Episode 20 - The Hostage

(28 April 1981)
Writer: Marjorie Fowler.
Director: Herbert Hirschman.
Music: Alexander Courage


"The post war years brought great social change and progress to our community, but for the hill folk living above us on the mountain it was as though time had passed them by. They held on rigidly to their old ways and customs, even if it meant breaking the law".


While making her rounds on the Mountain, Mary Ellen finds Rance Crooks dying. Before passing on he tells Mary Ellen that he has willed his house and his granddaughter (Sissie) to Job Moonie. Upon the grandfather’s death, Job buries the man, ready to marry the young girl. Mary Ellen tells Job he can’t marry Sissie because it is against the law to marry a minor. Job refuses to listen. Mary Ellen convinces Sissie to leave with her so Sissie can decide for herself how to live her life.


Octavia, cousin to the Baldwin sisters, arrive on the same bus as does John-Boy. She has retired as a legal secretary for the U.S. Treasury Department, but has recently spent time at a farm recovering from an illness. The sisters tell Ike and Corabeth that their Papa called her “Little Miss Fix-It” while they were girls. Later, Octavia cooks dinner for the three, and then suggests she look at their wills. She is surprised it is in such good shape, except that they are paying a bank officer to act as executor. She offers to be executrix for free.


At the house, Sissie joins the family for supper. She thinks they are rich after seeing the ‘grand’ house that they live. Mary Ellen decides to take Sissie to the welfare office in order to find her a foster family. Mary Ellen is concerned what Job will do when he finds Sissie missing. As Erin sweeps the porch, Job drives up. He wants Sissie back, angry that they are butting into his business. As Elizabeth leaves to buy groceries, Ben sends off Job. Still angry, Job follows Elizabeth to Ike’s store and with his shotgun in hand, kidnaps her.


While Octavia is working on a chandelier it falls to the floor, nearly killing Miss Mamie and Miss Emily who moments before were standing below it. Octavia says it will be easier to work on it at floor level.


Frantically, the family searches for Elizabeth. After Mary Ellen drives up, the family hears what they assume to be the car that Elizabeth drove to Ike’s store. They find the vehicle empty, except for a note stating “141”. They figure out the note was written by Job, meaning “one for one”, or Elizabeth for Sissie.


After Octavia fixes The Recipe machine, the sisters decide to celebrate with a jar of the spring 1919 Recipe. Miss Mamie and Miss Emily decide to drink the last jar, but first leave to find the silver goblets in which to toast. Suddenly, The Recipe machine explodes, nearly killing them. Octavia says more seal solder is needed.


Elizabeth eats supper with Job’s mother, Eula Mae Moonie. She feeds the leftovers to Needy, her dog, who is helping to guard Elizabeth. The next morning, Sheriff Bridges investigates, taking John-Boy, Jason, and Ben with him to locate Job. While at Ike’s store, Miss Mamie and Miss Emily tell about their near-fatal experiences. Ike becomes suspicious as Octavia checks out the wares. Ike notices that a mirror is missing.


Ep finds Job inside his house, pointing his gun out a window. He explains that kidnapping is a federal offense. Job decides not to give himself up but, instead, runs out the back door, smashing the door against Ben’s head. Jason runs after Job into the forest as Ep and John-Boy help the injured Ben. At the same time, Elizabeth escapes the house, with Mrs. Moonie and Needy in hot pursuit.


Octavia joins Miss Mamie and Miss Emily in bird watching, while Ike secretively follows along. Suddenly, Ike hears two shots and finds the sisters fallen to the ground. Octavia explains that she just shot a rattlesnake, after the pair fainted. With hearing of the news, Ike also faints.


Jenkins and his hunting dog join the search for Elizabeth, finding the scent at Mrs. Moonie’s house. Job finally catches Elizabeth, but hears the hunting dog approach. Elizabeth tries to convince Job to let Sissie get an education.


While Octavia comes into the store for groceries, Ike keeps an eye on her; afraid she will steal from him. Ike finally confronts her, but Octavia says she cannot be held liable for her stealing because she is a kleptomaniac. Ike tells her that he will call the police, but she agrees to leave to her Uncle Horace’s house in Richmond. After paying for her ticket and leaving the store, Ike finds a doll missing from the store.


Elizabeth tells Job she will talk in his defense if he will surrender to Ep. Sissie tells Job these people are honest, helping him to decide to end the kidnapping.


"The charges against Job were reduced. He served a short term in prison where he learned to read and write. Sissie finished school, and while she did eventually marry, it was not to Job".


Erin: I hope we never have to live through anything like that again, I was afraid we wouldn't get you back, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: I wasn't so sure myself.
Jim Bob: I wasn't worried. I knew they'd find you.
Elizabeth: How come you're so smart.
Jim Bob: As soon as they took your shoes I knew the dogs'd smell your feet a mile off.
Elizabeth: That's very funny Jim Bob.
Jim Bob: I'm just glad you're OK.
Elizabeth: Goodnight Jim Bob.
Jim Bob: Goodnight Elizabeth.



Octavia says she is writing a book entitled “Octavia’s Oven Adventures”.

Rose is on her honeymoon with Stanley.

Octavia is a gourmet cook, using many Republican recipes from the Teddy Roosevelt administration.

Octavia was a patient at the Delaware Correctional Institute.

Rance Crooks is one of the people that live on the Mountain; Mary Ellen finds him dying as she makes her nursing rounds. His daughter is Sissie Crooks.

Job Moonie’s mother is Eula Mae Moonie.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), John-Boy (Robert Wightman), Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin (Helen Kleeb and Mary Jackson), Sheriff Ep Bridges (John Crawford), Octavia (Mary Wickes), Job Moonie (Gary Grubbs), Eula Mae Moonie (Fran Ryan), Sissie Crooks (Debbie Lytton), Rance Crooks (Al Hopson).