Ep.20 - The Hostage

  Original Airdate: April 21, 1981
Writer: Marjorie Fowler
Director: Herbert Hirschman


  Elizabeth is kidnapped by a mountain man when he is prevented from marring an underage girl. Trouble ensues Cousin Octavia comes to visit the Baldwin sisters.


  "The post war years brought great social change and progress to our community, but for the hill folk living above us on the mountain it was as though time had passed them by. They held on rigidly to their old ways and customs, even if it meant breaking the law."



While Mary Ellen is making her medical rounds to the mountain folk she finds Rance Crooks outside of his house enjoying the warmth of the sun. She feels that he needs immediate medical attention but he wants to stay knowing that he has little time left. He has given his house to his 14 year old granddaughter Sissy and her hand in marriage to Job Moonie. Rance passes just as he finishes his words. Job grabs a shovel and buries him in the yard. He then tells Sissy he is off to find a preacher to marry them. Mary Ellen pulls him aside and tells Job that it is against the law for him to marry a minor. He says that is her law and he only listens to God’s law and the old man’s wishes. She then tells Sissy to pack some of her things, that she will take her to be with a legal guardian until she is old enough to make her own decisions.

Sissy enjoys dinner at the Waltons table. She is so impressed with their big home and feels that they must be so rich with owning the mountain and having the lumber mill and big house. Elizabeth takes her upstairs to where she will sleep. Sissy hasn’t gone to school and doesn’t know how to read or write. She remembers seeing a book that she liked about a girl and her grandpa who lived on a mountain with goats. Elizabeth reminds her that the book is called “Heidi”.

Job comes looking for Sissy the next morning. He confronts Erin on the porch who calls for Ben to come to her aide. He says that he won’t lay a hand on her until they are properly married. He storms off and finds Elizabeth picking up groceries at Ike’s store. He jumps into the passenger seat with his shotgun just as Elizabeth starts the vehicle. He tells her to drive. He takes her into the mountains to his mother Eula Mae’s house. He also takes away Elizabeth’s shoes so that she can’t run away. He then takes the Walton wagon back to their house with a crude note that reads “I 4 I”. The Waltons decipher the note to mean Eye for an eye, Sissy for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth makes do with being held captive by Job’s mother. Sheriff Bridges tracks Job down and confronts him about Elizabeth. Job agrees to surrender but then sneaks out the back door knocking Ben out who was attempting to block his exit. Job escapes in his truck despite Jason’s efforts to catch him.

Job races to his mother’s house to learn that Elizabeth has escaped. He tracks her down and captures her again. Sheriff Bridges and the Walton men create a posse with bloodhounds to track down Job and Elizabeth. While Job makes his escape with Elizabeth he stops to bandage her wounded foot. She learns that Job has practically raised and cared for Sissy since she was 11. Her Grandfather was to ill to be of much use himself and the whereabouts of her parents was unknown to him. Elizabeth discovers that Job’s intentions towards Sissy are genuine. She is all that he has and cares for.

In the final confrontation between Job and the Sheriff's Posse Elizabeth speaks up for Job and convinces them all that no real harm was done. Job finally relinquishes to custody when Sissy runs up and says that she wasn't harmed and that the "do gooders" are honest folk.

Secondary Story:


Cousin Octavia Spencer comes to visit the Baldwin sisters. She is very handy and never stops doing. She plans to take over and fix up the Baldwin house. She worked as a secretary for the government and helped to catch many bootleggers. At the house she busies herself with cleaning and washing dishes. She then inspects their wills. They were prepared after their Poppa passed and haven’t been changed since. She is surprised that they are in such good order but she advises them that she should be the executor instead of the bank. She promises that she will take none of their money for the task.

Octavia takes on a number of dangerous tasks around the house that result in near death situations for the sisters. She rigs the heavy chandelier to fall, and an explosion of the still in the recipe room, but the sisters escape each situation without a scratch.

The Baldwin sisters and Cousin Octavia stop in at Ike’s store for food supplies. Ike becomes suspicious of Octavia’s motives when he hears of all the mishaps that the Baldwin’s have experienced since her arrival.

Ike follows the ladies on an excursion in the woods and mistakenly believes that Octavia has shot them when he hears gunfire but in truth she had shot a rattlesnake and the sisters fainted from the experience. Ike himself faints when he sees the dead rattlesnake.

Octavia returns to the store for more supplies, Ike keeps a careful eye on her and catches her trying to grab rat poison which he believes she will use on the Baldwin ladies but he soon discovers that Octavia is a kleptomaniac and has her purse full of items that she has pilfered from the store. Ike wants to turn her in to the Sheriff but she convinces Corabeth and Ike to let her go to spare the sister’s feelings. She agrees to be on the next bus out of town.


  "The charges against Job were reduced. He served a short term in prison where he learned to read and write. Sissie finished school, and while she did eventually marry, it was not to Job."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Marjorie Fowler the writer of this episode is also one of the picture editors of the series.

Additional Cast:



Guest Stars:Mary Wickes (Cousin Octavia), Gary Grubbs (Job Moonie), Fran Ryan (Eula Mae Moonie), Debbie Lytton (Sissy Crooks), Al Hopson (Rance Crooks) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Robert Wightman (John-Boy), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), John Crawford (Sheriff Ep Bridges)

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