"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
I hate it when you are just riding along minding your own business, then BOOM! Something terrible happens to you. That’s what happened to me. I was just riding my horse along a trail when all of a sudden Bang! I fall off my horse and land face-down in the dirt. The man that shot me sure was proud of himself! He thought he had killed me – nice clean headshot…
Another man looked at my horse. “Not a bad swap, his horse for mine. At least he won’t be so conspicuous. An’ it’ll be a long before anybody looks for him, whoever he is.” The man suddenly got an idea. He started unstrapping his gun and holster. His friend was pretty surprised that he was giving up his fancy gun just so people would think he was dead. He figured it was a small price to pay, seeing as how there were Wanted Posters of him.
The man took off his hat and looked at me. “Thank you, Mr. Vale. You’ll be remembered once they see that gun you’re wearing. Not with kindness, but certainly remembered.” They got up and rode away, leaving me lying in the dirt.
You see, that was Vale. George Vale.
You see, Mark and I were out of town. I left Mark at Mr. Stevens while I went to the Yearling Sell. Before going back to get Mark, I went through Red Creek to get a new spring for my rifle. The next morning, Mark slept late and thought he sure did feel good!
I woke up that morning to find myself lying down in the dirt. I was a little confused, and had one heck of a headache. I noticed the gun and gun belt in my hand. I slowly stood up and put my hat on. Then I walked over to the horse. I wasn’t sure where to go, but managed to ride into the nearest town. There, I found a doctor and went to see him about my head.
“I won’t say you’re the luckiest man in the world, but you’ve had your share of luck this morning. “ He was sure that it was just a bullet crease done with a rifle.
I held my throbbing head as I tried to make sense of things. “Doc, did you ever see me before?” I asked as I walked over to him. He’d never seen me. “You mean…” I sighed. “You don’t know my name…” He was surprised to learn I had no idea who I was. “I woke up with this head about an hour ago. What happened to me before that…where I came from, or…where I’m going…I just…”
The doctor wasn't surprised. He said that I was shot at close range and my loss of memory should come back in a few days as the concussion wore off. In two or three days, I’ll start remembering little things. As he spoke, the doctor noticed my gun. He took it out of the holster. "Well there shouldn't be much of a mystery to who you are." He read the name on the gun. He didn’t like what he saw. "George Vale!" The Doc dropped the gun like it was contaminated. Well that cleared that up or so I thought. When I wanted to pay him he refused. I asked him what was wrong with my money. He said not knowing who I was would enable me to be able to sleep tonight. “Or perhaps your sleep has been undisturbed in the past. There are men who feast on pain and misery.” I didn’t understand what he was saying. He walked over and picked up my hat. "Good day Mr. Vale!"
As I walked out onto the street, a panicked man was telling the Sheriff all about me. He pointed to me. “the older Vale gets, the more nerve he gets,” the Sheriff commented. The Sheriff wanted to see Vale at the end of the rope, but he wasn’t wanted in this territory. I guess that meant I was safe…for now.
I went to the livery to put my horse up. The man told me my horse looked like one of the Weiden horses. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but he was more familiar with this horse then I was, so I gave it a shot. “Maybe my name would mean something to you. George Vale.”
He suddenly got really nervous. "Well...lots of horses look alike Mr. Vale! I wasn't questioning it not being your horse!" I asked him if there was any doubt. "None Mr. Vale...none at all!"
I thought I would go and talk to the Sheriff. Maybe he could shed some light on this. As I was heading towards the Sheriff's office, I suddenly got a strange feeling when I walked passed the Gun Shop. I didn’t know what it meant,…there was just something about it.
The sheriff sure wasn’t too friendly to me! He demanded to know why I was there. I told him I was wondering that myself, then I explained what I knew. “Sheriff, I was bushwhacked about 4 miles East of town, where I woke up. Now, what happened before that…Where I was going or coming from…well, it’s a complete blank!” The sheriff was sorry I wasn’t killed. “Wait a minute, Sheriff. I came over here looking for an answer. Who am I? Who is George Vale?” I then explained to him that when I passed the gun shop, I had a feeling that gun shop meant something. Except for that one clean thought I felt like I had just been born.
"Are you trying to tell me Vale, you don't know your a wanted man?"
That surprised me. "A wanted man? What am I wanted for?" I asked him. He said it would be easier to tell me what I wasn't wanted for. There was wanted dead or alive posters all over Wyoming on me for murder and robbery. He said he was just on his way to the telegraph office hoping a wire will find I was wanted some place in this territory.
I stopped him to ask him one more question. “Did you ever see me before? Can you say positively that I am George Vale?”
He opened the drawer to his desk and pull out a flyer. "Six foot five...two hundred pounds...not many men walking around fit that description! And carrying that murdering gun you're so proud of. You had your name put on the handle. Now listen to me Vale...I want you out of town by the end of the day...one...I wouldn't be surprised if some hot heads around here decided to do the world a favor and string you up...two...I'm liable to forget I'm a lawman, if I see you walking around this town and come after you
myself!" He then headed over to the telegraph office.
It was almost noon and I wasn’t back at the ranch yet. Mark was getting a little concerned. “I was thinking maybe I could ride into town and meet him there,” he stated. Mr. Stevens didn’t see why he couldn’t, but he expected us back there for supper.
Mark rode into Red Creek and started to go into the gun shop so he could track me down, but I came around the corner just then. “Pa!” Mark called. He came up to me. “Pa, I’ve been waiting for you at the ranch. Uh…well, I decided to ride into Red Creek and see if you-“ Mark stopped. I was looking at him strangely. “Something wrong?”
Yeah, something was wrong! "Why do you call me Pa, boy?"
"Because you are my-“ He laughed. "Why, you must be foolin' me again."
"No, I'm not foolin'...who are you?" He laughed again.
He noticed the bandage on my head and asked if I was hurt. I asked him his name. "Are...you...playin' a game?" Asked Mark.
"Is your name Vale?" I asked.
"You know it's not," said Mark. I then asked him what his name was. "Mark McCain. McCain...same as your name is." Mark was suddenly worried, trying to figure out what was going on.
I told him my name was Vale. I even showed him my gun. He couldn’t believe I didn’t know who he was. Mark knew something had to be very wrong with me to be acting this way. “No, I don’t know you, son.”
“Something’s wrong. You-Something’s happened to you. You just wait right here, Pa. I’ll…go get a doctor!”
Mark rushed to the doctor and begged him to come with him, but the doc was nonchalant about the whole thing and merely stated he was too busy. I couldn’t have been too hurt if I was walking around, so he needed to wait until the doctor was through with his patient. Mark had no choice. He sat down to wait.
As it turns out, I didn’t do what Mark told me to do. I went to the livery and got my horse. Then I proceeded to work on saddling him. But I was in really bad shape. Even the saddle proved to be too much for me to left. I fell to the floor of the stable in pain and weakness.
Suddenly, three men appeared. One of them started yelling. “I wonder what kind of a man it takes to shoot a 16 year old in the back for a horse!" They were yelling at me! “George Vale, we’re coming in. You better have a gun in your hand.”
Two men proceeded inside. Before I knew it they standing over me as I tried to make sense of all this. “You were told to reach for your gun, mister,” one of the men declared.
“I don’t see any reason for gun play,” I replied kindly.
“We buried our brother just an hour ago, you murderer and horse thief!” I asked him to calm down so we could get this all straightened out. The other man asked if I rode that horse into town. They wanted a story as to how I came by it, but I didn’t have any.
“So, you’re better at murderin’ than making up stories. Vale, you better get back up on your feet! Because when I count to three, I’m gonna draw, giving you a chance you never gave our brother. Now…get up!” I just sat there. 1…..2…..”
"I'm not drawing!” I told him. “I've got no quarrel with you two that I know about."
“Yeah, I’ve never seen a back shooter yet that could look a man in the eyes an’ draw against him. Maybe I can beat some gumption into you!” While one man held a gun on me, the other went and grabbed a whip. “Now, I’m gonna give you a taste of the pain that…Joe an’ me had when we buried our brother. Then I’m gonna turn you over to the Sheriff for a quick trial, and a hanging.” Then he started whipping me.
Mark was getting tired of waiting on the Doc. He decided to walk outside and wait. Just then, the men dragged me from the stable and threw me into the dirt. Mark heard the commotion and turned to see me. “Pa!” he cried. “Pa!” He rushed over to me. “Stop it!” I was down beside me.
“Vale has a kid?” one of the men asked.
Mark turned on them like a snake. “Don’t you dare touch him again!” Mark ordered angrily.
But one of the men announced that their next order of business was a hanging. “Hanging?” Mark was confused. “But…he’s my Pa!”
Just then, the Sheriff came up to see what all the commotion was about. The men explained to him that their brother had been shot today at their line shack and a horse stolen – the one George Vale rode into town. The Sheriff nodded down at me. “This is one time you overstepped yourself, Vale. You’re in a town that tries an’ hangs the same day.”
“But he’s not George Vale!” Mark screamed desperately. “He is my Pa!” He told Mark I must have been raising him under a different name. “He’s not!” Mark assured them. “We’ve been staying at the Stevens Ranch. Mr. Stevens will tell you who we are!”
Mark proceeded to explain to the sheriff that Stevens and I knew each other back in Oklahoma before Mark was even born. The Sheriff sent a man named Aaron out to the Stevens’ spread to get Stevens. “Alright, son. We’ll leave you two here at the livery. Your Pa is not going anywhere in the shame he’s in.” He turned to the two men. “You and Joe keep an eye out here. When Aaron gets back we’ll have the truth of this.”
Mark helped me up and took me back inside the livery where it was cooler. The brothers weren’t happy about the Sheriff’s decision. They went to talk to some of the boys at the saloon to see if they’d back them up. They wanted to hang me right quick.
Mark laid me face down on a cot then worked on cleaning my cuts I had gotten from the whip. He called me Pa again. I thanked him for his help, but wondered what I had to do to convince him I wasn’t his Pa. “As soon as Mr. Stevens gets here, we’ll know who we are.”
Joe Weiden brought a mob to the Sheriff's office. He told them to wait outside while he went to talk to the Sheriff. When the Sheriff saw him, he wondered if Stevens was there – they still had another hour. “We’ve been wondering,” Weiden started asking. “What if Stevens says that George Vale is another man?”
“Well, then he’s somebody else,” the Sheriff answered. Joe figured he could be lying – maybe Stevens worked with Vale on a couple jobs. “Oh, that’s nonsense. Stevens is nothing more than a hard-working rancher.”
“Maybe,” Weiden stated. “Maybe not. Him riding Bob’s horse kinda tells the whole story. The boys and me were kinda wonderin’ just where you stood.”
The sheriff got up and hurried over to Weiden, who told him he was referring to the boys from the saloon. The Sheriff jabbed a finger at Weiden. “Now, you listen to me! There’ll be no saloon justice in this town as long as-“
Weiden suddenly pulled his gun on him and ordered him into the cell as he took the Sheriff’s gun. He told him he was making a mistake. “I’ve seen too many mistakes on the other side. Killers walking out free because they had better liars on their side. Now, nobody wants to hurt you, Sheriff, so walk nice and easy.”
The mob headed to the livery to carry out their quick justice. We heard the mob coming. Mark wondered what was going on. He jumped up and ran to the door. “What are they going to do?” I wasn’t sure, but seeing the rope let me think they wanted to get things over with quick. Mark rushed toward them. “No! No, you’re making a mistake!” He screamed that I was his Pa, but they grabbed him and held him tight while they rushed in to grab me.
The men were going crazy as they dragged me outside for the hanging. George Vale and his partner had just ridden into town. They saw the commotion. “Appears we got here just in time to see the good citizens of this town lynch George vale!” Vale declared.
They continued dragging me out onto the street as Mark begged them to let me go. Just then Stevens rode up. “Well, of course that’s McCain!” he declared.
I was finally able to grab one of the men’s guns. I was able to get out of their grasp as I held up the gun and backed away from them. Stevens ran toward me to stop me, but I was mad! “I’ll kill the first man who tries to stop me from leavin!”
Stevens stood in front of me. Calmly, he tried to reason with me. “It’s all straightened out, Lucas. Now, you can put down gun.”
“Stand back!” I ordered, looking around.
“It’s Mr. Stevens, Pa!” Mark said. “Everything’s alright.” I stood there silently.
“Lucas, you know me!” Stevens stated. “Now, put that gun down.” He started toward me and I fired. Stevens froze. “Put my gun down, huh? Maybe you have changed your minds that I’m George Vale. Now, you stand back. I’m not gonna waste the next one.”
Mark couldn’t believe what he was saying. He rushed toward me and grabbed me. “It’s true, Pa. Everyone believes who you are now.”
“You get back, boy. I don’t wanna hurt you. Go on.” I shoved him backwards. Stevens caught him.
“It’s best to let him ride out, son. He’s been through so much and nothing makes any sense now,” Stevens said.
But Mark didn’t want me leaving. He begged me not to ride out. I backed up to a horse to mount up and ride out. Mark suddenly spotted my horse behind me. It had my rifle in it. “Pa, behind you, there’s your horse and your rifle. Remember your rifle? You…You…You were coming into town to get it fixed at the gun shop.”
“Gun shop?” At the sound of that, something started coming back. I had felt a connection with the gun shop while ago. I started back up toward my horse.
George Vale suddenly rushed me and threw me to the ground, hitting me from behind. The Weiden brothers realized they had made a mistake with me. They’d gotten the wrong man. They drew on Vale and his partner and fired many shots. Vale and his partner, Jeems, were dead.
Mark ran to me as I lay on the ground. Stevens and the Weiden brothers rushed over to me as well. "I guess we owe your Pa...an apology son," said Frank Weiden.
"I told you that he was Lucas McCain...a rancher and” Mark suddenly looked at me and lovingly added, “...my Pa."
My mind was still muddled, but I knew the truth now. "The way you say Pa, sounds good to me...son. I'm a...rancher?"
Mark nodded. "It's a small place...but we're sure happy there."
"After a while...after being wanted for robbery and murder...small ranch sounds good to me too...Son." Mark smiled as he and Frank helped me up. He knew I was on the road to recovery now.
It took awhile for my memory to come back. Mark and I went back home to try and put our lives back together. I fixed us up a great meal and bragged on my own cooking. “You sure didn’t forget how to handle a skillet!” Mark declared. “You’re rememberin’ more things now, Pa?” I told him they were coming back – but some were a little hazy.
You know my boy and dishes? Well, my words suddenly gave Mark an idea. "How about dishes?"
"Dishes?" I asked.
"We use to have an arrangement where one night you'd wash 'em and the next night I would," said Mark.
"Ohhhhh...yes...I remember that arrangement." And I also had a pretty good idea of where this was going.
"Well tonight's your night to wash 'em Pa!" Mark cleared the lie out of his throat and couldn’t even look me in the eye!
"Mark ya' know...an important thing like who's turn it is to do the dishes is something a man doesn't forget. And one of the first things I remembered was that...tonight is your turn...to do the dishes."
He looked at me and with a sigh. "I guess your memory is coming back." Mark picked up some dishes and headed for the sink. He suddenly felt guilty and turned back toward me. "Pa...I really wouldn't have really taken advantage of you."
"I know you wouldn't Son. Look, I'll do the dishes tonight. This is one time I'll find pleasure in doing the chores. You sit down."
"Alright.” With a great big grin on his face, Mark sat down in my chair. He sure was feeling awful proud of himself! He somehow managed to con me into doing the dishes once again!
I reckon that meant all was well in the McCain household…for now!
piddlin' stuff.....Michael Greene played George Vale. He was the one who took Razor and left his gun with his name on it for Lucas.
Paul Wexler appeared in four episodes ― The Pitchman as Cleek Watson, he was one of the brothers looking to kill Swifty for selling his Pa bad medicine ― Sheer Terror as Harris the buffalo hunter ― The Queue as Les Foster, Vince's drinkin' buddy ― Outlaw's Shoes as Joe Weiden, he brought a mob to the Sheriff's office.
Tom Gilson played Frank Weiden. He was the brother who yelled to Lucas that he better have a gun when he entered the stables.
Roy Barcroft played Mr. Stevens. He was Lucas's friend from Oklahoma.
William Woodson played the Sheriff of Red Creek.
Mel Carter appeared in eight episodes ― End of a Young Gun as an outlaw, he rode with Hank Fulton ― The Safe Guard as Walkerman, one of the guys who help rob the bank ― The Challenge as a cowhand in the saloon ― The Woman as Jed Healy, the one who shot his Pa ― The Journey Back as Arnie Grady as one of the brothers that Will Temple threw off his ranch ― Outlaw's Shoes as Jeems, he was George Vale's partner and the one who shot Lucas and grazed him in the head ― Lou Mallory as Bo Jackman ― Death Never Rides Alone as Mark Jones. Gee.....does this set any records?
Stanley Adams played Dr. Jay Carter.
Jim Galante played the handyman.
Donald Elson appeared in two episodes ― The Coward as the Printer of the North Fork Newspaper ― Outlaw's Shoes as the man at the livery stable, he told Lucas that his horse looked like one of the Weiden horses.
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 & the bartender.
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 tree house pictures)
Archie Butler as Abe, one of Big Jim's men — 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.
Tom Kennedy ― Death Never Rides Alone as one of the townsmen at the saloon ― The Assailants as one of the townsmen ― Gun Shy as a the townsman/man getting off of the stage ― The Decision as one of the townsmen ― The Executioner as the man reading the newspaper ― Day of Reckoning as a churchgoer - Guilty Conscience as one of the townsmen ― Which Way'd They Go? as a barfly - Outlaw's Shoes as one of the townsmen ― The Challenge as one of the townsmen ― None So Blind as one of the townsmen ― A Young Man's Fancy as one of the townsmen - End of the Hunt as one of the townsmen.
You can see Tom in The Rifleman many times, probably more times then listed. He always went unaccredited, but not here at the ranch.
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.
Bill Borzage appeared in three episodes as one of the townsmen ― The Decision ― Outlaw's Shoes ― Honest Abe.
Earl Spainard was in ten episodes ― Day of the Hunter as one of the townsmen ― Silent Knife as a barfly ― The Assault as one of the townsmen ― A Friend in Need as Harry the Bartender ― Two Ounces of Tin as one of the townsmen ― Outlaw Shoes as one of the townsmen ― Guilty Conscience as one of the townsmen, you can also see Earl in the bar in Stud City ― Short Rope for a Tall Man as one of the townsmen ― The Spoiler as one of the townsmen ― None So Blind as one of the townsman.
Jimmy Noel appeared in four episodes ― The Assailants ― Outlaw's Shoes as one of the townsmen ― Short Rope for a Tall Man as one of the Crown Henchmen ― The Apprentice Sheriff as a Barfly.
Joe Phillips appeared in four episodes of The Rifleman as a Townsman ― Quiet Night, Deadly Night ― Outlaw's Shoes ― The Actress ― Strange Town
Bloopers - Outlaw's Shoes
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
around The McCain Ranch