Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 1, Episode 3 - 100 Mile Walk - full transcript

When their wheat crop is ravaged by a hailstorm, the discouraged Walnut Grove men leave town to search for work. During his long walk, Charles meets Danny Peters, a flamboyant hard rock miner who recommends Charles for the well-paying but dangerous job of 'powder monkey', part of a 2-man hole drilling team needed to hand-set blasting charges in a rock quarry. Meanwhile, back in Walnut Grove, Caroline organizes the women to try to salvage what they can of the damaged wheat. In the end, though separated by distance and circumstance, the pioneer families work together to meet the challenge of unpredictable prairie life.

Thank you, lord.

What we got out there

is 100 acres of wheat
ready to harvest.

Come on, everybody,
write that down... 100.

And it ought to yield about... oh,
35 bushels to the acre.

Thank you.

And right now wheat's selling for
just around 75 cents a bushel.

Now, how much money
is that?

- I've got it.
- So have I.

Both: $2,625!


It's almost too
wonderful to be true.

Do you know what that
will mean for us?

New dresses for my girls,
to start with.

A nice warm coat for you,
curtains for the windows.

Boots for you.

The very first nickel
we spend goes on boots.

What's the matter with these? They were
just starting to get comfortable on me.

I was afraid one morning you
were going to pull them up,

and they'd slide
clear up to your knees.

Come on. Let's make a list.
Everything we need.

Start right out with
dresses for you girls.

Shoes for everyone.
That's a must.

All right. Shoes.
Curtains for the windows.

Got that?

Yes, pa.

Not so fast.

Ma needs some
new dishes and...

I'm writing down a rocking
horse for Carrie.

A rocking horse
for Carrie!

You know, that reminded me of something
that just popped clean out of my head.

What is it?

You come with me, and I'll show you.
Come on... everybody.

Mary: What is it, pa?

Laura: I can't wait.

Won't you
tell us, pa?


Caroline: Oh, Charles!

Oh, pa! Horses!

Laura: Look
at them, Mary!

What a surprise!

Boy, aren't
they pretty!

Be careful till they get
to know you a little bit.

you didn't even hint.

I wanted it
to be a surprise.

It certainly is.

Well, they're good,
stout animals,

both of them.

Only 8 years old. Got a lot
of good years left in them.

They're so pretty!

Made a good trade with
hanson, too, on the oxen.

We'll be able to pay the balance
as soon as I sell the wheat.

Oh, that's good.

It's something
we really needed.

I know.

I'm so glad!

So am I...

So now, Mrs. Ingalls,

I'll be able to drive
you to church in style.


What's the matter?

Uh, nothing.

It's just a little rain.
We could use it.

What about the wheat?

Oh, it's real good
for the wheat...

Long as it's standing,
soak it real good.

Still got a little
fire there going.

I'll make you
some coffee, huh?

I'll get it.

Go on. Sit down.

Really coming down.


that's good.

We could use
some rain.

Long as it doesn't soak
that field so much

we can't get Mr. Hanson's
new reaper in there.

He's got a new
mccornhck reaper.

I tell you about it?


That's a fine machine.


I'm soaked to the skin.

Got pretty cold out there,
I'll tell you.

This coffee's going
to taste good.

Looks like the storm's
about over.

The wheat's gone.

Look, there's nothing to be solemn about.
I guess you...

Might say that we're
back where we started.

I mean, it's
just one harvest.

Now, what's one harvest
in a man's life, huh?

It's nothing.


Ollie! Ollie!
You take a rest.

We can't hear
ourselves talk.

Like I said, konig.
I know.

Everybody here is
in the same boat.

The hail don't play
no favorites.

If falls
on every man alike.

There ain't no one
for 50 miles around

that's gonna make a crop,

but I want to do
something about it,

but there's not anything
that I can do

except weep.

I can't speak
for Williams here,

but what I've got in mind
is a business proposition.

You loan me $200,
and I'll pay interest.

Confound it, man!

That is just what
I want to do,

but I haven't got
$200 to loan,

and with no wheat
to mill,

I ain't gonna get it.

Mr. Hanson.

My wife Bess,
she took sick.

With 5 kids
to feed and all,

I just don't know
how in the world

I'm gonna get by
unless you can...

Jim... I'm sorry.

The answer is no.



Guess that's about the
quickest deal you ever made...

Selling a team of horses one
day, getting them back the next.

I don't like
that kind of deal.

Well, neither do I.

Always dreamed of owning
a team like this.

But a man can't keep
what he can't pay for.

What are you
going to do?

I'll go looking for work,
like everybody else.

Got to have cash
for winter.

I'll see you.

Take care.

I don't know how far I'm going to
have to go... 100 miles, maybe more.

There'll be a lot of men looking for
work, and not many jobs around.

You will write to us?

Oh, yeah. I'll write just
as soon as I get settled.

Might have to go as far
as sleepy eye or mankato,

so it could be a while before
that first letter comes.

Thank you.

I'll miss you.

Give Carrie
a kiss for me, huh?

Love you.


Look, I've got to be going,
love, that's all. All right?

Pa! You forgot

One more time can't hurt, peg.
I'll be careful.

That'll be the day.

You'll blow yourself
to bits, more like it.

See if I care.

You'd care.
I know you would.

But I'll be coming back to
farm for the rest of my life.


Can you manage the farm
while I'm gone,

or will you have
to hire help?

Never hire help.

I could manage this farm as
good as you... maybe better.

All right, then.
How about it?

All right.

Boy: Let's go. Let's go!

Man: Come on! Come on!



You take good care of your mother
while I'm away, understand?

Yeah, pa.

I love you, woman.

Take care.

Charles Ingalls.

Jack Peters.

Had this thing tied
up with a string,

but the string
wore out.

Just going to have
to flap, I guess.

No, it ain't. That's what I was
trying to catch up with you for.

Got a piece
of rawhide here.

Ought to hold it
for a while.

Hey... yeah!
Yeah, it's good.

Where are you


Same here. I guess
everybody is.

I suppose.

That'll hold it.

All I can give you
is my thanks.

And your companionship.

You got it.

Jack: Tastes great,
smells great.

A smell like this on the wind
will bring the bears out

for a mile...
Maybe more.

Hello. My name is Jacob.

Is it all right
I share your fire?

Sure enough.
Come on, sit down.

My name is Charles Ingalls.
That's Jack Peters.

Mr. Ingalls,
Mr. Peters.

How about
something to eat?

No. No, thank you.
I had food.

We got plenty.

What do you think,

than we were.

Big as he is,

Come on.

Join us. Just going
to go to waste,

unless you can figure out a way
to put stew in your pocket.

Thank you.

You cooked...
I'll clean up.

I don't think you're going
to have to clean up.

Thank you.


With those boots, you're
the same as barefoot.

All right, but they're
the only boots I've got.

I tan hides.

Make boots at night
after farm work.

Bring two pair
to sell.

Right away,
got a customer.


fine-looking boots.

Fit me like they
were made for me.


I can't pay you
for them.



Are you men dead set
on working harvest?

There's going to be a lot of men
looking for a few jobs, you know.

You may not find one.

Well, we don't
have much choice.

Would you work in a quarry...
Mining hard rock?

That's where I'm going.

I know the boss well enough
to get you a shot at a job.

Ever do any
double jacking?

What's that?

A double Jack's
a sledgehammer.

You swing it with
both your hands.

You hammer a drill
in the rock,

and you make holes
to put the dynamite in.

It's risky.
It's hard work.

And you'll have to show you
can do it to get the job.

Do you want to try it?

Oh, jumpin' jiminy,
I do.

So do I.

You'll get a chance.

Jack: Swan Benson
and roof Taylor.

Best double Jack team
around here.

They're drilling holes so we
can dynamite that big slab

into pieces small
enough to handle.

Then the teams haul it
off to the railroad.

Railroad hauls it off
to where stonemasons

will use it for bridge
piers and buildings.

Now watch.

The man with the double Jack... all
he needs is a good eye.

The man holding the drill...
Strong nerves.

That's it.

What if
the hammer miss?

If the hammer miss?

The man holding
the drill

will have to pick his
nose with his elbow.

Jack: Charles, Jake...
Boss Tom Cassidy.


How are you?

Mr. Cassidy.

Peters tells me you're a double
Jack team looking for work.


That's right.

Roof! Swan!

Sit down for a minute.

Got a new team here,
wants to show their stuff.

You can use
their tools.

Thank you.

You hammer,
Mr. Ingalls.

Change around.

Cassidy: Come on!
Pick it up, pick it up!

Get the swing
in that thing!

Look, uh... my partner and I work a
lot faster when we're getting paid.

All right,
you got the job.

Go on... sign on,
pick up your tools.

Come on, you two. Back to work.
It's over. Get on with it.

Glad you have hands
still to shake with.

Good morning, ladies.


May I have your
attention, please?

Well, I'm glad so many
of you could come.

I thank you for it.

We all have
the same problem...

Feeding our families
next winter.

And you've shown
by coming here today

that you think we'll all fare
better if we work together.

Does anybody want
to say anything?

Yes, I do.

I'd like to say that I don't
think lt'd be sensible

to try and harvest
any of that wheat,

if that's what
we're going to do.

That's what
we're going to do.

Well, my sakes...

It's all lying flat
on the ground.

I know it's lying
flat on the ground.

I didn't say it would
be easy to harvest it.


Gracious... l just
don't think we can.

We can if we want to
badly enough.


We'll have to go
into the fields,

pick up a few stalks
at a time, by hand,

rake some of it,
put it into sheaves

so that it will dry out,
then thresh it.

And how do you expect
to thresh that wheat?

The same way Ruth did.

"And she gleaned
until even,

"and then she beat out
that she had gleaned

with flails
and winnowing."

We have to decide now.

Shall we put it to a vote
with a show of hands?

All those in favor.

All in favor wins.

My back
is killing me,

and we're getting
nothing done.

I'm losing fat.

What do you think
you're doing, hope?

I'm making sheaves and tying them
so the grain will dry properly.

I'll get to yours in
a minute... if you have any.

Them skimpy things,
you call them sheaves?

This is a waste.

We're not going to get
enough to make any flour.

Come winter, we're all
going to go hungry.

We certainly will
go hungry, Willa,

if we all work
like you do.

You're going to
have to try harder.

Hi, Jacob.


I need
some caps, Tom.

All right.

What are you doing
with all the dynamite?

I'm a powder monkey.

It's just like double
jacking, you know.

Not too many men want
that kind of work,

and anytime I want a job,
I most times can get it.

Well, I can see why.

Well, the wife
made me quit.

She said she'd be able to sleep
better nights, you know.

So I took up wheat farming.
Wheat farming!

You don't get
blown up that way.

You just get
hailed out.

Here you are.

Thanks, Tom.

What does
powder monkey do?

Oh, I'll show you.

Right... stick of
dynamite, right?

You can drop it, you can
burn it, you can step on it.


To make it explode,

you need one of
these... and a fuse.

And you stick it
on the end,

and you got to crimp the
cap so it won't fall off.

You know, we got a tool for doing
that, but he won't use it.

You're an old woman,

you take this,

and you poke it
into the dynamite.

We can't get
any drilling done

till you get your tools
in your hand,

and the work is that way.

Yes, Tom. Yes, Tom.

We're going, Tom.

Man: Fire in the hole!
Fire in the hole!


Hold it.

Let's take a break.

Ja, that's good.

A little water, huh?

Ah, good.

How is your hand?

Ah, just a little stiff,
that's all. Forget it.


I worry I do it
worse next time.

You want to worry, worry
about the drilling contest

and how we're
going to win it.



You think we can?

For $50 in prize money
split between us,

we got to win it.

I don't know.

All them
other fellas...

Pretty good.

Well, we're
pretty good, too,

and getting better
every day.

Here we go.


What's the matter,

Just thinking.

About home and the wife
and the kids?

They've just about
finished supper now.

Got the dishes

3 little girls will be
getting ready for bed.

I miss my elna, too.

My Peggy's a scrapper.
I miss that.

She'd have to be
to be married to you.

She's always gmng me
what for, you know?

Don't change me shirt,
don't change me socks...

Whenever I come home
late for supper.

You know
what they're like.

I miss her.

Miss my lad.

You got any
children, Jake?

I don't know.

You don't know?

My elna...

Maybe I have baby now.

Before I get home,
for sure.

Oh... that's nice.


That's a shame you
can't be with her.

Oh, I am with her...

In my heart.

All of the time.

Laura, voice-over:
Tuesday was mail day.

We had to work,
just like any other day.

But on Tuesday, work had to wait
until the mail came...

If there was any.

I'm Mrs. Elna jacobsen.

Have I got a letter,



"Dear family,

"I was just saying
to one of my new friends

"that 100 miles
is not a long distance...

Except when it lies between you
and the ones you love."

"I visit with you each day
in my thoughts,

"and I count the hours
until we can...

"Be together again.

"Take good care
of each other.

"Know that I am well...

"And love you all
very much.


Well... pa's all right.

Now we have to get
back to work.

Come on.

Oh, look at that.

He spelled the very first word wrong.
D-e-r-e, dear.

Ha ha! And one "g"
in Peggy!

Spelling's for girls.

You're going to
learn how to spell.

I'd rather be like pa.

Why? Because
he can't spell?

No. Because he's the best.

The best powder monkey
this side of the Mississippi.


Hey! It's Monday!

It's 8:00 in the morning!

Day after tomorrow's

and we've
done nothing yet.

Come on!
Let's get to work!

Ha ha ha!

One of these days, he's going to
blow this whole quarry off the map.

We'll be out of work
if he do.

Hey... how about the 3 of
us having a footrace?

That's how you tell
a good man...

When he's got bounce
at the end of the day.

Now, Charlie, Jacob... you're
all keeping bad company.

Stop it!


April fool!
Back to work!

grab your steel.

First team to drive the white
line to the rock wins the money.

Go ahead.

Jack: Come on, Jacob!

Come on, Charlie!

Everybody ready?


Jack: Come on, Charlie!

Man: Move! Hurry up!

Jack: Drive it,
Charlie! Drive it!


Jack: Get in there,
Jacob! Hit!

Jack: Hit!

Man: Come on!
Drive it in there!

Jack: Come on, Jake!

Come on, Jake...

Drive it!

Go on, Jacob!

Jack: Drive it in!


Jack: Come on, Jake! Go!

Go on!
We got 'em!



Go! Go!

Hold it! Hold it!

You win!

We got it!

All right, now, you're
going to get your $50,

but you'll get it
when you get your pay,

and that's not
for two days yet.

We still got
work to do.

Come on, boys,
work's a-waiting!

Come on, let's go!



Big winners, right?

That's right!

Hard-rock miners,


You were lucky,
that's all! Ha ha!

A real hard-rock miner
wouldn't let you carry his...


Tom: Here's your pay...
And thanks for a good job.


And here's your $25
for winning the drill-off.

And... Jack Peters' pay.

Say a word to his wife for me when
you give it to her, will you?

I'll do that.

This is where
I turn off.

Good luck.

Thank you.

Go on. What are
you waiting for?

Jacob: It's a boy!


Why, pa?


I thought you
were the best.

Why, pa? Why?

I thought you
were the...

I only live about
10 miles from here. I...

Well, I might
stop by and...

See how you're getting along
every once in a while, huh?

Well, maybe you and
your mom could come out

and visit me and
my family sometime.

Got a lot of good fishing
around our place.

Yeah, all right,
Mr. Ingalls.

We'll come over.

Don't know just when.

Now that my pa died,

got a lot of work
to do.

Lot of work to do.

Laura: Ma! Ma!

Pa's back!