The next day Caroline brings a basket of eggs to the Mercantile. Nels is behind the counter and is rather cordial. “I’m going to miss that daughter of yours around here,” he says. “It must be tough to find help for fifty cents for three weeks,” Caroline retorts. Man, she does not play close to the chest. Nels corrects her that the pay was fifty cents per week and that he doesn’t know many kids that would buy a history book with their own money. Caroline is surprised by this, more so when Nels goes on to say that Mary had already read every book in the store anyway so buying the text seemed unnecessary. As Caroline processes this new information, she walks to where she can see the school through the store window and recites her shopping list for Mr. Oleson.
Miss Beadle puts on her best Vanna performance as she recaps that today is test day and someone will be going home with a snazzy new dictionary. Mary sits stoically as Laura looks expectantly at the sister. Miss Beadle dismisses the kids not taking the test. Laura asks if Mary will be joining her, but Mary continues to sit in silence. Laura leaves as Miss Beadle begins handing out the exam.
Caroline walks out of the Mercantile and sees the kids playing outside. She walks over to the school and sees Laura sitting on the steps. “Where’s Mary?” Ma asks. Laura sadly says that Mary is inside. Caroline accepts this and goes up the steps. She looks in on the test takers and sees Mary in the front row. As she leaves she doesn’t even acknowledge Laura.
Later on, Miss Beadle rings the bell and the kids file in. Miss Beadle announces that all the tests are graded and that she is proud of everyone. However, there is only one winner and it is, of course, Arnold Lundstrom. Mary is in tears at this point and runs out of the classroom. Before Laura can run after her, Miss Beadle asks to see Laura after school.
Caroline is collecting some water from the creek as a wagon approaches. It’s Miss Beadle and she brought Laura. Caroline thanks the teacher for bringing Laura home and asks where Mary is. Miss Beadle that Mary would be home then hands a piece of paper to Caroline. It’s Mary’s exam, which turns out to be a confession. Miss Beadle rides away as Caroline asks Laura to watch the house so she can find Mary. Caroline finds her daughter by a large tree. The Love Theme of the Nerd March begins to play as they run towards each other to hug. They both apologize for the communication breakdown and head home.
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