"Welcome to the
Our ranch is 4 miles south of North Fork, and today is
moving in day. Mark and I are both so excited to finally be setting up our
home. I stopped the wagon in front of the house. “Well, how does it look now
that we’ve bought it, son?” I asked with a smile on my
Mark stated that it looked fine with a smile in his voice. So, we went to
work unloading the wagon.
Two cowboys were riding the range when they saw us pull up in front of the
house. Thy decided they needed to show me the error of my ways and let me
know I wasn’t welcome. “Looks like you folks plan to stay,” one of the
cowboys stated. At first, I thought they were just being neighborly, so I
smiled at them and introduced myself and my boy to them. I told them that
Mr. Dunlap had passed away back east and I just bought the ranch. Billy
Lehigh and Sam Montgomery were the cowboys’ names, and they asked me if I
had the deed yet.
That’s when I got suspicious. I wanted to know why they were so interested
in the deed. It didn’t take long for me to find out. The cowboys were
employed by Oat Jackford, who had a working arrangement with old man Dunlap.
“And when Oat Jackford has an arrangement, it don’t change until he says
so.” Billy added that he didn’t think he was going to say so.
I continued working on unpacking the wagon, telling them I owned the land
proper and legal, and I wasn’t going anywhere. They wouldn’t leave me alone
and I told them that I was in possession. That’s when Billy fired a shot at
a bag of flour and caused it to go everywhere. I immediately looked at Mark,
wanting to get him out of this situation that was beginning to grow
dangerous. So as I continued my talk with the two cowboys, I lifted Mark
down. I told them I would go talk to Mr. Jackford myself. They told me that
Oat didn’t give up anything unless he had too. “And so far, he hasn’t had
At this point, I started over toward the porch where my rifle was. Sam threw
a rope around me. My brave boy ran for the gun. Since we think so much
alike, I knew he would come through for me and I turned to grab it, but Sam
suddenly galloped his horse away, forcing me down on my belly. Then he
dragged me across the range.
Mark didn’t want me hurt, so he reached down for the rifle. Unfortunately,
Billy caught him before he grabbed it and reached for his gun. “Let it be.”
Mark just looked at him, not moving
hand. “Walk around it,” he ordered. Billy jumped off and grabbed the gun.
Mark was worried about me and Billy told him that I would be all right, that
I needed to calm down a little.
Billy started admiring my gun. He commented on how easy it was to fire, than
demonstrated the fact by shooting holes into one of the windows. “Cute, but
uh…not practical,” he stated as he threw Sam the rifle and started firing
with his gun. I’m guessing they were trying to show me how powerful and mean
they were. I asked them if they were going to keep the rifle, and they told
me they were.
If those two cowboys thought that roughing me up a little would convince me
to leave, they were sure surprised when I went to Mark and put my arm around
him announcing, “This is our home. We’re staying.”
That’s when they decided to get tougher and really show me they meant
business. Sam suggested to Billy that there was some coal oil in the house.
I couldn’t believe they would stoop so low! Mark and I stood there with
sorrowful looks on our face as we watched Billy go inside and set it on
fire. We soon saw black smoke coming out the windows. Sam announced that I
would soon learn about Mr. Jackford. “Mr. Jackford isn’t a bad man. He’s
just a little narrow-minded when it comes to giving up things he’s got.” I
didn’t know what they would do if I didn’t go along with them, so I simply
told them I understood so they would leave.
Mark and I stood together as we watched our home burn. I had a discouraging
look on my face, but Mark’s face showed confusion and disgust. He couldn’t
believe our home was going up in smoke.
I walked across the burn and ashes, trying to take everything in. I threw a
can down in disgust and walked to the wagon, banging my fist against it.
With our new home burned to the ground, Mark was upset and discouraged. "Pa,
it's just not fair!” He cried in his little ten year old voice. "We ride
half way across the country looking for the right place, and when we finally
got it...well look what happened!" Suddenly another board fell from the
house. I turned and closed my eyes, knowing I needed to stay strong for my
boy and mustering up the strength to do so.
"Looks to me like the Lord is dead set against us having our own place'!"
Mark was practically in tears.
*Please note..... when clicking on the link to
this sound wav - it will download to your computer.
His words shook me, and I realized I had to restore his faith in the
Lord. So instead of comforting him like my whole
being wanted to do, I simply stated, "Help me saddle up boy. I want to tell
you a story.” Mark just sat still, not understanding why I was wanting to
tell him a story at a time like this. “Come on," I ordered sternly. As we
started saddling my horse, I told the story:
"A long time ago in a country so far west, it's almost due east of here,
lived a big stock man with a beard so long it reached down to his belly
button. His name was Job. Now Job had seven sons and seven daughters, over
seven thousand head of fine cattle and sheep, not to mention a considerable
amount of camels. Now Job was top dog with the Lord because he was so hard
working, righteous. The Lord never lost a chance to brag on him...made a
point to tell the devil about the old man...about how he hated evil,
temptation and, most important, how he never lost his faith in God. Well the
devil swished his tail and laughed and he allowed that Job was such a good
man because everything was going his way. Just give him some trouble and
he'd switch sides in a hurry. Well the Lord thought this over and then he
said he'd give the devil a hard dollar against a penny's worth of brimstone
that Job would keep faith with his maker no matter what trials were put upon
him. Well the devil sent some rustlers on to the old man's stock. Then he
called up a big wind that knocked down his house and killed all his
children. The old man's beard turned white with grief. But he held stead
fast. So the devil reared back and saddled him all over with festers and
boils. Mark, Job was a miserable as a man could be. He got himself a piece
of broken jug, sat out in the corral doctorin’ his boils and shaken ashes
over his head and bewailing his faith, wondering why the Lord has forsaken
him until finally three of his friends came up, and they told Job that
wailing about the situation only made it worse and it looked to them like he
sinned somewhere along the line and why didn't he repent. Job jumped right
back at them. He said he'd repent when he had something to repent about. He
knew he'd been good and righteous and while he might complain about his
life, he had not lost faith with the Lord. ‘Oh that my words were now
written and printed in a book, graven with chisel and granite rock forever.
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand beside me later
on.’ That's how the old man put it! Well Mark, the devil was plum wore out,
so he just tossed in his chips and quit the game. The Lord was so proud of
Job that he restored all the old man's children and his house and his camels
and sheep and he gave him over twice as many cattle as he had before. And
Job lived a hundred and forty years happy as a birddog and finally died
being old and full of days."
Mark thought about what I had just said. "Makes our troubles look kind of
piddlin' don't it?" I nodded, giving him a gentle smile. "But I guess if we
were to come down with boils, we'd know where to put the blame," said Mark.
I laughed. "I don't think Jackford can go quite that far son."
"I guess we're gonna keep this ranch!" Mark said proudly, his faith
So I then told him, "Well I guess we're gonna try!" Mark knew then that we
could overcome any kind of obstacle as long as we keep our faith in the Lord
and faced them together. My boy made me so proud. He wanted to show me how
big he was. I had suggested that he take the wagon into town to stay with
the judge, but he begged to stay there and bed down by the stream. I warned
him of the dangers, but he reminded me that he was ten years old. I smiled,
not wanting to shame him and gave him permission.
I rode out to track the men. Meanwhile, Mark was setting up camp. He started
to light a fire, but realized the horses had to be unhitched.
Though he had a time at doing it, my son was a real trooper and worked hard,
succeeding at his task. When he went to light the fire, it was getting dark
and he became a little nervous, but he was determined to make it. As my boy
tired to go to sleep, he imagined noises and even thought he saw a cougar in
the tree. He grabbed an ax he kept next to him, but the cougar disappeared.
Then he imagined a rattlesnake and attacked it with his axe, only to realize
that it was only a rope.
Sam was at the camp, and pretty jumpy, afraid I’d sneak up on him. He was
sleeping when Billy snuck up to him with my rifle. Sam went back to sleep,
my rifle in easy reach if he needed it. But I was experienced at sneaking,
and was able to sneak into their camp, regaining my rifle. Billy was
saddling his horse when I pointed the rifle at him. “Mr. Billy Lehigh,” I
said with a snarl. I tied him and Sam up. I had them lie in their bedrolls
so it would look like they were sleeping when the other men would ride in.
Pablo rode into camp, and he wanted one of the men to relieve him so he
could get some rest. He noticed Billy and Sam were tied up. I approached him
with my rifle and tied him up too. Now all I had to do was wait for Jackford.
Jackford and Clyde went looking for the herd. Jackford was upset, because
the heard was scattered around and there was no sign of a rider. Clyde
suggested maybe the herd got away from the others. "If those boys went to
sleep and left my cattle drift, I'll nail their hides to the wall," said
Jackford and Clyde rode into their camp, where he found his men tied up.
"Well if this ain't somethin'," said Jackford.
"That's far enough. Evenin' Mr. Jackford," I said while holding my rifle on
them. Jackford went for his gun and I shot at him. I told Jackford and Clyde
to drop their guns and step away. "Old man if you wasn't so slow you'd be
wearin' a brokin' wrist,” I stated while flipping my gun.
He asked me what I wanted. I told him who I was and that his two boys tried
to push me off my place this morning. "I came up to tell you it can't be
done!" He knew right away I was the one who bought the Dunlap Ranch. "I
bought it and I plan on keepin' it,” I answered with a determined voice. He
asked me how much I wanted for the ranch. "You can't buy it for money,
marbles or chalk Mr. Jackford! You’re gonna keep your stock, your men, and
your dogs off my property until I tell you different.”
“And if I don’t?” Mr. Jackford asked in a tuff voice.
“I’ll bury ‘em there,” I stated.
He still didn’t seem to believe I could do that, so I shot the cup right out
of his hand. Boom! “Maybe I ought to rope and drag you for a while. A mouth
full of foxtails might teach you some manners. It taught me!"
Still not quite understanding just how determined I was, Mr. Jackford told
me I had my say and I was to get on my horse and ride out of there. "We got
another thing to settle,” I announced. “Your BOYS burnt down my house!"
That made him mad. He questioned one of them on it, and they reported that I
was pretty stubborn. "They had no call to burn your house. I'll pay you for
your loss. I've got plans for that ranch and I plan to keep 'em." I warned
him he’d have trouble, but Jackford
told me to get out.
"Not until you build what you burnt down!" He warned me to shoot him if I
had the guts, and I relaxed my rifle, to tell him that I didn’t need the
rifle to prove to him who I was.
That’s when Jackford hit me. I fell to the ground. Suddenly, he picked up my
rifle and reported he was going to wrap my fancy rifle around a tree. But I
wasn’t done yet! I grabbed his leg and knocked him to the ground. We kept
hitting each other again and again. We were both tired. He reached out his
hand for me to help him up, but he was really planning on hitting me with a
rock that was in his other hand. I knew this, and knocked him to the ground
again. Suddenly, Clyde picked up the gun and held it on me.
"That's far enough mister!" he warned.
I looked at him for a minute. Then I turned to Jackford. "Well tell him to
shoot! If you've got guts enough! You better do it Jackford or I'll be
waitin' out in the brush every time you step out the door! I'll kill your
stock and I'll burn your barn! I'm gonna pay you back Mr. Jackford! Now
what's it gonna be?" I snarled these words at him as I retrieved my rifle
and shoved a finger into his face.
"Alright, we'll build you a new house," said Jackford. Jackford walked over
to me. "You've got yourself a ranch, mister. Whether you keep it is
something else. You step out of line or you make one mistake - your
finished! I'll be watchin' and waitin'! Waiting for a reason to come after
you with a gun and when I do, I won't be alone. Remember that Mr. McCain!" I
I went home to my boy, who was already working hard. He had a campfire going
and fresh coffee brewing for when I got back. I had been concerned about my
boy and wanted to know how his night was. My boy, being a real trooper and
brave simply told me everything went fine. “How’d you get along?” I did the
same thing. I told him everything went fine.
As we were talking, Jackford’s men came up with a wagon full of lumber.
“Well, where do you want us to unload it, Mr. McCain,” Sam asked. I told him
right beside the burn.
Then I ordered that all the ashes and trash had to be cleaned up today. Sam
saluted me and Billy waved to Mark. I told Mark they would be helping us
rebuild the house.
Things were looking up for us! I went to the wagon to let my boy climb on my
back, and we rode to the campfire to have ourselves our first breakfast at
our new home.
"The McCain's are here to stay!"
The Book of Job
*Sam Peckinpah was the creator of
The Rifleman and he wrote
The Sharpshooter — Home Ranch
He wrote & directed
The Marshal — The Boarding
House — The Money Gun — The Babysitter
J. Stone appeared in
three episodes ― Home
Ranch as Oat Jackford he was the wealthy cattle baron, who
had been using the Dunlap Ranch for grazing his cattle, and
demanded that Lucas move out ― Trail of Hate as Ben
Stark, the older brother and brains of the gang who used Mark as
a pawn in a bank robbery scheme ― The Bullet as the
Marshal who tried to use ballistics to hold a gambler for
Oat Jackford is later played by Bert Freed in The Money Gun
rancher who suspects his bookkeeper, Asa Manning of embezzlement, and tries to
contact a professional gunman to get rid of the problem.
appeared in two episodes ― Home Ranch
as Billy Lehigh, he was one of Jackford's bullies who helped burn
down the McCain's home ― The Coward
as Buddy Link, he's the one who
beat on Georgie Boy Collins in the saloon and Lucas at his ranch. In
both episodes, his initials were B. L.
Lee Farr appeared in two
episodes — Home Ranch as
Sam Montgomery, he was the cowboy who dragged Lucas with the rope ―
A Friend in Need as Carl Avery,
he's the cowboy who
worked for Neff Parker and held Mark for ransom.
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr.
appeared in two episodes ―
Home Ranch as Pablo, he was one of Jackford's men, the
who took the bandanna off of Montgomery's mouth ― The Prodigal
as Luis Torre, he was Billy St. John's sidekick.
appeared in two episodes ― Home Ranch as Clyde, he was the Cowboy who rode into camp with Jackford
― Legacy as Ed the stagecoach
Jack N. Young — Jack did several stunts in
The Rifleman. He was in
Home Ranch &
Eight Hours to
Die. In Home
Ranch Jack was hired as a Utility Stuntman and he also doubled for
Chuck Connors in some of his long distance riding, etc. When you see Lucas
being dragged in the filed, that is Jack and when you see Lucas get a hit to
the tummy, that also was Jack. In Eight Hours to Die Jack was again
hired as a Utility Stuntman and he also doubled for Chuck Connors in some of
his long distance riding, etc. Jack was the man who was hung. That would
make him Ephraim, the son of Judge Zephaniah Burton. He also is riding for
the Judge when he stumbles. Both the horse and the judge fell.
Jack has done many a stunts in his day. He worked with some of the best!
Sadly Jack went unaccredited in most of his movies/shows. His list of
credits is way to far to list. Although Jack is known for his stunts, Jack
did a lot of different thing such as Miscellaneous Crew - Casting Department
- Production Manager - Actor -Second Unit Director or Assistant Director -
Bobby Somers — has done many of stunts in his day. He
worked with some of the best! Sadly Bobby went unaccredited in most of his
movies/shows. His list of credits is way to far to list. Please checkout
Bobby Somers for a list of his credits.
Although Bobby is known for his stunts, Bobby did a lot of different thing
such as Miscellaneous Crew and Acting.
What three things did Lucas mention as examples when he
told Jackford he could never buy the 'McCain Ranch?'
What other episode did we hear these three things mentioned?
"Money, Marbles, and Chalk" was a popular song, written by Garner "Pop"
Eckler in 1949. The biggest-selling version was recorded by
Patti Page in 1949, and issued by Mercury Records as catalog number 5251. It
entered the Billboard chart on April 23, 1949, at #27, lasting only that one
week. The song also spent a week on the Billboard country music chart, at
position #15. Many other artists have recorded the song also.
"Money, Marbles & Chalk" was recorded in June 2006 by a group called "Pop's
Boys". The group was made up of two of Garner Eckler's nephews, Greg Eckler
and Mike Fletcher.
Money, Marbles and Chalk
(written & first recorded by Pop Eckler) 1949
There's an old saying that's been all around
I heard before I could walk
How some's got wealth and some's got health
Others money, marbles and chalk
I've got money, marbles and chalk sweetheart
But I still feel like I am poor
For my money won't spend and my marbles won't roll
And my chalk it won't write anymore
While you were here I was happy and gay
Your presence made me for another one day
But you left me for another one day
Now I feel so alone in a crowd
Money, marbles and chalk is alright
For a miser who loves only gold
But give me a chance to save our romance
For I love you with all of my soul
I walk in the rain and I feel no pain,
I'm lost and I'm lonely and blue.
I can't sleep at night and nothing seems right
And I worry a lot about you.
*One of the members here at the ranch
mentioned about living on the North Ridge near Chatsworth.
I had asked her if she was aware of the Iverson Ranch where
some of The Rifleman episodes were film. Here
is what NorthRidge told me:
It was an
interesting filming location. A location scout found it and
the owners agreed to let them film there. Starting all the
way back in 1912. I knew of it when I was younger, but did
not see it during its glory days. Some scenes of the second
episode of The Rifleman (Home Ranch) were
filmed there. There is a saying that goes in a Hollywood
movie or TV show, if you see a rock, it is either a prop or
shot at Iverson Ranch. Most of that place is built up
(condos, mainly), however, there are a few areas which can
be hiked on. I will go back there again and take some more
recent photos. Here are two I took about 15 years ago from
Garden of the Gods section of the former Iverson Ranch.
Home Ranch -
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's