"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
The Long Goodbye
Early one morning, Mark and I took a ride over to Grandpa Fogarty’s place. He was fairly new in the area and was currently working on fixing up his place. Mark and I dismounted our horses as we called out. “Hello!” I called. “Hello in the house!” Mark wondered if they were up yet, so we sat out to find out.
You couldn’t help but notice the mess around the house. The weeds were dying and needed trimmed badly. There were old boards and barrels lying everywhere for one to step on. As I stepped onto the step at the bottom of the porch, my boot broke the step right in two. Mark and I laughed at each other as I again called out, “Somebody home?” But there was no answer.
Inside the house, Grandpa was working on the stove as he listened to his young grandson, Woody, reading from a book. But when his grandson read a big word, Grandpa went to the table where Woody was sitting as the pig in the kitchen grunted. He slammed shut the door Mark and I were standing at and bent over to look at the word his grandson had read. I opened the door a second time and peaked inside. Again, the door slammed shut in my face. Woody kept reading.
Mark and I opened the door a third time. This time I stepped inside and looked around the corner at Grandpa. He turned to correct Woody on a word – swine like sunshine their pig. “Oh…swine,” Woody stated as the pig began grunting again. Mark and I looked at each other and laughed.
I knocked loudly on the door and was finally invited inside. Grandpa talked about the word swine. “That was a nice word for a pig until they started calling human being swine – then it ruined the word as far as any decent pig was concerned!” I wondered about that one!
Suddenly, Grandpa remembered why I was there. I had come for my riata. I assured him I could wait – braiding was an art. Mark wondered how he learned to braid. Grandpa started telling a pretty crazy war story. The boys listened intensely. They were taking the whole story in. I told Grandpa that we were going into town and wondered if I could pick up anything for him. “Ah, no thanks,” Grandpa answered. “I buy my own supplies – always have and always will.”
“Hey Pa, according to my history book, General Freemont was never in Idaho!” Mark declared as we mounted our horses.
I laughed. “Mark, a man as old as Grandpa Fogarty who has pioneered the country so much may tell a tall tale every once in a while. Chances are he’s done a lot of brave things he isn’t even telling about.”
“Suppose that’s why they keep moving around so much?” Mark asked then.
“How do you mean?”
“Well, Woody says they hardly live at a place more then a few months,” Mark stated.
I stopped him right there. “Mark, we get along fine minding our own business. Let’s just keep that way, huh?”
Grandpa and Woody got into town before we did. A woman by the name of Mrs. Dalrymple almost ran into Grandpa as she went into the General Store. She wasn’t too pleased. “Are you alright?” she asked.
“Of course I’m alright,” Grandpa answered. Then he told Woody to get into the store so they could buy him a new pair of britches.
Milly got Woody a pair of britches as requested. "When do you start school?" She asked.
"Oh I'm not going to school, Miss Milly. I keep pretty busy out at the place," Woody answered innocently.
Just then, Mark and I walked in. "Ah, a new pair of trousers for school, huh Woody?"
For some reason, my question got Grandpa all riled. "Mr. McCain! I mind my own business, expect my neighbors to do the same!”
Wow, but he just bit my head off! "Simmer down Mr. Fogarty, school is everybody's business."
But Grandpa wanted out of there. He asked Milly how much the pants were and she told him 75 cents. She asked if she should just charge him and he got offended. "You don't derail me of no charge account. If I can't pay for it I don't buy it! I mind my own business, go as I please, and expect my neighbors to do the same." He took Woody and the britches and left.
"That old bronco's four square and hard as bedrock," I declared. Milly just laughed.
Now, Mrs. Dalrymple, was North Fork’s leading busybody, and she was absorbing all of this. When Grandpa left, she walked over to us, shaking her head. "Just imagine! That poor little fellow never knowing a mother's hand to tuck him in at night, seeing to his prayers…" She patted Marks shoulder. "I hope you know how fortunate you are Mark to have a proper education."
"Yes ma'am,” Mark answered simply.
"Poor little Woody, completely ignorant of the finer things in life," Mrs. Dalrymple shook her head.
"But he sure can read," Mark announced. "Why you should have heard him read to his pig in the kitchen this morning!"
That upset her. "His pig? In the kitchen?" Oh boy, here we go!
"Yes ma'am, she's smart, that pig!”.
"A pig in the house?" she said again. She was in total shock, I think.
"Yeah," said Mark. I had to hide my grin. Mark was so serious. He didn't realize what he was telling Mrs. Dalrymple until after he saw how surprised she was. "Woody's real smart for his age though."
"As the twig is bent, so grows the tree," Mrs. Dalrymple stated. That was enough for Mark. He excused himself and went to pick up the mail. Oh sure, run away when the going gets rough!
Mrs. Dalrymple approached me immediately. “Lucas, I’ve got to talk to you as a responsible member of this community. How can we permit that child to be raised in a pig sty?”
I stopped her, assuring her that Woody was a fine boy. “But he’s filthy! Probably doesn’t eat right!” she declared.
Even Milly was on her side! “And he has been missing school.”
I reminded them that Grandpa and Woody had just got here and they haven't had much time to get settled in yet. "Lucas, you're head of the town council," Milly started.
“I know I’m head of the town-“ I started,
But Mrs. Dalrymple interrupted me. “We all have to do our best to help that child, and you being a father should be the first to…”
Micah picked that time to walk in. The minute my best friend saw that I was between two determined women, he started to turn and flee!
But it was too late – he’d been spotted. “Marshal Torrance!” Micah touched his hat as she walked up to him. “Marshal, something’s got to be done about that poor little Fogarty youngster!”
“I don’t know, he seems like a normal boy to me – just dirty, hungry, and curious!” Micah tried to brush it off as he started inside with a roll of his eyes.
But it wasn’t that easy! “Before that boy is absolutely ruined, he must be placed in a proper foster home!” She insisted.
Micah didn’t want to have anything to do with this! "Grandpa wants to be left alone. I know!!" Again, he tired to walk passed Mrs. Dalymple, but she kept arguing.
“Then he must be made to understand – it’s for the boy’s own good!”
“Maybe just until he gets his place fixed up and…livable?” Milly asked.
I had no choice but to speak up. I warned her to let Grandpa figure this out for himself.
“Lucas, now is your chance to help that boy, just as you would want Mark helped if he were in need!” Oh sure, she had to bring my one weakness into this!
Micah tried again. “Grandpa Fogarty isn’t too far out from when every man was his own law!”
“No ifs, ands, or buts about it, gentleman! I’ll do my duty, and I expect you to do yours.” Then Mrs. Dalrymple walked out. Micah and I stared after her. We really didn’t want to get involved.
Then Milly spoke up again. “I know how you must feel Lucas, but what if it were Mark?” I knew I had no choice! The two ladies had me over a barrel!
We went over to talk to him, and let me tell you – I wasn’t looking forward to this talk! He talked about being a former peace officer, but he quit carrying a badge when Woody was orphaned. I wanted to get this over with, so I jumped right into the fire, you might say. I sat down next to him. “Mr. Fogarty, we stopped by to uh…have a talk about Woody.”
That perked him up. “Woody?” He laughed. Grandpa was sure fond of that boy.
“Well, some of the ladies in town figure he ought…well, he oughta uh…have a more substantial home…that is until you get on your feet and get settled.”
Micah sat down then. “Lucas means you might feel better knowing he was in a nice home so he could go to school regular and church affairs…kid stuff, you know what I mean.”
Grandpa wasn’t very happy. Our words had offended him and he was very quiet. “I must be getting old! I can hardly believe my ears!”
I tried to make him feel better. “You gotta figure what’s best for Woody, Grandpa. You can see him all you want.”
Silently, he looked at both of us. Then he stood up and went up the steps. He turned at the door, staring angrily at both of us. "Lucas McCain I always trusted you as a friend!"
"I'd be a poor friend if I didn't speak my true thoughts, Grandpa."
He turned back and walked up to me. "Well now Mr. Fuss and Feathers, you just listen to me! That boy ain’t living on charity and there ain't nobody gonna make a grub line coyote out of him! There’s a lot to be learned from poverty…Learning what’s necessary and what ain’t. Woody’s learning how deep he is…how strong he is…how to depend on himself…How necessary it is to work to live…How he can be proud of the work he does! He don’t see me scraping or a bowing to nobody for crumbs or left overs. And nobody’s taking my grandson away from me, and that’s for sure!" He sent us on our way. We knew he’d be upset!
Later that day, Grandpa and Woody were outside working side by side as they worked on building a flume from the spring to their house. “Gee, imagine having water running straight to our back door!” Woody declared. Grandpa assured Woody they’d do it without going into debt – they wouldn’t even need nails if he couldn’t straighten the used one’s out really good. Woody assured him he could.
But Grandpa didn’t know there was a man inside his house tearing the place apart. The stranger called out to Grandpa, and he went to see who it was. He told Woody to keep working. When Grandpa walked into the house, he found the man taking a hammer to his skins. “Hey you, stop that! What are you doing to my goods?” he yelled. Then the man drew a gun on him. “Who are you?”
“You know me, Fogarty,” the stranger declared.
“Debo…” Grandpa stated as he walked closer to him. “Debo Lee!”
Debo looked him up and down. “Once a bum, always a bum!” He laughed at Grandpa, wondering if he’d given up train-hopping and getting in people’s way.
“They sentenced you for life,” Grandpa said. He was shocked to see Debo.
“I changed that sentence! Like you changed my plans for the Pacific Express some five years back.”
“You broke out!”
Debo nodded. “And that took some doing,” Debo declared. Grandpa had to sit down. He was suddenly very afraid. “Yeah…that took some dying too!”
Debo started looking around for the money again. He figured it would be a little fancier around there “with all that money.” Grandpa declared that he never had any money to spend. “I sat in a wet, stone cell five years thinking about that money! And that five years…that made me kinda careless about human life. Now, you just tell me where it is! That simple!
“I’ve told sheriffs, soldiers, traitors, railroad bulls…and now I’m telling you! I never had that money!” Grandpa insisted.
“You’re the only one who could’ve touched it!” Debo insisted. “Oh, you’re gonna loose your old age holding out my money!”
Grandpa had to make him understand that when he dynamited that train he was a bum riding the route. “I never knew anything about that money then or since! And I’m telling you like I’m telling everybody else – I think that money burned up in the wreck!” Debo wondered why he was hiding out in this shack. Grandpa told him he was tired of everybody nagging him about the money shipment. “Nobody bothered us here.”
“Us?” Debo suddenly asked.
Grandpa realized what he had just said. He tried to think of something fast. His first concern was to protect Woody. “Yeah. Me and the pig.”
Debo laughed wickedly. “Oh, what a sad story you tell!” Suddenly, Debo grabbed his hand and cried in pain. Grandpa told him his hand needed looking after. But Debo turned and grabbed Grandpa by the throat. He threatened to ring his neck if he didn’t tell him where the money was. Grandpa told him the money was in the bank – he had to tell him something so Debo wouldn’t kill him.
Debo threatened Grandpa then. If he made one little mistake, he’d be begging for a crust of bread. But Debo’s hand was really hurting. Grandpa warned him that his hand needed looking after. Grandpa poured some whisky on the cut, but Debo wanted to drink it – not used it on his hand!
Grandpa knew he needed to chase Woody away, so he announced he was going to get some water. He wouldn’t run away – he had nowhere else to run! “If you ain’t back in a minute, I’m coming after you! And I ain’t got nothing to lose, you know!”
When he got outside, Grandpa found Woody walking on some stilts he made. Grandpa looked toward the house then ran up to Woody. His calling out started Woody and he lost his balance. “You darn fool kid! You can’t eve straighten nails without my watching you every second!” He yelled. “I tell ya' and I tell ya', and you never learn nothing!”
Woody stood up. He assured Grandpa he could tear them apart. But Grandpa was upset. He told him he wasn’t good for anything. “You’re the most no good kid I’ve ever seen.”
Grandpa had no choice. He couldn’t let Woody know what was going on, but he had to get him out of there. Woody was upset at the things Grandpa had said to him. “I’m sorry, grandpa.”
Wood reached out to touch him, but Grandpa shoved his hand away. “It’s too late to be sorry! You and me’s come to a parting of the ways. You go on your way and I’ll go mine!”
Woody was crying now. “But Grandpa, I ain’t got no place to go!”
“The Marshal and McCain…Them do-gooders in town…They want to set you in a life of luxury. Go on in with them!”
“I won’t do it again, Grandpa!” Woody insisted. “I promise! Just don’t talk like that. I love you, Grandpa!”
Grandpa was almost in tears now. Doing this was breaking his heart. “You scat on out of here!” He ordered. He continued yelling at him as he shoved him away.
"Well, alright! Alright.....I'll find me a place, a place where there ain’t a cranky old man won't be yelling at me day and night!"
“Go on!” Grandpa yelled again.
“You and your old water flume…I ain’t never coming back! You hear? I ain’t!” Woody cried.
Grandpa was in tears now. “Go on! Get of my property!”
“I ain’t never coming back! You ain’t worth it!” Woody turned and ran away with tears streaming down his face.
Meanwhile, Mark and I were at the ranch. I was trying out Mark’s stirrups, but no matter how hard I pulled on them, his feet were just too short! “These stirrups are just not long enough for you anymore!” I declared. “I guess I’ll have to make you some new ones!”
“I like them!” Mark argued.
“Well, it’s no good holding onto things you can’t use, son,” I stated as I grabbed a harness from the peg on the side of the barn. That got Mark to thinking. He wondered if he could give Woody his old school books he didn’t use anymore – they were for Woody’s age and he could keep up by studying them at home.
“That’s a good ideas, son. You know, Woody may be living in a new home in town soon.”
“Well, he’s already got a home,” Mark argued. “Are they moving again?”
“No, Mark. You see, Mrs. Dalrymple is looking for him a place to stay while Grandpa’s fixing up their place.”
“Oh, that nosey ol’ Mrs. Dalrymple!” Mark declared.
That boy! “Now, she’s only thinking of what’s best for Woody. You’ve seen the conditions. It’s not like they can’t see each other anymore.”
"But Pa, they got it better then you think! They get along real well, laughing, and working together. And they figured out plans for fixin' up their place." I tried to make Mark understand. "What if something happens or a gun goes off, or a fire breaks out? What if Woody got hurt? Grandpa can't see real well. "But Pa there are other things just as important. Woody's got a Grandpa and they stick up for each other. The two of them together. Like.....you and me!" Boy that hit home. It made me think. "And Pa, you wouldn't let anyone separate us if things weren't going right, would you?" He was right there!
"No Mark, I wouldn't." Kids could surprise you, couldn’t they? “I guess sometimes we grown ups can’t see the forest through the trees! I’m gonna see what I can do to let Woody stay with Grandpa.” He thought that was great!
"Mr. McCain!” Mark and I looked up to see Woody running into the yard. “Oh Mr. McCain! Mr. McCain!" He was crying.
I hurried up to him and lowered myself to h is level. “Woody, what is it? Where’s your grandpa?” I asked gently.
“What’s wrong? He sick?” Mark asked.
I told Woody to tell it the way he wanted to. “He said that I was no good to him. I made a pair of stilts. And he told me to get out and find another place,” Woody cried.
“Well, that doesn’t sound like your grandpa. You sure you haven’t forgotten something?” I asked.
“No sir, that’s the way it was.” Woody went on. “But I was thinking…Maybe the heat was affecting him or it was that man that come.” I turned and looked at Mark. We both suspected it was the man. “Grandpa’s a real old man, you know. Maybe there’s something wrong. Him and me…we don’t dump on each other!” Suddenly, Woody hugged me and cried. I held him as he cried, knowing this was very emotional for him.
But then he straightened up. "I ain't really crying Mr. McCain. I just don't know what I'm gonna do!"
“Of course you’re not really crying!” I declared. “Because you’re here with us and there’s really nothing to cry about. It’s getting late, I bet you’re hungry.” I turned and asked Mark to fix him some scrambled eggs. Mark said he make them with strawberry jelly. I told Woody I had an errand, then I hurried over to Grandpa’s place.
Grandpa was still having trouble with Debo. Debo had finished off the bottle of whisky. He kept putting Grandpa down as he called him a “begger” and a “worthless tramp.”
He gave Grandpa some advice – “Don’t trust nobody, don’t care about anybody, don’t work for anybody – except for yourself!” Debo wanted to get to the bank that evening – he didn’t want to wait until morning when the bank opened. Debo shoved everything off the table and stood up. With his gun in hand, he went up behind Grandpa. “Old man, I’m getting sick of your foolish ways!” He lifted the gun and started to hit him over the head with it.
Suddenly, the door squeaked open. That scared Debo and he lifted Grandpa out of the chair and held the gun to his head. “Old man, if you so much as cough, I’m gonna blow it right back down your throat!” Suddenly, the pig came into the door. Debo laughed. “Just the pig coming back in to say goodnight!” He laughed some more.
Debo shoved Grandpa toward the door. “Hold it!” I was there with my rifle pointed at Debo. Debo held up his hands.
Grandpa rushed up to me. He was worried about Woody. I assured him he was okay. Debo started begging. “Now look…mister…whoever you are…I-I-I’m harmless..I mean…I mean you scared me when you came in without a friendly hail. Well, my old friend Fogarty there…we were old-time partners, so to speak-“
Suddenly, Debo grabbed a gun and turned over the table, knocking the light out. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Everything was quiet. “Luke? You alright Luke?”
“I’m alright, Grandpa,” I answered as I stared at the dead man. He lit a lantern and shone it on the dead man. “Who is he?”
Grandpa didn’t want to get into that right now. He just wanted to see Woody.
It was a few days later when Mark and I came over to Grandpa’s house to see the completed flume. Grandpa talked about having to wash stuff now and he wasn’t too happy about that. I just laughed. Mark was trying out Woody’s stilts. He turned and looked at me. He asked me if I wanted to try them out. "No thanks Son, but take one big step for me." I had no sooner got those words out of my mouth when Mark fell flat on his face into a mud puddle.
I laughed. I couldn’t help myself…it was very funny! Even Mark laughed after he got over the shock of it!
That’s my boy!
piddlin' stuff.....Edgar Buchanan appeared in six episodes. Five episodes as Doc Burrage ― The Pet ― The Second Witness ― The Trade ― The Deadly Wait ― The Angry Man and as Grandpa Fogarty in The Long Goodbye.
There were two doctors before Doc Burrage although neither of them were ever named or given credit. Those two episodes were The Sharpshooter and The Marshal. In End of a Young Gun Lucas told Hank he would go get Doc Sedley? Doc Burrage was first introduced to The Rifleman in The Pet.
Teddy Rooney played Woody, he was the grandson of Grandpa Fogarty.
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.
Virginia Christine appeared in two episodes ― The Spike Rifle as Mrs. Hardy, she's the lady that was on the stage and told Lucas to give the man the money, give him whatever he wants! ― The Long Goodbye as Mrs. Darymple the busy body in the General Store.
William "Bill" Zuckert played Debo Lee. He was the bad dude who claimed he and Grandpa were partners in a train robbery. He came after Grandpa thinkin' he had the money from the robbery.
Tom Smith - How many times has Tom Smith been on The Rifleman? Is it 7 or 9? He was in The Queue as a customer in the dining room Outlaw's Shoes as a cowboy in town ― The Clarence Bibs Story as a cowboy in town ― Millie's Brother as a card player ― The Long Goodbye as a cowboy in town ― Suspicion as a cowboy in town and he was in Squeeze Play which later they used stock footage from Squeeze Play for Conflict and End of the Hunt.
How many actors played Nils or was it Niles or Nels? Was it Swenson or was it Svenson? See my Blacksmith page.
*riata is a lasso: a long noosed rope used to catch animals
I received an e-mail from a Rifleman fan and thought ya'll might be interested in it..... Hi Margie, your site is really great. It stands as a loving tribute to a show and a time I'll never forget. There's a bit of music I can't seem to find anywhere!! It's a waltz that's sometimes played as an intro or outro to the show. You can hear it at the end of The Long Goodbye and also at the beginning of the episode that has Mark Twain (The Shattered Idol) in it. Oddly enough this same piece of music was also used as the theme for the Yancy Derringer show. I'm not sure which show used it first but I'm guessing that composers must have been hard to come by in that era
I've attached a sound byte that I found on the web, but the sound quality is not the greatest.
Yancy Derringer Thanks, Kevin!
I forwarded Kevin's e-mail to John Gilbert, Herschel's son and here is his answer.....Interesting that you mention Yancy Derringer. I haven't heard anything about that show in years. I wasn't aware that the music was used for this show. Knowing this however, I'm assuming that it was a FOUR STAR production since my father was music director there and occasionally recycled his film scores for other purposes. Others also did this with music from OPEN SECRET, which was used in dozens if not hundreds of episodes of SUPERMAN, RAWHIDE, TARZAN and even LEAVE IT TO BEAVER in the early 1950s. The piece of music you are referring to came from the 1956 film called THE NAKED HILLS (aka THE FOUR SEASONS) with David Wayne, James Barton, and Keenan Wynn. My father composed the score for this film and used its music extensively in numerous Rifleman episodes. You can sometimes find it on EBay or in a video store that specializes in old movies. My father mined his film scores for cues to use in the Rifleman and I have heard cues from perhaps a dozen or so films interspersed occasionally into Rifleman episodes for a particular effect. I hope this helps.
Best regards, John Gilbert
Thanks Kevin Gallagher & John Gilbert for this great question and piece of information!
Bloopers - The Long Goodbye
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?
Bloopers for this episode & other episodes
The Shattered Idol
around The McCain Ranch