Well, it was turning out to be another one of those days! You know the days I’m talking about: things are going good, then they aren’t. One little thing said can turn out to cause some really big problems, and things are said that shouldn’t be.
Well, this event started simple enough. Mark and I were simply riding our horses into town to take care of some business when suddenly I saw a couple riders. As we got closer, Mark gets excited, “Injuns!” he declares. "What do you make of it Pa?"
I told Mark that it looked as if whatever that one Apache did, the other planned to settle it in real Indian fashion. That idea made him really excited. "You mean like scalpin', gosh can I watch?"
I couldn’t believe this boy! Here was an Indian about to be scalped and Mark was excited about it as if it was story from a book! I glared at him and said, “Well Mark, our government trying to teach these people to be civilized. Maybe it should include you!” I pointed out. Mark realized what he had said and apologized.
We rode up to the Indians to try to stop the event from happening. “Hold up, Apache!” I called. “What you’re aiming to do is not good! It’s against the law. You have a grievance against this man, you tell the white man authorities. Let them punish proper. Savvy?”
I was quite surprised when the Indian spoke proper English. He informed me that this man was under arrest for attacking an unarmed man and when he finished with his business in this area he would be taking him to Santa Fe.
“Your speaking proper English doesn’t give you the authority to do any arresting!” I protested.
That’s when the Indian explained to me exactly who he was. “Sam Buckhart. Native American Aboriginal of the Chiricahua Apache.” He threw me his badge. “I’m Deputy United States Marshal for this district. Incidentally, I learned to speak proper English as well as a great deal about American laws by going to school. Maybe your boy will go there.” He started to leave. But over his shoulder he shouted, “Harvard College."
Needless to say Mark and I were both a little shocked. Mark even went so far as to say, “An Indian Marshal! What’s this world coming to?”
I was quite concerned about his going into North Fork. “Well Harvard or no Harvard, I hope he has sense enough not to parade his authority in North Fork!”
When we arrived, I noticed the Indians’ horses tied up right outside the saloon. “Oh no!” I moaned. Mark thought maybe we should have warned Buckhart not to come into North Fork, but I thought he was smart enough to figure that out on his own! I couldn't help but remember what happened the last time an Indian tried to buy a drink at the saloon.
We ran into Micah and I asked him if he had seen the new marshal. He told us that he was hob-nobbin' with our big leading citizen, Gorman. He proceeded to tell me that Buckhart was looking for the renegade Indian suspected of the brutal killings of the McCloud's. They were Quakers and the best white friends any redskin could have, it's hard to figure any Indian would do that to this family.
I decided to go into the saloon to check on things. I gave Mark his nickel and told him to be back in a half hour, then we entered the saloon. It appeared that everybody was celebrating the capture of Buckhart's prisoner. "It isn't often that a special Deputy from Washington comes to our community," says Gorman. He offered Buckhart a drink, but he refused since he was on duty.
I was beginning to see why they were allowing him in the saloon. He had put on a shirt and pinned on his badge. His long hair was tucked up under his hat. They didn’t even know he was Indian!
"To Sam Buckhart, boys!” Gorman toasted. The kind of Federal man we've all been waiting for." Proof’s right outside! That prisoner of his sitting there all ugly and dirty waiting to meet his maker! Something I want you to know Marshall. I bought the McCloud Ranch at this morning’s auction. With it, I feel I’ve kinda acquired a part in the special investigation you’re conducting here. Sort of a sense of obligation, you might say! I won’t feel happy about that property until you find the stinking savage who burned out the last owner. I want to be there in person to see him hang!” Gorman stated with the sound of hate in his voice.
Buckhart assured Gorman that he’d hang if he was guilty, to which Gorman replied, “He’s guilty all right! He’s an Indian, ain’t he?”
That’s when Buckhart gave a nice little speech about Indians. I thought it was a nice speech. “Mr. Gorman, does not an Indian have eyes, hands, organs, senses, affections, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapon? Warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a white man is? If you prick him, does he not bleed? If you tickle him, does he not laugh? And if you wrong him, will he not revenge?”
Gorman believed that the only reason Buckhart said such things was because he was a Marshall and had to think that way. Buckhart needed to know where the Apache clan was hiding out. Slade was more than happy to tell him that they were squatting out at Green Canyon.
I took this chance and offered to draw him a map so I could warn him. “Mister, you must fancy yourself a real poker player!” I stated quietly as I gave him directions.
“That all depends on who I’m playing against,” he answered.
“Well, don’t press your luck with this crowd!” Then I went back to giving him directions.
Meanwhile, Micah decided to question a man named Slade about why he was at Green Canyon. The only answer he gave was that he was just “looking around. A man’s got a right to look around, ain’t he?”
Gorman wasn’t finished with the insults yet. “Boys, this man is a real hunting dog! He’s even got the Apache way of pointing with his chin!”
Buckhart only smiled and stated, “You can learn, even from the enemy!”
I was pretty ashamed of how the “great citizens” of North Fork treated Indians. I could never understand such hatred for such a great race of people! “That kind of talk, Buckhart, you must hate white men until it hurts your insides!” I commented. I knew I could grow to dislike those men in there!
Buckhart only gave a short laugh and told me about his experience. "Hate? McCain, I was 14 when I joined in the war against the whites. My first battle I found a wounded Captain behind a rock, he was an old man. I had my knee in his breast bone and his thin gray hair in my hand. When I looked into his eyes I could see he was gonna die bravely. And I noticed his throat where the sun hadn’t reached. I couldn’t take his scalp. Cause suddenly I saw his white flesh as softer and weaker then my Indian flesh.” Suddenly, I gasped at his thoughts. He apologized.
“I brought the Captain back to the fort, for five days and nights I held him in the saddle, finding him food and water. During that time we became friends. Two years later the Captain died in an Indian ambush. He left me a great fortune: tuition and expenses if I would go to Harvard College where he had graduated. Does that answer your questions?" It did. I wished him good luck.
"Hey Pa! Where's that Injun Marshal going?" Mark suddenly so rudely asked. I tried to hush him, but Tub, one of Gorman's men overheard him. He began questioning Mark about what he just said. Mark immediately tried to cover his words, stating that he was just kidding. He was a boy who was confused about what to do, and I understood he had good reasons for trying to cover himself. But this man wouldn’t leave it alone! Tub suddenly grabbed Mark and I ordered him to take his hands off my boy. Nobody was allowed to question my son, let alone grab him! I tried to leave it at that and told Mark to go with me, but Tub grabbed Mark and told him not to lie. I informed him that my boy never lied! “They all lie!” he shouts.
That was it as far as I was concerned. First he grabs my boy, then he calls him a liar! My boy was obviously confused and frightened. So, I did the thing that any father would do – I punched him!
Tub couldn’t wait to tell all the men in the saloon! All the men, including Sweeny, were unhappy with this news. The men all started yelling and talking at the same time as realization sunk in. Suddenly, Gorman got a really ugly look on his face and everyone grew quiet. “I drank with an apach-“ Gorman started. The he wiped his mouth in disgust as if he was wiping away some deadly germ that could kill him. Gorman questioned Sweeny on the glass the Indian drank from, but Sweeny had washed them all. So, the men gathered them all up, took them to the street, and used their guns on them. I thought they had all gone mad! Mark and I both were saddened by the attitudes of the towns people.
I was so worried about what this was doing to our town that I decided to ride out and see how Buckhart was getting along with his business. I stayed at a distance to watch what was going on.
Buckhart told Chief Hostay that the white man's laws are wise and just. He needed to take Eskimimzin in for trial. At one point, Buckhart even stated that for awhile, the Apache must endure the bear hug of the whites. Chief Hostay ordered that "Eskimimzin will go to Santa Fe to be hung by the white solders. Eskimimzin my son, you go to die for the Apache Nation. It is a great honor to make such a sacrifice."
Buckhart told him he will have a fair trial, but was concerned about him using the word sacrifice. Why does he say sacrifice?
“He did not start the fire. He could not,” the chief explained. “He was in mourning for his wife’s father. To make any fire is forbidden to him.
After talking to Chief Hostay, Buckhart realized that Eskimimzin was not guilty. Eskimimzin spoke of a white man who wanted him to meet with him, he thought this white man wanted to buy his leather like before, but when he told him what he wanted, Eskimimzin fled. “From my place of hiding I saw the smoke,” he explained. Even though he was innocent, he was still willing to die.
"Who is this he you speak of?" Asked Buckhart.
But Eskimimzin insisted, “Take me. This is my honor!”
Again, Buckhart asked for the name, and again Eskimimzin begged him to take him.
Hostay, the law does not wish to punish the Indian because he is Indian,” Buckhart insisted. Finally, Hostay told Eskimimzin to tell the truth.
"The drunkard, Slade, the white man," said Eskimimzin.
I watched the Indians leave, then I rode up to talk to Buckhart. I told him there was a whole new problem. “They found out about you in town. It was my fault, I’m sorry.” I explained.
I tried to talk Buckhart out of going back to North Fork and taking the prisoner himself. I wanted him to get someone else. “It stands to reason you were appointed out here to work with your own people. Something like this couldn’t have been figured in advance. Why don’t you send back for some other federal marshal,” I begged. I knew they wouldn’t stand for it back in town. I didn’t want to see my town turned upside down.
“Lucas, wasn’t it right for me to arrest the Apache whenever I thought he was guilty?” Buckhart reasoned.
“Sure,” I answered.
“Isn’t it still right for me to take the white man who really had-“
I interrupted him. “Absolutely!” I answered. “But it’s not practical!”
“There was a Roman philosopher once who said that no harm can come to a man as long as he was doing his duty!” Buckhart insisted. “Which takes more away from a man, Lucas? Death or cowardness?”
I wasn’t getting through to him, so I thought I’d use another approach. So I asked him how good he was with his rifle. He told me he was fair. I looked around and saw a mullein bush with five pods on it. I wanted to see how good of a shot he was. I told him to try and pick one of the pods. He was having trouble making them out. It took him three shots before he could get one.
So naturally, I took my own rifle from the boot and demonstrated my shooting abilities. I could tell he was impressed. “I’m sorry, Sam. I can’t let you get on that horse,” I announced. “For your own good, I’ll cripple you first!”
“Thanks, friend,” Buckhart said sarcastically.
“Now look, I’m not thinking just about you! North Fork’s my boys home and I don’t want to see it turn into a lynch town.” I said.
“Maybe you’re giving me too much credit and your town not enough,” Buckhart continued to argue.
I was getting more upset each second. I could not believe he wasn’t seeing the danger he was going to face – the danger the whole town of North Fork would face if he went into my town! Buckhart then showed his authority by threatening to arrest me for threatening him.
I knew I wasn’t going to talk him out of it. "You stupid savage! I'm through! I wash my hands of you!" I was so angry. I was worried about what this was going to mean – for everybody! “So help me, I don’t care what happens. It’ll serve you right and the town too!” I was blowing off steam, saying things I shouldn’t have, but I was so mad! I tried one more time. “I was just trying to talk some plain ol’ common sense into ya! You’re just too blame proud!”
He laughed, then he said something that hit me hard. "Just like you, eh, Lucas?" I got to thinking about that as I watched him ride off. That made me angry too…
When I got back into town, I looked around for Mark but he wasn’t where I had left him. He was in the court house, and came running out when he saw me. I snapped at him because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. Mark told me Buckhart and the Marshall were in the saloon with Slade. I told Mark we were going home. Buckhart seemed to want to handle things his own way anyway.
I watched the men come from the church. They were muttering and becoming a mob quickly. Then I watched Buckhart come out of the saloon with Slade. I wanted to go home, but my senses told me I should stay. There could be trouble, and I may be the only sensible one left before long. Micah couldn’t fight the mob alone.
As Buckhart attempted to leave with his prisoner, Gorman shot off his gun to stop him. “Apache, a white man’s talking to you, ya hear?” The shot made Buckhart stop and turn around. The men laughed.
I grabbed my rifle. I didn’t know what was about to happen, but I knew I had to stop this somehow. Buckhart ordered the men to stay where they were. Gorman stated they would stay, but he was leaving without Slade. “I’ve got nothing personal against you. Nothing at all. But there’s a principal here that’s just been resolved in open meeting. We the people of North Fork refuse to recognize your jurisdiction or authority. So get on your horse, Buckhart. Just you right now!” The men were backing him up. Buckhart started to leave with his prisoner again. But again, Gorman stopped him. One of his men shot off his hat to reveal his Indian hair. Gorman then ordered Buckhart to take off his badge.
The men started forward to fight Buckhart, but the Marshall stepped out then. “I wouldn’t do that, boys,” Micah warned. “You lay a hand on the marshal and you’re going against the federal government!”
Gorman warned Micah to stay out of it. “Just remember. You gotta live here!”
Micah stayed firm. “Could be I gotta die here, Mr. Gorman!”
Things were getting really bad. Not only was Buckhart’s life in jeopardy, but so was Micah’s. The men ignored Micah’s warning. They started forward. I had to do something fast. So, I did the only thing I could do.
“That’s right, men! Don’t listen to him!” I suddenly shouted, surprising not only the mob, but also my best friend and son. I jumped up on the back of a wagon. I put a really mean look on my face. "Buckhart, maybe you no savvy? Look Indian, we the people of North Fork refuse to acknowledge your Jurisdiction and authority! Right?” The men cheered.
“Okay. I’ll make it plain. We the people of North Fork have decided to take the law into our own hands.” Again, the men cheered me on.
“Still no savvy, huh? Well, Marshal Torrance knows what it means, it means he's through, because it goes for him too! You hear me, Torrance? You’re through!" As I said this, both Micah and Mark looked at me as if I had lost my mind. They looked a little worried about my attitude.
I was on a role, though. All the pent up emotion from the day were getting out. “We’re the law here now! Right?” Again, the men cheered. “So I’m ordering you to put down that shotgun! Put it down!” Micah simply stared at me. “Stubborn, huh?”
I threw my rifle to Todd and told him to take Marshal. “Well, go on, Todd. You got a score to settle with Torrance. Remember the time when you were all liquored up and you tried to take Oat Jackford and his boys single handed and Torrance pulled you off and sat on ya' before you could really get hurt? Come on, Todd! Put a hole right through his mean old hide!"
Micah smiled at me. There was no longer any cheering. Everything was quiet. That is, everything but me. Todd didn’t move. “Well go on! You want my boy there to think you’re a coward?” I screamed. Mark smiled proudly at me. Todd gave me back my rifle. I grabbed it from him. “Are we gonna have a lynching here today, or ain’t we?” I continued yelling just to impress my point on the people a little more. “Are we going to let these so-called peace marshals take our good friend Slade to trial just because he burned down a cabin with a sleeping man and his wife in it?”
It was at this point that everyone started leaving. They realized how wrong they had been and walked away quietly, leaving Gorman and his men alone. I continued yelling. “Well come on back here, you men! I ain't through talking to you yet! Come on back! You don’t expect me to stand up to them alone, do ya?”
It was over. I got down from the wagon exhausted. All my anger was out.
Tub and Gorman started to shoot at Buckhart. Buckhart was quicker on the draw and wounded both of them. I was no longer angry. I was just tired and glad it was about to be over. I went to check on Tub and Gorman. I bent down to where Gorman was laying. “Well, you asked for it, Gorman,” I pointed out.
When Buckhart started to leave with Slade, he confessed in fear. “You gotta take Gorman too!” he stated. “I never would have started that fire except to oblige him!” he confessed.
Gorman was mad. He tried to deny the whole thing. Now Gorman had to be taken into custody by an Injun! He begged me not to let Buckhart take him. I watched as Gorman sweated over his being taken away by an Indian. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. He really did get what he deserved after all!
Before leaving, Buckhart gave Mark a peace pipe. Mark filled it up with tobacco. “You know, with a peace pipe, they never smoke but a few puffs,” I told Mark as we both lit a match at the same time. I put the cigar to my mouth but waited to light it as I watched Mark try to light the peace pipe. He realized his arm wasn’t long enough to do it, but he wasn’t going to ask for help. I continued to hold my lit match as I watched him blow his out. I lit my cigar.
I couldn’t help but to feel relief that Mark hadn’t been able to light it. I guess secretly I was hoping he wouldn’t.
“Yes sir, that marshal was sure nice to remember me!” Mark said as he walked over to me. He wanted to know what the book was he gave me. “Well, that tells all about that Harvard college he went to. Would you like to go someday?”
Mark put his arm around my shoulders and said, “If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me!" My boy never ceased to amaze me!
Lewis Charles played Eban Tate in 'One Went to Denver' also was in 'The Indian' as Slade the man who was responsible for the brutal murder of a Rancher and his family. He also appeared in 'Skull' as Pascal.
Frank DeKova was Chief Hostay in this episode of 'The Indian.' He is in the fourth picture from the top. The Indian on the left. 'Meeting at Midnight' he played Carl Miller, the man who was in jail waiting for someone to come and break him out. I know you know who he is. Remember him in F-Troop as Chief Wild Eagle?
Mickey Simpson played Tub in this episode of 'The Indian'. He was one who grabbed Mark and called him a liar when Mark left it slip and then tried to cover it up that their new Deputy United States Marshal was an Indian. He also played Carl Lamprey in the episode 'The Sharpshooter' - he's the one that got Lucas' rifle barrel in his stomach.
He was a well-muscled, former 1935 New York City heavyweight boxing champ who was typically cast as a villain in numerous low-budget auctioneers, adventures, and Westerns of the '40s, '50s, and '60s. Before making his screen debut with a bit part in Stagecoach, Simpson had been Claudette Colbert's personal chauffeur. He served with the military during WWII and then returned to Hollywood to continue his busy onscreen career. ~ Sandra Brennan
Eddie Little Sky appeared as the Indian, Deputy United States Marshal Sam Buckhart had in custody when Lucas & Mark passed them on the country side. He also appeared with Chuck in "Branded" as Blue Hawk in 'One Way Out'.
One of the least known and yet most seen Indian actors on screen and TV. Eddie was a member of the Lakota Sioux tribe and appeared on numerous TV western series in the 1950s through the 1970s. Little Sky was a handsome man with a very athletic body.
Robert Chadwick as Eskimimzin. He was the son of Chief Hostay. He was the one originally accused of setting the fires, but found to be innocent because at the time he was in mourning for wife's father.
Bill Quinn as Sweeney the owner/bartender of The North Fork Saloon. Sweeney was first introduced to "The Rifleman" in 'The Marshal.'
Leonard P. "Lenny" Geer appeared in several episodes of "The Rifleman." Besides being an actor, Lenny was one of many stuntmen for the series. He has done a lot of things, from westerns to comedy to horror & also war movies. He also doubled for Robert Mitchum and George Montgomery. You name it, this Cowboy has done it!
Hughes appeared in several episodes of "The Rifleman."
'The Indian' as one of the townsmen - 'The Money Gun' as a man at the
auction and he also played a bartender in 'The Money Gun' - 'Obituary'
as one of the townsmen sitting in front of the saloon -
as a barfly. This is just a few of
the 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.
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.
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.
Carol Henry as one of the townsmen. Henry was an American character actor & stuntman who played the parts of henchmen in Western films and television series throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
Hal Needham as one of the
townsmen. Needham was a stuntman, director, writer
and actor. He had an amazing career in film spanning the best part of five
decades. His first break was working as a stunt double for Richard Boone
in the TV western "Have Gun - Will Travel." He doubled for Burt
Reynolds, Clint Walker, Christopher George, and Richard Boone.
Hal Needham served as a paratrooper during the Korean War, in the logging industry, and even as a male model for Viceroy Cigarettes, before beginning a career in Hollywood.
Stunts by Hal Needham
Ethan Laidlaw appeared in
"The Rifleman" quite a few times unaccredited.
Mind Reader' as one of the townsmen in the audience
'Honest Abe' as one of the townsmen —
'The Day the Town Slept' as one of the
— 'Legacy' Man at the Funeral
Rope for a Tall Man'
Indian' as one of the townsmen
Knife' as one of the townsmen
Ounces of Tin' as one of the townsmen — 'Grasshopper' as a
passenger on the train — 'Strange Town' as one of the
at Droshek Town -
'The Coward' as a diner patron.
He appeared in over 350 films between 1923 and 1962.
Bob Woodward as a cowboy
in the bar. He also was in 'Shivaree' as
one of the cowboys
participating in the 'Shivaree' & in 'The Sister' as a stagecoach driver. 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.
Milan Smith as a member of the
Bailey gang in 'The Retired Gun' - 'Shivaree'
as one of the
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.
Jimmie Booth was in three
episodes of "The Rifleman" as one of
- 'The Indian' - 'The Coward' - 'The Challenge'
He appeared with Chuck in "Guns of Paradise" - 'A Matter of Honor' as a Driver.
Jimmie also appeared in" Knots Landing" - "Alias Smith and Jones" - "The Wild Wild West" - "Bonanza" - "The Big Valley" - "Rawhide" - "The Virginian" - "The Deputy" - "The Tall Man" - "The Texan" - "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" - "Gunsmoke" - "Law of the Plainsman" - "The Untouchables" - "The Rifleman" - "Wagon Train" - "Zane Grey Theater" - "Have Gun - Will Travel" - "Hopalong Cassidy"
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 Boarding House
The Deadeye Kid
around The McCain Ranch