Little House on the Prairie Wiki
"The Lost Ones (Part 1)"
Season 7, Episode 21
#160 overall in Series
Series: Little House on the Prairie
Network/Country: NBC
Original air date May 4, 1981
Episode Guide
IMDb logo.png IMDb The Lost Ones (Part 1)
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Michael Landon
Guest starring: George McDaniel, M.E. Loree, Ivan Bonar, Jason Bateman, Missy Francis, E.J. André, Ketty Lester, Elizabeth Hoffman
Episode Chronology
Previous episode:
I Do, Again
Next episode:
"The Lost Ones (Part 2)"
(Season 7 finale)

Charles and Albert travel with the Cooper family, parents Alvin and Sarah, 11-year-old James and 8-year-old Cassandra, while on a delivery run. When they encounter a steep hill, Charles and Alvin agree to take the hill one at a time, with the children staying with the Ingalls wagon. However, something goes horribly wrong and Alvin loses control of the wagon; the wagon crashes at the bottom of the hill, and both he and Sarah are killed instantly.

The children witness the accident. Charles, knowing he cannot financially support any more children in his already crowded home, takes traumatized James and Cassandra to Walnut Grove to stay while he searches for the youngsters' family. However, Uncle Jed is living in a homeless camp and unable to take custody, leading Charles to realize he must find a foster family who will accept the children.



Guest Starring

Special Guest Star



  • Dan Priest: Conducter
  • Herb Armstrong: Halstead


Laura: (voiceover) As the weeks passed, I nodiced a great change in James and Cassandra. They became more and more withdrawn in my class. They were never allowed to come see Ma and Pa. Something was wrong in their new home, but they would never say a word about it.

Charles (to Hester Sue about letting James and Cassandra live at the blind school): What do you say?
Hester Sue: I don't know what to say.
Charles: There's some money. It's not a lot, but they're not gonna be a burden for a while.
Hester Sue: Charles...
Charles: Jonathan and me, we could scrape up more when you have to have it.
Hester Sue: I've never seen you like this.
Charles: Hester Sue, I have to do something.
Hester Sue: I know, but this is a blind school. They wouldn't fit in. It wouldn't be right.
Charles: Just let them live here. They could go to regular school.
Hester Sue: Two white children?
Charles: You have white students here.
Hester Sue: Blind students, Charles. And the blind don't seem to have any problems with color.
Charles: What, do you think James and Cassandra would?
Hester Sue: No. What I'm saying is.... for them to live here with me, I would have to legally adopt them, and there's no way the state would allow that.
Charles (long pause): I suppose you're right.
Hester Sue: Charles, you know me well enough to know that if I could take those children, I would.
Charles: I know.

James (to Albert): Why didn't you ever tell me you were an orphan?
Albert: It just never came up, I guess. Being an orphan, it's not so bad.
James: It's bad enough.
Albert (about the orphanage) Hey, listen. There are all these other kids and you'll have lots of friends.
James (near tears): I just wish I didn't have to go.
Albert: I know. I know.

James (to Charles): Mr. Ingalls?
Charles: Yeah, son?
James: Couldn't Cassandra and I come and live with you?
Charles: I'm afraid not, son.
James: Why?
Charles: Well, if you saw my house, you wouldn't ask that. It's kind of small; way too small for the family I've got.
James: Cassandra and me, we wouldn't take up much space and we'd be real good about our chores. I mean, when she gets better.
Charles: You don't know how much I wish I could say yes.
James: Please. I don't want to go on that train.
Charles: I'm sorry, son.

Laura: (voiceover) As the weeks passed, James and Cassandra became more and more a part of the family. "They'll find a home soon," Pa said. But we all knew the longer it took, the harder it would be for everyone.

External links

Previous episode: Next episode:
I Do, Again The Lost Ones (Part 2)