Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 4, Episode 17 - Be My Friend - full transcript

After finding a number of bottles containing messages, including a photograph, from a mysterious girl, Laura finds an abandoned baby. Laura takes the child in and cares for it like it was ...

It's soon.

I know it's soon.

Dear god...

Please help me!

Don't be angry
for what I did.

Don't be angry
with my baby.

Please! Please help me!

Man: Anna?


Yes, papa?

What were you
doing up there?

Just resting, papa.
You're home early.

I didn't expect you
for 2 more days.

The lord was kind.
The traps were full.

The stew hot?

Yes, papa.

Lord, you have been
kind and generous to me.

Help me to be deserving.

Help my daughter
to cleanse herself

and her mind from
the evils of the flesh.

She's her mother's
daughter, lord,

infected with
the same evil.

Help me to keep
the devil

from taking her away.


You should eat.

I'm not hungry, papa.

Are you sick?


Then why don't
you eat?

I'm not hungry.

You think of him,
don't you?

Don't you?

No, papa.

Yes, you do.

You want to be with him
because of the flesh.

You would marry him
for the flesh...

As your mother
married me

and then steal off into
the night with another

just as she did.

Please, papa.

I... unh!

You have pain?


Don't lie
to me, child.

It is the demon

He hears me and is
filled with anger.

Give me your hand.

Oh, lord,

he's still there.

Drive him back
away to the town,

back where
he belongs.

We will stay here
in your wilderness

forever, oh, lord,

where the sins of the
devil cannot reach us.

How feels it now?

Fine, papa.

Now you eat.

I should get some water
from the creek.

There's water
in the barrel.

But not cold
like the creek.

I'll just be
a few minutes.

Where have you been?

Your stew's grown cold.

That's all right.
I'll heat it up.

Why have you
been so long?

The lightning
frightened me.

I hid until it stopped.

It's the lord's way
of showing his wrath.

It has stopped now.

Be quiet, bandit!

I'm trying to get
this worm on the hook.

Hold still, will ya?

You worm!

Next time
I'm gonna bring cheese.

"If you find this,
be my friend."

Somebody must be
living upstream.

Come on, bandit,
let's go see who it is.

This creek must go on

Guess it's too far
to find my friend.

We better get our stuff
and go home.

Come on, bandit.

Haven't seen you
work so late

on your homework,
half pint.

I'm proud of you.

It's not exactly
homework, pa.

Well, in that case,
I'm not so proud of you.

What are you doing?

I'm trying to see how far
this creek goes on the map.

Oh, I see.

There's no telling how
far that bottle traveled

before you found it.

I know.

Gotta remember, too,

there's a whole bunch
of little creeks

that lead into that one.

Could've come down
any one of those.

I know that.

It would be nice to have a new
friend, though.

I'm afraid it would take a
miracle to find this one.

I wish that creek would
run the other way,

then I could send
a note to my friend.

Well, now you're really
looking for a miracle.

I don't think
it's funny, Mary.

Miracles can happen.

I wasn't laughing
at that.

I was just thinking
how funny it'd be

if you went up that old creek
looking for your friend,

and it turned out
to be Nellie oleson

put that note
in the bottle.

And then you'd
really be up the creek.

Ha ha ha!

You get it?
You'd be up the creek.

It's a...

I thought it was
kind of funny.

Did you think
it was funny, Carrie?


Well, in that case I think
I'll just play my fiddle.

How'd you do
on the test?

I don't know.
Not too good.

It's no wonder.

All you did was stare out
the window the whole time.

I couldn't

Why not?

I was thinking
about my friend.

Are you gonna
start that again?

I can't help it.

Well, it seems
awful silly to me.

I mean, how could
somebody be your friend

if you don't
even know them?

Well, there's a whole bunch
of people in this world

you don't know yet that'll
be your friend someday.

After you meet them.

Well, what's
the difference?

the same people.

So if they're your friend
after you meet them,

they much be your friend
before you meet them, too.

Laura Ingalls,
I'll never understand you.

I know. Tell ma
I won't be late.

Where you going?

I won't be late.

Another bottle.

"Dear friend,

"if you find this,

"my eyes are brown
and this is my hair.

Be my friend."

More coffee?

Yes, thank you.

Didn't realize
how late it was.

All right,
upstairs, now.

Go on!

Laura's gonna get it.

All right, young lady,

suppose you tell me
where you've been.

I was walking.

You were walking.

Not towards home,
I take it.

No, sir.

I can't hear you.

No, sir.

Then where
were you walking?

Along the creek.

Now do you
have any idea

how upset we get when
you just disappear?

Yes, sir. I'm sorry.

Well, sorry is not
good enough.

I haven't given you a
whipping in a long time,

and I think I've been
making a mistake.

No, pa. Please don't.

I didn't mean it.

Found another bottle.

It was so sad.

So lonely.

Just had to try
one more time.

It got late
before I knew it.

I'm so sorry.

All right.

Let me see
the bottle.

It's like
whoever it is

doesn't have
a friend,

like they're
all alone.

Look, half pint, I...

I know how upset
this makes you feel.

But you have to

there's no way that you're
gonna be able to find her.

I mean, this... this bottle
could've floated down

any number of creeks.

I know.

Now, look, if it
makes you that sad,

don't go
near the lake.

Don't go looking

for these bottles
anymore, all right?

All right.

You promise?


All right, then.

You wash up,
have your supper

and then get
your homework done.

I will.

Thank you, pa.

For not whipping me.

Oh, wasn't gonna
whip ya.

If only I could
find you, my friend.

If only I could
find which creek.

Come on, cow.

Don't stop now.

I've got to go
find my friend.

Come on now.
Don't be stubborn.

You're a cow,
not a mule.

Dear lord,
I hate to ask you

for something
as silly as this

as busy as you
are now and all.

Well, I sure wish
you'd make this cow

give the rest
of her milk.

It's for somebody
who needs a friend.


Laura, slow down.

Yes, ma'am.

We need molasses,
too, ma...


Oh, and
brown sugar.

Brown sugar...

Chores are
all done, ma.

Good girl. We'll be going
to town in a few minutes.

Anything else, Mary?

Yeah. We're kind of
low on salt.

Land sakes, your pa
does love his salt.


If you don't
need me in town,

I'd just as soon
go fishing.

I thought you wanted to pick
out material for your new dress.

No. You pick
the best, anyway.

All right.

Thanks, ma.

I got to rest.

Pa's right.

There's just so many
darn creeks.

I'll never find
the right one.

Well, we might
as well go back.

Bandit, what a bullfrog.

You hush.

I'm gonna get
that bullfrog

for Nellie's lunch pail.

Bandit, another bottle.

"This is me. Be my friend."

My friend's a girl.


Half pint,
what's going on?


My friend's a girl, pa.

Half pint,
I told you.

Oh, I know,

but I know
which creek now.

I found it.

I don't know
how far away she is,

but I know
we can find her.

Honey, she could be
days away.

Or hours.

Please, pa,

let's just look
a few hours, please?

Why is it so
important to you?

I don't know.

I just feel that
I have to find her.

All right.
We'll start looking

first thing
in the morning.

Thanks, pa.

But you're gonna have
to explain to your ma

why you're
missing church.

I will.

All right, run along.
Let me get my work done.

Yes, sir.


We'll find her.
You wait and see.

Run along.

Half pint,
you sure this is the right creek?

Yeah, I'm sure.

Well, we've come
an awful long ways.

Please, just
a little bit farther?

All right, we'll go
another hour,

then we're gonna
go back.

Thanks, pa.

I'll tell you
one thing,

you sure are

What's persistent?

Well, it means once you get
something into your head

you just don't
let go of it.

Well, then I guess
I'm kind of like you, pa.

Ha ha ha ha!

What was that?

I'm not sure.

It sounds like a baby crying.
Come on.

Half pint.

Yeah, I'm coming.

Oh, pa, it is a baby.

There's some sort
of a note here.

"Please be my friend.
Please love me, I'm all alone."

You mean someone left
a baby here all alone?

Not just someone,
half pint,

it was that friend
of yours.

That's why she sent
those bottles downstream,

so somebody'd come.

You stay here
with the baby.

I'm gonna
have a look.

Oh, my. You need to have
your panties changed,

don't you, baby?

Well, all I've got is
a towel, but it's clean.

Now, don't you cry,

and be a good little...


Did you find
anything, pa?

No, not a thing.

How's the baby doing?

She's a girl.
She's fine.

She's sound asleep.

Why would anyone want to leave
a baby out here like that?

I don't know, half pint.

I just don't know.

Well, we'll have
to take her home.

Yeah. Nothing else
we can do.

I'll take her, pa.

She likes me.

All right.

If you get tired,
we'll take turns.

Here we go.

You be careful.

I will.

ma sees you.

Where have you been?

Just walking.


I don't know.
Just walking.

You've been gone
half the day.

You shouldn't
wander off like that.

I'm sorry.

From now on, you stay
close to the cabin.

Yes, papa.

You promise?

I promise.

I'll get
supper ready.

You seem happy.

I am happy, papa.

Very happy.

Good night.

Good night, pa.

Pa, can I see
Laura's baby again?

Now, first of all,
it is not Laura's baby,

and, no, you can't
see the baby again.

It's late.

Tell her not to talk
all night, pa.

Yeah. Your sister
is right.

If you're gonna
sleep upstairs,

you got to act like
a big girl, ok?

All right.
All right.

You go on
to sleep now.

Love you.
Good night, sweetie.

Good night, pa.

Good night.

Are you sure you don't
want to sleep in your room?

Why, you can't even
straighten out in this one.

I'm fine, ma,

Besides, I should be the
one to keep an eye on her.

It's because of me
she's here.

All right.

The goat's milk
is on the hutch.

After you warm it,
be sure and test it.

I will, ma.
All right, then.

Good night.
Good night.

Good night, pa.

Good night,

I know this place
is strange to you,

but you don't
have to worry.

I'm right here.

Half pint, if you go
to sleep, she will.

Yes, sir.
Good night.

Want some coffee?

Yeah. Sounds good.


I'm just wondering
if this is a picture

of the baby's mother
when she was a little girl.

Could be.

It's certainly worn.

It's not much
to go on.

It doesn't make
any difference, anyway,

even if we could
find the mother,

and that'd be a miracle.

She doesn't want
the child. That's obvious.

Or someone else

didn't want her
to have the child.

It's a possibility.



I was just thinking about
the look on your face

when half pint walked in
carrying that baby.

Ha ha ha.

Well, it's not
exactly walking in

with a stray pup.

No, I guess not.

What are we
going to do?

We'll see what
the good lord

has in store, I guess.

Meantime, the baby's
certainly in good hands

with the new mother.

We ought to take her
in to see Dr. Baker.

Just for a checkup.

That's a good idea.

We'll do it first thing
in the morning.

Laura: Can I go, pa?

What are you doing
out of bed, young lady?

I heard you talking.

Please, ma.
You've got enough to do.

I'm big enough.

What about school?

We could go early
in the morning.

I won't miss much.

All right.
We'll all go.

Oh, there's no need,
ma, please.

Just me and pa.

There's no telling how long
she'll be with us.

So I might as well
start right out

by taking care of her.

All right.
Just you and your pa.


Oh. I named her grace.
Is that all right?

She had to have a name.

It's all right.

It's a very
pretty name.


I told you the baby
was in good hands

with the new mother.

Ha ha ha.

Harriet, please.

You're making a mountain
out of a molehill.

I am not!

Now, it us up to you
to discipline the boy.

Now, you make him...

All right,
all right.

Willie, were you
or were you not

looking at the corset ads
in the catalogue?

I wasn't!

You were too,
and I saw you!


Well, he was!

I know a corset
when I see one.

Now, Willie, let's get
to the bottom of this.

I want the truth.

I was looking up candy,

and I got off
a few pages.

Ha ha!

What does candy

have to do
with corsets?

Well, if nobody
ate any candy,

then they wouldn't need
any corsets, would they?

Ahh, really.


Now, Willie, I want you

to leave
that catalogue alone

and the candy, too.

Yes, sir.

All right,
run along.

Ah, you certainly
were easy on him.

Oh, Harriet,
he's a growing boy.

He's curious.


How horrible.

You'll get over it.

Mrs. Oleson.

Ah, Mr. Ingalls.

You haven't
seen Dr. Baker

this morning,
have you?

Oh, yes. He, uh...

He went out
to miss foster's.

He said that
he would be back

in about an hour.

How long ago
was that?

Oh, about,
uh, 45 minutes.

Thank you.
Is nels here?

Shh. Shh.

Yes. Uh, up on the roof.

Half pint,

take the baby down
to Dr. Baker's.

I'll be down
in a few minutes.

Yes, sir.

Bye, Mrs. Oleson.


That's a good girl.

Such a pretty baby.

Mrs. Oleson?

Mrs. Oleson.

Uh, yes. Sorry.

I'd like to go up
and talk to nels

for a minute,
if I could.

Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Yes, certainly.

Uh, Mr. Ingalls.

Um, the baby...

Yeah. She's cute,
isn't she?

Oh, yes.
She certainly is.

Whose... whose baby
is it?

Oh, you didn't know.
That's Laura's.

She won't even let
Caroline lend a hand.

She won't even let
Caroline lend a hand.


Laura with a baby?

He doesn't care?

What kind of a man is he?

He doesn't care
about his own child!



Oh, my...

My Willie. Oh, no.

My Willie.

My bab... oh, nels!



How is she, doctor?

So far so good.

Heart's ticking away
like a railroad watch.

This babe certainly
hasn't been neglected.

Been eating good.

Happy little thing.

Clean bill of health.

Whoever had this baby
cared for it.

Thank god for that.

What do you
do now, Charles?

Doc, I wish I knew.

it won't be easy

finding a home
for a baby girl

in these parts.

Folks'll take a boy
all right.

Help them on the farm
when they're grown.

Well, she has
a home with us.

We can't just
give her away, pa.

Oh, now
just take it easy.

Nobody's talking
about giving her away.

We do have a duty to try to
find out where she came from.

Laura, why don't you

get your little
charge dressed.

Charles, let's take
a look at the map.

How far upstream do
you figure you were?

Oh, I'd say 6,
maybe 7 miles upstream.

Running north
to south?

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

The creeks
would be too small

to show up
on the map.


Town of boswell.

That'd be the closest
up the line.

Let me see
that picture again.


Here you go.

It could be the mother.

Be worth a try to show this
picture around boswell.

a good idea, doc.

I think I'll do that.
Thank you.

Well, half pint,

you about ready?
Should be on our way.

I'm coming, pa.

Thanks, Dr. Baker.

You're welcome.

If there's anything else
I can do for you, Charles,

just call on me.

Appreciate it, doc.
Thanks very much.

Charles: I was sure glad to
find out the baby's healthy.

Laura: Me, too.

You know, you shouldn't keep
calling the baby "the baby."

You should call her "grace" so
she'll get to know her name.

Now, half pint,
I told you...

I know.

That you have to try
and find her mother.

But if you don't,
we'll keep her.

You said you weren't just
going to give her away.

I know what I said.

All right, then.

We'd best call her
grace, just in case.

Right, pa?

Right, half pint.


I'm sure you know
what's been happening

about the baby and all.


My pa's gonna
start looking tomorrow,

and I just don't think

that anybody
that'd give a baby away

ought to have them back.

I mean...

I don't think
they'd really love them.

And I love grace
with all my heart...

And I'm big enough
to take care of her.

Honest, I am,

and I can do
most anything ma can do,

and I can learn really fast
what I don't know.

I know that you can look
into my heart, god.

So you know
I'm telling the truth.


If pa wasn't
to find grace's ma,

I could be her ma forever.

Maybe it'd be a good idea
if he didn't find her.

That's all.

Please bless my family
and my baby.


Good night, grace.


Good day to you,

And a good day to you.

I was wondering
if you could help me.

I'm looking
for the town reverend.

You know where
I could find him?

Sure thing.

He's down
at the fire station.

Reverend pritchard's head
of our fire department, too.

Says that way he can
try to keep us burning

in our house and in hell
at the same time.

Ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha!
Much obliged to you.



It must take a lot
of elbow grease

keep it looking
like that.

Cleanliness is next
to godliness,

even for a fire engine.

My name's Charles Ingalls.

Captain pritchard

reverend pritchard
on sundays.

I won't take that much
of your time.

I'm trying
to locate somebody.

I got a little picture
over here.

I'm not sure how old
this picture is,

but I think she's
from around these parts.

I came to you,
'cause being a reverend,

I figured you'd know
just about everybody.

Anna mears.

You do know her,

Yup. She and
her father Nathaniel

were regular

Could you tell me
where she lives?

No, no. Not anymore.

Moved away 6,
maybe 8 months ago.

Never a word
to anyone.

Of course,
it wasn't surprising

for a man
like Nathaniel.

He was a strange one.

Never did see
a peaceful look

on that man's face,

even when
he was praying.

Tell me. Is there
anybody in town

that might know
where they went?

No, no, no.

Nathaniel didn't
have any friends,

and Anna...

Well, the only one
she seemed close to

was Bobbie Harris,

and Nathaniel wouldn't
let her see him.

Everything was sinful
to Nathaniel,

even marrying.

Tell me where I can find
this Bobbie Harris.

He works with his father
at the smithy.

But he won't know
where she lives.

I'll have to
make sure of that.

Thank you.

Mr. Ingalls,

would you mind telling me
what this is all about?

The captain asking
or the reverend?

The reverend.

I'm pretty sure I have
Anna's baby in my home.

I'd best go over
to the Harris' with you.

Clark, how are you?

Oh, fine, captain.

I'll have those post fittings
for you by week's end.

Oh, no rush,
no rush.

More important
getting them free

than getting them
quick. Ha ha.

Can I have a word
with Bobbie?

Well, sure.
Hey, Bobbie, come on down here.

Coming, pop.

The captain wants
to talk to you.

Howdy, reverend.


Only take
a minute, Clark.

Bobbie, this is
Charles Ingalls.

Mr. Ingalls.

I'm trying
to find a girl.

The reverend
said you knew her.

Anna mears.

I wish I knew
where she was.

Her pa took her off on...

The day I asked
for her hand.

He said if I ever
saw her again,

he'd kill me.

I love Anna.

I always will, I think.

But you haven't seen

or heard from her
since she left?

No, sir.

You and Anna
were in love.

We sure were.

But you know what
her pa was like.

There's nothing
but hate in that man.

I begged her
not to go with him,

but she was afraid.

afraid for you.

You were close with
her, weren't you, son?


I want you
to answer me, boy.

I loved her,
reverend. I...

I know that.

Bobbie, a few days ago,

my daughter and I
found a baby by a creek

about 15 miles
south of here.

The child had a note
pinned on her.

Said, "please be my friend.
Please love me.

I'm all alone."

This is a picture
of the child's mother.

We got to find Anna.

We got to try
to find her.


Please help me.

We'll find her, son.

I'll just be
a few minutes. I...

I got to tell
my pa first.

Bobbie, would you
like me to?

No, thank you, reverend.

I got to do the telling.

Have a little
more coffee, huh?

Don't give up.

5 days and nothing.

We knew it wasn't gonna
be easy when we started.

What if
we don't find her?

I know she loved me,

and I know
she loved that baby.

It was him
that made her do it.

It had to be.

I'll saddle up
the horses.

Mr. Ingalls?

No matter what happens,

I want to raise
my daughter.

I'll be a good
father to her.

I promise you that.

I know you will, son.

All those times you left
the cabin for hours,

where did you go?

I told you.

Tell me again!

I just... Went for walks
in the woods.

That's a lie!

You were with him.

I wasn't.

He doesn't know
where I am!

I saw him!

How did he find you?

You brought him
here. How?


The devil brought
you together.

It had to be.

Dear god...

How can I
fight this evil?

Help me to fight it.

How did you
bring him here?

I didn't.

I... I swear to god!

Don't say that!

Don't say that!


You swore on god's
name to a lie!

Papa, please!
I didn't!

We have to get out!

You tell me
the truth, daughter!

Tell me the truth!

Papa, we have to
get out!


If we be sinners,

we shall burn
in the fires of hell.






What do you
make of that?

Looks like a forest
fire's starting.

It's about 2 miles off.

Let's take a look.


Everything's all right.

gonna be all right now.

He wanted us to die.

I pushed him!

He's gonna be
all right.

He's got a bad bump
on the head.

You! You're
the man that...


My baby. Is she...

She's fine.

Get more attention
than she should,

if I know my daughter.

He made you do it,
didn't he?

He never knew.


He never knew!

All those months,

I was so afraid
of what he'd do

if he found out.

I prayed every night
that he wouldn't see.

After the baby was born,

I didn't know
what to do!

I kept her hidden
hoping someone would come.


Take her on home
to your folks.

I'll stay with him
till he can travel.

It's all right,
it's all right.

Just got a bad bump
on the head.

My daughter.

Where's my daughter?

She's gone.


She went with him,
didn't she?


Then the devil has won.

In the name of heaven,
man, that's your daughter.

She's in love with a boy.
They want to be married.

Where's the evil
in that?

She's of her mother!

They're the same!


I can't leave you here.


I don't need
anybody's help.

I don't need anybody
ever again.

I'll pray for you.

She'll just be a minute.

I want to thank you

for letting Laura
get the baby ready.

It meant so much to her.

I know it's hard for her.

I know how she feels.

Besides, I...

I should be the one
thanking you.

No need.

It was wonderful having
a baby in the house.

They grow up
so quickly.

I, um, don't mean...

For just
taking care of her.

I mean...

For the way
you treated me.

I know what we did...

Was wrong.


I think...

Our lord put it best.

And I'm certainly
not the one

to cast the first stone.

Thank you.


You're all ready to go.

Now you be a good girl
on the trip.

No crying.

I don't want people to think
I spoiled you or nothing.

Love you, grace.

She's all ready.

The sweater might
get a little warm

later on in the day.

Thank you
for everything.

Your pa
was nice enough

to give me
a picture of you.

I sent mine to you
in a bottle,

hoping someday you'd show
it to my little girl,

and she'd know me.

When she grows up,
I want her to know

what her other mommy
looked like.


She'll always
be called grace.

Thank you.

Laura: I knew I'd never see
my grace again,

and my life
would never be the same.

For I had learned what it is
to love a baby,

all because of a bottle
that floated down a creek

and into my heart.

I pray someday
I'll have a babe of my own.

My very own.