmer, an unpopular boy amongst the children, are in the running. Mary drops out of the race when she realizes Elmer is the best person for the job. When heavy rains make it impossible to plant their crops, the Ingalls and Edwards families head west to pan for gold. The promise of becoming rich is realized by only a lucky few, which leads to ill-feeling, lawlessness and even deaths.
Laura and Carl come across an ex-miner who has seen the ill-effects of the search for gold and lives like a hermit. Eventually, seeing the bad effect it is having on others, Charles and Mr. Edwards realize that they have riches enough, in the shape of their loving families, and they decide to go home. Caroline orders Laura to care for her dog, Jack, before going to town to greet a newcomer, Kezia Horn Hermione Baddeley , who lives in the ruins of a house. Laura becomes frustrated with Jack and gives up trying to take the foxtails out of his ears. Mary, Laura, Nellie, and Willie visit Kezia and find out what a unique yet kind person she is.
When Laura arrives home, she finds old Jack dead in the barn. Charles assumes Jack knew his time was coming and decided to spare everyone the sadness of watching him die, but Laura feels guilty about neglecting him. In tears, she and her family bury him in the meadow. Later, Charles brings home a stray dog Bandit that followed him home from Mankato after sniffing out his food stock, but Laura refuses to bond with the dog, still grieving the loss of Jack.
Kezia speaks to Laura about how the dog only wants to love her, and how she also wants to love others but hasn't been accepted. Guilt-ridden Laura runs to find Bandit and bonds with him. Reverend Alden speaks with Kezia, who decides to leave Walnut Grove because no one is accepting of her, and it is up to Laura to get everyone to change their minds before it is too late. In the end, Kezia stays, as well as Bandit. Charles takes Mary to Chicago, where he is attending the Grange Convention. There, Mary meets up with John Jr.
Former lovebirds John and Mary soon find their lives headed in separate directions, especially for John Jr. Meanwhile Charles has problems with the corruption he witnesses at the Grange meetings. When Laura and Mary go skinny-dipping with their friend, Ellen Taylor Mia Bendixsen , some perverted boys come by to get a glimpse. The girls all hide underwater until they go away. Laura and Mary come back up, but Ellen becomes trapped under the surface; she drowns and dies as a result.
After the funeral, Ellen's grief-stricken mother blames Laura for the tragedy and rebuffs the efforts of several people to cheer her up. When Laura pays a visit to Mrs. Taylor, she tricks Laura and traps her in the basement, because in her grief she deliriously imagines that Laura is her daughter Ellen. Laura's things are found outside the house of Busby, a mentally challenged and disfigured man whom Charles had warned his daughters to stay away from, and suspicion falls on him.
While the hunt is on for Busby, Laura must rely on her wits to escape Mrs. Taylor's clutches and help her come to terms with Ellen's death, which she is finally able to accomplish along with help and support from her husband. The men realize that they were wrong about Busby, and Laura later gives Busby a picture book. After Caroline complains about the small size of her kitchen, Charles decides to build an addition onto the house, but after starting the work he has to leave to take a rush delivery to Mankato.
Caroline hires a handsome young handyman named Chris Nelson Gil Gerard to complete the job. Chris stays with the Ingalls family and unwittingly becomes head of the household in Charles' absence, prompting Carrie to mistakenly call the man "Uncle Chris. Nellie and Mrs. Oleson don't help matters when they share Mary's suspicions. Eventually, Mary confronts Chris with her suspicions and tells him he must leave, only to find out later it was a misunderstanding. Charles later returns and finishes the new kitchen.
Laura and her new friend, Andy Garvey, find an injured mother wolf trying to tend to her pack of pups. Andy takes the wolf and her babies home to care for them. He decides to move them to the Ingalls family barn when he learns Larabee wants to shoot them, believing that they are the ones responsible for killing several of his sheep. Things turn deadly when a pack of feral dogs advance on the barn, trapping Andy, Laura, Mary, Carrie, and Bandit inside, leaving them to rely on Jonathan, and even more so, Bandit and the mother wolf, to save them from being mauled.
When Dr. Baker is unable to save a patient, he feels it was due to his incompetence and resigns as Walnut Grove's doctor. While he tries his hand at farming, a new physician, Dr. Logan, accepts a call to replace him. However, Dr. Logan proves to be ill-tempered and has no compassion for his patients, prompting Charles to go all out to convince Dr. Baker that he really is a good doctor and that the people of Hero Township need him. When boxer Joe Kagan's career seems to be going nowhere, he chooses to continue boxing rather than keep his family with him.
Unable to compete in the professional circuit, he travels to small towns and takes challengers for money. While he is stricken with medical problems, a fight with Charles Ingalls ends his career. After being nursed back to health by Charles, Joe decides to stay in Walnut Grove and make a new living as a farmer.
He then finds that his own estranged son is now trying to become a boxer. Now, Joe's biggest challenge is to figure out how to keep his son from making the same mistake he did. After Nellie talks with Miss Beadle, she and Luke run away to have a very short-lived marriage about 10 minutes.
In the end, Adam and Eva get married themselves, not only uniting them through their symbolic names, but causing now-Mrs. Eva Simms to become a stepmother, though annoying the officiator and his wife to no end at the ungodly hour they were woken up. This episode features one of the first looks at the softer side of Nellie's personality. Charles and Jonathan compete against another team to win a freighting contract.
Laura feels the first stirrings of attraction to a boy named Jimmy Hill Chris Petersen with whom she has previously enjoyed playing baseball and going fishing, but he does not respond in the same way. When a new girl arrives in school who looks like a rival, Laura decides she must compete for him by giving up her 'tom-boy' behaviour and becoming more like Nellie. Charles and Jonathan unexpectedly win the freighting contract, but, as they celebrate and make big plans, they realize that it would involve them not seeing their families for long stretches of time, so they refuse the contract.
When Laura's new strategy does not work, her Ma persuades her that she should be true to her real self. Eventually, Jimmy does notice her as a girl, and Laura has her first kiss with a boy. Mary gets her first teaching job in the backwoods community of Willow Prairie, but she is met with stern opposition from Miss Peel, an elderly woman who has thwarted a previous attempt to establish a school and justifies her actions with a flawed understanding of the Bible. The husband in the family that gives Mary accommodation has the same harsh beliefs and is also hostile towards Mary. After one of Mary's students tries to kiss her and she hits him to stop him, Miss Peel accuses Mary of being a ' Jezebel ', and, feeling outnumbered, Mary retreats home.
However, after a talk with her father, she goes back with Charles, and at a church meeting Mary takes on her opponents, and it emerges that Miss Peel cannot read, which is why she misquotes the Bible. As they all sing a hymn, Miss Peel accepts the hand of friendship that Mary offers to her. On Charles' and Caroline's anniversary, Charles is stuck on the road in the rain with a broken wagon wheel, making him late home for their celebration meal. While they are waiting, Caroline tells the children the story of how she and Charles met, eventually revealing that she learned that he always has a good reason for keeping her waiting.
In flashback: the day they met, Charles' troubles in school, and their first dance. While out fishing, Laura finds a bottle in the creek with a note inside that reads "Be my friend. Laura looks after the baby, who she names Grace, while Charles tries to find the parents. Charles first locates the young father, Bobbie, and together they find the mother who is his beloved, Anna. They had wanted to marry but she was taken away by her strictly religious father who is deeply embittered because his wife went off with another man. Fearing his reaction, Anna had managed to keep secret that she was pregnant and even that she had given birth, but then realized that she could not keep the baby while staying with her father.
Bobbie takes Anna back with him, while her father chooses to stay alone in the woods. Anna is reunited with her baby, telling Laura she will keep the name Grace. Just as Mary falls in love with newcomer Seth Barton, her nearsightedness begins to worsen. Charles takes her to an optometrist and she initially appears to need a stronger lens but the vision still worsens a few days later. She returns to the eye doctor, who discovers she had scarlet fever a few years back.
The resulting nerve damage means Mary's vision cannot be saved, and she will soon go blind. In denial, Charles does not tell his daughter until a few days before she wakes up and finds, to her horror, she is completely blind. Mary becomes bitter over her predicament and having to rely on others for basic needs. Her parents decide to send her off to a blind school in Iowa. Meanwhile, Charles, Jonathan Garvey, and the rest of the town of Walnut Grove have another problem as the whole township is threatened by an escalation of a dispute between The Grange and the railroads.
This prevents crops and other items from being sold and traded, and disables the bank, causing financial problems for the entire town. The outlook for the town is bleak. At the end of the episode, Charles drives Mary to the blind school where she will spend the next few months. Mary, who has recently gone blind, is sent to a blind school in Iowa, where she meets Adam Kendall. Mary refuses to accept Adam's help at first, but he eventually helps her learn to deal with her blindness and a relationship blossoms between the two.
Adam reveals to Mary that he is also blind. He is soon leaving this large blind school to accept a better teaching position at a smaller school in Winoka. He invites Mary to come with him and teach there as well. She returns to Walnut Grove temporarily in order to say goodbye. Meanwhile, the whole of the township of Walnut Grove is threatened by an escalation of the dispute between The Grange and the railroads.
When the school closes for the summer with no plans to reopen next fall, the teacher, Mrs. Beadle-Simms, and her husband make the decision to leave Walnut Grove. Charles and Caroline decide to also move to Winoka in order to be near Mary. They vacate their home and farm without even putting it up for sale, since no one would buy it anyway considering the shape Walnut Grove is in. The Garveys follow suit.
Little House on the Prairie – Episode Guide – Season 8
The Olesons prepare to move also and close the mercantile. At the last church service, Mary shares her testimony with the congregation. She has accepted her condition and is ready to go on with her new life with Adam in Winoka. Ebenezer Sprague, the banker, is also said to leave Walnut Grove in the wake of the town going bankrupt. Picking up where the previous season left off, the Ingalls family moves to Winoka, where Mary teaches at a new blind school established by Adam Kendall. Charles takes a maintenance job at a hotel owned by a despotic local businessman, Miles Standish Leon Charles.
Caroline takes a job as a cook and waitress at the hotel restaurant. The family moves into the hotel. Charles is disgusted by the noisy saloon and its foul-mouthed patrons. The Garveys arrive and move in right behind the Ingalls family, though Jonathan initially cannot find a job. The Olesons surprise the Ingalls and Garvey families when they move to Winoka as well.
Nels takes a job at the saloon and they move into the rooming house next door, all of which are also owned by Standish. Charles convinces Albert to attend the livery school. With Jonathan as coach, Albert and the livery school's football team challenge the private academy's undefeated football team. Both sides attempt to unbalance the game in their own favor. When it seems all is lost for the livery school, help comes from an unexpected place in the form of one of Adam's blind students.
The Ingalls, Oleson, and Garvey families are all set to return home. Charles talks Albert into joining them. The families return home to Walnut Grove, only to find the town in disrepair and a dispirited and disabled Lars Hanson declining after a stroke. It is up to the townspeople to rebuild Walnut Grove and rekindle the spirit of both the town and Mr. People clean and repair their homes as well as town buildings. The school, church, mill, and mercantile all reopen. Alice Garvey continues as teacher. Lars Hanson summons his final strength and appears before the townspeople to thank them for revitalizing the town he founded.
Everyone enters the church singing. Laura explains that Mr. Hanson died peacefully a few months later, happy in the knowledge that the town he loved would live on. Oleson finagles a job writing a column for the fledgling newspaper, and soon pens scandalous stories about the residents of Hero Township. Oleson claims that the lad's German immigrant parents are illiterate. Charles confronts Murdoch about his newspaper, but his complaints fall on deaf ears. Laura and Albert temporarily get back at Mrs. Oleson, but she responds by writing a story suggesting Charles fathered Albert outside his marriage.
Charles has had enough and exposes the work of Murdoch and Mrs. Oleson in church on Sunday, clearing up the lie about the Schiller family they could read German , then chastises the rest of the town for reading the newspaper. Carrie becomes heartsick for her Pa when Charles and Jonathan take jobs on a telephone crew and must be away for weeks. When nobody has time for her, Carrie creates an imaginary friend named Alyssa, and the two have wonderful adventures together.
Ray Bolger returns as the happy-go-lucky-who-turned-bankrupt Toby Noe. He is staying with the Ingalls family, eating them out of house and home, when the spirited spinster Amanda Cooper catches his eye. Toby sets out to win her heart, but she is determined to keep him at arm's length. Meanwhile, Laura has a crush on schoolmate Jason and, with Albert's counsel, tries to get him to notice her. After agreeing to join all the other farmers in insisting on what they believe is a fair price from the mill-owners for their wheat, Judd Larabee breaks his promise and makes a separate deal at a lower price, partly because of his racist antagonism against black farmer Joe Kagan.
Outraged by his betrayal, Jonathan Garvey confronts Larabee in front of his family. A vengeful Larabee goes to the Garveys house with a shotgun, but Andy is the only one home and Larabee lashes out at him, accidentally injuring him. When Larabee leaves, Andy gets a lamp and begins looking for his mom and dad. He leaves the lamp by the barn which catches on fire. When the Garveys return home, they find their barn in flames, and Larabee is fingered as the likely culprit. At his trial, there are several surprising developments, including Andy's confession about leaving the lamp by the barn on a windy night, which prompts the judge to throw out the barn burning charge.
He still finds Larabee guilty of assault and instead of any additional jail time he orders Larabee to recompense Jonathan for the value of his lost wheat crop. Larabee's wife, as a result of his hatred of many people, takes their sons and leaves him. During a horse-buying trip to Sleepy Eye, Charles meets up with Brett Harper, one of the state's best horse breeders. Harper's alcoholism has taken a deep toll on the family, which is coming apart because of the lack of a strong head of the household.
Charles temporarily takes the role as the family man while he tries to sober Harper up, but his touch may have worked too well: Harper's wife and children like Charles better than drunken Brett who had become that way after his son had died. Charles manages to convince his family that Brett is a good person, but needs to be sober to be so. A new school year in Walnut Grove begins with a new teacher, Miss Eliza Jane Wilder as Alice Garvey stepped down from being the teacher at the end of the school year.
With Nellie graduating, Laura now 15 also meets Eliza's brother Almanzo in his late 20s , who has a remarkable effect upon her, and she is overjoyed when Almanzo tells her they should have nicknames just for each other: "Manly" and "Beth". Nellie and her mother also have eyes on the handsome young farmer and hope that Nellie's new restaurant and hotel will attract his attention. Charles is badly injured in an accident at the mill and has to take time off work while he recovers, so Caroline takes the post of cook at Nellie's restaurant, where Nellie has refused to do the cooking.
Later, Almanzo reluctantly has dinner with Nellie, who serves his favourite cinnamon chicken, but stand-in cook Laura has maliciously laced it with lots of cayenne pepper. Laura and Albert work hard to harvest honey from a beehive after making a deal with Mr. Oleson, who said he would buy it at 30 cents a pound. Meanwhile, Adam wins a teaching award and must travel to Minneapolis to receive it, but they do not have enough money for the trip.
Laura and Albert offer to sacrifice their earnings from selling the honey to cover most of the cost. Oleson is out of town on a buying trip, and Mrs. Oleson attempts to swindle the children by only offering them 15 cents a pound. Albert cleverly offers Mrs. Oleson their main beehive for the full amount promised, and she accepts. En route to Minneapolis, Mary, Adam and another woman are involved in a serious stagecoach accident due to a faulty wagon wheel. Mary is the only one who is able to seek help, since Adam is injured and the other lady in the stagecoach is pregnant and about to go into labor.
While she is climbing up a hillside, her old glasses fall out of her pocket and the lenses magnify the sunlight and soon start a fire, which acts as a signal for Charles and Jonathan, who are searching for them. Meanwhile, Laura and Albert get Mrs. Oleson and Nellie to come pick up the hive just a small nearby log full of bees , not telling them they're actually doing it during the time the bees are the most active and mean, causing them to get attacked on the way home.
When the circus comes to town, Nels discovers that his estranged obese sister, Annabelle, whom he was always ashamed of when they were kids, is the Fat Lady, and seeks to avoid anyone knowing this. When Annabelle visits the Blind School, Nels' shame is still apparent. Meanwhile, Laura becomes depressed when she goes to ask Almanzo to the circus, only to find out that he is already taking a rude, snobby and snooty young woman named Christie, for whom she has been mending a dress.
When she delivers the dress five minutes late, Christie refuses to pay her the full amount. Laura has a heart to heart with the sad clown about Almanzo and discovers the clown is the circus manager! He keeps her secret and allows her to be an unrecognizable clown at the circus. Laura seeks revenge on Christie when she becomes a guest clown for the circus, dumping water on her and, after she runs off, kissing Almanzo.
Later at the circus, Nels announces [as the ring master] to all in attendance that Annabelle is his sister and how proud he is of her. Alden falls in love with a member of his congregation and marries her, but almost comes at a cost when Mrs. Oleson attempts to tear their relationship apart, distressing the Reverend to illness.
Oleson reports Rev. Edwards has become prosperous owning a logging business. After Alicia brings him lunch, she is endangered by a falling tree, and although Edwards saves her, he is hit by the tree, badly injuring one of his legs. Having to use a crutch and fearing he is crippled for life and will be a burden to his family, he falls into severe depression. Grace writes to the Ingalls asking for their help.
Charles and Laura travel to visit, and after Laura seems to revive Edwards' old spirit, he suggests a hunting trip for the three. However, it soon transpires that Edwards has other plans, and twice Charles has to stop Edwards from trying to commit suicide. In desperation, Charles pretends to have been injured in a gun accident, and Edwards has to walk out for help, shocking him back to his old, irascible self.
Milo Stavropoulis is a former Greek champion wrestler forced to become a jobber in order to pay for his ailing wife Anna's continued medical treatment. His boss, an unscrupulous professional wrestling promoter persuades Jonathan to compete for a large money prize in his shady wrestling competition in Mankato, duping him into facing the current champion Hans.
After Jonathan wins a rigged preliminary bout, many of the residents of Walnut Grove bet on Jonathan to win the final, including Mrs. Oleson who risks the money entrusted to her as treasurer for the church. Milo receives word that Anna has chosen to discontinue her treatments for the sake of her husband's pride, because hanging on to life is causing him pain; she has passed away, leaving him with the words, "Life is a temporary condition- love is forever.
Milo, no longer constrained to throw fights, decides to show Jonathan what he's really getting into and takes his place in the championship bout to prevent his boss from raking in easy money, ironically causing Harriet to more than double the church fund, much to Nels's dumbfounding. However, this final match strains elderly Milo's heart, and he dies after the match concludes with his victory and his pride restored. Touchingly, the spirit of Anna appears to carry him away into the afterlife, and Milo echoes her statement, "Love is forever.
In this three-hour special, the Ingalls family spends Thanksgiving reminiscing their past years in Walnut Grove via clips from previous episodes. Caroline hears that her mother and father are coming for a visit, but her mother passes away during the train journey. Caroline's father, Frederick, is inconsolably distraught, until the family—enjoying his tales of when Caroline was young—persuade him to write his autobiography. Then Charles has the idea of trying to get it published. Charles is elected to represent the farmers of Hero Township at a Grange convention in Milwaukee to consider a proposal that farming machinery should be bought directly from manufacturers, saving money for the farmers.
At the same time, Caroline gets an invitation to the 25th anniversary reunion party of her school class of in the same city, so Charles and Caroline travel there together. They find that some of their old classmates have become financially prosperous, and are on the other side of the proposal by the Grange. However, they are saddened by the state of some of the marriages of their old friends. When they return home, they agree that they are the ones who are really successful and prosperous — with the love of their family.
Albert and a friend named Clay experiment with smoking a pipe in the basement and accidentally start a fire, which destroys the building and claims the lives of Alice Garvey and Adam Jr. Afterwards, Mary is in deep shock and denial that her baby has gone, so Adam goes to New York City to find specialist help for her and to look for a new teaching post.
Albert struggles with feelings of guilt, while Jonathan Garvey starts to drink alcohol, blaming God for his wife's death. Later, a gift from Albert to Mary awakens her memory of the fire and the loss of her baby, and her screams frighten Albert into running away. Albert eventually seeks out his estranged father Jeremy, only to stumble upon a freshly-dug grave at his homestead and realize Jeremy has just died, and he has nowhere else to go now. Charles and Jonathan set out to discover the truth about the fire and to track down Albert, and it is Jonathan who convinces Albert that it wasn't his fault that the two had died.
Adam returns from New York City to announce that his father has offered to finance the rebuilding of the school, and has insisted that it be named "The Alice Garvey and Adam Kendall Jr. School for The Blind". As they unveil the plaque, Adam says "May we make them proud. The school district's superintendent comes to Walnut Grove, looking for someone who can replace a teacher who has fallen and broken her leg.
Eliza Jane recommends Laura, despite her being two weeks short of the minimum age of 16, and she passes her teacher's exam and is given her teacher's certificate and the position. Almanzo drives her to the town where she will teach and stay with the injured teacher. When Almanzo sees her after her first week, he begins to think he may have romantic feelings for Laura, which confuses him. So he invites Laura to a church social and is taken aback when she says she'll think about it.
Later he comes in while one of her students is showing her how flexible the rib cage is, and thinks that the student is kissing Laura. Almanzo punches the student out of jealousy then thinks he has no chance of Laura falling in love with him. Charles explains to Laura that Almanzo acted out of jealousy, which means that he is now returning her feelings for him.
So Laura seeks him out at the church social, and they share their first kiss on her 16th birthday. Almanzo proposes to Laura, who accepts, but Charles insists that they should not marry until Laura is eighteen. Almanzo refuses to accept this, and tells Laura he plans to leave Walnut Grove and asks her to defy her father and go with him, but she refuses.
The Olesons hire Percival Dalton to improve the operation of Nellie's failing restaurant and hotel but, even when it is temporarily renamed "Caroline's Restaurant and Hotel", Nellie stubbornly refuses to learn. Only when Percival tells her she is pretty does she soften and start to cooperate. As construction of the new school for the blind is progressing, Adam gets the news that his father has died, and when he and Laura go to New York they learn that his father's entire estate has been wiped out by his heavy debts and cannot now finance the new school building.
However, as they return through Sleepy Eye, Laura spots an old courthouse building available for rent. Having learned that Almanzo is working in Sleepy Eye, Caroline suggests Laura go there to help set up the new blind school, but she runs into opposition from the grouchy caretaker who holes himself up in the building and the irascible rent collector. Laura goes to Sleepy Eye to help Mary and Adam get the new blind school ready.
Almanzo visits her, but their talk turns into another argument. However, Almanzo takes a second job so that he can secretly pay the shortfall of rent for the blind school, persuading Houston the caretaker to tell Laura that the landlord has reduced the rent. Then Laura sees Almanzo in town with a saloon girl and thinks he has found a new girlfriend. Later, through working two jobs, Almanzo becomes gravely ill with pneumonia.
Charles finds out the whole story and tells Laura. She goes to care for Almanzo and, with the matter of the 'other woman' cleared up, they make up. After Almanzo's recovery, Charles tells him and Laura they must wait one year [rather than two] before they get married. Meanwhile, under Percival's tutelage, Nellie learns to cook and be pleasant to her customers, and when he is about to leave she tells Percival she loves him.
After her earlier insults, it is what Percival has been waiting for, and they get married the next day. Six months before their planned wedding, Almanzo buys land for free from a Mr. Gray for a farm for him and Laura, but he agrees to a harsh deal that he must pay off the mortgage by a deadline or lose the title.
When there is a drought, Gray, who owns the neighbouring farm, dams the stream which also waters Almanzo's land, thereby threatening Almanzo's crop and his ability to meet the deal. Laura begins teaching at the Walnut Grove school, but Almanzo strongly objects to the idea of her teaching after they are married, insisting that he will provide for them and will not want her to go out to work. Nellie finds out that she is pregnant, which comes as a shock to her mother. When the drought continues, Almanzo loses his crop and the land. Laura suggests she take the teaching position in Radnor to help them earn money for a new farm, but Almanzo still objects and postpones the wedding.
After another argument, Laura breaks their engagement. The relationship of Eliza Jane and Harve seems to blossom, but when she tells him she loves him, he reveals he is in love with someone else. The loss of her dream incites Eliza Jane to strike out for a new life elsewhere and to bring Laura and Almanzo back together by allowing Laura to take the teaching job in Walnut Grove, along with the house which goes with it.
Almanzo agrees, and he and Laura are married at the Blind School in Sleepy Eye, which happens to be the same day as Adam and Marrys' anniversary. Trying to start a new life after Alice's death, Jonathan moves to Sleepy Eye and buys a freight business. Jonathan helps Andy resolve his feeling that Mary and Adam are to blame for his mother's death. The fledgling business quickly becomes the target of robbers, and Jonathan becomes a deputy to support the sheriff in dealing with the villains. With help from Charles, Jonathan catches the ringleaders, but then Andy is beaten up by the gang, and the repercussions lead to a violent and tragic outcome.
Houston, the cantankerous caretaker at the Blind School, tries to help two orphaned boys. The younger one, Josh David Faustino , has not spoken since his arrival at the orphanage in Sleepy Eye, making him unappealing to a potential adoptive couple, but his older brother, Michael, refuses to be separated from him, so they run away, and Jonathan, as deputy, spends much time searching for them. Houston hides the boys, and they become attached to him and he wants to adopt them, but is told that would not be possible for him.
However, his impassioned intervention on behalf of the boys produces a change in Josh which changes the minds of the couple previously wanting to adopt only Michael, and they agree to take Josh too. A young, talented painter named Annie Crane Madeleine Stowe is the talk of the town for her talent, despite having lost her sight in early childhood. An art exhibitor is impressed by Annie's work and arranges for her pictures to be publicized. Annie's birth mother realizes who she is and tries to arrange a meeting, but Annie refuses, embittered by memories of being abandoned by her as a child.
Caroline intervenes to bring about a reconciliation. Meanwhile, with Nellie's permission, Percival confronts his mother-in-law over her interference in their lives by her over-protectiveness of Nellie. Annie's mother, married to her second husband, tells him not to reveal the fact that she is also blind, but the truth comes out when she is reunited with her child, who reveals that she suffered a bout of scarlet fever, and Annie's biological father passed away possibly due to contracting the fever as. The aftereffects caused her to go blind, and she was carrying Annie at the time of the sickness, who contracted them as well.
Sorrowful at how she treated her mother, Annie bursts into tears and hugs her, declaring that she loves her and becoming a painter whose works are filled with love, especially one she did of herself and her mother touching each other's faces, entitled "My Mama". Laura and Almanzo clash again over their different aspirations for their marriage, and this is aggravated when Laura comes to believe that Almanzo is having an affair with one of his former girlfriends, Brenda Sue.
Laura returns to her family, saying she wants to leave Almanzo, and even picks a fight with Brenda Sue. Oleson seems to enjoy spreading the bad news, but Charles and Caroline help to bring Laura and Almanzo back together. Meanwhile, Charles has his own problems with Laura as he tries to fit a new picture window in the house. As part of a school project, Albert becomes pen pals with a girl in Minneapolis named Leslie Suzy Gilstrap.
Both of them fabricate stories about themselves to appear more attractive to the other: Albert postures as a tall athlete, while Leslie portrays herself as a ballerina and hides her paraplegia which confines her to a wheelchair. When Albert falls in love with her, he determines to see her by accompanying Charles when he travels to a Grange meeting in Minneapolis but, when his father refuses, Albert resorts to desperate measures. After being caught in an explosion at Jonathan Garvey's freight warehouse, Adam regains his sight after suffering a second concussion that undoes the blinding effects of the first, and revives his ambition to be a lawyer like his father.
When he gets the opportunity to take the entrance test for law school, Adam studies with such commitment that he neglects his teaching duties, and is unaware of Mary's misgivings. This worries Mary, who starts to believe Adam will not want to stay with a blind wife now that he has rejoined the world of the sighted. Meanwhile, Nels and Percival are both concerned about their wives' eating habits. Adam eventually travels to Minneapolis to take the entrance examinations for law school, but late one night he is assaulted and robbed by hoodlums.
Although he recovers temporarily, he then falls seriously ill, causing him to miss the final examinations. Fortunately, a friend he has made allows him to stay at his house and be attended by his doctor. When they hear, Mary and Charles travel to see Adam, and Mary, trying to make up for her previous lack of support for Adam's ambition, persuades the college professor to allow him to complete his examinations, and Adam wins a scholarship to study law. A female campaigner for the equal rights of married women comes to Walnut Grove, looking for signatures on a petition to be submitted to the state legislature.
The men are all reluctant to sign, including Nels, who is in the middle of another big disagreement with Harriet. Charles and Almanzo also oppose it, even though they believe in equality and joint ownership in their own marriages. So Caroline moves out of the house and organizes other wives in a mass 'walk out' from their matrimonial duties. Eventually, the husbands, led by Charles, decide that they can support the petition, and marital peace and harmony is restored. When Percival's parents visit Walnut Grove for the birth of Nellie's baby, Percival reveals that his real name is Isaac Cohen, much to Harriet's consternation.
Percival's father, Benjamin, is passionately and devoutly Jewish, which brings him into conflict with Harriet and her Christian beliefs, especially over the question of which religion the new baby will be raised in. Nels brokers a truce between Benjamin and Harriet with the suggestion that a boy should be raised in the Jewish faith and a girl should be raised as a Christian. When Nellie gives birth, she unexpectedly has twins, a girl and a boy, so Nellie and Percival agree to raise their son Benjamin as Jewish and their daughter Jennifer as a Christian.
Almanzo's elder brother Royal and his wife Millie visit Walnut Grove, and they leave their two young sons in the care of Almanzo and Laura, while Royal and his wife go away on a vacation. Royal's wife believes a parent should never say 'No' to a child, and their boys' constant mischief tries the patience of Almanzo and Laura, who are determined to adopt a different parenting style with their own children. Joe Kagen gives up his farm and moves to Sleepy Eye to work with Jonathan Garvey in his freight business and hoping to persuade Hester-Sue to marry him.
However, although she has feelings for Joe, he reminds her of her shiftless and unfaithful ex-husband, and she has plans to marry a successful local businessman. Joe starts doing odd jobs at the blind school, and he befriends and helps a blind boy called Timothy Keith Mitchell who has failed to respond to Hester-Sue. When she sees the change in Timothy, she calls off her wedding, and tells Joe there might be a chance for them yet. Adam returns to Sleepy Eye, having completed his studies and become a lawyer, but a promised job at a local law firm falls through.
Adam and Mary decide to leave the blind school in the care of Hester-Sue, and they return to Walnut Grove, where Adam opens a law firm of his own. He takes on as his first client a man accused of fraud, after the failure of a land investment deal resulted in many of the citizens of Walnut Grove losing their money. The initially angry and violent reaction from the townsfolk changes when the full story emerges at his trial.
When Laura announces that she is expecting a baby, Caroline says that she is also. Later, she finds out from Doc Baker that she is not expecting but is experiencing an early menopause and cannot have any more children. This devastates Caroline, who has tried to birth a surviving true male heir for Charles and fears she is worthless to him now because this is now impossible. She falls into depression, so Charles, himself heartbroken upon learning that he will never have the chance of another natural son, takes Caroline on a trip to Wisconsin for the wedding of the son of an old friend, and there they decide to renew their own wedding vows.
Charles and Albert go on a delivery run for Jonathan Garvey, and they travel with the Cooper family parents Alvin and Sarah, year-old James and 8-year-old Cassandra who are on their way to join Alvin's Uncle Jed on a gold claim.
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Encountering a steep hill, Charles and Albert with James and Cassandra in the back of their wagon descend safely, but Alvin loses control of his wagon which overturns, killing him and Sarah instantly. When the children's Uncle Jed E. Andre tells Charles he is too old to take care of them, Charles feels he has a responsibility to find a new home for them.
After exploring various possibilities, Charles is persuaded by Albert to take the children back to Walnut Grove to search for a foster family there. James and Cassandra settle in happily with the Ingalls family.
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Then Rev. Alden finds a family who agree to take in the orphans, but the husband, Isaiah Tompkins, is a harsh man who works the children to exhaustion, resulting in Laura warning them that they are failing at school. Also, the Tompkins' own son bitterly resents their arrival and sets up James for an unjust whipping.
Eventually, James and Cassandra run away, and after Mr. Tompkins declines to help in searching for them, Charles sets off with Almanzo and Adam. When he finds James and Cassandra, he tells them that they will be going home with him, and they joyfully agree. Nellie and Percival move to New York City to run Percival's family's store after the death of his father. Then Adam and Mary also move there when Adam takes a position at his late father's law firm.
The blind school in Sleepy Eye has been taken under the control of the state, so Hester Sue moves to Walnut Grove to help Caroline run the restaurant and hotel. Harriet becomes very depressed, and Doc Baker suggests she and Nels adopt, but it takes a visit from Cassandra to revive Harriet's spirits.
At the orphanage in Sleepy Eye, Harriet's wish is realized when she finds a young girl named Nancy who reminds her of Nellie and of Harriet herself as a child. Nancy quickly causes trouble at the school in Walnut Grove, but Laura has already worked out that Nancy is another Nellie. Doc Baker hires a highly qualified doctor named Caleb Ledoux, but is disconcerted to discover that he is black. Despite a friendly welcome from the Ingalls, other citizens are diffident or openly hostile, while Doc Baker gives his new assistant only menial tasks.
Eventually, when Doc Baker is unavailable for a call, Charles has to resort to desperate measures to enable Dr. Ledoux to attend to a pregnant mother experiencing complications during childbirth. Ledoux safely delivers the baby, but angrily decides he will never be accepted in the town and plans to leave.
When Doc Baker makes an impassioned plea at the next church service and is supported by the congregation, Dr. Ledoux decides to stay. Laura is invited by Eliza Jane to attend a college class on 'Great American Writers' in Arizona , and on the train she meets a man, Mort, who is going to the same class and who takes a liking to Eliza Jane. However, she only has eyes for their class professor, but he causes problems between the two women when he propositions Laura.
To pay her way, Laura has to work long hours as a dishwasher. Later, Eliza Jane is dismayed when she finds out the truth about the professor, but when Mort stands up for Laura against the professor, Eliza Jane says she will support Mort's application for a vacant teaching post at her school in Minneapolis, and they leave together on the train.
Guest star: Leslie Landon as Pam, the other dishwasher. Nels then plots his own escape and his revenge upon Harriet, which gets out of hand when it leads to several other members of the community also being kidnapped. Charles visits grief-stricken Mr. Edwards in Chicago after his adopted son John Jr. Working with Callahan M. Emmet Walsh , deputy editor of the newspaper John Jr. It becomes clear that John Jr. Guest star : Ernie Hudson as a ditch worker. When Mrs. Oleson leaves town for a week on a buying trip for the Mercantile, Nancy again feels that everybody hates her so she gets in being nasty first, including fighting with Cassandra which has been a counterpart to the past fights between Laura and Nellie.
Then an obesely overweight boy, Elmer, joins the school and is teased by his classmates, but he is a bright student and Nancy exploits his attraction to her. Albert and Willie see what she is doing and get her into trouble with Laura, but Nancy blames Elmer who decides to quit school, so the boys have to put things right.
With Caroline and Hester Sue run off their feet at the restaurant, Harriet signs up with a franchise which promises greater efficiency and more profit, and the restaurant is renamed "Mrs.
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Sullivan's Kitchen". Unfortunately, Harriet has not read the small print in the contract, and the onerous conditions result in everyone's life becoming even more busy. When Charles reluctantly has to take over the cooking at home, he gets together with Nels to work on a plan to release Harriet from her contract and get things back to normal.
Adam and Mary make a surprise visit to Walnut Grove for Christmas. They arrive with Hester Sue and join the family with Laura and Almanzo. Soon after, a fierce blizzard snows them in, and they all have to stay the night. Charles and a friend, Jack Prescott, deliver some tables, hand-made by Charles, to a store in Minneapolis, for which Charles makes a few "as a hobby". After Jack dies suddenly of a heart attack on the return trip, and after which his farm is sold and his nameplate casually tossed into the kindling by the new owner, Charles decides he wants to do something to be remembered for.
He agrees to move to the city to work full-time on producing the tables for a trial period before selling the farm and moving the entire family and things go well at first, until a big furniture manufacturer copies the table and under-prices them. Sales dry up and Charles decides that his greatest legacy will be his children. But later, one of his tables with his 'CI' mark is bought as a prized antique at an auction approximately years later in the then present day Hester Sue's ex-husband, Sam Terhune, comes to Walnut Grove claiming he has reformed himself from his drinking and gambling and asking for a second chance with her.
Although she is initially suspicious and cautious, Hester Sue eventually gives in to her feeling that she still loves him, and it is not long before they plan to re-marry. However, on the wedding day, some surprise visitors show up, and Hester Sue sadly realizes that, despite his good intentions, Sam has not changed. But Hester Sue now has, and she forgives him. Almanzo grows more and more depressed after his stroke and refuses to perform his therapy, and even the birth of his daughter, Rose, doesn't help.
Laura continues to clash with Eliza Jane, who wants them all to move to Minneapolis. Then Laura is injured when a tornado strikes, and she becomes angry when she discovers the calamitous effect upon their house. Seeing her anger, Almanzo is inspired to pitch in and help rebuild the house. Laura and Almanzo's new house is completed and he has fully recovered his health.
Then Mr. Edwards returns to Walnut Grove, but he hides that his marriage to Grace has failed because of his relapse into alcoholism. When he drunkenly causes an accident that nearly kills Albert, Charles angrily tells his old friend to leave town. However, Laura persuades him to stay, and he works on the farm with Almanzo and sobers up.
But after more bad news, Mr. Edwards ends up in church where he prays and talks to Rev. Alden, who brings about a reconciliation with Charles. Laura and Almanzo's daughter Rose is baptized and Mr. Edwards becomes her godfather. Caroline responds to a plea for help from a childhood friend, Louisa Beckwith, by travelling with Doc Baker to a mining camp where there is an outbreak of influenza.
After losing two previous pregnancies to miscarriage, Louisa is once again pregnant and desperately ill, with a cruel husband who hates children and only sees wives as someone to cook and clean. Caroline nurses her and sees loathingly to her husband Horace's basic needs until he threatens her with bodily harm after which she lashes back with a fire torch. Camp resident Helen Andruss is due at virtually the same time as Louisa and she and her husband Sherman are distraught over the possibility of a breech birth - an almost always fatal condition at the time. Helen's birth is indeed a breech and the baby dies.
Louisa gives birth to a healthy baby boy but then dies in childbirth. As Louisa is now no longer there to stick up for her son and Horace is openly hostile toward children, especially girls, Caroline and Doc Baker are faced with a moral dilemma but eventually make the decision to let Helen and Sherman raise the Beckwith boy as their own in a loving home with two parents. Charles, Albert, James and Mr. Edwards travel to Sleepy Eye on business.
James, wanting to open a savings account with his birthday check from Uncle Jed, walks into the bank as it is being robbed. James is shot and critically wounded, and the doctor tells Charles that the injuries are potentially fatal. Edwards, and later Albert, against Charles' orders, set out to track down the villains.
Guest star : Georg Olden as Danny. James remains comatose after a successful operation to remove the bullet. Charles refuses to accept Doc Baker's prognosis that James will not recover, because he believes God has told him James will be healed. When his family and friends question if he is losing his grip on reality, Charles takes James away into the woods, and builds a shelter and a stone altar. Refusing to leave until James recovers, Charles prays to God for a miracle. When Michael Landon decided to leave the show, it got this new name, the focus was put on the characters of Laura and Almanzo, and more recurring characters were added.
Landon did, however, stay on as executive producer, and wrote and directed occasional episodes as well. In the spring of , Charles, having suffered a hard winter and wanting to pursue a promising life, has moved the family to Burr Oak, Iowa. He completes the sale of their homestead to the Carter family from New York, and is given a farewell party by his friends.
John Carter is the new town blacksmith and his wife Sarah starts a newspaper, the Walnut Grove Gazette. Four months later, Laura announces her resignation from Walnut Grove School to raise Rose at home and introduces the kids to their new teacher, Etta Plum. Wilkes ; abridged edition, without illustrations, advertised but never released. The Charlotte Years. By Melissa Wiley. Little House by Boston Bay ; abridged edition, without illustrations, On Tide Mill Lane ; abridged edition, without illustrations, The Road from Roxbury ; abridged edition, without illustrations, advertised but never released.
Across the Puddingstone Dam ; abridged edition, without illustrations, advertised but never released. The Martha Years. Little House in the Highlands ; abridged edition, without illustrations, The Far Side of the Loch ; abridged edition, without illustrations, Down to the Bonny Glen ; abridged edition, without illustrations, advertised but never released.
Beyond the Heather Hills ; abridged edition, without illustrations, advertised but never released. By Cynthia Rylant. Illustrated by Jim LaMarche. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Nellie Oleson Meets Laura Ingalls. By Heather Williams. Mary Ingalls on Her Own. By Elizabeth Kimmel Willard.
Farmer Boy Goes West. New York: Harper, Wilkes ; abridged edition, without illustrations, Little Town at the Crossroads , by Maria D.