Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 1, Episode 20 - Child of Pain - full transcript

The Walnut Grove community intervenes after a badly-beaten Graham Stewart is found unconscious on the floor of his cabin, the victim of his father, John's, drunken rage. While Graham ...

Hello, pa.


Is supper
almost ready?

Well, I'm just putting
the potatoes to boil.

Did you bring the meat?


I forgot.

Well, we got lots
of potatoes.

I want my whiskey.

You promised not
to drink anymore.

Yeah, well, I just want
one little drink's all.

You never stop
with one drink.

Now, where's my whiskey,

You promised, pa.

Now, where'd you
hide it, Graham?!

Come on, tell me!

Come on!

I busted it.

Both bottles.


All right, children.

I would like the first
arithmetic class

to start
on these problems

that I've written
on the board.

The rest of you will
please continue

with the lessons
I gave you yesterday.

I'm going to be out of the
classroom for a while.

Graham? Would you please
step outside with me?

Hey, doc?

Back here.

How're you doing?

What can I do
for you, Ingalls?

You've already
done it, doc.

It's for all those trips
you made out to the house

last winter when
the girls were sick.

Hanson gave me some
of my back wages.

You're the first one
I wanted to pay.

Well, thank you,

I'm usually the last
one around here.

Would you like
some coffee?

Yeah, love it.

Miss beadle.


miss beadle.


Well, what happened
to you?

Get in
another fight?

Take off your shirt,

I think I better go.

Please wait a moment,
Mr. Ingalls.

Come on, Graham.

Now take your shirt off.

Well, this is gonna
sting a little.

Did you get hit
anywhere else?

No, sir. I fell out
of a tree.


Well, that must
have been some tree.

All right. You can put
your shirt back on.


Would you mind waiting
outside for a moment?

Then we can go back
to school.

How many times is
that now, miss beadle?

4, in as many months.
Every time, it gets worse.

He's gonna cripple
that boy.

We can't let that happen.

What are you gonna do?
The man's a drunk.

You can't talk to him about his drinking.
I've tried.

Reverend Alden tried,
and he wouldn't listen.

Are you two telling me that there's
nothing that can be done?!

If we weren't so
doggone civilized,

I'd suggest a public

He wouldn't listen
to you, doc,

and he wouldn't listen
to the reverend.

What about the whole town?
What if we all got together?

That might have
some effect on him.

How would you
manage that?

Town meeting
right after church.

There's no doubt that boy
needs help.

His father
needs help, too.

Right now, you're a better
Christian than I am, doc.

I don't care about his father.
I just care about the boy.

Miss beadle.

John Stewart won't listen
to any of us indmdually,

but if we all
get together,

make it a community

we might have
some effect on him.

And if he tells us
to mind our own business?

Then we have no choice.

We don't have a constable
or a jail here,

but they've got both in Springfield.
If we have to...


You talking about me?

Well, here I am.


Come on! Let's hear
what you got to say.

If anybody got the guts.


You're welcome here. It'll save
us a trip out to your place.

Well, speak your piece,

I'm real anxious
to know

why you all are holding
these meetings

to stick your noses into
my personal affairs.

Why don't you have
your boy wait outside.

No. My boy'll stay
right here with me.

Why don't you
start talking?

There's no reason why the boy
has to hear any of this.

He stays right here.

All right, suit yourself.

We know you mistreat
your son,

and we're here to decide
what to do about it.

Well, well, well.
You can't... what...

You can't do anything

about him or me.

Oh, yes, we can.

What gives you
the right?!

It's not just me, it's
everybody, the whole town.

Whole... town.

You got no right
to do anything

one way or the other.

We can take your boy
away from you.

No, please!

Please don't take me
away from pa.

I'm bad sometimes,
and he has to whip me.

It isn't his fault
that I make him mad sometimes.

I wanna be with him.
I won't live anywhere else.

I love my pa.

Girls asleep?


Can't get it out of
your head, can you?

How can anyone
beat a child?

I don't know.
It's hard to believe.

It's even harder
to believe

that the boy
still loves him.

Even a dog stays with a
master that beats him.

That's not a very
satisfactory answer, Charles.

I'm afraid there are
no answers, just facts.

He beats the boy,
and he may do it again.

Well, if he does,
it's gonna be

on everybody's

Graham wants his father.
What can we do?

Pray for him.

Laura? Can I speak
to you a moment, please?

Yes, miss beadle?

Is your father
in town today?

Yes, he's over
at the mill.

Oh, good. Tell the
children I'll be back

in about 10 minutes.

Something wrong,
miss beadle?

I hope not.

Mr. Ingalls?

Oh, morning,
miss beadle.

Graham Stewart didn't come
to school today,

and I'm terribly worried.

Maybe he's just late.

No, he's never been
this late.

I've got my wagon right
across the bridge there.

I'll take a ride out.

I'd appreciate it.

I'll get word back
to you.

Thank you.

How bad is he, doc?

I won't know
till he comes to.

It's a good thing you
went out there, Ingalls.

Too late.

Just too late.

Oh, what if you had got
out there to stop him?

What about the next
time, and the next?

There isn't gonna
be a next time, doc.

better not be.

Man: Doc!
Doc, you got my boy?

Where is he? Doc!

Mrs. Ingalls said you'd
probably be here.

Now, what's going on? You and
doc trying to steal my boy?

Well, where is he?

You hiding him
back there?

Don't get in my way,

I want my boy.

You're not gonna
have him.

He's in bad shape.
He's still unconscious.


What are you
talking about?

Come on,
get out of my...

Now you listen to me.

I went out to your
place an hour ago

and I found your son lying
unconscious behind a table.

Are you gonna tell me
he did that to himself?

I don't believe that.

You don't remember.

What, somebody else
went out there

and tore up your house
and beat up your son?


I can't remember.

Maybe you ought to see
for yourself.


God help me, will you?

Oh, please, god.

In the name of god, help me.

That man is a monster!

What I wanna know, is he
gonna come busting in here

like he did
last time?

No. He's locked in my
storeroom at the mill.

He's asleep. He will be
for several hours.

A horse whip would be good
for what ails him.

Some tar and feathers
throwed in.

We came here
to help the boy.

All I hear is talk
about punishing the father.

He's earned punishment.

Hurt the father,
and you hurt the boy,

because he loves his father.

Destroy the father,
and you destroy the boy.

Dr. Baker?

John Stewart
is a sick man.

Kennedy: "Right out
of a bottle" sick.

If one of your animals
was sick,

you'd do anything
to cure it.

Can you do any less
for a sick man?

Cure him. Save him,

and you save two people.

Oh, you're asking
for the impossible.

No, Kennedy,
it's not impossible,

given the right kind
of help.

And I'm talking about
someone to watch him

around the clock.

You can't make a silk
purse out of a sow's ear.

It'd be a waste
of time to try.


Is that your answer?

A chance to help
a fellow human being,

and you call it a waste?

You heard your wife,

What about it?

I'll give it a try.

It's very good of your
father to let you

come and stay with us
for a while.

I know you miss him.

But it's for the best.
You'll see.

Now, Mr. Ingalls is
going to stay with him,

and he's going to be
just fine, you'll see.

You know, you're doing
your part

by staying here.

As long as you don't
give your pa

any cause for worry.

Now, how would he
feel if he knew

you weren't gonna
have any supper?

He wouldn't know.

He's always drunk
by suppertime.

Girl: Pot pies are ready, ma.

Shall I take them
out of the oven?


Mm, I could
eat it all.

Well, I could.

All right,
sit down.

Almighty god...

There you are.

Where are the rest
of the bottles?

What bottles?

Let's get a few
things straight.

The only reason
I'm here is because

my wife thinks there's
something decent

in every man, even you.

I want to be
with my family.

Now, as long as we're
gonna be together,

you're gonna do
what I say.

Now, put the rest of
the whiskey on the table.

Huh? What do we
do now?

Take it outside
and pour it out.

Get it off!






Take it easy.

Laura: I hope
miss beadle doesn't

give us a geography
test today.

Mary: You did your homework.
I saw you.

But that was
for yesterday.

You shouldn't spend so much
time reading Tennyson.

But I like Tennyson.

Maybe you can get him
to take your geography test.

You're silly, Mary.

All right, everybody.
Your lunches are ready.

Here's yours...

Come on, Graham.

I don't need any.

Ma made it special
for you, Graham.

I never take lunch
to school.

But it's different now.

I don't
want it different.

I want to go to school
alone, like always.

Laura: But Graham...
It's all right, Laura.

You go on
ahead, Graham.

The girls will
see you later.

I don't think Graham
wants the other children

to know he's staying
with us

instead of
with his father.

We won't
tell anybody.

It's none of
their business.

Good. Why don't you

take his
lunch along,

and when
lunchtime comes,

you can pretend you're
sharing with him.

Let's do that.

We can go out together,
the 3 of us.

That'll be fine.

All right,
off with you.

Mwah. Mm.

Here you go.
Have some water.

That stuff's so pale,

you can hardly
taste something.

Keep drinking it.
You'll get used to it.

A lot of people like it.

I guess I don't have
much choice, do I?

That's right, you don't.

Yeah, you think
I've earned

about a little rest?

If I was
to let you rest,

you'd be asleep
in 5 minutes.

It'd take me an hour
to wake you up.

Well, I could sure use
an hour's rest.

You know that trouble
you had last night?

Well, anybody
can have bad dreams.

You're not gonna
have any tonight,

'cause you're gonna
be so tired

you won't be able
to snore.

Go on,
get back to work.

I never fed
chickens before.

See that one?

What about it?

It's mine. Ma said
it could be my very own.

It's beautiful.

When it grows up, it's
gonna lay tons of eggs.

Gee. Your very own.

That big one... he'll probably
lay a ton of eggs, too.

That's a rooster,
a boy chicken.

Boy chickens
don't lay eggs.

Then how do you tell
which is which?

They're just...

Well, they're different.

You know, different.

Boy chickens
are like pas

and girl chickens are
like mas, and...

Well, there's one
sure way to tell.

If you lift a girl
chicken off the nest,

there'll be an egg
under her.

Boy chickens, no egg.

That's right. And that one
of mine isn't mine anymore.

Oh? Why not?

It's yours. I just
gave it to you.

Oh, no, I... I couldn't.

It's too late. You can't
give it back now.

It'd be impolite.

It's yours, Graham.

They've had enough.

No egg. You're a boy.


Easy. Easy.

I can't stop.

All right, all right.
Get your arm around me.

Let's get in the house.

Lie you down;
You'll be ok.

Damn it.

Come on. All right.

I appreciate the help, girls.

As soon as you
get that table cleared off,

you better get started
on your homework, though.

There's plenty of time
for that.

I've done mine.

You're so lucky, Mary.

It's nothing
to do with luck.

Where's Graham?

He took a lantern and went
outside a few minutes ago.

Laura, he didn't want
anybody to know.

I didn't tell her

Know what?
What is this?

Well, he went outside to clean
out the stalls in the barn

to surprise you.

Graham, what a wonderful

I'm not done yet.

Oh, I think it's enough
for tonight.

You could finish it
in the morning.

Do you think
It'd be better?

I think so.

Miss Ingalls?


Could I build a cage
for my chicken?

A cage? What for?

For when
I take him home.

So he won't
get away.

Yes, of course.

I found some wood,

and I can saw it
and make a frame

and put a board
on the bottom

and slats
on the sides.

It sounds
pretty complicated.

It's easy. My pa...

Can I go see him?

I'm sorry, Graham.

Just for a little while?



You know, you and I have
the same problem?

You miss your pa...

And I miss my husband.

Supper's ready.

I hope you cooked plenty.
I'm starving to death.

There's plenty.

Let's take
a look around.

Take a good look.

Yeah, it looks
something better.

An improvement
every day.

Tomorrow, I'm gonna
build a new door.

That's good. An easy
day for a change.

No, I said I'm
gonna build a door.

You're gonna start a
cornfield right over there.

Or hadn't you
noticed the plow

I got in the back
of the wagon?

I'm never gonna
make it.

Sure you will.

Have a supper... black bean
soup, some cornbread.

I guarantee you
you're gonna make it.

You've done a good
job, Graham.

You like it?

What's more important,
will your chicken like it?

I think so, but it
still needs a top.

I've got an idea.

How about this?
Will this do?

It'll work just fine.

We're gonna miss you
when you go, Graham.

When will that be?

I don't know.

Has pa stopped drinking?

Oh, I'm sure he has.

Does he always get mad
at you when he drinks?


Mary told me it was
because of your mother.

Her name was Lucy.


That's a pretty name.

Pa says it sometimes
when he's been drinking.

But that's the only time
he ever talks about her.

I knew she had died.

When I got born.

Those things happen
sometimes, Graham.

Pa must miss her
something terrible,

just like you miss
Mr. Ingalls.

When he gets drunk,
it makes him mad.

At you?


But only when he's drunk.

And he never remembers.

What happened
to your mother,

you mustn't blame yourself
for that, Graham.

I don't. Pa does.

Don't be too long.

Hello, Mr. Stewart.

You're looking fine.

Charles tells me he can
hardly cook enough food

for the two of you.

What brings you
out here?

My usual rounds.

Well, that's funny.

I don't recall
you ever paying

a social call on me

When I stopped by
to see the Ingalls,

Caroline and the girls asked
me to say hello to Charles.


I saw Graham.

He's doing very well.

Of course, he misses you.

Oh, sure he does.

Nice you could find time
to stop by.

Thanks for stopping by,

Caroline and I both thought
it could be very important.

I agree.

I'll know soon enough
if he blames the boy.

Charles, try to
go easy with him.

I'll do what I have
to do, reverend.

You take care.

Well, the holier-

just couldn't wait to
send a snoop up around

to see
if I was suffering

like I ought to be,
could they?

Come on. Reverend Alden
wasn't snooping.

He was bringing me a message
from my wife, that's all.

Well, ain't that nice?

Come on, you got a couple
hours of daylight left.

Get to chopping.
We need some firewood.

I sure miss my wife.

When'd you lose yours?

A long time ago.

What was her name?


How'd she die?

What's the difference?

None to me.
I just wondered.

What'd she die of?

She died giving birth
to the boy.

I guess that's why you blame
him for her death, huh?

That's why I what?

You heard me. Why you blame
your son for your wife's death.

I don't blame him.

Of course you blame him.

You tell him that
every time you beat him.

Every time you're drunk,
you tell him that.

You tell him he is why
his mother died.

That's not true.

Of course it's true. He's
not gonna lie about it.

You blame him,
don't you?

Leave me alone,
will you?

Finish cutting that wood,

and we'll find something else
for you to do.

Well, you're just
in time.

That's my hold-out

It's the one I didn't
tell you about.

Well, I thought
it was time

that I found something
out, and I did,

and it gave me
some pleasure

to pour it out...

You know something
else, too... Ahem.

You're right about
something else.

I did blame Graham.

I blamed my son
for my wife's death.

I didn't realize it,
but I did. I...

I love my son.

I do.

Well, come on. Why don't
we get some sleep?

I want to go home tomorrow.

Well, children, what would you
like to do today?

That is, after you finish
your chores.

You mean we don't have
to go to school?

It's Saturday,

Oh, I forgot.

I'd like to start sewing
on my new dress, ma.

Well, all right. Then perhaps
you can join us later.


Well, I thought we might
have a little picnic

and go down to the creek.
Maybe take a fishing line.

How's my girls?

Your pa's outside.

Come on.

Oh, wait a minute.