Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 7, Episode 6 - Portrait of Love - full transcript

Believing that she was abandoned at an orphanage as a child because she was losing her sight, blind artist Annie Crane angrily refuses her seriously ill birth mother's request to meet her.

Helen: Annie,
it's going to be a few more minutes.

Take your
time, mother.

You sure you don't want
to come in for a minute

and have a cup of tea?

It's too beautiful out,
and my hand wants to paint.

All right.

I tried to
tell you.

I know, I know.

It just worries me the way
that child is with her painting.

She'd starve to death
if I didn't force her

to stop and eat
once in a while.

Here you are.
A little more tea.

Hey, you might
as well join US

if you're not too busy,

Annie's not in the mood for tea.

Well, in that case,
I will sit.


It just amazes me
the way that child

can put on canvas what
she sees in her mind.

You can thank your
daughter for that,

putting them paints
on the palette for her

like a supper plate,
with azure blue at 12 o'clock

and burnt
Amber at 2.

I never could understand
how a child almost totally blind

could take so
to painting.

Makes her happy.

You know,
she says it's the only thing she can see,

and I think she can.

God gave her
that gift.

Well, I wish he'd
given her a gift to sew

or to teach, like your
daughter, Caroline...

Something she could do
to earn her way someday.

Oh, now, sorrell,
don't start that now.

Now, Helen,

if I can't talk in
front of a friend,

who can I talk
in front of?

My wife doesn't like
to think about our dying,

but it's a fact of life.

She's going to
be alone someday,

and the thought of it worries
me more than my own passing on.

That isn't going to be
for quite a while yet.

Caroline, we knew we were
going to have to face this day

when we took that
child in as a baby.

We were young then.

Oh, now, sorrell,
that's enough.

Now, please,

I've got pickles
I've got to put up.

Yes, dear.

I'll come out
with you.

I love to see
Annie's paintings.

We're ready
to go, Annie.

Are you ready?

Oh, it's

Thank you,
Mrs. Ingalls.

Is the sky

It felt right
when I did it.

It's very right.

Would you like
to have it?

Oh, I couldn't!

Oh, please!

I want you to have it. I have
dozens at home, believe me.

Oh, I can
vouch for that.

Half the house
is full of paintings.

All right.

I'd love
to have it!

Um, the paint's
not dry yet,

so mind the way
you handle it.

I'll be
very careful.

Oh, thank you!

I'll take those things. You can run along.


Helen: We'll see you in a couple of days,

Caroline: Yes, Helen. And don't forget
those pickles that Nellie wants to try.

Oh, I won't

Mrs. Ingalls

- good-bye.
- Bye.

Driver: We'll be here 30 minutes,

Good restaurant inside.
Facilities inside for the ladies.

Men, out back.

- Welcome!
- Thank you, I'm starved.

- Oh, just sit anywhere.
- Thank you.

Caroline: Uh, it's still wet.
Unger: Huh?

Oh, I'm sorry.

I thought you were
going to touch it.

- Beautiful, isn't it?
- It's extraordinary.

Even more so,
when you consider

the girl that
painted it is blind.



What a gift.

What's the name
of the artist?

Annie crane.

She lives here?

About a mile
or so from town.

When you see her next,
would you give her my card...

Or I should say...
Read it to her?

My name is
Jeremy unger.

"Art dealer"?

In sleepy eye?

Oh, I have several
throughout the state.

The largest is
in Minneapolis.

Has this girl done
many paintings?

Her father says
half a houseful.

I'd be very interested
in buying her work.

If she's interested,
I'll be in sleepy eye for the next month.

Oh, I'm sure she'll
be interested.

Meanwhile, I'd like a liverwurst
sandwich and a cup of coffee.

The stage
does not wait.

Certainly. Just sit right down,
Mr. Unger.

Thank you.

Caroline: Now,
what can I do for you folks?

I can't
believe it!

A real art dealer
liked my painting.

Not just

The word he used
was "extraordinary."

And he wants
to buy them?

That's what
he said.

What should we do?

If you ask me,

I think you should take a whole
wagonful of paintings to sleepy eye.

Can we, pa?

Sorrell: Well,
of course we can.

I'll have
to borrow a rig.

I already talked
to Charles.

You can use
our wagon.

I'll drive
if you like.

Well, I'd
appreciate it.

It's my pleasure.

I wouldn't miss
it for the world.

We can leave
on Saturday.

Caroline: I'll get
in touch with Mary.

She can put US up
at the blind school.

I'll get to be with
my classmates again.

Oh! I'm so excited, I
don't know what to do.

Yes, I do.

I want to paint.

I want to paint

Caroline: We'll be in
sleepy eye in an hour.

Oh, good.

Just another
hour, sorrell.

Praise god.

My behind hasn't been so
sore since my pa took a strap to...


I'm so happy.

So am I.

So am I!

very happy.

Oh, I am. It's
like a dream.

Someone actually
liked my paintings.

Why are you
so surprised?

Everybody that
sees them likes them.

Oh, I know,
but this is different.

This Mr. unger
liked my paintings

before he knew
I was blind.


Try to understand,
Mrs. Ingalls.

Even if all of you
were being honest,

it was still at the
back of my mind.

I mean, why would anybody say
anything bad about my paintings?

I can't see them,
and no one wants to hurt a blind person.

But now...

Now I know for
sure they must look

like they do
on my mind.

I just hope Mr. Unger
likes the rest of them.

Oh, he will.

I can feel it
in my bones.


So can I.

Well, Annie.

They're very good... very good,

- Thank you, sir.
- Now, here's what I'd like to do.

I'd like to arrange for an
exhibition of your paintings.

- An exhibition?
- Right.

At the blind school.
It's a perfect tie-in.

But I'll need all the
background on you,

about your schooling,
your blindness.

Mr. Unger, do we have to
tell them about my being blind?

I mean, I don't want them to
buy my paintings out of pity.

Annie, you're very young,
and you've got a lot to learn.

No one is going to buy
your paintings out of pity.

Art lovers want
their money's worth.

But how are we going to get people to
buy your paintings if they don't see them?

Unger: You're an unknown. That's
why we have to use everything we can

to get them to see your paintings,
to get them out.

We have to get people
asking themselves,

what does
a blind girl paint?

Annie: But...
Unger: There are no buts.

Now, some artists wear
outlandish costumes,

some do strange things,

some even cut off
their ears,

but no matter what,
they make people curious.

Now, once people
see your paintings,

they're not going to care
whether you're blind or not.

But first...

They've got to
see the paintings.

Now, what do you say?

I say, let's get
them to see them!

Thank you. Hey, get your paper!


Paperboy: Paper?
Get your paper! Paper?

"She was abandoned
at the age of two,

"her sight already
growing steadily dim.

"By the age of 5,
she was almost totally blind.

Victor: "When the blind
school in winoka was closed,

"her foster parents traveled
with her to walnut grove,

where they still reside."

It's her...

My little Sandra.

You sure?

Very sure.


After all
these years...

All these years...

Is there any more?

Just an ad for her
exhibition in sleepy eye.

Well, what
does it say?

Uh, it says,

Says it'll be at the blind
school from 2:00 to 5:00

on September eighth,
ninth, and tenth.

She's 16 now
and an artist!

I can't
believe it.


Oh, god, how I
remember that day.

Marge, don't.

I can still see her,

sitting on the steps
of the winoka school,

with her bag of
belongings next to her.

"I'll be back soon,"
I said.

"Don't worry,
I'll be back soon."

Marge, I told
you, don't.

There was nothing
else you could do,

you know that.

you couldn't take care of her by yourself.

No one could.

You did what was
best for the child.

She must hate me.

I know she must
hate me.

No, no, she doesn't.
She doesn't.

I want
to hold her.


Victor, I want to hold her.
I want to tell her I love her.


it's a hard trip to sleepy eye, and...

You go.

You go and tell her her mother
loves her and wants to hold her.

Let's wait a while,
think about it.

Maybe when you're stronger,
we can both go.


I don't want her
to know about me.

I don't want her to
hold me out of pity.

You said she
doesn't hate me.

Go to her.

Tell her I love her.

I want to hold
her just once.

Please, my love.



All right.

All right,

I'll get Mrs. Hawkins
to take care of you.

I'll leave
on Thursday.

Thank you.

Now, don't
you thank me.

You just eat
some soup I made,

and don't be telling me
again that you're not hungry.


I am hungry,

and I'd love
some soup.

All right.

coming up.


Yes, love.

Don't tell
her about me.

Promise you
won't tell her!

I promise.

I love you.

And I you.

I'll get some soup.

Caroline: It
certainly is crowded!

What do you think, Mrs. Ingalls?

I think they love your work.

- Really?
- Double really.


Annie, there's someone
I want you to meet.

This is
Mr. Malcolm Cole

of London
arts, limited.

Mr. Cole.

Ms. Crane, I want
to congratulate you.

Your work is

Thank you
very much.

And please,
call me Annie.

Mr. Cole wants to have
some of your paintings

for his firm's
gallery in London.


Not London,

My dear,

to an englishman,
there is no other London.


Mother, this gentleman wants
to send my paintings to London.

Oh, I heard. I'm so proud, dear.

My mouth is suddenly
dry. I must be nervous.

Let's get
some punch.

Take my arm.

My mouth
is dry, too.

To the
punch bowl.

Daddy, I'm
so excited.

I know you
are, dear.

I've never seen her so happy.

She deserves it,

she has
unique talent.

Her work has
great beauty,

but at the same time,
there is pain.

I feel tears behind her canvas.

I felt that,
too, Malcom.

I think I'll go and mingle a bit.

We'll talk
price later.

At your

Well, it's going beautifully.

I knew it would.

You were
that sure?

That's the way
I make my living.

Mrs. Barnsdale:

That's Mrs. Barnsdale. She's filthy rich.
She knows nothing whatever about art.

She's going to insist that I sell her
the most expensive painting here

and the larger,
the better. Excuse me.

Coming, Mrs. Barnsdale.

Yes, Mrs. Barnsdale,
can I help you?

You certainly

I would like to see some
more of these pictures.

Sorrell: Mary,
would you like some punch?

Mary: Please.
Sorrell: There you go.

- I thought you might like some punch.
- Oh, thank you.

Helen: Annie is positively
surrounded by admirers.

I think my husband
may explode with pride.

Excuse me.

You're Mrs. Crane?

Yes, I am.

My name is
Victor Crosby,

and I wonder if I might have a
word with you about your daughter.

Oh, I'm sorry,
Mr. Crosby,

but Mr. Unger
has asked US

not to talk price on
Annie's paintings.

Well, it really has nothing to do
with your daughter's paintings.

It's... personal.

Please, it'll just
take a moment.

Well, um...
All right.

We can talk in here.
Excuse US, Caroline.


Mrs. Barnsdale: Oh, Jeremy,
I like this one very much!

It is pretty,
isn't it?

And is it one of your
more expensive ones?

Oh, yes,
it's one of our more expensive ones.

Oh, good, and I think I'd
like that one over there, too.

Mrs. Barnsdale: Can we see
it close up? Unger: Certainly.

- Oh, Caroline.
- What's wrong?

I need some place to
sit down for a minute,

it's quiet.

Come along
with me.

- Um...
- Come on.

What's wrong?

That man downstairs is
married to Annie's real mother.


He said that he
wanted to talk to her,

and I told him no,

and he said...

- It's going to be all right.
- I just can't believe this is happening.

It's been such
a wonderful day,

and Annie...
Annie is so happy.


Helen: He said that his
wife wanted to see Annie.

First thing you'd
better do is calm down.

I know, I know.

Now, uh,
how does Annie feel about her real mother?

We've never even
really discussed her,

but she remembers.

Even though she was only two,
she remembers.

She remembers that
her mother just left her.

She's never
heard from her.

I think you're going to
have to face up to it.

I just don't know how
Annie's going to take this.

Unger: Thank you
for coming,

I hope you
enjoyed yourself.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.
Thank you.

Thank you very much.


Well, young lady,
it could not have gone better.

They loved
your paintings.

what about a celebrationary party?

- I'd love it!
- Good. How long will it take you to get ready?

- I'm ready right now.
- All right.

we all need to clean up and change.

Helen: I think,
um... could you give US an hour, Mr. Unger?

Unger: All right,
I'll be back in an hour.

But you'd better be
hungry, young lady,

because I'm going
to take you

to the best French
restaurant in the state.

Oh, pa! A French restaurant!

I hope I can get some meat and potatoes.

Oh, I'd better
get ready.

Annie: Mama,
I'd like to wear my blue dress.

Annie, there's someone
here who'd like to talk to you.

Who is it?

My name is Victor Crosby, Annie.

How do you do?

Mr. Crosby,
this is my husband sorrell.

Mr. Crane.


Why don't we all
sit in the office here?

I think we'll be
more comfortable.

Annie: Good idea. My
feet are just killing me.

Caroline, come
with US, please.

All right.

Something's wrong.
What is it?

You'll find out
in a minute.

Victor: There's a chair here,

Well, I'll get right to it,
Annie, um...

My wife,

asked me if I'd come to see you.

She hasn't been
too well of late.

Oh, I'm sorry.

She, uh...

She's your
mother, Annie.

I know this visit must
come as a shock to you

after all these
years, but...

But as folks get older,
it's harder for them

to keep things
inside... feelings.

But she desperately
wants you to know

that she loves you,
and she wants...

To see me.


Just once.

If you would, it would
make her so happy.

Why would I want to make her happy,
Mr. Crosby?

What in god's name
did she ever do for me?

Victor: Well, Annie,
try to understand.

No! You understand,
and you tell her!

What did you say my
mother's name was... Marge?

You tell her
that I hate her.

I hate her,
and I don't ever want her near me!

Now, get out!

I know you feel you have a right to...

A right?!

My mother threw me away
like a broken doll.

I was going blind. Who
wants a blind child?

"Get rid of it!
Go away! Forget it!

You can always
have another one."

No, Mr. Crosby,
I don't forgive her.

You tell her that.

Now, get out.

I think you'd better go,
Mr. Crosby.

Your mother never
had another child.

We'd all better get
ready for supper.

- Annie...
- I, for one, don't intend to miss this celebration.

I'm fine, mama.


Come in.

I tried to knock as
softly as I could.

I... I thought maybe
you'd be asleep.

I'm not really tired. Just
all the excitement, I guess.

I've been downstairs
talking with Mary and Adam.

The whole school
is excited.

The idea that one of their former
classmates is a famous artist

has all
the children...

On a cloud.

I'm not really

You're on
your way.

You heard what
Mr. Unger said...

Another exhibit
here in 3 weeks,

dealers coming from
all over the country.

You should be
very proud.

I suppose.

What time are we
leaving tomorrow?

In the morning.

you like.

I'd like to go home as soon as possible,

I want to paint.

All right.

We'll leave
at 7:00.

I'll be ready.

There, there.

Try and get
some rest, hmm?

Good night,
Mrs. Ingalls.

Good night, dear.

Brought you
some lemonade.

Thank you, mama.

What do you
think of it?

Oh, I don't know.

It's so different
from your other work.

I know, but what
do you think of it?

Um... I'm not the one to ask,

Who is it?

It's Marge.

Mother Marge.

- Oh, Annie.
- It's the way I see her.

It's the way I
feel about her.

It's been like this
since we got back.

No matter what she did,
Annie, she's your mother.

No, she's not!

I know you're angry.

I was, too, when it
first happened,

because I was afraid I
was going to lose you.

I was even glad you
didn't want to see her.

But we can't
hate her.

We can't hate somebody
we don't even know.

Yes, I can.

Oh, yes,
I can, mama.

She lied to me.

"I'll be back for you,"
she said,

and she held me.

She said,
"I love you."

I can remember,
and I hate her.

I'd best
finish the wash.

Your lemonade's on
the stand, Annie.

Thank you, mama.

I'll be back soon.

I love you.

Caroline: Nellie,
I can finish up in here.

Why don't
you go relax?

Believe me,
Mrs. Ingalls,

to me, work
is relaxing.

My mother has made
relaxing work.

It's true!

I can't wait to
have the baby

so things can get
back to normal.

I get up in the morning,
mother says, "lie down."

This morning,
she wanted father to hitch up the buckboard

to drive me across
the street to the store.

Ha ha!

She calls on the
telephone 10 times a day

and then gets angry because
I'm answering the telephone.

Ooh, whipped cream!

Oh, I love it.

You'd better go easy on that whipped cream,
young lady.

You know, the more you put on,
the more you have to take off.


In the kitchen,

Nellie, I have
to talk to you.


All right, now, you asked me to
promise not to argue with your mother.

And I have been
trying, have I not?

Yes, you have.

I didn't yell when
your mother insisted

that you have your supper lying
down on the sofa, now, did I?

- No.
- And I didn't yell when your mother

began serving you
breakfast in bed

whether I was up
or not, now, did I?

No, you didn't.

And I didn't yell when your mother
told me not to hold you too close

because I might squish the baby,
now, did I?

- No.
- But now, just now, your mother has informed me

that I am
no longer allowed

to sleep in the same
bed with my wife!

- Mrs. Ingalls.
- Percival.


I'm going to ask
your permission

to allow me to break my
promise and yell at your mother.

Harriet: Percival!
Where are you?

You have
my permission.

In here, mother.

Harriet: Percival Dalton,
I haven't finished with you.

Oh, my goodness,
Nellie, darling!

Why aren't you
lying down?

Because I don't
want her to lie down.

I want her
to stand up.

And I want her to sit up
when she's having her dinner.

if she is going to have breakfast in bed,

she is going
to do so with me.

And I am going to sleep every
night with my wife in our room.

And if I want to hold
my wife or kiss my wife,

I will do so anywhere or
any time I darn well choose to,

like right now.

Ugh! Ah! Ohh!

Oh, you animal!



- Thank you, dearest.
- You're welcome, my love.

I'll be back in about an
hour. You get some rest?

- I will.
- Okay.

Mrs. Ingalls.

Bye, percival.

Isn't he wonderful?

He's pretty amazing.

Mrs. Crane.

Hello, percival.

- Helen!
- Hello, Caroline.

How are you?

I'm all right.

I wanted to get by to
see you the past few days,

but I just... I had so
much to catch up on here.

How's Annie?

Could we sit down
for a minute and talk?

Of course.


Hmm, oh, Caroline.

These last few
days have been...

Tell me about it.

Annie is so...


So changed.

All of her joy, her energy,
her... it's gone.

And even her
paintings are...

Oh, I wish you
could see them.

I don't know
what to do.

When that man
first came to me,

I was so afraid of what would
happen if Annie went to her,

and now I'm afraid
of what will happen

if Annie doesn't.

Would she go
to see her?


She just wants to
keep on hating her.

What if Mrs. Crosby
came here?

I don't know.

Mr. Crosby left a number
where they can be reached.

Do you think she'd come?

We can only try.

Oh, no. I'm afraid if I did that,
she might hate me, too.

I could do it.

Just a nosy
neighbor butting in.

Thank you.

Come on.

How's that? That's not too hard,
is it?


You know,
when you get a little stronger,

we're going to have
to take a trip,

get some warm sun
on your face.

both some good.

I'd like that.

Oh, land sakes,
that scared me!

Sounds of
the modern age.


Mrs. Ingalls?


Well, i...
I don't know.

Yes, of course.
Just a moment.

It's the Mrs. Ingalls
that I mentioned to you.

She's coming?

Annie's coming?

No, she wondered if
you could go to her.

- She...
- Well, I can't.

Victor: Marge,
I understand your feelings, but...

I can't.

I'm too sick to travel.
You tell her that.

Please, Victor?

Tell her that.

Mrs. Ingalls,
I'm sorry, but, uh...

My wife is
just too ill.

Yes, I know.

I'm sorry.



Well, at least
you tried.

Thank you,

I'm sorry.

Well, I've checked all Albert's
spelling and history homework.

You're going to have
to check his algebra.

I can't make heads
or tails out of it.

All right.

I don't know why Laura
has to teach algebra anyway.

You'd think plain old ciphering
would be good enough.

Don't blame

Blame the Greeks,
they started it.

You've been reading the
same page in that Bible

for over an hour.

I'm not really
reading it.

about Annie, huh?

Yes, and her mother,

her real mother.

If only she would have
come to see Annie.

The woman's ill. There's
nothing you can do about that.

Caroline: I don't
believe she is that ill.

He had me wait
on the telephone

while he went
to talk to her.

He must have asked her
if she'd go to Annie.

He wouldn't have even
asked her if she was that sick.

Well, you
could be right.

She just doesn't
care enough.

Oh, I wouldn't be
so sure about that.

Pretty hard for
a parent not to care.

just look at the old testament... absalom.

Here he was, trying
to kill his own father,

and yet, when he died,
king David asked god to take him instead.

Then why doesn't
she come?

I don't know.



could I use the wagon again on Friday?


Annie's mother lives
in bradleyville.

I don't know
their address,

but I'm sure
I could find it.

If the mountain will
not come to Mohamed...

Mohamed must go
to the mountain.

Here you go.

Thank you.

Mrs. Ingalls.

Mr. Crosby.

I hope you don't mind my coming.

I... I just had to try once more.

Mrs. Ingalls, I appreciate
your concern for Annie...

And for your wife?

And for Marge.

I tried, believe
me, I did, but...

Mr. Crosby, sometimes we just
have to make people do things

whether they
like it or not...

For their own good.

Can your wife travel?

Yes, as a matter of fact, we're
going to take a little trip this weekend.

I thought it'd be good
for her to get away.

Could we go
somewhere and talk?

Oh, sure.
I think we'd better.

There's something you
should know about Marge.

Uh, Charlie? Charlie,
I'm taking a break.

Marge: The sun feels wonderful.

Victor: Well, I told you it'd do you
good to get out in the air for a while.

There's a little
town down the road.

I thought we might stop,
go to services.

You want to
go to church?

I can't get you to
do that at home.

Well, I just thought it might be
interesting to hear a new preacher.

Maybe he won't be as
long-winded as reverend Hailey.

Why, Victor Crosby,
you should be ashamed of yourself,

talking like that.

Well, so should
reverend Hailey.

All: ♪ waiting for the harvest
and the time of reaping ♪

♪ We shall come rejoicing
bringing in the sheaves ♪

♪ Bringing in the sheaves,
bringing in the sheaves ♪

♪ We shall come rejoicing
bringing in the sheaves ♪

Rev. Alden: "Blessed is the man that
walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,

"nor standeth in
the way of sinners,

"nor sitteth in
the seat of the scornful.

"But his delight is
in the law of the lord...

And on his law doth he
meditate day and night."

God's law is love.

His law is forgiveness.

Think about that this week.

Practice it.

Hold your loved ones close,

and you'll hold
god in your heart.

Oh, before we go,
we'd like to take this opportunity

to congratulate Annie crane
on her successful art exhibit

and to give her our best
wishes for her future exhibits.

Annie, you've made
US all very proud.

Rev. Alden:
That's all for this week.

May god go with you.

Papa and I'll go
get the wagon.

I'll be
right back.

Talk to her,

Tell her.

Tell her.



How have you been?


Who is it? I'm sorry,
I don't recognize your voice.

I am...

Your mother, Annie.

What are you
doing here?

Well, I didn't
know you were here.

- I swear to god...
- I don't want you here!

I know.

I don't
blame you.


I just wanted
to see you once,

to tell you
that I love you.

That's a lie!

I don't blame you for
not believing me...

But things happen
in life, Annie.

When your father died,
and I was alone...

You're not the only
widow to have a child.

But you didn't want to. You didn't
want a child that was going blind.

- That's not true.
- Yes, it is!

All right, you
wanted to see me?

Look at me!

Go ahead,
look at me! Look at your blind daughter!

What color
is your hair?

It was so blond when
you were first born,

but it started
to darken.

What color
is it?


I thought so.

Let me see you.

So lovely,
so very lovely.

I had
Scarlet fever

while I was
carrying you.

It was only a matter of time,
the doctor said.

It grew darker
every day.

If I had only had
a family... someone.

Mama, why didn't
you tell me?

Annie: Why? Marge: I didn't
want you to come to me out of pity.

I love you,

I wish
I'd known.

Hold me.

Hold me.

Laura, voice-over:
Annie crane's second exhibit

was an even bigger
success than the first.

Mr. Unger said that her new
works were filled with joy and love,

especially the one
Annie titled "my mama."