19 - The Lumberjack
(21 April 1981)
Writer: Carol Zeitz.
Director: Harvey S. Laidman.
Music: Alexander Courage.
Erin drives off as Paul Mathews negotiates a
lumber contract that will cost Ben twenty cents a board-foot above the regular
price. Ben doesn’t think the price is reasonable, but Mathews says his lumber
is better quality than the warped piece Ben earlier bought. John-Boy looks on,
thinking Mathews looks familiar.
Ike hides his newly purchased Geiger counter
so Corabeth won’t find he is planning to hunt for uranium. When Erin arrives for her order she informs Corabeth that the
contraption is a Geiger counter, knowing that Jim Bob has been reading about it
for weeks. Erin is telling Corabeth she has a
boring social life, when suddenly she bumps into Paul Mathews as he follows the
Hurley brothers into the store. Ike and Corabeth are impressed that he bought
the Larson estate including a lumber lease, situated on a county road, and pays
moderate taxes. Erin is obviously taken by the man, prompting Corabeth to
state, “Erin has lost her head”.
Cindy is growling while setting the table;
upset that Ben is upset at a new lumberman. She yells at Erin when she walks
in, but Erin doesn’t mind after seeing, “the
most beautiful man in the world”. Later, Erin
rides toward Paul’s lumber camp, thinking of ways to introduce herself. When Erin meets him, Paul has already found out about her.
Over coffee, Paul tells Erin that he only cuts
trees that he needs, and then replenishes what he cuts. His words remind Erin of words spoken by her father and grandfather. Paul
imagines himself a modern day ‘Johnny Appleseed’.
Ike and Jim Bob ready themselves for a two-day
uranium hunt while Corabeth thinks it’s a foolhardy venture. Erin and Paul are
in the woods, as they enjoy each other’s company. With gurgling water streaming
into a small pond, Paul kisses Erin. On Sunday
morning, Ben mashes potatoes, Jason sets the table, and John-Boy brings in
firewood as they prepare dinner after Erin has
invited her new boyfriend. The boys are unaware that it is Paul Mathews. Ben
answers a knock on the door to find Paul standing there with flowers. After the
meal, Paul apologizes for being arrogant earlier. Ben accepts his apology but
still doesn’t agree with his prices. Paul says he plans to put Northridge
Lumber out of business with his conservation principles than counters the usual
cutting of whole stands of trees. Mary Ellen tells Ben that their father and
grandfather would have liked his ideas and would have paid a prime price for
Still searching for uranium, Ike is worried
about finding their way back to camp when he receives a reading from his Geiger
counter. But, the source is only a watch. Jim Bob leads them to camp. Later,
after an exhausting day of prospecting, Jim Bob gets a reading. The pair digs a
sample to take to the assayer’s office.
On the front porch, Erin and Paul discuss how
long they have been dating. Paul says, “Six days, fourteen hours, twenty-six
minutes, fifty-five seconds”. Erin wants to
know more about Paul when Ben drives up to announce that he and the other
members of the co-operative have agreed with his terms and price.
John-Boy visits Paul, showing him a
photograph from Stars And Stripes describing Paul Mathews Northridge,
finally exposing Paul’s true identity. Paul says he was not trying to hurt Erin. John-Boy says, “Straighten it out fast or you will
answer to me!”
Corabeth goes with Ike to the assayer’s
office, telling Ike they will eat at a fancy French café. Erin
tells Mary Ellen that she doesn’t know what to wear to meet Mr. Mathews,
unaware of Paul’s true identity and worried about him leaving her like Ashley
Longworth. Mary Ellen confesses that Jonesy has not contacted her for two
weeks. Later, Erin and Paul drive through Northridge Lumber property on their
way to meet his father. Arriving at the house, Erin
learns that Paul is the son of Wesley Northridge. Rosy, the maid, shows the two
into the mansion, as his father talks loudly and overbearingly at his son and
his guest. Erin asks if he is always like
that. Paul says that he is sometimes worse. With Erin
sitting between father and son at the dinner table they argue about different
ways to run a lumber operation. Mr. Northridge says that Paul’s practices would
bankrupt his company. Their tempers explode, each unwilling to compromise.
Finally Erin becomes angry, saying Mr.
Northridge “talks loud and too much” and that Paul is following closely in his
father’s footsteps. Erin leaves, upset at
their behaviors. Paul runs after her, unable to make her understand.
Mr. Franklin, of the assayer’s office, loudly
state to Corabeth and Ike that he is tired with every “Tom, Dick, and Harry”
trying to strike it rich with a Geiger counter. When Ike announces he believes
he has found uranium, Mr. Franklin doubts the statement, knowing the government
has searched every inch of Virginia.
Corabeth insists that as tax-paying citizens it is his duty as a public servant
to investigate their claim. Back at the store, Ike itches his back as Mr.
Franklin storms into the store, saying he must immediately see their site. At
the site, Mr. Franklin finds that SAC Laboratories has illegally dumped
radioactive waste products. Ike, Corabeth, and Jim Bob are disappointed but Mr.
Franklin says this is enough evidence to shut down the business.
Back at the house, Corabeth announces to the
family that Ike and Jim Bob are heroes according to the Charlottesville paper after being
instrumental in the finding of radioactive waste above Rockfish. At the same
time, John-Boy comforts Erin when they observe
the Northridge automobile approach the house. They explain to the family that
they are here to apologize to Erin, after she
made them take a good look at themselves. Mr. Northridge says no one besides Erin has been able to talk to him that way since Paul’s
mother. Paul asks Erin to give him another
chance. And she does.
"Romance for Erin always seemed to take her along
a rocky road, but the rough beginning with Paul Northridge hopefully indicated
a smooth ending. Only time would tell if their relationship would endure".
Elizabeth: Erin, do the
Northridges really live in a mansion?
Erin: Yes, Elizabeth.
Do they have cars, and horses, and a swimmimg pool?
Erin: All of those, Elizabeth.
Will you still talk to us when you're in high society?
Erin: I won't talk to you tomorrow unless
you let me get some sleep tonight.
You see, already you're stuck up.
Erin: Goodnight Elizabeth.
Northridge is introduced in this episode. He will become Erin’s
Erin’s grocery order totals one dollar, ten cents.
Paul is looking for
“Cadwaller 59” tobacco at Ike’s store.
Mr. Northridge’s wife
Mr. Northridge and
Paul both graduated from Yale
SAC Laboratories is
short for Southeast Advanced Chemicals Laboratories.
The Hurley brothers (Joe and Tom) work for Paul.
Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire
Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), John-Boy (Robert Wightman), Paul
Mathews Northridge (Morgan Stevens), Wesley Northridge (Richard Eastham), Mr.
Franklin (Lew Horn), Roxie (Vivian
Brown), Joe Hurley (Chuck Lindsley), Tom Hurley (Robert Dryer).