Episode 13 - The Fastidious Wife

(27 December 1979)
Writer: Loraine Despress.
Director: Gwen Arner.
Music: Alexander Courage


"Waltons Mountain seemed especially beautiful to my brother Ben and his wife Cindy during the months they awaited the birth of their first child. But the war made its demands. Ben had to work harder than ever before, leaving Cindy alone at the time when she needed him the most".


Ben is worried about growing older, the demands of the job, and becoming a father. Cindy wants Ben to take her to the romantic movie Casablanca, hoping to rekindle the carefree days of their courtship. But she thinks herself unattractive after seeing her pregnant body in a mirror.


Jeffrey is followed home from baseball practice by a cat he names Harold. Rose holds the cat, finding the feline to be female and pregnant. Cindy and Erin arrive at Ike's store so Erin can buy a pair of overalls. While there Corabeth shows Cindy the book 'The Fastidious Wife', telling her it is not too late to improve her marriage. Erin wears the overalls home, but Cindy decides not to buy the book. After supper, John tells Jeffrey that he cannot keep the cat. But the whole family is against the decision and John finally relents. The mother cat can stay, but the kittens must be found homes. Rose joins Cindy on the porch both looking at the night sky. When Cindy relates the belief that her best days with Ben are behind her, Rose explains all the wonderful days she has had during her life and reassures her that plenty of good days are ahead.


Jason enters the mill with an army buddy, Ned Philips, on their way to the Dew Drop Inn. Ben joins them after finding that Cindy has gone to sleep. Jason plays the piano while Ned becomes very drunk. Ben intervenes when Ned becomes unruly to Sue Ann, the barmaid, and the two become embroiled in a fight. Later, Jason knocks on Cindy's door to tell her Ben is in jail. In the morning, Ben is in the doghouse with Cindy for his escapades the previous night.


When Mary Ellen brings Cindy the old cradle, she observes 'The Fastidious Wife' that Corabeth gave Cindy. After reading several excerpts, Cindy becomes worried about the passage 'a husband works late when the wife has failed'. Ben returns to find a new Cindy greeting him at the door. Wearing makeup and a beautiful nightgown, Cindy prepares a bath for Ben. Jim Bob joins Mary Ellen in the kitchen after not being able to sleep in a room full of kittens. When Cindy walks in Mary Ellen says she is crazy for reading Corabeth's book. But Cindy continues to read the book and apply everything including applying mudpacks, decorating the cradle, and cleaning out the mill. She is worried that Ben will not love her anymore, unless she pleases him constantly. At the same time, Ben is concerned that his wife is overworking herself.


Serena and Jeffrey try to give away a kitten at Ike's store, after already giving away two. Jeffrey secretly places a mouse on the floor. When Corabeth screams at the sight he suggests that Aphrodite, the kitten, could eliminate the rodent.


Ben leaves for Murdock's in order to close a deal, while Cindy cleans the office. Serena and Jeffrey leave Harold and Apollo out in the woods, after being unable to find a home for the kitten. When Ben and John return they find Cindy asleep in the mill. When she stands up, however, she nearly faints. They carry her to bed and Dr. Lewis is summoned. After an examination, the doctor states that Cindy may prematurely deliver the baby. Jeffrey finds the cats in his bed and hides them in the closet.


In the morning, Ben brings breakfast-in-bed to Cindy while Mary Ellen gives her a sponge bath. Before going back to sleep, Cindy tells Ben to take away the cradle. She tells him the baby has not moved all morning. Serena and Jeffrey explain to John what has happened to the kittens. When John examines the kitten; he thinks it will be a good mouser around the barn and mill.


Ben admits to his father that he does not want to see Cindy hurt and thinks he will somehow 'break' her if he touches her. John thinks this is just the time that Cindy needs to be held. When Ben enters the shed, he finds the doctor examining her. Dr. Lewis announces that Cindy and the baby are fine, but she must stay in bed for a week. Ben and Cindy hug and say 'I love you' to each other after learning the good news. Cindy admits she just wanted to make him happy. Ben says he will always love her, just the way she is.


"Cindy took it easy for the rest of her term, and her relationship with my brother grew stronger every day. In the years to come she accomplished many things, but she remained true to her own spirit and never again tried to become a 'fastidious wife'".


Erin: Good grief Elizabeth, what do you have on your face?
Elizabeth: Cindy gave me her mud pack.
Erin: Well take it off!
Elizabeth: Not now, seven secret ingredients are miraculously softening my skin.
John: That sounds good, let's see how it looks in the morning!
Erin: Goodnight Daddy.
Elizabeth: Yeh Daddy, goodnight.
John: Goodnight!
pause -
Elizabeth: Oh no I cracked my mud!



The book 'The Fastidious Wife' is on sale at Ike's store for two dollars fifty cents, but Corabeth eventually marks down the book.

Before reading 'The Fastidious Wife' Cindy has read 'Three Girls in Brooklyn'.

Rose had eleven girls at her eleventh birthday party where they played eleven games. She also won the Declamation Contest in high school.

A sign in Ike's store reads 'Evaporated Milk - twenty-five cents'.

Information about the movie Casablanca can be found at: http://www.fact-index.com/c/ca/casablanca__movie_.html.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); Rose (Peggy Rae); Serena (Martha Nix); Jeffrey (Keith Mitchell), Cindy (Leslie Winston), Ned Philips (Zack Lewis), Sue Ann (Denise Latella), Dr. Lewis (Fred Downs).