Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 4, Episode 9 - The High Cost of Being Right - full transcript

After the Garveys' grain-filled barn burns down and leaves them with no crop to sell, proud Jonathan refuses to accept help from anyone, even his wife Alice, and their marriage is put to the test when neither half of the stubborn couple will consider the other's solution to the problem.

Dear lord, I... I don't really
know how to put this into words.

You've blessed me
in a lot of ways,

but I ain't never found it easy
to tell you what's in my heart.

Maybe the best I can do is to thank
you for my Alice and my Andrew

and for the best crop
I ever brought in.

I don't know
if you really know

how much that crop means to me, lord,
you not being a farmer and all...


I'm sorry. Uh...

Supper's getting cold,
lord. Uh...

I really do
mean it. Amen.

Land's sakes,

you'd think you'd never
had a crop before!

Well, I ain't never had
one like this before.

I can't wait to get
that crop to market.

Can I go
with you, pa?

I don't see
why not, son.

And as soon
as we get back,

we're going to start
clearing that upper field,

and next year, we're
going to double our crop.

Jonathan, where are you
going to put it?

The cribs in the barn
are full.

Well, we'll just make
enough money off this crop

that we'll build us
a new barn.

We're expanding, Mrs. Garvey...

Well, then you'll need
your nourishment.

Eat your supper
while it's hot.

Yes, ma'am.

You want
some more stew?

No. When I said
I was expanding,

I didn't mean
around the middle.

Hey, pa,
can we have some popcorn tonight?

Well, sure.

Fetch in
some more wood.

I'll pop it
for you, ma.

I'll trade you. I'll pop the corn.
You do the dishes.

Yes, ma'am.

Pa! Pa, come quick!


The barn's gone!
Wet down the house!

get the bucket!

Hyah! Get up!

On the roof...


Hyah! Get on
out of here!

Hyah! Hyah!




Oh, my god!




All my big plans...

I'm going into town.

Nels, put another sack
of flour on my order.

Hey, Jonathan!

Look at me.
I'm buying out the mercantile.

That bumper crop of corn
really has paid off.

I just got back
from lambert's.

Sold another
load there.

Going to take another shipment
into mankato on Friday.

That price
is really holding up.

When are you going
to ship yours out?

I ain't got
nothing to ship.


My barn burned
last night.

Oh, dear god.
How did it happen?

I... I don't know.
It just happened.

I'm sorry.

I been... I been
talking to hanson.

I was... I was hoping
there might be some work,

but he ain't getting started
for another 3 or 4 months.

Look, if there's
anything I can do, I...

No. Thank you,
Charles. I...

Got some work
piling up. I'll...

See you.

Alice: Things are bound
to pick up, Jonathan.

We ain't even
got enough left

to put a decent meal
on the table.

I saved up
almost 50 cents, pa.

Andrew, don't you
have homework to do?

Yes, ma'am.

Best get it done, then.

All right.

I don't remember it being this
hot this time of year before.

Jonathan, like always,
there's a bright side to everything,

even being
out of work.

Yeah? I'd like
to hear about it.

Well, you been talking
about how you planned

to clear the field
in the north section.

I need a paying job,

I don't know what I'd do for
seed after I got it cleared.

I know, but...

Guess you'd be less ashamed
of your worthless husband

if folks saw him out
doing a mule's work.

that's not true.

You said you planned
to clear the field.

I said a lot of things
before the fire.

Th-that don't
mean nothing now.

Maybe we could get
a loan of some seed.

Charles had
a good crop this year.

I ain't no beggar,
and I ain't gonna

go out asking
for charity!

Will you stop talking
about charity?

That's what it is,
and I won't have it!


Oh, I'm sorry.
I can't sleep.

I thought I'd
heat up some milk.

You're not still thinking
about Jonathan, are you?

I can't help it.

Bragging to him like that
about how well I'm doing

when he's
lost everything.

you didn't know.

I know
how he feels...

Plowing and planting and praying
for the right weather, and then...

Maybe you should
go see him tomorrow.

I will.

Go on back to sleep.

I'll come to bed as soon
as I get some milk.


That must
really hurt, huh, pa?

Can't let it
get infected.

I know.

Let me get that
arm wrapped.

I still think you ought
to let me take you over

to doc baker, let him
have a look at you.

No. That's out.

Still think you
ought to let me.

Doctoring costs money,

and I ain't gonna
owe nobody else.

Come on. You know
doc baker wouldn't...

Charles, I ain't
takin' charity.

Besides, I ain't
so stowed up

that I can't start working
around here anyhow.

I'm gonna start putting
that barn back together.

I still got me a little credit
over the mercantile.

I'm gonna go in
and get me some nails.

Don't you think the
barn ought to wait?


It's just that we won't be
needing the barn for a while,

and I think what
little credit we got,

we ought to save
for foodstuff.

Is that some
kind of remark?


You got to remind me
in front of company

that I can't put
food on this table?

I've never done that,
and I wasn't now.

I'm still the provider
in this family, woman,

and I got to do it my way!

Andrew, it's time
for school.

I'll walk along
with you.

You shouldn't have had
to see that, Charles.

Don't worry about it.

Those things happen.

I don't blame Alice for
thinking less of me.

Come on, Jonathan.
She doesn't think less of you.

Yes, she does.

I can see it in
her eyes, and...

Hear it
in her voice.

Hey, look, I told you
I was going to take

that other load of corn
into mankato on Friday.

You could use the work,
and I could use the help.

What kind of help?

Just help, that's all.

Charles, I appreciate
your friendship,

and I appreciate
your concern,

but I ain't no fool.

It only takes one man
to drive a wagon.

Got me some errands
to run in town.

See you.

Jonathan, I was just
at the post office.

You expecting
a letter?

No. I was just coming to
tell you my good news.

You know Mrs. Whipple
at the post office?

Well, she's just
filling in

till they can get
somebody permanent.

What are you
trying to tell me?

I'm trying to tell you
that I can have the job.


Figuring on starting
supporting me now, huh?

Oh! Not you... us.

Just to help out.

we're a family.

We... we should think
of ourselves as one.

You ain't
taking no job.

It's just temporary.

I said you ain't taking no
job, and that's final.

Caroline, Laura,
come on in.

I hope you're
not busy.

No, not at all.

Well, I hate to say it,
but you know,

men will never
learn to shop.

Charles went to the
mercantile yesterday,

and he bought so much stuff
it's just all going to spoil,

and I'll never be able
to use it before...

close friends should never try

to lie
to one another.

I can use.
Thank you.

There's some tea.

I'll put
the water on.

You doing arithmetic?


Need some help?


Where's Jonathan?

He's not back
from town yet.

I don't know
what's keeping him.

Jonathan: Hey,
give me a little help with this door!


Take them nails.

Excuse me, young uns.


in the world?

That's for you.


Now, you share it
with Laura.

This is for you.

Oh, Jonathan!

Oh... it's beautiful!

You said you'd
been needing one.

But how did
you get the money?

I sold the team.

You what?

It was worth
half of what I got

just to see the look on Mrs. Oleson's
face when I paid the entire bill

and I bought
all this besides.

You sold the team?

But how could you?

How could you do
such a foolish thing?

Those horses represent
the only sure way

of getting back
on your feet again!

what's in your mind?


Providing for the needs
of my family.

Whatever else
is in my mind?

But I told you
I can work.

I ain't taking
charity from my wife.

Oh, you fool.
It's not charity.

Don't call me that!

I worked as hard as I can,
and maybe I failed,

but I ain't gonna be
called names for that,

and I ain't gonna be
looked down on anymore!

I'm through, Alice!


I got the last
of the corn all stacked.

Think it'll all fit
in the wagon?

Just barely. May have to
put a few ears in my pocket.

Hey, half-pint!

You feed
those horses yet?

Oh. I'll do it now.



Is Mr. Garvey really going
to mankato with you Friday?

Yeah. I'm afraid
he is.

For good?

Well, that's
what he says.

Why do people get divorced?

I don't know,

Different reasons,
I guess.

To be honest,
I don't think

we even know anybody who's
ever gotten divorced.

I wish we still didn't.

It just doesn't seem right,
those two breaking up.

I know.

Just feel like we
ought to do something.

Well, Jonathan won't
hear another word

from me on the subject.

I'm thinking of Alice.

I'm going to
go talk to her.

I can't just let her sit there
and let this happen!

What are you
going to say to her?

I don't know...


You sure you won't mind
being alone tonight, ma?

Course I mind,

but you want to see as much
of your father as you can

if he's leaving
on Friday.

Maybe he'll decide to stay
soon as he sees how nice

that old cabin's
going to look.

Maybe he will.

You really want him
to stay, don't you?

What I want don't seem
to make much difference.

Now you go on.

You keep scrubbing
on that wood,

you're going to have
it worn plumb out.

Nobody's lived in this
place for a long time.

I want it
to look nice.

I... I know, but, uh,
I'll be leaving in a couple of days.

It's for when
you come back.

Andy, uh, I...

Oh, pa, I'm afraid I'm never
going to see you again!

Now, you know
that ain't true.

I... I'll be coming
to see you, and...

As soon as
I get settled,

why, you'll be coming to stay
with me for nice, long spells.

You mean that?
I can?

Course I do.


Double promise.

Alice: I expect things
won't be so awful bad.

I mean, with me working
at the post office,

at least Andrew
and I won't be starving.

And... it gives me something
to put my mind on beside...

You love Jonathan
an awful lot, don't you?


Always will, I expect.

Do you think
he loves you?

I know he does.

It seems
such a waste.

I know it is, Caroline,
but what can anybody do?

Well, something.


I don't know.

You'd want Jonathan to come
back, wouldn't you?

Oh, of course.

Have you told him that?

No, of course not.
He knows how I feel.

Well, you'd be more sure
of that if you told him.

Oh, honestly, Caroline,
I don't understand you!

I mean, how could you even
think I could do such a thing?

When you
love somebody,

it's worth putting
your pride behind you.

It's more than pride.

Is it?

Yes. I never did
a single thing

to break up
this marriage.

It was Jonathan's
doing from the start,

and when he walked out,
that was his doing, too!

So you're right,
and he's wrong.


Well, I hope being
right is enough for you,

because you're sure paying
a high price for it...

And so is Andrew.

This ain't like
a real good-bye, son.

I'll be coming back in a couple of
weeks to see that circuit judge.

Can't I wait until after
Mr. Ingalls comes?

No. That would make you
late for school.

There ain't
no sense in that.

Son, I'm... I'm glad you wanted to
stay with me these last few days.

Pa, won't you
change your mind?

Let's not go
getting upset, now.

We talked all
that out, remember?

Yes, sir.

Off to school now.
Go on.

Bye, pa.

Bye, son.



Morning, Charles.


You're traveling kind of
light, aren't you?

I'm going to leave the
rest of my stuff here.

I figure
it'll be safe.

You could store it
in my barn, if you want.

No. Anybody that needs to
borrow what little I got

is worse off than me
and welcome to it.

Alice: Jonathan.

Charles, I... I don't mean to
be holding you up, but I...

No. It's all right.
We're not in any rush.

Can I speak to you
in private?

I don't see why.

We've said everything
there is to say.

I'm not going to
beg you, Jonathan.

Woman, do you think
this is easy for me?

Well, just leave it be.

Well, I'm going to say
what I came to say,

and if it has to be in front of
Charles, so be it.

Jonathan garvey, I'm your
wife, and I love you.

Doesn't that count
for anything?

Course it does,
but I...

Don't you
love me at all?


Do you?

You know I do.

Then why are
you doing this?

I want you to come home
with me and Andrew.

Now, tell the truth.
Don't you want that, too?

More than anything,
I guess.

Then why are you


I... I guess if you're willing
to give up that job...

I didn't say anything
about giving up my job.


we're a family.

We need that job.

Not by my rules,
we don't.

Your rules?

Is that why you're willing
to break up the family...

of your rules?

A man who don't have
a say in his own house

ain't even a man.

Now, you give up that job,
and I'll be coming home.

Can't you understand?

It's your choice.

I won't give it up.

I won't!

You... you think I'm
wrong, don't you?

Wouldn't really matter
what I thought.

I think I'm asking a
pretty fair price, Silas.

Well, maybe it is,
and maybe it ain't.

Leastwise, we won't know
that until we count them.

Count them? You mean you
want to count the whole load?

Every single ear,
Mr. Ingalls.

Good old Silas.

Jonathan, looks like I'm
going to be here for a while.

You probably want to get
yourself settled, huh?

I ain't
in no hurry.

I do want to say
good-bye to you

before you head
back, though.

Listen, I... I'm
kind of thirsty.

I think I'll go down
to the saloon.

Why don't you come down
when you finish up?

All right,
I'll see you then.

All right, Silas.
Let's get at it.

I'll limit my bet

to what Mr. Garvey has
in front of him...



I think you're
bluffing, Mr. Sloan.

Man: Fold.

3 aces.

I got two pair.

Oh. I'm sorry.

Hold it.

One of them two pairs
just happens to be aces,

and I ain't never seen a
deck with 5 aces in it.

You calling me
a cheater?

Somebody is.

Man: Meaning me,
I suppose.

Maybe all of you!

Fight! Fight!

Hurry up. Get in here!
It's a good one!

Come on!
Leave him alone!

Who are you?

A friend.

I was doing
real good.

If that game would
have been honest,

I'd have made me
some money.

You're lucky you got
out with your life.

This losing's getting to
be a habit, Charles.

Can't let you start
your new life broke.

A couple of dollars.
No argument.


Come on, take it.
I got to be getting home.

I... I been thinking.

The fact that me and
Alice can't get along,

that don't mean that
she ain't a good woman.

I'm glad you see that.

I do see that, and I
just can't walk away

and leave
her with nothing.

She's got the house
and the land.

That ain't enough.

You know that field,
the upper field...

The one I was
going to clear?

It's good soil,
and it'll make good farmland.

I'm going to
clear it for her.

That'll make the property worth
more, and...

Well, instead of
just sitting here

and waiting for that circuit
judge, I could be working.

What do you think?

I think we ought
to start home.

Andrew, you've got
to eat something.

I'm just
not very hungry.

I can't get used to
the idea he's gone.

Well, we're just
going to have to.

If you're done,
you best get to your chores.

Yes, ma'am.


Andrew: Pa!


You've come back!

You've come back!

This ain't exactly
what it looks like.


I ain't
changed my mind.

I... I just couldn't leave you
with all that work undone.

I come back to clear
the upper field.

I got chores
to do.

Just how much do you plan
to put that child through?

Alice, I... I...

Whatever your reason is for coming
back, you've got the right.

This is your house and your land
every bit as much as it is mine,

but I want you know that
once that judge gets here,

it's all over
between us,

for all time to come.

Are you
falling asleep?


What are you doing?

I don't know.

Like dreaming,
I guess.

I was just thinking
I could open my eyes

and everything
that happened

would just be
a dream.

Ma and pa would be

back together
again, and...

Why did all this
happen, anyways?

I don't know, Andy.

Nobody knows.

Even my ma and pa
don't know.

One day everything's
good and loving,

and then
all of a sudden,

it's all over,

and nobody
knows why.

At least
when kids fight,

they know
what it's about.

They get it over
with and make up.

I think god did
things backwards.

Kids should get married
and have parents.


That's the trouble with
having a little extra money.

I end up spending
the whole night

standing here like a statue
while you fit me with

new clothes I don't need
in the first place.

Hush now.
If I left this up to you,

you'd go to church
in your long Johns.

Be worth it just to see the look on
Mrs. Oleson's face.

Ha ha ha ha!

Caroline: You know,
I believe you'd do it.

I'm finished now.

Oh, good.
Thank you, my dear.

Oh, that's beautiful.

Glad to see you got some material
for a new dress for yourself.

This happens to be for
another shirt for you.

For me?

Yes. It's a very
good piece of goods.

Well, not for me,
it isn't.

You're not going to catch me
walking around with that on.

Land's sakes,
why not?

Come on, Caroline.
I mean,

that's pretty sissy-looking
material there.

It is not.

It is too. I'm not
going to wear that.

Just shows what I get

for trying to find something
really nice for you.

Stop it!

What in the world?

what's the matter?

I don't want you

Baby, we weren't

You were!

Darling, we were just
having a disagreement.

No, you weren't.
You were fighting

just like
Mr. and Mrs. Garvey,

and now they're
getting divorced

and won't even talk
to each other.

Oh, Laura!


Hey, hey, hey.
Come on.

Come on, honey. You don't
think your ma and I would...

I can't help it.

It just
sounded like...

Well, look, you have disagreements
with your sisters, don't you?


And sometimes when you
have those disagreements,

you end up getting
your own way, don't you?


It's just the same with
ma and me, that's all.

I mean, if your ma
kept it up long enough,

I'd end up giving in.

Matter of fact, to prove my
point, I will give in.

Caroline, you go ahead and
you make the new shirt.

Oh, Charles...

But I'm not going to
wear it, anyway.


Ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Uh, I thought you'd be
down at the post office.

I only work
half a day wednesdays.

Well, that's good.

It gives you a chance to
catch up on a woman's work.

Must be kind of hard
working all day

and having to come
home and do this.

It was never easy.

Didn't say it was.

You didn't have to.

Didn't have to what?

Never mind.

Upper field will be
cleared pretty quick.

That's nice.

Going to make this
property worth a lot more.

I'm sure it will.

Hard work, though...
dragging them stumps around.

I'm sure it is.

Man's work.
Real man's work.

Glad there's something
I can do that you can't.

If I was clearing
the field,

I'd use the team
we used to have.

Amazing how much you
cleared in so short a time.


Going to be a fine
piece of farmland.

As soon as
I start working,

I'm going to
send you some money,

and you can replace
them horses I sold.

Jonathan, you're leaving
everything behind.

There's no need
to send money besides.

No. It's right
and proper.

Whatever you say.

Been making good time.

Got a couple more
of them scrub trees,

and I'll be through,
maybe even today.


The stage brought a letter
from judge picker today.

He'll be here
tomorrow at noon.

Judge working
on Saturday, huh?

We're supposed to meet
at the schoolhouse.

I'll be there.

Uh, we needed
two witnesses.

I hope you don't mind,
but I asked the Ingalls.

No, I... If it's all right with
them, it's fine with me.

Well, do you need

Need anything?

From the house.

No, I... Don't guess
that I do.

Well, then,
I won't hold you up.

Sit down.
Sit down.

Who are the Garveys?

We are,
your honor.

I am judge picker.

You are the witnesses?

Yes, sir.

Judge: Name?


One "I" or two?

Two. Charles
and Caroline.

And who might this be?

Our son Andrew.

Judge: "Son, Andrew."

Now, then, I will
assume that, as usual,

there are questions of property
and other financial matters

which are not yet
settled between you.

I will state categorically

that unless they are settled
here and now in my presence

and to the satisfaction
of all parties,

you will need to engage
separate attorneys

and go fight it out
in Minneapolis.

Is that clear?

Yes, your honor.

That's a very expensive

so I suggest you consider it
when either or both of you

are tempted to succumb
to unreasonableness.

You don't have to worry about
that, your honor.

We ain't
unreasonable people.

Somebody must be.
You're getting divorced.

Your honor,
I can promise you there's no problem

concerning money
or property.

Is that so?

I'll go along
with whatever

my husband
thinks is fair.

Most unusual.

Is there anything that is
not resolved between you?

Yes. One thing.

Judge: And that is?

The custody of our son.

Alice, I ain't
never said...

Jonathan, he wants
to live with you.

plumb crazy.

I've agreed so long as you
remain in walnut grove.

You know
I can't do that.

Sure you can, pa.

You saw how nice

I fixed up
the cabin for you,

and you need somebody
to look after you.

I can do it.

Honest, I can.

I know you did
a fine job

with that
cabin, son,

but what about
your ma?

I can visit her
anytime I want.

It'll be
the next best thing

to still being
a family.

Even if you hate
each other,

that still doesn't mean
I don't love both of you.

I don't hate
your ma, boy.

Then... why are you
getting a divorce?

Ask your mother.

Why, ma?


Tell him it's because
I'm a failure.

I... I'm useless.

A man can't provide
for his family,

he ain't got no
right to be husband.

I never said that.

I never even hinted that
I see you that way.

Did too.


Lots of times.


You telling me
I didn't hear

those accusing things
you said to me?

No, I'm not.
I believe you heard them.

I just never said them.

I think you
block out my voice

and put in a voice
from your own head!

That's really great.
Now you're telling me I'm crazy.

There, you see?
I never said you're crazy.

You just said
I said you were crazy.

I didn't.

You did too!

I said you said!

I said that you never
hear what I say!

Well, I'm hearing
you now.

Then what did I say?

You said I'm crazy.

Ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Charles, I don't see
nothing funny.

I'm sorry.
Ha ha ha!

You better tell me
why you're laughing.

Ha ha ha!

He says...

He says that
she says that...

She didn't say
you were crazy.

You said
you were crazy.

what did she say?

I don't know
what she said.

Ha ha ha ha!

What did you say?

Oh, Jonathan!

I want you all
to try to be very calm.

I would only
like to know,

are we or are we not
getting a divorce?

Well, I don't know.
Are you?

Mr. Garvey, I'm going to concur
with the general consensus.

Your wife did not
tell you you're crazy...

But I am.

I'm telling all of you...
You're crazy!

Can we go
home now, pa?

I don't see
why not.

Come on.

Just a minute.

Uh, Charles.


Can we get you and your family
to join us for dinner tonight?

Ha ha ha!

We'd love to.

I'll... I'll bring
a casserole.

No need.

We're going to eat
high off the hog

if I can get my wife to spend
some of her post office money.

I'll see you.

Charles: We'll see you.


Oh! Ha ha!

That was the most
amazing thing.

What did you say?

That was the most
amazing thing.

You didn't say that.

You said
I was crazy.

Oh, Charles!