"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
It was one of those mornings! I was shaving at the sink when Mark came rushing out of the bedroom. I wasn’t too happy with him, and he knew it! “You know it’s five minutes after seven, Mark?”
I watched Mark rushing around the room as he looked for his pencil. “I’m leaving right away, pa,” Mark answered.
It sure didn’t look like it to me! “I pay $1 a week for your education and expect to receive full value! When you’re late for school, I don’t get that value.”
But Mark kept looking. Suddenly, I had all of this I could take. I put down my razor down and pointed to the floor. “There’s your pencil on the floor!” I state in a very irritated voice. Mark walked over and held out his hand as if he thought I was going to pick it up. “You pick it up!” I ordered.
“Oh,” he said nervously. He knew he was in trouble.
“You know, if you learn to organize your things, you’d know where they were,” I lectured.
Again, I got a nervous “Oh, thanks pa. And I won’t forget to do my chores after school. I promise.” Mark backed away from me as he headed for the door. I guess he was afraid of a swift kick in the pants. I sure was in the mood for it that morning!
And our morning argument wasn’t over yet! “And don’t forget your books either, huh?” Another nervous “Oh yeah” escaped my mischievous son’s mouth. I say mischievous because he’s still was not done bugging me!
After he grabbed his books, he decided to get cute. I guess he knew I couldn’t stay mad at him for long. I walked over to the door so I could push him out if I had to. Suddenly, Mark said “Five times ten is fifty.” Then he jumped out the door.
I followed right behind him. “And five times twenty is a hundred.” He jumped further down the porch. “And five times thirty is-“ this time, he jumped off the porch and landed flat on his back side.
He quickly jumped up, turned around and looked at me. “Is 150,” I stated, no longer angry with him. It’s just so hard to stay mad when he’s so cute. “Now will you get to school?”
Mark jumped on his horse and left. As I watched him leaving, I shook my head and smiled. That boy!
I went back inside and finished shaving. Then I heard a horse ride up. As always, I grabbed my rifle before walking out the door. What met me surprised me. “Sam Morley!” I gasped.
"Been a long time hasn't it Lucas?" Sam stated as he got off his horse.
“Yeah, Sam. A long time. I heard they shot you down in Rio Grande three years ago,” I stated as he walked up onto my porch.
“We rode enough cattle trails for you to know better then that!”
I watched him skeptically, wondering why he was here after all this time. “Why’d you run out, Sam?” I asked suddenly.
“I don’t know. Maybe I thought I was too good with a gun to waste time punching cattle. You always said you’d have a place like this someday. Marry a fine woman, have a son. I heard that when she died you sold out and came out here with the boy alone.” I didn’t really like to think about that. Suddenly, Sam looked at me and laughed. "Honest Lucas McCain! Huh?"
"That's right Sam, how about you?" I asked.
He told me they had stopped looking for him years ago. “They think I’m dead, but-“ he pulled a piece of paper from his jacket. “I’m still worth $500.” I told him to keep moving. I wanted no part in his hiding from the law. “Wait a minute, Lucas. You see, I came here for a reason. I’m gonna give my self up.”
Well, if he was planning on shocking me, that did it. I don’t think there were many wanted men who had told me that! So, of course I wanted to know why.
It didn’t take me long to find out why. A woman. He needed the reward money for a woman he had fallen in love with! She was evidently very sick and wouldn’t marry him until she was better. They were on their way to California hoping the climate would help. I interrupted him at this point. I had to know something. “Does she know about your past, Sam?”
“No. $300. $300 could probably save her life. She could get back to St. Louis where she could get proper medical care.” Now, I must admit that I was a bit confused at this point. The reward was for $500. But that was explained simply enough. The other $200 would be mine for my trouble…
But as usual, there was a catch. He wanted her to have that money and be on the stage before I turned him in. “Wait a minute, Sam. That would mean I’d have to raise the money first. I don’t have that kind of cash. I’m sorry, Sam!” I answered honestly.
That’s when the guilt trip happened. This man was good! “All right. I’ll raise it some other way.” I had a pretty good guess what that some other way meant! “It’s a strange thing how some men can never keep it to themselves. I was gonna do this the honest way.”
I stopped him right there. I knew where that was going and why he said what he said. Guess what? It worked! “Hold it, Sam. "What if I could raise the money?"
“Well, you wouldn’t have to worry, Lucas. I wouldn’t run out on ya'!” Sam immediately answered. I turned my head around to look at him. “Why don’t you go with me to North Fork where Beth is? I’ll stay in your sights until the whole deal is completed.” I knew this was for a good cause, so I agreed to do it.
Mark was taking his precious time getting to school. As he rode through town practicing his multiplication tables, Dr. Burrage hollered at him to go to his office and get some pills for him, then bring them up to room 205. Since it was an errand that would extend his time out of school, he was more than happy to oblige!
Dr. Burrage just happened to be examining Beth. He informed her to drink lots of milk and get plenty of rest. He then told her that running away would not be a good idea. Mark was soon knocking on the door, and he was surprised to see a woman answer his knock. At first he thought maybe he was in the wrong room, but then he saw the doc. He gave Beth the pills. Doc Burrage told Mark to get to school, but then he noticed that Beth was crying.
Well, my boy always did have a very sensitive heart. He couldn’t stand to see this woman crying. “Does something have to be wrong for a woman to cry?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” Mark answered sensitively.
“Haven’t you ever seen your mother cry?” Beth asked then.
“No ma’am. My mother’s dead but if something is wrong, I’d like to help you,” Mark offered.
Marks words touched Beth. She stood up and walked over to him. “I’d be most proud to ask if I should need you,” she answered. Then Mark went to school.
It wasn’t long after Mark left that Sam and I came to Beth’s room. Sam told Beth that with my help we would put her on the stage to St. Louis today. He assured her she would be alright. He got the Doc to agree, but I could tell it was forced.
I stood quietly and observed her. I knew she wasn’t being completely honest about her health. “Sam didn’t mention you until yesterday, Mr. McCain,” Beth announced. “I don’t want you borrowing money, Sam!” she declared.
Sam simply stated they wouldn’t talk about it anymore because it was done. “Isn’t it, Lucas?” Sam suddenly asked me.
I simply stated, “It’s done.”
It just amazed me to watch the interaction between these two. They were both hiding secrets, I could tell. “He even offered me a job on his ranch to pay him back,” Sam stated. Beth laughed, stating he wasn’t a farmer. “I’m not going to be a farmer. A little honest sweat never hurt anybody, you know,” Sam answered her. “Now, before you know it you’re gonna be well, and I’m going to be waiting for you,” Sam stated.
Doc Burrage was leaving and invited me to come with him. I knew the answer to my question wouldn’t be good, but I asked it anyway. “How sick is she, doc?” He informed me she had a month to live at most. She obviously didn’t want Sam to know.
Suddenly, my friend the doc informed me I didn’t have any money to loan this man and wanted to know what was going on. I couldn’t tell anyone until it was over. “Let’s just keep it this way until tonight?” That was the only answer he was going to get.
As I started to go across the street, I ran into another person I hadn’t seen in years, and it wasn’t a friend! Hamp Farris! I couldn’t believe he was here in my town! “You’re a long way from Oklahoma, Farris!” I stated. I wanted to know what he was doing here. I could smell trouble!
“Seems to me I remember one other time I told you what I was looking for. You got in my way,” he stated then he rode off. I knew he meant trouble.
Now, how should I approach the Marshall? I was going to have to be a smooth talker on this one! He could be awfully stubborn at times, wanting to do the right thing. So I started with a friendly conversation. “Taking for granted you put a lot of trust in me, how far can I influence you to take my word on something?” There, that was pretty smooth!
“Like what?” Micah asked.
I was all ready with a really good example! “Well, like if I was to tell you it was snowing outside and you looked out there and saw the sun shining.” Then I proceeded to show him the wanted poster. Instead of asking, I told Micah flat out what I wanted to happen. “I want you to wire the Marshall in Santa Fe and tell him you got that man in custody. That he was captured by me, Lucas McCain, this morning. Also, tell him to wire you the reward money right away.” I said this nicely, but Micah knew I had my reasons for doing this. I didn’t want to go into a lot of detail.
Of course, Micah shot back with his own personal opinion. “You might as well told me it was snowing outside,” he stated. “I suppose I’m not to ask any questions?” I could tell that he wasn’t too comfortable with this. Trying to give him some assurance, I told him I would be responsible if anything went wrong – my ranch was worth more than $500. “Morley will be in your hands one hour after the money gets here,” I promised.
Micah stood up and started for the telegraphy office. Hand on door, he turned around and looked at me. “I think we’re both fools. Who ever heard of snow in July?” he stated. I smiled knowing this wouldn’t have worked if we hadn’t been good friends and he didn’t have so much trust in me.
When Micah got over to the telegraph office, Ferris was questioning the clerk as to whether he’d seen “the man with the limp who had a woman with him” on the stage. The telegrapher’s only reply was “If I’d seen him, I don’t remember. If I remembered I would tell you. Does that answer your question?” I guess he could tell this man was bad news! As they were talking, Micah came in to send the telegram. “Who are you fooling? Where does Lucas McCain come in on this? You haven’t got anyone in custody! I went by the jail ten minutes ago.“ Micah only agreed. “You mean, McCain is holding this man Morley?” Micah ordered the clerk to just do his job. Ferris had gotten the information he needed and went to find Morley.
I went to talk to Morley. I warned him that Ferris was in town and was probably looking for him. Than I told…no ordered him to stay in the motel and stay out of sight. I knew Ferris wouldn’t give Morley good treatment if he found him. “I should have the money for you in about an hour.” He started to thank me, but I stopped him. “Don’t thank me now. Wait until I turn you over to the Marshall!”
As I went to wait for the money, Mark was getting out of school. He probably sat in that school all day and thought about the crying woman! My boy has a big heart just like me. School let out early, so he picked some flowers to take to her. When she opened the door, he could tell she was upset. “School let out early, I thought I’d come by to see how you…” Beth went back to packing. Mark tried his best to figure out what was going on. “…see how you were. You leaving?”
The woman didn’t turn around but continued packing. “I have to go away!” she declared. “After I get a rig at the stable, how far do I have to go to get a stage north?”
“About to ten miles up to deer crossing. But you can’t go alone, ma’am!” Mark declared, worried for her safety.
She suddenly turned to Mark. “I said I’d be most proud to ask you to help. I need you.” She went and got something off her dresser. “This watch is my father’s. I want you to take it to the jeweler and get it engraved. The instructions are in that note there. I want you to get it to a man. Mr. Sam Morley. He’s in the room across the hall. I want you give him this letter too. But not until after I’m gone. After I finish packing, I’ll go out the back way to the stable.” Mark didn’t want her to go alone and was willing to help her get to where she wanted to go, but she stated, “Just for this. Just do this. And this is our secret until it’s over.”
Mark smiled at her and gave her the flowers.
As Mark was doing his deed for Beth, Micah gave me the money. I started for the hotel to give Sam the money. I stopped when I saw Mark with a locket watch. I knew my boy was up to something and went to find out what it was. “Where’d you get that watch, Mark?” I asked sternly.
Mark wasn’t expecting me to see him. He knew he couldn’t lie to me, but he didn’t want to break his promise either. I wasn’t going to give him a choice. “Commere boy, commere.” I sat down to be eye level with him so he had to tell me the truth. “What’s wrong?” Still, I asked this nicely, but sternly.
“Well, a lady asked me to keep a secret for her. She trusts me not to tell,” Mark stated.
I had my suspicions who it was, and being the boy’s father, I wasn’t going to give Mark the choice to not tell. “Oh. What did she ask to do, Mark? The lady in room 205?”
Of course, Mark didn’t know that I had been dealing with this thing all day, so he was pleasantly surprised I knew her. “Well, how do you know?”
“Nevermind that. It’s important you tell me, Mark.” I simply stated.
“Well, she plans on leaving town without anyone knowing. Well, after she’s gone she wants me to deliver this watch I got engraved and this letter to Sam Morley.” Mark stated. He didn’t want me interfering. “What I just told you’s a secret, pa!” Mark insisted.
That didn’t matter right now. I’d talk to him later about secrets. “All right, Mark. Give it to me. I’ll deliver it for ya'.” I stated. I didn’t have time to discuss this with him.
A look of hurt crossed Mark’s face. It had made him feel important and grown up to do such an important task for the lady. But I had to go talk to her and tell her she was wrong. Mark would have to just obey me. “Go wait for me over at the stable until I’m ready, you hear?”
Mark still didn’t want to leave. He felt responsible, but he knew his orders had been given and he had to obey me. As he turned to leave, Ferris came up to him. He started pumping my boy for information, and Mark, being an innocent ten-year old, told him all he needed to know.
I went to Beth’s hotel room to talk her out of leaving. “My son didn’t want to tell me about you. I made him.” I wanted her to know Mark was an honest kid so she wouldn’t blame him. “I know why you’re trying to run away. I talked to the doc,” I stated honestly. She didn’t want Sam to know and I knew this. She stated the letter didn’t tell the truth, except that she loved him. She didn’t want to take his money. I wanted her to understand why she should. “You know, getting this money for you is a justification for Sam Morley’s whole life. Don’t rob him of giving it.” I had to keep a lot of secrets from both parties, but I was moved by their love and devotion to the other.
“Who are you, Mr. McCain?” Beth was surprised a stranger would be so kind as to help out a couple the way I was.
“Trust me, huh? Like I’m trusting Sam to pay it back, his way.”
Suddenly, Sam was knocking on the door. I left so they could say goodbye.
I went outside the motel and waited. I wished there was something I could do to help the situation. I watched the stage pull in and knew that in just moments, the loving couple would be separated, both knowing they would never see each other again, but both not knowing the other knew this fact. It was tragic, but I couldn’t fix this.
As I was reflecting, Ferris was trying to force Eddie to give him the information on Morley’s motel room number. Eddie ordered Ferris to get out, but Ferris wasn’t an easy man to say no to.
I saw what was going on and came in to stop him as he started up the stairs. “Get out of here, Eddie!” I ordered.
“Yes sir,” Eddie said, glad to oblige me. He knew me, and he knew bullets could start flying if this man didn’t do as I told him to. “Where you going?” I asked as if I didn’t know. Ferris answered, just like I thought he would. “You’re a little late. He’s mine,” I informed him with no room to argue.
But he wouldn’t have it that way. “No. If he’s yours then why haven’t you got him?” I told him I had him. “Uh uh. He hasn’t been turned in yet. He’s worth $500 and I’m getting it.”
I knew I was going to have to do this the hard way! I cocked my rifle, ready for action. “Get down those stairs, Ferris!” I ordered. “You and I are going out back until that stage leaves.”
I kept my eye trained on him as he slowly made his way down the stairs. I was experienced with watching a person’s every move, so as he started out the door, I kept my eyes glued to his hands. The instant he drew and turned, I fired. He fell dead to the floor.
He’d crossed me for the last time! It made me mad to have to kill him. I threw my rifle down angrily onto the couch and bent down to see if there wasn’t any hope in saving him.
It was all over. As Mark and I watched the couple say goodbye, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the whole situation. They were each telling the other person they would see them again soon, but they each knew they wouldn’t see the other person again. Mark and I watched as Beth rode away from Sam forever. Then I watched as Sam and Micah made their way to the jail. Sam had given up such a sacrifice.
Mark didn’t understand why Beth had changed her mind. I tried to think of something easy to tell him at first. How can I explain something to him when I myself have trouble understand it? “Well, can’t you tell me?” Mark asked? I smiled as I picked him up and carried him down the street.
“Maybe I better, son, so you’ll understand. It’s a long story. A little grown up for you, but I’ll try my best.” I stated. Then I started to tell him the romantic story.
piddlin' stuff.....Paul Richards as Sam Morley. Sam was a wanted man, he asked Lucas to turn him in for the reward money and give it to his girlfriend, Beth for medical reasons.
Chris Alcaide appeared in ten episodes ― The Trade as Hamp Ferris, he was the cowboy who wanted to turn Morley in for the reward ― Obituary as Panama Billings, he was the gunfighter who rode into North Fork trying to make a name for himself and another notch on his gun ― A Case of Identity as Lon Perry, he was the cowboy along with his partner Captain James Gordon who scheme to make Wingate think Mark was his son ― A Time for Singing as Spence, the leader of a gang of bank robbers who were going to rob the North Fork Bank ― Meeting at Midnight as Schroeder, he was working with Benton & Morgan to break Carl Miller out of jail ― Dead Cold Cash as Ben Casper, the attorney for Sara Caruthers ― The Wyoming Story part 1 & 2 as Ross, the Henchman for Forbes McKee the Indian Agent ― The Journey Back as Will Carney, he was looking for revenge for his brother's death ― Squeeze Play as Dave Rankin, the heavy for Willard Prescott.
Gee how many times did John Anderson star in The Rifleman? Who appeared in the most episodes Chris Alcaide or John Anderson? How about John Milford?
Katharine Bard as Beth Landis, Sam Morley's girlfriend.
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.
Doc Burrage was a regular character ~ how many different actors played Doc Burrage? Can you name them?
Michael Fox appeared in four episodes — The Trade as Trager, the telegraph worker — Letter of the Law as Abel, the townsman Micah left guarding Stocker while he went to see Lucas — The Hangman as Joe Hannah, the townsman that ease dropped outside of Micah's office when Lucas brought in Volney Adams — Miss Milly as Jim Oxford, the townsman who Ryan & Adams ruffed up for payment due to Milly.
Dan Sheridan as Sheriff McVey, he was the sheriff in the beginning of the episode who Ferris showed the wanted poster to on Morley.
John Harmon appeared in twelve episodes as Eddie Halstead owner/hotel clerk of the Hotel Madera. He was first introduced to The Rifleman in Duel of Honor.
Whitey Hughes was a well known and respected stuntman, he appeared in twenty-seven episodes of The Rifleman and still counting. Whitey had over a 50-year career as a stuntman and stunt coordinator, he has been praised as one of the top stuntman in Hollywood. Whitey was the best of the best!
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.
Archie Butler — Stuntman — Stunt coordinator — Actor - Archie has been in more episodes then anybody with the exception of the regular cast and he probably was in more episode then some of them. ~Arnold 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.
How many actors played Nils or was it Niles or Nels? Was it Swenson or was it Svenson? See my Blacksmith page.
"Don't cha' just love the way Mark climbs on his horse younger days?"
Bloopers - The Trade
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
One Went to Denver
The Second Witness
around The McCain Ranch