Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 1, Episode 21 - Money Crop - full transcript

Fearing a swindle, angry Walnut Grove farmers vent their frustration on the anxious, pregnant wife of the man who promised them a good deal on hybrid corn and then doesn't show up with the grain as agreed, unaware that an accident has overturned his fully-loaded wagon and left him lying seriously injured down a steep slope, just out of sight of the road.

Ha ha ha! Isaac.

Hi. What
are you doing?

I think we can use
some more wood.

Oh, we'll get it.

Excuse me.

You shouldn't be
doing this.

Oh, I can manage.

Give that to me.

Here. Come on,
give it to me.

It's a man's work.
It's what a husband's for.

you people,

I'm really
quite capable.

How do you think
I manage

when you're
not around?

Badly. Right, girls?

Well, come on, girls.
Let's show him.

Don't take too much.
Don't take too much.

No, no, no.
We'll take the rest.


How is it?

That's done.


We're almost ready,

All right. Gentlemen,
why don't you

find yourself
a seat here?

I think you all know
Joe coulter.

At least most
of you do, anyway.

Joe's the reason
we're here.

Ja, and he's
a good reason too.

He has the...

Yeah. Lars already knows
about this,

and he's in favor of it,

but I'm afraid he's gonna get
a little bit ahead of us.

All right. I shut up.

All right. The reason we're here
is we're farmers.

Let's be honest
with each other...

We're in trouble.

We're losing money
with every crop.

The reason
we're losing money

is because wheat's
our money crop,

and there's no market
for wheat.

That brings us
to Joseph coulter.

He's an agronomist.

I didn't know what
that was either

until he explained it to me.

It's a man who goes to school
and learns about farming,

about planning,
about modern methods.

Why don't you go ahead
and show them how they work?

Wow, look at that.

Let me have one
of them.

Let me look
at that. Yeah.

Where in creation did you
ever find corn like this?

He raised it
at the Peterson's place.

I'll be doggone.

It don't look real.

What you call Indian
corn's all I ever seen.

It's only about
half that size.

In 20 years of milling,

that is the best corn
I ever see,

and you can believe that.

Naw, you can't grow corn like
this around here in any amount

with our soil
and growing season.

You can make that corn
your money crop

instead of wheat.

Jehoshaphat. I don't know.

If it didn't work out,
I'd be eating my horses!

This is a good crop,
believe me.

Ingalls, where do
you stand on this?

You wanna switch
over to corn?

Yes, I do.

If we was to change over,

where'd we get the seed
for that kind of corn?

I can get the seed
at a fair price.

My wife's father's a grain
dealer in Minneapolis.

I can get the seed

for that kind of corn
from him... any amount.

How much a bushel?

His cost.

Why would he give it
to us at cost?

'Cause I wrote him

about the corn
I grew here

and told him you
could grow the same.

He wrote back and said
he'd help you get started

if you'd give him
the first chance

to buy your crop
at a fair price.

What are you gonna
make out of the deal?

Some friends, I hope.

I'd like to stay here
for a while.

I'll go to Minneapolis
and buy the seed for you.

I can get there and get back

by the time you get your
fields ready for planting.

That's it.

All right, what do you say?

I think it's the chance
of a lifetime,

and I'm gonna take it.

Let's have a show of hands...
Everybody in favor.

Well, what do we got to lose?

All right. Agreed then.

Now let's find out if this corn
tastes as good as it looks.

Caroline, we're ready.

Boys? Give us a hand
here, will you?

Pick up some
of these things.

Thank you.

Mrs. Coulter's nice,
isn't she?


She's pretty, too.

She sure is.

It would be awful

if she wasn't really
going to have a baby.

What are you
talking about?

Well, if she just had
a giant stomach

for ever and ever.

That's silly.
She'll have the baby,

and her stomach
will go away.

Mrs. Leadbettor
has a big stomach,

and it doesn't go away.

Mrs. Leadbettor isn't
gonna have a baby.

She just eats too much.

How can you tell
the difference?

I mean, how do you know
when it's a baby

or just too much supper?

Dr. Baker can tell.

And ma says the baby
kicks inside.


I know I don't wanna
have a baby.

Why not?

Well, it hurts enough
when Willie oleson

kicks me
from the outside.

It must hurt
twice as bad

when you get kicked
from the inside.

No, it doesn't.

Why not?

Because the baby
doesn't have shoes on.

Oh, yeah.

See you in the morning.

Good night.

I wish Willie oleson
didn't have shoes on.

It's 4 days to Minneapolis.

It shouldn't be more than
2, 3 days at the most

to get the team,
the wagon,

and the seed,
and start back.

I've allowed 7 days
for the return trip,

and that means 2 weeks.

2 weeks, and then
I'll be home.

You'll be all right
that long?

I think so.

If it's any longer,
I'll worry.

You and a lot
of other people.

I promised everybody
I'd be back in 2 weeks,

and I'd better be, or
there'll be all heck to pay.

I don't see why.

If you were gambling
everything you have

on my say-so, you would,
and they are.

They'll have their fields
ready before 2 weeks,

and they'll be looking
down that road.

Now you just take care
of yourself.

That's the most
important thing.

I'll be all right.

Mrs. Ingalls
and her girls

will be right there
if I need them.


Your father's been saying
I'd never grow up.

Well, maybe I have now.

Maybe this'll prove it
to him.

Never mind
what papa says.

You're all
the man I'll ever want.

That's my girl.

Well, come on.
Kiss me good-bye

before you cloud up
and rain.


Joe: Hey!

Ha ha!

Giddy-up there.

Never heard
of it before.

Heard of what?

Plowing in the dark.

Pa can see
in the dark.

Only owls can see
in the dark.

Hi, everybody.
Well, lookie there.

I'm a few minutes late,
and all the supper's gone.

You always say

if you can't get to
the table on time,

you don't deserve
your supper.

I never should
have said that.

Did you get
a lot done?

Oh, I sure did,
got everything plowed

on the opposite side
of the creek.

Another 2 days, I ought to
have all the fields plowed.

Oh, that's good.

Caroline, it does make a difference.
What does?

Whether or not you're
plowing a field

for a wheat crop you know you're
not gonna be able to sell

or you're plowing it
for a corn crop

you know is gonna make some
good living for a change.

You mark my words.

This new corn is gonna
be the biggest thing

to hit this part
of the country.

Oh, that looks good.

Wish it would hurry up
and get here.

It's a long
time yet.

It'll just be a week
from tomorrow.

I figure coulter's
in Minneapolis right now

making our deal.

There. A little more.

Well, that'll about do it,
Mr. Coulter.

One more thing.

Ha ha! Let me help you
with that.

I'm gonna be a father
pretty soon.


May have to get
a side saddle

if it's a little girl.


Well, have a good trip.

O.k. Thank you very much.

You're welcome.

Go, frank.

Hey, Ingalls.

Whoa. Whoa.

Hey, don't tell me.

Middle of the day,
middle of the week,

and you're out
hunting, huh?

It's that or go bats.

I finished all my work

I done everything twice.

I smashed every clod.

I'll tell you something,
Ingalls. I ain't never been

through anything like this
before in my whole life.

It's worse than when
I was a little kid

waiting for Christmas.

I know. I feel
the same way.

I think everybody does.

I can't sleep nights.

Neither can I.

I get up in the middle
of the night.

I go out and I look at that
fresh-cultivated ground,

just waiting
for them seeds.

And I see that corn growing
green and pretty.

I'll tell you
a little secret, Charles.

Makes me want to cry.

Just take it easy.
It won't be long.

Tomorrow or the next day
at the latest.

I ain't gonna sleep a wink

till that seed is
in the ground.

You're not, I'm not,
leadbettor's not...

Nobody's gonna sleep.

I better be hitting
the road.

Good luck
with your hunting.

Good talking to you,

Take care.
We'll see you.


O.k. Slow down.


Whoa. Whoa. Whoa!

Slow down. Whoa!

Easy! Easy!

Slow down! Whoa!



Pa! We're late.

Better hurry up, then.
Have a good day.

Hope Mr. Coulter
gets back today.

I'm sure he will.

Now hurry along. I don't
want you to be late.

Bye, pa.
Bye, pa.


Jorgenson, Kennedy,
how are you?

you got any idea

where that coulter
might be?

He's more than
a day late now.

Come on. It's only 9:00
of the second day.

I know what day it is.
I know what time it is.

What you got to remember,
Charles, I've been waiting

for him to come back with that
seed ever since the day he left.

I admit I'm not
a patient man.

You're right. You're not.

I got my fields ready
to plant now 3 days.

Comes a week of rain,
I'll have to plow all over.

We're all in
the same fix.

But 3 days late on a 3-week
trip is nothing to worry about.

I worry maybe somebody
robbed him of our money.

There's highwaymen
'tween here and Minneapolis.

Or he might just
have taken our money

and gone right on past
Minneapolis on to Chicago.

What, and leave
his wife here?

And her about to have
a baby.

Kenny, the man's
doing us a favor.

You have no right
to talk against him.

Well, all right,
all right.

We went into this on
your say-so, Ingalls.

It better
come out right.

It will.
I promise you that.

Well, you see
that you keep it.

I will.

Come on.


Git! Giddy-up,

I can't do it, pony.

I can't do it.

Oh, you're back again.

Go on, now. Get outta here.


Got him, pony.

Got him a good one.

He won't be back for a while.

Can't let him get any.

He'll bring back
the whole flock.

Hundreds of them.

They'll eat every grain
of seed we got, pony.

Gotta watch them.
Gotta watch them.

Watch them.

Pot to the water, or
the water to the pot.

My mother never could
remember which was right.

Well, I really don't think
it matters.

It certainly does if you're
particular about your tea.

A rolling boil
is considered...

Will you stop that?

You're going to wear
that handkerchief out

folding it
and refolding it.

You mustn't let yourself
be so upset.

I know it's foolish of me,
but I am worried.

You shouldn't be.

Your husband is only

a day and a half

and that's not long
for Minneapolis.

It's such a long way.

It's... it's all so important,
Mrs. Ingalls.

The seed corn, what my
husband is trying to do.

I'm sure it is.

Getting people

to change
from wheat to corn,

making them understand

how much better off
they'll be with corn...

It's... it's... it's been

almost like a religion
to my husband.

His mission in life
is what he called it.

Not many men would do
so much for others.

Trudy coulter, you can be
very proud of your husband.

I didn't even
hear you.

Can't sleep
again, huh?


You tell everybody else,
"don't worry. Be patient,"

and look at you.

I'm not worried.

I'm also not patient.

He'll be here
tomorrow, for sure.

I hope so.

All the men will be gathering
in town tomorrow again waiting.

Just wish I knew
what route he took.

I'd ride out
and meet him.

He'll be here.

You'd better get some sleep,
or you'll be too tired

to plant that corn
when it does get here.

You're right.

A watched pot
doesn't boil.

Let's get
some sleep.

Mm. Ha!

It's no use trying
to talk to you.

All right, Ingalls, then
you tell us, where is he?!

The man's 3 days overdue
at sundown.

3 days, you're ready
to tar and feather him.

You bunch
of wet-nosed children.

You can't wait 3 days for
something good to happen to you.

How long you willing
to wait, Ingalls?

As long as I have to.


Oh, you're dressed.

Yeah. I couldn't sleep.

It's very early,
isn't it?

It's just a couple of
hours till daylight.

I thought I'd hitch up
the team,

go down the road
and meet coulter.

You mean go look
for him.


I'll be back soon.

Take care.

You go to sleep.


Oh, that's good, pony.

It's like rain on dry ground.


No, you don't.

You hear that, pony?

They're laughing.


They're laughing.

Can't let them get any.

Next time, there'll be 50,

then 100.

All they got to do is wait.

I don't know about
the rest of you,

but I don't
know what to think.

My wife's giving me
holy heck.

You should
hear mine.

"Have you lost your mind
or something?" She says.

"We're gonna starve
to death."

Same thing. She
thinks I'm crazy

loafing around

I don't know about you, leadbettor,
but I'm at the end of my string.

What's a man to do?

I know what I'm gonna do.

If coulter don't show
by sundown, I'm gonna...


Harriet: And tell them
to go away.

Heavens, is that
too much to ask?

All that foul language.

Honestly, nels, why
don't you go out there

and assert your...

Oh, Mrs. Coulter.

Mary, Laura, come in.
Now go close the door!

Now close your ears.

Oh, those men out there.

Isn't that terrible?

They've been driving me crazy
all morning.

Did they upset you?


Mrs. Coulter, girls.

Now, we have
to make allowances.

Now, these are not
evil men out there.

They're our friends,
our neighbors.

Well, they're behaving
like animals.

All that
foul language.

Oh, honestly.
I can certainly do

without that kind
of behavior.

And friends or
neighbors or whatnot,

I don't care.

Now. Mrs. Coulter, what
can we do for you?

I need flour.

All right.

The girls are going to help me carry
it if you pack in in separate bags.


It's her daddy,
ain't it,

gonna sell the seed to coulter?

What do you mean she
can't share the blame?

A woman ain't to blame

for what her man does,
or her pa.

They're in cahoots.

Let me tell
you something.

What do we know
about coulter?

What do we know
about his wife?

We gotta
trust Ingalls.

I never seen them before,
did you?

Let's see now.

I'm afraid this might
be too much

for you to carry.

We're not
that weak.

We can carry 50 pounds.

50 pounds?

If we wanted to.
But we don't want to.

Oh. Ho ho.

Oh! No. Now just
give Mrs. Coulter

just what she's going
to need today,

and then nels will be
delivering 50 pounds of flour

to your place
this afternoon.

Oh, really...

Her majesty has spoken.

That is just part
of our service.

Thank you very much.

Oh, no. Never mind.

Thank you. Come, girls.

Go on. Scoot.

Good-bye, girls.


A lot of money,
that's why.

I know that
as well as you do.

Any time you go trusting a man
with a lot of money,

you got cause to worry.

But we really ain't got any
cause to blame his wife.

I say leave her
out of it.

She's got no business here.
I don't care what you say.

Coulter late like he is,

I'm surprised she'd dare
show her face.

No decent woman...

Yeah, and I mean you,

You got a nerve,
you have.

Your man's got us hung out
on the line, Mrs. Coulter.

My land's waiting,

my year's crop staked
on his say-so.

Chances are he's run
off with our money.

Leaving her here,
carrying a child?

She could sneak off and
join him, couldn't she?

No! No! No!

Mrs. Coulter! Stop!

Look what you did.

You ought to be ashamed
of yourselves

talking to her
that way.

Wait a minute.

And she's gonna
have a baby!

You're awful!

Now, look here,
young lady.

God'll punish you,
you'll see.

You deserve it,
all of you!

He'll punish you.

I know he will!

Mrs. Coulter?


Wait, Mrs. Coulter!

Mrs. Coulter?
Mrs. Coulter!

Mary, she can't
get up.

She can't get up!

Mrs. Coulter.
Mrs. Coulter?

Run back and get
Dr. Baker, Laura. Hurry!

Now, look, friend. New
elham ain't no big city.

Not much goes on here.

Nothing goes on here
that I don't know about.

I didn't mean
to doubt you, constable,

I just want to make sure,
that's all.

You can take it
to the bank.

If I say
he went through here

day before

he went through here
day before yesterday.

Had a big load of grain,
everything fine as frog hair.

He's gotta be between here
and walnut grove.

'Lessen he got
there already.

No. I'd have passed him
on the road.

I can't understand it.

A big wagon like that
just doesn't vanish.

If it was a valuable load,
it sure could have.


Much obliged to you.

The wood pile's gone,
the fire's going out.

I got more to do than just sit
in a rocking chair

and look out the window
to see who's passing,

in case somebody
comes by to ask.

Sorry, ma'am. Didn't
mean to bother you.

I didn't say I didn't see him.
I might have.

Well, did you?

Couple of 3 days ago.

Seems like I remember a wagon like that.
I think I did.

Thank you, ma'am.

Dr. Baker? Am I gonna
lose the baby?

Now, Mrs. Coulter, you heard
what the doctor said.

You tell me... honest.


Now, Dr. Baker wouldn't fib to you.
You're going to be fine.

All you have to do is stay in
bed and rest for a few days.

But I can't stay in bed.

Oh, yes, you can.

The girls and I are
going to stay right here

and look after you.

Now, Mrs. Coulter, I
want you to drink this.

That's it.

A little more.

That's a good girl.

Now, that medicine
will make you drowsy.

You should take
a nap.

And stop worrying.
You're gonna be fine.

Anyway, I won't be
far away.

Mrs. Ingalls?

Thank you.

She'll sleep now, maybe
as long as 8 to 10 hours.

We'll be right here.

Good. Her problem's more
emotional than physical.

I mean, I'm sure she's not
going to lose the baby,

unless she does something... Harmful
out of her anxiety.

If we don't get some news
of her husband soon...

And if the news is bad, I'd better
not be more than 5 minutes away.

You girls help
your mother, hear?

All: We will.

Bye, Mrs. Ingalls.


Get outta here!





Well, where's Ingalls, huh?

Ain't seen him, have you?

No, we haven't.

That don't mean
a thing.

He could have something
better to do

than to hang
around with us.

All I wanna know
is where Ingalls is.

Go ahead and answer me,
if you're so smart.

I don't know.

I'll tell you
where he ain't.

He ain't run off with
coulter to spend our money!

You think that about Charles
Ingalls, you're dead wrong!

Yeah? Well, what am I
supposed to think?

Neither one
of them's here, are they?

Go ahead
and answer me that!

All right.

I'll answer that.

Now you men clear
out of here,

and you clear
out of here right now!

We got as much right here
as anybody else.

You are blocking
the entrance.

We ain't blocking it.

You are so,
with your dirty talk

and your nasty manners.

No one would dare
come past you.

We haven't done a nickel's
worth of business

all day long
because of you.

Get out of here.

Just go and wait somewhere
else for a change.

You can cuss all you want
someplace else.

Just get outta here.
Go on, all of you.

Charles: Hello!

My name's
Charles Ingalls.

Ed Stacy.

Friend of mine
left new elham

day before yesterday

with a wagon load
of seed corn.

He was heading for walnut
grove, and he never got there.

I've been checking with
everybody along the road here,

seeing if they
might have seen him.

No, no. Can't say
as I have.

A load of seed corn, you say?
That's right.

I'd sure remember that
if I'd have seen it

or even heard
about it...

I'd tell you like a
shot... but I didn't.

Are you sure of that?

This man's life could
depend on it.

Mister, you asked me if I
seen a load of seed corn,

and I said,
"no, I ain't."

And that's
the gospel truth.

Much obliged to you.



Come on back here.

Look, I wasn't gonna say
nothing about this,

but you told me a man's
life was at stake.

I mean,
I may be hard up,

but I ain't
that hard up.

What is it?

Come on.

I found this here team.

I was gonna keep them.

I mean,
it's a good team.

More than likely broke
loose from somebody...

Probably that fella
you're looking for.

Would there be
any chance your man

had rented a team from an
outfit in Minneapolis?

Every chance.

Well, the tag
on this harness

says they're
the property

of a livery stable
in Minneapolis.

Where'd you find them?

About a mile back down the
road from where you came.

I passed him.

Sure as shootin',
I passed him.

I was gonna
write them fellas

and tell them
about this team.

I just ain't got
around to it yet.

Hey, Ingalls,
I want you to know

it's not like I stole
them horses.

I found them.

I mean, they just walked...

It's a good team anyway,
come to think of it.


Coulter. I found you.

Charles... Charles,
the corn.

The seed corn.

Don't you worry about the seed corn.
It's fine.

You just take it easy.
I'll get you out of here.

Everything's gonna be
all right.

Just take it easy.

Robbery is what it is.

They same as stole
my last dollar

for this harebrained scheme,
Ingalls and coulter both.

They was in cahoots.

You can't tell me

there's been
an accident.

I know when
I've been robbed!

It's not only us,
it's our wives

and our kids.

Food right out
of their mouths.

Listen. When you
get scared,

you strike out against
your best friend?

You call him a thief?

You pick on
a pregnant woman,

and you make her sick
so she almost loses her baby?

Well, tell me,
what kind of a man does that?

No man!


Cowards without backbon es!

You don't deserve good luck.
You don't deserve...

Mr. Hanson, Mr. Hanson,
Mr. Hanson!

Mr. Ingalls says
to tell you he's back.

The seed corn's out
to Mr. Coulter's place.

Mr. Coulter's hurt
because the team run off

and broke the wagon,

but he's all right.
I gotta get doc Baker!

What are you waiting for?

Your precious seed corn
is here.

You all right?

I'm fine.

Well, that seems
to be everything.

Looks like we're ready
to go.

Mrs. Coulter?



I see you're all packed,
set to go, huh?


Guess there's no way
to change your mind.

Charles, after what
my so-called friends

and neighbors did
to my wife

while I was out busting
my leg for them, no.

No, I want nothing more
to do with them

or this part
of the country.

You feel the same way?

I most certainly do.

I can't say
as I blame you.

Besides, with that leg,

you wouldn't be able

to make a crop
this year anyway.

That's the truth.

Before you go, I'd like
to show you something.

What you got?

It'll just take a second.
Come on outside.

Not one of your
friends and neighbors

is gonna plant
a seed

until they've plowed and
planted your field.

Still wanna leave?

Trudy? Let's go say hello
to our new neighbors.