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"A Child With No Name"
Season 9, Episode 18
#201 overall in Series
Original air date February 14, 1983
Episode Guide
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Episode Chronology
Previous episode:
"Home Again (Part 2)"
Next episode:
"The Last Summer"


Laura's newborn son dies unexpectedly at night with no apparent reason. She blames Doc Baker for it and chalks it up to his incompetence. His reputation is badly damaged and he is almost forced out of Walnut Grove. Later, Rose becomes sick with smallpox and against Laura's wishes, Almanzo calls on Doc Baker. When they are quarantined, Laura soon realizes what she always knew: that Doc Baker is a good doctor.


Laura (to Almanzo): What are you gonna do? Manly!
Almanzo: Beth, I'm gonna get Doc Baker. 
Laura: No, you can't.
Almanzo: Beth. 
Laura: I will not have that man touching this child.
Almanzo: He's all we have. 
Laura: No, No, we can go to Sleepy Eye.
Almanzo: With a fever like that? 
Laura: Yes, we have to!
Almanzo: Now you listen to me, Rose is my child too and I'm not taking chances with her life just because of your hatred for Doc Baker. 
Laura: I said I won't allow it.
Almanzo: What is wrong with you! Are you so blinded by your own feelings that you can't stand the idea that you might be wrong.
Laura: I'm not, Manly you can't do this!
Almanzo: I'm gonna get Doc Baker. 
Laura Ingalls Wilder: Manly!!!

Mr. Edwards: It's like talking to a Chinese packing mule.
Mrs. Oleson: What did you say?
Mr. Edwards: You heard.
Mrs. Oleson: You're rude.
Mr. Edwards:  You're ugly.

Laura: All right, Baby Wilder, time to greet the morning! (reaches into the crib and stops cold) Baby? (there is a long pause and she backs away) Manly? MANLY!
Almanzo: Beth, what is it?
Laura: There's something wrong. There's something wrong with the baby! Oh, God!
Jenny (walking in as Laura backs away in shock): Aunt Laura, what's wrong? Aunt Laura?
Almanzo: (tries to wake the baby up and there is a long silence): Dear God. He's dead. Our baby's dead.

Laura: Doc Baker, I will not have you present at the burial of our child.
Almanzo: Beth, please.
Laura: No! Not when our son is dead because of him.
Doc Baker: Laura!
Laura: Just go away. You're not wanted here.

Harriet (to Nels about Doc Baker): That man should thank his stars that he is walking around free, and not behind bars, where he belongs. Why, he as much as murdered Laura's child!
Nels: That's not true!
Harriet: It is true! And Laura herself believes it!
Nels: Laura is a disturbed person! A person in her condition has got to have somebody to blame. Time will bring her around, but you have no reason to...
Harriet: You listen to me, Nels Oleson, and you listen with both of your ears! The town has turned against Doc Baker.
Nels: With no small thanks to you, I'm sure.
Harriet: Because he's incompetent, that's why! Can't you get it through your head? I will never, and our children will never go into his office ever again, because if we do, that's irresponsible! (storms out)

Doc Baker: Laura, we have a chance to cure Rose, but I want you to know the seriousness of this illness. We can only do what I know to do. Can you accept that?
Laura: I'll have to. But I want you to know that no matter what, nothing will change the way I feel about what happened to my baby boy. Nothing.
Doc Baker (pauses): So be it. My only concern now is to cure Rose.



Previous episode: Next episode:
Home Again (Part 2) The Last Summer