"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
Well, it was turning out to be another one of those days! You know the days
I’m talking about: things are going good, then they aren’t. One little thing
said can turn out to cause some really big problems, and things
are said that shouldn’t be.
Well, this event started simple enough. Mark and I were simply riding our
horses into town to take care of some business when suddenly I saw a couple
riders. As we got closer, Mark gets excited, “Injuns!” he declares. "What
do you make of it Pa?"
I told Mark that it looked as if whatever that one Apache did, the other
planned to settle it in real Indian fashion. That idea made him really
excited. "You mean like scalpin', gosh can I watch?"
I couldn’t believe this boy! Here was an Indian about to be scalped and Mark
was excited about it as if it was story from a book! I glared at him and
said, “Well Mark, our government trying to teach these people to be
civilized. Maybe it should include you!” I pointed out. Mark realized what
he had said and apologized.
We rode up to the Indians to try to stop the event from happening. “Hold up,
Apache!” I called. “What you’re aiming to do is not good! It’s against the
law. You have a grievance against this man, you tell the white man
authorities. Let them punish proper. Savvy?”
I was quite surprised when the Indian spoke proper English. He informed me
that this man was under arrest for attacking an unarmed man and when he
finished with his business in this area he would be taking him to Santa Fe.
“Your speaking proper English doesn’t give you the authority to do any
arresting!” I protested.
That’s when the Indian explained to me exactly who he was. “Sam Buckhart.
Native American Aboriginal of the Chiricahua Apache.” He threw me his badge.
“I’m Deputy United States Marshal for this district. Incidentally, I
learned to speak proper English as well as a great deal about American laws
by going to school. Maybe your boy will go there.” He started to leave. But
over his shoulder he shouted, “Harvard College."
Needless to say Mark and I were both a little shocked. Mark even went so far
as to say, “An Indian Marshal! What’s this world coming to?”
I was quite concerned about his going into North Fork. “Well Harvard or no
Harvard, I hope he has sense enough not to parade his authority in North
When we arrived, I noticed the Indians’ horses tied up right outside the
saloon. “Oh no!” I moaned. Mark thought maybe we should have warned Buckhart
not to come into North Fork, but I thought he was smart enough to figure
that out on his own! I couldn't help but remember what happened the last
time an Indian tried to buy a drink at the saloon.
We ran into Micah and I asked him if he had seen the new marshal. He told us
that he was hob-nobbin' with our big leading citizen, Gorman. He proceeded
to tell me that Buckhart was looking for the renegade Indian suspected of
the brutal killings of the McCloud's. They were Quakers and the best white
friends any redskin could have, it's hard to figure any Indian would do that
to this family.
I decided to go into the saloon to check on things. I gave Mark his nickel
and told him to be back in a half hour, then we entered the saloon. It
appeared that everybody was celebrating the capture of Buckhart's prisoner.
"It isn't often that a special Deputy from Washington comes to our
community," says Gorman. He offered Buckhart a drink, but he refused since
he was on duty.
beginning to see why they were allowing him in the saloon. He had put on a
shirt and pinned on his badge. His long hair was tucked up under his hat.
They didn’t even know he was Indian!
"To Sam Buckhart, boys!” Gorman toasted. The kind of Federal man we've all
been waiting for." Proof’s right outside! That prisoner of his sitting
there all ugly and dirty waiting to meet his maker! Something I want you to
know Marshall. I bought the McCloud Ranch at this morning’s auction. With
it, I feel I’ve kinda acquired a part in the special investigation you’re
conducting here. Sort of a sense of obligation, you might say! I won’t feel
happy about that property until you find the stinking savage who burned out
the last owner. I want to be there in person to see him hang!” Gorman stated
with the sound of hate in his voice.
Buckhart assured Gorman that he’d hang if he was guilty, to which Gorman
replied, “He’s guilty all right! He’s an Indian, ain’t he?”
That’s when Buckhart gave a nice little speech about Indians. I thought it
was a nice speech. “Mr. Gorman, does not an Indian have eyes, hands, organs,
senses, affections, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapon?
Warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a white man is? If you
prick him, does he not bleed? If you tickle him, does he not laugh? And if
you wrong him, will he not revenge?”
Gorman believed that the only reason Buckhart said such things was because
he was a Marshall and had to think that way. Buckhart needed to know where
the Apache clan was hiding out. Slade was more than happy to tell him that
they were squatting out at Green Canyon.
I took this chance and offered to draw him a map so I could warn him.
“Mister, you must fancy yourself a real poker player!” I stated quietly as I
gave him directions.
“That all depends on who I’m playing against,” he answered.
“Well, don’t press your luck with this crowd!” Then I went back to giving
Meanwhile, Micah decided to question a man named Slade about why he was at
Green Canyon. The only answer he gave was that he was just “looking around.
A man’s got a right to look around, ain’t he?”
Gorman wasn’t finished with the insults yet. “Boys, this man is a real
hunting dog! He’s even got the Apache way of pointing with his chin!”
Buckhart only smiled and stated, “You can learn, even from the enemy!”
I was pretty ashamed of how the “great citizens” of North Fork
treated Indians. I could never understand such hatred for such a great race
of people! “That kind of talk, Buckhart, you must hate white men until it
hurts your insides!” I commented. I knew I could grow to dislike those men
Buckhart only gave a short laugh and told me about his experience. "Hate?
McCain, I was 14 when I joined in the war against the whites. My first
battle I found a wounded Captain behind a rock, he was an old man. I had my
knee in his breast bone and his thin gray hair in my hand. When I looked
into his eyes I could see he was gonna die bravely. And I noticed his throat
where the sun hadn’t reached. I couldn’t take his scalp. Cause suddenly I
saw his white flesh as softer and weaker then my Indian flesh.” Suddenly, I
gasped at his thoughts. He apologized.
“I brought the Captain back to the fort, for five days and nights I held him
in the saddle, finding him food and water. During that time we became
friends. Two years later the Captain died in an Indian ambush. He left me a
great fortune: tuition and expenses if I would go to Harvard College where
he had graduated. Does that answer your questions?" It did. I wished him
"Hey Pa! Where's that Injun Marshal going?" Mark suddenly so rudely asked. I
tried to hush him, but Tub, one of Gorman's men overheard him. He began
questioning Mark about what he just said.
Mark immediately tried to cover his words, stating that he was just kidding.
He was a boy who was confused about what to do, and I understood he had good
reasons for trying to cover himself. But this man wouldn’t leave it alone!
Tub suddenly grabbed Mark and I ordered him to take his hands off my boy.
Nobody was allowed to question my son, let alone grab him! I tried to leave
it at that and told Mark to go with me, but Tub grabbed Mark and told him
not to lie. I informed him that my boy never lied! “They all lie!” he
That was it as far as I was concerned. First he grabs my boy, then he calls
him a liar! My boy was obviously confused and frightened. So, I did the
thing that any father would do – I punched him!
Tub couldn’t wait to tell all the men in the saloon! All the men, including
Sweeny, were unhappy with this news. The men all started yelling and talking
at the same time as realization sunk in. Suddenly, Gorman got a really ugly
look on his face and everyone grew quiet. “I drank with an apach-“ Gorman
started. The he wiped his mouth in disgust as if he was wiping away some
deadly germ that could kill him. Gorman questioned Sweeny on the glass the
Indian drank from, but Sweeny had washed them all. So, the men gathered them
all up, took them to the street, and used their guns on them. I thought they
had all gone mad! Mark and I both were saddened by the attitudes of the
I was so worried about what this was doing to our town that I decided to
ride out and see how Buckhart was getting along with his business. I stayed
at a distance to watch what was going on.
Buckhart told Chief Hostay that the white man's laws are wise and just. He
needed to take Eskimimzin in for trial. At one point, Buckhart even stated
that for awhile, the Apache must endure the bear hug of the whites. Chief
Hostay ordered that Eskimimzin will go to Santa Fe to be hung by the white
solders. "Eskimimzin my son, you go to die for the Apache Nation. It is a
great honor to make such a sacrifice."
Buckhart told him he will have a fair trial, but was concerned about him
using the word sacrifice. Why does he say sacrifice?
“He did not start the fire. He could not,” the chief explained. “He was in
mourning for his wife’s father. To make any fire is forbidden to him.
After talking to Chief Hostay, Buckhart realized that Eskimimzin was not
guilty. Eskimimzin spoke of a white man who wanted him to meet with him, he
thought this white man wanted to buy his leather like before, but when he
told him what he wanted, Eskimimzin fled. “From my place of hiding I saw the
smoke,” he explained. Even though he was innocent, he was still willing to
"Who is this he you speak of?" Asked Buckhart.
But Eskimimzin insisted, “Take me. This is my honor!”
Again, Buckhart asked for the name, and again Eskimimzin begged him to take
Hostay, the law does not wish to punish the Indian because he is Indian,”
Buckhart insisted. Finally, Hostay told Eskimimzin to tell the truth.
"The drunkard, Slade, the white man," said Eskimimzin.
I watched the Indians leave, then I rode up to talk to Buckhart. I told him
there was a whole new problem. “They found out about you in town. It was my
fault, I’m sorry.” I explained.
I tried to talk Buckhart out of going back to North Fork and taking the
prisoner himself. I wanted him to get someone else. “It stands to reason you
were appointed out here to work with your own people. Something like this
couldn’t have been figured in advance. Why don’t you send back for some
other federal marshal,” I begged. I knew they wouldn’t stand for it back in
town. I didn’t want to see my town turned upside down.
“Lucas, wasn’t it right for me to arrest the Apache whenever I thought he
was guilty?” Buckhart reasoned.
“Sure,” I answered.
“Isn’t it still right for me to take the white man who really had-“
I interrupted him. “Absolutely!” I answered. “But it’s not practical!”
“There was a Roman philosopher once
said that no harm can come to a man as long as he was doing his duty!”
Buckhart insisted. “Which takes more away from a man, Lucas? Death or
I wasn’t getting through to him, so I thought I’d use another approach. So I
asked him how good he was with his rifle. He told me he was fair. I looked
around and saw a mullein bush with five pods on it. I wanted to see how good
of a shot he was. I told him to try and pick one of the pods. He was having
trouble making them out. It took him three shots before he could get one.
So naturally, I took my own rifle from the boot and demonstrated my shooting
abilities. I could tell he was impressed. “I’m sorry, Sam. I can’t let you
get on that horse,” I announced. “For your own good, I’ll cripple you
“Thanks, friend,” Buckhart said sarcastically.
“Now look, I’m not thinking just about you! North Fork’s my boys home and I
don’t want to see it turn into a lynch town.” I said.
Maybe you’re giving me too much credit and your town not enough,” Buckhart
continued to argue.
I was getting more upset each second. I could not believe he wasn’t seeing
the danger he was going to face – the danger the whole town of North Fork
would face if he went into my town! Buckhart then showed his authority by
threatening to arrest me for threatening him.
I knew I wasn’t going to talk him out of it. "You stupid savage! I'm
through! I wash my hands of you!" I was so angry. I was worried about what
this was going to mean – for everybody! “So help me, I don’t care what
happens. It’ll serve you right and the town too!” I was blowing off steam,
saying things I shouldn’t have, but I was so mad! I tried one more time. “I
was just trying to talk some plain ol’ common sense into ya! You’re just too
He laughed, then he said something that hit me hard. "Just like you, eh,
Lucas?" I got to thinking about that as I watched him ride off. That made me
When I got back into town, I looked around for Mark but he wasn’t where I
had left him. He was in the court house, and came running out when he saw
me. I snapped at him because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. Mark
told me Buckhart and the Marshall were in the saloon with Slade. I told Mark
we were going home. Buckhart seemed to want to handle things his own way
I watched the men come from the church. They were muttering and becoming a
mob quickly. Then I watched Buckhart come out of the saloon with Slade. I
wanted to go home, but my senses told me I should stay. There could be
trouble, and I may be the only sensible one left before long. Micah couldn’t
fight the mob alone.
As Buckhart attempted to leave with his prisoner, Gorman shot off his gun to
stop him. “Apache, a white man’s talking to you, ya hear?” The shot made
Buckhart stop and turn around. The men laughed.
I grabbed my rifle. I didn’t know what was about to happen, but I knew I had
to stop this somehow. Buckhart ordered the men to stay where they were.
Gorman stated they would stay, but he was leaving without Slade. “I’ve got
nothing personal against you. Nothing at all. But there’s a principal here
that’s just been resolved in open meeting. We the people of North Fork
refuse to recognize your jurisdiction or authority. So get on your horse,
Buckhart. Just you right now!” The men were backing him up. Buckhart started
to leave with his prisoner again. But again, Gorman stopped him. One of his
men shot off his hat to reveal his Indian hair. Gorman then ordered Buckhart
to take off his badge.
The men started forward to fight Buckhart, but the Marshall stepped out
then. “I wouldn’t do that, boys,” Micah warned. “You lay a hand on the
marshal and you’re going against the federal government!”
Gorman warned Micah to stay out of it. “Just remember. You gotta live here!”
Micah stayed firm. “Could be I gotta die here, Mr. Gorman!”
Things were getting really bad. Not only was Buckhart’s life in jeopardy,
but so was Micah’s. The men ignored Micah’s warning. They started forward. I
had to do something fast. So, I did the only thing I could do.
“That’s right, men! Don’t listen to him!” I suddenly shouted, surprising not
only the mob, but also my best friend and son. I jumped up on the back of a
wagon. I put a really mean look on my face. "Buckhart, maybe you no savvy?
Look Indian, we the people of North Fork refuse to acknowledge your
Jurisdiction and authority! Right?” The men cheered.
“Okay. I’ll make it plain. We the people of North Fork have decided to take
the law into our own hands.” Again, the men cheered me on.
“Still no savvy, huh? Well, Marshal Torrance knows what it means, it means
he's through, because it goes for him too! You hear me, Torrance? You’re
through!" As I said this, both Micah and Mark looked at me as if I had lost
my mind. They looked a little worried about my attitude.
I was on a role, though. All the pent up emotion from the day were getting
out. “We’re the law here now! Right?” Again, the men cheered. “So I’m
ordering you to put down that shotgun! Put it down!” Micah simply stared at
me. “Stubborn, huh?”
I threw my rifle to Todd and told him to take Marshal. “Well, go on, Todd.
You got a score to settle with Torrance. Remember the time when you were all
liquored up and you tried to take Oat Jackford and his boys single handed
and Torrance pulled you off and sat on ya' before you could really get hurt?
Come on, Todd! Put a hole right through his mean old hide!"
Micah smiled at me. There was no longer any cheering. Everything was quiet.
That is, everything but me. Todd didn’t move. “Well go on! You want my boy
there to think you’re a coward?” I screamed. Mark smiled proudly at me. Todd
gave me back my rifle. I grabbed it from him. “Are we gonna have a lynching
here today, or ain’t we?” I continued yelling just to impress my point on
the people a little more. “Are we going to let these so-called peace
marshals take our good friend Slade to trial just because he burned down a
cabin with a sleeping man and his wife in it?”
It was at this point that everyone started leaving. They realized how wrong
they had been and walked away quietly, leaving Gorman and his men alone. I
continued yelling. “Well come on back here, you men! I ain't through talking
to you yet! Come on back! You don’t expect me to stand up to them alone, do
It was over. I got down from the wagon exhausted. All my anger was out.
Tub and Gorman started to shoot at Buckhart. Buckhart was quicker on the
draw and wounded both of them. I was no longer angry. I was just tired and
glad it was about to be over. I went to check on Tub and Gorman. I bent down
to where Gorman was laying. “Well, you asked for it, Gorman,” I pointed out.
When Buckhart started to leave with Slade, he confessed in fear. “You gotta
take Gorman too!” he stated. “I never would have started that fire except to
oblige him!” he confessed.
Gorman was mad. He tried to deny the whole thing. Now Gorman had to be taken
into custody by an
He begged me not to let Buckhart take him. I watched as Gorman sweated over
his being taken away by an Indian. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
He really did get what he deserved after all!
Before leaving, Buckhart gave Mark a peace pipe. Mark filled it up with
tobacco. “You know, with a peace pipe, they never smoke but a few puffs,” I
told Mark as we both lit a match at the same time. I put the cigar to my
mouth but waited to light it as I watched Mark try to light the peace pipe.
He realized his arm wasn’t long enough to do it, but he wasn’t going to ask
for help. I continued to hold my lit match as I watched him blow his out. I
lit my cigar.
I couldn’t help but to feel relief that Mark hadn’t been able to light it. I
guess secretly I was hoping he wouldn’t.
“Yes sir, that marshal was sure nice to remember me!” Mark said as he walked
over to me. He wanted to know what the book was he gave me. “Well, that
tells all about that Harvard college he went to. Would you like to go
Mark put his arm around my shoulders and said, “If it's good enough for him,
it's good enough for me!" My boy never ceased to amaze me!
Ansara appeared in two episodes as Sam Buckhart,
Deputy United States Marshal. The Indian and The Raid,
were spin offs for Law of the Plainsman.
Herbert Rudley appeared in two
episodes ― The Indian as Gorman, the Indian hater ―
Case of Identity as Captain Jerry Gordon,
guy who was trying to pass off Mark as Aaron Wingate's son.
Lewis Charles appeared
in three episode ― The Indian as Slade, the man
who was responsible for the brutal murder of a rancher
and his family ― One
Went to Denver as Eban Tate as the cowboy who guarded the safe and in
this picture played checkers with Micah ― Skull
as Pascal, one of Hoyt Coyle's men.
DeKova appeared in two episodes ―
The Indian as Chief Hostay ―
Meeting at Midnight
as Carl Miller, the man who was in jail waiting for someone to
break him out.
Mickey Simpson appeared in two
episodes ― The Sharpshooter as Carl Lamprey, he's the
cowboy that got Lucas' rifle barrel in his stomach ― The Indian
Tub, he was the one who grabbed Mark and
called him a liar when Mark left it slip about Deputy United States Marshal
being an Indian.
Eddie Little Sky appeared as the Indian,
Deputy United States Marshal Sam Buckhart had in custody when Lucas & Mark
saw when out on the country side.
Robert Chadwick as Eskimimzin. He was the
son of Chief Hostay. He was the one originally accused of setting the fires,
but found to be innocent because at the time he was in mourning for wife's
Bill Quinn appeared in thirty-eight episodes as Sweeney the owner/bartender of The North Fork Saloon.
Sweeney was first introduced to The Rifleman in The Marshal.
Leonard P. "Lenny" Geer appeared in
four episodes ― The Indian as
Todd Ullman, he was the man Lucas threw his rifle to and told him to put a
hole threw Micah ― The Mind Reader as Townsmen in the audience
― Boomerang as the cowboy on horse
― The Woman as a Barfly.
was a well known and respected stuntman, he appeared in twenty-seven
episodes of The Rifleman and still counting. Whitey had
over a 50-year career as a stuntman and stunt coordinator, he has been
praised as one of the top stuntman in Hollywood. Whitey was the best
of the best!
Archie Butler — Stuntman — Stunt
coordinator — Actor - Archie has been in more episodes then anybody with the
exception of the regular cast and he probably was in more episode then some
of them. ~Arnold Laven
Remember him in The Sharpshooter? Remember when Lucas shot the
whiskey bottle and it shattered into pieces? Archie was the cowboy who slid
the whiskey bottle to Lucas.
Sometimes Archie was a stand-in for Paul Fix.
Carol Henry appeared in two episodes ―
The Brother in-law as a rancher ―
The Indian as one of the townsmen in the saloon.
Hal Needham as one of the townsmen.
Ethan Laidlaw appeared in
quite a few times unaccredited ―
as a townsfolk — The Mind Reader as a townsman in
the audience — Legacy as the man at the funeral —
Coward as a Diner Patron — Heller as a townsfolk — The Grasshopper as a passenger on the
train — Strange Town as a townsfolk
at Droshek Town —
The Silent Knife as a townsfolk —
Short Rope for a Tall Man as one of Crown's Henchmen —
Honest Abe as a townsman — Two Ounces
of Tin as a townsfolk ― The Day the Town
Slept as a townsman.
Bob Woodward appeared
in seven episodes ― The Young Englishman as
a cowhand, the one with the rope ― The Safe Guard as the cowboy
driving the wagon that is carrying the safe to North Fork ― The Sister as a stagecoach driver ―
The Indian as a cowboy in the saloon ― Shivaree as one of
participating in the Shivaree ― The Dead-eye Kid as the stagecoach
driver ― The Angry Man as one of the cowboys who helped load Carey
into the wagon.
Milan Smith appeared in four episodes ―
The Retired Gun as a member of the
Bailey gang ― Shivaree
as one of the cowboys
participating in the Shivaree ― The Indian as a Barfly and
Short Rope for a Tall Man as one of Crown's men.
Jimmie Booth was in five episodes ― Shivaree as a Barfly ―
as one of the
townsmen ― The Challenge as
one of the townsmen ― The Three Legged Terror
as one of the cowboys at the picnic ― The Coward as the cowboy
sitting at a table in the restaurant of the hotel.
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
for a list of his credits.
Although Bobby is known for his stunts, he did a lot of different thing such
as Miscellaneous Crew and Acting.
Jesse Wayne was a Stuntman for The
Rifleman in twenty-three episodes. Besides a Stuntman, Jesse also performed
behind the scenes as an Actor - Second Unit Director or Assistant Director -
Special Effects - Miscellaneous Crew - Director -
Camera and Electrical Department - Cinematographer - Archive Footage.
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's