Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 5, Episode 10 - Men Will Be Boys - full transcript

While their fathers secretly trail them, young Albert Ingalls and Andy Garvey set off to prove their mettle as men by accepting a challenge to live by their wits during a week-long, overland walk from Walnut Grove to Sleepy Eye and back.

We chopped and stacked a
whole bunch of wood for you.

More than
two cords.

I'll load
it tomorrow.

That's as much a day's work
as a man could expect,

especially from a
couple of young'uns.

Thank you,
Mr. Caulder.

Now, boys...

I got that north pasture
to start clearing.

Now, if you have
a mind to...

Yes, sir.

Mr. Caulder: Same wages,
20 cents a day each.

Oh, we'd like
that fine.

I'll expect you both
bright and early tomorrow.

Mr. Caulder:
For you...

Thank you.

Mr. Caulder: Best you
boys be running on.

You'll be late
for supper.

Bye, Mr.

See you tomorrow!

Andy: Getting so we're
finding work most every day.

Albert: Yeah.

If things keep going
the way they are,

we could end up saving an
awful lot before summer's out.

Andy: How much, you think?

Albert: Hmm...
10, maybe $12,

even more if we
work 6-day weeks.

Andy: What will
you spend yours on?

Albert: Don't rightly know.

Just kind of like that feeling
that it's all piling up.

Andy: Yeah, me too.

Albert: See you tomorrow!

Andy: Bye!

Laura: It just
isn't fair.

I quite agree.

Charles: Well, I'll tell
you, it's partially my fault.

I've been so busy
doing my work,

I haven't been
keeping an eye on him,

making sure he's
doing his chores.

Caroline: Well, I think it's time
we got it settled once and for all.

Oh, don't you
worry, I will.

Thank you,

I could tell what you were
cooking halfway up the road.

Mmm... hungry
as a bear.

Andy and me must have chopped
and stacked over two cords today.

the matter?

No, but I'd like
you to go upstairs,

take a look at your part of the
loft, please.


Just do it.


All right,
I'm looking.

Do you see
anything wrong?



Nope, just the
way I left it.

Charles: Well, that
happens to be our problem.


The bed isn't made, the
whole place is a mess.

And it's starting
to smell bad.

Well, but I like
it that way.

Maybe I shouldn't leave
food lying around, but...

Well, like,
making the bed.

It doesn't make sense.

Albert: I have to mess
it up when I go to sleep,

and, well, that's practically
the only time I'm up there.

Albert, when this
many people live

in such a very
small house...

Well, if one person
is deliberately messy,

then everyone suffers.

Now, keeping your
part of the house neat

is one of the
rules around here.

Well, sure, but...

No buts.


Look? You
want to look?

You come on outside with
me, we're going to look.

Well, you've been neglecting
your chores outside, too.

I want you to take a look
at this chicken Coop.

You mean,
you really expect me to do all that

besides putting in
a hard day's work?

Of course I do!

I never asked you to
put in a hard day's work

at somebody
else's place.

What do you want to work
all the time for anyway?

It's summer

Well, isn't vacation a time
when people do what they want?

Exactly, of
course it is.

Then why shouldn't I work
if that's what I want?

Well, no reason at all,
as long as you do your chores and

you keep the
loft clean.

Now, come on,
clean up the Coop.

Do you have to do
those kinds of things

when you come home
from a day's work?

Of course
I don't.


Because it's
different, that's why.

In what way?

Albert, try to understand,
I'm supporting a family.

I'm doing
a man's work.

Is chopping
firewood man's work?


Is clearing a
pasture man's work?


Is plowing a field
man's work?

Of course it is.

Albert: Well, that's
what I've been doing.

So, if I can do
the work of a man,

I should have the right
to be treated like one.

Albert, I... I am
the man around here,

and you do what I say.

Charles: If you want to work,
you work for me, and I'll pay you.

No, that would
wreck everything.


Albert: Because
it's an allowance,

and allowances
are for kids.

Well, what are you?

I'm a man, and
you just said so.

I did not.

You said a man chops
wood, clears and plows...

Clean the
Coop, Albert.

Come on, clean
the Coop.


Whenever they're wrong,
they yell at you.

Just clean the Coop!

But I already
told Mr. Caulder

I'd keep on
working for him.


looking back,

even before I was
as old as Andy,

I was already
doing a man's work.

The boy ain't no
different than me.

Oh, yes,
he is.

Well, how?

When you were his age,
there was no school.

You didn't have to stop being a
man at the end of every summer

and go back
to being a boy,

a boy with schoolwork
and chores.

The boys understand that
this is just for the summer.

Ain't that
right, son?

Well, not getting educated
didn't hurt you none, pa.

Can't see why it
wouldn't hurt me neither.

you see?

Now, what's that
supposed to mean?

I've been meaning to
talk to you about it.

About what?

Well, since I can
do a man's work,

I don't see no need
to go back to school.

"Any" need.

Now, you see the kind of
idea you put into his head?

I did no such thing.

Son, when I was your age,
there weren't no school,

and I didn't have a
chance for an education.

Jonathan: You're going
to have that chance.


Oh, "sew" buttons
on your shirt!

Go to your room.

You always said you'd
be so proud of me

if I ever grew up
to be like pa,

and when I want to,
you send me to my room.

After supper, I'll...

I'll go over to
the Ingalls' place

and tell Albert that Andy ain't
going to be working with him anymore.

I don't know what the answer
is, Charles.

Seems kind of wrong
telling a boy no

and not telling
him the why of it.

Well, let them have their own
way, and you know what we got.

A couple of little boys
acting like lords of the manor

because they earned
a day's wages.

Yeah, I
suppose so.

Well, they're
going to find out

there's a mighty difference
between saying you're a man

- and being one.
- All right.

Pull that light over here for
me, will you?

Yeah. Funny thing,
when I was that same age,

I was exactly
the way they are.

Yeah, me too.
Couldn't wait to be a man.


I remember
one time...

I was feeling
so full of myself

I took on something my pa
said I wasn't ready for.

Old trapper got his-self
kicked in the head by a mule.

His eyes swelled up,

he wanted to hire me to run
his lines while he was mending.

You know, collecting
and baiting and such.

Meant 3 days and 3 nights
out there, all alone.

Jonathan: Ha, my pa,
he argued hard and...

He finally just up and
said, "go ahead and go."

Ha, well, I don't
have to tell you

those were 3 of the longest,
loneliest nights of my life.

Ha ha!

Yeah... something
about being out there

all alone in
the wilderness

knock a hole in the way
a swelled-up young man

is feeling
about himself.

Mother nature kind of has a
way of doing that, Charles.

You know, it wasn't
until a couple years later

I found out that my pa had
followed me those 3 days

just to make sure
no hurt come to me.

Jonathan, I
think that's it.

You think
that's what?

Put the boys through something
like you went through.

You mean kind
of like a test?

Charles: Sure.

You know that road
to sleepy eye.

That winds around some of the
roughest country in the state.

Charles: Now, if
we sent the boys...

Now, Charles, we can't do that, that
ain't no fair test, they'd never make it.

Well, I know.

But they would learn a few
things, wouldn't they?

Jonathan: Do you think
they'd go for it?

Well, you did.

What do you say?

I think that's
downright mean.

Let's do it.

Yeah, let's.

Ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Charles: Don't let me forget
to give you your beef jerky.

Andy: Is that
all we get?

Jonathan: Well, it's
part of the test, son.

You got to learn to live off the
land, forage for your food.

You got hooks for fishing
and makings for a snare.

Charles: Besides, if you're careful,
it'll last you a couple of days.

Albert: How you going to know if
we get all the way to sleepy eye?

Charles: I thought
about that.

Had a letter sent in
there by stage yesterday.

It's addressed to me.

When you get to sleepy eye, all you
have to do is go to the post office,

pick it up, and bring
it back home to us.

Albert: And when we do,
you'll stick to your part of the deal?

Charles: Honest injun. Long as
you're working, you pay your own way,

you can make your
own decisions.

Andy: And then I
can quit school?

right, son.

Well, here
we are.

Fellas, sleepy eye...
That-a way.

Let's go.


Charles: Good luck.

See you in
about 6 days!

Well, there they go.

Charles, if you're so sure
they're not going to make it,

how come you sent that
letter to sleepy eye?

Well, miracles
do happen.

Besides, you and I believe in fair
play, don't we?

What do you give them,
4, maybe 5 hours?

Yeah, maybe a
little bit more.

I'm sure we're going
to be home for supper.

Well, I'm
all for that.

Come on, let's
follow them.

Uh... we're
far enough in.

We're safe.

Safe for what?

To go back to the
road, what else?


You don't really expect
me to go through all that

just to get to sleepy eye.

Of course you do.

Are you crazy?

We can pick up a
ride on a wagon

and be there before
sundown tomorrow.

Not a chance.

Look, we pick
up the letter,

fish or something
for a few days,

and we come back
the same way.

We're not cheating,
and that's that.

Who's to know?

I'm to know,
that's who.

And you're
to know.

Oh, grow up,
will you?

That's what we're supposed to
be doing by taking this on.

All we have to do is
make it look good.

Albert, we
made a deal,

and I'm
sticking to it.

Well, I'm not.

Fine, you catch your
ride into sleepy eye

but not with me.

Andy, where
are you going?

Make up your
mind, Albert.

Either we stick
to the deal

or I'm turning around
right now and go back

and tell everybody that we were
too scared to go through with it.

You'd do that?

Try me.

All right, we
do it your way.

How could anybody
be so dumb?

That beef jerky sure
makes you thirsty.


How long have
we been gone?

I don't know.

I'm getting tired.

Yeah, me too.

Shh, listen.


Just like I told you,
we could fish for supper

and set a rabbit trap
for tomorrow, come on!

I don't think those young'uns
ever stop for a rest.

I was thinking
the same thing.

Yeah, we're heading
down that gorge now.

No way they're going
to get away from us.

Why don't we stop
and rest a piece?

That's fine with me.

I figure they ought to get a
little discouraged by now, eh?

The sooner,
the better.

My stomach's starting to growl.

No need for that.

Here you go.

Oh... jerky!

Uh, not bad.




Yippee! Ha ha!


Ha ha!




Oh, Charles, that took
10 years off my life.

Mine, too.


Smell those
fish cooking?

Yeah, that's all
I've been smelling.

Them two ain't suffering
much hardship yet, are they?

Well, they will.

Just taking a little longer
than we figured, that's all.

I wish I had a cold.


I said I wish
I had a cold.

I wouldn't smell
that fish frying.

As chilly as it's getting,
you'll get your wish.

You'll get a nice cold,
you won't smell anything.

Ain't working out
like we planned it.

We were supposed to be home
for supper by now, Charles.

Would you not talk
about that, please?

Hmm? Just don't
talk about it.

Thank you.

There was some poison
oak over there.

Ready to eat?


Let's dig in.

What happened
to them?

I don't know.

Maybe the pan
got too hot.

Try one.

Sorry, Andy.

Next time I won't
get the pan so hot.

Truth is...

I'm so tired, I
really don't care.


At least we'll be
nice and warm.

To tell you the truth,
I'm not much for fish anyway.

I don't think most
kids like fish.

That's why grownups have to make
up stories to get us to eat them,

telling us they're
brain food.

If fish are so smart,
how come they get caught?

Maybe tomorrow we'll catch us
a rabbit in one of them snares.

What do you
think, Andy?


I wish we could have a fire
and get warmed up a little.

Oh, so do I, but we can't
take a chance they spot it.

You know, the next time you start
reminiscing about your boyhood,

you just keep it to
yourself, all right?

Now, Charles, you know this
idea of a test was your idea.

I'll let you know I got
the idea for the test

from that silly story you
were telling me about you...


All right, let's
not argue about it.

Now, we'll just... just
go to sleep.

They're bound to
give up by tomorrow.

Night, now.

Good night, Charles.

I don't know what's going
to be good about it.



- Charles.
- What?

Sun's up.

Oh... I was hoping I
dreamed this last night.

You didn't.

I hope this ain't going
to take too much longer.

Oh, my hands are never
going to get warm again.

Come on, let's
check on the boys.


Look at them
two down there.

Charles: They don't look like
they're suffering much, do they?

Jonathan: There ain't no more
fishing between here and sleepy eye.

It'll be a little different
when their bellies are empty.

Well, I hope
you're right.

I don't feel like spending
another night like the last one.

Come on, let's
get out in the sun.

A rabbit.

Give me the knife,
give me the knife!

Just our luck.

Charles, I don't know whether
I can even take the smell

of cooking rabbit.


You ever clean
one of these?


Must be just like
cleaning a fish.

Yeah, well...

I cleaned the
fish last night.

You better do it.


I never killed
a rabbit before.

Neither have I.

Oh, I just
can't do it.

I can't do it either.

We might as
well let him go.

They let
him go, ha!

I think we
got them now.

And keep going.

We'll find
another creak.

This didn't feel like
one to my stomach.

Oh, thank goodness
they're not eating.

Uh, hold up a minute,
I got another rock in my shoe.

How long you think
we've been walking?

Oh, I don't know.
3 hours maybe.

What if there isn't
another stream?

What if we don't
catch no more fish?

Well, you should have thought that
before you turned that rabbit loose.

You told me to!

And I told you to hitch a
ride with me on a wagon.

You didn't listen
to me then.

Think we ought
to turn back?

I don't know.

I hate thinking about going back
and admit that we couldn't make it.

Hey, thinking about
starving, too.


Well, let's go back where we caught
that other fish and decide then.

All right.

I take back everything
I said, it worked.

I knew it was going
to work all the time.

Yeah, I'll bet
you did, come on.


What is it?

hundreds of them.

We can make
it now!

We can make it!

Mmm... they're good.

Let's only eat
half of them now

and save the
rest for later.

All right.


Those berries
look good.



You feeling

Mmm, yeah.

Sleepy eye,
here we come.

Albert: Let's go.

Let's eat some of those
berries and then follow them.


Charles: Come on.

My stomach.

Oh, berries!



Them two didn't
leave much, did they?


We'll split it.

Looks like a bad
one building up.

Who cares? We'll be in
sleepy eye in a couple hours.

Jonathan: So will the boys.

I was just
closing up.

We've come
for a letter.

It's addressed to
Charles Ingalls.

- Ingalls, huh?
- Yes, sir.

Well, let
me look.

Well, there it be.

Come in quite
a few days ago.

- Yes, sir, thank you.
- We're obliged.

I don't believe I seen
you boys around before.

- Oh, we're passing through.
- Is that so?


Could you tell us where we
could get something to eat?

And maybe stay
the night?

Well, the only
rooming house in town

is Mrs. Channing's.

She could feed you and
put you up for the night.

It's up the end
of the road,

uh, biggest
house in town.

Thank you.

We're obliged.

What are you talking about?
We don't have any money.

I know that.

We got something
better than money.


Sad little faces.

Come on.

Thank you.

My lands,
what a sight.

Not a tooth in his mouth,
and he eats anything I serve up.

Yup, that's all
water all right.

Now, who in the
world is that?

Harley, pass
over them peas.

Well, who do
we have here?

Sorry to bother you
like this, ma'am.

Oh, come in out of the
downpour, my heavens!

Land sakes, if
you ain't a sight!

Sorry to get your floors all
wet, ma'am.

Don't worry
about the floor.

Now, what are you boys doing
out on a day like this, huh?

Well, the storm came
on us real sudden

before we could
find shelter.

Well, why didn't
you just go home?


Did you hear
that, brother?


Well, where
are you from?

Now, where are
your folks?

Our folks?

They're, uh...

They're dead,


Albert: Yes'm.

We're orphans.

We've been orphans
over a month now.

Land sakes.

We lived over
in walnut grove.

One night, our
house caught fire

and burned to the ground.

My brother and me are
the only ones to get out.

Land sakes!

Well, we got no
other family, so...

We just been doing
for ourselves.

You mean you two are
all alone in the world?


I declare.

We're down to our
last few berries.

Folks told us there was a lot
of work up in Lafayette, and,

well, that's where we were
heading when the storm hit.

We shouldn't be here standing on
this kind lady's floor, dripping.

We better go.

Not in this rain,
you're not.

Now, you get out of them
wet shirts at least.

Supper's on the table,
and I'll get some towels.

Can you
believe it?

Why, they're
two little men.

Hungry ones,

Yup, they's hungry, all right.

Now, would you like
a little dessert?

I sure would!

Oh, no, Andy.

We've been given
too much already.

Nonsense, we've
got plenty.

Rice pudding.

Mrs. Channing: You like rice
pudding, don't you?

Yes, ma'am!

No, please, you've
been too kind.

Next thing,
you'll offer us

some of that chocolate
cake over there.

And you'll take it
with no argument.

Do you understand?

So much like ma,
ain't she, Andy?

Andy: Yeah,
so much like ma.

I'll have some of that
chocolate cake, too.

I'll get it right now.

Regular little men.

Wait till those two finish
eating all that food.

They can't pay for it,
they're going to be in a mess of trouble.

Yeah, I hope they
call the law on them,

put a little fear
of god in them.

Yeah, it'll still work out
perfect, though.

We'll let them spend
the night in jail.

We can come
in tomorrow

and tell them that we heard
and came on the stage.

In the meantime,
we can get us a warm bed

and get out
of this rain

and get some food.
I'm hungry.

Right, that'll
teach them a lesson.

How much money
did you bring?

For what?

For the bed
and the food.

How much money
did you bring?

You did bring money.

Charles, I thought
you had some money.

I didn't bring
any money!

Man: Do something
for you, gentlemen?

Uh... ahem...
No, no, sir.


Oh, constable...

Constable, we were
just waiting out here

for those two little
boys to finish eating.

For what?

Well, you see, we've been
following those two little boys now

for about 3 days
now, and we were...

You've been following two
little boys for 3 days?

Oh, no, no, no,
you don't understand...

I hope to St.
Francis I don't.

Uh-uh, no, no, no, you see,
those are our little boys in there.


Oh, they're your
two little boys.

- Right.
- Yeah.

And you've been following
them for 3 days?

Yeah, yeah.
It's a little hard to explain.

See, you see,
it's kind of like a test.

A test?

I expect your boys would
recognize you on sight.

- Of course.
- Yeah.

Well, then, let's just
go on over and see.

Oh, no, no, no,
we can't do that.

See, it'll
spoil everything.

We don't want them to see us
until they get in trouble.

Until they get
into trouble?

Yeah, you see them
eating in there?

They haven't got any money,
they can't pay for it.

As soon as that woman finds out,
they're going to get in a lot of trouble.

Charles, looks like they're
finishing up in there.

Hey, they're going
to get it now.

They don't look like
they're in trouble to me.

Let's see how much
money you got.

Well, you...
You see, uh...

We don't actually have
any money with us.

We, uh...

That's what I
kind of figured.

I've seen and heard things
in my life I wish I hadn't,

and you two...

Now, constable, please, believe
me, I can explain this to you.

Now, get out!

Listen, sir.

Go on, while I
still got my temper.


You... you...
You're wrong.

It's not much,
but it's going to have to do.

The boys are going
to be all right.

They'll be sleeping in a
nice, warm hotel tonight.

They must have had some
money with them after all.

Charles: Yeah.

Man: What do
you two want?

Uh... ahem...

Is this
your place?

Man: You got it.
Now, what do you want?

Well, you see,
we were following our two little boys...

We ran out of money, and we're
just looking for a place to sleep.

And I suppose you want
me to provide it for you

out of the goodness
of my heart, huh?

That would be
real nice of you.

Man: No account drifters!

You are all just alike...

Born with one hand
sticking out.

Well, one of these days,
you'll just have to learn

you'll have
to earn your way,

after what little
this world provides.

Man: Now, if'n youse clean
them stalls right over yonder,

it might earn you a dry
spot for the night.

Shovels is by the door.

The shovels
is by the door.

Thank you!

- Uh!
- Uh!

This is
some bed!

Yeah, it
sure is.

I'm glad
you like it.

Now, you two fellows get
a good night's sleep,

and I'll see you
in the morning.

- Yes, ma'am.
- Good night.

Good night.

Regular little men.

You sure are good,
brother Albert.

I know.


Andy: Still
can't believe it.

Albert: Yeah, don't
have to do any fishing

with all the food
she packed us.

Can't even think about
it after that breakfast.


at that.

That can't be the
stream we crossed.

The rain must
have done it.

Well, how are we going
to get across it?

Don't know.

We'll have to
think of something.

Rain's got that
river running high.

I think we
got them now.

Yeah, they're never
going to get across that.

They'll have to go all
the way back to sleepy eye

and then double around on
that road and use the bridge.

And we just come back
and catch them cheating.

I think we
got them...

If we don't starve
to death first.

Albert: Let's
check downstream.

Ha! We got them.

Albert: Hey,
look at that!

Come on!

We can get
across that easy.

It sure doesn't
look easy to me.

Ah, sure it does.
Come on.

Dad burn it!

Why'd that tree have
to fall right there?

Charles, it looks like they're
going to make it across there.

Oh, no.

Can't they just get
wet or something?

Come on.

Dad-burned kids.

All right.

Charles, are you sure
we can get across this?

Of course we can
get across this.

What are you worried
about, anyway?

You're taller
than I am.

What's that got
to do with it?

I don't know,
I'm delirious from hunger. Come on.


Hey, no!

Charles, I'm sorry
I grabbed you.

You owe me a hat.

I don't think we
came this way.

Hmm, me

Let's try
that way.

We can't be
far off track.

Charles: Didn't realize we
got carried so far downstream.

Jonathan: Yeah, I hope we can
pick up their trail pretty quick.

Charles: We'll just keep pushing
on in that general direction,

and hope to spot
their campfire.

I'll be glad when
this is over.

Oh, my whole foot's
just one big blister.


You know, I still don't
think we came this way.

Oh, what's the

We're most of the
way back already.

How lost
can we get?


What was that?


I heard something.

There it is again.

Just some animal.

He won't come
near the fire.


That's right.


Bet our folks are going
to be surprised tomorrow.

I don't think they
figured we could do it.

I had that
feeling myself.

And look
at us now.

Wasn't easy,
but wasn't all that hard either.

How many boys our age
could have done it?

Not many.
Not many grown-ups neither.

That's right.

We handled everything
just right.

Even that story about
us being orphans.

Well, that's
all part of it.

Wound up making
us feeling good

and her
feeling good.

You handled your part just
right, too.

Not as good
as you.

Well, the whole
point is...

I think we proved
that we can take on

just about anything
life hands us.

Ha ha ha!

Vagrant: Ooh, ha ha ha!

Hee, ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Ooh, ha ha ha!

What was that?

I don't know,
and I don't want to find out.

Oh, me neither.

Oh, no.

What is it?

The letter,
the letter was back there.

They'll never
believe us now.

We have
to go back.

I'm not
going back.

Me neither.

Come on.

Charles, over here!

I don't know what's
happened here.




It's the letter.

They wouldn't have left that behind
unless something terrible happened here.

No use wasting our time trying
to find them in the dark.

Let's get to town,
round up a search party.

Charles: Caroline!

Alice, they're back!

Oh, Charles.

Caroline: Oh, Charles,
we've been beside ourselves.

Now, listen, I want you to try
not to worry. We lost the boys.

But we're going to get
a search party out,

and we're going
to find them.

we weren't worried about the boys.

They've been
back for hours.

We were worried
about you.

Oh, thank god.

What happened
to you?

It's a long story.

Where are they?

In the barn,
we heated some water for a bath.

I just told them that you got
worried and went looking for them.

Come on.

We don't have
any proof...

But we got all the
way there and back.

And we picked up
the letter, too.

Yeah, but
we lost it.

Lost the
letter, huh?


I don't blame you
for not believing us.

We failed
the test.

That the letter
you lost?

How'd you
get that?

followed us?


Charles: See, we never figured
you'd make it in the first place,

so, we thought we'd
better keep an eye on you,

just in case you
got in trouble.

We wanted to
teach you a lesson.

We felt like we were doing
it for your own good.

You surprised us by keeping
your side of the bargain.

Well, we'll keep
our side of it, too.

From now on, you'll
be treated like men.

Didn't think I meant
that much to you.

Well, of
course you do.

That goes for
me, too, son.

You know, pa...

I don't care so much about
being a man just yet.

Me neither.

Kind of just like
being your boy.

I don't suppose
anybody's hungry.

Hey, this is no time for
jokes, woman.

We'll get it
on the table

while all you
little boys wash up.

Laura: Things were a
lot different after that.

Andy decided to
go back to school,

and Albert figured it was more fun
to go fishing than work all summer...

Especially with pa.