24. THE RICHEST MAN IN WALNUT GROVE
September 10, 1975
Lars Hanson is forced to close the mill due to bankruptcy, leaving Charles unable to pay his debt at the mercantile. Refusing to grovel to Harriet, he takes three jobs, including digging in the mud and shoveling horse manure while Mary leaves school to work as a seamstress, Laura does all the chores, and Caroline and Carrie tend to the farm. Charles comforts Laura when she becomes upset by Nellie’s vicious teasing. The next time Nellie makes a comment, Laura gives her a big wallop that brings Nellie’s aloft nose back to the ground. When the bill is paid, Nels is very proud of the Ingalls family and he says the he thinks that Charles is the richest man in Walnut Grove … the richest in love.