The Waltons find a little Negro boy, Josh who has been hiding in their barn after having walked all the way from North Carolina. He has a fish hook in his foot, which is quickly removed by John. He has been living in the barn for some days and has been feeding himself with vegetables from the garden and some of the Waltons eggs. Josh has been trying to repay the family by leaving them fresh fish which he has caught. John and Josh head off to see Sheriff Bridges, to try to find out where Josh should go.
The Waltons offer him a temporary home and he quickly endears himself to the whole family, especially John. He helps out around the mill and the house and John and Olivia would really like to keep him, but know that it's impossible. As an African American boy of the 1930's, Josh needed to be with another African American family. Finally John makes the decision to take Josh to the ophanage for "colored children" only to find him back on the doorstep again the next morning, with Josh claiming that there were too many children.
Things go wrong though, when Josh steals a fishing reel for John. John tells him that Josh knows it was wrong and he is ashamed of him and so Josh heads off. Jim Bob heads into town on an errand for his father and spots Josh being bullied by some older boys. When he steps in to defend Josh, he gets beer spilt all over him, causing Olivia to think the worst when he arrives home. Finally Jim Bob suggests that they ask Verdie for some help in finding Josh a good home, and in the end, she and Harley decide to adopt Josh themselves, bringing him up to be "a fine man -- a fine black man".
- Joe Conley as Ike Godsey
- John Crawford as Sheriff Bridges
- Todd Bridges as Josh Foster
- Lynn Hamilton as Verdie Foster
- Ketty Lester as Mrs Lena Thomas