"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
Miss Adams was gone. She was no longer North Fork’s school teacher,
and we would miss her dearly. North Fork now has a brand new teacher
– a male teacher from the East. His name was Mr. Griswald,
this is his story.
On the first day of school, I decided to ride Mark into school. Then
Billy hopped up for a ride. Before I knew it, I had half the kids in
my wagon! We were almost to school when we came up on three very
cute kids. Naturally, being the nice guy that I am, I offered to
give them a ride also. I took the smallest boy on my lap, then
waited for the other two to climb off. We were off again!
As we were on our way, Mr. Griswald, dressed in a Eastern style
three piece suit and tie, went to the door to watch us pull up. He
looked at his watch with a somber expression on his face.
As soon as we pulled up, the kids jumped out of the wagon. “Here he
comes,” Billy stated. I told you he looks like he eats persimmons.”
My son, you know the one with the innocent-looking smile? Well, he
smiled real big as we studied Mr. Griswald. "He sure does.”
"Now boys," I warned them to watch what they said, but I couldn’t
help but be a little amused.
Mr. Griswald walked up to the wagon and introduced himself. I
introduced myself, as well as Mark and Billy Davis, Mark’s friend.
“These children are twelve minutes late for class.” Mr. Griswald
looked at his pocket watch to enforce his statement. I tried to
explain how a Western school operated. Many families didn’t have
time pieces, so the children had to judge their pace by the bell.
“They’ll be no bell for my classroom. Punctuality is the responsible
of the individual.” His expression was firm.
“I see,” I stated. But I wasn’t so sure he saw. “Well fellas, you
better hustle!” I gave Mark a pat on the back and helped him down
off the wagon. Then I helped Billy down. He accidently hit my rifle
and it fell off the wagon. Billy immediately apologized for his
Naturally, my boy Mark bent over to pick it up and hand it to me.
“Don’t touch that!” Mr. Griswald suddenly shouted.
Mark’s hand froze. “But it’s not-“ he started as he once again bent
to pick it up.
“I said don’t touch it!” Mr. Griswald ordered gruffly.
I stared at Mr. Griswald, not quite believing that he was talking to
my son like that – especially when I was still standing right there!
I didn’t much appreciate it either. “But it’s not good for a gun to
stay in the dirt,” Mark tried to explain calmly.
But Mr. Griswald was anything but calm! He was acting like Mark had
just threatened to burn the school down or something! “Take your
places in the schoolroom…immediately!” he ordered Mark and Billy.
Hello? Didn’t he see me, the father, sitting right there in the
wagon? Didn’t he think I was capable of disciplining my own child?
But Mark said nothing. He nodded, gave me one last look, then
hurried into the classroom.
Mr. Griswald bent over and picked up my rifle. He held it out to me
and asked, “Is this gun loaded, Mr. McCain?”
Now I ask, what good is an unloaded gun? “Certainly,” I answered as
I took my gun from him and sat it securely on my lap.
“In the name of sanity, how can you place a loaded weapon within
easy reach of children?”
I remained calm knowing he was from back east and not used to the
western culture’s way of life. “Your points well taken, Mr. Griswald,”
I stated. “But it can’t go off without being cocked. And the reason
it’s loaded is because a rifle’s a necessary safeguard in open
country.” I tried educating him on some facts about the West.
“Safeguard? Carelessness is inexcusable anywhere!” Mr. Griswald
“I just explained-“ I started, but he wouldn’t let me finish Mr.
high and mighty thought he was so much wiser then me. He ordered –
yes, ordered – me not to bring a firearm to the school again.
I stared at his retreating figure as he walked into the schoolhouse.
Boy, did I feel sorry for those kids right now!
His first order of business was to make sure the children understood
his rules. “Learning is your duty, teaching you well is mine,” he
stated as he held a long pointing stick in his hand and walked up
and down the rows of desks.
His second order of business was to change the way kids out here
lived. He ordered that no child was to come to school without shoes
on. He warned that any child coming to school without shoes would be
sent home. Mark couldn’t keep quiet on that matter. “Well, but a lot
of the shoes will be dirty before they get here, especially those
walking. Pa only brought them in today because it was the first
Mr. Griswald’s response? “Young man, you are speaking out of turn.”
Mark suddenly straightened up. “I’m sorry.”
Then Mr. Griswald jabbered off about his being aware of how dusty
the road was and how much the kids took pleasure in looking neat and
clean. About that time Mark rolled his eyes, but lucky for him Mr.
Griswald was too busy talking to see him do it. Then Mr. Griswald
stated that walking bare footed is a threat to personal health as
well as appearance.
From the look on Mark’s face, he thought Mr. Griswald was full of
it! But he yes sired him along with everyone else.
"Come November, I'll wear some,” Billy announced then.
Mr. Griswald turned his attention to Billy. “You will wear shoes
tomorrow like everyone else,” he ordered sternly.
“But I gotta wait ‘til first frost!” Mr. Griswald told him to remain
after class and explain his behavior.
Again, Mark spoke
to defend his friend. It was obvious to him as well that Mr.
Griswald just didn’t understand the ways of the West. “Billy’s got
five sisters, Mr. Griswald. Now, his mother buys for one each
month.” But Mr. Griswald didn’t allow any exceptions to the rules of
He turned back to “William” and told him he’d buy him a pair of
shoes after class. “Well, I ain’t too sure my Ma would like that,”
Billy stated. But Mr. Griswald didn’t want to hear it. He’d make
arrangements with Billy’s mother.
“And Mark, I want no more interruptions from you.” Mark knew that
was a final warning.
Mark sure had a lot of homework that night! He was busy doing his
homework while I worked on my own chores. But when I came in at nine
I found him asleep at the table. I walked up behind him and gently
laid a hand on his shoulder. Mark lifted his head up. “It’s after
nine, son.” Nine o’clock was Mark’s bedtime. “You better get to
But Mark said he had to finish his homework. I can remember other
times when Mark didn’t finish his homework, and the last time was
when he and Billy went fishing. He knew that on nights when he had
lots of homework it was straight home from school. I questioned him
about him and Billy going fishing after school today. “No Pa,
honest!” Mark answered. “It’s that old Persimmons’-“ I shot Mark a
warning look. “I mean Mr. Griswald.” He said he gave so much
homework that no one had time for anything else – even chores!
I told Mark that his lessons were more important then chores right
now – he had his whole life for chores!
But Mark wanted to know what the sense was in learning about some
Greek named Academes. These were the precious moments for me – when
I am able to do my fatherly duty and teach my son. I savored these
moments with him. I sat down and tried to explain. "Mark, everything
you learn comes in handy someday, one way or another." I asked him
if he ever heard of a battle the Greeks fought called Thermopylae?
Mark said he did remember, but Mr. Griswald said it wasn’t even
there anymore. – it was now a swamp. “Well son, the place may be
gone, but knowing what happened there saved my life when I was in
Mark was all ears now. His eyes grew wide in surprise. "Honest?"
I nodded, then I told him about it. "It was the first year of the
war, on an eight man patrol, we ran smack into a party of rebs.
There must have been twenty of them. They opened fired. In a few
minutes there was only four of us left." Mark stopped me, asking if
I was scared. I nodded. "They drove us back against the cliff.
Looked like we didn't have a chance. Then I remembered a box canyon
I scouted a couple of days before. Oh, about fifty yards across,
about the same width as the pass through the mountains of
Thermopylae If we could get to it we could hold them off the way the
Greeks held off the Persians."
Mark understood. "Sure cause, cause only a few of them could get
into the canyon at a time.”
“Right!” I stated as I continued my story. "Well, we crawled and
fought every inch of the way. We finally made it. And we did hold
them off until our main column showed up.”
"I see what you mean.” Mark eagerly went back to his homework, now
understanding the importance of Greek history.
I was proud that I was able to change his thinking. Then I told him
I’d go bed down the stock. But Mark was just too tired and soon fell
asleep, his head once again on the table.
The next morning, Mark was quite as eager about history. Sally was
reciting what she had learned from her history assignment the night
before. Mark only half listened. He was tired and wasn’t in the mood
to engage in a boring history lesson. Billy got Mark’s attention and
passed him some jujubes. Mr. Griswald saw the exchange and stopped
Sally. He then ordered Mark to pick up where Sally had left off.
Mark stood up and began naming the goddesses. But Mark suddenly
stopped and admitted he hadn’t finished his homework the night
before. “And why not?” Mr. Griswald asked angrily. “Everyone else is
Mark answered honestly, not thinking there was anything wrong with
his reason. He stated that he fell asleep after talking to me. But
in Mr. Griswald’s eyes, there was something wrong with that, and he
let Mark know how wrong I had been. “You will remain after school
for an hour,” he stated.
Mark closed his eyes, knowing he was to be punished. "Yes sir.”
"Every day! Since your father considers talking more important then
studying, it becomes my duty to see that your lessons are completed
here!" Griswald stated.
That made Mark mad. He hadn’t figured the McCain family out yet, and
one thing you don’t do is bad
me in front of Mark! “You got no cause to talk that way about my
Pa!” Mark stated bravely.
Mr. Griswald ordered Mark to sit down. “You got no cause to say
anythin’ about my Pa!”
Mr. Griswald glared at Mark as he took off his glasses. “I said sit
down!” he ordered.
Mark became even more angry. "No!” he shouted. “No I won't sit down!
No!” Then he ran out of the school house.
I was surprised when I came in the house later to find Mark sweeping
our rug. I gently set the bucket I was carrying and asked in a calm
voice, “You kids get out of school early today?”
He didn’t stop sweeping, but answered my question in an annoyed
voice. “No. I just came home.”
As I rolled my sleeves up, I stopped to look at him. Mark knew
better then to run out on school. He knew how I felt about his
education. I watched him sweep for a moment, then walked towards
him. I knew there had been some kind of trouble. “Some kind of
Talking about it seemed to make him more agitated. “Mr. Griswald got
all riled because I didn’t finish my homework.”
I propped my foot up on a chair and leaned towards him. Sternly, I
asked “He sent you home?” I looked straight at him waiting for an
honest answer. Mark told me Mr. Griswald had told him to stay after
school for an hour every day. “Every day?” I asked suddenly. “For
“He didn’t say,” Mark answered.
I didn’t like talking to him with his back turned. I wanted some
straight answers. “Mark!” I called his name sharply. He turned and
looked at me. Immediately I knew there was something he wasn’t
telling me. In a calmer voice I asked, “What else?”
“He said that…you thought talkin’ was more important then my studyin’,
that you weren’t doin’ good for me. That’s when I came home.”
“I see,” I simply stated. But I didn’t think that was cause for Mark
to come home.
“He isn’t fair!” Mark declared.
“He’s strict, but I don’t think he means to be unfair,” I corrected
him. My voice was still calm.
My words angered Mark. “He’s a mean, nasty, rotten, old varmint!” he
“Mark!” I said sternly. “I want you to go back to school. As long as
Mr. Griswald’s the teacher there, you’ve got no choice but to obey
him.” I told him this sternly as I looked him straight in the eye so
he would no there was no arguing about it
But he had been hurt by his new teacher, and he wasn’t allowing
himself to understand Mr. Griswald. "But Pa I can't. I hate him!"
I was a bit shocked at his words. “Hate?” I asked. “Isn’t that a
strong word to use just because you don’t agree with someone?” Mark
looked at me, knowing I was right. He had no cause to say the things
he had just said. I sternly looked at him. Keeping my voice calm, I
stated, “You better go back.”
Looking in my eyes, he knew I was ordering him back. I was giving
him no choice. “Alright,” Mark said. But I knew he was mad at me for
making him go back. He handed me the broom and left. I watched him
leave, still afraid he was holding a grudge against his new teacher.
When he returned to school, the children were having lunch. Mark
apologized and promised that he would make up his homework he missed
last night. Mr. Griswald accepted Mark’s apology, but announced
sternly that he would remain an hour today and tomorrow for his
conduct in class. Mark accepted his punishment and walked over to
“He should have stayed in Boston, the old stick!” Billy exclaimed.
“It’s the way Pa feels that bothers me,” Mark stated as he stared at
They walked back into the classroom. "I know something that will fix
him and his old Greeks!" Billy declared as he walked up to Mr.
Griswald’s desk. Mark wanted to know what that was, but Billy told
him he’d see. Then Billy took a handful of jujubes out of his bag
and put them on Mr. Griswald’s open book. Billy slammed it shut.
Mark gasped as he ran up to the desk. “Don’t do that!” he begged.
But Billy said it was too late – it was already done.
Mark opened the book up and looked. Billy was right – it was already
done! He closed the book then realized that Mr. Griswald had walked
in the room. Mark took off his hat and stared at Mr. Griswald. “What
are you doing at my desk?” he asked. Mark was suddenly afraid. He
didn’t know what to say. “Answer my question!” Mr. Griswald
“I…I was…Nothing, Mr. Griswald,” Mark answered lamely.
Mr. Griswald ordered him to take his seat. Mark did nervously,
knowing that in only moments Mr. Griswald would find the mess. Mr.
Griswald sat down at his desk and opened his book. He stared at the
jujubes smashed in the middle of his book. Mark had been seen
slamming the book shut, so Mr. Griswald immediately looked at Mark.
He angrily stood up and took off his glasses. “Stand up, Mark
McCain,” Mr. Griswald ordered.
Mark stood up nervously and waited for his punishment. “Every book
has a soul. You have destroyed this book – murdered a piece of
Mark turned and looked at Billy. “No!” Mark shouted. “No, I didn’t!
He turned and looked at Billy. “Please, Mark,” he begged. So out of
loyalty to his friend, he kept silent.
Mr. Griswald grabbed his switch and demanded Mark to come forward.
Mark slowly made his way to the front of the classroom. Mark closed
his eyes as he realized he was about to be whipped. Slowly, he
turned around and waited for the thrashing.
It came – he was whipped.
Later that afternoon, Mark was laying face-down on his bed bawling
because I was upset with him. I yelled at him, angry for what he had
done. “Mr. Griswald said you were standing at the desk opening the
book when he came in.”
Mark lifted his head from the pillow and looked at the wall. “I’ll
never go back to that school! Not as long as I live! Not while he’s
there!” Mark screamed.
He didn’t seem to understand the problem! I was getting angrier.
“Books are valuable, expensive and hard to freight! The school needs
every one it has. Destruction’s not like you, Mark”
Mark suddenly lifted from the pillow and turned. “Billy did it, not
me!” he shouted.
I was shocked. “Billy?” I asked. “Why didn’t you tell Mr. Griswald?”
Mark gave me a lame excuse – he didn’t want to snitch on him. It was
now time for Mark to learn another hard lesson in life. I stood up
as I took this new information in. “I don’t know what to say.” I was
trying to keep my emotions – my anger and disappointment – at bay.
But as I turned around to speak, my voice held the anger. “But if
you choose to stand up and take the blame for someone, you gotta do
just that. Not run away.”
“I don’t mind the punishment,” Mark stated. “I just can’t take
anymore of him.”
I was tired of going around and around with Mark about this. I
thought I had made myself very clear. Maybe it was because I didn’t
know what else to say. Or maybe it was because I didn’t know what to
think…Whatever the reason, I suddenly spat out, “You’re not the one
who passes on teachers. You’ve got no choice but to go back to
“I won’t!” Mark stated angrily.
That made me even more angry – his back talk…”If Mr. Griswald’s not
the right teacher for us, it’ll be taken up by the town council. In
the meanwhile, you’ll go back!” I demanded.
“No!” Mark shouted. “No please, Pa! Please!” He was begging me, but
that didn’t help either of us.
“Mark, don’t disobey me, too.” I stated. Then I turned and walked to
the door. I turned and angrily glared at Mark once more as he began
crying. Then I firmly closed the door leaving him to do some serious
Mark was upset. He felt like I didn’t understand him. “I can’t, Pa,”
he cried softly after I left. “Not even for you.” Then he laid down
and cried into his pillow.
Little did I know that the next
day Mark and Billy played hooky from school. When it was about time
for school to let out Mark and Billy were sitting on a bank. They
were throwing pebbles into a pool of water. Mark suddenly suggested
they get going before someone saw them there. “I know just the
place,” Billy stated. “We can hide out every day. Nobody’ll ever
find us!” Mark wanted to know where that was. He said it was a cave
in the hills over there.
Billy started to stand up to take Mark to the cave, but Mark grab
hold of the back of his pants. “Wait!” he said. Billy turned to look
at him. “Uh…just because I’m not going back is no reason for you to
“I’m not going back either!” Billy declared.
Mark smiled. He was glad to have a partner in crime. “Okay, let’s
Billy led him to the cave. Mark was impressed – it was an old mine
cave. Being a boy, Mark was curious as to how far back it went. So
naturally, he went to explore, jumping in an old cart to ride down
Billy pushed him off and watched him go. But he didn’t go far when
there was a loud crash. There was a cave-in and the rocks all fell.
“Mark!” Billy shouted. “Mark, are you alright?”
But Mark didn’t answer. He hurried out of the cave to get help.
Mark suddenly came to and discovered he was trapped in the cave. It
was dark and he was hurt. His legs were stuck. He was trapped. He
hollered for Billy, but got no answer. He suddenly heard a noise and
looked up. The entire roof was about to cave in, and if it did there
would be no hope for him! “Oh Pa!” Mark cried. “What’ll I do now?”
He then began sobbing, feeling frightened and very much alone.
Meanwhile, I was out working on the fence when I saw the kids
laughing and playing as they ran down the road. I smiled at them.
The one with his shirt unbuttoned sure was cute! But then I suddenly
realized Mark wasn’t with them. I sat down my pliers and hurried
toward Sally. I called out to her. “Is Mark on his way home from
school?” I asked.
“I don’t know, Mr. McCain!”
I suddenly had this feeling – you know the feeling a parent gets
when he knows his child’s in trouble. I forgot about my chores and
jumped in my wagon to go find my boy. When I got to the school, Mr.
Griswald insisted Mark hadn’t even been in school today. “No, I’m
not mistaken. And I tell you he left for school early this morning,”
I stated worriedly as we walked out of the school house together.
Mr. Griswald stated that both Mark and Billy were absent. I knew
Mark should be home by now even if they had played hooky. Mr.
Griswald suddenly asked why. “Anything could be expected of a
rebellious boy like your son,” he stated as we walked down the
I turned and glared at him. “Now look, Mr. Griswald. Mark never gave
me trouble until you came!” I stated harshly. “You’ve educated him
He started spouting off that his training and credentials were the
finest. Oh please, give me a break! I was angry because my son was
missing and he was declaring him a rebellious child. I didn’t much
appreciate how he had treated Mark, and it was time I gave him a
piece of my mind! "It takes more then credentials to make a good
teacher. It takes a heart and I don't think you've got one! But your
gonna help me find those boys."
"Excuse me Mr. McCain, I have work to do at home." He started to
I angrily grabbed his arm. "Were gonna look for those boy and when
we find them they better be alright!” I warned him.
He looked down at my hand that was still on his arm. He knew I meant
business so I removed it. "Very well," he finally agreed. "I suggest
we begin our search at the Davis ranch where they undoubtedly spent
"For your sake I hope so,” I answered. “Come on!” I hurried toward
I quickly headed for the Davis Ranch. But as I traveled, Billy
suddenly ran out in the middle of the road. Mr. Griswald called my
attention to him and I quickly stopped my wagon and jumped down.
“Mr. McCain!” Billy cried.
I ran over to him and got down on my knees as I grabbed him gently
and looked into his eyes. “Billy, what are you doing out here, son?
Where’s Mark?” I asked, suddenly worried something terrible was
“He’s in the cave! In the cave!” Billy cried in a panicked voice. I
asked him what cave.
all the dirt fell in. We was hiding, and all the dirt fell in!”
It sounded like a cave in! Fear gripped my very being. “On Mark,
son?” I asked suddenly frightened my boy was badly hurt. “Did it
fall on Mark?” I squeezed his arms tightly as I asked him this
question in a very frightened voice.
But Billy was so frightened. “I don’t know,” he answered. “I guess
I asked him where it was, but he couldn’t answer. The fear in my
voice was scaring him.
Suddenly, Mr. Griswald spoke up. "Stop sniveling!” he demanded.
“Where is it?"
Billy suddenly turned to him. He was angry, knowing Mark was in
trouble because he hated Mr. Griswald. "None of it would had
happened if you hadn't said mean things about Mr. McCain. That's why
Mark left school, that's why!" He shouted. He didn't know what Billy
was talking about. "You said Mr. McCain wouldn't let Mark study, and
it was his fault Mark didn't have his homework." I gave Griswald a
hard stare. I couldn’t believe he had said such things in front of
the entire class! Mr. Griswald stated he never realized what he had
said. I told him to forget it for now and told Billy to show us
where the cave was. I raced off. I had to get to my boy as fast as
Billy took us I into the cave and showed us where the mine had fell
in. I told Billy to stay there, then I told Griswald to come help me
– I wasn’t giving him a choice that that’s for certain!
I ran up to the pile of rubble and began removing rocks. “If we can
get through,” Mr. Griswald stated.
“I’ll get through!” I promised him. My boy was in there and no power
on earth was going to keep me from him. I furiously moved the rocks
just as fast as I could. I had no time to waste.
Mark was laying on the other side of the rubble frightened, trapped,
and alone. He was afraid as he watched the beam pressing to give
way. He knew there was only a matter of moments before the entire
beam would give way and he’d be crushed – gone forever.
A piece of the mine fell on Mr. Griswald and hit him in the
shoulder. I immediately stopped to make sure he was alright, then I
went back to removing the rubble as quickly as possible. “Mark?
Mark?” I screamed, desperately hoping I would hear some sign of life
from my son. It was killing me not to know how he was. Mark, can you
Mark heard my desperate cries. But as he was about to call out, the
beam began moaning again, fixing to give away. Once again, he was
overcome with fear that this moment was the last moment of his life.
When I didn’t hear anything, I began removing the rubble even faster
then I had before. The fact that he wasn’t calling out to me was a
very bad sign. Something was wrong – something was very wrong!
Suddenly, I heard him. “Pa? Pa? Pa, over here!” His voice was weak
and fearful. But he was alive! My heart swelled in joy! My boy was
“Hurry, Griswald!” I ordered! I had to get to my boy, to put my arms
around him and tell him everything would be okay.
I removed more rubble – enough for me and Mr. Griswald to squeeze
through. I squeezed through the hole, then turned to help Griswald
through. I may need his help.
Mark watched as I came through the hole. When he saw me, his voice
became louder and more desperate. “Pa, over here!” I screamed as
more dirt fell in his face.
I ran to him as fast as I could. I grabbed him. We looked deeply
into each other’s eyes for only a moment. We had been at odds, but I
was now relieved that he was okay – my eyes told him everything.
They told me that I forgave him and that I loved him. I pulled him
close to me in a tight, relieved hug. “Oh, I knew you’d come, Pa!”
he shouted as we held each other.
I pulled away and looked into his eyes, not quite believing a man
like me could be so lucky – he was okay! But suddenly, from above I
heard a noise. I looked up and determined the beam was about to give
way, and when it did we’d all be dead.
Desperately, I started working to get my boy out of there. “It won’t
budge, Pa. Not an inch!” Mark cried, suddenly frightened again. “But
I don’t think it’s broken.” I wasn’t concerned about it being broken
right now – that would mend. I was more concerned about getting him
free so we could get to safety.
I began pulling on the cart to lift it off his legs. I grunted and
groaned, telling Mark to move his leg out quick if it moved even a
little, but it wouldn’t budge. “Ah, this isn’t going to work. We
need a lever,” I stated.
I began looking around. “There’s not much time,” Mr. Griswald
warned. I didn’t have time for negativity. I had to stay positive
"Archimedes once said, 'give me a lever and I can move the world',"
Griswald told Mark, but at the moment Mark didn’t really care what
Archimedes had said..
The bean began to give out again. It was getting worse and worse
with each passing moment. Mr. Griswald saw the panicked look on
Mark, and he felt the same Panic himself. “We’ll get you out, Mark,”
he assured him.
I found a large beam and positioned it under the cart. I tried
lifting it with the lever with no luck, no matter how hard I tried!
“This isn’t going to work,” I suddenly declared. “We’re gonna need a
“A fulcrum!” Mr. Griswald stated.
“Yeah,” I answered. I looked
around and pointed one out. Mr. Griswald went to get the rock.
The ceiling was really about to give out. “Hurry!” Mark cried.
“Hurry! It’s gonna fall!” he cried desperately.
I tried to reassure him. “We’re trying, son.” But I was too busy
trying to get him out to comfort him. It was going to be either his
getting to safety, or us all perishing from the collapse. “Hurry up,
Griswald!” I shouted.
Griswald brought the rock back and slid it under the lever. "The
position of a fulcrum determines the amount of leverage," Griswald
I really didn’t care to hear him spouting off knowledge. I only
wanted to help my son. “Yeah, yeah well get over there and pull him
out when I press down,” I answered.
I stood on the beam and used every ounce of strength I had to push
that lever down. I succeeded and Mark removed his leg from under the
cart. He was free and we could now get out of here! “Mark, can you
get out by yourself?” I asked. He thought he could. “Come on,” I
ordered as I grabbed his arm and pushed him forward. Then I pushed
Griswald forward. They hurried out of the hole to safety.
I looked up as the ceiling squeaked again. It was just about to give
I got out just in the nick of time – the
moment I climbed through the hole, the entire ceiling gave way and
the whole mine gave in.
The four of us – Billy, Griswald, Mark and me – sat near the
entrance of the cave. I fixed Mr. Griswald’s arm by making a sling
with it so he’d be able to travel home a bit more comfortably. “It’s
sure gonna be dark riding home,” Mark commented.
"It won't be dark long. Tonight the moon rises at eight sharp. It's
in it's final quarter and should furnish plenty of light," Mr.
Griswald told us.
I must admit that even I was impressed with that. "Well Mark, I told
you, learning comes in handy.”
I smiled at Mr. Griswald, suddenly having a new respect for him.
“You’re right, Mr. McCain. “And I hope I'm not so set in my ways
that I can't learn myself from what's happened in the pass few
days.”. He then turned to Billy. "On, and Billy, think I might have
As much as I liked this happy reunion, it was time for us to get
going. Billy’s parents didn’t know where he was.
All was well in North Fork once again!
Moss played The Schoolmaster, Stevan Griswald.
Jimmy Fields played Billy Davis.
He's the kid with the jujubes.
Steven Gardner played
the boy at the school in The Schoolmaster & The
Steven is the son of Arthur Gardner and today is a lawyer.
played Sally, a schoolgirl
Deidre Cole as a schoolgirl
Pamela & Deidre are Chuck's nieces.
Michael Connors as a schoolboy
Steven Connors as a schoolboy
Jeff Connors as a schoolboy
Kevin Connors as a schoolboy
Barbara Laven as a schoolgirl
Larry Laven as a schoolboy
Mark Levy as a schoolboy
Robert Levy as a schoolboy
Jo Carol "JC" Nadel as a schoolgirl
For more information of the kids on the set of
(more on the kids)
For more information of the kids on the set of
*All four of Chuck's boy's were in this episode. Can you pick any of them out? You can't see all four of them here but you can in the episode. They are in the wagon ride to school and some in the class room. Jeff played Toby Halpern in
Tension and he and Mike both appeared in
First Wages. Did you see them? They are the boys that wanted Mark to go fishing.
*North Fork had three different school teachers.....Marilee Phelps - played the school teacher, in
Eight Hours to Die. (1958) Depending on where you check this info you will find her credited as Miss Adams or teacher.
Later Patricia Barry played Adele Adams, the towns school teacher in
Three Legged Terror and The Woman. (1959)
In The Schoolmaster - Arnold Moss played Stephen Griswald, the new school teacher in town. (1960)
Although we never saw Miss Pritchard, she is mentioned in
Man. So I guess you could say 4 different teachers, but we
only met 3 of them.
Boys Costumes Depicted in Television Shows:
The Rifleman (U.S., 1958-63)
Connors' family tidbit.....Michael Connors, the oldest son of Chuck Connors, became a full U.S. citizen on 8/11/64, he was sworn in at the Department of Justice in Los Angeles. Michael was born in Canada while his father was playing baseball for the Montreal Royals. This gives Michael dual citizenship.
Mike is a Dolly Grip.
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear
Character Actors Index
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