February 18th, 1995 :: episode #63

Things My Father
Never Gave Me

A Story: Robert E feels delivered when, after Loren insinuates that he can't afford to buy Grace some of the finer things in life, (in this case, a shawl) Jackson Tait comes into town with a broken steam engine which Mike suggests Robert E alone can fix. Tait takes the chance on Robert E. The schedule for the steam engine to be delivered, fixed, is tight, and Robert E, needing help, employs Matthew and Lee and Quong Chang, two Chinese railroad workers.

Unfortunately, Robert E, in his quest both to meet the deadline and prove to the town his capabilities, ends up treating his Chinese workers with callous disregard, even suggesting replacing one of them when he becomes ill. Eventually, Mike is able to show Robert E the error of his ways.

Repentant, and reunited with the now-cured Chang brothers, Sully, and Matthew, (who'd quit in protest of Robert E's treatment of the Changs) Robert E manages to put together the steam engine, on schedule. It's then up to him to test the dangerous engine, which he does. In triumph, Robert E sweeps into Loren's store, buys Grace the coveted shawl, and shows Loren (and the town) that he's as capable as any free man.

B Story: When Lee and Quong Chang fall mysteriously ill, it's up to Mike to solve the puzzle of what's been poisoning them. Mike determines the toxin -- lead poisoning -- and by deductive logic narrows it down to the cookies they've been eating which have been contaminated at the factory by flour-millstones patched with lead.

C Story: Colleen and Peter's friendship deepens, and Colleen is hurt by friends' reactions to her relationship with a Chinese boy.