Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 5, Episode 18 - The Sound of Children - full transcript

Adam Kendall is more than a little surprised when wife Mary's letter to his estranged father announcing her pregnancy brings the man to Walnut Grove. But it soon appears that the anticipation of a sighted grandson and not a change of heart towards his blind son may be the reason for the elder Kendall's visit.


That was great,


Come on, Tom!
Get a hit!

I have a new spinning
top, Albert.

Would you like
to try it?

Forget it, Holly.

I don't play
with girls.

what about Laura?

That's different.
She's my sister.

Come on, Jeff. We've got them!
Get another hit.

Hey, what did you
ring the bell for?

Laura: Just because the garveys
went back east for a month

there's no reason for us to
run around like loose chickens.

The new teacher isn't even here
yet, mother hen.

All the more reason for us to
be ready for her when she is.

Come on.
Everybody inside!

We don't
have to.

Well, you can do
anything you want to,

but I'm not starting out on the
wrong foot with the new teacher.

She's right,

I don't see what
difference it makes

which foot
I start out on.

I end up in the corner
standing on both feet.

Laura: Okay.
Everybody, sit down.

Be quiet.


Everybody, be quiet.


Hey, Albert,
you want to go fishing after school?

Sure. Do you want
to come, Laura?

I can't. I've got chores to
finish, and so do you.

Yes, teacher.

How about Saturday?
I'll make sandwiches.

I can't go

How about sunday after church?

Okay. If you make peanut butter.

Laura: Sunday it is.

How does that
sound, Albert?


Good morning,

Good morning, ma'am.

My name is miss Elliott.

I'll be teaching here
until Mrs. Garvey returns.

Now you know my name.
How about yours?

Can someone tell me where
the roll book is kept?

I can!

It's in the drawer, ma'am.

Thank you, miss...

Nellie oleson.

My father owns
the mercantile.


Dr. Baker: Caroline?

Your diagnosis
was correct.

Are you sure?

Now, why is that always
the first question?

tell your mother.

I'm going to
have a baby, ma.

Oh, Mary!



Well, I'd say
in about 6 months.

Oh, Adam will be
so surprised.

I was afraid it
wouldn't be true.

He has no idea.

And your father.

Oh, I have to pick
exactly the right moment.

Don't you
tell him.

Not a word.


What's the matter?

You're going
to be a grandpa!

- What?
- Yes!

Adam: It's kind of late for
supper, isn't it?

The children
all ate an hour ago.

I think a husband and wife
should eat alone once in a while.

Gives people
a chance to talk.

Flowers, too.
That's nice.

You want me to
slice the meat?

It's a casserole.

Chicken, I hope.

Adam, sometimes there are more
important things to discuss.

Eli: Mr. Kendall?

Yeah, Eli?

You've got the toolbox
around here?

Adam: It's on
the kitchen table.


Well, what's
the problem?

Mrs. Terhune locked herself
in the water closet.

Oh, boy.

Why, you're sure you
don't need any help?

No, sir.
I can do it.

It wouldn't matter
except I've got to go.

Adam: Oh, okay.

Adam, why don't
you sit down?

I have something
I want to tell you.



it is chicken!

Put it on
the table.

I'll bring
the potatoes.


And now I am
definitely sitting.

First I have
something to say.

It sounds

It is.

I went to see...

Eli: Mr. Kendall?

I must have done
something wrong.

The doorknob came off.
I think you better come.

Mrs. Terhune,
she's hopping mad.

Well, she does have
a way with words,

and I don't expect you should
be hearing them at your age.

- But, Adam...
- I'll be right back, darling.

Come on.

Mary: I'm going
to have a baby.

Okay, don't start
without me.



Going to have
a baby.

A baby?

A baby.

Caroline: Oh, Mary!

Look at this!

Feel here.

I can't believe
you once wore these!

Isn't it a bit early
for baby clothes?

Now, don't
spoil my fun.

It may be your baby,

but the whole family
shares in the excitement.

Not always.

I doubt if Adam will
tell his father.

Sometimes I forget he has one.

Kendall, Chandler, and
Holmes, attorneys at law.

That's more than
he knows about me.

I wish Adam would have written
him when we got married.

Well, I suppose families
have their different ways.

It's the only thing
he won't talk about.

Mr. Kendall's
all alone,

it just doesn't
seem right.

Do you think you
should write to him?


Well, he is
your father-in-law.

You'd probably
make him very happy.

I'm sure it would.

All right,
I'll do it.

Mr. Kendall: Well, my experience in
matters of this nature assures me

that we do have
a case, Mr. Radcliff.

Radcliff: All right, Mr. Kendall,
we'll go along with you.

All right, if you'll
let me consult with...

With my colleagues,
I'll telephone you tomorrow afternoon.

Radcliff: That'll be fine.

Thank you,
Mr. Radcliff.

Miss Bennett.

Yes, sir.

I want to send
a telegram.

To Mr. and Mrs. Adam Kendall.

Walnut grove,

Why didn't you tell me
you were going to write?

Because you would
have told me not to.


But he's
your father.

It wouldn't have been
fair not to tell him.


Mary, you just don't
know what he's like.

That's not my fault,
you never wanted to talk about it.

I mean, what did
he do to you?


Not one thing,

to me or for me ever
since the accident.

It was like
I didn't exist anymore.

Maybe he needed some of the
Patience you show to your students.

Where would
I be now without it?

The problem is, you think every father
in the world is just like yours.

Mine isn't.

Well, maybe
he's changed.

Why else would he
be coming here?

Give him
a chance, Adam.

Whatever's happened in the
past, he's still your father.

All right.

All right,
I'll do it.

For you.

Not just for me.

For our baby.


In case you're

I thought we'd start a special
project in basket weaving

for anyone
who's interested.

for girls.

Which is why the boys will
all be playing baseball.

Miss Elliott:
Yes, Laura?

Do the girls
have to stay?

No, you may all choose
whichever project you wish.

Oh, good.
Come on, Albert, let's go.

I don't
want to go.

Are you sick
or something?


You heard her.

I'm going
to make a basket.

What on earth for?

Well, since I'm going to be an
uncle, and my nephew...

Or niece.

Whatever... deserves
a very special gift.

I think that's a beautiful
idea, Albert.

Thank you, ma'am.

Oh, well.

I guess Willie
will have to pitch.

My mama had
a baby once.

That's why
she's your mama.

I know, but she had another one.

I didn't know you
had a sister, Eli.


But mama couldn't
keep both of us.

That's why I came here.

I'm sure your mother did what
she thought was best for you.

Not my mama.

She only
had time for one.

That's why I came here
with miss terhune.

She just left me and
went away with my sister.

Never came back.

Mamas only got time
for one baby.

You'll see.

I've got a school
full of children.

One more won't
make a difference.

It's all right.

I'll get along.
Always have.

Eli, you know you're
special to me.

Nothing will

You promise?

I promise.

Whoa! Whoa!

Hello, Adam.

Hello, father.

I'd like you to meet
my wife, Mary.

Hello, Mary.

It's a pleasure,

Well, that's a little
formal for my daughter.

It's a pleasure,

That's more
like it.

Well, Adam...

It's been
a long time.

It's been too long,

I brought you something special from
New York. Bordeaux claret, 1865.

Carrie: That's
older than me.

Didn't they have
any new ones?

Well, wine improves
with age, my dear.

I'll just take
the cork off, and...

We'll let it breathe
for a while.


Thank you.

That's a nice cork,
what do I do with it?

Yeah, I think you're supposed to sniff
it, Mr. Ingalls.


It smells
like wine.

Well, that's

because if it smelled like a
cork, that would mean

that air got into the bottle,
and probably spoiled the wine.

Charles: I'll be darned,
I didn't know that.

Mr. Kendall: Yeah.

Wait till Nellie oleson
hears about this.

She thinks she's
so sophisticated.

I bet miss Elliott
knows all about wine.

She's a real lady.

Mr. Kendall?

Mr. Kendall: Hmm?

It's not breathing.
I think it's dead.


Come here,
pregnant lady.

You know,
my father tells me

I married a beautiful
young woman.

I knew I'd like
your father.

You know, I really
felt happy tonight,

and I'm glad
you wrote to him.

I'm glad, too.

I guess it meant
a lot more to me

than I thought
it did.

You're all he's got,
you know.

Father never seemed the
type to need anyone before,

but like you said,
people change.

And if we don't go to bed
soon I'll turn into a pumpkin.

Oh. From the shape of your
stomach I'd say we're too late.

It's already turning.

Very funny.

- Susan goodspeed.
- Here.

- Thomas Murray.
- Present.

Benjamin stone.

Benjamin: Here, sir,
Mr. Kendall.

- Oh.
- Excuse me, sir.

I didn't know
anyone was there.

It's all
right, son.


Class, this is Mr. Giles
Kendall, my father.

Children: Hello,
Mr. Kendall.


Actually, Adam,
I came here to talk to you.

It's kind of

Adam: All right.

Mary, I'll be
right back.


Now, son, I'm going to
come right to the point.

How would you and Mary like to
come live with me in New York?

- What?
- Now, hear me out.

A colleague of mine
knows this lawyer

who practices
in Philadelphia.

Name of Mayer.

Well, there's nothing
so unusual about that,

but this man,
this lawyer, is blind.

what are you saying?

There's a very,
very fine law school in New York City,

and you've got
the brains.

After you graduate,
I can guarantee a position in my firm.

Well, what
about the school?


The school?

Well, I figure
that you'll do more

for folks like you in a
courtroom than in a classroom.

Well, I don't know.

It's... all of a sudden,
a lawyer.

I can't answer you
right away.

you don't have to.

You talk to Mary,
and you think about it.

Oh, boy...
I can't believe it.

I owe this
to you, son.

You and I have,

kind of gone our separate ways
the past few years, and...

Well, you've got
students waiting for you.

I'll tell you what. Why don't we
all have dinner together tonight?

All right.

I'll see you then.

Oh, Holly,
that's very nice.

Thank you,
miss Elliott.

- Miss Elliott?
- Yes?

I'm all finished.

Why, Nellie,
that's beautiful.

Thank you,
miss Elliott.

Class, I think we should
all take a look at this.

Next time, Nellie,
take off the price tag.

Well, it seemed kind of
silly to make a basket

when there was a perfectly good
one right there in the store.

I rather think you missed
the point of the exercise.

Albert, what am I
going to do with you?

You don't
like it?

Oh, your work
is excellent,

but I'd rather
hoped the baskets

would be finished
before I left.

This may take
another month.

Well, I just wanted to make
sure it was big enough.

Well, perhaps your
sister will have twins.

At least I can say I've
never seen a basket

to equal this one.



Oh, hi!
Giles. Sorry.

I couldn't hear a freight
train coming through here

with all that
racket going on.

Well, I didn't want
to interrupt you.

No problem.
I'm due for a break, anyway.

You know, I've been
talking to Adam.

I told him I'd like to put
him in law school in New York.

Well, that's a mighty
generous offer.

Well, I'm in a pretty sound
financial position right now,

I figure there's
more pleasure

in putting money to good work
than letting it sit idle.

Of course it is.

I imagine it's a pretty tough
decision for Adam to make.

It is.
It really is.

That's why I wanted
to talk to you.

I thought you'd be able to
put in a good word for me.

Well, I don't know if I
should do that, giles.

I wouldn't want to
interfere, it's not my place.

Well, Mary's
your daughter,

and that's your
grandchild she's carrying.

You know,

The city
is the best place

for a new life
to be born.

Best facilities,
best modern medicine...

Well, I've never had any
reason to doubt Dr. Baker.

Well, no.
No, no.

But I'm also thinking
of the future.

Just imagine
the opportunities

I'll be able to
provide the child.

And my place is big
enough for an army.

I'm sure it is,

I just figure people shouldn't
measure their happiness

by the size of the room
they're living in.

Oh, it isn't.
It isn't.

But, you know,
the people that you're with

count for
something, too.

Our grandchild
isn't going to be blind

like the other children
in that school.

Maybe you're
forgetting about that.

No, I'm not
forgetting that.

Then you'll put in
a good word for me?

I'm afraid I can't.

When my children live under my
roof, they do as I see fit.

When they're on their own,
they make their own decisions.

That's your last word
on the subject?

I'm afraid it is,

Thank you
for your time.


It's this way, father.

Good evening,

Good evening,

You certainly set
an attractive table.

Thank you. Please, sit down.

Thank you.

Thank you, son.
Thank you.

Well, speaking
of attractive tables,

wait until
we get to New York.

The finest restaurants
in the world.


There's no harm
in being optimistic.

We appreciate what
you want to do, but...

No buts.
No buts.

If this John f.
Mayer character can become a lawyer,

then so can my son.

Oh, I'm not
doubting that.

It's just that Mary
and I have put so much

of ourselves
into this school.

Believe me, things will keep
right on going after you leave.

I'm sure that black woman is
capable of running your school.

she certainly is...

And I know what an
opportunity this is.

I just don't know
what to say.


You've got
plenty of time.

Plenty of time to think about it
before you give me a decision.

Mary, I brought a little
something for you.


I figured it should rightly
go to the newest Kendall.

And the prettiest.

A brooch.

Thank you.

Thank you for giving
me a grandchild,

and thank you for making
me a very happy man.

Well, I'm starving.
Let's eat.

I'll get the stew.

No, you sit.
You sit.

You take care
of my grandchild,

and you let the men wait
on you this evening.

All right?

- All right.
- Right this way, father.

Well, the cradle's
almost finished.

Yeah, just about,

after I make this
one special addition.

Watch this.

The baby tries to climb
out of the cradle,

it hits the string,
wakes Mary and Adam.

- Brilliant.
- I thought so.

You're not going
to tell them

about your conversation
with giles?

No. I can't do that.
I want them to make their own decision.

I don't want
to interfere.

You don't want them
to go, do you?

I just don't want
to interfere.

It's up to them to do
what they need to do.

That's why you've decided not
to help giles persuade them?

It's just
like I told you.

I don't want
to interfere.

I know what
you told me.


How about the truth?

If they go back east,
we may never see them again.

There's a good chance we would
never see our first grandchild.

Do you
want them to go?

Of course not.

Do you think that child's
going to be better off

being raised
in the city?


All right, then.
We just won't say anything.

It's their decision.
We won't interfere.

I mean,
if I was going to say anything,

I'd tell them to
stay right here.

He'd be a lot better
off growing up here.

But it's their decision,
so you won't interfere, right?


It is the chance
of a lifetime.

I suppose.

It is,
and you know it.

It's what
you want.

All we've talked about is my
future and our child's future.

I want to know
how you feel.

What do you want?

We aren't like
most people, Adam.

Walnut grove is...

Is in my mind,
not my eyes.

I won't
ever lose that.

As long as
I'm with you,

it doesn't matter
where I live.

And what about
your family?

That isn't easy,
but I have to put our family first.

I'll make you
proud of me.

I always have been.

We can always come back
if things don't work out.

What could go wrong?

You had to learn
before you could teach.

Is law school
so different?


Yes, ma'am.

Come in.

What are you doing?

I just came over to see if you
could help me finish my basket.

Oh, all right.

But first why don't
you come sit down?

I just baked some cookies
to take to school,

but it looks like
you get first pickings.

You better have some.
Get your strength back.

Miss Elliott?


Have you ever
been in love?

Well, yes.

Sometimes it's kind of hard to tell
the person how you feel about them.

Yes, I think
that's true.

You do?

Yes. Especially
for a man.


Well, you know,
I guess men are just afraid.

You're right.

Well, you know, it's usually the
man who says those things first,

and he really can't be
sure how the woman feels,

so he might
get hurt.

how can a man tell?

Oh, just by being around
the person long enough.

Well, how long,
a month?

a month,

sometimes a year.

- A whole year?
- Mm-hmm.

That's how long
it took my fiance.

Your what?

My fiance.


I didn't know
you were engaged.


Only 3 weeks now
till the wedding.

I'm getting married the day
after I leave walnut grove.

Well, now,
how about that basket?

Oh. I'll finish it
when I get home.

I've got to go.

But we haven't
even started.

I just remembered
I have some chores.

Well, don't you even
want some cookies?

No. They'll
spoil my lunch.


Good-bye, Albert.

Hi, Albert.


I just came
from your place.

I thought you might like
some cookies I made.


They're good.
They're really good.


You want
to go fishing?


Come on.


Yes, Albert?

Do you think you
could find some use

for a great
big basket?


Yes, ma'am?

I have something I want
to talk to you about.

Let's sit down,

I'm listening.

When I was little,

my family lived in a
place called Wisconsin.

We studied it
in class, remember?

The 13th state.


for many reasons,

my pa decided we had to move
here to Minnesota, and...

I had to leave
all my friends.

I felt very sad
for a while,

but... even though those
people are far away,

we're still very close,
and they'll always be special.

You're leaving,
aren't you, miss Kendall?

Yes, Eli.

Adam and I are going
to New York, but...

I want you to understand
I'll always love you,

no matter
where I am.

I smell roses,

remind me of you.

Miss Kendall!
Miss Kendall!

Mary: Hester-sue!
Help me!

Oh! What's
the matter, child?

I don't know. Something's wrong.
The pain...

Come on.

Sit down.

Don't panic.
Just lie back.

I don't know
what to do!

Well, I do, I'm going
and get Dr. Baker.

Now, you
just keep still.

How is she?

I gave her something
to ease the pain.

be all right.

the baby?

Not this time.

Dr. Baker: I'm sorry, Adam.

Giles: Why didn't
you get here sooner?

Dr. Baker:
Wouldn't have mattered.

Nature had already decided
it wasn't her time.

So suddenly?

We had dinner last night.
She was all right.

I know it's painful,
Mr. Kendall,

but there will be
other babies.

Better it happen now
than later.

Can I see her?

Dr. Baker:
For just a little while.

She needs to sleep.

Was it a boy?


I'll be back in the
morning, Charles,

not that there's
any cause for worry.

Her spirits are low,
of course...

But her health
is fine.

Thank you.

She's okay.


Just some soup.

It's the best
thing for you.

I'm not hungry.

Mary, I understand
how you're feeling.

No, you don't!

No, you don't

How can you know what it's
like to never see the trees...

The sky...

Your baby's
first smile,

then to find out you won't even have
that child to hold in your arms?


How much more
do I have to take?

Dear god, how much more
do I have to take?


Leave me alone, ma!

just go away.

Just go away.


Oh, Caroline.
How is she?

The same.

I don't know
what to say to her.

maybe it's better

we just get her away from
here like we planned.

you think best.

I'll go talk to father
about it right now.

Who is it?


is Mrs. Terhune?

In the kitchen,
cleaning up from lunch.

Well, the tray's
on the table.

You can tell her
I wasn't hungry.

Don't make me do
that, Mrs. Kendall.

Then she'll know
I was up here,

and we ain't supposed
to bother you.

That's why
it's been so quiet.

Yes, ma'am.

Look, Eli, I really don't
feel much like talking.

That's all right.

You can
just listen.

Mr. Kendall told us you
ain't going to have a baby.

I'm real sorry
about it

because I know how
much you wanted one.

So I got
to thinking,

and I wondered if maybe I
could be your little boy.

I know I'm not
a baby no more,

but you
can't see me,

so you could
pretend like I was.

You know when I told
you about my sister?

And I know my mama
didn't want me.

since I came here,

I've been wishing
you were my mama.

So I thought since we both
needed somebody so bad,

we could
both pretend.

Eli, I...

Please don't
say no right off.

I'd be less trouble
than a real baby,

and if you said yes,

I promise I'd try real
hard to be what you wanted.

You wouldn't
be sorry.


- Adam.
- Hello, father.

Come in.

Sit down.
Sit down, Adam.

How's Mary?

Well, that's what I wanted
to talk to you about.

Before... before
all this happened,

we planned to tell
you that we decided

to take you up
on your offer.

Oh, well, don't
worry about that.

I wouldn't expect
you to go now.

Well, I thought so,
too, at first,

but I'm beginning to think
the best thing for Mary

would be
a complete change.

You mean you're still
thinking about going?

Yes. The sooner
the better.

I just can't stand to
see her suffer like this.

Well, Adam, there's more to
think about than Mary's feelings.

Law school
is very difficult

even under the best
of circumstances.

I've never been
afraid of hard work.


It's just that there are
other things to consider.

What things?

Well, your wife,
for one thing.

New York can be
a very lonely place.

Mary will make
new friends.

But she'll be leaving
her family here.

I'm her family.
And so are you.


Look, I haven't
got time to socialize.

I'm very busy.

You know,
all of a sudden I'm hearing things

that you didn't
mention before.

If you're having second
thoughts, just say so.

I'm not having
second thoughts.

- It's...
- It's what?

You didn't think
we had any problems

before Mary
lost the baby.

And why now,

Why now?

It was the child,
wasn't it?

All this time,

and it was
the child.

Answer me.

You answer me,

All right!


You're leaving
so soon?

Well, I've got
to get back to court.

It's a big case.
It's a very big case.

Stage leaves
at 3:30.

I was going to
come tell you, Adam.

That's all right.
I understand.

You still can't stand
to look at me, can you?

Good-bye, father.


No, it's me.

I'll take
the 2:00 class.


I said, I'll take
the 2:00 class.

You sure
you feel up to it?

I'm sure.

We don't have much time
left in walnut grove,

but what time
we do have,

I want to spend
with my children.

There's no hurry.

Hester-sue and I can
take care of everything.

I want to teach.

I want to think about
somebody else besides myself.


Had a talk
with my father.

How soon does
he want us to leave?

That's what I want
to talk to you about.

Father wanted us to leave on
the stagecoach this afternoon.

I might as well
tell you the truth.

I've been having second
thoughts about this.

I know you had your heart
set on going to New York...

But I just think we're
needed more here.

So I told my father
to go on without us.

Mary, I know it's not
being fair to you.



It's what
I wanted all along.

You swear?

Oh, I swear!

I swear.

I've got you...
And I've got my family...

And I've got
my children.

The sound of
my children.

And I love you.

We'd best go down there and...
Start teaching our children.

Adam: Which presidents
signed the constitution?


Washington and...

I don't know.

Adam: Oh, you will.

We're going to study
all 19 presidents.

That's what
we're here for,

and that's what you
are going to learn

if it takes Mrs. Kendall
and I the rest of our lives.