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1897

Heart and Home

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Children are playing in the street as Lee and Pastor Hogan discuss Hope Valley’s newest construction project. With the paint still drying on the schoolhouse and church, Lee is now preparing to build the promised theatre for Rosemary. While Lee extols the project’s virtues, the men come upon Abigail, on her way to the café. As they discuss the theatre, Abigail catches sight of Bill Avery. Still on uncertain terms, the sight of Bill is enough to make Abigail end her conversation and hastily make her way to the café.


Out at the pond, Jack rides up to the schoolhouse for an impromptu visit. Inside, the broken stove has Elizabeth and her students bundled up for class. As Jack does his best to fix the stove the students begin peppering Elizabeth with questions about her and Jack. A few children speculate that Elizabeth is in fact going to marry the handsome gentleman from Hamilton. Flustered, Elizabeth threatens the children with extra homework and the topic quickly returns to class.


In the saloon, Gowen has summoned Lee Coulter to discuss the pending railroad. Still stinging from Gowen’s move to relocate the railroad away from the mill, Lee is not convinced by Gowen’s argument that the new location is better for the town. Gowen’s new plan will tax local businesses in order to pay for new roadways and a train depot. And, with the most to gain, Lee will be saddled with most of the cost. The measure, already approved by the town council, could break Lee and destroy the future of Hope Valley.


Back on Main Street, Elizabeth rushes to the jail to see Jack. She and Jack both received telegrams about an automobile accident involving Tom and Julie. Julie is fine, but Jack’s received no word on Tom’s condition. Elizabeth’s family is furious and Julie is refusing to speak to anyone. The situation is so serious that Elizabeth and Jack must immediately return to Hamilton.

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In Hamilton, Charles drops Jack and Elizabeth off at the Thatcher mansion. While Elizabeth prepares to make her way inside, Jack is headed to the infirmary. Before leaving, Jack asks Charles about the accident. Charles tells Jack that the Thatchers think Tom’s actions were reckless and irresponsible. Charles agrees and refuses to excuse Tom’s behavior. Charles insists his anger is out of concern for Julie and Elizabeth’s best interests. Jack snaps back, asking Charles if he knows what’s best for Elizabeth. Jack says he knows enough to let Elizabeth decide for herself while Charles tells Jack that he doesn’t know Elizabeth at all.

Back in Hope Valley, Bill reluctantly explains himself to Abigail. After losing his parents, Nora’s father took Bill in and raised him as his own. Nora fell in love with a drifter who, after they eloped, abandoned her and their child. Out of a sense of duty to her father, Bill then married Nora. When the child later died, their relationship fell apart. Despite the trouble Bill didn’t leave and instead, Nora left him. After two years of searching he found her at her fathers home. She told Bill the marriage was over and that she wanted a divorce. Bill tells Abigail he had every intention of telling her but she remains unmoved. His deception is more than she can tolerate so Bill simply apologizes and leaves the café.


At the infirmary, Jack sits and talks with his brother. As they talk a pretty young nurse stops in to check on Tom. Nurse Faith Carter explains that Tom suffered two broken ribs and a concussion. She’s also heard tons about Tom’s Mountie brother and is thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Jack. Despite her attractiveness and eagerness to meet him, Tom makes it clear that Jack is involved with Elizabeth Thatcher.


Upstairs, Elizabeth sits and talks with a distraught Julie. Her father has forbidden Julie from ever seeing Tom, and the love struck Julie is not taking her punishment well. She pleads with Elizabeth to understand her plight; after all, she fell in love with the “wrong kind of man.” Hearing those words infuriates Elizabeth and she makes it clear that the brothers are very different men. Elizabeth demands Julie get out of bed and start acting like an adult.

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Later that day Elizabeth and Viola sit to talk about Julie. The conversation quickly turns to Elizabeth’s relationship with Jack and its potential future. Viola pointedly asks if Jack’s proposed. Elizabeth insists she’s in no hurry to marry, but Viola thinks it’s likely Jack recognizes their backgrounds is an impediment to their future. Viola then accuses Elizabeth of leading Charles on, saying that despite all of her friends in Hamilton, she, Elizabeth, chooses to spend all her free time with Charles. Despite her insistence to the contrary, Elizabeth cannot deny the validity of Viola’s accusations.


In the saloon, Rosemary makes her way to Lee, who is watching Gowen and another man play poker. The man, Bertram B. Harriman, is the railroad magnate who’s in town to approve the new railroad deal. As Rosemary looks on, Lee says that despite the deal having not yet finished, he is out of options to stop it. That won’t stop Rosemary. Rosemary’s keen eye catches Gowen using another man to help him cheat Mr. Harriman out of his money. The information gets Lee thinking and in short order, he’s concocted a plan to save the mill.


Later that night in Hamilton, Jack runs into Nurse Carter at a small restaurant. She’s sitting alone reading over patient files and cheerfully asks Jack to join her. A dedicated nurse, Faith then explains that similar to Jack, she’s a nurse because her mother was. While they talk, Jack asks if he can see his brother’s medical files. As they talk, Viola and Sir Lionel enter the restaurant. Sir Lionel recognized Jack from outside and insisted they stop in. Viola looks accusingly when Jack explains they were discussing his brother’s health.

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Back at the mansion, Jack continues his investigation, looking over the wrecked car. As he does, Mr. Thatcher hovers, questioning Jack’s process. He questions Jack about his brother’s questionable background and asks Jack to convince Tom to stop seeing Julie. He then remarks, “I'm not sure the association between the Thorntons and the Thatchers has proven to be a happy one.” Jack knows this is a veiled attempt to convince him to stop seeing Elizabeth but he still tries to assure Mr. Thatcher that he cares for Elizabeth.


Later, as Jack and Elizabeth walk around the mansion, they discuss the accident. While they both advised their siblings not to pursue this relationship, it appears Jack is starting to chafe at the Thatchers’ insistence on putting down Tom. The consequences of the accident could be severe for Tom, while Julie’s role in the accident is being swept under the rug. Elizabeth thinks that for his own good, Tom should face the consequences. Jack responds by saying that Julie may need the same.


At the saloon, the poker game between Gowen and Mr. Harriman is reaching its end. Gowen has cheated his way through the game and Mr. Harriman is still none the wiser. After losing the last hand Mr. Harriman prepares to leave, but before he does, Lee approaches the table and drops a purse full of gold coins onto the table. Mr. Gowen tries to decline the offer but Mr. Harriman goads him in to taking the challenge.

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At the hospital Jack looks over Tom’s medical record with Nurse Carter. It’s clear Nurse Carter doesn’t believe Tom caused the accident. The medical records confirm that the injury to Tom’s head is consistent with a crack found on the passenger side windshield. Jack and Nurse Carter suspect Tom is hiding the truth to save Julie, who not only caused the accident but also broke the law by driving without a license.


At the saloon, Gowen’s winning streak continues. After losing a few hands Lee exits the saloon for some air. As he does, Rosemary makes her move and begins to chat with the Gowen plant. When the game resumes Lee looks peaked and nervous. Down several hands to Gowen, Lee is now making his last stand. On the final hand Lee bets all of his money and the mill. The move throws Rosemary into distress and she does all she can to convince him to change course. Gowen, sensing desperation, throws in his parcel of land, which includes the future railroad. The two men play the hand and, when the chips fall, Lee comes out on top.

In Hamilton, Jack and Elizabeth sit for dinner. Jack tells Elizabeth that Julie was driving when the accident took place and that the medical report proves Tom’s innocence. Elizabeth sits stoically as Jack discusses the medical report and Nurse Carter. Viola had insinuated to Elizabeth that Jack’s dinner with Nurse Carter was untoward. Unfortunately, the sentiment is now burned into Elizabeth’s mind. She begins to question Jack about Nurse Carter even though, as Jack points out, he’s never questioned her relationship with Charles. The anger leads to an abrupt end to the meal. Jack calls for his jacket and prepares to leave the table. Before he does, Elizabeth asks him what’s happening. After a long pause Jack responds, saying, “I don’t know.”