Ben decides that the whole family, and his girlfriend are not treating him as an adult, so he decides to leave home and fend for himself. The only job that he can find, however, is at a lumber company, one which has recently opened in opposition to the Waltons company. The Waltons are losing business because this new company seems to be able to undercut their prices, and the Waltons can't match this. When the railroad urgently needs lumber for repairs, both companies make a deal that the first company to make the delivery wins an important contract. When Ben discovers that the mill employing him is vying for the same contract as his father he leaves and returns to his family. Even with all hands on deck, it doesn't look as though the Waltons will meet the deadline, however Grandpa does some scheming to send the other lumber company on a wild goose chase.
- Wilford Brimley as Horace Brimley