"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
Two Ounces of Tin
One day a man rode into town. He wasn’t a welcome guess as everyone began to wonder what he was doing in town. Micah ran straight into his office and grabbed his shotgun. Then he walked out onto the street to talk to their unwanted guest. The man – Tip Corey – dismounted and started to tie his horse up, but Micah called his name. “Get back on that horse and ride out!”
"A man usually gets told to ride out of town when he's broken the law, Marshal," said Corey.
"I'm not waitin' for you to leave a body lying in the street Corey...I'm tellin' you what we tell all killers ridin' into North Fork, keep on movin'!"
Corey didn't like what he was hearing; he started to walk slowly towards Micah. "You got a lot of faith in that badge your wearin' Marshal. I'd say off hand that badge is worth about as much as it weighs.” Corey drew his gun and hit Micah’s badge with the barrel of it. “'Two ounces of tin don't bring much on the markets these days. You told me to get out of town Marshal, but I'm not gonna tell you that. You go on living in this town, you grow old, and you die in bed here." He then tapped Micah's badge. "But that badge, I wanna see it lying in the dirt at sundown. If that badge is still pinned to your vest at sundown Marshal, you'll be lying in the dirt with it!" Corey then slowly backed off; still holding his gun on Micah. He got on his horse and rode out of town.
Mark was on his way home when he ran into Corey outside of town. Corey heard him coming, and, not knowing who it was, drew on Mark. Mark was a bit startled at the greeting. “Hi.”
. "Hi boy!" Corey uncocked the pistol and re-holstered it. Mark noticed Corey rubbing his horse’s leg. He asked Corey if there was something he could do to help. “Yeah, you can trade horses with me.”
Mark studied the horse. “Wouldn’t be such a good swap from where I look,” he declared.
“That all depends. Realize that a bent up gold piece might not look as pretty as a silver dollar but it’s a better deal.” Mark told him he’d raised Blue Boy up from a colt and he liked him. “I ain’t in the horse trading business, son,” Corey stated.
Corey told his horse, Coco, he'd take him into town and get him fixed up real proper. Mark told Corey that our ranch was just around the bend, he'd be glad to take them there. Mark told him he'd make up a bandage and a salt pack to take down the swelling. Corey took Mark up on his offer.
Mark fixed Coco's leg. Corey was pleased. He wanted to pay Mark, but Mark didn't want anything for it. Corey looked around the ranch. "Nice farm, real nice. There's something about standing on your own land. Workin' it. Knowin' that you'll get out of it what you put into it," said Corey.
Mark agreed. “I guess the harder you work, the better the crops. That’s the way it usually turns out.”
As Corey spoke, he had a lonesome tone in his voice. A man couldn’t help feeling sorry for him. “Sleeping good, eating good and being with people…” Mark remembered we were having a town hall meeting tonight with a picnic, games, and such.
"Listen to me! Don't ever leave the land boy. Always be a part of it, part of the community, people looking at you, smiling at you, always being glad to see you."
Mark asked Corey if he was a wagon train scout. His question confused Corey. Mark explained that we didn’t often see anyone wearing buckskins in these parts. He told Mark that buckskins were a habit with him. “I used to work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Guess I got kinda used to wearing them.”
That sure excited my boy! His eyes grew wide. He was excited to meet someone who knew Buffalo Bill. Corey had been with him for four years. He had done fancy shooting mostly while in the circus. He pointed for Mark to sit “over there.” As Mark sat down, Corey said, “That’ll be the best seat in the house, right there!” Mark watched excitedly as Corey did his act. “The ring master comes in and he says, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen! We present to you the fastest gun in the West, Tip Corey! And I’d come riding in with Cocoa over there. He slows down just enough to let me slide off nice and easy. Then I give it one of these here.” He takes out his gun and starts twirling it around. “Then all of a sudden, the crowd kinda goes to a quiet. Then I start my tricks.”
Corey started doing all kinds of fancy tricks with his gun. He spun it and tossed it up in the air. The whole time, he continued talking. He starts walking closer and closer to Mark as he spins the gun around and around on his finger. Mark stares at it, hardly being able to believe his eyes. You just got to see it to believe it!
Corey grabs a tin can and throws it up in the air. He draws, shoots it twice, then holsters his gun as it falls to the ground. Then he showed Mark the big trick. He took a nail and drew a circle on the barn wall. Then he took out his knife. “I’m gonna put a bullet hole right in the middle of that mark. Then I’m gonna put the knife right over the bullet hole.” Mark stared as he did it. He couldn’t believe it! "Now for the last lesson."
"Hold it” I said as I walked into the yard. “There won't be any last lesson." I climbed off of my horse and started toward him. "Get off this ranch and be quick!"
Mark was confused at my rudeness. "But Pa, Mr. Corey was just..."
"You heard me Corey, mount up and get out of here."
Corey took out his gloves and put them on as he thanked Mark for the bandage. Then he got on his horse and rode off.
Mark was upset. He started to explain what he was doing there but I wouldn’t let him. I didn’t need to know. But there was something Mark needed to know. “Mark, Tip Corey’s a killer.”
I went over to the well to get a drink while Mark thought on that. “Killer…”
"Where ever he goes he leaves a dead man behind. There must be twelve men in their grave because of him.” Mark couldn’t believe Corey was all that bad. He told me Corey used to be in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. “Then he discovered there was more money in hiring his gun out,” I stated.
"He draws so fast...you can just barely see him," said Mark. I told him he better get washed up. He was going to help Mrs. Wingate at the town hall tonight. I told him I had to hold down Micah's desk for him. I told Mark that Micah had proof that a boy was innocent and so he had to go to the county court. I would be his deputy. Mark started inside, but he stopped and turned back to me. "Pa...have you ever seen Corey's circus act?" I asked him why. "The things he can do with that gun." It bothered me that Mark idolized Corey – a killer.
After leaving my house, Corey stopped by his Pa's grave. He stood there and stared at it. Then he spoke. "I'm sorry it took me so long in comin' back Pa. I didn't forget about you, not for a second. Just took me a while to search him out, that's all. But I found him Pa. I finally found him and I killed him! I killed some others too. It just happened Pa. I went searchin' for just them five but.....things just happened. Now they call me a fast gun. A killer! Nobody ask why, nobody! No matter where I go Pa, There's always somebody waitin' for me. Waitin' to make me prove it! And that's all I do Pa, I just keep proving it and proving it and proving it and I'm lonesome Pa!” Corey started crying. "Pa, Pa, I'm lonesome!"
When I got to town, I was surprised to find Micah still there. “I thought you were leaving early for the County Court,” I said.
Micah turned around to look at me. “I…uh…changed my mind,” he answered. “So you won’t have to take over for me after all.”
I wondered if it was because of Tip Corey – it was. He was surprised I knew. “Nils just told me.”
"Well, I'm certainly not going to throw my badge into the street so he can grind it into the dirt," said Micah. I told Micah Corey was just blowing off steam. I told him Corey had stopped by my place and when he left he was headed south. There was nothing behind my place except high butte. I told him I doubted that he would come back this way and if he did it was a five hour ride and he wouldn't be here until midnight. “Micah, you’ve got plenty of time to get up to County Court and back.” He still couldn’t decide what to do. “Also, what’s more important? A boy on his way to prison for something he didn’t do or…standing on your pride against a gunslinger?”
He just looked at me. Then he stood up. “If I hustle, I can be back by ten. You know Lucasboy, pride is a funny thing. It can get you into trouble dealing with people. Then, without it, it can get you into trouble dealing with yourself."
As he spoke, I glanced outside. That’s when I noticed Corey riding back into town. I had to distract Micah – I didn’t want him to know Corey was back. So I asked him if he remembered to pack spare shells for his shotgun. He told me he always did. I then told Micah to have a good trip and I'd tell Mrs. Wingate to save some food for him. I was happy to see Micah ride off without seeing Corey.
As Micah rode off, Corey walked outside in time to see Micah ride out of town.
I put on the Marshal’s badge and walked out of Micah's office. When I looked up, I saw Corey leaning against the hitching post. "I see you’re wearing the Marshal's badge, Mr. McCain."
"That's right!" I said.
"You going to be wearin' that badge at sundown?" I nodded my head. "You know what I told the Marshal about that badge, don't you?"
"Well if I were you Mr. McCain I'd take that badge and put it back where I got it from."
"You don't happen to be me, Corey." I started back into Micah's office when Corey yelled. "Mr. McCain!"
Just then Mark came from along side of the hotel. He was puzzled. He didn't know what was going on. My eyes grew big when I saw Mark. I knew my life was about to be threatened. I didn’t want Mark to see this. "Mr. McCain!" "You've got about an hour to think it over! Whether you should die for a badge that don’t belong from you!"
"You happen to have the same hour Corey," I answered simply
"I'll be movin' on McCain. But when I do I'll be looking down in the dirt and I'll be seeing that badge. Whether it's pinned to your shirt or not is your choice to make, not mine!" He then went back into the hotel.
Mark started toward me. I knew he was confused and upset. “Mark,” I stopped him. “You go on back over to the townhouse until I come for you.” Mark looked down toward the ground. He wasn’t sure what to do. “Go on, son,” I said more gently. Mark obeyed…at least, that’s what I thought…
But Mark didn’t obey. Instead, he went to the hotel and knocked on Tip Corey’s door. Corey opened the door when he realized it was Mark, then he asked him if I’d sent him to talk to him. "No sir,” Mark answered.
"I just can't understand you Mr. Corey. My Pa's only a rancher; he never did anything to you."
"I know he didn't," said Corey.
"Well then why do you want to fight him?" Corey told Mark he didn't want to fight me. He liked me.
"I like a man who stands up straight and says what he means. It's that badge he's wearin'! What it means to this town,” Corey tried to explain.
But Mark didn’t understand. “Doesn’t seem like you’d want to make a fool out of this town. But…well, that’s what you’d be doing if…if the Marshal’s badge was thrown in the dirt.”
Corey just looked down at the table. He couldn’t even look at Mark. “Boy, behind your ranch on a hill is a graveyard. In that graveyard, there’s a cross up there that has unknown written on it.” Mark told him every once in a while he puts flowers on that grave. “You planted flowers on that grave?”
“Well, it’s the only gravestone without a name on it. I guess I’ve always felt kind of sorry for who…whoever’s buried there.”
Corey slowly stood up and took a drink from his glass. He suddenly looked so very sad. He still couldn’t look at Mark. "My Pa's buried there boy!” Mark was surprised and saddened. “He was killed right out here in the street...by some drunken trail hands."
"There were seven. We rode into town we saw these drunken trail hands, they were funnin' with a young Indian girl. He said to me, boy...you go over to the marshal's office and you fetch him. I went over there. I got the marshal out alright. He took one look at what was goin' on, he turned around and went right back into the office. Them drunken trail hands...they killed him. They knew there was nobody going to stop them from what they were going to do so they killed my Pa."
“But that was a long time ago,” Mark reminded him. He told him that neither I nor Micah were here when that happened.
Suddenly, Corey became angry. "But the law was here! My Pa believed in that law! Because he believed he died! But I found them boy. And I killed them. Now there's only one thing left. The Marshal's badge!"
"My Pa will never throw that badge in the street. He's got too much pride.” Corey had walked back over to stand by Mark. He was facing him, but not looking at him. Suddenly, he turned from him. Mark’s voice became pleading. “Please Mr. Corey. You’re so good with that gun. I don't want nothing to happen to my Pa." Corey didn’t move or say anything. "Please!" Mark begged.
"You better go boy." Mark turned to leave. He knew Corey was too far gone to help. He opened the door and started out the door. “Boy!” Mark stopped and turned. “Thank you for planting the flowers on the grave." He looked straight at Mark.
"They never took, I don't know why but they just never grew," said Mark.
Corey walked over to Mark. They stood face to face. He looked Mark in the eye. "Maybe they never grew 'cause he wanted you to come back and plant some more." Mark left.
Mark left the hotel and went to stand around the corner. He saw Corey leave the hotel and walk into Micah's office to see me. My boy stood there…watching…and waiting. “Mr. McCain...I don't think you can out shoot me, do you?"
"I don't know. But I'm not anxious to find out."
"Then why are you going up against me?" Ask Corey.
“Because I don’t believe in compromising principles.”
“I can’t compromise principles either,” Corey told me. “I came in town for one thing – that badge you’re wearing. One last bit of unfinished business.”
I didn’t buy that. I thought he came here looking for an excuse to kill. “Any excuse just to add another name to that long list.”
“No. You’re wrong, Mr. McCain. The trouble is that…that long list starts to ride with you.
“Corey, I doubt that anyone asked to face your gun. So it seems to me that when you use it, it’s your choice, not theirs.”
"Mr. McCain, what does that mean to you? I mean throwing that badge into the dirt. It's a symbol. Pick it up when I'm gone! But it's important to me Mr. McCain. Very, very important!" I shook my head no. "What have you got to loose? You've got everything that I've ever wanted. You've got a son...a home...friends. All I've got is my reputation! Mr. McCain, let me leave this town with what little I came in with! I can't back down now! Not if I want to go on living!"
"I have to live with myself too, Corey."
Corey knew there was no changing his mind. He said he was going to get his horse. After that he was coming back and calling me outside. "Then I will have to kill you!"
Mark was listening outside. He heard everything.
Corey did just as he said he’d do. I sat at the desk nervously drawing a picture. Then I heard Corey's horse whinny. I stood and walked to the window. I looked outside and saw him dismount his horse. I knew the time had come.
"Marshal McCain!" I picked up my rifle. I didn’t want to kill him. "I'm waitin' for that badge you're wearing!" I walked out of Micah’s office and stood on the boardwalk. "Unpin it McCain! Unpin it and let it drop in the dirt or so help me you'll drop with it pinned to your shirt!"
I spoke as I started towards him. "That's the only way you'll get it in the dirt Corey, by dropping me with it! But somebody else will pick it up. That's the one thing you don't understand. There'll always be somebody around to pick up for what's right."
"You mean somebody picking up that badge?" Asked Corey. "McCain, you've got a lot to learn about this world. When this is all over and your lying in the dirt that tin star will be shining white hot. It’ll be much too hot for anybody to touch. And when you’re lying there in the dirt there McCain, I want you to look around...take one look...and you tell me who will pick it up?" He looked around. The town folks bowed their heads. There was no one who would say a word. "Nobody McCain! Not a soul!" Corey started yelling. "Go ahead McCain, go ahead and ask them! Ask them who will pick up the badge?"
"I'll pick it up!” Corey’s head bolted around in surprise. Mark suddenly stepped out from around the corner. He was crying. My eyes grew wide. I had no idea what was about to happen. I thought I had told him to stay away! He continued speaking. "Maybe not right away, but someday somewhere I'll pick it up and I'll come after you! Won't be for a long time yet! But someday, someday you’re gonna see that badge again and I'll be behind it! So you just be ready Mr. Corey. Ya' hear? Cause someday...somewhere..." Mark was sobbing now.
I couldn’t let him suffer anymore. It was time to get this done. "Mark! Stand back son!" He backed up onto the boardwalk.
Corey stared at Mark. He saw himself in the boy and he spoke softly to my boy with much regret. "A long time ago on this very spot I said words very much like that.” He just stood there starring at Mark. He was crying. The pain he was feeling was so horrible. He wanted it to end. So he turned to me. "I'm calling you McCain!" Suddenly, the thought of shooting him upset me. He went for his gun.
"Don't do it!" I yelled. I fired twice. Corey fell to the ground without making one shot.
Mark and I went to his side. I lifted him and turned him over. I held him as he laid dying. Reality sat in for both of us, I think. "You were slow," I said softly.
"A man gets tired McCain." He looked up Mark. "Flowers?"
"All right," Mark answered softly.
Pain etched Corey’s face as he laid taking his last few breaths. He moaned as the pain grew worse. As I held him, he cried out, “Pa!” Then he died in my arms. After he was gone, I looked at Mark. "Flowers?" I asked softly.
"I know what he meant Pa."
We had Corey buried next to his father. Mark planted flower just like he said he would. We stopped by one day. The flowers Mark had planted were still there. He hoped they wouldn’t die off this time. Maybe they’d grow. “I’m sure they will,” I declared.
"There's something I sure don't understand. Mr. Corey talked so nice sometimes like he maybe liked everyone, like he wanted to make friends. How comes he only did things that didn't make him happy? Sometimes a man comes to a fork in the road, he stumbles over a little stone and get himself mixed up and takes the wrong road. Somebody once said...’There but for the grace of God go I.’"
And that was the end of Tip Corey.
piddlin' stuff.....Sammy Davis Jr. played Tip Corey in Two Ounces of Tin, he was the guy who wanted the Marshal out of North Fork by sundown ― The Most Amazing Man as Wade Randall, he's the cowboy who claimed to have killed Red Morgan.
Johnny Ginger played Ted. He was the guy who threw a bucket of water into the street in the beginning of this episode. He also was the guy to the left of Mark when Mark confronts Tip Corey when asked.....Go ahead McCain, go ahead and ask them! Ask them.....who will pick up the badge?" "I'll pick it up!" Yelled Mark.
Check out Johnny Ginger's pictures on the set with Chuck.
Thanks Johnny & Sean for sharing this with us!
Ethan Laidlaw appeared in The Rifleman quite a few times unaccredited ― The Indian as a townsfolk — The Mind Reader as a townsman in the audience — Legacy as the man at the funeral — The Coward as a Diner Patron — Heller as a townsfolk — The Grasshopper as a passenger on the train — Strange Town as a townsfolk at Droshek Town — The Silent Knife as a townsfolk — Short Rope for a Tall Man as one of Crown's Henchmen — Honest Abe as a townsman — Two Ounces of Tin as a townsfolk ― The Day the Town Slept as a townsman.
Kermit Maynard appeared in two episodes as one of the townsmen ― The Fourflushers and Two Ounces of Tin.
Buddy Roosevelt appeared in four episodes ― Panic ― Two Ounces of Tin — Quiet Night, Deadly Night as one of the townsmen ― Death Never Rides Alone as a barfly.
Jack Gordon (Irving Cohen) as one of the townsmen.
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.
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.
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)
*What say you? "Do you think Tip Corey was the faster draw?" Remember Mark did go to Tip Corey's hotel room and asked him not to fight? I think Mark believed there was a chance that Tip Corey could beat his Pa. Not that Mark didn't believe in his father, because he did.
Now Lucas on the other hand said he wasn't sure who was the fastest. "hmmmmm.....I wonder?" But then he didn't see the show that Corey put on for Mark.
I think Corey saw Mark in himself. Searching for his father's killers and never really having a life. He didn't want to see that happen to Mark like it did him.
At the end of this episode Lucas says ~ "There but for the good grace of God go I."
Although the theme is taught throughout Scriptures in many situations, the phrase itself is not from the Bible. However, the statement is a nice reminder that we are all sinners, saved by God's grace, all who accept God's son Jesus as savior and Lord of their lives. It is also a reminder of the grace we should dispense lovingly to others less fortunate or to those who are in desperate situations. It is a spoken reminder of how we are truly called to be a balm and helper to the downtrodden. The phrase is not a phrase to write someone off, but a call to one's own conscience, a cry to the very one uttering the words, in a sense saying, "How might I reduce the misery of that situation"
I think of Romans 12:3 "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Thanks Pastor Stan!
Bloopers - Two Ounces of Tin
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
Man from Salinas
around The McCain Ranch