Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 4, Episode 3 - My Ellen - full transcript

After eleven year old Ellen Taylor accidentally drowns while swimming on a hot summer day with the Ingalls girls, her grief-stricken mother, Eloise, first blames Laura for asking Ellen to ...

Hi, mama!

Hi, Mrs. Taylor.

Well, now!

The way you ran home,
you must be kind of anxious

to get
to your chores.

I... I am, mama, but the Ingalls
girls are going swimming today,

and I wondered if...


If you could
go with them.

Girl: Yes'm.

Tomorrow's Saturday.
I'll do double my work. Please.

Did you do well
in school today?


She did great.
Even better than Mary.

I did my best.

That's plenty.

You be sure and be
home before dark.

Ok. Thank you,

Come on!

Carrie: Don't we
ever walk anywhere?


Laura: Come on.

Let's cut across
busby's place.

Mary: No.
Pa said not to.

Come on. I'm not
scared of busby.

He's just a little
strange is all.

Besides, we'll
save 10 minutes.

Pa said no, and if
you do, I'll tell.

You would, too.

All right.

You see anything?

No. Can you?

Too far away.

Hey, one of them
is getting out.


Never mind.
It's only Carrie.

Come on.
We'll sneak down closer.

Hey, we can see
a lot better here.

Be sure they
don't see you.

I won't.

Sure wish they'd
swim over this way.

What you doing?

Uh, uh, we're
just fishing.

What are you
fishing with?

Nothing yet.

We were just looking for a nice
little, Willow branch

to make
a fishing pole.

Laura has an extra pole
hanging around here.

She'll loan it
to you.


There are some boys here
that want to see you.


Think they're
still there?

I don't know.

Well, I'd like
to punch them.

There they go.

Come on.

Let's get our stuff back
on in case they come back.

Hey, Ellen. It's all right.
They're gone.

Hey, Ellen, come on! We're going
to dry off in case they come back.

Mary: Ellen!

Laura: Ellen!


Laura: Ellen!

Maybe she's hiding
to fool us.

you come on out!

It's not funny

You come out
right now!

Oh, dear lord...

Dear lord,
she's not hiding.

We got to get pa.

Man: Over here!

We found something
over here.

Second man:
It's the girl.

Reverend: "And I heard a great
voice out of heaven saying,

behold, the tabernacle of god
is with man,

and he will dwell
with them,

and they shall
be his people.

God himself shall be with them,
and be their god.

And god will wipe away
all tears from their eyes.

There shall be
no more death.

Neither shall
there be any more pain:

For these former things
are passed away."

Welcome this child,
Ellen Taylor,

into your house,
o lord,

and help give strength to her
loved ones in their time of sorrow.




No, please!

Oh, please, don't
put her down there!

Oh, god!

No! Ellen!

Ellen, baby!

No, no!

We can't let them.

Oh, god,
please, I beg you.

Please! Please, god,
make her come alive again.

Please, god!
Oh, god!

Please, god!

You did this.

It was you.


Well, it was.

She was always asking
my Ellen to go swimming.

If it hadn't
have been for you,

my Ellen would have
been home with me.

Home with me!

Home with me!

She would have
been home with me.

Oh, god!

Oh, god!

Oh, god!

Come on.

Come on.

Sit down.

I'll make you
some tea.

I marked some pages
in the Bible...

Some passages I thought
might be of comfort to you.

I'll just leave it
over here on the bureau.

I'll stop by tomorrow.



I asked god
for a miracle today.

I prayed by
my baby's grave.

I asked him to make
her alive again.

He could do that.
He's done greater things than that.

Eloise, it is not...

Don't tell me it is not for me
to question the ways of god.

Covering my baby
out there with dirt...

It'll be so dark.

My Ellen was always
so afraid of the dark.

God doesn't care
about me,

and god doesn't care
about Ellen.

Don't you come around here
anymore, you hear me?

No more!


It's all right.

I'll go now.

And take your
damn book with you!

Why don't you
go on in the house?

You know, half-pint...

When people are mourning,
they say a lot of things they don't mean.

I know.

It wasn't your fault.

But it was my idea
to go swimming.


Now, you listen
to me.

Folks can't
foretell the future.

Sometimes things
just happen, that's all.

There's nothing anybody
can do about it.

There's nobody
to blame for it.

It's just the way
life is, that's all.

Mrs. Taylor
will be all right.

You wait and see.

She's got to lean on the
lord, that's all.

How long have
you been awake?


Listen, would you like for
me to heat you some soup? I...


No, but
you should try...

That girl's mother made the
soup, didn't she?

Mrs. Ingalls just
thought that you...

I know what
she thought.

She thought she'd cover up her
daughter's guilt by being nice.


And do you
remember this one?

She painted that

on my birthday.

She loved bright colors.

I don't know

what's growing on these trees.

Orange and lavender...

Why weren't you home

when she came from school?


Why weren't you home?

It was still early.
I was working.

If you would have been home,
she wouldn't have gone.

You wouldn't
have let her.

Yes, I would.

Oh, no.

You would have said,
"chores first."

I know you would.

You should
have been here.

She would be alive now
if you were.

Get out of
my baby's room!

First you blame
little Laura,

now me?

It was your fault.

You want me to believe
it was my fault!

It's nobody's fault!

Get out!

Just get out!

All set
to try it up here!

Oh, all right.

We're ready
down here.

I'll open her up.

Uh, hold it up
just a second.

Hold it up!

Whoa! Whoa!

Hold it up!



Whoa, Charles!


Lord have mercy,

Hold it up,

I'll get you!

you all right?

Lord! I...

I haven't been this dizzy since
the sleepy eye juggling contest.

Hey, you're sure
you're all right?

I kept yelling at you
to turn it off.

I couldn't hear you.

Yeah. Yeah.

Maybe you better
rest a little bit, huh?

Yeah. I'm going to go get me a
sarsaparilla and get some rest.

Ha ha ha!


Excuse me.

where are you going?

Well, I was trying to
get me a sarsaparilla.

Your wife's in there.

Oh, well, good.

Jonathan, I don't think
it's a good idea

for her to see you
in this condition.

Uh, she knows I sweat
a lot when I'm working.

I was referring
to your intoxication.

My what?

you're drunk.

Oh, no, no.

Now, look,
I was in the wheel,

and we was working,

and Charles put
the water down,

and I was
spinning around.

And I'm awful dizzy,
but no, no, no, I...

Oh, I see.

See you, reverend.


I hope you've got a better
story than that for your wife.


Hey, Ellen,
you won't believe what just happened.

That'll do her.

Much obliged,

You take care.

See you.

Morning, Charles.

Hey, morning,

I, uh, was out at the
Taylor place this morning.

How are they doing?

Not well at all.

Eloise doesn't want to
talk to me or to Cal.

To Cal?

After the funeral

she blamed
him for what happened.

There's no rational
reason, Charles.

It's just...

Eloise is
very near the edge.

That's why
I came to see you.

I wonder...

Do you think
Caroline would mind

going out
and talking to her?

Sometimes a woman's
understanding can do so much more

than a minister
saying, "be strong."

I'm sure Caroline would be
happy to go and see her.

I'd appreciate it.

I'll ride home
right now and ask her.

Thank you, Charles.
See you sunday.

See you.


I'll be back soon!

I got to go home
for a little while.

it's important.

You got to go over
and tell Alice

what really happened down
there with that wheel.

She thinks
I've been drinking.

She's mad
as a wet hen.

Listen, you'd think I had a
dishonest face or something.

You do!


Mrs. Ingalls.

The reverend wanted
me to stop by.

I'm afraid you'd be wasting your
time, Mrs. Ingalls.

She doesn't want
to talk any sense.

She told me
to get out.

She didn't
mean that.


Well, I'm going.

I'm not that strong,
Mrs. Ingalls.

I'm tired.

I got to get over
this thing, too.

I'll be over at my cousin
Clay's if Eloise needs me.

Get up!

Eloise: I told you to
go and not come back.


It's Caroline.

I thought we could
talk for a while.


Go home to your family,
to your children.

You're not
welcome here.

Come on, Carrie.

You can't walk that
slow. We'll be late.

Laura: Carrie,
what's the matter?

Carrie: I don't
want to go.


I don't have
a present.

Well, I'll tell miss beadle
this is from both of us.

that's not fair.


Because now you two are
giving her a real present,

and I'm just
giving her flowers.

Oh, all right.

We'll say it's
from all 3 of us.

not fair.

What's not fair
now, Carrie?

That means that Laura's
giving her two presents.

Mary: Sisters!

Laura: Hey, I've
got a good idea.

Since we're giving one
present to miss beadle,

I'll give these
to Mrs. Taylor.

She loves flowers.

She doesn't want to
see anybody just yet.

If she doesn't,
I'll leave them at the door.

I'll cut across
busby's and catch up.

Pa doesn't want you
going near busby's.

It's quicker.

he don't scare me.

If you see him,
you run.

I will!

Mrs. Taylor?

Mrs. Taylor?

Mrs. Taylor?

What do you want?

I brought you
some flowers.

My Ellen always
brought me flowers.


I'll put them
in some water.

Silly of me,
wasn't it?

Always so used
to getting up

and fixing
Ellen's lunch, I...

Why did it happen?


She was such
a good girl.

She was such a...

I better
go to school.


Uh, I wonder if you could
do me a favor before you go.


Well, I...

I haven't been
eating proper,

but with your visit
and the flowers,

I kind of got
my appetite back.

I'll be happy
to fix you something.

No, I wouldn't want you
to be late for school.

I, uh, I'm feeling
kind of weak,

and I just wondered if
you'd fetch some apples

out of
the root cellar.

Oh. Yes, ma'am.

Thank you.

Be careful.

The ladder's steep.

I'll be careful.

The apples are in the
corner behind you.

Thanks. I see them.

Mrs. Taylor!


What are you doing out of
school, young lady?

Miss beadle let me.

Pa, Laura didn't
come to school today.

What are you
talking about?

She wanted to bring flowers
over to Mrs. Taylor.

She said she'd catch up,
but that was almost two hours ago.

She said she'd cut
across busby's place.

She knows better
than that.

I told her
not to.

Well, maybe she's just out
there visiting with Mrs. Taylor.

probably right.

You go on
to school.

I'll go on over to
Mrs. Taylor's and check.

Yes, sir.

Look, uh, I'll give you
a ride out in the wagon.


Mrs. Taylor?

Mr. Ingalls.

Mary said Laura was coming
out here for a visit.

Is she still here?

She hasn't been by.

that I know of.

I've... I've been sleeping
most of the morning.

She might have knocked,
but I... I didn't hear.

thank you, ma'am.

Let's get on
over to busby's.

Get up!



I'm going to check
down by the creek.

All right. I'll look
around here.

Hey, take it easy,

Laura's probably back
in school now already.


What is it?

I just found 'em
lying there.

They're Laura's.

Oh, my god.

I'll look around here.

You go into town,
round up some men.

All right.

Put this on.

let me go.

Put it on!

Oh, it's so cool
down here.

It's hard to believe
on such a hot day.

I used to love the root
cellar when I was a child.

I'd come down the stairs with my
pillow and sleep on the floor.

It was always
so quiet...

And peaceful.

And I'd dream...

Wonderful dreams.

Come into the light.


Oh, Ellen!

My beautiful Ellen!

Mrs. Taylor, I...

No! No.

Say... "I love you, mama."

"I love you, mama."

I... I love you, mama.


I love you, too.

Promise... promise
you'll never leave me.

I... I promise.



Oh, baby.

Oh, yes!



Oh, Ellen!

Yes, Ellen.
Yes, Ellen.

Ellen, my baby.

Ellen, my baby.

All right.
Let's move.

I just heard.
I'd like to come with you.

We can use you,
but you ain't going to need that.

Maybe, maybe not.

All I know is,
my daughter drowned.

Good swimmer,
but she drowned.

And now this
with Laura.

You don't
think that...

I don't know,
but I'm going to find out.

Find anything, Carl?

Carl: Not a thing.

We ain't even found
so much as a trail.

It's going
to be dark soon.

We're going to need
some lanterns.

Charles, we ain't going to
find nothing in the dark.

We'll start searching again
at first light in the morning.

Now, you better
go on home.

Caroline will be
needing you.


take him on my wagon.

I'm going to stay here
in case busby comes back.

Let me stay.

No, not the way
you're feeling.

Now go on.

I, uh...

I know how
you're feeling.

At least
you got hope.

My Ellen would have been
12 years old tomorrow.

Good morning,
Mrs. Oleson.

Well, good morning,
Mrs. Taylor.

I'm so...

Is something wrong?

Why, no.

Let's see.

Uh, I need
some candles.


Oh, no!

Birthday candles.

12, please.

Well... you do have
them, don't you?

Yes. Certainly.

This must be a very
expensive doll.

Oh, yes, it is.

How much is it?

Uh, $4.00.

Oh, my!

No matter.
I'll take it.


Well, they're only little
girls such a short time.

It can't hurt
to spoil them some.

She's such
a sweet child.

She brought me the most
beautiful flowers yesterday.

Oh, you needn't
wrap it.

I'll do it
when I get home.

How much will that
be all together?

Uh... uh, $4.24.

Here we are.

Thank you,
Mrs. Oleson.

Hold it.

What's the matter?
You see something?

I heard something.

It's just birds

It ain't
what I heard.


It's all right.
You can come out now.


Busby? Busby!

How bad is he?

He's bleeding bad.

Come on.

We'll get him
to doc baker.

I got him patched up
as best I could.

He'll make it,
but he's awful weak and scared.



where's my daughter?

You listen to me.

Nobody's going
to hurt you.

Please, I just want you to
tell me where my daughter is.

My daughter, busby.

Would you tell me
where she is?




You had Laura's things...
Her books.

Where did you
get them, busby?

Where did
you get them?


I just wanted...

To look at...

At the pictures.

I know,
but where's Laura?


I don't know.

You got to know.

You had
her picture book.

I... found...

Found it...

And the flowers.

They were sitting
on the ground.

You got to tell us
the truth now.

Ain't nobody here
going to hurt you.

It's the truth.

I just wanted to look
at the pictures.

I just wanted...



He's too weak.

He's lost
too much blood.

If he dies,
I'll never find my daughter.



Why did you
shoot him?


I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Mr. Taylor!

Dr. Baker: Not now,
Mrs. Oleson!

I'm sorry, but it's
about Mrs. Taylor.


She came into
the store this morning,

and she was buying presents
for a birthday for Ellen.

She was so strange.

She said that Ellen brought
her some flowers yesterday.

Dear god.


Now make a wish before
you blow them out.

Well, go ahead.

If we both close our eyes,
we'll both get our wish.

Oh, but it's
your birthday.


I want you to have
a wish, too... Mama.

All right.

Now, let me see.






Stop, Ellen!

Ellen, stop it!

Ellen, stop it!

I'm not Ellen.

I'm Laura. Please!


I'm Laura.


I'm not Ellen.
I'm Laura.

No, no!

Ellen's dead!

That's her grave.

Mrs. Taylor,
Ellen's dead.

Oh, help me,

Help me.

Oh, god!


Only god
can help you.

If he only could.

But he can.

Just give him a
chance, and he can.




Half pint!

Thank god
you're all right.

I'm fine, pa.

Mrs. Taylor's
all right, too.

She's by the grave.

Oh, baby!

Mr. Busby?

My pa and me
want you to have this.

We want to be your friends,
if you want us to.

Well, I got to go
to school. See you.

See you.