Christy (Part Two)

Readin', Writin' and Feudin'

A commotion interrupts Christy and Rob's discussion about "Treasure Island." Christy rushes over to where Little Burl is lying on the ground and demands to know if Lundy hit him. Lundy swears that he didn't touch the little boy and Burl assures Christy that he's as "fine as frog's hair." Christy warns Lundy that she will not tolerate bullies and will have no qualms about talking to his father if she catches him tormenting the children again. When Lundy points out that his father doesn't care what he does, Christy threatens to turn the boy over to David. Lundy stalks off into the woods, reminding Christy about the blood feud between the Allen's and the Taylor's. He points at Burl and Rob and says that the families are meant to fight. Christy calls out to the retreating figure, warning him that they'll be no fighting in her school . . .

Reassuring Words

Miss Ida believes that feuding is a plague in Cutter Gap, but Miss Alice is hopeful about the situation as Lundy is attending school. And that had never happened before . . .

The Crossing

On a Sunday that David is scheduled to preach in Lufty Branch, he invites Christy to accompany him. David laughs at the sight of Christy perched upon old Theo's back and points out that she should be riding Prince. Christy assures David that she's fine and admits her limitations as a horsewoman. When they arrive at the river, David offers to cross first to set an example for Theo. Dr. MacNeill, who is fishing nearby, feigns disinterest in the duo's actions. David makes it across but Theo steps in a hole and starts to sink. Christy calls out for David but Neil arrives at her side first and carries her ashore to safety . . .

A Mysterious Room

Inside Neil's cabin, the doctor offers Christy a pair of his pants to wear but they are much too large for the petite schoolteacher. Christy watches with interest as Neil unlocks a door and goes inside. He returns with a lilac colored dress and asks Christy if it'll do. Christy takes the dress and smiles . . .

A Perfect Fit

Upstairs, Christy tries on the dress and pronounces it a perfect fit. She glances around Neil's bedroom with interest and wonders why the doctor feels the need to lock a door in a community where people hardly bothered to shut their doors . . .

Lovely in Lilac

David stares at Christy as she returns downstairs wearing the dress. Neil, who is busily attending to the fire, doesn't see her at first, but likewise gives her a similar look when he becomes aware of her presence. Christy thanks Neil for loaning her the dress and asks to dry her wet clothes by the fire. As she approaches the fireplace, Christy catches a glimpse of the clock on the mantle and tells David that it's already two-fifteen. When she points out that he is supposed to preach in Lufty Branch at three, David offers to go alone while Christy stays with Neil. Christy runs out on the porch after David and apologizes for messing things up. David assures Christy that it was Theo's fault not hers and thanks the doctor for his help. Left alone with the doctor, Christy has little to say and Neil wonders if she is going to faint again. Christy apologizes for interrupting his operation but Neil points out that the procedure was probably a shock to her delicate sensibilities. When Christy asks Neil where the dress came from, he informs her that it belonged to his dead wife . . .

A Scottish Hillbilly

Christy follows Neil inside the cabin where the doctor becomes involved with labeling bottles of medicine. Christy wonders what foreign land Neil is from but he surprises her by admitting that he is a hillbilly. When Christy points out that he doesn't speak like a hillbilly, Neil tells her that he attended medical school in Scotland. He points to several pictures on the wall and explains that when he was sixteen, he carried the camping gear for some surgeons that had traveled to the area from New York. They took a liking to him and made it possible for him to become a doctor. While Christy admires the portraits, Neil admits that he owes the men everything. Christy thinks of the awful conditions in Cutter Gap and has to wonder what Neil has accomplished. Neil is angry at her accusation and points out that she's awfully young to have made such a sweeping judgement. Neil laughs when she mentions losing her supper after a visit to one of the cabins and wrinkles her nose in disgust. Christy is annoyed by Neil's amusement at her expense and points out that Mountie O'Teale isn't very funny. Neil stops laughing and explains that the little girl's parents won't allow him to find out why she cannot talk. He points out that many of the mountain people don't trust doctors and won't be rushed into changing their opinions. When Christy wonders what will happen to the children in the meantime, Neil reminds her that he was once one of those children . . .

Sloshed Swine

On the way home from Neil's cabin, Christy chatters to David about the doctor's lack of concern for the mountain people. When she admits that she's not sure if she even likes the doctor, David points out that neither she nor Neil are the easiest people in the world. As they dismount Prince, David stares at Christy and remarks that her hair smells like roses. The "rosey" moment is interrupted by the pigs who are staggering around in an unpiglike manner in the schoolyard. When Christy wonders if the pigs could be drunk, David crawls beneath the schoolhouse and emerges with a jug. He tastes the contents of the jug and tells Christy that it's liquor before smashing the container against the schoolhouse wall. Christy realizes that Lundy hurt Little Burl to keep him from discovering the liquor's hiding place . . .

A Difference of Opinion

By Monday morning, most of the cove knows about the hidden liquor and agrees that Bird's-Eye Taylor, a notorious moonshiner who has nothing but contempt for the mission, is the culprit. Neil arrives on horseback at the school and warns David that he doesn't know what he's getting himself involved in. David disagrees and informs the doctor that he has more than enough evidence for the Marshall. Neil warns David that telling the Marshall about the liquor is a big mistake and points out that making liquor isn't a crime in the eyes of the mountain people. He explains that making moonshine is a necessity in the mountains and relates the story of how the liquor operation started in 1794. He reminds them that when the government decided to tax whiskey a rebellion started among the mountain people. When Christy points out that it's no longer 1794, Neil reminds her that selling liquor is the only way these people can buy food or medicine. Christy tells Neil that the mission can get donations for food and medicine, but the doctor points out that the people won't accept charity as they want to work for what they get. David points out that moonshining is the work of the devil and that it's his job to make the people of the cove see the evil in their actions. David invites Dr. MacNeill to attend his sermon on Sunday . . .

A Powerful Sermon

The church is more crowded than usual on Sunday as everyone is anxious to find out if David is going to preach against the moonshiners. After the opening hymn, David lectures the congregation about serving evil and informs them that the white lightning that is being brewed is the devil's own drink. David stares at Tom as he speaks and Mr. McHone squirms as if the words were written especially for him. When David asks how many of the congregation are on the Lord's side, only Christy and Ida stand in support . . .

A New Friend

After church, Fairlight tells Christy how thrilled her children are to be attending school and offers to return the favor. She invites Christy to walk with her to pick some late berries and Christy eagerly accepts the invitation from her new friend. As they stroll away from the schoolhouse, Mrs. Spencer asks Christy to call her by her front name . . .

The Way Things Are

After picking a bucket of berries, Christy relaxes on the side of the mountain and draws a portrait of Fairlight in her sketchbook. She realizes that the gift of friendship that Fairlight is offering to her is the most precious gift of all among the mountain people. When Christy wonders if Tom could be one of the moonshiners, Fairlight explains that Opal became ill after she had her last baby and Tom did what he had to do to get the money to pay for medicine. Christy warns Fairlight that Tom could go to prison for hiding Bird's-Eye but Mrs. Spencer shrugs and says that nothing can be done about the selling of moonshine and the feuding. That's just the way things are . . .

Bursting Buckeyes

When Christy arrives at school the next morning, Lundy is conscientiously stoking the fire in the stove. He generously offers to clean the blackboard but Christy wants to talk about the liquor that was found underneath the school and who put it there. Rob's arrival interrupts their conversation and Lundy pretends to be engrossed in cleaning the blackboard as Christy opens the door to the stove. Christy screams when something pops out of the fire and Rob, looking accusingly at Lundy, explains that the bursting items are buckeyes. Christy accuses Lundy of putting the buckeyes in the fire but the young man denies it. Christy doesn't believe him and blames him for hiding the liquor under the school as well. When Lundy tells to mind her own business, Christy warns Lundy to behave himself and orders him to sit. Lundy refuses and Christy drags him by the ear and pushes him into a seat. Lundy is appalled at the idea of a woman telling him what to do and tells Christy that she and the school can "go straight to hell." After Lundy leaves, Christy is sorry that she lost her temper with him . . .

A Visit with The Bird Man

Christy is even sorrier after three days when Lundy doesn't return to school and realizes that she will have to talk to his father. Christy knows that David and Miss Alice won't agree to her visiting Bird's-Eye alone so she slips off without telling anyone. As she reaches the Taylor property, Christy loudly announces her presence but her hello is answered only with an echo of her own voice. Bird's-Eye and his son appear out of nowhere and demand to know what the teacher wants. Christy admits that she isn't the best teacher but assures Mr. Taylor that she can teach Lundy something. After Bird's-Eye informs Christy that he and only he will "whup" Lundy, Christy informs Mr. Taylor that she didn't whip his son. Bird's-Eye realizes that his son lied to him and chases after him, intending to beat him. Lundy escapes into the woods and Bird's-Eye admits that his son is twiddle-brained like his mother who ran off and left them. Christy assures Mr. Taylor that the mission is there to help him if he should need it but Bird's-Eye points out that churches aren't for sinners like himself. After Christy admonishes Birds-Eye for using his son to hide the liquor and urges him to set an example for Lundy, Mr. Taylor orders her off of his land. Before she leaves, Christy pleads with Mr. Taylor not to punish his son for his personal feelings and to let him return to school . . .

Aw Shucks

It's corn shucking time in Cutter Gap and everyone is busy shucking and having a good time at this working social. The merriment ends when Bird's-Eye and a couple of his friends arrive and invite the locals to participate in a horse race for a jug of white lightening. David orders Bird's-Eye to get rid of the jug but Bird's-Eye ignores the demand and takes a sip of the brew instead. David tries to grab the jug away from Bird's-Eye but before a fight can erupt, Miss Alice shoots the jug out of Mr. Taylor's hand. Miss Alice reminds Bird's-Eye that she's an excellent markswoman and since there is nothing left to race for now, she suggests that Mr. Taylor and his friends go home. Bird's-Eye points at Christy and David and tells Miss Alice that they should be the ones to leave for they have no right teaching the youngsters of Cutter Gap. He warns everyone that if they send their children back to school they'll have to answer to him. After Bird's-Eye and company leave, Christy praises Alice for her bravery. Miss Alice admits that using violence goes against everything that she believes but Christy assures Miss Henderson that if she hadn't taken the shot that someone would have gotten killed. Alice warns Christy not to put her on a pedestal and explains that she once had a child out of wedlock and lost that child because of her own selfishness. Realizing that she said too much, Alice apologizes and leaves . . .

The Sound of An Empty Classroom

The next day, Christy rings her handbell to signal the start of school. When none of the children show up, Christy tells David that she isn't going to be intimidated by Bird's-Eye and plans to teach as usual with the new books and maps that her father sent from Asheville. David warns Christy that the children may not come back for a while but she refuses to believe him. As David walks off, Christy resumes ringing the bell . . .

The Heroine Fails

Darkness falls and Christy is still inside the school house examining the new books. David arrives and asks Christy if she is hungry. Christy tells David that she isn't and urges him to go ahead to the mission. Christy realizes that Bird's-Eye's threat had worked although her desire to play the heroine was partly to blame for the situation. Christy had hoped for applause and instead had failed her children . . .

Sweet Adversity

As Alice prepares to leave for Low Gap, she reads Christy a poem about adversity from Shakespeare's "As You Like it." She gives the book to Christy to read while she is away and assures Miss Huddleston that the children will return to school. Christy wishes Alice a safe trip and offers her assistance to Ida who is retrieving a sheet from the clothesline. When Christy hears a noise behind one of the sheets, Ida assures the teacher that it is only an animal. Christy raises the sheet and discovers Tom McHone, who collapses bleeding to the ground . . .

Bully for You!

Outside the mission, Christy and David anxiously await Dr. MacNeill's diagnosis. Neil comes outside and assures them that Tom will be all right. Christy shakes her head in disbelief that Bird's-Eye would actually shoot Tom but Neil doesn't believe that Mr. Taylor did it. He explains that if Bird's-Eye had wanted to kill Tom he wouldn't have missed for as his name suggests, he can shoot the eye of a bird within fifty yards. As Neil leaves, he suggests that Christy close the school for a while to let things cool off. Christy refuses to give in to the bullies and tells Neil that if she has to wait in an empty schoolhouse until next spring, she will . . .

A Small Start

Christy becomes discouraged after two days pass and none of the children return to school. She is afraid that she won't be able to live up to the fine words that she had spoken to Neil. Christy picks up her satchel and begins to gather the books from the children's desk. Just when she is about to cry from frustration, Fairlight arrives with her children and tells Christy that her children need to attend school in order to survive in the world. Christy is worried about Bird's-Eye's reaction to the children's return to school but Fairlight tells her that they can't let the man win . . .

The Last Rays of Hope

Three days later, Christy is once again discouraged when none of the other children return to school. She stares at the setting sun and wonders if they will ever come back . . .

You Gotta Have Faith

As Christy and Alice watch Fairlight and her children walk toward home, Alice reminds her that patience is a virtue. Christy tells Miss Alice that according to Neil, the situation is her and David's fault but Alice assures Christy that she did her best. She reminds Christy of how a baby learns to walk. He falls down many times but keeps trying over and over again. Christy laughs and tells Alice that like the baby, she keeps making mistakes over and over again. Miss Alice advises Christy to thank God and seek the faith . . .

An Act of Vengeance

Christy's faith pays off the next morning when she arrives at school and finds all of the children there. She eagerly tells the children about the new books and maps but when they enter the schoolhouse they are dismayed to find it in a terrible state of disarray. When Christy angrily throws one of the damaged slates, Little Burl reminds her that God loves everyone and they must do the same. Christy agrees with little Burl but admits to herself that sometimes it's very hard to do so . . .

Lundy Wants to Learn

Believing that Lundy is the culprit behind the destruction, Christy pays another visit to the Taylor's place. Lundy, who is lounging on the ground, grabs Christy foot and tries to pull her down. Christy informs Lundy that she's been looking for him and the boy backs away from her angry stare. She tells Lundy that what he did was hateful but that she and the children are trying to forgive him. She assures Lundy that he's a bright boy and that she wants him to have a future other than making moonshine. When Christy discovers a copy of "David Copperfield," Lundy admits that he's been reading it. He associates with the hero of the story David and wants to prove to everyone that he too can become something from nothing. Christy assures Lundy that he can do it and begs him to come back to school. Their discussion is interrupted by Bird's-Eye who grabs his son by the collar and orders him to go home. Christy stops Mr. Taylor from kicking his son and Bird's-Eye finally lets his son go . . .

A Burning Experience

That night at the schoolhouse, Christy writes a letter to her father and explains about the destroyed books. She hears a noise outside and goes to investigate. When her calls receive no answer, she starts to return to the schoolhouse only to see it being set on fire. Before she can scream for help, a man grabs her from behind, releasing her only after the fire is set. Christy runs back inside and tries to retrieve as many books as she can. David hears her cries for help and rushes to pull her away from the burning building. On their way out, Christy drops her Bible and when she returns to pick it up, a burning beam falls from the ceiling and hits her on the head . . .

It's Out of Our Hands

Doctor MacNeill keeps a vigil beside Christy bed and tenderly kisses the schoolteacher on the forehead. The next day, Ida joins her brother inside the damaged schoolhouse to pray for Christy's recovery . . .

It's Easier to Forget Than Forgive

When Christy awakens, she asks Miss Alice if the school burned to the ground. Miss Alice assures her that only a corner and the roof were damaged. When Christy suggests that Bird's-Eye set the fire, Alice tells her that they must forgive him and reminds Christy that they must break the chain of destruction not add to it. Although Christy tries, she can't forgive herself for what happened and can only see the fire as a sign that she doesn't belong in Cutter Gap . . .

I Think Thee Will Do

With her suitcase in hand, Christy slowly descends the mission steps and stares at the schoolhouse. Her plan was to slip away before anyone awakened and to disappear as if she'd never been there. As she turns to look at the schoolhouse one last