Elizabeth finds herself some alone time to write in her journal. She calls it the best of times because she is now engaged to her great love, Jack, but also the worst of times because he has been on duty for the last two weeks in the northern territories.
Back at the café, Abigail and Carson are preparing for their morning. Abigail is a bit alarmed that routine customer Elizabeth hasn’t stopped by yet. Carson tells her he saw Elizabeth writing alone up the hill. Abigail tracks Elizabeth down, and Elizabeth confesses how blue she is since Jack left and even sadder that he hasn’t written her since leaving Hope Valley.
Elizabeth is preparing for a day at the school and gets two new students, Earl and Chad Wyatt, Ray’s nephews. She learns the boys’ father works for the railroad as well, and that their mother is deceased.
Rosemary is getting breakfast ready for Lee before he takes off for work and is shocked to see he is suffering from laryngitis and can’t talk. She wants him to stay home and he insists that he needs to go to the office and work on the railroad account. If he is going to work, Rosemary is going to the office, too!
At Abigail’s Café, she points out to Carson how slow business has been and he is shocked she hasn’t heard the news. He says that Ray has opened up a commissary for all the railroad workers at the railroad headquarters. Carson heard that Ray is making his employees eat there to save time. He has also opened it up to the citizens of Hope Valley and has purposely undercut his prices, sabotaging Abigail’s business. Carson assures Abigail business will pick up.
During recess at the school, Cody steps in when he notices Earl and Chad bullying Opal. Earl lunges at Cody and the two start to wrestle on the ground. Elizabeth breaks up the fight and sends both boys inside. Earl fakes a stomach ache and says he needs to see the nurse. When Elizabeth calls his bluff, he challenges her, saying he will run to his uncle Ray for keeping him from going to the infirmary. After school, Elizabeth confronts Ray about his nephews. He tells her that boys’ father had to go out of town for another railroad assignment and they are in Ray’s care. He also tells Elizabeth that she is responsible for Earl and Chad while they are in her school. Elizabeth is determined to figure out why the boys are so angry. She later tells Abigail that she wishes Jack was around to help her handle this problem.
Cody finds Bill in the kitchen packing sandwiches and tells him he is heading to Medford Falls for a few days. Bill later tells Abigail that he has a lead from an informant that he knows the location of AJ Foster, the accountant who disappeared before to testifying against Henry. Bill is on his way to track AJ down and bring him back to Hope Valley.
Carson is unloading apples at the café and Abigail offers to pay him but he says not to worry. She also teases Carson a bit about the upcoming date he has with one their customers, Molly Sullivan. He gets shy and says he just hopes she enjoys his meatloaf.
Rosemary and Lee are back at Lee’s office and Jesse walks in with his latest delivery of invoices. Since Lee can’t speak, Rosemary takes it upon herself to praise Jesse for all his hard work and even offers him a promotion. Lee is shocked just as much as Jesse!
That night, Abigail sits down Cody and asks him to refrain from any more fighting. He defends himself, saying he was trying to stop the Wyatt boys from picking on Opal. She confesses that she was once picked on in school, too and reminds him that most bullies are just unhappy with themselves. Cody promises Abigail: no more getting into fights.
The next morning in school, Elizabeth tells both Chad and Earl they need to apologize for their bullying from the day before. They respond that their Uncle Ray told them Wyatt men don’t apologize. As punishment, she makes the two brothers sit apart from each other in the back of the room. She also notices that Opal is outside and refusing to go inside. She says she is afraid of Chad and Earl. Elizabeth promises to make her a special teacher’s aide and says if she doesn’t come to class, the bullies win.
With Lee still speechless, Rosemary steps in to help him negotiate business dealings and lands him a rush job. When she tells Jesse about the new job, he points out that the job must be for Ray’s new commissary, leaving both Rosemary and Lee shocked.
In Medford Falls, Bill visits an address on his search for AJ, and upon arrival finds someone running out the door. Bill immediately tackles the potential escapee. Instead of a man, he realizes it is a beautiful blonde woman going by the name of Marie Foster. They both go inside, where a skeptical Bill is still unsure of Marie’s real identity. She defends her actions and sticks by her original claim that she has no idea who AJ Foster is.
Elizabeth checks with Katie at the mercantile to see if any new mail has arrived for her, but there are no letters from Jack. A heartbroken Elizabeth turns around to see Carson with a stack of menus from the café for Katie to display in the store. But before she can grab them, the newly re-instated mayor Henry shows up and tells Carson he can’t display the menus without town council approval. It will take a couple of weeks before they can hear his case. Carson accuses Henry of being in the railroad’s pockets, and adds that he is picking a fight he doesn’t want to start.
While Marie is feeding her farm animals, Bill sneaks into her cabin and begins searching for clues on the identity of who she really is. Inside, he finds a package of money addressed to Adeline Josephine Foster, proving he was right all along about his suspicions, Marie really is AJ Foster! She sees Bill and panics and tries to escape again, but Bill grabs her and throws her over his shoulders to take her back to Hope Valley.
Back at an empty Abigail’s Café, she gets a surprise customer, Henry, who swears to hear he had no part in the railroad’s new commissary. He then proceeds to order the most expensive dish on the menu, with dessert.
Chad sees Cody playing with his dog, Dasher, and Elizabeth encourages him to join in the game of fetch. Chad tells Elizabeth she is not like most teachers because she cares. Their conversation is interrupted when Earl whistles for his brother to come over.
That evening, Bill tries to get to the bottom of why AJ was covering for Henry. She tells him she used to audit bank accounts, only to discover the Mayor was funneling money from Hope Valley. She changed her story when Ray sent one of his men to hunt her down, threatening her mother’s life if she didn’t keep quiet. She took their hush money, lied about the investigation, and disappeared. Bill tells her that if she comes forward, he will do his best to erase her perjury charges for lying to law enforcement. They make an agreement to head back to Hope Valley in the morning.
Carson and Molly are on their date and she begins to ask questions about his past. He admits he can’t open up about his heartbreak and she realizes he is not quite over his past. The two agree to just be friends.
Lee and Rosemary go to Abigail to apologize for making a lumber deal with Ray’s commissary. With Lee still without a voice, Rosemary says she and Lee will purchase finger sandwiches, pies and baked good daily to send up to the guys working the railroad in the afternoon. Lee is shocked by the purchase but unable to speak up.
During show and tell at school, Elizabeth calls on Chad to see what he brought. He brings a recorder, a musical instrument that his mother gave him on Christmas. A distraught Earl runs out of the classroom. After class, Elizabeth tells Chad how happy she was to see him participate today and is sorry that his mom never got to teach him to play. She points out that she is sad that Earl stormed out during his presentation, and Chad says that Earl is still not over their mom leaving. Elizabeth is shocked to hear that the boys’ mother didn’t die like Earl told her: she voluntarily left the family.
Henry hears the news that Bill has located AJ and is bringing her in. Ray tells Henry he is taking care of the problem and sending one of his henchman after them. Henry doesn’t want anything extreme done, but Ray tells him he’s protecting him from embezzlement charges. Ray says that once he removes Bill, he and Henry can start really profiting from Hope Valley.
After school, Elizabeth confides in Abigail about Chad and Earl’s situation, and Abigail says it makes sense that Earl carries such anger around. Elizabeth vows to find a way to get through to the boys, but knows she needs to help of their father, Russell, who is out of town. She comes up with the idea of sending the boys’ father a telegram. She heads to the mercantile to send the telegram off and once again, is sad to hear that she still hasn’t received a letter from Jack.
Lee is drinking Rosemary’s tea and is surprised to get his voice back! But, in a turn of events, it looks like its Rosemary who has now lost her voice. He tells her not to worry, he will be fine being the voice for the both of them.
AJ and Bill plan to take off for Hope Valley but are faced with gun fire by one of Ray’s hired hands. Bill draws his gun and wins the shoot-out, and he and AJ manage to flee by horse.