Mr. Ingalls and his employer Mr. Hansen are anticipating a large income from a big job they have done. The Ingalls plan to pay their bill at the Mercantile store and more. Unfortunately, when Mr. Hansen learns that his client cannot pay, that means he cannot pay Mr. Ingalls and has to close his mill. With the bonus income lost, and the lack of regular income, the family has to think how they will pay their debts and keep up their other duties. Mr. Ingalls works for the livery owner, grooming and caring for the horses he owns. Once done there, he works for a local ...
The mysterious decline in Mary's school performance is explained when Charles discovers that she needs glasses; but the joyous self-confidence that comes with Mary's improved eyesight is short-lived after Nellie and Willie incite the rest of the class to call her "Four Eyes" and tease that she'll end up a spinster like teacher, Miss Beadle.
Laura Ingalls is stunned to learn that her amiable fishing friend is none other than Walnut Grove's new banker, miserly Ebenezer Sprague, and heartbroken when he accuses her of becoming his friend to secure a loan for her family.
Jebediah Mumfort's keen eye and fast arm seem to be just what Walnut Grove's baseball team needs to go up against Sleepy Eye's powerful hurler, Slick McBurney, and end their long-standing losing streak. But, hopes are dashed when his devout wife, Margaret, finds out that most of the town is wagering on the outcome of the game and refuses to let him play; until Caroline Ingalls proposes a creative solution that may save the day and give Walnut Grove the chance to finally defeat their nemesis .
Although many in Walnut Grove think he's a homicidal maniac who lives in a haunted house, brave Laura Ingalls befriends mysterious hermit, Amos Pike, and soon discovers the truth behind both the rumors and the old man's reclusive life.
Caroline is puzzled when her plan to provoke Isaiah Edwards to jealousy doesn't result in an invitation to the annual spring dance for his anxious gal, Grace Snider, until Charles reminds her what happened when she tried the same tactic with him years before.
A woman of strong faith, widow Julia Sanderson is unafraid of Doc Baker's diagnosis of incurable cancer, but knows she must help her three children cope with the news of her imminent death and secures neighbor Charles Ingalls' help, and his promise, to keep them together in a good home after she's gone.
When it appears no Walnut Grove family will adopt all three of the Sanderson children together, a weary Charles fears he must break his promise to their mother, resigning himself to finding good homes for them, even if it means one of them may be forced to move far away from the other two.
In spite of a rocky start and over Charles' strong objections, the Olesons accompany the Ingalls on a family camping trip and, surprisingly, the oft-feuding families begin to enjoy each other's company. But will the warming relationship between them survive a cold plunge into a rushing river and Willie's rash decision to add a special leaf to his collection...the one that Mary won't touch?
Laura swears her friend Jonah to secrecy after the two uncover a shiny golden ore lying in the bed of their favorite fishing hole and both begin planning what they will do with the great wealth they are sure to have once they've mined their treasure and taken it to the bank.
With the money they raised, the Sunday school class decides to buy a new Bible for Reverend Alden's birthday. Mary is entrusted with the total revenue: $1.67, and the new Bible they'd like to buy costs $3.00. Laura has an idea how they can quickly turn their $1.67 into $3.00: by spending the money on holistic medicines and selling them at 25 cents a bottle. They'd raise $3.00 in no time. However, their first attempts at pedaling the medicine prove unsuccessful. As the reverend's birthday draws ever closer, Mary and Laura, having sold no medicine, are faced with a huge...
Trying to interest his newly adopted son in more "manly" pursuits than reading and writing poetry, Isaiah Edwards buys a rifle for John Jr.'s birthday and stubbornly insists that the two of them go turkey hunting, even though the sensitive teenager has made it plain that he doesn't want to go. But a life-threatening situation during the hunt and a secret revealed afterward, result in a life-changing event for both of them.
Mary worries that she'll disappoint Walnut Grove if she doesn't place first in the state mathematics competition after the community pays her way to represent them; meanwhile Laura's feelings of jealousy towards her older sister are soothed and she begins to feel more grown-up after her wise Pa asks her to take charge of the Ingalls household while Caroline accompanies Mary to Minneapolis.
In this episode Caroline cuts her leg, the cut becomes an infected bacterial infection which then puts her on a life and death collision course. "Bacterial infections were quite common during those days and times as well as Tetnus too.
While on a trip to Springfield, Carl Edwards accidentally releases the brake on a caboose that he, Mary and Laura are exploring, sending the lone car and the terrified trio hurtling down the tracks towards an oncoming express train.
When teacher, Miss Beadle, is deemed unable to control some of the rowdy, older boys in her class, Mrs. Oleson convinces the Walnut Grove school board to replace her with a firmer, male hand. But the new schoolmaster tries to bully his students into submission and singles little Laura out as a troublemaker, blaming and punishing her for the slightest infraction even when she isn't the one responsible.
When their grain doesn't sell for enough to see their families through the winter, Charles and Isaiah hire on with the railroad to haul a wagon-load of highly explosive nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain road and, as their journey progresses, find themselves dealing with situations almost as volatile as the freight they so carefully carry.
Caroline and the girls can't help but think the worst when Charles begins to behave mysteriously and later lies about the amount of time he has spent doing carpentry work for their lovely, young neighbor, the widow Elizabeth Thurman.
An immigrant family provides an example of thankfulness and a reminder that freedom isn't free after a property tax increase leaves most of Walnut Grove in no mood to celebrate the United States' 100th birthday.
Coming home after 12 years of performing with a busy Philadelphia orchestra, Mrs. Whipple's troubled son, Granville, hopes that the peace of Walnut Grove will help him shake the nightmares and the morphine addiction that resulted from an incident during the Civil War Battle of Shiloh.
Overwhelmed by the senseless destruction left in the wake of a devastating tornado, a bone-weary Charles Ingalls convinces himself to give up trying to make a life for his family on an unforgiving prairie, puts the farm up for sale and prepares to move back to the big woods where he was born.