Hearts in Question
Later that night, the ladies have all gathered for Rosemary’s bridal shower. As they exchange gifts, Abigail notices that Charlotte isn’t there. Elizabeth explains that Charlotte was exhausted after their long day at the settlement and decided to get some rest. With her not at the party, the conversation turns to Ms. Thorton’s unique personality. Elizabeth does her best to be polite despite and explain away Charlotte’s peculiarities. She quickly runs out of pleasantries and decides quickly excuses herself and fetches more refreshments for the party.
Rosemary quickly follows Elizabeth as she makes her hasty exit into the kitchen. Alone together, Elizabeth remarks that Rosemary’s not been her usual bubbly self. It’s then that Rosemary reveals that she’s deeply concerned about her and Lee’s differences about children. Elizabeth tells her that the love between her and Lee will find the answer together and that the journey will bring them closer together. Elizabeth then reveals that she is concerned about her relationship with Charlotte. Rosemary tells Elizabeth that God broke the mold when he made Charlotte and the no one has anything in common with her. They both laugh and agree that Charlotte is a very “unique” woman.
Across town at the saloon, the men are all gathered for Lee’s bachelor party. After raising their glasses for the toast, they all sit down to play a friendly game of poker. As Bill is about to deal the cards, Charlotte enters and asks if they have room for another player. Hoping for a more lively evening, Charlotte ditched the ladies and the bridal party. Bill, who worked with her late husband, tells Charlotte that her husband always had very fond things to say about her. Charlotte responds, “From what my husband told me about your poker game, I stand to do quite well this evening.” The men laugh and everyone sites down to start the game.
The next morning, as Jack and Dottie Ramsey walk together, Jack reveals that the bank has hired him to investigate the possible misuse of funds by Mayor Gowen. Dottie is sure that it’s all just a big misunderstanding. Bill doesn’t dispute her claims, in part because he needs Dottie’s help in acquiring the mayor’s private ledgers. Dottie is aghast at the implication that Bill wants her to steal. Bill assures her that he would never as ask her to do such a thing, but he does want to know if she knows about any of Gowen’s suspicious activities. Dottie takes a moment before asking if Bill ever noticed the barrel outside the mayor’s office. Dottie suggests that the completely innocuous barrel may contain something that might be of use to someone who investigating the mayor.
At the schoolhouse, the children from the settlement are playing with the Hope Valley children. Hoping to convince the mothers of her sincerity, Elizabeth sent a wagon to bring children and mothers to Hope Valley. The mothers are appreciative of the gesture and admit that the children have asked to visit ever since Elizabeth read them the story. Seeing her chance, Elizabeth offers to come to the settlement once a week, along with some of her students, to give lessons to the children. She promises that the lessons won’t take too much time from the chores. Seeing their children getting along so well, the mothers agree.