Jim Bob's having trouble remembering things. Or rather, he's having trouble remembering things that don't pay a wage. Paid chores seem not to be a problem. When John's fishing rod goes missing, therefore, the finger points straight at him. Turns out the real culprit is a little black kid called Josh who has been sleeping in the barn.
This series has seen plenty of strays, of course, but this is the first time John has taken a shine to one. The feeling's mutual, and the two J's strike up a solid, if rather cutesy, relationship. Despite Josh being the tidiest boy in probably the whole world, the script makes it clear he cannot stay with the Waltons, and in the end he gets bundled off to Verdie.
I don't know if it's just me, but Josh's lines sound like they were written for someone a few years older. Perhaps that was the original plan. It ends up making the little fellow sound rude when I don't think he was supposed to.
There's not much for the others to do other than dote over Josh. Curt and Mary Ellen make their customary fleeting appearance, while Jim Bob gets dowsed with beer in a brawl. This is very much John's episode, however, and he gets my vote for MVP. Out of interest, the script almost makes it to the very end without using the word 'black'. I think I clocked it at 45:58.