Laura finds Anna crying in a field. Her tears are either made of Vaseline or her nose is running up her face. Laura apologizes saying that she didn’t know that Nellie was going to be a horrible person. “I trusted you,” Anna says. At this point the stutter is indistinguishable from the sort of staggered speech someone Anna’s age would have when sobbing uncontrollably. Anna says she just wanted to be a part of the club because Laura was in it. Laura tells her she isn’t in the club anymore. Laura promises to spend her time after school helping Anna with her stutter and exacting revenge on one Nellie Oleson. Anna smiles and hugs Laura. The girls run home while singing “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.”
That evening, back at the house, Mary and Caroline battle a ball of yarn while Charles worries about Laura’s whereabouts. We hear thunder as Laura walks in totally soaked. Wow, who knew that song worked? Caroline guides Laura to the fire and asks Mary to get some dry clothes for her sister. As Pa wrings out Laura’s pigtails, Laura decides to confess to stealing the music box. Ma and Pa are disappointed, but Laura recaps the entire story. Oy! That’s my job! Laura finishes by saying that she tried to figure a way out and couldn’t. Pa lectures that Laura couldn’t find a way out because she avoided the easiest way: telling the truth. Laura says she’s ready to face her punishment, but Pa says he’ll leave that up to Mr. Oleson. Laura apologizes to Mary and they hug.
The next morning, Laura hands the music box to Mr. Oleson and apologizes. “I know I was wrong,” she says. “Not as wrong as somebody else,” Nels says before yelling for his daughter to come downstairs. Charles tells Nels that he should be the one to decide Laura’s punishment. Nels says he can’t condone stealing, but Laura may have been punished enough. Did she tell him about the dreams? Because really, that’s the only actual negative consequence she has experienced.
Nellie comes down the stairs and almost runs into the music box that Nels is holding up to her face. Nellie pretends to yell at Laura for being a thief, but no one is buying it. Nellie tries to continue to school, but Nels tells her to go to her room. Looks like option A again. Whoops, nope, Nels grabs the strap as he goes upstairs.
As Laura and Anna run down the Mercantile steps, Willie commands Laura to carry his water buckets for him. Laura refuses, but Willie starts doing his “dum dum” impression again. No, the music box one. Laura and Anna look at each other and smile. Laura agrees and they both grab buckets. They both dump the water over Willie’s head. The two girls head to school arm in arm.
So I guess the lesson here is if you are going to steal, make sure you have a tenuous friendship with someone who has a speech impediment, that way you can live your life without consequences.
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