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1786

Heart's Desire

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The morning sun glows through the window of the café as Abigail busily prepares to open. Jack enters as Mary Graves emerges from the back. Abigail explains that Mary has agreed to run the café while Abigail travels to Hamilton. Abigail’s heard nothing from Peter’s widow Clara since the trial and has grown very concerned. The trip will also give Abigail a chance to visit Elizabeth. The opportunity is one Jack can’t resist and he asks Abigail to send Elizabeth his regards.

In the saloon the new mayor and Lee Coulter discuss business. Mayor Gowen has decided that Lee will need not one, but two permits for the new mill. The permits are not cheap and are clearly a message to Lee. Across the saloon Rosemary makes an equally jarring announcement. Two men representing the producer Wallace Zellman showed up to offer Rosemary the starring role in a musical in San Francisco! Rehearsals begin in a few days meaning Rosemary will be leaving Hope Valley immediately.

At the train station in Hamilton Elizabeth cheerfully greets Abigail. The mood changes when Elizabeth mentions Bill Avery. Abigail rolls her eyes at the sound of his name and the two women head off to catch up on lost time. At the mansion Abigail meets Mr. & Mrs. Thatcher. The Thatchers express their concern for Clara and her situation. Mr. Stanton is so moved he insists on contacting the Mounties to aid in the search. The somber mood doesn’t last and joy takes over when Viola and Sir Lionel arrive to announce their engagement.

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The next morning a few friends gather to bid Rosemary farewell. Jack rides up and wishes her well as she gleefully bounds into the awaiting car. As they drive into the wilderness Rosemary takes the opportunity to share her musical abilities with Mr. Zellman’s associates. After they experience miles of the drive to the tune of her “talents,” the associates swerve to the roadside, ordering her to stop. Free from her wailings, the men admit a producer Rosemary once worked for has hired them. The producer believes Rosemary stole the theatre profits and he intends to get his money.

At the Thatcher home, Abigail sits reading as Elizabeth enters the room with Bill Avery at her side. Elizabeth excuses herself as Abigail turns to confront Bill. Unaware of Nora's appearance, Bill says he doesn’t understand what’s wrong. Abigail angrily tells Bill about her encounter with Nora. Bill protests saying that Abigail doesn’t know the story, but Abigail is finished with Bill Avery’s stories. Bill leaves, but insists on helping to find Clara. In short order, he produces a lead on Clara’s whereabouts.

In Hope Valley, Jack bumps into Lee’s foreman Garth Duncan. Garth tells Jack about two men in a fancy car that nearly drove him off the road. As he passed the men he noticed Rosemary in the back of the car looking “fit to be tied.” Jack puts two and two together and realizes that Rosemary is in big trouble. He jumps on his horse and rides off to the rescue.

As Jack rides towards them, steam billows from the Model-T resting on the side of the road. Standing at the car, Rosemary tries desperately to convince her kidnappers of her innocence. She reveals that it was the director who stole the money and kicked her to the curb once he had the cash. She produces some crocodile tears and, as one kidnapper tries to console her, she grabs her valise and knocks the kidnapper down. Free, Rosemary tries to run away but is quickly recaptured. However, the delay has given Jack the time he needed to catch up. Jack rescues Rosemary but not before the kidnappers make off with her remaining possessions.

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Back in Hamilton, Bill and Abigail enter a rundown tenement where they’ve tracked Clara. Clara balks when she sees Abigail and Bill, but she soon relents and allows them into her room. Inside she explains that a Mr. Fletcher loaned her money to pay her father's medical bills. But when she was unable to pay, Mr. Fletcher forced her to work as a servant. The hours and conditions are deplorable but Clara is powerless against the powerful Mr. Fletcher. Clara insists that she can handle the situation and refuses Bill and Abigail’s pleas to intervene. Clara then abruptly asks Bill and Abigail to leave. As Bill and Abigail leave they argue over how best to help Clara. Abigail insists she can handle it, but it’s clear Bill is the best suited to handle Mr. Fletcher. Abigail realizes she needs his help and begrudgingly agrees to let Bill handle Mr. Fletcher.

Meanwhile, at the Hamilton Dance Hall, Julie Thatcher is engaging in her own secret rendezvous. The dance hall doesn’t open for a few hours so Julie and Tom Thornton have broken in to steal a few private moments together. As they step into the hall Julie spots a gramophone and a record. The find provides for the perfect impromptu dance lesson. Tom is confused as to why he needs to learn to dance, but Julie assures him the lessons are indeed necessary, after all they will need to cut a rug in all the clubs! As the two tango, their eyes meet and Tom moves in for a kiss.

Later that night, Rosemary and Jack sit by a fire in the woods near Hope Valley. The conversation turns to the topic of their relationship. Jack tells Rosemary their relationship failed because she’s never been content with what she already had. She agrees and apologizes for leaving him all those years ago. In the moment Rosemary realizes the gravity of her past mistake and knows she will never have Jack’s heart. She then presses Jack about his trip to Hamilton and why Elizabeth hasn’t returned. She does her best to plant doubt in Jack’s heart and tells Jack that should Elizabeth not return, “You have friends who care deeply about you.” As Jack contemplates Rosemary’s words he notices her shivering in the cold. Ever the gentleman, Jack unbuttons his Mounties coat and wraps it around Rosemary. As he does she grabs his arms, asking him to hold her for just a moment.

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The next day Elizabeth and Charles walk through the halls of the Thatcher home discussing Julie. After her secret dance lesson with Tom, Julie had immediately run home to tell Elizabeth. Unsurprisingly Elizabeth is less than thrilled and sees only trouble. Charles, in what sounds like a conversation he’s had before, tells Elizabeth that if she cares about Julie, she may have to let her find these things out on her own. Contemplating Charles’ words, Elizabeth fails to notice Abigail knitting in the room. She’s startled, but Abigail’s presence is a welcome break from the conversation.

With Abigail in the room, Charles excuses himself and leaves the women to chat. Having seen Elizabeth in her home with her friends and family, Abigail can’t help but notice how happy Elizabeth is. But the happiness doesn’t change Elizabeth’s feelings for her life in Hope Valley. She misses the people, the children, and most of all she misses Jack.

Bill Avery stakes out the Hamilton Men’s Club when a well dressed man exits towards a waiting car. Jack approaches the man, Mr. Fletcher, and asks him about the slave conditions he keeps Clara in. Mr. Fletcher insists he has every right to keep Clara but Bill disagrees. Bill tells Mr. Fletcher that he’ll be at his home in two hours to free Clara. When he arrives Bill expects a signed letter releasing her of any financial obligations. And should Mr. Fletcher refuse, Bill will take him to court…and to the press.

Hours later Bill and Clara arrive at the Thatcher home. Bill explains he was able to “resolve” the issue with Mr. Fletcher and that he no longer has any hold Clara. Clara apologizes for being a burden but Abigail will hear none of it. Clara is family and Abigail would very much like Clara to return with her to Hope Valley. Emotion overcomes Clara, who cannot comprehend the situation. She runs to Abigail and the two hug.

Back in Hope Valley, the knight and his damsel arrive home. On horseback, Jack and Rosemary ride through town with Rosemary loudly proclaiming her return, all thanks to Jack’s act of chivalry. All anyone in Hope Valley sees is Rosemary wearing Jack’s coat. Incensed, Florence calls the entire spectacle “shocking!”

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In the parlor of the Thatcher home, Elizabeth sits talking with her parents. She earlier broke the news to Charles that she would be returning to Hope Valley. Now, as she shares the news with her parents, they do everything to convince her to stay. Grace pointedly asks her daughter if she is really returning for the students or if she is going for Jack. Elizabeth tells her mother, “If she’s being honest, it’s both.” She asks that her parents respect this is what she needs to do. Her mother, speaking for both her parents, assures her they respect and support her no matter where she goes.

At the station, Charles waits with Abigail and Elizabeth. As the “all aboard” rings out through the station, Elizabeth and Abigail nervously look around. They are expecting one more travel companion: Clara. Just as it seems they will miss their train Clara comes bouncing into the station. As Abigail escorts her to the train Charles says his goodbyes to Elizabeth. Fighting back tears he takes her hand and kisses it. Elizabeth then turns to board her train back to Coal Valley.

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Elizabeth’s return to Hope Valley is a celebration, with the entire town gathered in the saloon. The celebration is the first time Jack and Elizabeth have seen each other since Jack abruptly left Hamilton. Their eyes meet and it’s obvious the absence has made their hearts fonder. While the party carries on, Jack asks Elizabeth to take a walk outside. Covering her eyes, Jack escorts her to the pond where he’s worked feverishly with the other men to build the new school and church. Jack uncovers Elizabeth’s eyes to reveal the beautifully finished structure, the first schoolhouse Elizabeth has had since coming to town.


The next morning Abigail shows her new employee the ropes. Clara’s eager to do well and impress her mother-in-law. Meanwhile in the mercantile, Elizabeth and Florence discuss the new school. As they chat, Mr. Harper, local homesteader, interrupts to ask Florence to look in on his kids while he travels out of town. Unfortunately Florence is unable to help so Elizabeth volunteers. Mr. Harper graciously accepts Elizabeth’s offer, although with obvious trepidation.


Today also marks the grand opening of Hope Valley’s new lumber mill. As the first board makes its way through town Lee can’t help but point out his success to Mayor Gowen. The mayor congratulates Lee and despite his efforts to the contrary, insists he only has the town's interests at heart. Lee promises more great things for Hope Valley and later that day, as Lee meets with a representative from the railway, it becomes clear what he means. With the lumber mill open Lee intends to build a railway past the mill and through town. The train would be great for business and would inject new life into Hope Valley.

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At Mr. Harper’s farm Elizabeth gets the rundown on the daily operations of the homestead. The chores are daunting, but the two Harper children are more than capable of giving Elizabeth a hand. The kids wake Elizabeth up at 4am the next day to start chores. Confused at first, Elizabeth quickly learns why homesteading life is so difficult. Her first chore is mucking out the stalls.

Back at the café Rosemary announces that she is now going to write an advice column for the local newspaper. The weekly column, titled “Ask Mary Rose,” will feature tips on relationships, fashion and entertaining. At a nearby table Jack and Lee discuss the proposed railway. The men fail to notice Dotty Ramsey, wife of the deposed Mayor Ramsey, eavesdropping on their conversation. The tidbit of information is of great interest to her. Their conversation is interrupted when Clara, attempting to freshen their coffee, knocks Jack's hat to the ground. She bends over to pick up the hat and inadvertently pours the contents of the coffee pot into it. Embarrassed, Clara tearfully runs to the back of the café. It’s clear that Clara isn’t a natural waitress but Abigail is intent on finding a place for her in Hope Valley.

On the street, Dotty eagerly runs down Mr. Gowen. Dotty’s status has been diminished since her husband resigned as mayor. Making matters worse, Mr. Ramsey’s been relegated to selling iceboxes on the road. Hoping to regain some influence, Dotty offers up information on the railroad to Mr. Gowen. But the shrewd Mrs. Ramsey is only willing to help Mr. Gowen if he helps her.

Later that afternoon Jack stops at the Harper homestead to check in on Elizabeth. Sensing Elizabeth’s struggles Jack offers to give her a hand. The experience gives the two a preview into what their own futures could hold. They cook and do chores, all the while looking over the two children. At the end of the day they sit by the fire and talk. Jack reveals that after his father died, he and his brother went to stay on their uncle’s farm. The work was hard but rewarding and Jack’s uncle even offered him the ranch. But despite his dreams of having a home and family of his own, Jack knew that moment wasn’t right.

In Hamilton, Bill Avery sits alone at restaurant. As prepares to eat, a tall dark figure appears standing over him. Nora sits down and begins to recount her clash with Abigail. Stunned, Bill is slow to respond. He finally manages to tell Nora everything about Abigail is true. An argument ensues in which it’s revealed that after their son died, Nora disappeared for two years. Jack finally tracked her down at her father’s home, but by that time, things between them were irreparably damaged. Nora’s near deranged pleas for understanding fall on deaf ears and Bill makes clear their marriage is over.

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A new dawn in Hope Valley brings a herd of lumberjacks to Abigail’s café. Despite a rough start at the cafe, Clara is determined to prove herself to Abigail. In an attempt to make amends, Clara spent the night sewing a new apron for Abigail. The gesture is sweet but Abigail is immediately caught off guard at the quality of the stitching and the speed at which Clara was able to make the apron. In that instant Abigail realizes that Clara may yet have a special place in Hope Valley, as the town's dressmaker.

Outside in the street Lee stands fuming over a telegram he received from the railroad company. The company now wants to build the railroad 300 yards away from Lee’s property on land he doesn’t own. Strolling by, Mayor Gowen reminds Lee of his warning that one day he might need his help. Gowen is open to discussing the matter and suggests Lee make an appointment with his new secretary, Mrs. Ramsey. The situation does not sit well with Lee and he meets Jack to discuss bringing him down. Jack emphasizes to Lee how difficult it will be and makes sure he know that he may lose everything in the coming fight. For his part Lee is certain he will prevail, just so long as Jack has his back.