It's Sunday in Coal Valley, but despite the holy day Reverend Anderson finds himself giving a sermon to a mostly empty room. Having lost his church to a mysterious fire, Reverend Anderson now seems to have lost his congregation to the outdoor Sunday school class held by Cat Montgomery. Distressed, Reverend Anderson pays Jack a visit to discuss the mysterious circumstances surrounding the church fire. Jack vows to investigate the fire and, while searching the charred remains of the church, discovers a large burn pattern along with a scorched can with a barely recognizable label. Jack takes the can to the local supply store where the clerk recognizes the label as one from a rare brand of whale oil, not normally seen in the area.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth is troubled by the behavior of one of her students, Rosaleen. The young girl refuses to speak and seems paralyzed with fear by one of the town's miners, the troubled alcoholic Wendell Backus. Elizabeth talks with Jack about her concerns for Rosaleen, specifically her fear of Wendell. Jack promises to have a talk with Wendell, but before he can, Rosaleen seemingly vanishes in the dust of Wendell's wagon as it rolls off into the distance.
In a panic, Jack immediately goes to Wendell's house. Confronted, Wendell breaks down and explains he once scared Rosaleen because she didn't answer a question of his. Wendell goes on to explain that his drinking problem is a result of the mining tragedy. Suffering under the burden of guilt, Wendell reveals that he was supposed to be in the mine that day, but instead had a close friend work that fateful shift.
As night falls, the all out search for Rosaleen continues. A desperate Elizabeth searches the school and by chance finds a drawing of a little girl in the mine. Elizabeth races to the mine, traveling deep enough to hear the sound of a sobbing Rosaleen who is clutching a broken lunch pale. Relieved, Elizabeth holds the little girl in her arms. Rosaleen breaks down and tells Elizabeth, "I didn't bring him his lunch," referring to a special tradition she had with her late father. Deeply moved by Rosaleen's words, Elizabeth assures Rosaleen that her father loved her very much, and that her mother just wants her back. Elizabeth and Rosaleen emerge from the mine together, much to the relief and joy of the townspeople.
All seems to be back to normal in Coal Valley when Jack makes a visit to Cat Montgomery's home. There to return a few borrowed items, Jack finds a stash of whale oil cans, similar to those he found in the remains of the burned out church. A cloud of suspicion now hangs over Cat, as Jack must uncover the true mystery behind the destroyed church.