Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 4, Episode 18 - The Inheritance - full transcript

In this episode, Charles receives word of an inheritance from an eccentric uncle. Soon, the whole town is abuzz, eagerly helping the initially reluctant Ingalls family spend the promised money. As the debt rises, so does Charles' discomfiture...until the consequences of the blessing make it feel more like a curse.

It's beginning to look
like a real clubhouse.

Yeah. But remember, we can't tell anyone.
It's just for us.

You mean we're going to be
the only ones in the club?

Sure. That way,
we won't have everyone arguing

about who's gonna be
president and all that stuff.


Who is
gonna be president?

Well, since there's just two of
us, we can trade off.

Good idea!

Person has to have
a place like this

where he can get away
from his parents.

and sisters, too.

Well, I'd better
get to my chores.

I'm gonna work on it some more.
See you tomorrow.

See ya!

Hey, Laura!


I'm sure glad
we're friends.

Me, too. Bye!

See ya!

Ma, when I grow up,

will I have to wear
Laura's old dresses?

Well, I think we
might just make you

one or two of your
own before then.

Oh, Charles,
what happened to your hand?

Oh, I was working
at garvey's rock

and one of those
old bits broke.

Oh, no!

Did he cut it off?

No, I bit it off with my
teeth, like this... unh!

Oh, come on.
Let's clean up.

Caroline, it's not
as bad as it looks.

Yeah, well...

Ma, the pins
are sticking me!

I'll be there
in a minute.

Caroline, why don't you
go in there right now.

I said this isn't bad.
The pins are worse. Go on.


It's all right.

Where's it sticking?

- Here.
- All right.

- Pa?
- Yeah?

Mr. Garvey's coming.
He has a telegram for you.

What happened?

He bit himself.

Charles, what happened
to your hand?

Oh, it's nothing.
What's this about a telegram?

Oh, it came for you
at the mill.

I thought it might be
important, so I brought it out.

Thank you.

Oh, I hope
it's not bad news.

Well, just take it easy,

Let me read it.

"If you're the son of
lansford and Laura Ingalls,

"a matter of utmost
importance to you.

"Reply soonest.

Roger whitehead, attorney at law,
St. Louis, Missouri."

I knew it.

Bad news.

Laura: Bandit, be quiet!

I said, be quiet!

Charles: Caroline?

It's company.

So I see.

A good day to you.

Man: Are you
Charles Ingalls?

Yes, sir. I am.

My name
is whitehead.

Roger whitehead.

Oh, well, sure.

You're the fella that
sent us the telegram.

This is my wife

How do you do?

My daughters Mary,
Laura, and Carrie.

Let me offer you my
deepest condolences.

Well, who died?

Your uncle.

You hadn't

No. What uncle?

Edward Warren

Perhaps he was more
familiarly known to you

as uncle ned.

From St. Louis?

I don't remember my father
ever mentioning an uncle ned.

He existed,
Mr. Ingalls.

Very much so.

Please sit down,
Mr. Whitehead.

Thank you.

May I get you a
glass of lemonade?

Or I could put
up some coffee.

It'll only take
a minute.

Lemonade would
just hit the spot.

Upstairs to your studies, girls.

Ned Ingalls,
St. Louis.

It just doesn't
ring a bell to me.

Oh, wait a minute!
Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Does he have a big house up on a
hill, looks downriver?

Yes, indeed.

Sure, I remember now.

I couldn't have been more than 5 years old.
I went over to his place,

he had a big dining room with a big
chandelier. It went up and down.

I climbed up on the table,
started to swing on in it,

pulled the whole darn
thing onto the floor.

Quite right.
He didn't forget you, Mr. Ingalls.

Well, seems like kind of a
long time to carry a grudge.

He made you his heir.

He what?

You are inheriting
his entire estate.

That's the purpose
of my visit,

of my search
for you, in fact.

There are some papers
that have to be signed,

powers of attorney,

et cetera,
et cetera...

Enabling me, as
executor of the estate,

to act on your behalf
in court and otherwise.

Well, wait...
Wait a minute.

Why did he pick me?

I myself asked him
that question,

when I drew up
his will.

Told me it was none of my
business and swore at me.


Edward Ingalls
was a...

Uh, shall we say,
a rather difficult man.

Oh, dear me, I...

I am speaking ill of
the dead. I shouldn't.

You know,
I still don't understand.

Didn't he have
any children?

No. He and his wife were
not on the best of terms.

She passed away
some years ago.

Is it a large estate,
Mr. Whitehead?

I... see there's been
very little communication

between the members of
your family, Mr. Ingalls.

Uh, did you happen to take
note of the buggy I drove here?

I rented it
from your livery stable.

No, I can't say
that I did.

Have a look at it.

Take a look at the plate,
Mr. Ingalls.

Caroline: Charles, the
Ingalls carriage company.

You used to make jokes
about owning it.

That's right.
We did.

You do, Mr. Ingalls.

I do?

You do.

I do?

When I was little,
I used to have dreams

about being rich.

Ah, me, too.

I used to think
about buying

presents for my

and all my

What about yourself?

Oh, I don't know.

Maybe a fine set
of tools

so I could chisel
off something

besides my finger.

How about you?

Oh. I don't know.

Oh, come on. There
must be something.

Well, I saw a watch once.

You could pin it
on your blouse,

like a brooch.

Oh, what are we
talking about?

We haven't seen
a penny yet.

That's true.

Well, rich or poor,
we have to get some sleep.

You're right.
Good night.

Good night.

I'll get it.

Ah! Oh, Caroline! Ha ha!

I couldn't wait to
congratulate you.

Oh! I'm so happy
for you.

I am simply

And you, too,

But shame on you for
keeping secrets from me.

The Ingalls carriage
company, indeed!

Well, they sort of kept
it a secret from me, too,

Mrs. Oleson.

Oh! Ha ha!
You and your jokes.

But call me
Harriet, please.

There's no need
to be so formal.

Listen, when are you
coming to town?

- I dare say...
- Um...

You're gonna buy
the store out!

Today's laundry day.

And Charles is
going to the mill.



Well! I'm sure that
won't continue for long.

I will just sit
down now

and have some
coffee with Caroline,

if you don't mind,

Caroline, I want to
hear all about

Charles' dear old
uncle rich.

No. His name was ned.

Oh, well,
whatever. Ned.

Well, you ladies
have a wonderful chat.

I've got to get to work.
Bye, Caroline.

Mrs. Oleson: Bye.

Now, Caroline,

tell me all about Charles'
wonderful uncle rich.

Ned, Mrs. Oleson.

Uh, ned. Yes.

And please...
Call me Harriet.

Charles: Good morning,
Jonathan. Mr. Hanson.

Uh, I'm not accepting
your resignation.

What are you
talking about?

I said, I am not
accepting your resignation

until this job
is done.

Who said anything
about a resignation?

The whole town
is saying it, that's who.

They got you building a fine
house on top of the hill, there,

a matched pair...

Yeah, well,
the whole town's crazy.

Yeah, well, maybe.

But maybe you don't know
just how big that company is.

As a matter of fact,
I don't.

Well, you are going to
come into a lot of money,

and you should
stop and figure out

what you're going
to do with it.

Well, I haven't seen
a penny of it yet.

In the meantime,
I think I'll just keep working.

Uh, when you do
figure it out,

we should have a small business
talk, maybe.

See, I'm
getting on,

and I may sell out the
mill to the right buyer.

Oh, come on,
Mr. Hanson...

No, wait, wait. Just think about it.
You could own it,

and garvey here could run
it for you as foreman.

You just
think that over.

All right, I'll think
about it while I'm working.


- See you later.
- Yeah.

Jonathan, you should
talk to him about that.

That could be a good
deal for both of you.


Mrs. Simms: All right, settle
down, children. Settle down.

All right, class,
before we start work,

I want to remind you that next
week starts our annual book drive,

and, well, Nellie oleson
was our chairman last year,

and she did
a very fine job.

We need a chairman
for this year,

so do we have
any nominations?

Nellie, you can't
nominate yourself.

I told you that
last week.

I wasn't going to,
Mrs. Simms.

I just want to nominate
my dearest friend...

Laura Ingalls.

Mrs. Simms: Well, that's
very nice of you, Nellie.

Well, I thought
we could save a lot of time.

Her father could just give
the books to the whole school.

He's very rich now.

Mrs. Simms:
Nellie, sit down.

The purpose of our book drive
is for everyone to work together

so that the financial burden
doesn't fall on any one person.

Well, my mother said
they've inherited more money

than they know
what to do with.

Nellie, sit down!

Well, rich people are
supposed to help others.

Stand in the corner.

Nellie: Not you!

I'm sorry.
I'm so used to it being me.

Laura, will you
be our chairman?

Yes, ma'am.


All right, class,
now let's get to work.

I want you to turn to
page 57 in your mcguffey's.

Boy: Nellie's right.
Her pa could buy them easy.

Girl: Maybe
he's stingy.

Yeah, rich folks
usually are.

Ain't no way we're even
gonna break even this year.

The bank
will tide us.

I hate going in there
with my hand out.

I suppose most
people feel the same,

but they go.

Well, betcha
Charles Ingalls

won't be going
in there this year.

Betcha Charles Ingalls
will be doing a lot of things

we won't be doing
this year.

Find a rich uncle.

Charles didn't even know
that uncle was alive.

Why is it, Alice...

Some folks want...

And others get?

he's your friend.

I know he is.

I don't mean nothing by
it, you know that.

I'm gonna take
my walk.


The book drive
started at school,

and I wondered if I
could make a donation?

I don't think it's a
good time to ask your pa.

Oh, I wasn't going to.

I've got 15 cents
of chore money saved,

and I was gonna
give that...

If it's all right.

Oh... andrew garvey...

It's more
than all right. Ha!

I'm very proud of you.

You be sure they know
you earned it yourself.

I will.

Good night, ma.

Good night, son.

And her very best China,

And she poured the
coffee from a silver pot.

I've never had such a fuss
made over me in my life.

It must give you a very warm
feeling to know that Harriet oleson

is such a good friend
of ours. Ha ha!

Oh, yes, and she said we must
come over for dinner soon,

as soon as we
can make it.

Just name the day,
she said...

you didn't?

I couldn't think of
the name of the day.

That's my girl.

Man: Hello inside!

It's reverend Alden.

Hello, reverend Alden.
Come on in.

Hello, Caroline.

Make yourself

Thank you. Thank you.

nice to see you.

Charles, I hope
I'm not intruding.

No, not at all. Would you
like some coffee?

Oh, no. No, thanks.
I just stopped by to tell you

how delighted I am
over your good fortune.

Charles and Caroline:
Thank you. Sit down.

Thank you.

I can tell you
that walnut grove

hasn't buzzed so
since I've been here.

Yes, we've heard
some of it.

I wouldn't even
start to guess who.

Charles, as a minister,

I have to do
some things that,

well, I, as a layman,
would prefer to avoid.

Well, I'm not gonna
beat around the bush.

There's another purpose
for my visit.

Reverend, we've
been thinking about

what we could do
for the church.

I wish there were
more like you.

I do hate asking.

Charles: Nah,
don't be silly.

You just tell us
what you need.

And we don't have
any of the money yet,

but we could be
making plans.

Well, Charles,
I know it's a lot to ask,

but... well, walnut grove
isn't going to get

a chance
like this again,

and I'm just gonna
shoot for the moon.

I want a church organ.

Charles, I know
it's a lot to ask.

I told you,
you tell me what you need,

and that's what you get.
A church organ it is.

Bless you,
Charles Ingalls.

I don't know
what to say.

Don't say anything.
Now that you've got that out of the way,

how about some coffee?

I'd love it.

We heard about
the church organ, pa.

That sure was nice.

Well, don't go telling
folks in town about it.

Laura: We won't.

I knew you
weren't stingy.

What are you
talking about?


Go ahead, Laura.
Go ahead and ask.

We're gonna be
late for school.

Come on.
Ask me what?

Well, I'm the head of
the book drive this year,

and we'd just get the
books a lot quicker if...

If I bought them.

Yes, sir.

I know it's not right with all
you're doing for the church.

All right,
all right.

I'll take care
of the books.

Now, you run off to school,
let me get some work done.

Thank you, pa.
That'll show them.

Have a good day.

- You, too.
- Bye, pa.


Church organ, books.
What next?

Oh, Charles,
it's so strange.

Looking in
a store window

and knowing that soon we
can buy anything we want.

I know what you mean.
But remember what you said last night.

We haven't seen
a penny of it yet.

Oh, yoo-hoo!
Charles, Caroline!


There's somebody here
wants to meet you!

Come on in! Come on!

We're gonna have another nice
talk about my uncle rich.

Mrs. Oleson: Ha ha!
You'll never guess.

Come on in!
Come on.

Oh, Charles, Caroline,

this is Mr. Otto Ripley
of the "St. Louis eagle."

Mr. Ripley, these are our famous
heirs, the Ingalls.

Oh, here, dear,
let me take your eggs from you.

Now, Mr. Ripley has come here
all the way from St. Louis

to do a story about you for his paper.
Can you imagine that!

that sort of thing.

Take about an hour or two of your
time if you could find it convenient.

You and your family,
that is.

Why would anybody want to
take any photographs of us?


Don't you realize the size of
the fortune you've inherited?

No. Do you?

Well, not exactly.

But I'd say it's...
More than everyone in this town...

Half a dozen towns
around it...


Banks included,
could put together.

Heh heh heh!

I'd like to do it at your
place, if you don't mind.

Would tomorrow
be all right? Hmm?

It's Saturday.
Children don't have school.

Um... I have to work
at the mill tomorrow.

Oh, ha ha! Mr. Ingalls,

your boss is
gonna understand.

I'll make all the excuses.

Would 10:00 be all right?


I hear you only live
3 miles down the road.

It seems like you know
a lot about me already.

Ha ha ha!

That's my business,
Mr. Ingalls.

Is 10:00 O.K.?

I'll make it a little
later if that's all right.

Uh, it's up to you,

Well, I don't know.

I suppose so.


I'm delighted to have
met you, Mr. Ingalls.

Mr. Ripley.

And you, Mrs. Ingalls.
It's a great pleasure.

And, Mrs. Oleson,
I thank you.

Oh, you're welcome,

I thank you very much,
and good day!

Bye, now! Bye.

Remember, 10:00.

Newspapermen from St. Louis
are always on time. Bye!


Oh, my! What do you
think of that?

Charles, he's going
to take our picture!

Oh, well, so what?

I mean, you've had your
picture taken before.

Not for a newspaper!

Well, we'll put on
our sunday finest.

Oh, no, no, no!

That will
never do! No!

You must look your
very, very best

to have your pictures
taken for the newspaper.

Now, nels brought in
a new shipment

of fine new clothes
just the other day.

We can't pay for them,
Mrs. Oleson.

Oh, ha ha ha!

You and your jokes!

Well, you know that
your credit's

always been good
with us, Charles,

and now it's
even better! Ha ha!

Oh, Caroline!
I have the perfect dress for you!

Oh, yes,
it's very, very smart.

It's elegant but simple.

And nels has some nice
broadcloth suits, Charles.

I'm sure that there will
be one that will fit you.

And there's some lovely
little dresses for the girls!

Oh, Charles,
can we?

All right. Look,
you might as well stay in town,

try the dresses on,

I'll bring the girls
over after school.

All right, fine. We'll see you then.
Come on, Caroline!

Oh, this is
so exciting!

Oh, Laura,
that's wonderful!

Please give him our thanks for
the entire school, will you?

- Yes, I will.
- All right.

Uh, yes, Andrew,
I'll be with you in a moment.

Class, I have
an announcement to make.

As you know,

Laura Ingalls is the chairman
of our book drive,

well, she's just told me
that her father has agreed

to supply the books
for the entire school.

Let's show her
our thanks.


Uh, yes, Andrew,
what is it?



Nothing important.

I don't know
about this suit, nels.

I think I kind of look like
an undertaker or something.

Well, it makes
a fine funeral suit.

Lars hanson had one
just like it,

and so does
the banker, too.

Well, that's them.
I think I look kind of funny.

Well, it's that shirt
you're wearing.

Let me get you
a nice white linen one.

I can see myself
in a coffin right now.


Do you like it,

I like it very much,

but I liked the last
three you had on, too.


I think I'll try
this on again.

All right.

That looks nice.

Thank you.
Try to hurry.

Yes, yes, yes. Ha ha.

Reverend stopped by
late last night.

Told me about
the organ.

Well, I hope he doesn't
make a big thing out of it.

Well, he was very
excited, that's all.

I went ahead
and ordered it.

Nels, you know,
I haven't seen a penny of that money yet.

Well, that's all right.
I'll bill you for it.

Well, don't worry
about it, Charles.

That's the way rich folks
buy most everything.

All right.

Well, as long as I'm
buying things on credit,

I wonder if I could order a
set of books for the school?

They could just come over
and pick out what they want.

Sure enough.
Anything else?

Well, dadburnit,
yes, there is.

I wonder if you have a...
It's a watch.

It's a lady's watch,

but it's like a brooch,
you pin it on?

I know exactly
what you mean.

Isn't it beautiful?
I like being rich!

Mary: Ma let us
wear them home.

We shouldn't get
them dirty.

Laura: I don't know. I
think mine's too fancy.

Nellie: I have
excellent taste in clothes,

and I say it's
exactly right for you.

Nobody asked you.

Why are you following
us home, anyhow?

Because you're
my friends.

Well, you never used to walk with
us before, when we were poor.

Hey, Andy!

Want to work
on the clubhouse?

That your new
school dress?

Of course not.
Just for best.

Sundays, maybe.

Sure isn't for
building a clubhouse.

You look like
Nellie oleson.

Andrew garvey,
you take that back!

Well, you do!

Come on, Caroline.
Just tell me what's in the box.

I told you...

Well, groceries spoil
if you keep them too long.

These won't.

Aw, Caroline...

If you must know,

it's for
your birthday.

My... my birthday's
not for 3 weeks.

I can't wait 3 weeks
to open that!

You're worse
than the girls.

All right. Forget it.

All right.

Doesn't matter to me.

Of course, I, uh...

I bought a few
groceries myself.

Ha ha ha!
For your birthday,

but your birthday
is 3 months away!

I only have to wait 3 weeks.
You have to wait 3 months!

that's not fair!

What's fair for me
is fair for you. Ha ha ha!

You got to
wait 3 months.

Ha ha ha!

Of course, I'm not
stopping you.

Me, too!

Oh, Charles!

Oh, it's beautiful!


Oh, look at the tools!

I shouldn't
have told you.

Oh, no,
it's all right.

Do you like it?

Do I like it?
I love it!

Oh, I love you!

It's like a dream.

Ripley: Just set that equipment down
there, Mr. Ingalls.

Charles: Yes, sir.

Laura: Is that
the camera, pa?

I think so.
Come on inside.

We've got to get
those pictures taken.

Come right in,
Mr. Ripley.

Thank you.

Would you like
a cup of coffee?

lend a hand.

Laura, will you get
Mr. Ripley a chair, please?

There's some biscuits
and some honey.

This won't do at all.

What? What's the matter?


And this.

Have you always
lived like this?

Well, no. We lived
in the soddy for a while,

but I built the house
as soon as I could.

I put a new kitchen on it.
What won't do?

Well, look at you, man.

Look at your clothes.

Well, what's the matter
with these clothes?

They won't do!

You look like
city people!

Well, what's the matter with
city peop... you're from the city!

That's not what
my readers want.

Could you make yourself
a little clearer, then?

Here, here!

Look at this
and this and this!

This is what
my readers want.

They want to cry over the
hardships you've suffered.

They want to see
the starvation...

Well, we've had our share
of troubles, you know.

They want to rejoice
with you and for you

for the good fortune
that's befallen you.

Don't you

I'm beginning to.

You want them to pity us
and then feel happy for us.


And look at you.

Look at this farm.

You're prosperous!

Well, I'm sorry that we're
not as poor as you'd hoped.

Is that your soddy
out there?



could be done.

You have some old
clothes, don't you?

Up until yesterday,
that's all we had.

We could dirty
these up.

Maybe tear them
a little...

So they'd
look worn.

Smudge up your
hands and faces.

Mmm. Make your hair
look stringy.


Stand you in front
of that old sod.

Rags to riches, huh?

That's it.

frontier family...

Falls heir...

To one of the
greatest fortunes

in America.

I found the Charles
Ingalls family

at the brink
of starvation,

and I cried at
the sight of them.

You're gonna have to
cry for someone else.


I said, I'm afraid you're gonna
have to cry for someone else.

We're not gonna
give you a story.

- Well, I don't understand...
- I know...

That's just the problem, Mr. Ripley.
You do not understand!

Ripley: Wait! Please!
You can't to this!

But I am doing it,
Mr. Ripley!

I guess...
I guess that means

we're not getting
our picture taken!

Here you go.
It's the last one.

Oh, good.

Now we ought to get to clearing
those new fields pretty soon.

Start with yours,
then do mine.

How's next week suit you?

Well, I already
started on mine.

It's too much work
for one man.

Why'd you start without me?

Ah, been working
with Fred Wilson.

Me and him
been trading off.

Well, what about
our deal?

Well I figured,
with all your money,

you'd be hiring somebody to do
yours, wouldn't be needing me.

Next time, let me
do my own thinking.

Mrs. Oleson: Ah,
good morning, Mr. Ingalls.

Mrs. Oleson.

I was on my way
out to see you.

I have something I have
to talk to you about.

Well, I'm just on
my way to work now.

Oh, well, it'll
only take a minute

if you'd just stop
by the store.

All right.

I wouldn't dream of doing this to
you, Charles,

but, well,
so much time has passed already,

and my creditors
are pressing on me.

Why, the organ company has
threatened to take legal action

unless some sort
of payment is made soon.

Oh, no, no.
I understand.

Now, I've written to
Mr. Whitehead 5 times

trying to get
the business settled.

I know I've run my bill up
a little bit high.

Oh, yes, yes,
to an embarrassing degree.

But I have no doubt
that you will honor it

just as soon as
the estate is settled.

But my creditors are... are, uh,
businesspeople, too, you understand.

And they want some kind
of proof of payment,

so, I've taken the Liberty of
getting this form, Charles.

Now, it's just
standard, believe me.

That's, uh, that's a lien on my
farm, Mrs. Oleson.

Yes, well, you see,
the law requires

that any existing
assets be put up.

You can check
with the banker.

I'm terribly sorry about
this, Charles, but...

Well, my creditors can
be so demanding, too.

I'm sure they can.

Well, uh, if
you'll just, uh...

If you'll
just sign here...


Please, uh...

Please understand
me, Charles,

I'm sorry to
have to do this,

but I really have
no alternative.

Neither do I,
I guess.

Please understand,

I do, Mrs. Oleson.

Sorry I'm late.

"Mankato news" has you
on the front page.

It says reprinted by courtesy
of the "St. Louis Eagle."

Courtesy. Just look at that picture.
That isn't even you and your family.

"I've just met the family of Charles
Ingalls in front of their hovel,

"on a cold February morning.

They'd just finished their
last crumb of moldy bread."

You ought to go to St. Louis
and wring that fellow's neck.

I haven't got
the time.

Did you have a chance to think
over that business proposition?

I'll give the mill
to you cheap.


Where are you

I'm going home.

I don't have to work anymore.
Haven't you heard? I'm rich.

Mr. Whitehead!

Mrs. Ingalls.

Please come in.

Is your husband home?

Well, he's out
in the fields.

It's all settled,

Yes, it is,

except for the signing
of some necessary papers.

May I ask,
just how much does it all come to?

This is a matter we shall have to
discuss at some length, Mrs. Ingalls.

I see.

Please sit down.

I'll just get
my husband.

I'll be right back.

Whitehead: Well,
that's the long and the short of it,

as they say.

Your uncle ned was
quite an unusual man.

Eccentric would be
a mild word for it.

Eh, would you believe it?
He kept the stars and bars

flying above his house
till the day of his death.

Used to march around
the house singing...

Shouting would be
a better word...

"I wish I was in Dixie!"

Stark naked, if you'll
pardon the expression.

We understand all that,
Mr. Whitehead.

What is the estate

He was as profligate with his
money as he was in his behavior...

Business and personal.

The estate was
eaten up by debts,

court costs,
legal fees...

Except for the contents of
this box, which is yours...

In Toto.

Well, y-you're
telling me...

The buggies and all,

this is all that's
left, is this box?


I assure you, my fees,

the fees of the other attorneys,
are no greater than the law allows.

I, uh, shaved mine
considerably, in fact.

Figures are all there.
Your banker can check them for you.

What's in the box?

I don't know.

It was locked,
to be opened only by his heir.

Oh! Money!

Oh! Hundreds!

Thousands! Charles!

Caroline, it's
confederate money.


I'm sorry.

As I intimated, he was
a rather eccentric man.

I'm sorry.

Mr. Whitehead,
I borrowed against...

I borrowed
against this!

I mean, I'm in debt.

I-I've got a lien
on my farm.

I regret that matters did
not turn out as we had...

Mr. Whitehead,
don't you understand?

I can lose my farm, and you're
telling me this is all I've got!

I wish there were
something I could do...

But there isn't.

Now, if you'll...

Just sign here

for receipt of the box.

Thank you.

Half of this business
is in my name,

and you will not do it!

My name is on that lien
and not yours!

Now, Mr. Ingalls,

the auctioneer should be
here by the end of the week.

I could work that debt off,
Mrs. Oleson.

Now, you know

Well, maybe you could,
and maybe you couldn't.

But, now, your bill has never
run so high before, Mr. Ingalls.

As I told you before,

no one is sorrier
for you than I am,

but the creditors
are after me, too!

Would it do any
good if I begged?

Oh, Mr. Ingalls.
A man should not spend money

that he doesn't have.
Now, I'm sorry.


Oh, don't you look
at me like that!

You're the one who
extended the credit to him.

Now, you wanted to make a
sale just as much as I did.

God forgive me.

You're right.

Well, that's the last of it.

Oh, Charles,
not the toolbox.

I don't have
any choice.

Besides, what's a poor
dirt farmer from Wisconsin

doing with a set of fine
tools like this, anyway?

How much will they
take from us, Charles?

Hard to say.

Be a lot of bargain
hunters, that's for sure.

Hey... Mrs. Oleson
and the rest of them

are gonna be here
pretty soon.

Why don't you and I
just go in the house

and not be here
when they come?

Come on.

Girls, I want you to stay
in the loft till it's over.

Can't waste any more
time waiting, Mrs. Oleson.

I have another
auction today.

Well, Mr. Woods,
nobody's here from out of town yet.

If they were coming, they'd be here.
Now, come on.

All right, folks.

We'll start the bidding
with this fine toolbox here.

I'm sure you've all
had a chance to look at it.

Can I have an offer?

Any offer?

How about starting
the bidding with $10?

Do I hear $10?

One cent.

Ha! This isn't
a comedy, sir.

This is an auction.

Do I hear
an offer of $5.00?

$5.00, ladies and gentlemen,
for this fine toolbox in new condition.

Two cents.

Ha ha! Well, I see

we have a number of
comedians present.

But let's not take up the time
of the more serious folks, huh?

Now, do I have
an offer of $5.00?

$4.00. And you'll never get a
better bargain in your life.

You've got two bids now. Top one's
for two cents. Now, the law says...

I know
what the law is, sir.

Do I hear any other bids?

I'm bid two cents.
Do I hear 3?

Two-and-a, two-and-a,

Sold to the gentleman
standing here.

Cash... if you
don't mind, sir.

Get on
with the selling!

All right.

Well, we've had
our little joke.

Now, shall we
come down to business?

That team of horses
out in the corral

would go for $100
on the market.

But, I'll let
the bidding start with...

One cent.

Two cents.

Do I hear any other bids?

The team
is sold for two cents

to the gentleman
of the cloth.

Jonathan: Let's get on
with the auction.

All right.
I see what I'm up against.

This entire farmhouse,
barn, outbuildings,

furnishings, and stock
is on the block.

Do I hear an offer?

One cent.

Ah! $400!

I'm sorry, Mrs. Oleson,

but the creditor in a case

is not allowed
to bid up his own auction.

Well, then,
the law should not permit penny bids!

All right. Let's get on with the auction.
I'll bid two cents.

I'm bid two cents for this
property, ladies and gentlemen.

Do I hear another offer?

Two-and-a, two-and-a,

two-and-a... two!

Sold to the gentleman
here for two cents.

The auction's over.

Can we talk to you and
Caroline for a minute?

Come in.

Jonathan: We wanted you to know
that everything went in the auction.

I bought your farm.

I'd have felt a lot
better about it

if a stranger
had bought it.

Well, I couldn't
turn it down, Charles.

I only had to pay
two cents for it.

What are you talking
about, two cents?

Well, it was the same price
for your toolbox,

and the reverend here,
he bought your team.

We didn't let anybody in
from outside walnut grove.

Nels thought of that.
He stood out on the main road

and told everybody
the sale was off.

Well, we figured it all
comes to about 6 cents

if you want to buy
it back,

and you don't have to
worry about your cash,

because your credit's
good with us, Charles.

I'm sure the congregation
will dig deep

when they hear
the organ playing.

And it's the duty of the school
board to buy the new books,

so we're going
to do it.

Baker: Nels said the rest could
wait until you're back on your feet.

He knows you'll work it out.

I, uh...

I don't know
what to say.

Then don't say anything.

Let us.

We're sorry.

All of us, Charles.

You know, it wasn't
you that changed.

It was...

It was all of us
around you.

I think we're all

almost back
to normal now.

Aw... hey.

I needed it.

I'm back to normal, too.

You want to go work
on our clubhouse?

I sure do.

How's it going?

Fine. How's it look?

I think it looks rich.

I think so, too.