Charles has gone to Manketo to run some errands for Mr. Hansen. When Mary and Laura go to school, Ms. Beadle announces the scholarship award to the person who gets the highest marks on the scholarship exam. Mary wants the book more than anything, and is willing to work really hard for it. She decides to enroll for the exam and Ms. Beadle gives her a list of the subjects that would be covered. Mary has most of the books she needs except American History, so she asks Ms. Beadle, and Ms. Beadle lends her own copy of the book to Mary. Mary studies whenever she gets the time and wherever she goes. One night, while everyone is sleeping, she goes to the barn to study, not wanting to disturb anyone. She falls asleep and the lantern falls down, making the barn catch fire. Caroline manages to put of the fire, and in anger tells Mary to forget about the exam. Mary is devastated but the next day, obeys her mother. She finds out Ms. Beadle’s book is burnt so she gets a part time job at the Oleson’s shop to get a new book for her. Caroline feels bad, but after having a talk with the Reverend, she feels she should stick to the punishment, otherwise Mary won’t learn anything. Mary is still persistent to win the award and doesn’t tell Miss. Beadle about withdrawing. Instead she starts studying while she is working in the shop, and after all her chores and homework are over. Will she be able to win the award and what would Caroline do when she found out that Mary didn’t take her seriously?
I absolutely loved this episode, because we finally get to see an episode that emphasizes more on Mary. The ending has a twist, which I would have never expected, but proves that Mary is a good child. Karen Grassle and Melissa Sue Anderson acted wonderfully as Caroline and Mary.
I rate this 10/10.