Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 7, Episode 5 - The Silent Cry - full transcript

Two young brothers, deserted by their parents and desperately trying to stay together, run away from the Sleepy Eye orphanage on the eve of an adoption that will separate them, and find an unlikely ally in grumpy old handyman, Houston Lamb.

Okay, j.D.,

you can take
her on home.

Here, get on
out there.

Houston: Garvey!

What you say?

Jonathan: Houston?

Looks like you got your
work cut out for you.

Oh, that big ol'
building up there.

I no more than get one
side plastered and painted

then the other side
goes to pot.

Now, you love it
and you know it.

If it wasn't for
them kids I wouldn't.

I just love kids.
God's only mistake,

he lets 'em
get to grownups.

Yeah, but he
makes up for that.

Now, just take you,
for example. How old are you?


Yeah, 60 or something
years old,

and here you are
acting like a kid again.

Is that a compliment?

Well, of course it is.

Well, thank you,
Mr. Garvey. Ha ha!

Man: They're fine-looking
boys, aren't they?

Michael? Josh?

Hold up your heads, now.


Look up at Mr.
And Mrs. Rooney.

He's just a little
shy, that's all.

Could we speak to you
alone for a moment?

Certainly. Um, Ms. Mason,
take the boys out into the hall, please.

Come along, boys.

Ms. Mason, I'd like you to stay,
if you would.


I'll be right out.

They're fine-looking
boys, aren't they?

There are a few
questions I have to ask.


From the time the boys
first came into the room,

the little one
never spoke.

Well, he is very shy,
as his brother told you.

You asked Michael
to say something,

but you never
asked Josh.

Why was that?

Ms. Mason, can
the boy speak?

Have you ever
heard him speak?

No, I haven't.

But I know he will.

How long have the boys
been at the orphanage?

Well, uh, we're
a new facility here.

We've only been
open two months.

And how long have
they been here?

Since we've
been open.

Have you had
the boy examined?

Ms. Mason: Yes.
We found nothing wrong.

He'll be all right,
Mr. Rooney, believe me.

It's just they've
gone through so much.

Being deserted by their
mother and father,

coming to a strange
place to live.

I understand that,
but you have to understand my position.

Adopting two children at
once is a big responsibility.

I know, but...

Please, hear me out.

Raising two boys
isn't easy at best.

And I don't think it would
be fair to my wife or myself

to attempt it when one of
them appears to have a problem.

I told you. The boy has
been examined. He's all right.

Then make
him speak.

Bring him in and
make him speak.

We'd like to
adopt Michael.

We'll give him
a good home.

Ms. Mason: But they're brothers.

All they have is each other.

Please, Mr. Case.

I understand
how you feel,

but it is our job to find
homes for the children.

Sometimes, it's impossible
to keep them together.

Mr. Case, I beg you.

Mr. Case: That will
be all, Ms. Mason.

Take the boys back
to their room.

Mr. Case: Well, now, um,
when will you be ready for the boy?

Mr. Rooney: As soon as possible.

Mr. Case: Well, there
is some paperwork,

but if we rush it, I think we can
have everything ready in a week.

Mrs. Rooney:
That'll be fine.

I do hope you understand
how my husband and I feel.

Mr. Case: Of course I do.

All done.

Let's get some sleep.

Yeah, I bet it's
going to feel good.


Yeah, I'll sure
put in long hours.

Just remember we don't
know when it gets dark.

I never thought
of that. Ha ha!

What about you?

Don't you think that's
enough for the night?

I'm quitting.

You know, the best time to plaster
this here place is at nighttime.

So them young'uns won't be
running their fingers through it.

Well, enough's enough.

You know, you're not
getting any younger.

Oh, yes, I am,
Mr. Garvey told me so.


Yeah, never mind. It was
supposed to be a compliment.

I'm going to pack this stuff
all up and put in the shed

and then I'm going
to hit the sack.

Same here.

Yeah, good
night, Mary.

- Good night to you, too.
- Good night, Adam.

That's it.

Oh, my god.

If you get
so young again,

how come your dad-gum
bones are always itching?

Well, what do you know?

I wasn't expecting
company this evening.

What's the matter?
Cat got your tongue?

I'm talking to you, boy.

Easy, young fella.

You're perfectly welcome here.

I generally entertain
folks up in my room.

I got some cinnamon
bread and hot tea a-brewing.

You're perfectly welcome.

Uh, I don't blame you.

Eating with old
folks ain't nothing.

But if you change your mind,

I'm right inside at
the top of the stairs.

You turn to the
right, door's open.

And I generally make
pretty good cinnamon bread.

Ah, I cut a couple
of pieces here

in case you changed
your mind.

Kept yours
in the pot.

Didn't want it
to get cold.

Ain't nothing worse
than cold tea...

Except maybe
a cold nose.

Sure is good.

You fellas from around
these here parts?

Nope, just
passing through.


Where you headed?

Don't know yet.

Don't know yet?

I ain't never
been there myself.

You boys traveling kind of light,
ain't you?

We manage.

I wouldn't
doubt that.

By the way, my name's Houston,
Houston lamb.

I'm Michael.

Nice to know
you, Michael.

How about you,
young fella?

Michael: He's my little brother.

Name is Josh.
He don't talk much.

Well, smart fellows
usually don't.

Well, you're welcome
to spend the night here.

Michael: We don't
want to put you out.

Houston: Ah, we
got plenty of room.

Got a big bed
right over there.

Ah, now, just
help yourself.

Traveling man needs
a lot of food.

Keeps him going.

Good, ain't it?

Not a sign of them.

I have to go
and tell garvey.

I'll get dressed. It'll
just take me a moment.

There's no reason
for you to go.

Yes, there is. I'm responsible
for what happened.

What are you
talking about?

I knew they heard what went
on in the room this afternoon.

I knew they were
going to run away.

Michael told you?

He didn't have to.

I could tell by
their little faces.

Then why in heaven's name
didn't you do something?

What was I supposed
to do, Mr. Case?

Tell them they've lost
their mother and father

and now they're going
to lose each other

but it's for
their own good?

I'll just be a moment.

Just as cute as can be.

I hate to tell
on you, boys.

I bet your mom and pop's
worried sick about you.

Just as cute as can be.

What reason them boys
have for running away?

I don't know what
you're implying.

We treat the children
very well at the orphanage.

I'm not implying

Just like to know
why they ran away.

Might help me to figure out
where to start looking for them.

Mr. Case found a home
for the older boy,

Ms. Mason: But the adopting parents couldn't
see their way clear to taking them both.

And the boy can't talk.

Quite frankly, I don't
think we'll ever be able

to find a home for him.

Wouldn't be fair
to hold Michael back

to deny him a chance
for a family.

Did you ask him?

Ask him what?

If he wanted to be
separated from his brother.

We run the orphanage,
not the children.

That's a shame.

I don't think I like
your tone of voice.

I don't really
care, Mr. Case.

If you don't have
any more information for me,

I think I'll just
start hunting.

Houston, you need
something from me?


You want something
here, Houston?

I just wanted to get
out of the rain.

Keep dry till it lets up.

Well, make
yourself to home.

You got troubles?

Just runaways.
They'll turn up.

Come along, Ms. Mason.

Come on, boys,
wake up.

Wake up, now. We got
some talking to do.

I know it's early.

Now, I can't tell
you what to do.

It's your own

Now, they're
looking for you.

You start running around
the countryside,

they going to find you.

Now, I got a little
shack outside of town.

It ain't much, but
you can hole up there

until something
comes in better.

And you can stay there
as long as you want to,

and I promise I
won't say nothing.


Why what?

Why didn't you tell
them where we were?

Well, I guess folks
think I'm getting senile.

What's senile?

That's a pretty
good question.

I expect it's a word
that most folks use

so they won't have to pay
no mind to what old folks think.

You know what I mean?

Kind of.

Well, you want to try it?

- We'll try it for a while.
- All right, then.

Let's get going before
the town gets up.

Michael: Houston?


Well, most folks don't pay no
mind to what we think either.

Guess that makes US all 3 senile,
don't it?

Yeah, I reckon so.

All right, come on,
boys, we got to move.

Houston: Come on.


Come on, let's get this
unloaded and have some lunch.

That sounds good.


Hey, Jonathan.

What are you
doing here?

How you doing?

I could use some sleep,
but other than that, I'm all right.

What's going on?

Aw, a couple of boys ran
away from the orphanage.

I been out looking
for them all night.

No luck, huh?


Tell you what,
after we get that wagon unloaded,

we'll give you a hand looking,
if you like.

I appreciate
that, Charles.

Why did they
run away?

Come on inside
and I'll tell you.

Got to get
some coffee.

Can I have some
coffee, too, pa?

You take
half milk?

Yes, sir.

Michael: How long
till they bite?

Houston: Ah, kind
of hard to tell.

Michael: I wish
they'd hurry up.

Houston: How come? You
got some place to go?

Michael: No.

Houston: Well,
ain't no use to hurry up, then, is it?

There is for me. I ain't
never been fishing before.

Didn't your pop...

pop never thought much of fishing.

He said it was
kid's stuff.

Well, he's probably right
about that there.

Ah, guess it don't make
much sense to some folks

to sit for hours trying
to catch some fish

they can go buy in a
store for a few pennies.

Well, why do
they do it?

Well, for
two reasons.

One is no matter what
happens on this earth,

a fella can go out
and catch his supper

to provide for
himself and his family,

and that's a pretty
good feeling.

What's the
other reason?

Now, that's the
important one.

It's just fun,

pluperfect fun.

Look, Josh, you
got a nibble.

I'll tell you when,
I'll tell you when.

Okay, now, now!

I told you
you'd get some!

I told you
you'd get some!

Whoo, that sure
is a pretty fish!

You caught the
first one, Josh!

Now, Michael, let's see if US
older folks see if we can't catch one.

Michael: We will.
I just know we will.

Houston: Well, when we do,
we got to gather up some firewood

so that we can cook US up
a lunch fit for a king.

You get the firewood
and I'll get the water.

Charles: Hey,
you there, boy!


Think he was
one of them?

He's the right age.
Sure plenty scared.

Let's go in
and find out.

Come in.


Land sakes alive,
Mr. Ingalls and Albert.

How are
you doing?

We're just fine. We just
saw a little boy run in here.

How's Laura?

She's fine. About
this little boy...

Well, what a special
little lady.

I know she is.

Houston, a couple of boys
ran away from the orphanage.

I know that. That's one
of them just run in there.

Have y'all had
your lunch yet?

I got some
fresh fish.

Well, when did
you find them?

Well, yesterday. Well,
I didn't exactly find them.

Yesterday? You
know Jonathan's

been looking all
night for those boys?

I know. I know all
about that there now.

Y'all sure you don't
want some fresh fish?

never mind the fish. I don't want any fish.

Why didn't you tell
Jonathan they were here?

That's the second time that
question been asked me that today.

I'll just put
this here lid on.

Let it simmer
a little bit here.

And close the door,
Mr. Ingalls,

and y'all make
yourself right at home.

Come on out,

Come on out,
Mike and Josh.

Come on down here.

Mr. Ingalls,
I'd like for you to meet Michael and Josh.

And this is Mr.
Ingalls' son Albert.


Well, let's all sit down
now so we can talk proper.

Uh, go ahead and sit
down, Mr. Ingalls.

Sit down, Albert.

Now, Mr. Ingalls,
this ain't going to be easy,

'cause we don't know
all the answers.

Now, I know my not
telling ain't right,

but it ain't right to
separate these two boys.

Now, you don't think
that's right, do you?

Well, no, I don't.

Houston: You see, boys? I knew
Mr. Ingalls was the kind of man

who wouldn't think
that's right.

Now, hold on a minute. Just
because I don't think that's right

doesn't make what
you did right either.

I mean, you can't just
keep the boys here.

Well, how
come I can't?

Because it's not
right, that's why.

Well, you're a hard one to figure out,
Mr. Ingalls.

You just said that orphanage
place wasn't doing right,

and I'm trying
to stop them,

and you say
that ain't right.

Now, one of US
got to be right,

and one of US
got to be wrong.

Now, which one is it?

Well, Houston, I don't think you can
just boil this down to right and wrong.

Boiled or stewed or fried,
don't make no never mind to me.

I just want an answer
to my question.

Now, come on,
give me an answer.

I don't know.

you see? We're both in the same boat.

You don't know what's
right and wrong,

and we know
what's right,

but we don't know what
for to do about it.

Now, what we got to
have is a little time.

A little time won't hurt
nothing, well, will it?

I suppose not.

You see? I knew Mr. Ingalls
was our kind of folks.

All right, it's just
for a little time.

Remember that.

Yes, sir.

I can't keep a secret
like this forever.

Remember that.

Yes, sir.

Well, come on,
Albert, let's go.

Michael: Mr. Ingalls?


Me and my brother
want to thank you,

and we're sure glad
you're senile, too.

I'm what?

Just an expression we use.
Don't pay no mind.

Thank you,
Mr. Ingalls.


There you go, boys,
right to sleep.

We had a long day.

We have to say
our prayers.

You know, I
plum forgot that.

Prayers are
kind of private.

They sure are.

See you boys
in the morning.

Good night,

Good night.

Well, god...

We, uh...

Guess you heard what
Houston said today

about giving US
a little time.

What we'd really like
is a lot of time.

You see, we'd like to stay
here with Houston forever.

I know that isn't a lot
of time to you, god,

but it is to US.

He's a nice man. I'm
sure you must like him.

Anyways, we'd really
like to stay.

That's about all.


Oh, yeah, god.

Please bless
mom and pa.

Help them be happy.

Amen again.

Forgive me
for listening,

but you know how
nosy the old folk is.

So that's what I
was going to... Say.

Save a lot
of time for you.

Listen to me,

I was going to say the
same thing the boy did.

They mean it.

Come in.

Hiya, Mr. Case. My
name is Houston lamb.

Uh, I saw you the other night,
didn't I?

Yes, sir,
you sure did.

Well, please,
uh, sit down.

Thank you, sir.

Now, what can
I do for you?

I'd like to adopt
some children.

I'll be honest with
you, Mr. Houston.

It ain't Mr. Houston,
it's Houston lamb.

Oh, I... I'm sorry.

Uh, well, Mr. Lamb,
as I was saying,

I must be honest
with you.

We usually look for
parents who are...

Well, younger
than you are.

Well, younger
don't mean no better.

Mr. Case: No, no, of course not.

Um, but might I have your age
and the age of your wife?

I ain't married.

Mr. Case: I see.

But I got a nice farm.

It's just out of town
here a little ways.

It'd be real good
for bringing up kids.

Well, I'm sure
it's very nice.

Um, well, now...

In your case, the financial aspects
would be of prime importance.

Yearly income,
money in the bank.

Where do you bank?

I don't got no bank. I
don't got nothing to bank.


Uh, well, how has
your farm been doing?

I ain't been working for a couple of years,

but I got
everything I need.

I got a roof
over my head,

and the fishing
is real good.

Mr. Lamb, I am
sorry, but...

I really think we're
wasting each other's time.

There's just no way
for you to qualify.

If you had a good
working farm...

I'm sorry.

Uh... uh, Mr. Lamb, um,
I said that, uh, I'm sorry.

Now, uh, if you
will excuse me,

I have a lot
of paperwork.

Yes, sir.

Working farm.
Working farm.

Well, if that's what they want,
that's what they going to get.

Houston: Get in there, myrtle.

Got a lot of work to do.

Get in there,

Me and you done
this before.

Get in there!

There you go.

Get going!

Old man case needs
a working farm.

He'll get a working farm.

Here you go.

That-a-girl, myrtle.


Michael: Houston!

Whoa, myrtle.

Brought you
some water.

Thank you, boy.

Whew, you boys
still cleaning?

Yes, sir.

Good, I want that place
clean as a whistle

when I come in from
plowing, you hear me?

It will be.

You sure you're not
working too hard?

Naw, I ain't
working too hard.

I'm hard as nails.

Now, I'm the best daggum
farmer in these here parts.

Now, don't worry
none about me.

Just get on back there and
do your business, you hear me?

Yes, sir.

Houston: Get in there!

I talked to your ma,
told her it would be a few more days.

Did you tell
her why?

No, it was too hard to
explain on the telephone.

I just said
it was business.

She's a little mad about your
missing some more school, though.

Well, she won't be too
mad when she finds out why.

I suppose.


He looks pretty
bushed, don't he?


I'm going to have
to tell him.

But you promised.

I know that, but we're
kidding ourselves.

I'm just avoiding things
for a few more days.

No matter what I do,
it's not going to be fair to anybody.

I'm sorry.


any luck?


Yeah, me either.

Like them two
just disappeared.

Well, I'll get me a bite to eat,
and I'll go back out.

I know where
they are.

You what?

I know where
the boys are.

I've known
since yesterday.

I don't understand,

Why didn't you
say something?

I couldn't. I promised
the kids and Houston.


they're at his place. They're fine.

Now, you mean to tell me I've
been out all night and most of the day

combing the countryside

and you've known all along
where those boys were?

Look, the old man just wanted
a little more time, that's all.

Time? For what?

I don't know, he just
didn't want to see

two little boys
split up,

and I don't blame him.

Neither do I.

We just can't pretend like
the problem's going to go away.

I know.

I got to go out there
and bring them back.

You know that,
don't you, Charles?


I just can't face the
old man and those kids.

I understand.

Look, let's go over and tell
Mr. Case that the boys are all right,

and then I'll ride out
and bring them back in.

Houston doesn't have to
know you said anything.

I'll... I'll just kind
of drop in on him.

I appreciate it.

You start in,
I'll tell Houston the supper's ready.

Go on and eat.




Please, get up!

Please, get up!

I'll get some help.

Come quick,
it's Houston!

In the fields, he doesn't move,
please help!

Jonathan: I'll get the doctor.
You better keep the boy here.

I think he'll
be all right.

Thank god.

He'll need rest,
lots of it.

I don't know
what got into him.

I told him 5 years ago to
give up working the fields.

I just don't know
what got into him.

Love, I guess.

Doctor: Well, he
wants to see you.

Don't talk
too long.

I won't, doctor,
thank you.

Just look at
this place.

He wanted to
adopt a child.

He hasn't
got anything.

He's got a heck of a lot of
things you don't have, Mr. Case.

Heck of a lot
of things.

Well, I'd... Better
get the boy back.

Come on, Josh,
time to go.

Josh, time to go.

It's all
right, Josh.

Houston's going
to be all right.

I think you
better go along now.

Mr. Case?

What's going to happen
to Michael and Josh?

Nothing has changed,
Mr. Garvey.

Michael will be adopted at
10:00 tomorrow by the rooneys,

and that will be
the end of it.

Good night.

I didn't hear
you come in.

I must have dozed off.

We can't blame you
for taking a little catnap.

You put in
a hard day.

Hard day, my foot.

When I was your age,

I could work a plow
mill into the ground.

I can believe it.

How are my boys?

Ah, they're fine.

Just worried about
you, that's all.

I let them down.

I promised them
everything would be all right.

Houston, you
did your best.


No, I didn't.

I lied to myself
first, and...

That made it easier
for me to lie to them.

I couldn't give 'em
a proper home.

Always knew that.

Mr. Ingalls, don't let
them separate my boys.

They'll listen to
you. I know they will.

Houston, they're not
going to listen to me.

Yes, they will.

You ain't old like me.

Promise me you'll try.

Promise me...

You'll try.



He's just asleep.

You better go.

I'll stay with him.

He's sleeping.

Where's Josh
and case?

They went back
to the orphanage.

Case have anything else
to say before he left?

Yeah, said that
nothing's changed.

That the adoption goes
through at 10:00 tomorrow.

Charles, I don't think there's
anything we can do to stop it.

I have to try.

I promised the
old man I'd try.

I think I am the best judge of
what is good for the children.

And I think
the boys are.

Mr. and Mrs. Rooney,
all those two boys have are each other.

You're still
strangers to them.

Mr. Ingalls,

don't make this more
difficult on US than it is.

Difficult for you? What
about those two boys?

How difficult do you think
this has been for them?

Mr. Ingalls,

I think we've discussed
this long enough.

As soon as Ms. Mason has Michael ready,
we'll be leaving.

Well, I guess
that's it, then.

Ms. Mason: Mr. Case,
they're gone.

The boys are gone again.

You knew about
this, didn't you?

Mr. Case: You had something to do with it,
didn't you?

I only wish I had.

How long do you think
they've been gone?

I'm not sure, a
few hours at most.

Well, Mr. Garvey, you
had better get started.

And just remember this
never would have happened

if it hadn't been
for that old man.

Houston: That's
probably true.

The boys came back
to pay me a visit,

and doc was up all night,
and we don't want to wake him,

so, we borrowed his horse
and buggy and came back.

You have interfered with the
law just once too often, Mr. Lamb!

What are you going to do,
lock me up for the rest of my life?

Heck, that'll hardly give me
enough time to unpack my bags.

why don't you sit down in that chair

and be quiet for
a while and listen?

Are you
the rooneys?

Well, you're the two
I want to talk to.

I think the boys
should wait outside.

How come? It's their
lives we're talking about.

A fella ought to be able to hear
what's happening to his own life.

Folks always think they
know what's best for other folks

without even asking
what they think.

Mr. Rooney...

Why don't you want Josh?

Come on,
come on.

Say it in front
of the boy.

Well, what do you know?

Seems we got two folks
in the room that can't talk.

But I think Josh
has a better reason.

If he could speak, what
question would he ask?

Why'd my ma and
pop leave me?

What's going to
happen to me now?

Why don't somebody love me?

Ain't much reason for
him to talk, is there?

it's not true that Josh don't make a sound.

Oh, it ain't talking,

and I'm sure you ain't
never heard it, Mr. Case.

But I have.

It's filling this
whole room right now.

You don't hear it
with your ears.

You hear it
with your heart.

It's a silent cry...

A cry of love.

A cry of caring.

I just hope to god you
never hear that cry.

But Josh has.

Don't make that
cry grow any louder.

Give the boys a chance.

I'm sorry if I let
you down, boys.

But no matter what
you think about me...

I love you.


I expect that's
all I can say.

I better get
doc's rig back.

I love you.

I love you.

Dear god,
he spoke.

If it's all right
with the boys...

We'd sure like to
have both of them.

I don't want to hear any
complaining out of you.

If you had done your
studying in the first place,

you wouldn't be
getting any homework.

Mind that wet paint
on the right!

Use the railing!

How's it going,

Just fine
and dandy.

You know, you've only
been back a week.

You're not overdoing
it, are you?

I ain't overdoing

I wish everybody would
quit asking me that question.

Houston, we wouldn't be asking
you if we didn't care about you.

I ain't got no time for caring.
I got a lot of work to do.

I got to mix me
some more paint.

Ha ha ha!