Share
1863

Prayers From the Heart

1 of 7

As the sun begins to peek above the mountains surrounding Hope Valley, Elizabeth and Charlotte are making their way back into town. An early riser, Charlotte’s convinced Elizabeth to accompany her to pick berries for their hearty country breakfast. As they enter the outskirts of town, Jack, who’s just getting back from his early morning patrol, pulls up beside them. Elizabeth invites him to join them for breakfast but the thought of another of his mother’s lard-filled meals is not part of his morning routine.

On his way back through town, Jack passes by the new infirmary. He walks in and finds Faith treating a badly wounded man. The man is Roy, Edith’s husband and one of the local settlers. He tells Jack that a mudslide struck the Silverton mine and many of the miners were injured. Jack immediately heads out and gathers as many of the men as he can for a rescue mission to the mine. As word of the tragedy spreads through town, homes begin to empty as the townsfolk start to carry out anything that may be of help. Faith hurries off to set up an extra infirmary at the school and once the supplies are loaded, the men ride off to the mine.

At the schoolhouse, Elizabeth shuffles her class outside as the women bring in supplies to treat the wounded miners. Leaving Rosemary behind as a substitute teacher, Elizabeth is going to speak to the children at the settlement about the accident. The children of Hope Valley are worried about the injured men and about the damage the flood could cause. Elizabeth assures them that their home will be fine and that constable Thornton will do his best to help all the men at the mine.

2 of 7

Meanwhile, just outside of town, Bill continues his search for Nora and Henry. As he rides down the south road he hears Nora screaming up ahead. He comes around a curve in the road and finds Henry’s car, empty and stopped at the top of a ravine. At the bottom of the ravine he finds Nora, muddy and disheveled, sitting next to the unconscious Henry Gowen. Nora yells that she can’t move Henry by herself and Bill immediately scrambles down help.


On the rain soaked trail leading into the mine, the wagon train of supplies and men finally arrives. At the entrance to the mine, injured men lie scattered. Some of the men are buried in the mud, while still others are trapped inside the mine. The men from Hope Valley immediately spring into action, treating the injured and clearing the rubble.

At the settlement, Abigail and Elizabeth arrive to deliver the dreaded news. The women gather around to hear news of the catastrophe at the mine. Edith is relieved that Roy is safe, but many of the other women are left to worry about the fate of their loved ones. Nearby Elizabeth breaks the news to the children. She does her best to explain the situation and lets them know that they are doing everything they can to rescue the men.

When Abigail and Elizabeth return to the café later that day, they find an entire room of napping children. The Hope Valley kids never take naps for Elizabeth and she and Abigail are thoroughly impressed that Rosemary was able to pull it off. Rosemary explains that they had run out of things to do and that the children were getting “difficult.” She had no option but to bribe them by telling them if they were good and went to sleep she would bring the circus to town. While she has no plan on how she’ll fulfill the promise, the results speak for themselves.

3 of 7

At the mine, the number of wounded continues to pile up. Pastor Hogan sits with a seriously wounded man, who knows that he’s about to die. Jack notices the scene and joins with Frank to comfort him. The dying man wants his son to know how proud he is of him, and Jack, who knows the man’s son Harper, promises to pass along the message. The man grasps Frank’s hand and within a few moments, he is gone. Frank takes a deep breath before covering the body and bowing his head in prayer.

At the hospital in Union City, Jack emerges to talk to Nora. Nora thanks Bill for coming to the rescue but Henry’s condition is still touch and go. Bill sits her down and asks why she left. She explains that both she and Henry wanted a new start. She is still unsure as to why Henry was in such a hurry but she knows something was wrong with him. Bill can’t stay with Nora however; the flood is rumored to have damaged the area where Lucy Benson, the daughter of Bill’s friend Carl, lives by herself.


Night falls on the mine when all the men have finally been accounted for. Two men are dead and a couple dozen more are injured. With so many injured, moving them down the treacherous roads at night is impossible. Jack decides to wait until sunup to attempt moving the men to safety. In the meantime, he sends Jesse back to Hope Valley to tell the town to prepare for the injured first thing in the morning. As Jesse makes his way down the trail he sees a large logjam forming in the river. The swollen stream strains against the barrier, a dam made by nature that will bring unspeakable damage downstream when it finally breaks. Jesse wastes no time and spurs his horse onward.

4 of 7

When Jesse arrives in town, he warns everyone that when the logjam breaks, the wave will destroy the settlement. Abigail realizes they cannot wait for the men to help evacuate. The women break off and begin preparing the town to take in even more people. When Abigail instructs Clara to prepare the café she points out that with the miners, their families, the settlers and the townsfolk, it is unlikely they will have enough food to go around. Rosemary then offers to donate the food for her reception to help feed the evacuees. Her generous act is a welcome ray of sunshine to the dismal situation.

As the sun rises at the mine, Jack, Frank and Lee prepare to move all the miners back to Hope Valley. As they finish loading the men, Jesse arrives to warn them about the logjam. Jack instructs Frank to move quickly to get the men to Hope Valley as he rides off to the settlement.

At the settlement, pandemonium sets in with the news of the impending disaster. Abigail and Elizabeth do their best to keep order as the settlers scramble to grab their possessions and board the wagons. Sitting alone in her tent, Mrs. McCormick sits stoically, refusing to budge. She’s been a widow for 20 years and in her old age, has decided that, “If the good Lord wants to take me, that's all right by me.” Abigail tries to sympathize and tells Mrs. McCormick that she’s also a widow and still found a reason to keep living. Mrs. McCormick still refuses to budge so Abigail takes a different tone. She tells Mrs. McCormick, “You get yourself into one of those wagons right this instant or I'm gonna pick you up and toss you in there myself, rocking chair and all.” Mrs. McCormick grumbles at Abigail before trudging off into one of the wagons.

As the settlers finally prepare to leave, one of the children alerts Elizabeth that Maggie, the little girl Opal gave Brownie to, is missing. Maggie left Brownie near the pine tree by the river and has run off to find him. As Elizabeth runs to find Maggie, Jack arrives on horseback. Elizabeth tells Jack that Maggie is missing and immediately he rides off to find her. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Abigail jump onto the wagons and head off with the settlers, to Hope Valley.

5 of 7

Along the river, Jack desperately searches for little Maggie. On the other side of the riverbank Jack spots the little girl and tells her to stay put while he comes over to get her. Just then the logjam begins to buckle and Jack’s horse bucks him to the ground. Jack hits his head and rolls, unconscious, into the riverbed. Maggie can only stand and watch in horror as the raging river overtakes the dam and washes Jack’s form away.

Back in town, the wagon with the miners has finally arrived. As Abigail helps the children from the wagons, she sees Frank talking with one of the settlers and her son. She instantly knows what’s happened and runs to console the widow and her son. Meanwhile the miners and settlers get comfortable and Elizabeth realizes that Jack is nowhere to be found. Just then a rider shows up carrying Maggie, safe and sound. Elizabeth runs to her and asks if she’s seen Constable Thorton. Maggie tells Elizabeth that the water took him away. Terrified Elizabeth immediately grabs a horse and heads out to search for Jack.

Down along the river Elizabeth and the search party begin scouring the area in search of Jack. As the men shout his name, Elizabeth comes across Jack’s unconscious body, clinging to a log on the bank of the river. Frank runs to her side and checks Jack for a pulse. He’s still alive but only barely. The other men rush to the area and pull Jack’s limp body from the river.

Upstairs at the café, Faith tends to Jack’s wounds. Faith tells Elizabeth that Jack wouldn’t have lasted much longer had she not found him. But, while Jack appears to only a few bumps and bruises, his fingernails are blue, an early sign of pneumonia. As Faith heads off to tend to the wounded miners, Elizabeth stops her and tells her that she’s glad that she’s in Hope Valley. Faith fights through the emotions and tells Elizabeth that she’s here if Elizabeth needs anything. Abigail says that she, Elizabeth, and Charlotte can take turns sitting with Jack. Elizabeth calmly tells her that she will stay with him for as long as it takes. Charlotte stands behind her and softly says that that she would like to stay too. Elizabeth agrees and the two women take their place at Jack’s side.

6 of 7

Back at the café, Abigail stands alone at the back digesting everything that’s happened. Frank enters and asks how Jack is doing. Terrified at his prospects, Abigail tells Frank that Jack has pneumonia. Frank assures her that a young man like Jack can recover. Overwhelmed, she tearfully tells Frank that she can’t imagine something bad happening to Jack. Frank comforts her, telling her they will take it one day at a time. They look at each other and instantly know they are thinking the same thought. Later that night they will gather the town for a prayer vigil outside the café.


In the makeshift shelter in the saloon, Mr. Jenkins, the bank manager, sees Bill Avery across the room. Jenkins goes to him and asks about Gowen’s condition after the accident. When Jack tells him that Gowen’s condition is still grave, Mr. Jenkins reveals that he is unsure if he should alert the town council about the missing money. Bill suggests that the town has suffered enough and that perhaps the matter of the missing money be left for another day. Mr. Jenkins nods and quickly moves on.

Downstairs at the café, Charlotte sits silently contemplating the situation. Abigail comes downstairs to prepare some tea to take to Elizabeth. Charlotte admits that she’s not sure who they should be more worried about, Jack or Elizabeth. Sadly, both women know how hard it is to lose a spouse and they know all too well what Elizabeth feels. Facing the death of her son, Abigail reminds Charlotte that it’s ok to cry. Fighting back tears Charlotte tells Abigail, “Crying doesn't do anyone any good.” She then takes the tea and heads back upstairs to continue her watch.

7 of 7

As the sun falls below the mountains, the townsfolk gather outside the café, candles in hand, to pray for Jack’s recovery. Charlotte stands alone, stoic, taking it all in. Her eyes scan the crowd and meet Abigail's. The solemn moment between two mothers is broken when tears begin to stream down Charlotte's face. Abigail crosses to her and they stand together, looking upward. Frank moves to the front and begins to lead the town in prayer.

Upstairs, Elizabeth looks out at the vigil below her. As everyone prays, she talks with the still unconscious Jack. She reminds him of their New Year’s resolution, “To be patient, to be kind, not to rush, but to take their time.” As she recites the words, Jack’s eyes begin to flutter and he mumbles, “not to take too much time.” He then opens his eyes and smiles at Elizabeth. Overcome with joy Elizabeth hugs and kisses him, ignoring his bruises and other injuries. She recovers herself and through the tears says, “Hi.’ Jack smiles and the two shares a soft and tender kiss.

Epilogue

In the weeks after the disaster Jack fully recovers from his injuries. While Jack recuperated, Elizabeth finished her first manuscript and sent it off to half a dozen publishers. Charlotte insisted on staying in Hope Valley to prepare all of Jack’s favorite meals and many of the settlers relocated to higher ground. And Rosemary realized that a simple wedding to the man she loves was all she really needed. Without the fancy dresses or the food, everyone gathers for Lee and Rosemary’s wedding. As the bridal party prepares to head to the church, Charlotte tells Elizabeth that she’s happy that Jack has found someone who loves him as much as his mother. She only has one request of Elizabeth; that she teaches Charlotte her recipe for shepherds pie…minus the lard.