Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 5, Episode 20 - Barn Burner - full transcript

Jonathan loses his cool at Judd Larrabee for not keeping his word about not changing their prices when someone comes along to buy grain from them. Later Larrabee goes to Jonathan's to get back but finds his son, Andy and attacks him. Andy goes to his father and they go back home and they find their barn on fire. They think Larrabee did it so they go and arrest him. He's brought to trial. Larrabee claims what happened to Andy was an accident and that he didn't burn the barn.

Jonathan: There ain't
no two ways about it.

They're going to have to
buy our wheat,

and they're going to have
to pay our price for it.

Suppose they go elsewheres
and get it cheaper.

They're going to
wind up paying

more than the difference
in freight charges.

Joe's right. We're closest
to the mills in sleepy eye.

They're going to
have to deal with us.

The price is high,
but it's fair.

We just got to make sure

that we all stick together
in this thing.

I don't know. Maybe we should
back off a little bit and...

Now, hold on.

You remember the last
bumper crop of wheat we had?

You want that
to happen again?

Sure don't.

The way I remember it,
they made you take

less than half of what
your crop was worth.

Some of the smaller
farmers here

are told,
"take it or leave it."

Wasn't worth the growing
for what I settled for.

I don't know how
the rest of you feel,

but I'd just as soon
burn my whole crop

as sell as cheap
as I did last time.

All right, then.
We learned a lesson.

Doesn't make any sense for us
to deal with them one at a time.

We all stick together,
we all come out on top.

There might be just
one thing wrong in that.

What do you mean?

I got the biggest crop.
I got the most to lose.

Why should I
stick my neck out

so some ex-slave make
the same money as I do?

Jonathan: Don't get started
with that again, larrabee.

You think Joe kagan
is the only one gets hurt

if we don't stick together
on this thing?

We all get hurt,
including the both of you.

It's pretty much up to you, larrabee.
We're all agreed.

You sell short,
and we ain't got a chance.

What do you say?

All right.

When you can't go around a
bog, you go through it.

All right, then.
We're all in agreement, huh?


All right.
Meeting adjourned.

Free or not, looks like
the white folks

still have to take care
of you, don't it, boy?

Man: Ha ha ha!

Guess I never appreciated
your sense of humor before.

Jonathan: It's a fair
price we're asking.

To you, maybe,
but not to my company.

If you're ready
to talk serious business,

I'd appreciate it.

Sorry, Mr. Bates.
You got our price.

You can take it
or leave it.

Oh, I'll leave it.

Surely enough, I will.

By the time I finish buying
up all the other crops,

I'll stop by and see what
you have to say then.

I think you're going to find that
all the prices are the same as mine.

Ain't a single barn
or silo in these parts

ain't piled to
the rafters with wheat.

You need it,
and we got it,

but this time,
Mr. Bates,

you're going to pay
a fair price for it.

We'll just see
about that.

Yes, we will.

Get up.

Yeah. That's the price,
and that's it.

You've got an awful small
crop to be so uppity.

Small crop, big crop.

It doesn't make
any difference.

That's the price.

Before I give in
to this blackmail,

I'm going to be sure
you're sticking together.

Even if you are,
can't tell.

Might be we'll just pay
the extra shipping costs

and buy somewhere else.

All right. What else,
Mr. Kagan?

Good morning,
Mrs. Oleson.

Oh, Mr. Larrabee.

Two jars...

I'll have a box
of 10-Gauge shells

and some of that
beagle oil.

Uh... certainly.

Uh... finish
my order first.

Um... and two jars of...

Two jars
of orange marmalade.

Marmalade. Yes.
Orange marmalade.

There you are.

You're gonna get yourself
in a lot of trouble, boy,

talking to a white lady
like that.

Now, I reckon you owe
Mrs. Oleson an apology.

Well, now, actually
I owe Mrs. Oleson

a dollar and 26 cents
but not an apology.

Hey, Joe,
you about ready?

Be right there.

Well, now...

That does come
to one dollar...

And 26 cents,
doesn't it?

Yes. Yes. Right.

Thank you.


If I'd have
started anything,

garvey would have
helped him out.

I can't handle
both of them.

Was that, um...

Never mind.
I'll get it later.

Mr. Bates: Well,
now, Mr. Larrabee,

you've got the biggest
crop of anybody.

If you could just
come down a little,

I'd be here in the
morning to freight it away

and put the cash
right in your hand.

Mr. Larrabee: I said
my piece, Mr. Bates.

Well, I'm not

to accept a price
that high.

I'll have to
go back and see

what the company
has to say.

Well, you do
what you got to do.

Of course, I could give
you a bargain on apples.


I got another barnful
of them.

Who doesn't?
In a couple of months,

nobody in the county
is going to want

to stare another
apple pie in the face.

Why, even the pigs
will be

turning their backs
on them for feed.

Well, the only reason
I brought up the apples

is if you could see your way
to buy them at a modest price,

I just might be persuaded to
give a little on the wheat.

How much
is a little?

Enough to make it
worth your while.


Mrs. Larrabee,
I need to see your husband.

I... I don't know if...

Mr. Larrabee:
Let him in.


I don't expect your wife
and boys are going to

want to hear what I got
to say, larrabee.

I don't expect
anybody cares

what you've got to say, garvey.
Speak your piece.

You gave your word about
holding together on this.

That's too bad.
I wasn't taking any foolish chances.

He gave me a price on a
barnful of worthless apples.

I took it,
lowered the price on my wheat.

Why? You knew he
had to take our price.

I didn't know
anything of the sort!

Besides, there ain't no nigger
going to make the same profit as me.

So that's it.

Out of spite to one man,
you're going to do this

to a whole town,
to your neighbors?

You can think what you like.
Now get out.

This town was dead,
and we was trying

to bring it
back to life.

Ain't one of us
wasn't working

and struggling
to do that,

but we needed that wheat crop
and the money it'd bring.

After what you done, we might as
well burn it for what it's worth.

I said for you
to get out.

You might as well have
reached into the pocket

of every honest farmer
in this town

and stole that money.

You're a thief,

and worse than that,
you're a thief and a liar!

Get out of my house!
I said for you to get out!

I shouldn't have done it,

in front of his wife
and his two boys.

I ain't never talked to a
man like that in my life.

I don't know
what come over me.

Don't let it
eat at you.

I'm not sure I
wouldn't have done

the same thing

Alice: Well,
I don't care one bit.

We had such plans
for that money.

We all did.

Ain't much left
to do now

except sell for what we can
get and forget about it.


I've got plenty
for supper.

Stay if you'd
like to.

No, thank you, Caroline.

I've got supper
waiting at home.

And Andy's
waiting for us.

We'll get together with
the rest of the farmers

after church on sunday.

Good night.
Good night.

Larrabee is really
a good neighbor, isn't he?

He's not going to get away with
it, and that's that!

Ain't nobody going to
talk to me like that!

Oh, judd, please...

Shaming me!

Shaming me in front
of my own family!

Well, you can't hardly
blame him for being upset.

Now you're taking
his side!

Oh, I'm not taking
his side.

I'm going to settle
this once and for all.

No, judd! Don't do it!

Oh, please! No, judd!
Don't do it!

Out of my way, Adele.

Judd! Judd!

I'm here to see
your pa, boy.

He's not here.

Where is he?!
Don't lie to me!

I'm not lying to you!

You're a liar!



Pa! Pa!

Alice: Andy, what is it?
What's wrong?

It's Mr. Larrabee.
He's after pa.

He's got a shotgun,
and he's mad.

Jonathan: He did that
to you, boy?

Yes, sir.

You ride with your ma.
I'll take your horse.

Jonathan, you come with us.

No. I'll be back soon.

He's got
a shotgun.

I don't care!

I do! You've got us
to think about, too!

All right.
Let's get the boy home.


Lord god.

Mr. Larrabee.
He must have come back.

Alice, take care
of the boy.


Don't worry.
I'm just going to town.

No! Nels! Nels!

This doesn't concern you!


You're not a farmer!

Go to bed.

Nels, listen to me.
Now listen to me.

Would you just listen to me?
What if you get shot?

Let's go.

No, nels. You do have a wife
and a family to consider.

Harriet, go to bed!

Nels, listen to me!

Charles: Larrabee!

Larrabee, open up!

Judd, what...

Stay put.
I'll handle this.

You clear off of my property!
All of you!

Charles: You're only going to
make things worse by resisting.

I'm going to make
things a lot worse

if you don't clear off
of my property!

Jonathan: You open
that door, larrabee,

or we're going to
knock it down!

It's your own fault
that your boy got hurt!

You clear off my property unless you
want to get your head blowed off!

Nels: Put the gun down,

real slow.

If anybody's going to
get hurt,

it's going to be you.

Now, put it down slow.


Pa, what's going on?
What do all these men want with you?

Unlock the door.

It's all right
out there!

You beat up my son!
You beat him up!

Jonathan, let go!
Let go!

Let the circuit judge
handle it.

We'll lock him
in the icehouse

until the judge
gets here Thursday.

Let's go.

I'm sorry.

How's your head, son?

I think you'd best stay
home from school today.

No. Doc baker says
not to worry about it.

Hard to believe
this happened.

Everything we've worked
for this whole year...


Larrabee. Oh, god.

At least
I'll have the pleasure

of seeing him rot in jail
for what he's done.

I'd best
get to school.

Will you all please
read chapters 4 and 5

and be prepared for a written
examination on Friday...

Or Monday.

There will be
no class tomorrow

and maybe Friday
because of the...

Town business that's
to be conducted here.

I hope you all take advantage
of this free time to study.

Class dismissed.

How do you feel?

Ok, I guess.

Just a little tired.

Why don't you go home
and get some rest?

I've got some things I
have to finish up here.


Boy: Hey, why don't
you leave me alone?

Different boy: What's the matter?
Worried about your pa?

Boy: Mind your own

Listen to him. Hey,
your pa is really gonna get it tomorrow.

Todd, leave him

Why should I?

'Cause I said so.
Now go on home.

Hey, what's
the matter with you?

You already got your head
cracked open by his pa.

So what are you
sticking up for him for?

'Cause I feel
like it.

Now leave him be.

Boy, that bump
on your head

must have scrambled
your brains.

Come on.

Why are you
sticking up for me?

It wasn't your fault
what your pa did.

Don't you never mind
what my pa did.

It was your pa
started it anyhow.

Weren't for him,
none of this would have happened.

Just... just mind
your own business.

Lord, thank you
for this food.

Bless our family
and our friends.

Forgive me, lord,
for feeling hate.

That crop
was the only thing

we had coming
for this whole year,

and it's going to take me
a while to get over it.

Thanks for
understanding, lord.


Alice and Andy: Amen.

Larrabee's been yelling
about not being guilty

of burning
that barn.

I don't know who he
thinks he's kidding.

I wish Andy didn't have
to testify tomorrow.

The boy's got to
testify, Alice.

I know.

Well, leastwise,
it shouldn't take long anyway.

Pa, what are they going
to do to Mr. Larrabee?

Let's not talk
about it.

Eat your supper,

Yes, ma'am.

I can understand
judd larrabee

cheating somebody else,
but not me.

I was supposed to be
his friend.

As far as I'm concerned,
hanging's too good for him.

Time to go.

Judge: If you would remain
standing, Mr. Larrabee.

Barn-burning is a
serious felony offense.

How do you plead?

I never burned
that barn.

It's a matter of record
that you confessed to it.

I thought they was talking about
me accidentally pushing that boy.

Very well.

Then you plead
not guilty

to the charge
of barn-burning

but guilty to the charge
of assault and battery.

Am I correct?

I reckon.

Reverend Alden,
would you agree

to act
as jury foreman?

I'd be happy to serve
on the jury, judge Parker.

However, as town pastor, I feel that
jury foreman is somewhat inappropriate.

Then can you
recommend someone?

Well, yes, sir.

I think Charles Ingalls would
do an entirely responsible job.

Mr. Ingalls?

Yes, sir?

Is that agreeable
with you?

I suppose it is.

Then choose your jury
and do so with all speed.

I have pressing
business elsewhere.

Yes, your honor.

As your name
is called,

just take a seat
alongside that wall.

Reverend Alden.

Mr. Oleson.

Dr. Baker.

Fred Simmons.

Steve Mason.

Judge! Them men is all
prejudiced agin' me.

That's just an
opinion, Mr. Larrabee,

and I'm afraid
you've got no choice.

We need a jury.

Why don't he get Matt
there on the jury?

He won't get Matt because he
knows Matt's a friend of mine.

I was just about to name Matt
gillis, your honor.

Does that satisfy
you, Mr. Larrabee?

You may continue,
Mr. Ingalls.


Joe kagan.

Judge! He can't
name kagan to that jury!

Will you state your reason
for objecting to Mr. Kagan?

Because it's agin' the law to have
a colored on a jury, that's why.

You're objecting to his race.
Am I correct?

You bet I am.

Then I must inform
you and the court

that it has recently been
declared unconstitutional

to bar a member
of the negro race

from sitting in judgment
on a white defendant.

Mr. Larrabee's objection

is overruled.

Take your place,
Mr. Kagan.

Thank you, your honor.

Charles: Jeff harmon.

Harry Ross.

Tom o'Farrell.

Mike dubbins.

And it was because

you felt cheated
by Mr. Larrabee

that you went to
confront him at his home.

The whole town was cheated
by what he'd done.

Yet you were the only
one to confront him.

I was the first.
I think there would have been others,

but word got around that
I'd already spoke my piece.

See, me and him have had our
troubles before, your honor.

You were abusive
to him, then.

You could say.

In front of my whole family,
he tried to shame me!

I told you they shouldn't
have been there!

My family's got a right
to be in their own house!

We will have an orderly
proceeding or none at all.

I'm establishing that the
defendant had sufficient cause

to seek revenge
against Mr. Garvey.

Whether he did in fact do
so in the manner charged

is what we are here
to find out.

Do you wish to
question the witness?

I got nothing
to say to him,

now or ever.

You may step down,
Mr. Garvey.

Next witness.

When Mr. Larrabee

at your house,

were you alone?

Andy: Yes, sir.

His manner
frightened you.

It sure did.

He was hollering
and waving a shotgun and...

Now, this is a very
important question, Andrew.

When Mr. Larrabee
threw you to the floor,

do you believe he was
deliberately trying to hurt you?

You mean,
was it an accident?

Do you feel
it was?

No, sir.

Judge, can't you...

You'll have your
turn, Mr. Larrabee.

When you regained

did you see
Mr. Larrabee again?

No, sir.

When you left the farm
to look for your parents,

did you see

No, sir.

It was awful dark.

I could hardly
see anything.

Very well.

You may question.

N-Now, boy,
I'll admit I was riled,

and I'll admit
I pushed you around,

but I didn't mean you
no harm.

Can't you see
it was an accident?

No, I can't.

Judge, can't you make him
see it was an accident?

Do you have
any more questions?

I reckon not.

Step down, please.

Yes, sir.

Mr. Larrabee,
when you say that Mr. Garvey

caused you to seek
revenge against him...

Would you also say
that Mr. Garvey himself

had cause to be
angry with you?

Mr. Larrabee: Yeah.
I reckon he thought he had.

Would you say
that others

had cause to be
angry with you?

Others got a right to
think the way they want to.

You did agree
to hold

to the wheat price,
didn't you?

Answer the question!

Yes, I did!

And then
you broke your word.

It was
in my best interests.

Was it? Even with the
selling of the apple crop,

you didn't make
as much

as if you'd stuck to
the original price.

Now, how was that in
your best interests?

Because that buyer might have told
us all to go jump in the creek

and bought
somewheres else!

Nobody else seemed
to think so.

Well, nobody else
had as much to lose.

Would you say that
there was another reason

why you chose
to break your word?

I don't understand
that question.

Well, Mr. Garvey
has testified

that you didn't like
the idea

that Mr. Kagan would make
the same profit as you.

That's right,
and he got himself wiped out, too.

In other words,

for the sake of your
hatred of one man,

you were willing to
damage the economy

of the entire

I don't care what
others want to think!

Mr. Larrabee...

Would you care to make a
statement on your own behalf?

You bet I do.

I might have hurt
that boy,

but I didn't mean it.

But I never
burned down no barn!

I think garvey
done it hisself.

He even said he'd rather burn his
crop than sell it at that price,

and I think that's
exactly what he done,

and I think he's trying
to blame it on me,

and that's what
I got to say!

Anything else?


If all but the jury
would adjourn elsewhere

for exactly
one hour,

the court feels
that a verdict

can be reached
in that time,

if not before.

Court's adjourned.

Man: Looks cut-and-dried
to me.

Woman: Serves him
right for what he did.

Ought to hang him for what he did.

Oh, it's terrible.

They're not really going
to hang Mr. Larrabee,

are they, pa?

Well, I hope not, boy.

Bad as larrabee is,

even he don't
deserve that.

The boy is done

I don't see any need for
us to go back inside.


Go ahead
on home, son.

We'll see you
at home.

Your wife wants
to see you.

Jury still out?


Waste of time.

Ain't going to
be no verdict,

not with Matt
on that jury.

The rest of them people agin'
me, but not Matt.

You're sure?

Sure I'm sure.

After what you did?

What do you mean,
after what I did?

You seem to forget none of
this would have happened

if they hadn't taken that
nigger in like one of our own.


That's all you know
is hate.

Who are you
talking to?

I don't know.

I don't know anymore.

I used to try to pretend
that it wasn't important,

that it was just
your way...

But now I look
at my boys,

and I see the same
poison filling them.


No more.

No matter what happens
in the trial,

you'll not see
your sons or me again.

And who's going to
stop me?

I am...

Any way I have to.

May god forgive me.


How about if I heat
you up some soup?

Ok. I'll put the team
in the corral.

Man: Looks cut-and-dried
to me.

Woman: Serves him
right for what he did.

Ought to hang him for what he did.

Ought to hang him
for what he did.

Ought to hang him
for what he did...

Andy: Hyah! Hyah!
Giddyap! Giddyap! Go!

Andy! Andy!

Have you reached
a verdict?

Not on both counts,
your honor.

Then will you tell the court
what you have accomplished?

On the charge
of assault and battery,

it's guilty.

On the charge
of barn-burning,

we haven't been able
to reach a decision.

I will tolerate no
further disruptions.

If the spectators cannot
conduct themselves

in a proper manner,
I will clear this court.

Is that understood?

Just how far apart
are you?

11 guilty,
one not guilty.

May I ask the identity
of the dissenter?

I am, sir.

Judge: Silence!

Mr. Kagan,
as a member of the colored race,

you're pretty much
accepted in this community?

As much
as can be expected,

I think I am, sir.

in my experience,

you're certainly
the first negro

to sit in judgment
on a white man.

Perhaps it's all
gone to your head

and impaired your
powers of reason.

No, your honor.

I take no pleasure

in going
against the opinions

of these good people.

Perhaps you can
tell the court

exactly why you've
chosen to do so.

Your honor, I...

I can't deny
that in all likelihood,

Mr. Larrabee probably did
set that fire,

and I can't deny
there's powerful cause

to suspect him of it...

But the fact
I can't get away from

is that
nobody saw him do it.

Mr. Kagan,
in your opinion,

do you see
any possibility

of your being persuaded
away from your verdict?

No, your honor,

not unless somebody
shows up

and say
they saw him do it.

Then you present
this court

with a very
difficult problem,

the solution of which
is left for me to solve.

I therefore will do the
only reasonable thing

and the only
sensible thing

the circumstances

and dismiss Mr. Kagan
from the jury

and appoint another
member of the community.

You may take
your place

among the spectators, Mr. Kagan.

All right,

but not before I have my say.

You've had your say.

You've had more
than your say.

No, sir.

I will have you forcibly
removed from this court

if you do not step
down immediately!

Then that's what
you'll have to do,

because I'm going to
speak my piece.

Your honor,

it can't hurt anything,
can it?

In deference
to you, reverend,

I shall agree
with this...

But I don't
want you

wasting any more
time unnecessarily.

Thank you, your honor.

Uh, Mr. Larrabee
over there...

I ain't got no use for him
or his kind.

We all know what he did
to this town,

to the garvey boy.

Wouldn't matter to me
if him and others like him

fell off the face
of the earth tomorrow.

World would be a better
place, that's for sure,

but that ain't up to me.

I got to live my life
the best way I can,

knowing that the larrabees
of this world

are looking at me
and my kind

with hatred
in their hearts.

I can't change that,

but I got to believe
in the law,

and I got to believe
in justice,

and I got to believe that it
applies to each and every one of us,

including Mr. Larrabee.

Maybe... maybe I think
about things

different from most folks

because, I guess,
maybe I am different.

For less reason
than you'd convict a man

for burning a barn
that nobody saw him burn,

I've seen my people

with ropes
around their necks,

hanging dead...

And that's
what makes me different

because I can't erase

those pictures
from my brain.

I know what can happen
when justice disappears,

and I will bring harm
to no man

when his guilt ain't
been proved in my eyes.

Mr. Kagan, you may
take your place

the spectators.

Mr. Ingalls,

select another juror, please.

Charles: Ray bickell.

Take your place.

Since we already have
11 guilty verdicts,

it would save time
and trouble

if you simply announced
what yours is,

and perhaps we can
conclude these proceedings.

Andy: No.

Please, you can't.

Please, judge.
There's something I didn't tell you.

I'm sorry. I... I thought I
was doing the right thing.

Young man, anything
you have to say

must be considered

Unless you... Lied
in your testimony.

No, sir.
I... I didn't lie.

Mr. Larrabee... he could
have set the fire.

I'm not saying that he couldn't
have come back and done it.


Then what
are you saying?

It could
have been me, too.

It was dark that night.

It was so dark, I couldn't even
see my way to get to the corral,

so I took a lantern
out with me,

and I hung it up on the fence
while I got my horse ready.

The wind was blowing
something fearful, too,

and I wanted to get to my folks so
bad, I just forgot about it.

The wind could have
blown it off the fence.

Judge, that's the way
it must have happened!

Did you ever find
the lantern?

Yes, sir. Still laying
there in the ashes.

I wanted to be sure
he was punished

for what he did
to me and my folks

and the whole town...

But I can't.

I mean...

Not what after
Mr. Kagan said.

Take your seat, son.

Will the defendant
please rise?

Judd larrabee,

you've been found guilty
of assault and battery.

As for the charge
of barn-burning,

some reasonable doubt
exists as to its validity,

and you will receive the
benefit of that doubt.

Thank you.

I could easily
send you to prison

for a very long

but that would serve no useful
purpose to this community,

to which you owe
so much.

I therefore sentence you
to pay Jonathan garvey

an amount equal to
his destroyed crop,

had he sold it at the
original agreed-on price.

Judge, that ain't fair!

I would advise you not
to use the word "fair"!

My sentence might
change rapidly.

Now, do you wish to announce
any more objections?

I will return
in exactly two weeks

to confirm that the
terms of this sentence

are carried out
to the letter.

Is that understood?

Yes, sir.

Court is adjourned.

I didn't need no nigger
defending me!

I didn't need nobody!
You understand?

I didn't need nobody!