December 9th, 1995 :: episode #83

Hell on Wheels

Peter Chow asks Mike to come to the railroad site after an outbreak of dysentery. The family arrives to discover Matthew working in the saloon tent for Hank. Matthew is angry to see them and rebuffs Mike's efforts to talk to him about Ingrid. Loren plans a trip to the railroad camp to sell supplies when Dorothy asks him to stop in Manitou to use her savings to buy a new printing press. He agrees and Jake goes along for the ride.

Back at the camp, Mike asks the Reverend to speak to Matthew, but Matthew's not interested in the Reverend's platitudes Loren arrives just as the men are organizing a spike driving contest -- the white workers against the chinese. Matthew joins in the contest to vent his frustration. Loren bets Dorothy's money on the losing man. Loren can't face Dorothy but Jake returns and tells all to Dorothy. Dorothy arrives but Loren evades her.

When the foreman asks for volunteers to blow the ridge, Matthew volunteers. Mike is devastated that he's willing to risk his life on this dangerous job. Colleen and Peter renew their friendship and he agrees to look out for Matthew. When Matthew places the nitroglycerin in the blasting hole, it explodes, injuring Peter. Matthew sinks even further, horrified that he endangered Peter's life.

Mike tries one last time to reach Matthew, he breaks down letting his grief flow. Loren confesses to Dorothy and they need to find someone to buy Loren's supplies so that Loren can repay Dorothy. Matthew comes to terms with Ingrid's death, in a very different way than he thought he would.