"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
The Lonesome Bride
Now, I must admit that I’ve almost been killed many times over by
men who wanted to get back at me. I’ve been dueled and I’ve had men
hired out to kill me. But never, in all my live long days, did I
ever experience something so…well…let me just tell you what
You see, I rode into town one day and got there in time to witness
the Banner brothers – Chavre and Kelly – sitting out on the
boardwalk. Charve was sitting back in a chair reading the paper. His
foot was propped up against the post so nobody could pass by. I had
to watch a young couple go around into the street instead of taking
But nobody disrespects me and gets away with it! When I approached
the brother, I asked him, kindly to take his foot down. “There’s
plenty of room out on the street, McCain.” That was Chavre. I guess
he didn’t understand me to well.
“Take your foot down,” I demanded as I glared at him. He did as I
asked. I started down the boardwalk, but this bad boy stuck his
other foot out and touched me. Like I said, nobody’s rude to me and
gets away with it! I turned and kicked his chair hard. He tipped
over into the street. Then I turned and walked off.
“McCain!” Banner called. I turned and cocked my rifle before he
could get his out of the holster. “You had no call to do that!”
“Didn’t I?” I walked back toward him to give him a piece of my mind.
“Let me tell you something, Banner. You two better find something
better to do then sitting around town getting in people’s way.”
Everyone laughed. “Next person you try that on might not be so
The brothers sat back down in the chairs. They started thinking
about a way to get me back. Charve thought he had a pretty good
idea. He told his brother that Mark and I didn’t have a woman. He
thought I needed a wife to “henpeck” me. He decided to order me a
wife through the mail.
One morning at the ranch, I was getting Mark off to school. I made a
list of things I needed, and asked Mark to pick them up before he
got home from school. Miss Milly was coming for dinner tonight, so I
wanted him to bring the supplies right out so I’d have dinner ready
when she got there tonight. Suddenly, my boy…and you know how my boy
is…he got this gleam in his eye. He leaned forward in his saddle and
said, “Say Pa, do you think it’s a coincidence that Miss Milly liked
chocolate cake as much as we do?”
“Why don’t you figure that out on your way to school.” I then handed
Mark money for a haircut. “You sure need it!”
That afternoon, the Banner brothers were in town waiting for the
stage. No, they weren't here to meet the stage, they just wanted to
make sure they're devilish plan had worked. They expected her to be
on the afternoon stage today.
Sure enough, a woman stepped off the stagecoach. She was pleasant to
look at too! Kelly whistled. "Great day in the morning...would you
look at that?"
“I'm lookin'!" Charve declared. He was actually staring!
Well, the Banners weren’t the only one’s to notice her. Micah sure
didn’t waste any time hurrying up to her to make her feel welcome
either! He tipped his hat. "Ma'am...you expecting somebody to meet
"You makin' it your business Marshal?" She answered.
"Why no, no...not if you don't want me to, but…Say, don't I know you
from some place?"
She was on to him, and didn’t much appreciate his flirting. "You
never met me before and you know it!"
Micah laughed. "Maybe so, but askin' is one way of meetin' a person.
My name is Torrance...Micah Torrance."
"My name is Mary Woodson. I've come over a thousand miles from St.
Louie. Someone's gonna meet me. I've been sent for and he'll be
here. Now is there anything else Marshal?"
Micah smiled. He probably figured she was a hard one to figure!
"No...no.....I reckin' not. But in case whoever he is doesn't show
up, my office is just across the street, so if I can be of any
help..." He tipped his hat and started on his way.
But she noticed the Banner brothers standing outside of the saloon
watching her. They made her nervous, and she decided maybe she
should ask Micah for some help. "Marshal! I really do need some
information...you see ah..." She hesitated, not quite knowing how to
"Just who were you expecting Miss?"
"Well....a rancher...a McCain...Lucas McCain."
Micah was shocked. "Lucas Mc....." he started.
"Well, what’s the matter?” Micah was stuttering. He didn't know what
to say. “Well, do you know him?”
“Know him?” she asked. “I should say I do know him – I know him very
well! He’s practically my best friend.”
She was relieved. “Oh, well in that case, he must have told ya'.”
“Told me? Told me what?”
“Told me why I’m here! I mean if your good friends, he-“ She
stopped. Micah didn’t recall me telling him anything. He asked her
if she was a relative. “No, I’m not a relative. At least not now.
But I’m gonna be.”
Her answer really through Micah through a loop! “Would you…uh…mind
"Well, there's nothing to explain...I'm the bride he sent for!" She
announced this with a big smile on her face.
You should have seen the look on Micah’s face! Boy, talking about
surprise! “The what?" He wanted to talk to her privately about the
matter in his office, which was fine with me!
The Banner brothers heard every word that was going on and thought
this was funny. They knew this was going to make me mad. That was
their intention though. The boys went to spread the gossip around
Micah asked her to repeat what she had already told him. He wanted
to make sure that I was the one who asked her to marry me. His
questioning made her angry. She told him she wouldn’t have come all
the way out here for nothing. She opened her purse and took the
letters out as proof that she was sure. She claims I wrote nice
words and talked about how my boy and I were lonely living all
alone. Micah asked to see the letters, but she snapped them back.
“They’re kinda personal, Marshal!” She went on the defensive,
wondering why he was giving her the third degree. “You don’t think
he’s trying to back out, do you?”
“No, no, no…Lucas McCain is a man of his word!” Micah declared. “If
he asked you to marry him, I reckon he meant it.”
“If you don’t mind, Marshal, I’d like to go to the hotel and freshen
up. He’s probably just late.”
They were just about to walk into the hotel when Mark came out of
the barber shop. "Oh, hello, Micah," said Mark.
"Hello Mark," Micah greeted him.
At the sound of his name, she broke away from Micah and started
across the street. "Mark! Well, don't tell me.....your Lucas' boy!"
She said, walking up to him. Mark was a bit taken aback having a
strange woman suddenly acting like she knew him and was happy to see
him. She turned to Micah. "It is him, isn't it? Mark McCain?"
Micah walked up to her and Micah. "Yes ma'am...this is Lucas' boy."
She claimed she knew it was Mark right away from the way I described
him in my letters. Mark was sure puzzled! Micah introduced the two
His strange actions puzzled her. “Well, you sound like you never
heard from me before. Your father did tell you, didn’t he?” Mark
politely apologized for not knowing who she was. “Well,” she laughed
it off. “I’m sure Lucas just wanted to keep it a secret – even from
Micah decided to jump in and explain. "Mark...Miss Woodson
here...claims your Pa sent for her all the way from St. Louie."
"Sent for her? Why?" Mark didn’t have a clue what was going on.
"To Marry, that's why,” Mary answered with a smile.
Mark was surprised...no...shocked! “What? Mary you?”
“That’s right,” Mary smiled. “I’m gonna be your new mother.”
Micah asked Mark if I was at the ranch. “Oh sure, he’s cleaning up.
We’re gonna have…company.” That made Mary a bit happier. She assumed
that meant I was getting ready for her. Mark quickly put that
thought to rest. "Oh no! Miss Milly's comin' over for dinner!"
“Who’s Miss Milly?” Micah hurriedly ordered Mark to get home and
fetch me. He wanted to get to the bottom of this right quick! The
Banner brother's were just lovin' this.
She was upset. She just couldn’t understand what was going on –
neither did anyone else for that matter.
And yet, I was still clueless that anything was amiss.
Mark rode like the wind out to the ranch. He jumped off his horse
and called for me. But it didn’t take him long to figure out that I
wasn’t there. Mark stood quietly in the living room trying to figure
out what the heck was going up. But he didn’t have to burden himself
with it too long, because I came riding back. Mark hurried out the
door. “So there you are!” I didn’t notice the question in his voice.
I grabbed my rifle and started inside. “Afternoon, son. How was
school today?” I walked into the cabin. I didn’t even give him a
chance to answer. I out trying to get a shot at that grey wolf
that's been pestering the calves but my rifle misfired.” I sat down
and started looking at my rifle. “Did you get your hair cut? I hope
so. It was getting so long, I’ve thinking on tying a piece of string
to it to keep it back.” Again, I was so busy with my own thoughts
that I didn’t notice Mark staring silently at me. “Oh, just what I
thought…firing pin’s bent a little.” I turned and looked at him,
then quickly turned back to my rifle.
But then I turned back around. Mark was staring at me like I had two
heads! “Is something wrong?” Mark continued staring strangely at me.
He started walking around me. Maybe I DID have two heads! “Something
is wrong,” I determined.
“Well…I-I-I know it…must be…a…mistake?”
“What’s a mistake son?” I still had no clue.
“Well, that woman who…who you sent for…”
Still clueless! “What woman?”
“Well, Miss Woodson! The woman who just came into town and
said…and…and…and said you were gonna marry her?”
Well, I bet you can guess it didn’t take me long to get into town!
And when I got there, I headed straight to Micah’s office to get to
the bottom of this!
The Banner brothers were doing their best to spread the vicious
rumor. Sweeny refused to believe I’d do a fool thing like that.
Chavre announced that he told Milly. He laughed. “You should have
seen the look on Milly Scott’s face when I told her about it!” The
When Mark and I walked into Micah’s office, a strange woman stood
up. She was grinning from ear to ear. I stared at her as Micah
introduced us. She was sure I was the man who was going to marry
her. I took my hat off and came in to try to explain things. But
then things got worse – much worse! Guess who walked in…no…rushed in
the door – Milly Scott herself! “Lucas! Lucas, what’s this I hear
about getting married?” She asked it quietly, but there was a
demanding question in her eyes.
I started to answer, but the woman…this…Mary Woodson demanded to
know what that had to do with her. I couldn’t believe this! Boy, oh
boy! “Well I…” Milly was suddenly very hurt and worried. She looked
at me. “Am I still invited to dinner tonight?”
Oh boy! I tried my best to remain calm about this as I tried to
figure out this problem that just fell into my lap. I assured Milly
she was definitely still coming to dinner tonight. I threw down my
hat. Miss Woodson was standing right in front of me. I mean…right in
front of me! “Miss Woodson, I’m afraid there’s been some sort of
misunderstanding,” I announced kindly.
But she was staring at me with a great big smile on her face. “Not
as far as I’m concerned there hasn’t been!” She declared. Things got
much, much worse then. She grabbed me and planted a great big kiss
on me! As she kissed me, I turned my head and looked at Milly and
Mark. Mark held a big smirk on his face – I’d deal with him later! I
was more worried about Milly – and from the look on her face, I’d
say I got some explaining to do! Boy, oh boy!!!
Then Micah started in on my keeping the secret. I gave him a dirty
look. “Micah, I’m not gonna marry anyone!” I declared angrily.
“You’re not gonna what???” Miss Woodson asked.
“Ma’am, look. You’ve made a mistake. I don’t know what happened
by-“ Things again got worse! She fainted – right in my arms!!!!!
Milly gave her some smelling salts. Miss Woodson was a bit confused
when she first woke up, but the when she remembered the truth, she
grew angry and looked at me. “You!” She turned to me and stood up.
I started backing away from her. Boy, but she was mad, mad, mad!!! I
was afraid! “Now wait a minute,” I started.
She pushed me across the room as she walked. “Don’t you now miss me!
Lucas McCain! Not after what you put me through!”
I was trying to get away from this woman, but she stayed in my face
yelling at me! “You make me come all this way, then you walk in here
and say ‘I’m not marrying you! I made a mistake! Well, I got news
for you! You’re the-“ She pushed me down on the bench, still
screaming at me. Micah told her to settle down. “I’ll settle down
alright!” She stated angrily. “I’ll settle this bottle right over
That was it! I was taking control of this situation! “Oh no you
don’t, ma’am.” I took the bottle from her and set it down.
She told Micah to arrest me – she was going to prefer charges
against me unless I change min mind. The room got quiet and everyone
turned and looked at me. “There’s nothing to change my mind about,
ma’am. You just made a mistake,” I answered firmly.
She demanded Micah to lock me up. Milly jumped in to defend my
honor. Boy oh boy, but how was I EVER going to get back on her good
side??? “Now just a minute,” Milly started toward her.
Miss Woodson pushed her back toward me. “You stay out of this lessin’
you want to be the other woman! I know my rights!” She started
talking about the nice, romantic letters she had where she claims I
made a lot of promises to her. “All that talk about you being
lonely…” She looked at Milly. “Lonely…ha!”
“If your implying that…” Milly started. Miss Woodson started to
interrupt her, then Mark jumped in declaring that I didn’t write her
That’s my boy! Jumping to my defense. But she didn’t believe it.
“Oh, didn’t he? What kind of man are you, Lucas McCain? You didn’t
even tell your own boy!”
This whole thing was getting out of hand! I told her I could prove I
didn’t write those letters if she had them. She gladly handed them
to me. I looked at the writing then handed them to Micah and Milly,
asking them if this was my handwriting. They were able to take one
look and declare that it was definitely NOT my handwriting.
She declared that they had to be my letters – I signed them. “Lucas
McCain is an easy name to sign, ma’am…” I walked back over to stand
by Milly and Mark – I felt safer that way. “-but to tell you the
truth ma’am…until today I've never heard of you and I…didn't write
We were going to find out who wrote these letters. She had never
written to me – the matrimony bureau had taken care of all that!
Being that the post office was in Milly's store, Milly thought she
would had noticed any letters from a matrimony bureau. But Mary told
her they used plain, white envelope so it wouldn't be embarrassing
to the customers.
Mark folded his arms. “I’d sure give them a piece of my mind if I
were you when I got back!” he declared.
“Get back?” Miss Woodson couldn’t even think about that! “Well, how
am I gonna get back? I spent everything I had just to get here! I
ain’t got nothing left!” Mary didn’t know what she was going to do!
“Sing in a dancehall or a saloon maybe? Go back to what I was – just
a nothing!” Gee, she was making me feel really bad. The man that did
this to her oughta be hog tied and horsewhipped! She kept going on
and on about her pitiful her life was. “This was my only hope, you
understand? I thought that if I cam out here, I could start a whole
new life!” Milly tried again to assure her something would come up.
She tried to laugh it off, but she was crying. She said the joke was
on her but it wasn’t the first time. “I’m sorry, McCain. If you ever
do decide to get hitched up, you keep me in mind, ya' hear? Just for
laughs I mean.” We were all so sorry for her. She had humiliated
herself and didn’t know how to bail out gracefully. She finally left
Micah office, declaring she needed a drink.
I started to go after her. Milly grabbed my arm and stopped me. She
asked me to giver her a little time.
Miss Woodson had more problems when she got over to the Saloon.
Sweeny didn’t want to serve her. “You telling me there’s a law
against my being here?” Sweeny stammered around. He was arguing with
a very angry female! He tried the best he could to explain that he
had a problem with a lady being in a place “like this.” “Who said I
was a lady?” Miss Woodson glared at him. “I want a drink and I want
it now! A double!” Chavre walked up to the bar and told Sweeney to
give it to her. “Thanks, but I can take care of myself,” she assured
“Well, I’m sure about that, ma’am, but uh…I just don’t like to see a
lady have to twice,” he explained. She ordered everyone to stop
calling her a lady “Lucas McCain might not take kindly to you having
“Well, Lucas McCain ain’t got nothing to say about it and besides
that, it’s none of your business!” she declared as she took he
drink. He mentioned her marrying me. “I ain’t marrying Lucas McCain,
nor anybody else!” She grabbed the bottle from Sweeny. She was
planning on some heavy drinking! Then she threw the letters down on
the bar and declared Sweeny could burn them when he burned the
But again, Chavre intervened and picked up the letters. “Mister,
will you leave me alone?” Chavre acted all concerned that she and I
had had a “fallin’ out” and that she was now burning my letters. She
announced that they weren’t mine.
He pretended to study the letters. He declared it looked like my
handwriting. When she sat down at the table to drink her whisky, he
walked over and asked his brother if it was my handwriting. He
played along, declaring it was my handwriting. This upset her,
seeing as how I had convinced her I didn’t even know anything about
them. “I bet he changed his mind.” Chavre winked at his brother.
“Got his eye on that pretty little store keeper woman.”
“So that’s it!” Miss Woodson declared.
Sweeny listened. “Banner, what are you trying to pull?”
He told Sweeny to keep out of this. Then he bent down next to Miss
Woodson and started talking like he was all concerned for her. “You
gonna let McCain get away with a thing like this?” He claimed I was
making a laughing stalk of her.
She suddenly stood up. “A laughing stalk, am I? Coming all this way
just to be laughed at! Me? Falling for what he said – he and that
Marshal and that…woman!” Kelly tried to stop her, but she was very
upset. She ordered him out of her way so she could go give me a
piece of her mind.
Charve declared that I should be forced to live up to my promises.
“I wouldn’t marry him on a bet after what he done to me!” she
declared. If I wanted her – I’d have to make amends. He told her to
go get him and force me to make amends.
“That’s right! He’s mind and…and I’m claiming him!”
Just then, I walked in. Sweeny had sent someone over to tell me what
was going on.
"You wanted to see me ma'am?"
“Well McCain, you making it real easy for the lady!” Chavre
"This doesn't concern you Banner," said Micah.
"Look at him standing there, he who backs down on his promises,"
Chavre kept going.
"Now look...you heard the marshal,” I cut in. “This has nothing to
do with you, either of you." I tried talkin' to Mary but Chavre
"What do you mean it ain’t got nothing to do with me?" Chavre
started laughing. "You oughta be ashamed of yourself McCain. Sending
away for this woman...askin' her to marry you...gittin' it all set
up with that matrimony bureau...she comin' out here full of hope.
Never havin' seen ya'...never written to ya'...comin' out here with
charity...and love...romance she never seen. And then you throw her
down the way you done! You gonna let him get away with this
marshal?" Something Chavre said suddenly got my attention.
I stopped him and turned to Miss Woodson. I think I had the answer!
“Now look Miss Woodson…Like I told you, I didn’t write those letters
and I didn’t send for you. Whoever did arranged it all with that
matrimony bureau.” I turned my attention to Chavre. “And whoever did
it is the only one who could’ve known that Miss Woodson didn’t write
back to me.”
“Now you done it!” Kelly told his brother.
“That’s right, Banner. You got a big mouth!” I declared.
“And you just put your foot right in it!” Micah stated.
Chavre laughed nervously. “You trying to say that I done this?”
“Not trying! Saying!” I declared.
Micah declared that he’d make a law against it if there wasn’t one.
He was arresting them both!
Suddenly, Miss Woodson became aware of exactly what was going on.
She turned on Chavre, grabbing him by the whiskers and shoving him
up against the bar. She was really giving him what for! “I can read
a little, but I can’t write no how!” Chavre declared in his defense.
“That’s the truth! He done it! He wrote ‘em!” He nodded his head
“Well, you told me to! I just put the words down – you mailed ‘em!”
Kelly declared as he rushed up to Chavre.
Suddenly, Chavre grabbed Mary and held a gun on us. Kelly tried to
talk him out of it and when he wouldn't listen to him, Kelly knocked
the gun out of Chavre's hand and hit him, knocking his brother out!
His actions sure did surprise Miss Woodson! “Well, how come you done
that? After all the harm you two done?”
“I don’t know. Just…seemed like the only thing to do!” Kelly
apologized to Mary. "I'm sorry ma'am.....I just don't want to see
you get hurt anymore. It just started out to be a joke. Just gonna
be a joke on McCain." She was surprised that a man like Chavre would
be able to dictate words like he wrote in those letters. “Oh uh…he
didn’t tell me what to say.” He smiled at her. “I guess I just got
carried away. All those words were mine.”
“Yours?” Miss Woods smiled. “Them words were yours?
He picked up his brother and carried him over to the jail. I shook
my head. This sure was a wild turn out of events!
"You know somethin' McCain?
That Kelly's some kinda man!” Miss
Woodson sure didn’t seem too upset about the way things turned out.
With nothing here in North Fork for Mary, she decided to go home to
St. Louie. Mark and I saw her off. As we were saying goodbye, Micah
and Kelly came out of Micah's office. "What's he doin' here?" Miss
"He said he'd leave town if I let him out of jail. I’d say that was
a fair enough bargain," said Micah.
"Oh...where are you goin'?" I swear I heard a hopefulness in her
"Oh...I guess St. Louis would be as good a place as any," Kelly
answered They both entered the coach. Kelly told Micah to tell
Chavre he'd write to him.
"How long does it take to get to St. Louis Pa?" Mark asked then.
"Long enough son,” I answered as I watched the stage leave town.
Mark was clueless, but Micah and I laughed.
stuff.....Joan Shawlee played Mary Woodson. She was the mail order
Joan Taylor played Milly Scott. Milly
bought The General Store from Hattie Denton. Hattie had to leave to
go and help her sister in Denver. Joan Taylor appeared in eighteen
episodes as Milly Scott and was introduced to The Rifleman
in Miss Milly.
In this episode Lucas and Mark are having Milly for dinner and Lucas
is making Milly a chocolate cake! She sure must be special!!!
Kay E. Kuter has appeared in two
Sins of the Father
as Rafe Coleman, one of the vigilante brothers who came after Andy
Moon for killing his brother, Shep Coleman ―
Lonesome Bride as Charv
Banner, he was one of the brothers that connived to send the letters
to Mary Woodson from Lucas.
Lincoln Demyan played Kelly Banner, Chavre Banner's brother. He was
the one who originally wrote those love letters and the one who
ended up going to St. Louis with Mary Woodson.
John Barton appeared in five
episodes ― The Sharpshooter as a Townsman ―
Eddie's Daughter as a Townsman ―
Heller as a Townsman ― The Lonesome Bride as a
Barfly ― Meeting at Midnight as a Townsman.
Armitage appeared in six episodes of The Rifleman as a
The Hangman ― Baranca ― Dead Cold Cash ―
The Illustrator ― The Lonesome Bride ―
The Tinhorn as Joe, a card player.
appeared in four episodes of The Rifleman ―
The Challenge as a cowboy
in the saloon playing cards ― The Woman as a
cowboy in the saloon ― The Lonesome Bride as a Stage
Passenger ― The Actress as a Townsman.
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
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
Joe E. Benson appeared in The
Rifleman many times, probably more times than listed. Sometimes
credited & sometimes not.
*Please note: In Dark Day at North Fork
he appeared as two different characters - as one of the townsmen &
Joe was a good friend & a neighbor of Chuck's. He helped Chuck build
a tree house for the boys and also help build the addition onto the
house which was later called the den. (One of the several
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.
Hooray for Tall Men
by Erskine Johnson ― Written for The Press
This is an article about Joan Shawlee in the The Lonesome Bride
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
Character Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?
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