April 27th, 1996 :: episode #97

Fear Itself

When a young painter, Isabelle Maynard, arrives in Colorado Springs, she is welcomed by everyone, especially an enamoured Preston. However, everyone wonders why she remains completely covered, up to the chin and down to the wrists, even wearing gloves to cover her hands.

When water is spilled on her arm, Michaela sees her remove her glove to scratch at some sores. She examines her and realizes it's leprosy. She tries to keep it a secret from everyone, but somehow the word spreads. Sully finds out and is very concerned about Michaela exposing their unborn child to the disease. The people in the town shun her, going so far as to not touch anything she touches and making sure she's not given any real courtesy.

Preston realizes he's fallen in love with her, but is hurt when the truth about her illness is revealed. He questions her, and she asks him if he would have allowed himself to feel the same way if he knew the truth. Doing the only thing he knew how to do, he arranges for a private car on the train, complete with all the furnishings and comfort, for Isabelle to have as she leaves to seek somewhere else to live. Despite Michaela's insistence that she stay, Isabelle thanks her for her hospitality and open mind and leaves Colorado Springs. Sully remarks, "this town didn't do right by her."