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 farmer to fix an irrigation system on his property. But, the women of the family want to help, too. Caroline and Laura plant a double crop of vegetables for the winter and plan to sell the eggs as they have been collecting. Mary plans to leave school temporarily to work for Mrs. Whipple, the seamstress, sewing assorted clothing items for ladies of the community. Laura continues in school, bringing home lessons to Mary so she doesn't get behind on her schoolwork. When she herself gets behind on turning in her homework, she tells Miss Beadle she ran out of tablet paper and doesn't want to ask her father to buy it. Miss Beadle offers a solution to the problem and all is much better.
- After the mill closes, Charles is unable to pay off his debt to Mr. and Mrs. Olson at the Mercantile. He is then forced to take on many jobs at once while Mary also takes a job to help the family. Caroline and Laura are left home to take care of the chores.