The Eye of the Storm

Pure Chemistry

To raise the children's spirits during the cold weather, Christy invites Dr. MacNeill to demonstrate a lesson in chemistry. The children are fascinated by the exploding volcano and Christy expresses her gratitude to the doctor. Miss Alice watches disapprovingly as Christy and Neil shake hands. Christy calls to Alice, but the lady rides off without saying goodbye . . .

Together Alone

At the mission, Christy has a chat with David about Becky O'Teale. Christy is upset because the girl has missed three days of school. Alice suggests that Becky might be ill and wonders if she, too, requires Neil's attention. The group sits down for dinner and a disheveled Ruby Mae places the main dish on the table. Christy tells Ruby that the dish looks delicious but Ruby cautions her to taste it before she praises it. Ruby asks David when his sister Ida is returning from Boston and David informs everyone that his mother sprained her wrist and Ida will be staying awhile longer to care for her. When Alice announces that she will be leaving for the mission in Sand Mountain Ruby Mae teases Christy and David about being alone together . . .

A Proper Chaperone

Christy tells Fairlight that she's concerned that Ruby Mae won't be a proper chaperone while Miss Alice is away at Sand Mountain. Fairlight volunteers for the job but Christy refuses, knowing that Fairlight has a family to take care of. Fairlight assures Christy that John and Zady would look out for the younger children but Christy wonders if Jeb would object. Fairlight tells her that her husband has been away for a month trying to sell his honey and she could really use the work. Christy finally agrees . . .

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

As Fairlight places supper on the table, David complements her on the wonderful smell. Alice invites Fairlight to join them but she refuses. After she finishes serving, she carries a jar of milk and a piece of bread out onto the porch to her waiting children. Each child takes a sip of milk from the jar and passes it down the line. Fairlight breaks the bread and gives a small piece to each child, leaving none for herself. John offers his mother his own piece but Fairlight refuses. Fairlight stands up and faints . . .

An Apple a Day Doesn't Keep the Doctor Away

As Neil examines Fairlight, she tries to get up and return to work. Christy tells her not to worry about the children as they are in good hands. After Christy leaves to get Fairlight a bowl of stew, Neil asks Mrs. Spencer when she last ate. Fairlight assures Neil that she had an apple the day before but the doctor wants to know when she last ate a decent meal. Fairlight tells Neil that the bread she earns must feed her children . . .

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

Neil tells Miss Alice that Fairlight is exhausted and half-starved. He suggests that Fairlight be allowed to continue to work for her food so that she won't feel as if she is receiving charity. When Neil inquires about Christy's whereabouts Miss Alice answers in a sarcastic tone. Neil asks Alice to explain her attitude and Alice tells him that he'll be hurt by the feelings that he harbors for Christy. Neil plays dumb but Alice implores him not to be a hypocrite as well as a liar. Neil says he'll tell the truth if she will but Alice only looks away. Neil asks Alice to inform Christy of his need to speak with her and walks outside onto the porch . . .

Quilt of Many Colors

Upstairs, Zady admires a quilt on Christy's bed. Christy tells her that the quilt is made from pieces of her mother's old silk and brocade dresses. Zady marvels at the beautiful material and admits that her mother never had dresses such as the ones Christy's mother wore. Christy strokes Zady's h air and tells the girl that although Fairlight doesn't have fine clothing, she does have a brave heart. When Christy asks Zady how long her father has been away, Zady tells her that it's been five weeks. Zady assumes that the weather has been the cause of his delay and tells Christy that he'll be back any day now. Christy assures the girl that he will . . .

The Big Chill

Christy comes down the stairs and asks Alice where Neil is. In a cool tone of voice, Alice informs Christy that the doctor is on the porch. Christy asks Alice why she is angry but Alice denies being upset. Christy pushes the issue and Miss Alice finally storms out and slams the door in Miss Huddleston's face . . .

Boston Bound

Christy wanders out onto the porch where Neil is calmly smoking his pipe. He tells Christy that the lady is in one of her moods and will eventually come out of it. He proceeds to tell Christy about a letter he received from St. Timothy's hospital in Boston. He wrote to an old professor of his who works at the hospital and told him about his research on trachoma. The hospital was so impressed with his work that they have offered him a medical residency at the hospital and a grant to continue his research. He'll leave for Baltimore in a month. Christy isn't thrilled and wonders who will care for the people in Cutter's Gap if Neil should leave. Neil assures Christy that he'll find someone but Christy isn't appeased. Neil tells her that this is his opportunity to find a cure for trachoma and he won't let Cutter Gap stand in his way of doing some real good. Neil asks Christy to keep the news to herself and she agrees. She coolly congratulates him and storms into the mission. Neil turns to find David watching him . . .

Absent Again

When Becky O'Teale doesn't respond to the role, Christy asks her brother, Orter, where his sister is. Orter tells Miss Huddleston to ask Becky herself but Christy informs him that she can't do so as his sister isn't here. When Orter smiles at Christy's remark, she threatens to punish him. He relents and tells Christy that Becky came to school but is hiding somewhere. Christy rushes outside and calls Becky's name but no one answers . . .

Sleeping Single in a Double Bed

When Jeb finds his wife scrubbing the mission floor, he takes the children, puts them in the wagon and informs David that he won't accept charity. David assures Jeb that Fairlight is working for her earnings but Jeb tells the minister that he will provide for his family. Fairlight tells her husband that she ran out of flour and sugar during his long absence, forcing her to take the position. Jeb tells his wife to get in the wagon but she refuses. As Jeb drives off with the children, Miss Alice tells Fairlight that it would still be possible to catch up with her husband. Fairlight tells Miss Alice that she intends to keep her promise to work at the mission. Miss Alice tells Fairlight that although she is right, it won't change the fact that it will be a lonely night for each of them . . .

Just Good Friends

Christy tells David that Jeb should be ashamed of his attitude and David assures Christy that he tried to reason with the man. When Christy comments on Neil's ability to communicate with the mountain people, David agrees in a sarcastic tone and goes inside the church to work on his sermon. Christy is puzzled by his attitude but Miss Alice enlightens her, telling Christy that she put Neil up to be God's answer to the world. When Christy replies that she believes God has special plans for Neil, Alice wonders if it might be she that has special plans for the doctor. Christy is stunned at her remark but Miss Alice informs the girl that her fascination with Neil is obvious to everyone and that she came to Cutter Gap to teach and not to find a husband. Christy assures Alice that she doesn't think of Neil in that way and begins to tell the lady that Neil is leaving. When she stops in mid-sentence, Alice urges Christy to continue. Christy refuses, saying that she made a promise to Neil. Alice assumes that the two are keeping secrets together. She tells Christy that she is disappointed in her, mounts her horse and starts to ride off. Christy calls after her, but Miss Alice says that she must reach Sand Mountain before the storm hits . . .

True Love

Christy runs into Zady who was unsuccessful in her attempt to persuade her mother to return home. Christy tells the girl that the couple have to work out their own problems and that Zady can't do it for them. Zady tells Christy that her mom and dad are truly in love and Christy assures the girl that in time, they will remember that fact . . .

A Special Request

Zady tracks down her mother who is outside doing the mission's wash. Fairlight tells her daughter to go home and Zady promises to do so if her mother will grant her a favor. When Fairlight asks what the favor is, Zady tells her mother to remember how much her father loves her. Zady leaves and Fairlight cries as she continues her chores . . .

The Hiding Place

Christy is writing a lesson on a slate when she hears a noise from beneath the floor. She assumes that it is caused by the live-in pigs and bangs on the floor with her foot to shut them up. Christy becomes suspicious when the noise continues and opens the trap door to discover Becky hiding below. She pulls the girl up and discovers that her eyes are infected . . .

Doctor's Dilemma

A storm is raging outside and when Neil hears a knock on the door he wonders who it could be. When he discovers that it is Christy, he flings open the door. Christy leads Becky inside and tells Neil that there is a problem with the young girl's eyes. Becky winces in pain as Christy holds the light close to her eyes and Neil tells her to squeeze his hand to alleviate some of the pain. Becky thinks that she is being punished for being bad but Neil tells her that her eye infection is caused by particles of matter too small to be detected by the human eye. Christy assures Becky that Neil will cure her infection but Neil doesn't respond. Neil opens a tin and offers Becky a piece of butterscotch. He goes into the locked room and Christy follows, after covering Becky with a shawl. Neil tells Christy that Becky has advanced trachoma and that the disease will eventually lead to blindness. Christy urges Neil to do something but Neil tells her that his concoction has never been tested and could possibly make Becky worse than she already is. When Neil assures Christy that Becky will go blind if untreated, Christy urges Neil to treat the girl. Neil tells Christy that he has no right to test his theories on an innocent child but Christy tells the doctor that God gave him the right when he bestowed the gift of healing upon him. Neil looks at Christy and tells her that she is just like HER. When Christy asks him who she is like, Neil refuses to answer. Christy leaves the room and returns to a frightened Becky who wonders if God is mad. Christy agrees that he must be and tells Becky that God is mad at the thing that made her eyes sore. She tells Becky not to fear the thunder for it is only God talking to Dr. MacNeill . . .

Nowhere to Be Found

Back at the mission, David is worried about Christy's absence and decides to search for her. Fairlight begs him not to go, fearing he will be hurt in the storm, but David is more worried about Christy's absence then his own safety. David opens the door and sees Miss Alice climbing the mission steps. She tells them that she had to turn around at the edge of Cutter Gap because of the storm. When Alice discovers that Christy is missing, she insists upon accompanying David in his search . . .

The Legend of Lightening

Christy wants to travel to the O'Teale cabin to inform Becky's family of her whereabouts but Neil insists that it's too dangerous to cross the river in the storm. When Becky becomes frightened of the lightening, Neil comforts her by telling a story about a sea god who fell in love with a human girl when she became shipwrecked on his island. When the girl's family found her and took her home, the god forever mourned his lost love. The god of the sky took pity and created lightening to light the way to his brother's lost love. Becky is entranced by the story and forgets her fear of the lightening . . .

Let's Kiss and Make Up

While sewing on a quilt, Fairlight pricks her finger, then glances out the window. She sees her husband standing outside in the pouring rain and runs to embrace him. As she soaks his feet in a tub of hot water, Fairlight scolds Jeb for venturing out in such weather and risking catching his death of a cold. Jeb teases his wife, assuring her that she wouldn't lack for suitors if he should die but Fairlight assures her husband that she wouldn't look twice at another man. Jeb admires his wife's hair as she brushes it dry. He reminisces about the first time that he came to court her and saw her as she was bathing in the river. Jeb beckons to his wife and she walks over to him and sits down beside him. He revels in the smell of her hair and the two admit that they couldn't possibly have slept with ten miles between them . . .

A Revealing Conversation

Christy compliments Neil on his beautiful story of the sea god but Neil shrugs away her praise, saying that it was only a fairytale. Christy tells the doctor that he underestimates himself and Neil remarks that she is so very much like HER. Christy assumes that Neil is speaking of his wife and Neil admits that she is right. He tells Christy that her name was Margaret and that she was Alice Henderson's daughter. Margaret hated Cutter Gap and could never understand her husband's need to be there. One day the two quarreled and Neil left. Margaret tried to follow him and was lost. Neil found her scarf on a branch in the river and assumed that she had drowned. Christy sympathizes over Neil's loss but Neil tells her that he and Margaret were miserable together. Neil changes the subject and wonders if his treatment would ruin Becky's eyesight. Christy tells him that she wishes he had as much faith in himself as she did. She takes hold of his hand as Alice and David knock on the door. Miss Alice enters and sees Christy holding Margaret's scarf . . .

The Morning After

The next morning dawns clear and calm. As Neil leads Becky home on his horse, Christy assures the girl that everything will be all right . . .

I Want You, I Need You, I Love You?

When Christy and David return to the mission, he tells her that he's glad that Neil is leaving for Boston. Christy questions David's knowledge of Neil's secret and David admits that he overheard the news accidentally. David tells Christy that he needs her and wants her to need him in the same way. He asks Christy to agree to an understanding with him and tries to kiss her. Christy isn't pleased at the idea and tells David that he never mentioned the word love to her nor does he ever really talk to her. David feels that Christy should be smart enough not to need words but Christy tells him that she's smart enough not to be fooled by a man who is interested in the only eligible woman for fifty miles . . .

A Wheel of A Deal

Fairlight comes outside to hang the wash out to dry and sees Jeb gazing at the mountains. She puts down her basket and walks over to where her husband is standing. She assures Jeb that he is a good provider but worries because he has to work so hard to do it. Fairlight points out that he is gone so long in the winter because he has to travel to pay for the rent on the wagon. Jeb tells her that he doesn't mind being gone for so long, but Fairlight tells her husband that his absence bothers her. She tells him that she wants to work at the mission so that they can start to save money. Jeb asks his wife what she wants to buy that they don't already have. Fairlight smiles and tells her husband that she would like wagon wheels. She wants to use her money that she earns from working at the mission to buy their supplies of flour and lard. In the meantime, Jeb can build a wagon to use to sell his honey instead of having to rent one. He'll have his own wagon and she'll have her husband at home . . .

Just Friends

Once again, Miss Alice prepares to journey to Sand Mountain. Alice tries to brush Christy off when she tries to talk to her but Christy begs Miss Alice not to shut her out. When Christy tells her that Neil told her about her daughter, Alice is surprised that Neil even remembers Margaret considering the way he's been looking at Christy. Christy assures Alice that Neil only wants a chance to live his life over again. Alice is still upset and feels that when Neil is with Christy he forgets that he even had a wife or loved her. Christy tells Miss Alice that there is nothing between her and Neil but respect and friendship and apologizes for any pain that she has caused her. Neil rides up and announces to Christy that he is going to try the treatment on Becky's eyes. Christy thanks the doctor for informing her and Neil promises to let her know what to expect. Miss Alice gives Christy a disgusted look and rides off for Sand Mountain . . .

A Sign of Friendship

David gives Christy a sign that he made for her and apologizes for being unfair to her. He asks her if she would like to sit by the fire tonight and talk and Christy agrees. Christy is glad that she and David are friends once again but her thoughts focus on Miss Alice . . .

A Special Gift

Christy is preparing lessons in the school when she sees Miss Alice's horse outside. She goes to the doorway and finds Miss Alice standing on the steps. Alice asks Christy for forgiveness and explains that she blamed Christy for being like her daughter and for living when Margaret was dead. On the road home from Sand Mountain, she thought about the love that Christy and Neil have for the children and realized that Christy was another gift from God. Christy tells Alice that she is glad that she came back and hands her the leaf that Alice gave her when she first came to the mission. Alice starts to cry as she looks at the leaf and the two women embrace . . .

Wonderful News

As Neil removes the bandages from Becky's eyes, he explains in technical terms to Christy what he is doing. Christy's reply causes Neil to clarify his explanation and he tells her that he scraped Becky's eyelids so that the new skin could grow back without disease. Becky blinks and says hello to Christy. Christy tells the girl that there are some people who would like to see her and Miss Alice leads the girl outside to where the O'Teale clan have gathered. She shields Becky's eyes from the sun and warns Becky not to open her eyes until she is told to do so. Alice places a pair of sun glasses over the girl's eyes and leads her down the cabin steps to her waiting family. Neil tells Christy that there are no guarantees that the sores won't come back and that Becky must be treated for months with the preparation. When Christy points out that he won't be here to see the results, Neil tells her that he turned down the job offer in Boston. He told the university that his work is in Cutter Gap and that if they would like to fund his research here that would be fine. Christy's heart begins to beat with joy and suddenly it is a beautiful day . . .

Caroline Kent