In the forest outside Hope Valley, Jack busies himself splitting wood for the church fireplace. As he swings the axe Elizabeth approaches and casually asks Jack about the ride he was supposed to take her on after school. Elizabeth is unaware that moments before, Jack saw Charles proposing to Elizabeth in her classroom. Elizabeth tells Jack that she rejected the proposal and holds no romantic feelings for Charles. Jack remains unmoved so Elizabeth tries to show her true feelings with a kiss. The kiss does nothing to change Jack’s feelings and, sensing his cold response, Elizabeth pulls away and walks off, leaving Jack standing alone in the wood.
Meanwhile, at the Mercantile, Rosemary skims thorough a magazine while bemoaning her less than exciting plans for New Years eve. Before she leaves, Mr. Yost remembers that he’s received a letter for Rosemary. When she opens the letter, Rosemary becomes instantly excited. She tells Mr. Yost that she’s been waiting for the letter and that it’s contents will ensure that this year is going to be the best New Year’s in the history of Hope Valley. She kisses Mr. Yost on the cheek and before gleefully running off.
At Abigail’s Cafe, Elizabeth fills Abigail in on Charles’ proposal and Jack’s response to what he overheard. Abigail is shocked by all the news and does her best to help Elizabeth work through the situation. She tells Elizabeth that it’s not her fault Charles misread their friendship. She also says that it’s smart to give Jack some time to think things over. Then, as she watches Elizabeth move through the kitchen, Abigail remarks that since returning fro Hamilton, it’s clear that Elizabeth now knows who she is. Elizabeth smiles and tells Abigail “I know who I’m not.” Abigail smiles in agreement and then turns to retrieve a pie from the pantry. But when she opens the cupboard, the cupboard is bare. Elizabeth assumes that Abigail probably served it at lunch. Abigail agrees and the two casually move on with their day.
Back from chopping wood, Jack stops off at the jail to change his clothes. As he enters the jail Bill Avery stirs in his cell. Bill tries to plead with Jack and convince him that things are not what they seem. Jack reminds him that even after Bill was pulled off the case, the counterfeit money and printing plates were found in his hotel room. Jack informs Bill that Inspector Huston is arriving on the next stage to take Bill back for trial.
At the mill, Lee talks with two workers when Rosemary enters carrying the letter she received earlier. Sensing her need for attention, Lee dismisses his foreman before Rosemary explains she won the San Francisco Chronicle’s essay contest on how New Year’s is celebrated on the frontier. As the winner, the paper is sending a reporter to write a front-page story about Hope Valley’s New Year’s celebration. But since Hope Valley doesn’t have much planned Rosemary’s prepared a list of things she’ll need to make the celebration a hit. Lee looks at the list incredulously as he sees the list of things she wants, from fireworks, to champagne, to a marching band.
Back on Main Street, Jack approaches Inspector Huston’s coach. As he exits the coach, Inspector Huston shakes Jack’s hands and congratulates him on a job well done. Jack accepts the accolade but insists that it wasn’t a happy day one arresting a fellow Mountie. The inspector reveals that he’s had his suspicions about Bill for some time. He also tells Jack that while no trial date has been set, Jack will be expected to testify at the trial.
As Jack escorts Inspector Huston to his lodging, they cross paths with Rosemary, Florence and Dotty. The three women discuss plans for the New Year’s celebration. Rosemary envisions a grand ceremony in front of the church with fireworks and a dedication for a memory box. Florence suggests a program for the children and offers to notify Elizabeth to get started on directing the children. The idea of Elizabeth directing the children doesn’t sit well with Florence and she questions if Elizabeth can handle the job, the other ladies tell Rosemary that taking on this job would be to much for her when she’s already doing so much and that the sign of a true leader is the ability to delegate. She agrees and smiles, but she still seems to be having some trouble with the idea.
As nightfall grips Hope Valley, Jack and Elizabeth walk and discuss their relationship. Jack admits that he does trust Elizabeth but he also knows that he doesn’t have Charles’ wealth or status. Elizabeth points out that that’s those things are superficial and that even though they come from different worlds, they can still face anything together. They both agree to start over in the New Year, not to rush and to take their time and enjoy things.
Early the next morning, Pastor Frank Hogan approaches the café where Abigail is busy sweeping the porch. As the two talk, Abigail apologizes for asking so many personal questions during their dinner. Frank tells her that it was his answers that were the problem and suggest they have dinner again. Abigail obliges and they agree to have dinner soon. Frank nods in agreement and goes on his way. A moment later Clara arrives with a basket of groceries. Abigail asks her if the extra bottles of milk she ordered had arrived. Clara tells her that they arrived that morning but when she looks, Abigail finds nothing.
In the classroom, Elizabeth stands in front of a map of the world as she is giving a lecture on New Year’s celebrations around the world. As she talks, one of the students tells Elizabeth about a boy standing outside who he’s never seen before. Concerned, Elizabeth tells everyone to stay in their seats while she heads outside. Outside the classroom she finds a boy taking firewood from the pile behind the schoolhouse. Elizabeth introduces herself to the mystery boy and offers him some cookies. The boy freezes at first, but when Elizabeth approaches him, he drops the wood and runs for the forest.
After class Jack arrives at the schoolhouse and offers to carry Elizabeth’s books home from school. As she gathers her things, she asks Jack about the boy she saw earlier. Jack assumes that he’s probably one of the new settlers in the valley. Thinking nothing more of the situation they gather Elizabeth’s things and prepare to leave. Before leaving, Jack leans in for a kiss. But, before he can kiss Elizabeth, Rip begins loudly barking. After another two attempts with the same response, Jack theorizes that Rip may be jealous. Elizabeth suggests that she and Rip spend some more time together. Jack thinks Rip may be more than she can handle but agrees to let Rip go with her.
Back in town, Inspector Houston arrives at the jail. He approaches Bill and mockingly tells him that he disobeyed an order and he will pay. Bill responds, telling him he knows who is really guilty. The inspector step closer to Bill and then, without warning, Bill grabs Houston and slams him into the cell bars. The inspector manages to pull away and composes himself before telling Bill he’s going to enjoy seeing him rot.
Later that night inside cafe, Abigail turns on the lights, startling the mystery boy who’s been stealing from her. Realizing that he’s been caught, the boy tries to put back the items while pleading with Abigail and Elizabeth to let him go. Abigail suggests he have some fried chicken instead. As Abigail prepares the chicken, the boy takes a seat at the table with Elizabeth. Elizabeth notices that this boy is same boy who ran from her earlier. After some small talk, Elizabeth learns that his name is Cody. As Cody eats Jack arrives and tries to learn more about where he came from. With Jack’s help, they learn that Cody has been stealing food for him and his sister Becky. Becky has become ill and is unable to leave their makeshift camp in the woods. Abigail manages to convince him to tell them where Becky is so they can help her. Cody leads them to an area in the woods where they find Becky burning up with fever. Seeing her condition, Jack picks her up and carries her out of the forest.
In the jailhouse the next morning, Jack brings Bill his breakfast. As he hands the plate, Bill jumps to his feat and begins pleading his case with Jack. Bill insists that Houston is the crook and that he’s setting up Bill to take the fall. Jack reminds Bill that Houston has been a Mountie for over 20 years and was friends with Jack’s father. Bill pleads, saying that Houston will kill him before any trial can happen. Bill then begs Jack to trust him. Jack can only stand still, glaring at his former mentor.
Back at the café another mysterious stranger has found his way into Hope Valley. Jesse rode into town a few days earlier looking for a friend by the name of Landry, Matt Landry. According to Jesse, Matt loaned his family some money after his father walked out on his mother and younger brother. After he leaves, Florence, who’s been eavesdropping at a nearby table, suggests that the handsome young man could be set up with Clara. Abigail stops her before she can go any further and tells her they don’t need to meddle in Clara’s life.
In the meantime, Jack and Inspector Houston walk toward the jail. Jack tells Houston that Bill offered to reveal the location of two more sets of plates if he is granted leniency. Houston is unmoved but appears willing to listen. However, when the men enter the jail, they find a picked lock and an empty jail cell. While Jack doesn’t know where Bill is, he has a good idea where he’s headed. Assuming Bill is armed, he and Houston grab their guns and head out to search for Bill.
At Abigail’s, the doctor examines Becky. The doctor tells them that Becky’s lungs are clear but that she still has a weak pulse. He prescribes more rest and agrees to return with medicine to treat her fever. In the meantime, Elizabeth asks Cody if he would like to come to school with her. Cody is reluctant, but when Elizabeth tells him about the New Year’s celebration, Becky immediately perks up. She says Cody has a wonderful voice and asks if he can be in the performance. Elizabeth assures her that they’ll find something for Cody to do and when Becky is better she can come and see him.
In the woods, Bill hurriedly digs up the box of plates. A gun cocks just as Bill pulls the metal box from the ground and Inspector Houston instructs him to drop the box and turn around. As he gets to his feet, Bill pleads with Jack not to let Houston get away with this. Jack responds by telling Bill he can’t believe that he trusted him. Still aiming the rifle at Bill, Houston steps closer, but instead of aiming at Bill, he turns the rifle on Jack. He tells Jack to drop his weapon and to stand next to Bill. With his treachery revealed, Houston can’t risk Jack telling the truth. Houston then raises his rifle and takes aim at Bill but, when he pulls the trigger, nothing happens. The rifle is empty. Houston looks at Jack, realizing he was set up. He throws the rifle at Jack and reaches for his side arm. Before he can remove the gun, Jack knocks the pistol away and the scuffle ensues. Houston scrambles for his gun but not before Bill he reaches it and points it at him. Houston freezes, knowing he can’t do anything else to escape now.
Outside the church, Rosemary watches as Lee and his men try to set up the tree she picked out. Still working on creating the perfect scene, Rosemary doesn’t immediately notice the man approaching from behind. The gentleman introduces himself as Mike Ward from the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosemary shakes his hand and eagerly prepares to start showing Mr. Ward around Hope Valley. But, before Mr. Ward starts his tour, he needs to take a picture of Rosemary and her husband. After all, you can’t have a story about families celebrating New Year’s without a happy couple. Thinking on her feet, Rosemary grabs Lee and calmly tells Mr. Ward that her husband is right here. The reporter tells him to give him a smile, “Mr. LeVeaux,” as he snaps the picture of the happy couple.
Back in Abigail’s kitchen, Cody is finishing his meal when Frank enters. Cody asks who he is and questions why the pastor isn’t at church. Frank informs Cody that Elizabeth uses the church as her schoolroom and that he spends his days going wherever he’s needed. Abigail enters the room and shuffles Cody off to school. As she clears Cody’s plate she apologizes for again missing dinner with Frank. Frank understands and had figured that she had been busy. She asks if she’ll see him at the New Year’s celebration, he tells her, “I think that could be arranged.” They smile at each other as he leaves.
Outside the church, Frank splits and stacks firewood when a voice calls to him. Frank turns around to see Jesse standing in front of him. Jess greets his friend by his former name, Matt Landry. Frank tells Jesse that Matt Landry is dead and buried and that he, Frank Hogan, has work to do. Jesse isn’t buying Frank’s apparent conversion and demands he let him in on whatever scheme he’s pulling in Hope Valley. Frank in turn tells Jessie that it’s time for him to get out of town. But Jesse, spotting a few women from town, declines saying “I think I’ll be sticking around for a while. I kind of like the scenery.”
Later in the evening, the doctor delivers the good news that Becky will soon be fully recovered and on her feet. The good news is tempered by the doctor’s suggestion that once Becky is well, the children should be sent to a home. Abigail tells him they shouldn’t be going anywhere right now. The doctor agrees, but insists that they will need to be sent to a home soon.
The next day, as Abigail hangs laundry, Elizabeth realizes that both Cody and Becky are missing. Elizabeth runs to find Jack and asks for his help in finding the two kids. Jack climbs his horse and tells Elizabeth to find Lee and see if he can spare a few men for the search. As Elizabeth runs to find help, Bill steps out onto the street. Jack tells him he needs his help and will explain on the way.
Meanwhile, at the mercantile, Jesse swoops in to help as Clara stumbles over a box of supplies. He’s charming as he asks her if she knows of any available work in town. She tells him that Mr. Yost may be looking for a driver and that he should inquire within. He continues to charm as he thanks her for the information and asks her name. She introduces herself to which Jesse responds “a pretty name for a pretty girl.”
Darkness falls over Hope Valley as Jack and Bill continue to search for Cody and Becky. The children, seeking shelter in the mine, continue to outpace Jack and Bill Near. As the two kids try to make their way up a steep hill Becky sinks to the ground and struggles to breathe. Cody persists in getting her up, but Becky just doesn’t have the energy. In the distance they hear Jack’s voice calling out to them. Cody tries to get Becky to move before they’re found but Becky can’t and is forced to tell Cody to leave without her. Forced to make a difficult decision, Cody decides to call for help and stick with his sister, not matter what the consequences.
Some hours later Cody sits on Abigail’s sofa while Becky is in bed recuperating. Cody isn’t in trouble but Abigail still wants to know why he decided to run a way. Cody admits that he heard her and the doctor talk about sending them back to the home. Abigail tries to reassure him by telling him that they won’t be going anywhere for a while, no matter what anyone says.
Later that evening, Doctor Burns is at the saloon enjoying a round of darts. As the doctor prepares for another round, Clara runs to him, frantically explaining that Becky’s fever has worsened. Doctor Burns rushes to Abigail’s house where he finds Becky tossing in bed. He determines that Becky has a parasite and not the flu. He does his best to treat her but her full recovery is now in doubt.
The next day Cody heads to the church in search of Pastor Hogan. He asks the pastor to say a prayer for Becky, hoping that because he’s a pastor, maybe God listens to him better. Frank asks Cody to join with him in prayer because two voices are better than one. The two sit down, bow their heads and pray for Becky’s health.
A roll of thunder cracks in the distance as Rosemary ushers in the start of the New Year’s celebration. Rosemary has driven Lee crazy with her demands, not to mention asking him to pretend to be her husband. The stress finally gets to Lee and he breaks, telling Rosemary that she’s so focused on putting a show that she forgets what is important; the truth. With reality now setting on her Rosemary can do only one thing. She turns to Mr. Ward and confesses to not being married. Mr. Ward takes in what she tells him, laughs and then asks if she thought he hadn’t figured it out. He tells her that he didn’t say anything because he wanted to see what she would do next. Rosemary assumes he’ll be cancelling the story, but is delighted when he tells her that he’s going to write the story about her real family, the people of Hope Valley.
In Abigail’s parlor, Elizabeth puts dishes away as Doctor Burns descends the stairs. Becky’s fever broke but her heart may not be strong enough to pull through. In Becky’s bedroom, Cody talks to a sleeping Becky about the prayers he and pastor Hogan did for her and how he wishes she could be at the New Year’s show with him. He then vows not to let her down, kisses her gently on the cheek and leaves for the performance. But, before leaving the room, he tells her that he loves her and that she’s the best sister in the world.
As the other townsfolk head to the celebration, Frank notices Jesse still loitering in town. Frank tells Jesse that he’d hoped he’d be gone by now. However Jesse insists that he likes it in Hope Valley. As they talk, Clara walks by and tells Frank that Abigail is skipping the celebration to care for Becky. Jesse picks up on this information and asks Frank if Abigail is his sweetheart. Frank tells him it’s not that way between them, but Jesse can see through his deception. Before Clara moves on Jesse informs her that he got the job with Mr. Yost. Frank notices Jesse’s obvious flirtation with Clara and tells him he’s not staying in Hope Valley. Jesse tells him he’s wrong which angers Frank. He slams Jesse against the side of the building and tells him to leave town by the following morning. Before letting him go Frank reminds Jesse that he “knows what he’s capable of.”
At the church, the New Year’s program has begun and the children stand and recite their lines. As the children finish the recitation Cody stands front and center and begins to sing Amazing Grace. Overcome with shyness, he stumbles over the words and freezes Sensing his unease, Elizabeth moves forward and starts to sing with him. Jack joins in and soon everyone in the schoolhouse is singing. As the chorus picks up, the door of the schoolhouse opens and Abigail, Dr. Burns and Becky enter. Unsteady on her feet, Becky smiles at the sight of her brother singing. Cody spots her and runs to her and throws his arms around her.
When the program ends everyone heads outside. Doctor Burns informs Abigail that he’ll have to take Becky to Union City for proper treatment. Dr. Burns isn’t sure how long she’ll need treatment, but he’d like to head out the following day if the weather permits. Becky turns to Abigail and asks her if Cody can stay with her while she’s being treated. Realizing that Abigail is his best option, Cody tells them he will do what he is told. Not able to say no, Abigail agrees.
As the crowd has filtered outside the church, Rosemary informs them that the fireworks are about to get started. In the crowd, everyone cheers with anticipation as Rosemary starts the countdown. As the fireworks light up the sky, the crowd reacts with delight and amazement. Elizabeth looks at Jack asking how could this New Year’s be any more perfect. Jack tells her ‘just a little’ and shows her with a New Years kiss.