Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 1, Episode 6 - If I Should Wake Before I Die - full transcript

Certain that only her funeral will bring her distant children and grandchildren to Walnut Grove for a long overdue visit, Amy Hearn convinces Doc Baker and the Ingalls to fake her death and...

What are these,
little miss, hmm?

Ha ha ha! Now the trick
is to set your mind

to do two things
at once,

like rubbing your
tummy in a circle

and patting your head
with your other hand.

It takes some learning,
but bright girls like you

should be able to do
it in no time at all.

We can do it!

Of course you can!

So can Laura. Now, shall
we try "aunt rhody" again?



♪ Go tell aunt rhody ♪

♪ Go tell aunt rhody ♪

♪ Go tell aunt rhody ♪

♪ Her old gray goose
is dead ♪

Mary: ♪ she died
last Friday ♪

♪ She died last Friday ♪

♪ She died last Friday ♪

♪ Behind the old barn shed ♪

♪ The one she's
been a-saving ♪

♪ The one she's been
a-saving ♪

♪ The one she's
been a-saving ♪

♪ To make her feather bed ♪

Go on, Laura.

I don't like
to sing about dying.

It's sad.

Woman: Nothing's
so sad about dying.

I think it's sad.

Well, when you get as
close to it as I am,

't'ain't sad.

Just like finishing
a book or a quilt

or maybe a long trip
down the river

and then starting
off somewhere else,

maybe It'll be more fun than
where you were before. Ha ha!

How about
"going to Boston"?

Girls: Yeah.

All right now.

♪ Good-bye, girls,
I'm going to Boston ♪

♪ Good-bye, girls,
I'm going to Boston ♪

♪ Good-bye, girls,
I'm going to Boston ♪

♪ Early in the morning ♪

♪ Won't we look pretty
in the ballroom? ♪

♪ Won't we look pretty
in the ballroom? ♪

♪ Won't we look pretty
in the ballroom ♪

♪ Early in the morning? ♪

Woman: We're of an age,
almost to the day.

You'd think
we'd be more alike.

Let loose on this a little bit, Amy.
That's it.

Now I can get it.

Why would you
and miss maddie be alike?

Born 12 days apart
under the same sign.

Oh, I don't believe
in that nonsense.

"The soul of Patience,"
both of us,

it says in
the horology book.

Patience? You?

How else could I live under
the same roof for 8 years

with a Kentucky

Well, just maybe it was miss
maddie had the Patience.

You put
your finger on it.

If you take your
finger off it,

I'll hang it up
on the wall.

Patience she has...

And the grace to let us
do this for her.

What, she knows?

Of course she does.

She wasn't
behind the door

when the good lord
parceled out suspicion.

I thought it was a pretty
good story we made up:

Laura and Mary wanting to
learn to play the autoharp.

Come on now, Charles.

She didn't bat an eye.

Of course she didn't.

The joy of it is
letting us surprise her.

Not bad, if I do
say it myself.

One more will do it.

Yeah, that old fox.

I must say,
she's a fine actress.

The pity of it is, it might be
close to her last performance.

I wrote that to Eliza.

Her daughter.

Hmm, all she has left,

with her son-in-law Tom
and her 4 grandchildren.

Her boys were killed
in the war.

She's a fine woman,

But like most children,
she thinks upon a parent

as a permanent fixture,

a feature of the landscape
that always was

and always will be,
time without end...

Like a mountain
or a rock.

Pretty girl.

That isn't Eliza. That's me
Bridget and her two brothers.

Well, I know that.

She's still a pretty girl.
Takes after her mother.

Ha ha!
Get on with ya.

Come in.

Anybody home?

Amy: Come in, doctor.

Wipe your feet.


For maddie. Picked it
up at the post office.

Well, it looks like
a party brewing.

She'll be
80 years old today.

Wish her a happy
birthday for me...

Unless, of course,
I'm invited,

in which case
I'll do it myself.

You're invited.

I'll be there.

Oh, it's a surprise.

I know.
Maddie told me.

Ha ha!

Another letter
from Eliza.

"Can't make it... too
busy... Sorry." Like always.

Should I take it
out to her?

Oh, no.

She'll know about it
soon enough.

Hey... leastways,
we're having a party.

She won't want it now.

Amy: It's all
for the best.

They'll come
on thanksgmng,

and you'll be
feeling better then.

You'll be your old self
for thanksgmng.

You always perk up
in the fall.

We'll celebrate
our birthdays together.

I'll bake a cake
for the two of us.

You're 12 days older
than I am,

so you can blow out
the candles.

How will that be?

Oh, children do have their
own lives to live, you know.

We lose sight of that.

I remember when I was
bringing up me own.

Oh, such a time I had!

I never gave a thought
to me own mother.

I remember pulling me Sean
out of a saloon

when he was...
Oh, 22, no less.

And Bridget... gosh!

We had it out,
the two of us.

When she was 16,
she... She brought home

a young blond bucko
from a St. Patrick's day dance.

I didn't approve of
the gleam in his eye,

and I put an end to it
then and there,

and she didn't speak
to me for a month.

And Andy... Lord love him.

He was a trial, that one.

Lord knows where you went
or what you're up to.

Well, you can't eat
your heart out over the young.

The birds are out of the nest
and on the wing

and good riddance to them,

and it's time you stopped
thinking about Eliza

and Terrance and...




Reverend Alden: Lord...

Be with us
in this hour of sorrow,

as we gather to mourn
the passing

of one who's touched
all our lives,

given without stint of her warmth
and love and understanding,

and asked nothing but
we love her in return.

A great and noble lady
was maddie elder.

On this occasion...

Don't you want
to get closer?

I can mourn better
down here.

She can hear me
wherever she is.

What are they doing?

They're saying

What good does it do
when she can't hear them?

Laura: Why didn't they come
to her birthday?

You can miss
a birthday,

and nobody says

but you can't
miss a funeral.

Why not?

That's just the way
grownups are.

Hmm... ought to be
the other way around.

A lot of things
in life

ought to be the
other way around.

We ought to have our funerals
while we're still alive

so's we could say
good-bye to everybody.

Oh, thank you,

It might be kind of lonely
around here for a few days.

Why don't you
come stay with us?

Oh, now, don't
worry about me.

I've got
a lot to do.

You sure?


At my age, you get used
to losing a friend

every now and then.

Thanks for
the thought.

Mary: Dear father
in heaven,

we thank thee.

Bless this food
to our use

and our hearts to
thy service. Amen.

Charles: Amen.

Laura: Amen.

I saw Amy Hearn at
the mercantile today.

How is she?

Well, she insisted on
settling up her bill

as if she had some
kind of premonition.

She's got to have something
to occupy her mind.

It's not good for her being
in that house by herself.

I'll so see her.

Me, too.

One of you go

the other
go the next day.

That way, she'll have
two visits instead one.

That's a good idea.

Caroline: I made some
pie crust cookies.

Stop by with them
on your way to school.

If she wants to visit
a little bit,

don't be worried about
being late for school.

Maybe we can have her
over for Sunday supper.


I like her. She talks to
us like we're grownups.

Because she hasn't
seen you eat.

Pa! Pa!

what's the matter?


Just take it easy.
What is it?

Miss Amy...
She's sick.

Run on to school.
I'll get doc Baker.


Boy: Ahh.

Mmm. Sore?

Can't talk at all?

Just ahh.

It came on
all of a sudden.



Hmm. He had it before?

It happens all the time.

Hmm. Well, I think we have a
serious case of 5 day Quincy.

It comes on Monday,
leaves on Friday.

That's right,

Oh, that's nasty.

Keeps an eager young fellow
like this out of school.

Doc, miss Amy's sick.


I don't know.

Give the lad castor oil
every 4 hours.

Gotta go, ma.
I'll be late for school.


You have pain, Amy?



In me arm.



Doggone it, Amy. I can't find
anything wrong with you.

Your temperature's

Your pulse isn't great,
but it isn't bad either

for a woman your age.

Doc... charles...

Promise me...

Anything, Amy.

Me funeral...

Now, I don't want you to start
talking like that, all right?

You'll take care of it...

The wake, the funeral?

There's not
going to be

a wake
or a funeral

because you're
not going to die.

No blarney, doc.
Not now.

Promise me you'll wire
my children:

Sean, Bridget, Andy.

I don't know if
Andy's alive or dead,

but try to find him.

Promise me.

I promise, Amy.

And the wake...

You'll get the priest
from mankato...


Anything you want.

You promise.

I promise.

It's settled, then.

The wake will be on
Wednesday, on me birthday.

That should be a fine day for
the wake, don't you think?

Amy, I never
put a woman,

much less an 80-year-old
woman, over my knee,

but you're coming close
to being the first.

Oh, come on, Dr. Baker.

Surely you
understand why...

I surely
don't understand.

I don't understand either. I
don't think it's funny, Amy.

It wasn't meant
to be funny.

It was meant
purely and simply

to bring me children
and me grandchildren to me

for the first time in more
years than I'd like to count.

I saw the light when
poor maddie passed over.

Rest her soul.

Amy Hearn, you're
going to have to take

your business

I'm not going to be a
part of this kind of...



Amy, you can't
be serious.

I want to see me children and my
grandchildren before I pass over...

An altogether serious
matter, Charles Ingalls,

even if you
don't think so.

It's an idiotic convention
of the grownup world

that your loved ones only come
to see you when you're dead

instead of when you can...
Oh, hold them

and love them
and talk to them.

And I'm going to change
that idiotic custom.

Amy, you're not going
to talk me into...

Why not, pray tell?

You're asking me to wire
your children you're dead!

But you'd wire them if I
was dead, wouldn't you?

Of course I would.

Then why? Why would
you please me ghost

instead of
me flesh and blood?

Amy, it isn't that.

In the name of heaven,
what is it?

You're like me children...

A dutiful letter
once or twice a year:

"Do you have money, mother?
Do you lack for anything?

Is there
anything you want?"

And I write them back,
"all I lack is you.

When can you come
and visit me?"

And Andy marched off to war
when he was 19,

with a smile and a whistle

and a last hug
and a kiss.

And in 15 years,
I've not had a word from him.

They'll come to me funeral
because it's a sin not to.

And they'll weep
and say all the things

I'll not be there to hear.

And you, both of you,

you're the same.

You'd do for me corpse
but not for me.

Amy, I-.I..



It's settled, then.

Notify the children
and the priest at mankato,

and, Charles, you take
charge of the preparations.

Now, come on, come on,
come on, come on.

Amy: There's plenty
of money in the till,

and I'll be here
to advise you.

There'll be
BlackBerry wine,

chicken and ham
and potato salad,

and a birthday cake
with a candle on it.

Now, you'd do well to get
the wires off right away.

The priest at mankato
is new, I understand,

but the parish will have the
records of me children.

Now, off with you.

Remember, Charles, don't
spare the expense:

A first-class wake.

Yes, ma'am.

What do I say
you died of?

I'm 80 years old
on Wednesday.

Surely you can
think of something.

You what?!

I told you, Caroline. Miss
Amy's going to die on Monday,

and I have to
handle the wake.

you're not serious.

I know it's unusual.

Unusual's not the word.

Why, it's... It's...

Charles, will you
stop that, please?

This is
out of the question.

I want you to go over, and I
want you to explain it to her.

Caroline, I am not
going to go over

and tell
an 80-year-old woman

that I'm going back
on my promise to her.

I can't do that.

All right, then,
if you can't face her...


I'll go and talk to her.

Well, somebody has to.

We simply can't let her
go through with this...

This... plan.

Well, by now, she's
probably thought better

of the whole idea
anyway. Ha ha!




How long do you
want to live to be?

Oh, I don't know.
Let me sleep.

I want to live

Well, you can't.

Who said?


God never
told you that.

Will you go
to sleep?

That's what it's like.

That's what
what's like?

Going to sleep.

When you go to sleep,
it's like you're dead.

Good night.

Was she
very disappointed?


How did you
manage to do it?

I'm baking the cake.

Mark my words.

Uh-huh. You know what
free silver means.


All I know is, I'd rather
have a silver dollar

than a piece of paper.

Get those big clodhoppers
off of there.

You know what
the difference is?

You got 100 silver dollars
in your pocket,

and you fall into
a river, you drown.

That is the only


Doc Baker?

Oh, afternoon,
Laura, Mary.

How's miss Amy
getting along?

She ailing?

Sort of.

But she's going to get all
better, isn't she, doctor?

We... I mean,
I surely hope so.



a fine old lady.

You know, I had a feeling that
there was something wrong when...

Excuse me, oleson.
Got to be going.


Amy, just throw in
a couple of extra...

You know,

You won't
be staying long.

It's all clear.

I wonder how come we don't
have wakes at our church.

'Cause it's fun, and if
it's fun, it's sinful.

Who says?

You just get
a feeling about it.


Both: Afternoon.

Lovely day.

Yes, sir.
Yes, sir.

I'm father gorman
from mankato.

I wonder if you could direct
me to the Ingalls' place?

Uh, if you please excuse
me, I have to go.

That's my sister Laura.
She's shy.

That's the girl.

Amy: He was a caution,
I'll tell you.

That was Andy.

The most exasperating,

excruciating child
the lord ever made,

and yet,
he'd look at you

with the devil
in his eyes,

and he'd have you in
the palm of his hand.

He could talk a serpent
out of a tree, that one.

Ha ha ha!

And now, it's time
for your nap.





Pa! Pa!
The priest is here!

Father gorman!

Come back here.

He's not due here
till tomorrow.

Well, he's here today.

Stay back there
with miss Amy.

This is father gorman
from mankato.

I'm Charles Ingalls.

This is my wife

Hi. How are you?

How do you do?

Of course,
you met Mary.

all the good smells.

We haven't had much
experience giving a wake,

but we're
doing our best.

Father, won't you make
yourself more comfortable?

I won't be staying long,
Mrs. Ingalls.

Just want to assure you
that I am here

and will do whatever's
required of me.

I haven't had much experience
with wakes either.

I'm very new at this, just
recently out of the seminary.


I didn't know
Mrs. Hearn, but...

Rest her soul...

But my predecessor,
father Kelly,

knew her very well.

I understand she's
a glorious woman.

Oh, she... she was.

I thought perhaps you might fill
me in a little on Mrs. Hearn...

Her life and friends here
in walnut grove.

It'll help me quite a bit
with my eulogy.

Uh, father, I...

I really don't
think I can.

I think I can probably
help you, father.

Well, she came here a long
time ago, I understand.

Yes, a very
long time ago.

Really, a much longer
time ago than we came here.

And she and Mrs. Elder...
Both of them widows?

Yes, they both...
They were both widows.

Charles, I really
don't think we can.


Oh, how are you?

I'd like a word
with you...

Outside, where we
can be private.

Oh, certainly.

Excuse me.

Thank goodness she's finally
come to her senses.

I hope he won't
be too angry

coming all that way
for nothing.

Guess we won't
need that.

You might as well
have the icing.

They're coming back.

Thank you.

Thank you so much
for telling me about her.

It'll be an honor to attend a wake
for such a magnificent woman.

Oh, my thanks
to you, too.

You've been
a great help.

Well... see you
at the wake.

God love you,
miss O'Hara.

Charles: Miss o'ha...
Miss O'Hara?

Me maiden name.

After all, it would be
a sin to deceive a priest.

Now, let's
get on with it.

The very least I could do is
lend a hand with the wake.

After all,
I'm the deceased.

Oh, my.

Woman: Look at her. She's
got her thumb in it. Ha ha!


Any sign of them?

They're still
at Dr. Baker's,

their clothes.

Pa says they'll
be here any minute.

All right. Now, let me know
the minute they get here.


I'll go watch out
for them.

Caroline: Good.


Well, ooh... Is that
what I think it is?

She's 80 today...
Or she would have been.


Glorious woman,
Mrs. Hearn.

I wish I'd known her.

But a, um, birthday cake
at this kind of a...

Her friend
explained it.

This is the way Mrs. Hearn
would have wanted it:

To think of this
as not a wake,

but as
a birthday party.

Well, still, I don't
know if I understand.

I can almost feel her
presence in this room.

I know what
you mean, father.

Excuse me
a minute, please.

Oh, um, uh...

They'll be here
any minute.

Are the guests
having a good time?

They were all
very fond of you.

Oh. Well, it's time
I joined me party.

A strange look in her eye
the last time I saw her.

Insisted upon paying her bill
before the first of the month.

Hmm. Now, who
could that be?

Father gorman:
Oh, an old friend,

been close to Amy Hearn
for a long time.

They're here.

Hanson: They're here!

You mean Amy...



Hanson, it's so good
to see you.

Oh, Ruth.
Oh, my goodness.

Amy would be so happy
you could get here.

Excuse us
just a minute.

Father gorman's
over here.

Thank you so much.
Come, children.

Oh, yes,
how are you?

This is Amy's daughter Bridget.
Father gorman.

I'm so happy.

I'm so glad
you could be here.

I can see why you're proud
of your grandchildren.

That's Dennis,
the big one,

and Maureen, same as
your daughter she'd be,

and the little
one's Freddy.


Mr. Hearn,
Mr. Hanson.

Sean I know him since
he was a little boy.

He used to work
for me.

That's been a long
time now, though.

You want to come
and work again tomorrow?

If things keep going
the way they are,

I'll be back
next week.

Charles: Sean.

I'll look for you.

Sean, I'd like you
to meet the father.

Excuse me.

Ja. I know him
since he was little.

Hanson: Doctor?
You are all right?

Yes. It's just
a little warm.

Charles: Father, I'd
like you to meet Sean.

That's father gorman.

How are you?

You have wakes
in mankato?

Not like this.

Neither do we.

Do you got
a grandma?

Back east
in Wisconsin.

Ever see her?

Not for
a long time.

How long is this
going to go on?

It's up to her.

Oh... mmm... hi.
Nice evening.

Sean: Flanagan...
Flanagan's window.

Across the street.

No, no, no.
That was Flynn.

Flanagan was
3 doors down.

Ah, yes. Ha!

35 cents
to have it fixed.

She thought it was Andy
threw that baseball.

He told her
he did it.

He took the blame.

Knowing he wouldn't
be punished.

Ah, he had a way
with her.

And with me.
He did it for me.

He knew I didn't
have that 35 cents.

You weren't
fooling me, Sean.

I saw it all.

Why is it, I wonder,

that you never know
what they mean to you

until after they're gone?

It's hard to believe we'll
never see her again.

Ha ha!
"Wipe your feet, Sean."

Ha! If there's one thing I'll
remember about her, it's that.

"Wipe your feet."

She was telling me that
till I was 30.

I was nose-to-nose with her
more than I like to remember.

Ha ha! You were.

The blond boy you brought
home from the dance.

Oh, I was ready
to leave home!

I thought the world
had ended. Ha ha ha!

When she got
that set to her jaw,

she was like Phil Sheridan
leading a charge.

Oh, for years I'd
never admit it to her.

The blond boy?

She was right,
so everlastingly right.

I wasn't so sure myself.

Well, I understand
you were her doctor.


Um, you were her
doctor, I understand?

Oh, yes, father.


Well, I trust she came
to a peaceful end.

Nothing about
Amy Hearn was peaceful.

Aw, Sean, it would
be wonderful.

I'd like it. You know,
I'd put him to work,

I'll tell you. I...

Saints be praised.

He's come home.



Andy! Oh!


Oh, Andy.

Andy! How long
has it been?

Too long.
Too long!

Oh, you... Ha ha!

Here, let me
look at you.

Oh, you look
so handsome!

And you... what a fine
figure of a woman you are.

What a pity it is it
took something like this

to bring us
together again.

Amen to that!

Miss O'Hara.

Miss O'Hara, an old
friend of Amy Hearn.


Did he call her

What in the name
of common sense?

I'll get to you later.

Let me deal
with this one first.

You miserable,
ungrateful spalpeen, you!

All these years
I'm thinking you're dead,

killed in the Indian wars
or stone river or Shiloh.

How could you do this
to me, Andy?

How could you forget
your own mother?

15 years of hurt and worry,

waiting for a letter
from the war department,

and not a move
do you make

until you think
I'm dead and gone.

And you, Sean.

I'm supposed to forgive you,
too, I suppose.

Now, just a minute,
Amy Hearn.

You've got some
explaining to do.

How could you do it?

How could you let them
tell us you were dead?

You had no right,

Rights? You talking
about rights?

Whose rights?

I've got a right to see me own
children and grandchildren.

It comes before
anything else,

and you ask
how I could do it.

Well, it isn't hard when
you've tried everything else,

when you're so hungry for the
sight and feel of your family

you can't sleep
at nights thinking of them.

And when it comes to you,

the one thing
that'll bring them to you

is your own wake...

Well, it isn't hard
to do at all, at all.

Sean, I heard you say it.

"Why is it," you said,

"you have to wait until
they're gone

before you know
what they mean to you?"

Well, you mean
everything to me, you 3.

I'm 80 years old,

and I don't have
many birthdays left.

Maybe... maybe not even one,

and when you think of that,

you're apt...

You're apt to be foolish.


Oh, Andy!

Oh, ma!

Oh, Andy,
my dear boy.

And Sean.

Oh, mother,
I'm so sorry.

And Bridget!

Oh, ma.
Oh, ma!

I heard what you said
about the blond boy.

Aye, it was
a great relief to me.

I wasn't at all sure.

Oh! Oh, mother!

Well, come on! You heard
what everybody said.

This is not a wake.
It's a birthday party.

I hope you find it
in your heart, father,

to forgive me
for fooling you so.

Well, it's
a little irregular,

but I think the bishop
will understand.

If you feel
you must tell him.

Doc, you got permission
to dance with my wife.