Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 5, Episode 4 - The Man Inside - full transcript

Amelia Bevins is a new girl at school. Laura asks her to go home with her the afternoon of her first day at school to work on their essays and they go by the Blind School on the way home. When they get there, Laura and Albert and Andy start making fun of the over-weight man who has started working there. Amelia makes an excuse and runs off. Unbeknownst to them, it's her father. Before they leave, Adam comes out and introduces Mr. Bevins and Laura realizes her mistake. That evening when Mr. Bevins goes home, he overhears his daughter telling his wife how her father embarrasses her because of his weight. He makes up a job on the railroad that will give him a lot of more money and convinces the people at the blind school that he has no family in town but could save the money he's been spending on the room if they'll let him stay in his storage room. They notice that he only works outside on the roof late at night and he works inside all day, but he says it's cooler that way. When he accidentally falls through the roof and gets hurt, the doctor tells Adam that he could have surgery and get better but that Mr. Bevins has given up the will to live.

I was just going
to wake you.

Brought some coffee up from downstairs.
Nice and hot.

Afraid I might weaken if I went
across the street to the hotel?

Of course not.

You sure? That Mrs. Ingalls
makes the best hot biscuits.

If you want biscuits,
go there and eat them.

I was only fooling.

I know.
I'm sorry.

Drink your coffee
while it's hot.

Where's Amelia?

She's starting that
livery school today.

That's why I got up
so early.

I know, but it doesn't
start till 8:00.

I was going to walk with
her on my way to work.

She's just anxious,
I guess...

Her first chance to
meet some children

since she's been
in the city.

The city's filled
with children.

They play in the streets
all the time.

She should have
invited them over.

Yeah, I suppose,

She's shy.

It's not easy
for her...

Only two weeks here
and so many people.

She wasn't too shy to go to
school by herself, was she?

Well, the coffee
was good,

but I'm so full,
I couldn't swallow another drop.

Look. Two weeks ago,
these were tight.

A little better.

A lot better.

But, you know,
you can't expect it just to happen...

I know. You can't
expect a miracle.

Two weeks without enough
food to keep a bird alive,

and I lose what,
a pound?

What happens
to a person?

I don't know.

The doctor doesn't
know, but it happened,

so you just...

So you just make
the best of it, right?



I might as well
go to work early.

I got a lot
to do today.

I got my lunch, and...

If there's a worm in it,
I promise not to eat him.

I love you,
John bevins.

I love you, Bess.

Hey, hey, hey!
Hey, bevins!

Good morning, smitty.

I got a good one
for you.

There's this cabman
in London,

and he's got a real fat
lady in the cab,

and just as she's
getting out,

he says to her,
"would you mind

"walking the other way
and not passing in front

of the horse?"

And she says,
"why, may I ask?"

"Because," he says,

"if he sees what
he's been carrying

for half a shilling,
he'll have a fit!"

Ha ha ha!

A good one, huh?
Ain't that a good one?

I got to remember
that one.

Ha ha ha!

I got to get
to work, smitty.

Ha ha ha!
Oh, oh, hey, bevins,

when you get
to that blind school,

be sure and walk through
that door sideways!

I don't have any sideways!
It's a good one.

Isn't that a good one?

Thomas, you can do a lot
better work than this.

You're not


Now do it again.


Miss Ingalls?

Good morning,
Mr. Bevins.

I didn't want to
bother you during class.

I just wondered if
the looms were all right.

Oh, the looms
are wonderful.

We had
to draw lots

to see who would
use them first.

Girl: Come, see what
I'm making, Mr. Bevins.

Well, that's
very good work.

Bet you can't guess
what it's going to be.

Sue, it was supposed
to be a surprise, remember?

Oh, miss Ingalls,
can't I tell? Please?

All right.

It's a muffler
for you, Mr. Bevins.

For me?

Yes. Because you're
so kind and good to us.


very kind of you.

I really need
a muffler, too.

Well, I'd best
get to patching

that hall ceiling,
miss Ingalls.

I'll make you a couple more
looms as soon as I get the time.

Oh, Mr. Bevins,
you've done too much for us already.

It's no trouble.

I like to.
I really do.

Have a nice day.

Same to you.

All right,
those of you working on arithmetic,

you have
5 minutes left.

Class, take
your seats, please.

Children, we have a new student
joining us today...

Amelia bevins.

Can we all
say welcome?

Children: Welcome,
Amelia bevins.

Amelia, as you can see,
we don't have regular desks,

but you can take a seat on that
crate next to Laura Ingalls.

Thank you,


Teacher: Andrew,
you can begin the reading this morning

with lesson 55.

Yes, ma'am.

"Come here, Rose.
Look down into the bush."

You just moved
to winoka?


That's Albert.
He's a friend of mine.

Hello, Albert.


Do you have any
brothers or sisters?

No. Just me.

I have 3 sisters.
I live at the winoka hotel.

My folks run it.
Where do you live?

Teacher: Would you
continue, Laura?

Just in the
rooming house.

What does
your pa do?


Yes, ma'am?

Would you continue?

Yes, ma'am.

"Come here, Rose.
Look down into the bush."

We've already
read that, Laura.

Bottom of page 79.

"How does a bird make
the nest so strong, Willie?"

"The mother bird has her
bill and claws to work with."

Laura: What are you
going to write about?

Amelia: I don't know.

I'm going to write
about something I hate.


Writing essays!

Ha ha ha!

Hey, there he is!

Ha ha ha!

Did you ever see
anything so fat?

I got an idea.

I'm going to write my
essay on "Moby dick"!


Thar she blows!

Laura: Come on.
We can write our essays together.

I, um... I can't.
I have to go.

What's the matter
with her?

I don't know. Come on, Carrie.
Let's go visit Mary.

See you later.

See you.

"Moby dick."
That's good!

Laura: Hi, Adam.

Hello, Laura.

Where are you going?

I have to pick up some
things at the store.

We'll walk with you.


Mr. Kendall?

Yes, John.

I'm patching that wall,
but the problem's the roof.

Rain keeps leaking through,
making the wall swell.

Oh, well. There's
always something.

Oh, Laura, Carrie,
I want you meet Mr. Bevins.

They're Mary's sisters.

Well, it's nice
to meet you girls.

Mr. Bevins.

I can fix that roof.

I can fix it
without it costing much,

but it'll just
be temporary.

I want you to know that.

Any real rains come,
it's going to happen again.

We can't afford a new
roof, so just do your best.

I will.

It's nice
to meet you both.

Well, young ladies,
shall we go?

No. I can't.

I just remembered I have
some homework to do.

All right.
I'll see you at supper.

See you.
Come on, Carrie.

And warn your mother,
I'm starving!

Laura, I want you to
change before you help.

I will, ma.

I just wanted to
talk to you about...

About what?

Oh, ma!

Oh, there, there.

Oh, what happened?

Come on, now.
Nothing can be that bad.

What is it?

Hmm? What is it?

A new girl came
to school today.

Her name is Amelia.

After school,
we were walking,

and we saw the man that
works at the blind school.

We made jokes

about him being
fat and all...

And he's
Amelia's father.


Oh, ma, we
didn't know.

All right, now.

All right.
That's enough.

We just
didn't know

that he was
her father.

The point isn't whether
you knew or not, is it?

The point is that
we should never

make unkind remarks
about anyone.

It wasn't just me.

Oh, you know better than
to use an excuse like that.

Yes, ma'am. I know.

I'm sure when you see Amelia
tomorrow, you'll apologize.

What should I say?

You thought
of the jokes.

You can think
of an apology.

Yes, ma'am.

Come on, now.

You go get changed.

I really
am sorry, ma.

The way to show that is to
try to never do it again.

Yes, ma'am.

Bess: Amelia,
please stop crying.

Amelia: If you could
have heard them!

They didn't know.

Now, you have to expect
that sometimes from people.

Why did we have to move
here? I hate it here!

Your father had to find
work. You know that.

On the farm,
we were away.

The children
didn't see him.

Now, Amelia,
I'll not have you talking like that.

Your father loves you.
He tries his best.

It's hard sometimes, in the
beginning, when people first meet,

but after a while,
they'll get used to it,

and they won't
say things anymore.

I don't want him
to meet my friends,

I don't want them
to see him,

and I don't want them
to know he's my father!

Now, I want you
to stop crying.

John, cheerfully: I'm home!

Be right out, John.

Dry your eyes.

Is Amelia here?
I have a surprise for her.

Yes, she's here.

Now, remember
what I said.


To celebrate your
first day at school.

Thank you, papa.

Now, I've got something
to tell the both of you.

I've been thinking it over,
and I know it's for the best.

What is it?

Well, with my salary,
and having to spend

for two rooms
here at the hotel,

it's just impossible to
have any money left over.

we're managing.

I know.

But if we could
get by on one room,

we could put
some money away.

We could have
some savings.

We... we could all live
in one room, but...

I have the chance to work
for the railroad.

It's more money
than I get now.

We could save.

You'd not be with us?

It's only
for a while, Bess.

The rent's paid up
for a month.

You two
could share a room.

When would you go?

They want me to leave
right away.


I'd go tonight.

John, I don't
want you to go.

I'll find work soon.

Bess, please,
let me do this.


I'll miss you.

It's for the best.
You wait and see.

I wish you'd wait and take
the stage in the morning.

It's a waste
of money.

I'll walk over
to the depot

and hitch a ride
on the freight.

But it's such
a long way.

Bess? I'm going.

You look the same,

just the same
a the day we met.

Do you remember?

Yeah, I remember,

and I don't look
the same.

You haven't changed.

I wish I was
the same as then.

Just you stop.

You've tried.
Nobody could have tried harder.

I mean, who cares?

Whether you like to think so or
not, John bevins,

it was not love
at first sight with me.

I fell in love
with the man inside,

not the man
on the outside.

Now you always
remember that.

I will.

I'll always
remember that.

Bye, Bess.


Mr. Ames.

I didn't expect
anybody would be up.

Paperwork. I'm always
putting it off

to the last minute.

What are you doing here
this time of night?

Oh. Well, uh...

I was going to speak to you
about it tomorrow, but, uh...

I wondered
if I could use

my supply room upstairs
as a sleeping place.

Don't you
have a place?

I did, but...

The only family I have
is back east,

and I felt I could send
more money back to them

if I didn't have to
go on paying for a room.

Well, not much
of a room up there,

filled with
paint cans and...

No, no. It's...
It's fine.

I like it here.

It's quiet here,
and, uh...

And I feel
at home here.


Well, certainly, John,
if that's what you want.

Thank you, sir.

Good night.

Good night, John.

Laura: Amelia!

Oh, hi, Laura.

I just wanted
to apologize.

For what?

You know, those things we said
about your father yesterday.

I'm sorry.

I... I don't know
what you mean.

Well, you remember... when
we saw your pa yesterday.

My father works
for the railroad.

You mean he doesn't work
for the blind school?

Oh, no. You thought
that was my father?

Well, his name is bevins,
and when you ran off,

well, then,
I just figured that...

No. It was just
a coincidence.

My father doesn't
even live here.

Come on.
We'll be late.

Amelia: Hey, you want to come
over to my place after school?

We can work
on our essays.

Sure. Albert has to help
my mom with cooking.

Boy, am I glad that
wasn't your pa yesterday.

I felt awful.

Mary: I gave you an extra
15 minutes for lunch,

so I expect you
to get right to work.

Miss Ingalls?

Yes, John?

I made something.
I wanted you to have it.

Oh, John.
A... A necklace.

I carved all
the beads myself.

I painted them, too.

Thank you, John, but
you shouldn't have.

I wanted to.

It looks pretty
on you.

I, um...

I made one
for sue, too.

If you'd give it
to her for me...

Oh, why don't
you do it?


No. You give it to her.

She's such
a sweet girl.

She thinks
the world of you.

I better give it
to her after class.

She'll be too excited
to do her work.

And thank you, John.

It's my pleasure.

Mary: All right,
our tummies are full.

Let's see
if our heads are.

The livery school is working
on essays right now,

and I don't see any reason why
we can't do anything they do.

All right.
You may write your essays

on anything
or anyone you wish.

The younger students can write as
little or as much as they wish,

but the older students...

The older students should have
essays of at least 200 words.

Miss Ingalls?

Yes, Thomas?

Am I an older

Yes. I'm afraid so.

I'm awful short.

So is
general Tom thumb,

but he's 42 years old.

Ha ha ha!

All right.
Everyone to work.


She's not here. She'll be back soon.
Want a cookie?

Sure. What are you
going to write about?

I don't know yet.

I kind of miss
being back at our farm.

I think I'll write
about that.



Mm! This is wonderful!
Where'd you get it?

Ma buys them
at your hotel.

No wonder
they're so good.

I help make them!

Ha ha ha!

Help me think of
something to write about.

Well, you're new
in the city.

You could write
about that...

You know,
how different it is.

I suppose.
I don't know.

How long has
your pa been gone?

A long time.

Well, you could
write about that,

how much you
miss him and all.

My pa went away
a couple of times,

and I missed him
something fierce.

I think I'll write
about the city.

Dadburnit. I always
push too hard.

There's a sharpener
on the table.

Oh, this is pretty.


This necklace.
Where'd you get it?

My pa made it for me
a long time ago.

Well, this isn't going to
get my essay written.

You're going
to get it!

Hi, Mary! Hi, ma!

Would you mind telling me
where you've been?

I thought it was Albert's
turn to work today.

That doesn't mean you just
run off without asking me.

Well, I've been
with Amelia.

We've been doing our
homework together.

Oh, then you apologized.

Yes, ma'am,
but it was all a big mistake.

Mr. Bevins
isn't her pa.

Mary: Mr. Bevins?

Yes. Laura said a few
things she shouldn't have.

But I learned
my lesson, honest.

Mary: I don't know what the
school would do without him.

He's the kindest man
to everybody.

Look what
he gave me today.

It's all hand-carved.

Caroline: Beautiful,
isn't it?

Aside from all
his other work,

he makes looms and toys...
All kinds of things.

He doesn't even like it
when you thank him.

It's a rare person
to find in this city.

Laura, you want to help me
with this cinnamon bread?

I can't. I still have
some homework to do.

Mary, does Mr. Bevins
have a family?

He has some relatives
in the east.

He even helps them.

We can't pay him much,
so he started sleeping in his supply room

so he could send more
money back to them.

Just wondering.

How do you like that?!

Feel better?

Much better,
thank you.

Ha ha ha!

Oh, hi, bandit.
How you doing?

I know how you
feel. Yeah.

I love you.

Oh, it's only the night
air and the romantic music

that makes you
say that.

Ha ha ha!


Is it too noisy
for you to sleep, too?

No. It's
not that.

Don't tell me the water
closet is broken again.

No, pa.

It's about
Mr. Bevins.

Laura, that's over.
I know you're sorry.

I know he's
Amelia's father.

Ma: That can't be, Laura.

Amelia said her pa
works for the railroad,

and Mary said Mr. Bevins'
family is back east.

It's not true.
I know it's not.

Come on.
How do you know that?

Well, that necklace
that Mary has.

Amelia has one
just like it.

She said her pa
made it for her.

But those two necklaces
could just look the same.

No. I know
he made them.

Mary also said
that Mr. Bevins

just moved into
the blind school.

I don't understand.

I'm not so sure
I do either, but...

It could be some kind
of a family problem,

and the bevinses just
don't want people talking.

You mean a divorce?

Your pa means
he doesn't know,

and whatever it is,
it's none of our business.

Yes, ma'am.

All right, now.
Come on. Up to bed.

Get some sleep.

Good night, ma.

Good night.

Good night, pa.

Good night, honey.

It does seem kind
of strange, doesn't it?

Nothing's strange
in this town.

Adam, I thought you and
Mary had plans for the day.

Oh, we do, sir.
I just had some papers to grade.

Always working.

It's Saturday, son,
and the sun is shining.

You know, you're a fine one to
talk, Mr. Ames,

working in your
office all morning.

The sun shines for
sighted people, too.

Very true.
As soon as I get

these letters
onto the noon mail

and finish up
a few...

Finish up
a few more reports,

go over the books again.

I'm going to have to talk
to your wife about you.

Ha! She knows
I'm hopeless.

I'm going out now.
I'll drop off the letters.

Thank you.
Have a good time.

I will, sir.

Mr. Kendall?

Yes, John?

I overheard you were
going to the post office.

I wondered if you could
mail a letter for me.


Thank you.

John, would you like
to join us today?

Mary and I were going
on a picnic.

We'd appreciate
the company.


Oh, no,
thank you. I...

I've got some things
to do around here.

Are you feeling
ok, John?

Just fine.

Well, you haven't left
the school in two weeks

except to work
on the roof,

and you've been
doing that at night.

Well, it's...
It's a lot easier at night.

It's cooler.

A little fresh air
wouldn't hurt you.

I've just been busy
is all.

I'll get out.

You sure you won't
join us?

Another time,
but thank you.

All right,
but I'm going to hold you to that.

Have a nice day.

Thank you.

Adam! Adam!

You better get down
to the hotel.

Mary's madder
than a wet hen.

Not having been
raised on a farm,

I'm not quite sure
how mad that is.

Believe me, it's mad.

She's been ready
for an hour.

I didn't know
it was that late.

I have to go
to the post office.

You tell her
I'll be right there.

I'll take care of that.
You'd better get down there.

I grew up with Mary.
I know what she's like when she's mad.

The sooner you get
there, the better.

Ok. I'm much obliged.
I'm on my way.

10 stamps.
There you are.

20 cents.

That'll do her.

Thank you. Bye-bye.


All stamped
and ready to go.

All right. Let me
check them here.

Well, you're kind of wasting
a good stamp on this one.

What's wrong with it?

Look at it.

It's going to the rooming
house across the street.

You walk 20 steps,
you could save 2 cents.

You better mail it
the way it is.

Fine with me.

Some folks don't care how
they spend their money.

Are you sure?

Of course I'm sure.
I already told you that.

It'll just
go to waste.

Mary, I can't.
If everybody in winoka

ate as much fried chicken
as I did today,

the poor little birds
would be extinct.

All right, Adam.

If you don't like my
mother's fried chicken...

I love your
mother's chicken.

I love Mrs. Ingalls'
fried chicken!

Shh! Adam, shh!

You'll wake

I love your
mother's chicken.

And I love your
mother's daughter.

Which one?

This one.

You know what I like
about this school?


I can kiss you in front
of the whole class,

and they won't
know a thing.

you're terrible.


He's up there
again tonight.

I wish he'd come
with us today.

Well, I tried.

I know, and...
It was sweet of you.

I'm a sweet person.

If you were,
you'd eat another piece of chicken.

Go to bed,
Mary Ingalls.

That is your
superior talking.

Yes, sir.

Good night.


God, what was that?

I don't know.

I'll see to it.

Easy, John!

Don't try to move.

I'll get the doctor.

Charles: How is he?

Physically, he has a chance,
but he won't take it.

Spleen is seeping.

It's only a matter
of time till it goes.

It has to be removed,
and he won't allow it.


He doesn't
want to live.

Even if he
let me operate,

with that attitude,
he'd never make it.

A man that size,
without the will to live,

he wouldn't
have a chance.

Did he say anything
about his family?

No. No. Not to me.

He implied
he was all alone.

Look, doc,
can you stay with him for a while?

I'll be right back.

Thank you.

Bess: Amelia, you've been
brushing your hair for an hour.

You're going to be
late for school.

But I have to read
my essay today.

I want to look nice
in front of the class.

You look lovely.
Now, on your way.


Mrs. Bevins.

Mr. Ingalls.

I want to
talk to you.

It's about
your husband.

Please come in.

What is it?

There was an accident at
the school last night.

He fell.

Mr. Ingalls,
I think there must be some mistake.

John doesn't
work there anymore.

He's been working for the
railroad for nearly two weeks now.

Mrs. Bevins,
I don't know what the problems are

you're having
with your husband,

but I wish you'd put
them aside for now.

He's very ill.

We... we don't have
any problems.

I think there's
been some mistake.


I got this letter
from him late Saturday.

He's almost
200 miles from here.

He sent me his first
week's wages.

May I see that?

at the postmark.


I never looked. I...

I don't understand.

Neither do I.
All I know is,

your husband needs an
operation and the will to live,

and he's denying
himself both.

Dear god.

Take me to him.

Mrs. Bevins is here.

Mrs. Bevins.

Would you leave us
alone, please?



John, it's me... Bess.

I'm not going to ask you
why you've done this.

I only ask that you
have the operation.

Bess, please.

Oh, please, let...

Let me die.

John, whatever I've
done, whatever it is,

we can work it out.

Whatever you've done?


Oh, my Bess.

You and Amelia...

You can have a life.

You're just the same
as the day we met.

No, I'm not.

I'm not. I didn't
love you then.

Bess, I...

I'm a freak.

I'm a fat,
ugly freak.

You have your
whole life ahead.

Not without you.

Oh... go.

Go, please...

If not for yourself,
then for Amelia.

Oh, don't let me ruin

her life anymore.

Don't let me
ruin her life...






We know that Mr. Bevins
is very ill,

and all our prayers
are with him.

I was going to cancel
all classes for today

until I read an essay
by sue farley.

I've asked sue
to read it for us.


My essay is called
"the love I see."

"I've always
lived in a dark world

"along with all of you.

"We have happy times
and sad ones, too.

"But we're together
and try to help each other

"as best we can.

"It's a rare thing when a sighted
person comes into our midst

"and seems to understand.

"Mr. Bevins
is such a man.

"His voice makes you happy
when he says hello,

"and when you touch his hand,
you feel kindness.

"He makes us so many things
to brighten our lives.

"If the world were full
of people like Mr. Bevins,

"there would be
no darkness...

"just a bright glow of love.

"The love I see.

God bless you,
Mr. Bevins."

Some sandwiches.

Caroline thought
you might be hungry.

He's still

Why don't you get some
rest, sit awhile?

Bess: I am tired.



You have to be
all right.

You have to know
I love you.


I know I hurt you.

And I don't expect you to love
me, but...

But, oh, papa...

So many people
love you.

Mama and...

And the blind
girl sue.

She loves you
so much.

So please live
for them.



Don't cry.

Don't cry, Amelia.

Your papa's here.


Don't cry.

Oh, look, don't cry,

Don't look so surprised
that I'm alive, doc.

That's what
you get paid for.

I'll get your wife.

Mrs. Bevins.

Your husband would
like to see you now.

Charles: I don't know about the rest
of you, but I'd like a sandwich!

Hey! Hey, bevins! Hey!

Hey, bevins!
Hey! Hey! Hey!

Hey, bevins! Hey!

Good morning,

Hey, I got a real
good one for you.

See, there was this
real fat guy, you know?

I got no time.

I'm walking my
daughter to school,

and I don't want her
to be late.

Well, it'll only
take a minute,

and it's
a real good one!

Ha ha!

Smitty, take
my word for it.

I've heard them all.