A traveling carnival comes to Walton's Mountain, but the children choose to sacrifice the money they had saved for it so that Grandma can replace her broken glasses.When the troupe becomes stranded by their dishonest ringmaster, John and Olivia allow them to stay temporarily in their barn, and the family is rewarded with a private show.
John-Boy is anxious to prove himself on a turkey hunt with his father and two friends, but finds he can't shoot a turkey, which he equates with premeditated murder.
He has no trouble killing a bear when it attacks his father.
A troubled teenager from Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan whose father was murdered by a gangster runs away from the Civilian Conservation Corps to Walton's Mountain.
The Waltons take him in and teach him that he can trust some people and he doesn't have to fight (literally) for everything he gets.
John-Boy borrows an antique typewriter from the Baldwin sisters so he can submit a proper manuscript to a magazine.
Mary Ellen inadvertently sells the typewriter to a traveling junk dealer.Contrary to the front she puts up, she is out of work and money after her agent tired of dealing with her prima donna attitude.After she learns a humbling lesson, the Waltons help her regain her confidence, then organize a town performance to help her raise money for a train ticket back to New York.The Waltons' cow gives birth to a bull calf, which John decides must be sold for truck repair money, much to his children's disappointment.He is able to buy it back after he learns the man he sold it to plans to butcher it.The Waltons shelter a deaf girl (Erica Hunton) left on their back porch by her mother because her father insists on institutionalizing her.