A Closer Walk

Repair Work

Everyone is pitching in to help repair the damage done to the school\church in the fire. Ida is upset when she discovers that the family Bible has been all but destroyed. Ault Allen just wants to loaf and receives an ultimatum from David: get back to work or quit. Ault chooses the latter and walks off . . .

A Fine Example

Miss Alice is troubled by David's treatment of Ault. She tells David that as a minister it is up to him to show the power of forgiveness. David will not excuse Ault's behavior - he's got four kids that attend the school and he's not doing his fair share . . .

Circle of Friends

Miss Alice invites Christy to join the women's sewing circle and is introduced to Polly Teague, who at ninety-two, is the cove's oldest resident. When the group's chatter veers toward David and Ault, Miss Alice suggests that Christy read a passage from the Bible. Ruby Mae, who is sewing a pocket for her apron, would like to make a dress like the one Christy is wearing. When Christy admits that her dress is not homemade, Polly informs the group that she used to not only make all of her clothing, but weave and dye the material as well. Christy suggests that the women sell some of their homemade crafts to bring in a little extra money but the idea is met with little enthusiasm . . .

The Sun, The Moon, And the Stars

Fairlight extends her hand in friendship and invites Christy to her cabin. When Christy admires her quilt, Fairlight admits that she designed it herself. She leads Christy inside and shows her the lookout which was the inspiration for the quilt. She incorporated the sun, moon and stars into the quilt so that the starry skies would always be close to her. Christy is ecstatic. When she tells Fairlight that her friends at home would love to have a quilt such as this one, Fairlight changes the subject. Christy wants to do something to repay Fairlight for her kindness and Fairlight admits that she would love to learn how to read. Christy eagerly agrees to teach her . . .

Horse Feathers

As Christy admires her own quilt at the mission she wonders why the women are so reluctant to sell their handicrafts when it could make such a difference for their families. Ruby Mae pounds on the door and urges Christy to come quickly. David's horse, Prince, has been tarred and feathered and his beautiful tail chopped off. David suspects that Ault is responsible for the damage . . .

A is for Alphabet

The children watch as David washes off the tar and feathers from Prince's back. Sam Houston becomes upset as David whacks off a piece of the horse's mane. Fairlight arrives at the mission ready to begin her reading lesson. Christy shows her the Bible and explains that each of the beautiful words in the book are formed from only twenty-six letters. She tells Fairlight that once a person learns how to put together those letters, he or she will be able to read. Fairlight is amazed and eagerly begins learning the alphabet . . .

Invitation to Work

At the breakfast table, Ida informs David that she wrote their mother a letter but didn't have the heart to tell her about the destroyed Bible. When Ida mentions that their mother had hoped the two of them would be back in Boston by now, Ruby Mae inquires if David is planning to leave the Cove. Although he admits that some folks would like him to leave, David assures the girl that he has no such intentions. Ault drops by and issues an invitation to Christy and David to help clear the mountain behind his brother's place. David seems surprised by the gesture and wonders what's up . . .

Hard Labor

When David and Christy arrive at the "working" Ault points out the spot that has been designated for David to clear. Christy joins the other ladies who are working on Granny Barclay's quilt. When Christy mentions that the women's handicrafts will bring a good price in the city, Fairlight interrupts and asks that Christy read "A Tale of Two Cities." At dinnertime, Christy notices that David's hands are blistered and bruised. As David settles down to eat, Uncle Bogg begins a story about a preacher that everyone hated. David abandons his meal and returns to his work. Ault fires a shot into a tree that David is holding. He tells David that he should mind his own business unless he would like to see his great-great-grandma very soon. He raises his gun to fire again but stops when he realizes that all eyes are on him. Even after darkness has fallen, David continues working, determined to finish his section. When Christy sees his bleeding hands, she wraps them in bandages and propels him home . . .

Foolish Pride

Fairlight is beginning to read words and Christy realizes that this has become to mean more to her than just a project. As they stroll through the mountains, Christy ponders the reluctance of the women to earn a little extra money. Fairlight explains that pride is very important to the mountain people and the men wouldn't stand for the women to provide for the families. Christy apologizes for pushing the idea . . .

Doctor's Orders

Dr. MacNeill comes galloping into the schoolyard to take a look at David's hands. David is reluctant to submit to his ministering but Neil tells him that he will get gangrene unless the hands are treated. Zady Spencer arrives and announces that Miss Polly is having one of her spells and would like to see David and Christy. Neil tells the two that the lady is dying . . .

Words of Wisdom

Polly knows that her time is short and asks David to explain to her what will happen when she dies. David does little to console Polly when he informs her that her spirit will be kept in a state of unconsciousness until it rises on the third day after her death. Polly dismisses the idea that her spirit will be kept in a frozen state and tells Christy and David about her husband, Freeman. After Freeman died from injuries received in a hunting accident, his spirit appeared in the room and spoke to her. From that moment on, she no longer feared death . . .

Preacher's Predicament

As David stares at the repair work in the school/church he fails to notice Miss Alice's presence in the corner. After Miss Alice chatters for awhile about the stars, David informs her that he is resigning. Miss Alice tells him that Dr. Ferrand will be sorry to hear the news. She assumes he is quitting because of the Ault incident but David is upset over his inability to comfort Aunt Polly in her dying hour . . .

Soul Provider

Christy sees David packing books in a crate and tells him that she never thought of him as being a quitter. David says that it is easier for Christy as all she does is teach the children how to read. He, on the other hand, must nurture their souls. Christy tells him that she needs him (there are other fish in the sea) but David only apologizes . . .

Friendship Quilt

Fairlight comes to the mission and Christy wonders if she has forgotten a lesson. Fairlight offers her the star quilt and says that she doesn't want her children to go another winter without shoes. She tells Christy to explain the story behind the quilt's design to whomever buys it. Christy realizes that Fairlight has given up the quilt for her as well as the children . . .

Dying Wish

Zady comes to the mission and informs David that Aunt Polly is dying and would like to see him before she leaves the earth. When David refuses, Miss Alice offers to go instead . . .

Suitable for A Burial

With Polly's help, Miss Alice picks out the clothing for the burial. When Miss Alice admires her hat, Polly explains that it was a gift from Freeman. She wants to be wearing the hat when she sees her husband again . . .

A Hairy Gift

Ruby Mae and Sam Houston insist that David accompany them to the schoolhouse as they have a surprise for him. The children have created watches with the hair from Prince's mane. They plan to buy David and Ida a new Bible with the money from the proceeds received from the sale of the watches. David is touched by their gesture of love and friendship . . .

A Beautiful Doll

David hurries over to Aunt Polly's. Miss Alice kisses Polly and leaves for the church in Cataleechee. David tells Polly that whatever and wherever heaven is, he knows she'll be there. He begins to sing "Beautiful Doll" and she joins in . . .

Homeward Bound

David tells the congregation that even preachers have things to learn. He says that each of us must live life and praise God in our own way. Ault watches from outside as the congregation begins to sing. Simultaneously, Polly sings to herself in her cabin. She gazes out the window and sees Freeman beckoning to her. As she dies, a young Polly and Freeman walk off hand in hand and fade into the woods . . .

Caroline Kent