"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
Now this next story is about a wedding and a shotgun, but the shotgun wasn’t at the wedding. Okay, let me explain. You see, I was riding on the range one day when I happened upon a group of people on horses. Apparently, they were from a wagon train and were making a side trip to North Fork while the wagon train lay over. I stayed back and observed for a minute just in case there was any trouble.
Well, there was apparently cause for my concern, because a couple of the members in the group were talking about having fun. The one young man didn’t seem too thrilled about the sort of fun the other man was talking about. When this young man told him to shut up, the loud mouth knocked him off the horse and proceeded to beat him while another young man got off his horse and went to stop the fight. That’s when I thought maybe they’d need my help so I rode up to them.
I looked at the two young men and asked if they were having any trouble. The old man, who I found out later was the wagon train master, stated, “I don’t see where it’s any of your business one little bit!”
“You could be right,” I stated. “On the other hand, these youngsters might think different.” I looked at them and waited for an answer.
Suddenly the wagon master dropped a piece of news that surprised me. “If it makes you feel any better, we’re taking them two into North Fork to get married up.” I stared at the two young people.
Suddenly the older woman on the horse, whom I’d later find out was known as Ma Wilson, began an irritable laugh that grated on my nerves like you wouldn’t believe! She took off the girl’s hat and said, “She’s not all filled out in all the proper places yet, but it’s a girl!”
I could tell this was going to be a forced wedding. “You know, usually people get to decide for themselves when and where to get married,” I pointed out as we all started heading into North Fork together. I just didn’t like this at all!
“I’m deciding for those two!” the old man answered.
They weren’t even related to him. “I might understand if they were,” I stated. Though I doubt it…
“You’re getting to be more than a little curious, Mr….?” the old man stated.
“McCain,” I finished for him.
“My wagon train back there run across them just outside of Julesburg. The young fools were trying to make it across Arizona in a buckboard. It broke down. They claimed to be brothers. We let them join up. Fed ‘em. Asked nothing of them except that they do their share. And all the time they’re making a fool out of me. Then Ma Wilson found out about the girl.”
“And now you’re playing the almighty,” I accused.
He said that it was his will that was being done. “I’ve got good reasons. Private reasons. This is no puddin’ of yours, Mr. McCain. You can stay out of it, I advise you.” What he didn’t know is that I didn’t take threats very well, and I wasn’t going to this time!
I decided that I was going to wait in North Fork to see what I could do. If there was going to be trouble, I wanted to be there to help this young couple! I stood outside the Justice of the Peace and listened. "And so, by the authority invested in me.....You, Derek Hanaway and you Lisabeth Bishop are now hitched up good and proper! Yes sir~eeeee!" They used a cigar band for a ring.
Suddenly, Ma Wilson started her irritating laughing again and shrieked, "Ain't anybody gonna kiss the bride?"
They start passing Lisabeth around from one cowboy to the other. "We'll give these two a 'Shivaree' tonight Texas style!!!!!" They we're all hootin' and hollerin' as they headed for the saloon.
Needless to say, I was very bothered by the way this was going. I didn’t like any part of this at all and I was going to get to the bottom of it!
"What's a 'Shivaree', Pa?" There was too much going on right now, so I told Mark I would tell him later. I knew he would make sure to ask me again later too.
The old man tried to rationalize why he did what he did. Then Derek stated they weren’t continuing on the wagon train and he wasn’t taking anything from him.
I approached the old man. I wanted answers! “Mr. Pelser, you got ‘em married. Why’d you do it?” I demanded.
“You wouldn’t understand,” he answered.
“I had a daughter about her age. The only flesh of my flesh. She ran off to Houston with a man to get married. Said she was sick of living in a land that wouldn’t give up enough to eat or live decent. They never reached Houston. They never got married.” He confessed this so sadly that I almost felt sorry for him. I told him I understood, but I still didn’t think it was right!
“They said they were going to Yuma to get married. I couldn’t take their word for it, I could have never lived with myself if I didn’t do what I done.” He walked away sadly.
“Pa, those two newlyweds…what’s the matter with ‘em? They just stand there like they haven’t got a place to go!” Mark commented.
“Well, son?” I knew he had an answer to this, and it probably matched my thinking. But I wanted to hear it from him.
“I wouldn’t mind bunking up with you, pa. I won’t even mind if you snore!” was his answer! I smiled. I couldn’t resist with an answer like that!
So I approached the newly married couple and offered them a job and a place to stay until they could afford to move on. They looked so relieved that I knew I had done the right thing!
Micah and I were thinking alike on the shivaree. Neither of us liked the idea of it. It seemed different from a regular shivaree – more violent and hateful. I didn’t think this couple was in any mood to have that sort of thing happen to them. That’s another reason I decided to take them to my place. I knew they’d be protected and well guarded there, or so I thought!
When we got to the ranch, I let Lisabeth put on the wedding dress that had belonged to Margaret. She looked absolutely radiant in it! She thought the dress was elegant. “And you’re a very elegant cook, Mark,” Lisabeth stated.
I commented that when it was two bachelors cooking, there wasn’t much room for complaints! “It teaches you to be a diplomat even when you have a belly ache!” I declared.
Lisabeth was self-conscience about her short hair. “It was my idea to get her to dress up like a boy, Mr. McCain. It’s a long trip. Well, men don’t get to see many pretty girls out here. I didn’t want to invite trouble.” That made sense to me. “Or it could make it seem like I was yellow, though. Couldn’t it,” Derek stated.
Lisabeth didn’t want him to think that. I could tell this couple was very much in love! “He’s always fretting about that cause he was raised to be peaceable and hate violence,” she explained. “I think that’s what made me love him right off, Mr. McCain.”
I think they were getting tired, and with all the pressure, things had to be rough with them. I wasn’t in a mood to get into a birds and bees conversation with Mark, so I said, “Mark, aren’t you kind of fallin’ down on the job, boy?” Mark looked at me as if he had no idea what I was talking about. I didn’t blame him! “Why don’t you go out and get some firewood?” I raised an eyebrow at him, then shifted my eyes to the door, letting him know that he was to go with no questions asked.
He looked at me as if I was crazy but obeyed. “It gets dark early,” I started. When Mark was out of the house, I explained, “Look, what I’m trying to say is uh…I know you kids wanta be alone. Your room is all fixed up. Mark will bunk in here with me.” I could tell they were relieved. It had been a long, stressful day after all!
After they were gone, Mark walked back in. I sat at the table looking as innocent as I could, but Mark wasted no time at pointing out the fault in my plan. “I’m awful disappointed in you, pa!” he declared. I still tried to act innocent. “Well, if you wanted to get rid of me, you could’ve thought of something better than firewood! I just filled that box this afternoon!” he explained.
All I could do was smile and say “Oh.” I knew when I was caught!
“Course, you can’t say that I don’t aim to please!” Mark pulled a small piece of wood out from behind his back as he started cleaning up the dishes.
While we were safely settling in for the night at the ranch, things were brewing up at the saloon in town! They were really getting drunk and talking more and more about the shivaree! The old man was getting irritated and told them to leave the shivaree alone. Chet, a trouble maker from the wagon train, seemed to be the leader of the trouble and he told the old man that he had no right to stop them from having some excitement.
The old man walked up to Chet. “I’ve been watching you look at that girl ever since you found out she was a girl. You leave her be!” He ordered.
Chet wasn’t scared of the old man though. As the old man went to sit down, Chet came up behind him. “I forgot to tell you I’m leaving your wagon train, so you ain’t got no call to order me around no more, old man! Old man! That’s what you are, you’re a weak old man!” Chet thought it was time to get the shivaree started. “I understand them newlyweds are out at Lucas McCain’s. Now we’re gonna just go on out there to Lucas McCain’s place.”
At this point, I had no idea any of this was going on, but I was worried that the shivaree mentioned earlier could still happen. So while I played checkers with Mark, my mind was just not on the game. He was beating me bad! Mark knew something was wrong. While I was sitting there worried, he asked the question again. “What’s a shivaree?”
I guess I couldn’t avoid the question again. So I tried to explain it in as simple kid-friendly terms as I could. “Well, it’s a practical joke on folks who just got married,” I answered.
“Joke,” Mark asked shocked.
“Well, it’s not a very good one, I’m afraid. See, folks come and they try to do all they can to harass the bride and groom. They…they keep them up.” There, that was simple enough! I was really hoping they wouldn’t be coming here!
As the night progressed, things got worse in town. The boys got more and more drunk. And as they got more drunk, they got more riled on having a Shivaree. Micah saw the trouble brewing and tried to stop it, but he knew there was not much he could do to stop it. Micah couldn’t stop them from doing it, so he jumped on his horse to ride out and warn me about it.
I was still loosing badly at checkers. Mark thought I was letting him win, but my heart was just not in the game. The married couple had already been through so much, and I really didn’t want them to go through anything else. “I guess I’m just thinking about the moves I might have coming up later on,” I stated. I knew I was worthless at this game, so I went to stroke the fire as I worried.
About that time, Derek came out and stated he needed to talk to me. He looked at Mark, so I knew it was something he couldn’t discuss in front of the boy. “Guess it’s time to get some more firewood!” Mark commented sarcastically as he left the cabin.
“Well, you might as well know that I’m gonna be sleeping in the barn as long as we’re here!” he declared. This surprised me. That didn’t seem right for a newly married couple “What happened today don’t count! You see, we don’t feel like we’re married! Not until we get married again in Yuma!” I didn’t really understand what was so important about Yuma.
“Well, I guess that what we’re doing seems a little unusual to you, Mr. McCain. You see, my father’s a minister in Yuma and Liza just don’t want anybody else to marry us. The whole clan is planning to gather for the occasion. See, Liza doesn’t have any folks and a family wedding means a good deal to her. If it weren’t for that, we could of well gotten married in Julesburg!” Derek explained this, and it made perfect sense to me! If it felt right to him, that was all that mattered
Mark came back in then with Micah. He had come to warn me that they were coming for the shivaree. I didn’t like this and I was going to stop it if I could! I sent Mark in the bedroom with the young couple. Micah and I stood behind the closed door and listened. We heard them in the distance and as they got closer, Micah and I knew they were priming for some trouble. I went outside to chase the uninvited guests off my property.
“You folks may mean well, but these are only a couple of frightened kids. What you’ve got in mind could easily hurt them!” I announced as I stepped out onto my porch.
Ma Wilson stated they just wanted to jubilate with them. But I knew the young couple didn’t want to. What they wanted should be respected.
“Look, I’m asking you to please leave them alone.”
One of the uninvited guests spoke up. “I don’t think you understand, Mister,” he stated. “We rode all the way out here for the lawful fun of a shivaree. And we mean to have it!” Everyone cheered.
I had to practically scream to be heard over all the noise. “Look, I’m not usually one who’s opposed to the Shivaree. But this occasion’s different!” I insisted.
“What makes it different, Mister?” the same uninvited guest asked.
“My telling ya'!” I announced. That should be all they needed to know!
They didn’t seem to understand! They stated that they weren’t aiming for violence, they just wanted a shivaree.
While I was on my front porch talking to the uninvited guests, Chet and a couple others forced their way into my house and into the bedroom. They grabbed Derek and Lisabeth and forced them out of the cabin. Then they locked Mark in the bedroom.
“Now look, you folks know the couple! They’re just youngsters!” I was still trying to calm down what was quickly becoming a mob. They were yelling now. “So if you folks have any feeling at all about young people, why don’t you forget about this shivaree?”
This uninvited guest that kept speaking up was really becoming annoying! He now wanted to know why I was sticking out my neck for a boy and girl I didn’t even know. I answered him as sternly as I could, “Well maybe it’s because of the way I am!” I answered.
I demanded them to get off my property immediately. That’s when Chet yelled, announcing he had the folks in the wagon. I watched in horror as he drove them off in his buckboard! I had been so busy getting rid of the people that my house was left unguarded. I knew I had to hurry into town to save this couple from unnecessary trouble. I suddenly heard Mark yelling. I told Micah I’d catch up with him.
They brought Derek and Lisabeth to town. Chet and some of the men grabbed Lisabeth and dragged her into the Saloon while some other men dragged Derek to a water trough. Derek screamed for her, and she did her best to get away. Things were totally out of control!
Lisabeth was so terrified. She simply sat at the bar and stared off as Chet tried to get her to drink some whisky. Chet tried to grab her and Lisabeth started screaming. He picked her up in his arms as she tried to fight him off. The old man walked in and demanded for Chet to put her down. He was beginning to realize that he had made a mistake. Chet came forward to backtalk the old man, and the old man slapped him across the face.
“I know you didn’t mean that, so I won’t have to pay you back!” Chet declared as he punched him. Then he dragged the old man to the bar and poured him a drink, forcing him to drink it.
Derek wasn’t being treated any better. The men were dunking him over and over in the water. Micah and I made it to town. We came out of the Marshall’s office and saw what was going on. “I’ll take the bunch down the street. You take the saloon,” Micah suggested.
I was pretty angry at every one of these men. When I walked through the doors of the saloon, Chet was carrying Lisabeth in his arms. I don’t even want to think what would have happened if I hadn’t walked in just then. But I did walk in. I guess the look on my face was enough to frighten Chet into putting the girl down. I was angry. Very angry. And it wouldn’t have taken much more to press a trigger against these men! Chet came towards me and I punched him out! Lisabeth was so happy to see me that she ran up to me and threw her arms around me. I quickly took her to the Marshall’s office and locked her inside so no one could get to her.
Meanwhile, Micah was dealing with the boys who were harassing Derek. He ordered them to break it up. The men didn’t want to mess with him, so they all walked away. Derek sat in the water trough feeling things I’m sure he never felt before. He was very angry at the men. Not only for the way they treated him, but more so for the way his wife had been treated. So, as Micah helped him out of the water, he grabbed Micah’s rifle, then he made his way for the saloon.
As he walked into the saloon, there was no doubt to anyone why he was there or what he was planning on doing. As I walked out of the jail I heard it. A single gunshot! Derek had shot Chet, badly wounding him.
Micah hurried to the saloon. Chet was laying on the floor crying for someone to help him. Micah demanded Derek to come out of the saloon, but Derek refused. Finally, Micah said, “I’m gonna give you three seconds to come out! Then I’m coming in after ya'!”
I heard this as I was crossing the street. I hurried forward to try to stop a bad situation from getting a lot worse. “Micah, if you go in there you’ll make that boy a real criminal!” I warned.
“The whole town’s loosing respect for the law!” Micah insisted.
I was desperate. I knew this boy and I wanted to help him. “I’m not talking about the town. I’m talking about the boy. He didn’t ask for any of this.”
“But it happened. Now he’s a part of it,” Micah stated.
“And the girl?” My heart went out to both of them. I had to help them. “Micah, let me give it a try,” I begged. “He just might trust me.”
Micah finally relented and let me go in. I threw him my rifle and started forward. “Derek, it’s Lucas McCain,” I called as I approached the doors. “I want you to put down that shotgun.” The kid was so hurt and scared that he couldn’t do it.
“I’m gonna make him crawl for the rest of his life just like he made me crawl!” Derek cried. “I’m gonna do the same thing to that evil old man over there.”
“If you shoot, boy, your gonna shoot me!” I said confidently.
“Don’t make me do it, Mr. McCain!”
“Derek, this man needs a doctor bad!” But he didn’t want anyone to help him. “You don’t have to crawl anymore son…unless you pull that trigger. Derek, you still have a chance to walk out of there with your head held high! Now which is it gonna be, son?” As I spoke, I ever-so-slowly eased my way closer to the swinging doors.
Derek finally came to his senses. He knew he couldn’t pull that trigger and intentionally kill a man. He threw down the rifle. Then he cried.
I put my hand on his shoulder to comfort him. That’s all I could do. “It’s all right, son.” I assured him.
The old man came forward. Neither one of us wanted to talk to him “Maybe the Lord will forgive me, but I know you never will,” he stated. Then he walked away.
I gave Derek the key to the Marshall’s office and told him to go to Lisabeth. She was waiting for him.There was silence. The people on the street were quiet as they watched Derek make his way across the street. Everyone seemed humble at the disaster the word “shivaree” had caused that night.
*shiv-a-ree.....a noisy mock serenade to a newly married couple ~
French charivari - from the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary
piddlin' stuff.....Luana Anders played appeared in over 30 films, 300 TV shows. Her nickname was Lu.
Jack Nicholson remembered her in his Academy Award acceptance speech for best actor in "As Good as It Gets" (1997) in 1998.
In his book, Stephen King: On Writing, Stephen King cited her as one of his movie matinee idols.
Paul Carr appeared in four episodes of "The Rifleman." He played Derek Hanaway [the groom] in 'Shivaree.' Garth Healey in 'The Woman' ~ He was the one who was in love with Miss Adams. Fred Harris in 'Letter of the Law' ~ He gave his life to save Micah. Doug Carter in 'Smoke Screen' ~ He was in love with Marge Crandell. The cowgirl who got killed. He had a starring role in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He played Dr. Peter Taylor [#1] in the soap "General Hospital." He appeared in shows like "Peter Gun" to "Hardcastle & McCormick." Love that "Hardcastle & McCormick!" "Hunt 'em, hear 'em and hang 'em, that's the code of the West!"
Morris Ankrum who played the Wagon Master in 'Shivaree' ~ Aaron Pelser and he also appeared in 'The Actress' as Jacob Black. He was the dying man that Lucas went to fetch his wife for him before he died. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Law, Morris Ankrum was an attorney and an economics professor before switching careers and joining the theater. With a law degree in hand, Morris Ankrum became a real menace to such sagebrush heroes as Hopalong Cassidy. He appeared in over 150 (known) feature films. A large portion of his career involved westerns, in some of which he was cast as an Indian. His screen career heavily favored horror, sci-fi and action pictures, including "Zombies of Mora Tau"—"Earth vs. the Flying Saucers"—"Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy"—"Invaders from Mars." Off screen, Ankrum was a respected stage director who had a 33-year association with the Pasadena Playhouse as both an actor and director. His other stage credits included producer-director at New York's Federal Theatre. On television, he often played a judge on "Perry Mason" and appeared in the series "Mackenzie's Raiders."
John Anderson played Chet Packard in 'Shivaree.' Now here is a familiar face. How many times did he star on the show? 'The Retired Gun' ~ 'The Hawk' ~ 'The Patsy' ~ 'Day of the Hunter' ~ 'Mail Order Groom' ~ 'Shotgun Man' ~ 'Face of Yesterday' ~ 'The Journey Back' ~ 'Incident at Line Shack Six' ~ 'Old Man Running'. He also appeared with Chuck in "Geronimo".
We saw him so much that you would have thought of him as part of the family. Come to think of it, he was part of the family. Do you remember which episode that was?
He bore a strong resemblance to President Abraham Lincoln and portrayed him twice. Uncredited as the voice of the animatronic Mark Twain in the American Experience at Walt Disney World's Epcot (World Showcase) in Orlando, Flordia.
William Bryant played Karl Hollis in this episode of 'Gun Fire'.I best remember Olive Carey, who played Ma Wilson in 'Shivaree', in John Ford's - "The Searchers." Great movie and sooooo many great stars!
In 'The Apprentice Sheriff', he was Sandy Dixon, he was the cowboy who Dan shot and killed. This is a great actor. He was Jerry in 'Shivaree'. One of the rowdy cowboys. He also was in 'The Assailants' as Trooper Coley.
He appeared in "Branded" nine times as President Ulysses S. Grant.
He also appeared with Chuck in "Ride Beyond Vengeance" as the Bartender.
Loved him in "Hardcastle & McCormick" the pilot - 2 part called 'Rolling Thunder' as Flip Johnson.
Old Hardcastle knew the code of the west....."hunt 'em, hear 'em and hang 'em!" Loved "Hardcastle and McCormick!" To me this was a modern day western. Hardcastle's favorite Cowboy was the 'Duke' and he read 'The Lone Ranger' comics.
She also was the mother of Harry Carey Jr.
Bob Woodward as one of the cowboys participating in the 'Shivaree.' He also was in 'The Sister' as a stagecoach driver & he appeared in 'The Indian' as a cowboy in the bar. Woodward was an actor and a stuntman. Bob Woodward appeared on television and in movies. He co-starred in the western California Mail, Pioneer Justice, Range Renegades, and Junction City. He played the role of the stagecoach driver in the TV series The Gene Autry Show, the Henchman on the TV series The Range Rider. He co-starred in the TV show Annie Oakley. In the 1950s and 1960s, he guest-starred in The Lone Ranger, Buffalo Bill, Jr., Tales of Wells Fargo, and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, as well as other TV series appearances.Edgar Dearing as Justice of the Peace. He was Hollywood's most familiar Motorcycle policeman in the 1930's and 40's.Appeared in many comedies, some with Laurel & Hardy. His most memorable film role was (as a Motorcycle cop!) in their classic silent short TWO TARS(1928). It's been said Dearing was a motorcycle cop in real life before he started acting.
Chick Hannon as the Bartender. A typical B-Western "dog heavy," burly Chick Hannon almost never received onscreen billing and was more often than not merely observed scowling in the background, an anonymous member of the gang. A rare exception was the 1934 Jack Randall/Monogram oater Stars Over Arizona, in which his character actually had a name: Yucca Bill. But he was still a henchman, a member of Warner Richmond's Tuba City gang. Hannon had begun turning up in westerns and serials in the mid-'30s and would go on to appear in nearly 200 films before his retirement in the late '50s. ~Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Foxy Callahan as a Barfly. He started acting in 1931 and has appeared in several B Western Movies. Foxy was as a stuntman from 1936 to 1948. He later appeared in "The Virginian" — "Wagon Train" — "The Slowest Gun in the West" — "The Parson and the Outlaw" — "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" — "The Adventures of Kit Carson" — "Hopalong Cassidy".
Callahan along with Chick Hannon were regular wagon drivers on Wagon Train.
Milan Smith as a member of the Bailey gang in 'The Retired Gun' - 'Shivaree' as one of the cowboys
participating in the Shivaree - 'The Indian' as a cowboy in the saloon and 'Short Rope for a Tall man' as one of Crown's men. The trainer, born and raised on a Sioux reservation in South Dakota, served in the Pacific during World War II and then worked in Hollywood as a stuntman for 18 years. When he was called on to perform a stunt for an episode of "The Lone Ranger" he met Silverheels and a friendship developed.
Bob Woodward as one of the cowboys participating in the 'Shivaree' - in 'The Sister' as a stagecoach driver and 'The Indian' as a cowboy in the saloon. Woodward was an actor and a stuntman. Bob Woodward appeared on television and in movies. He co-starred in the western "California Mail," "Pioneer Justice," "Range Renegades," and "Junction City." He played the role of the stagecoach driver in the TV series "The Gene Autry Show," the Henchman on the TV series "The Range Rider." He co-starred in the TV show "Annie Oakley." In the 1950s and 1960s, he guest-starred in "The Lone Ranger," "Buffalo Bill, Jr.," "Tales of Wells Fargo," and "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," as well as other TV series appearances.
Whitey Hughes appeared in several episodes of "The Rifleman." In this episode he was a Barfly. This is just one of many episodes Whitey was in.
Oklahoma born, one of the smallest of Hollywood stuntmen, he often doubled as a woman, most notably in "The Stuntman" where he can be seen in a dress, jumping over a cliff while holding an umbrella. A regular member of Sam Peckinpah's company, he often acted small speaking roles as well as supervising stunts and wrangling for the director.
Whitey was the uncle of Billy Hughes Jr.
Jesse Wayne was a Stuntman for "The Rifleman" in 23 episodes. Besides a Stuntman, Jesse also performed behind the scenes as an Actor - Second Unit Director or Assistant Director - Special Effects - Miscellaneous Crew - Director - Camera and Electrical Department - Cinematographer - Archive Footage.
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
Bloopers for this episode & other episodes
The Deadeye Kid
around The McCain Ranch