When the family finds Josh, a young Negro boy, hiding in their barn, they soon learn that he walked to Virginia from North Carolina. While trying to figure out what to do with Josh, John and Olivia decide to let him stay with them temporarily, and soon discover how much they enjoy having the young man around. As time wears on, when the family realizes that Josh needs to be around other “colored” individuals, John reluctantly brings him to an orphanage for other Negro children. However, Josh soon returns to the Walton’s and gets into trouble with some of the older kids on the mountain. It was at this point that John and Olivia turn to Verdie and Harley for help in placing the young man with a loving family.