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Young Jim Bob is feeling very much out of things now that Jason and Ben are among the older children at school, so he is pleased when he is entrusted to bring the school guinea pig home to look after. Unfortunately it dies during the night and nobody in the family has the time to listen to him and help him with his loneliness and sadness, so he runs away. When it is discovered that he is missing the family starts making enquiries and discovers that he got a lift into a nearby town. John manages to get hold of John Boy, who is at College waiting to attend the lecture of a well known author, and John Boy goes in search of Jim Bob. By the time that he has found him, John Boy has missed the lecture completely, but when Jim Bob tells him the whole story while drinking tea at a cafe, John Boy becomes more understanding. Unbeknownst to the two, their conversation has been overheard by none other than the admired author, and he comes over to the table to give them both some advice. Having met his idol, John Boy and Jim Bob head home to find a very welcoming and relieved family back on Waltons Mountain.
- Joe Conley as Ike Godsey
- NOTE 1: I think one of the most poignant sentiments comes out in the grown up John Boy's final passage. He says:
- "I often remember Jim Bob saying to my father - "It's OK, next time I'll make you listen". I wish that it were in the power of all children to say that to their parents, and to know that indeed they would be heard, as we were in those wonderful days on Waltons Mountain".
- NOTE 2: Jim Bob's birthday is stated as being June 13, 1924, although it is different to that written in the birth register in "The Secret".