"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
I must admit that this is another one of those days! You see, we came into town today because an old friend of ours, Able Goss, was in North Fork doing his photography business. It had been a long time since Mark had his picture taken and I wanted to have a recent one of him. Able was setting up the camera and all. I stood by the wagon and watched, a proud smile on my face. It was obvious that Mark wasn’t too thrilled to have his picture taken! He wasn’t even posing! So Able went over to position him the way he wanted Mark to stand.
"You remember the last time I took your daguerreotype back in the nations Mark?" asked Able.
Mark thought he remembered. “Course, I was just a kid then,” he answered. Isn’t he just so cute?
"Yep, you were just a little one," Able commented as he got the camera ready. “You’ve grown a lot since…sure have. I guess it was a while back, but to me it was just yesterday! Don't seem like too long since I took your Ma and Pa's wedding picture," he bragged.
Boy, did that bring back memories! “Ah,” I said as I remembered. “That’s a day I won’t forget!”
"You two sure made a pretty picture," remarked Able.
As it turns out, something was wrong with the hinge on the camera so Mark's picture taking would have to wait. That was okay since we had lots to do in town. “Is it all right if we come back later?” I asked.
But I got no answer, because Able was suddenly visibly upset. I was confused when he said, “It’s them! I knew the day would come!” I then watched in surprise as Able reached into the wagon for his gun.
I immediately reached for the gun and took it away from him. “What’s got into you, Able?” I asked. “Let me have that gun!” I ordered.
“Give it to me! I’m gonna kill ‘em!” he said with a look of hate in his eyes.
“Get ahold of yourself, man!” I said. I was very taken aback by this attitude. This wasn’t like Able. He asked me if I knew who the two men were that were leaving the hotel.
"I've seen them around, they are buying a ranch outside town," I answered.
“That’s Colonel Jess Whiteside and his orderly, Bart Jameson. Filthy butchers,” Able growled. "They ran a prison camp, villous hole this side of Hades." I didn’t understand what was going on here, but I reminded Able that the war was over. “You can say that, Luke. But I lived a year under those vultures!”
“Over and done with a long time ago!” I continued.
“I give you my word, Luke. I’m gonna kill ‘em! I’ve waited years for the chance. Now I’m gonna kill ‘em! I’m gonna kill ‘em!”
Well, Whiteside and Jameson were peering down through binoculars at the photographer from their hotel room. They had recognized Able and remembered the threat he made to them so many years ago to kill them both for his treatment at the prison camp. “He screamed to stay alive just so he could put a bullet in my head!” the Colonel stated.
“You laughed at him because you didn’t think he was going to last through the night!” Jameson remembered.
The Colonel stated that was a slight miscalculation. He was planning on correcting it that very day.
Jameson was ready to get out of town as soon as it was dark. Colonel Whiteside was gonna stay and correct the mistake he had made years before by not killing Able. "The deal here is just too good," responded Whiteside. They were staying.
“You know, you never worried about Able when he was in prison. Why the sudden change?” Colonel wanted to know.
Jameson was drinking. “When I lay down at night I see faces in the dark. I don’t even know who they are, but I can tell by the way they look at me that I killed them. First it was a war, and killing was something you’re supposed to do. But it’s been over for a long time and we’re still at it! Only we’re not soldiers anymore!”
The Colonel was angry at the words Jameson was saying. He was angry that Jameson had taken to the bottle, so he grabbed the bottle from him and stated, “You’re drunk! And getting drunker!” He was bullying Jameson into killing Able. He grabbed the rifle and gave it to Jameson. “You’ll do as I say. You always have and you always will!” Jameson was to stand at the window and shoot Able when he had a good shot of him.
While this conversation was going on in the hotel, I decided to go talk to the judge about these two men that Able was so agonized over. I gave Mark the money and told him to go see if Able was ready to take his picture. I also wanted him to invite our old friend to supper. Able agreed, and told Mark to act like school had gotten out for a couple days. That shouldn’t be too hard for a boy who disliked school!
So, I went into the hotel to talk to the judge about the two men that upset Able. While I was doing that, Able was preparing Mark for another picture. He had to laugh and joke with Mark a bit to get the proper smile from him. Mark had to hold still for five whole seconds – pretty hard thing for a ten-year old to do!
About the time Able was done with Mark’s photograph, Whiteside stepped into the street and called out to Able. Able knew there was major trouble about to erupt, so he shouted to Mark to take cover under the wagon. He obeyed. Then two shots rang through the air. It startled me and the judge, and we ran out to see what was going on.
I ran to the street I could see Able had kept his promise. Colonel Whiteside lay dead in the dirt. "Able, you must be out of your mind! I didn't think you meant it," I said.
"Self defense, Luke, I swear. He called me out and made the play," Able explained. I knew that wasn’t true!
Micah took the gun from him and noted two bullets were missing from the chamber. Able explained he had shot a rattler that morning in his camp but Micah wasn't buying the story and Able couldn't prove it.
In all the excitement, I forgot that Mark was supposed to getting his photograph taken! Mark called out to me, and I immediately kneeled down in front of him to make sure he was okay. “Mark, are you all right?” I asked as I laid my hand on his arm.
“Yeah, but why are they-“
I interrupted him. I didn’t have time for questions. “Did you see what happened?” I asked. I needed to get to the bottom of this!
“Well, Mr. Goss said to duck so I dove under the wagon. But why-“
Again, I interrupted him. He had to have some information I could use! “Did you see any of the shooting?” I asked desperately.
“Well, I saw Colonel Whiteside when he called him Mr. Goss, but what are they do-“
“Now, listen to me, Mark! Did you see the Colonel draw his gun?”
“Well, I told ya. I dove under the wagon!” Mark explained again. I was so disappointed. I was hoping Mark had seen something that would clear my friend. “But why are they taking him-“
Again, I didn’t have time for his questions! “All right, son, never mind.” I could tell he wasn’t going to be any help. “Wait for me by the horses.”
“Well, can’t I go with you?” he asked. I know he was confused.
“No, go on!” I pointed toward the horses. “Go on.”
After sending Mark away, I went back to listen for the conversation. Things were not looking good for my friend. It really did look like he did it! Whiteside never drew, yet Able was insisting that he fired first. The evidence was certainly against my friend! “This man was shot in the back,” Micah declared. “I’m taking you in for murder.”
Bart Jameson appeared from the background and stated jail was a waste of time. He reported that he knew Whiteside and Gus hated each other, and it was no surprise that Gus killed him.
I wanted to see what I could do to help Able. He was really happy when I showed up in the jail to talk to him. He thought I believed in him, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t. “Maybe it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have given you back the gun,” I stated. It was then that he realized I wasn’t believing his story.
“Able, you told me straight out you were going to kill him. Not an hour later, I as much as saw you do it, I explained.
Able continued to stick to his story. “Able, you tell the whole truth in court, and I think you’ll get off pretty good. At least as far as they won’t hang you.” This was hard for me. He was my friend and now I had to believe he committed cold-blooded murder.
“I just told you the truth!” Able insisted.
I had to explain. “No, I mean about what they did to you in prison. Tell them everything. The jury will understand what that can do to a man. They’ll be lenient.”
He didn’t want to talk about the prison camp because then they’d think he’d do it. I was trying to help him. I didn’t know what else to do. “Able, I wish I could believe you. But from where I’m sitting, it just doesn’t look that way.”
“Does Mark feel the same way?” Able interrupted me.
“No he doesn’t. But he didn’t see what I did. Besides, he’s a young boy and he took a liking to you,” I explained.
“Well, I feel the same way about him. He’s growing up to have fine qualities.” Able turned and looked me straight in the eye. “Like his mother.” Now, I’ll confess that hurt me, but there was nothing I could do. I had to speak truth the way I saw it.
When I walked outside, Mark rushed up to me. He was worried about Able. “What’s gonna happen to him pa?” he asked.
“It’ll be up to the jury, son.” That was all I could say.
“Will they hang him?” Mark wanted to know. I told him they might. “Well, can’t you do anything to help him?”
“The best thing I can do is leave town,” I stated.
“Why’s that, pa?”
I put my arm around him and said with a very heavy heart, “Because it’s my testimony that could hang him!”
The trial was conducted. Mark and I were both there to tell our story. The judge called the meeting to order. He started out by asking Able how he would plead, and Able pleaded not guilty. I was hoping he would take me up on my suggestion. The judge called me up to the stand first. I walked up with a heavy heart, but took my oath knowing I would abide but what I swore.
The judge asked me to tell the court what I saw. “Well, I was in the Madeira House talking to the judge when I heard a shot and another one.” Then the judge wanted to know if I saw the defendant. “Yes I did.”
“Describe what you saw,” the judge ordered.
“He was standing at the back of the wagon with a gun in his hand.” Then I reported that the victim was laying face-down on the street.” When the judge asked me if I knew Able, I didn’t hesitate to reply that he was my friend. “He has been for many years.” The questions were getting harder to answer. The next question, for example, was if Able ever threatened the victim. I couldn’t lie. “Yes. He told me he was gonna kill him,” I answered with a heavy heart.
“Was his reason for saying this because he feared the victim might kill him first?” the judge asked as people were mumbling among themselves. I had to tell him no. He wanted to know the reason. I knew Able didn’t want me to. I had told Mark about it and he knew Able didn’t want me to. But Able was my friend and I could not sit back and watch him die because of my testimony. I looked at Able, who shook his head at me. I looked at my son. I was the only one who could make this decision, so I did the only thing I knew to do. I told the whole truth. “Goss was a prisoner of war under Whiteside. He threatened to get even because of the cruel and brutal treatment he was subjected to at the hands of the colonel.” Mark was disappointed in me. Able was disappointed in me. I had a heavy heart, but I did the best I could.
As I sat down, Mark told me he needed to talk to me outside before he testified. I nodded and we went out into the hall. “I know what’s troubling you, Mark. But I said what I had to,” I started to explain.
My son was mad and I could tell. “But you made it sound like he did it,” he argued.
“That’s the way I saw it.” I said this with a very firm voice.
“You’re wrong! You just don’t know!” Mark protested.
“Now listen to me, Mark. The jury will do the final deciding. I know what I heard and saw and you’re not gonna tell me different!”
But Mark was still angry. “Well, maybe you just didn’t see so good!” he accused me with a bitter voice.
I didn’t like the way my boy was talking to me! “I can see where you and I better do some serious talking tonight,” was my answer.
"Does that mean you don't want me telling my side in court?" he asked.
“No, I didn’t say that son,” I assured him sincerely.
“What I saw and heard doesn’t seem to be the same thing that you saw and heard,” he warned me. “I’ll be getting’ up in front of everybody and talking against you, pa.”
I would be lying if I said his words didn’t hurt me. But I had to remain stern, yet fair. "You're entitled to your opinion same as I am, son. Our disagreeing has nothing to do with what you telling the truth the way you saw it. Justice depends on that, son,” I reassured him.
We went back into the courtroom and waited patiently for the Judge to call my son up to the stand. I felt for him. He must have been so nervous and so confused. It’s hard for adults to understand such matters, much less a child! But he was brave and he stood up for what he believed. I’m proud of him for that!
The judge swore Mark in. “Well, I was having my picture taken’ by Mr. Goss when all of a sudden he yelled at me to duck. Then I took one look toward the hotel and saw Colonel Whiteside standing in the middle of the street. Well, his hands were spread out like this.” Mark stood up and posed like a man ready to draw. “And he looked ready to draw. So I got out of the way fast.”
“Did you actually see Colonel Whiteside draw his gun and fire a shot?” the judge asked Mark point-blank.
“No sir. But what I wanted to say is that…well, I believe Colonel Whiteside fired at Mr. Goss first cause like I said…I did see him ready to reach for his gun. And then the second that I turned around, I heard the first shot. Well, Mr. Goss couldn’t’ have got his gun out by then!” About a second later, he heard the second shot.
The judge pointed out to Mark that Colonel Whiteside’s gun was still in the holster and wasn’t fired. These were facts Mark had trouble facing. “But I know that Mr. Goss wouldn’t murder anybody! He’s too nice a man!” Mark stated with confidence.
Laughing erupted. I swung my head around. It broke my heart to listen to these people laughing at my brave little boy! There was nothing wrong with him having a firm belief in his friend. I watched Mark stand up with a soured expression. I waited for him to sit down next to me so I could squeeze his hand and give him a friendly smile, and tell him job well done. But Mark didn’t sit down. He left the court proceedings with his head hung low. I was sure he felt ashamed and betrayed when the people laughed at him. I couldn’t sit there knowing my son was hurting. For this reason, I stood up and went looking for my boy so I could console him.
He wasn’t sitting with his head hung low though. He was in the middle of the street where the incident had occurred. He was walking off paces, reenacting the whole event. I scratched my neck as I watched him. I saw him turn and look up at the motel window. I looked toward the window. That’s when I knew what was going through his head. I walked up to him. “Mark, what on earth are you doing?”
But he simply pulled at my arm. He dragged me to the spot he wanted me to stand. He pretended to be the photographer. He pretended to be Whiteside. Then he turned and pointed at the window. He didn’t have to say a word. I completely understood in that moment what he was thinking. I was so proud that he didn’t let the courtroom full of laughing people get him down that I had to agree to help him. “We’ll give a try, son! We’ll give it a try!” I stated.
“Come on,” Mark said impatiently as he took my hand and dragged me toward the courtroom.
We rushed back into the courtroom and I asked the judge for permission to speak to our friend. "Do you think the cause of justice will be served by interrupting the trial this way?" the Judge inquired.
"Well, I’m not sure, but it's possible," I replied. Permission was given and I asked Able to explain the steps to develop Mark's photograph. It all sounded quite complicated to me.
Mark and I looked all over Able’s wagon for that plate that he used for Mark’s daguerreotype. Mark looked in the camera and found it. Then I proceeded to try to develop it.
Court convened a bit later with Able testifying and swearing he'd only fired one shot. I rushed in to report I had some new evidence. “Well, this is out of order,” the judge stated. But then he said, “but the court recognized the seriousness of this case and the importance of all facts baring on it. You may proceed, Mr. McCain.”
I came up front. “Judge, my son testified that Mr. Goss took his picture before the shooting.” I held up the negative from the camera. “This is the developed negative of that picture. It shows the colonel standing in the street behind my son. It also shows a window in the hotel which is directly in line with the colonel’s back. If you take a close look, you can see a man standing in that window with a rifle. So judge, if you allow Mr. Goss to develop the picture form this negative, I’m sure we’ll all recognize that man.”
Suddenly, Jamison stood up, drew out his gun, and shot that negative right out of my hand! Though I was expecting something to happen, I wasn’t quite expecting this. I looked at him, shocked. Micah was ready. He came in and took Jamison’s gun away, ordering him to get inside the courtroom. When the judge asked for an explanation, Jamison answered, “You can let Goss go. I killed Whiteside. But I can tell you this much. I had good reason to.”
Able thanked me for what I did, but Mark deserved all the credit! It was all his idea. I told him to thank Mark. “Well, I always knew how he felt about me,” he smiled at Mark.
“So did I.” I had my arm on Mark’s shoulder. Mark smiled up at me. “That’s why when he came up about this foolish notion about the picture, I went along with him. I also figured that if Mark wouldn’t give up after the way they laughed at him in court, I owed it to him to stick out my neck in court too.”
“But you weren’t sticking your neck out with the proof right there in that negative!” Able protested.
Mark and I laughed. “Able, I’m a rancher, not a photographer. I never did develop that negative!” I declared. We all laughed. Mark's confidence and faith in his friend amazed me. I relearned a lesson from Mark this time - the idea of trusting your instincts, standing by your friends, and fighting for what you believe in.
piddlin' stuff.....John Carradine appeared in two episodes ― The Photographer as Abel Goss, the photographer and friend of Lucas' who was charged for murder. James Barrow McBride in The Mind Reader as the mind reader.
Sidney Blackmer played Judge Hanavan in three episodes ― The Sharpshooter ― The Safe Guard ― The Photographer.
I really liked this character. Too bad he didn't do more on The Rifleman.
Raymond Bailey played Colonel Jess Whiteside in this episode. He's the one Jamison killed and blamed it on Able.
Robert Ellenstein played Bart Jamison, he's the one who killed Whiteside and blamed it on Able.
Matthew McCue has appeared in two episodes ― The Sharpshooter as a townsman ― The Photographer as a juror.
George DeNormand as one of the townsmen in The Photographer and Outlaw's Inheritance.
Robert H. Robinson has appeared in thirteen episodes ― The Safe Guard ― Duel of Honor ― New Orleans Menace ― The Gaucho ― The Pet ― The Photographer ― The Mind Reader ― The Patsy ― Legacy ― Shotgun Man ― Day of Reckoning ― Suspicion ― Hostage to Fortune. He played a townsmen in all these episodes except one and that is Duel of Honor as as John Bradley, a passenger on the stage.
King Mojave appeared in nine episodes ― Duel of Honor as Ed Simmons, one of the passengers on the stagecoach ― The Safe Guard as Charlie the bank teller ― The Sister as one of the cowboys watching the fight ― The Challenge as a customer in the store ― The Photographer as a cowboy on the Jury ― The Wrong Man as the hotel clerk and a townsman ― The Obituary as a townsman ― The Illustrator as the man getting off the stage ― The Grasshopper as the man in the booth who sold the tickets.
Prudence Beers appeared in two episodes ― The Safe Guard as a Townswoman ― The Photographer as Trial Spectator.
Brick Sullivan as one of the Jurors.
Frank McClure as a juror. (This episode aired 2 months after he died but it was filmed before he died obviously)
Rudy Doucette has appeared in two episodes ― The Indian as a townsmen ― The Photographer one of the jurors.
Rick Warick as a juror.
Bobby Somers — has done many of stunts in his day. He worked with some of the best! Sadly Bobby went unaccredited in most of his movies/shows. His list of credits is way to far to list. Please checkout IMDB for a list of his credits.
Although Bobby is known for his stunts, Bobby did a lot of different thing such as Miscellaneous Crew and Acting.
Jesse Wayne appeared in twenty-three episodes as Johnny Crawford's stuntman. Not sure who doubled for Johnny in the episode of Requiem at Mission Springs but he is a possibility, especially after that bad tumble Mark took.
*Photography in the 19th century was accurately portrayed in this episode, in that a person had to hold still for some seconds to have his/her picture made (a few seconds to 30+ seconds, depending on light and on how modern the equipment being used by the photographer was). By the early 1880's, they had probably improved on the foregoing sentence (which relates more to the 1860's - remember, I am a Civil War buff) but there would still have been photographers around with older equipment.
So, it was accurately shown that the photographer removes the lens cover, counts to 3 or 4 or whatever, then covered the lens again. Mark McCain would have had to hold very still, or blur the picture! No photographer would have taken a picture on the street like that, because horses, pedestrians, gunmen at 2nd story windows, or whatever, would have blurred the picture.
Also, they used "wet plate" photography during much of the 19th century - I am not sure when it was replaced by dry plate photography- but it looked like a wet plate frame he was using. A wet plate had to be prepared immediately before the shot - and then developed IMMEDIATELY before the plate dried. Developing the picture for the trial, maybe several days later, would not have worked. Thanks Renewed Fan!
Bloopers - The Photographer
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 Retired Gun
around The McCain Ranch