"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
'Short Rope for a Tall Man'
I’ve always known that I have the best son in the world, but until now I didn’t realize just how deep his love for me really ran. There’s nothing like coming face-to-face with death while your son watches and bravely fights for you. Boy, how did I get so lucky?
You see, Mark and I took a trip to Cathay to sell some of our cattle. The trip was innocent enough…that is unless your name is McCain!
It was winter, and pretty cold. Mark and I were about to head home when Mark commented that he didn’t like this town. “Strange places are good for you,” I assured him as we walked down the boardwalk. “Makes you appreciate what you have at home.”
“Well, I’ll sure be glad when we get back to North Fork!” Mark commented anxiously. But then he brought up THAT subject. “Except for one thing.”
I already knew what that one thing was. “No horses!” I stated in a firm voice as I gave him one of my famous looks.
My boy argued with me though as we continued to walk down the street. “But Pa, we need them!” Mark stated firmly. He reminded me that I said we could buy a pair.
“If we found the right one’s son,” I reminded him. How is it that kids can always twist your words around! Mark figured that the horses over at the stable were good. “Well, we can’t afford to pay Mr. Schneider’s price.” A hundred dollars was way too much for me to pay! I told Mark to go over and hitch up the wagon; it was time to head home. I told him I was going to go pick up our money from Mr. Lovering.
“Pa?” Mark tried again.
“What if Mr. Schneider changes his mind?”
I smiled at my anxious son. “Well, you tell Mr. Schneider we’ll buy his horses if he comes down to my price. But he won’t!” I watched Mark walk across the street. I couldn’t help but smile and shake my head at him. That boy!
Mark wouldn’t give up easily. He told Mr. Schneider that I’d only pay twenty-five dollars a head. That made Schneider laugh. “Twenty-five dollars?” he laughed. “Well, for twenty-five dollars, I couldn’t even sell you a burro! Well, that wouldn’t even pay for the tail!” He laughed hysterically as he put his arm around Mark and led him out of the stable. “That’s a good joke. You run over and tell your papa he’s gonna have to pay much more for the horses!”
Just then, some men came riding into town. Schneider suddenly got really nervous and changed his attitude, but my young son was naive and didn’t notice. “Hey, you really want to buy those horses, sonny?” Mark said he did. “Well, I hate to see a young fellow disappointed,” he commented as he looked back toward the riders. He told Mark he’d pay twenty-five dollars a head.
He then shook Mark’s hand. He told Mark what a good trader he was.
Mr. Lovering and I walked out onto the boardwalk as we finished up our business. As we were standing there talking, Ben Crown and his men rode in with some trouble. He demanded to see the Sheriff, but the deputy told him the Sheriff was out hunting the horse thieves that had been plaguing them. “Really,” Crown asked sarcastically. “Well, he’s been hunting in the wrong place. They paid me a visit.” They killed two of his men and stole some his horses. Crown was really riled. He was getting impatient of seeing nothing being done. He wanted to round up a posse to go after the man or men responsible for the cattle rustling.
The deputy took charge. He ordered men to step up and get deputized – it was dirty work and it needed done. I watched with interest. Crown ordered that even though Artie Quint was only a deputy, he still had to deputize men. He was taking the law in his own hands!
“Does Ben Crown always get his way?” I asked Mr. Lovering.
“Crown and his ranch keep this town alive.”
Suddenly, Mark came running up to me all excited. “Pa!” he called as he hurried to me. “Pa!”
I stepped off the porch and put a hand on his shoulder. “Where’s the wagon son?”
He pointed toward the stables. “Over at the stables. Come here, I wanna show you something!” He started to hurry away.
But I kept a firm hand on his arm and pulled him back. “Aren’t you forgetting your manners?” I asked sternly.
Mark slowly turned and tipped his hat to Mr. and Mrs. Lovering. Mark started to turn, but Mrs. Lovering commented that he was in a hurry. “Oh, yes ma’am!” Pa exclaimed as he turned back toward me.
But before anymore could be said, Charlie rode up to us. “How ‘bout you Joe?”
“How about me what, Charlie?” Mr. Lovering asked.
“You ridin’ with us?”
His wife jumped in. “Joe’s no gun hand and you know that.”
“How about your friend with the rifle?”
“Sorry mister, my boy and I are on our way home.” I wasted no time turning him down.
“My Pa will pay ya’ even though you are a stranger around here,” said Charlie.
“You thank your Pa kindly for me, huh?” I then said good-by to the Loverings.
Charlie suddenly charged his horse towards Mark. I grabbed the reins to the horse. “Look, be careful with that horse mister,” I warned protectively. I put a protective arm around Mark’s shoulders as we started across the street. “What was that surprise you were talkin’ about Son?”
“You’ll see Pa!” Charlie laughed as he watched us leave.
Well, Mark showed me the surprise. It was a little strange to me. “You have a bill of sale, Mr. Schneider?” I asked. “Something that says they’re yours?”
“Ya…ya..I got one right here,” said Schneider. I looked at his bill of sale. Everything seemed to be in order. He agreed on twenty-five dollars a piece. “Why this sudden drop in price Schneider…something wrong?”
He assured me there wasn’t. “You looked at them yourself, Pa!” Mark reminded me.
I started back toward the horses. “Yes I did, son. They’re fine animals.” I petted them.
Schneider started telling me that he had been wanting to sell his business for some time. These were his last two horses. I wanted guaranteed that all he wanted was twenty-five dollars a piece. There was something else. He knew I was going West to North Fork. “You see, I got a living sister, but I haven’t seen her in a long time. If it’s nice, maybe I stay. Besides, I don’t ride a horse too good. And two or three days in a wagon is worth something.” I agreed to let him ride with us.
Mark was really anxious. He really wanted those horses! “It’s alright, isn’t it Pa? We made a deal, shook hands!”
“Yes son,” I agreed. “We made a deal, so I guess we better go through with it.” I took the money out of my pocket and told Mark to count out fifty dollars. I watched closely while he did it and immediately grabbed the remaining money back.
Schneider gave us the bill of sale and said he’d be packed in three minutes.
I didn’t know it, but Charlie was watching us ride out of town. He was sure there was going to be a hanging.
The next morning Mark and I stood by the campfire talking as I drank my coffee. Mark anxiously asked me which one of the horses he could have. “They’re only half-broke, son,” I answered. I told him that when we finished breaking them he could take his pick. That sounded good to Mark!
While Mark and I were talking, Schneider was packing up his stuff. He was in a big hurry to get home. “I like better a warm bed and a fire,” he stated. “Then to sleep out here again tonight!” Mark and I laughed as he hurried for the wagon.
Suddenly, a group of riders were quickly riding up to us. Mark suggested it could be part of the posse. “I don’t think so,” I answered as I picked up my rife. “They took the East road out of town. We’re headed West.”
They rode up to us. “Well if it isn’t our tall friend who wouldn’t join the posse,” Charlie greeted me sarcastically.
“You boys want something?”
“Sure,” said Charlie. “Something to drink if you can spare it.”
I wanted to get rid of them as fast as possible. “Help yourself.”
As we started serving them coffee, Charlie rode to the back of my wagon. “Come on out Schneider,” he ordered.
Schneider then jumped out of the front of the wagon. He stared at Charlie and ran over to me yelling, “McCain…don’t let Charlie do it!”
I immediately flipped my rifle. “Alright…what do you want with him?” I asked angrily.
But somebody from behind suddenly hit me on the head. I fell to my knees and grabbed my head. “Pa!” Mark cried. Then he ran over to the men. “Why you…” Mark started yelling. They grabbed him.
Charlie, still on his horse, had the gun pointed as Schneider. He had a sly grin on his face as Schneider yelled, “Don’t shoot me!” “Don’t shoot me!”
Schneider ran from him. Bang! Charlie shot Schneider in the back. Schneider fell to his knees and started to cry out. Bang! Charlie shot again. Schneider fell to his knees dead. Mark was at my side now. He was crying. He didn’t know what was going on.
“Go get the others,” said Charlie. “Tell them we’re gonna have a rope dance.” Charlie looked down at me. “You can stand up now…horse thief.”
“Horse thief?” Mark questioned, confused.
Crown soon returned with the rest of the pose. He examined the horses I bought. Quint pointed out that it looked like his horse. “You know it’s my brand, Quint!” Crown replied angrily.
Crown and Quint walked over to where Mark and I were standing. “Looks like you were after more then selling your seed bull, mister,” Quint stated.
Mark was confused. So was I. “Those are our horses! We paid for them,” he insisted.
“Sure you did,” Quint stated. “And those two wranglers on Mr. Crown’s ranch…they up and asked somebody to shoot ‘em!”
Crown wanted to see the Bill of Sale. I told Mark to show it to him as I put a hand to my aching head. Crown read the Bill of Sale – The Bar-C Ranch. “You and your boy step over to the wagon!” Crown ordered.
“What do you think you’re gonna do?” I asked. Suddenly, one of the men gave Mark a hard shove. I turned and grabbed him by the coat. “Don’t you ever touch that boy again!” I ordered as I gave him a hard shove. Mark wanted to know what was wrong with the horses. “He’s right, Mr. Crown. What is wrong with ‘em? That’s a good Bill of Sale!”
Crown informed me there was no Bar-C Ranch – the brand on the horses was his. Quint wanted to know who I got them from. “Henry Schneider,” I answered.
“If he’s telling the truth, Schneider will back him up,” Quint assured Crown. “Where is he?”
“Where is he,” I repeated sarcastically. “He’s over there dead.” I jabbed a finger over my shoulder. Quint looked in the direction I was pointing. He saw Quint’s body.
Charlie explained that he tried to run away. “Mm hm,” Crown answered. “You were on horseback, and he was on foot. What’d you think he was going to do? Fly?” Charlie said he ran.
“Maybe he was just scared!” I stated. Charlie said he was scared because he’d done something to hang for – just like I would hang. He said we were in on this together.
His talking scared Mark. “Pa!” He suddenly cried out.
“It’s alright, son,” I tried to assure him.
“We’ll see how alright it is,” Crown stated. “Put your hands up against the wagon and spread you feet back.”
“Hey look at this!” Quint came back from the wagon. “You sure got a lot of money for that seed bull mister!”
“There’s fifty dollars more in Schneider’s pocket,” I stated.
“That’s what we paid for the horses…twenty-five a head,” said Mark.
“Twenty-five dollars a head, that stock’s worth a hundred dollars a head half broke,” said the deputy.
“Twenty-Five Dollar a head’s not honest on the face of it!” Crown stated.
I told them to search Schneider’s body; they’d find the money. That is, if it hadn’t been taken. Charlie asked if I was accusing him. Docking checked, he only had four dollars in change. “Tie him to a wagon wheel,” yelled Crown.
I was shoved toward the wagon. “What are you going to do with him?” Mark demanded to know.
“We’re gonna hang your Pa, Sonny!” Charlie answered. Mark started screaming. I started fighting as Charlie grabbed Mark and held on to him.
Several men, including Charlie, suddenly lunged at me and started beating me. I managed to put up a good fight. Mark was held back by two of the men. “Pa!” he cried. He wanted to protect me, but he couldn’t get away from them.
The men continued beating on me. I managed to push Charlie off and he reached for his gun to shoot me. His father grabbed the gun from him and punched him. He began yelling at him not to use his gun on me.
They were really beating on me! Mark finally got out of the men’s grips and jumped on the back of one of the men who were attacking me. Despite the fact that I was being beaten, I had to protect my son. He was in danger right now. “Mark, get away son!” I begged him. I didn’t want him to get hurt. “Get away son!”
Mark turned to run, but one of the men grabbed him. Mark backed away from him and bumped into Crown. Crown grabbed him from behind and lifted him off the ground. “Hold on, Sonny! You stay here with your Pa!” Mark tried to fight, but Crown had a good, strong grip on him.
Suddenly, I was hit hard and fell to the ground. Charlie grabbed a piece of wood and started to hit me over the head. “That’s enough, Charlie!” Crown yelled.
He let Mark go and Mark ran over to me. I was lying face down on the dirt. Mark wrapped his arms around me and put his head against my back. He held me and cried.
“Tall man, ain’t he?” Quint commented.
“Pretty tall. Tall man hangs with a short rope,” Charlie stated.
That night, I sat at the wagon with my hands tied to the wheels. Mark held a plate of food and fed me a bite. I stared at him. “Mark,” I said softly as I chewed my food.
“Yes Pa?” Mark asked sadly.
I studied him silently. He was so afraid. I could hardly stand seeing him this way. “Why don’t you get yourself something to eat, son?” I asked.
“I already ate.” I didn’t take my eyes off of him for a second, but he couldn’t look at me when he said those words. I knew he was lying, but there was something in his voice. I realized something as he gave me another bite. This is where he needed to be. This is what he needed to be doing. My heart ached for my boy. I hated his being here – seeing me tied up like this!
Finally, I said, “Thanks, son.”
I looked over towards the men gathered around the camp fire. Mark turned and glanced at them. “Are we going to get out of this Pa?”
I had to be hones with him. The truth was that I didn’t know. “They won’t hurt you, I’m sure of that!”
Mark was so confused. He couldn’t understand why they would want to hurt me. “We didn’t do anything, did we?”
No…no, we didn’t, son,” I answered.
“Then why?” Mark cried. “I don’t understand.”
I wished to God I didn’t have to explain a hard lesson to him. This may be my last opportunity, though, to teach him the harsh realities of life. I had to try to make him see the truth. “Mark, hard things happen to people all the time. We never
really know why.”
“It shouldn’t be that way.”
“Maybe not, son. Mark, there's…there’s good and bad in life. Man's gotta be ready
Mark looked at me for a moment. Then he lowered his eyes down to the plate in his hand. “Yeah, I guess so,” he answered sadly. He was scared for me.
The men around the camp fire were getting restless. They didn’t want to wait until morning. It was cold and they wanted to get home. Post wanted to hang me and go home. “How man men you killed, Post?” Crown asked as he sipped his coffee.
“We could finish and be on our way. It’s cold out here.”
Crown wanted to wait until the morning. “We’ll do it quick enough…you’ll get no warmth from a hanging. It’ll put a chill in ya’ as deep as your soul.”
Charlie pulled the deputy aside. He told him this should put a feather in his hat, catching McCain and Schneider, two of the horse thieves. Caught cold and executed by his posse. It would make Sheriff Grimes look bad. Quint admitted he did want to make Sheriff. “Well then hang him quick…right now. Everybody wants it. They’ll be no questions tomorrow.” Charlie sure was anxious to see me strung up!
“Why should there be questions tomorrow?” Quint asked.
“You know how people are after a hanging posse. But they won’t do it now. They won’t dare because they’re all a part of it.” Quint hesitated. He didn’t feel right about it.
While the conversation was going on, Mark buttoned up my coat and did his best to keep me warm and comfortable. My heart swelled with pride at how brave he was being!
Charlie went to talk to his Pa. He suggested it was time for the hanging. “Morning will be time enough,” Crown stated. Charlie stated that everybody wanted to have it now. “Everybody?” Crown asked. “You ask McCain there how he feels about it?”
“How do you expect McCain to feel?” Charlie asked. “I’m asking you now!” But Crown still insisted they wait until morning.
Crown started to walk away, but Charlie suddenly grabbed his father by the arm and turned him around. “Pa, what’s the matter with you? You use to chew up horse thieves and spit them out? Now you act like you can’t even gum ‘em!” Crown tried to calm him down. “Boy this and boy that! I’m a man now!” He started to walk away, but he turned back. “And when I talk to you, you listen!”
“You know, I’ve been waitin’ a long time to see you act like a man. Well…I’m still waitin’.”
Crown started to walk away, but his son’s voice stopped him again. “Well, maybe you ain’t got the insides for it anymore! Maybe you’re overripe!”
“What do you know about insides?” Crown asked his son with his back turned to him. “All you ever had inside you was some saloon courage – and me to back you up!” Charlie insisted everyone was with him – they were ready to hang me now. Crown threw his coffee in the fire and threw down his cup. Then he slowly circled the men at the fire as he answered the burning question. “The time for hangin’s in the mornin’! It gives a man time to make peace with his God. And it gives all of us time to think about what we’re doin’. So that later on nobody can say he didn’t know. Charlie’s right. I’m getting old.” Mark stood and Walked over to the men as Crown continued talking about how it felt to hang a man. “Alright…McCain’s a horse thief…He’s gonna hang – but when it’s proper - in the mornin’.”
“Mr. Crown!” Mr. Crown was about to walk away, but at Mark’s voice, he suddenly turned. “You can’t hang my Pa,” Mark declared sternly.
“Stolen horses and a forged bill of sale...the only man who can back him up dead!” Crown tried to justify himself. “He’s a horse thief son!”
“My Pa’ never stole anything in his whole life!” Mark screamed at Crown. He started crying. “He's a good man. The best man I know. I don't care what you say! I don’t care what you do, but you're wrong and nothing will ever make you right. I bought those horses. Pa gave me the money to pay for them, but I bought ‘em!”
“From Mr. Schneider?” Crown asked. Mark nodded.
“He wouldn’t sell them at first…but then he changed his mind and lowered the price,” Mark explained regretfully. “He wanted to leave town that’s why he was traveling with us to North Fork. He would have told you if your son hadn’t killed him. Mr. Schneider begged him!”
Crown grew angry. “Mr. Schneider begged Charlie?” Charlie remained silent.
“Whatever you do…whatever you say…I want to be just like my Pa. Just like him, no different. He's the best man I know."
An eerie silence fell over the camp. There was nothing that could be said to top that. Mark’s speech gave everyone something to thinking about – even me. I was darn proud of my boy! I was sad that Mark was having to go through such an ordeal, but I was proud that he stood up for me – that he wanted to be just like me! I knew that no matter what happened, I could leave this world knowing that I had done right by my son.
Charlie knew the speech was changing the minds of the men. He was desperate. He knew he had to do something quick. So quietly and cautiously, he snuck away from the others and walked over to me. He made his way behind the wagon and came up behind me, clamping a hand over my mouth.
I turned to him in surprise. “Don’t talk!” he warned. “You want a chance to get out of here?” I knew he was up to something, but nodded my head anyway. “Alright. I’ll cut you loose and you make a break for it. Just head for the horses.”
“So you can shoot me in the back?” I asked. He told me he could miss in the dark.
I hesitated. I knew I didn’t have a chance at escaping. I thought about what to do. “Well, it’s better then letting your boy watch you hang, ain’t it?” I looked toward Mark. He started describing to me the image that Mark would see in the morning if I stayed and let them hang me. I agreed to his plan.
But what he didn’t know is that I would make a change in his plan. As I stood up and rubbed my wrists, I acted as if I was going to walk to the horses. But instead I walked straight toward the men. Charlie called out to me and told me to go the other way. He must have really thought I was stupid! Charlie pointed the gun at me and started to shoot.
Everyone turned and stared at Crown. He killed his own son.
Mark tried to take it all in. He suddenly realized it was over and I was free. Somehow we both knew that as Crown’s gun continued smoking, pointed at Charlie. Mark ran to me and wrapped his arms around me. I put my arms around him as we both comforted each other and relished being in each other’s arms again. There was no place I’d rather be then right here holding my boy in my strong, protective arms.
I grabbed Mark tighter to comfort him as there was another eerie silence in the camp. This time we were mourning a father having to kill his thieving son. Mark cried as he clung to me. I stared at Charlie. Charlie laid a hand on his dead son and turned to me. "My boy and I had it like that once. Don't ever loose it."
His words really hit me hard! Mark lifted his head from my chest and looked at me. I pulled him back into my embrace. I never wanted this to end! Never!
As we left camp, Mark was quiet and very troubled. I sat on the wagon seat and studied my son. Then I spoke. “It’s over and done with Mark, why so glum?”
“If they would have hung you Pa…it would have been all my fault,” he declared. He was angry at himself.
But I wouldn’t let him think that way. I had to sternly set him straight on the matter! “Now wait a minute son, don’t you ever think that way! If they would have hung me it would have been Charlie Crown’s fault, no one else’s!” “Charlie Crown, stealing his own Pa’s horse and then selling them to poor Mr. Schneider…just to get money.” It was hard for Mark to take in. “Guess I didn’t make such a good trade after all! Better leave the business to you!”
“No sir-ree, we’re partners. Every lesson you learn makes you a better partner.” I taught him now. “Only one thing…”
“What’s that?” Mark asked.
“Just remember the lessons!”
Mark looked at me and laughed. We both laughed together as we gladly rode toward home.
piddlin' stuff.....Bert Freed played Ben Crown in 'Short Rope for a Tall Man.' This is the episode in which Mark almost get's Lucas hung for horse stealing.
He played Oat Jackford in the episode 'The Money Gun.'
Harold J. Stone played Oat Jackford in the first episode - 'Home Ranch.'
First actor to play the role of Lt. Columbo, in a 1960 episode of "The Chevy Mystery Show"
Hal Baylor played Charlie Crown. He was the son of Ben Crown and the guy so eager to hang our Lucas!
Here is one of those faces you see often, but you don't remember the name. He has been in a lot of TV classics. He has a starring role in "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp." He had starred in "Gunsmoke" several times. He was Toke in my favorite "Gunsmoke" episode ~ 'Hostage.'
He held the California Heavyweight Boxing Championship, posting a professional record of 52-5. He also attended Washington State on an athletic scholarship. His great-great grandfather was the original founder of Baylor University.
His fight with Robert Ryan in "The Set-Up" (1949) is still considered one of the best-choreographed boxing scenes in film history.
He also made landings on Saipan and Tinian as a Marine in World War II.
*Father & Son casting.....I saw episode #103 'Short Rope for a Tall Man' the other day, and took an interest in the actor (Hal Baylor) who played Bert Freed's son. The Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb) says that Hal was born in 1918, and Bert was born in 1919. That's strange casting.
In this case the son was older then the father.....go figure!
Thanks Glenn Gilbert for this piddlin' stuff.....keep up the good work! ~ I tip my cowgirl hat to ya!
William Schallert played Fogarty - the knife salesman in 'The Mind Reader.' He starred in 'Strange Town' as Marshal Truce & 'Short Rope for a Tall man' as Joe Lovering. He’s the man who bought Lucas’ seed bull. He is best remembered for the part of Martin Lane, Patty's father on "The Patty Duke Show".
Joe Higgins played Henry Schneider. He's the guy who the McCain’s bought the stolen horses from. This is one of four episodes that Joe does not play Nils ~ or was it Nils/Niles/Nels ~ Last name.....Swenson/Svenson aka "The Blacksmith"?
How many actors played Nils or was it Niles or Nels?
Charles Briggs played Eli Manse in 'The Jailbird.' He's the guy who killed his stepfather. [Karl Manse] His character was a boy in a young man's body. He also played in 'Short Rope for a Tall Man' as Artie Quint the town deputy.
He starred in "Greased Lightning" and "Norma Rae." He was in the TV series "Swamp Fox" as Folger Selby.
Norman Leavitt played Jeptha Docking. He was Charlie's so called friend, his drinking buddy. He also starred in another episode. He was the hotel clerk in 'The Bullet."
I know you've seen this guy many of times. Another one of those familiar faces, but you don't know the name.
He was a regular on "Trackdown." He played Ralph.
He starred in just about all the old TV Classic westerns and he did a lot of other great things!
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)
Amanda Ames/Eileen Harley appeared in five episodes of "The Rifleman." 'The Hangman' as Myrtle, the owner of the Feed and Grain Store. 'The Silent Knife' as Myrtle, owner of the Hardware store and 'The Executioner' as Ruth, the waitress. She also appeared with Chuck in "Geronimo" as Mrs. Burns.
Amanda Ames was credited as Eileen Harley in 'The Retired Gun' as Claire Wheatley Carney. She was an old friend of Margaret's and married to "The Retired Gun"
She also appeared in 'Short Rope for a Tallman.'
Ethan Laidlaw appeared in "The Rifleman" quite a few times unaccredited. 'The 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 townsmen — 'Legacy' man at the funeral — 'Short Rope for a Tall Man' Crown henchman — 'The Indian' as one of the townsmen — 'Silent Knife' as one of the townsmen — 'Two Ounces of Tin' as one of the townsmen — 'Grasshopper' as a passenger on the train — 'Strange Town' as one of the townsmen at Droshek Town - 'The Coward' as a diner patron.
He appeared in over 350 films between 1923 and 1962.
Rod McGaughy was an actor and a stuntman. He was in several episodes of "The Rifleman" - 'Lariat' as a card player - 'The Baby Sitter' as a barfly - 'The Spiked Rifle' as henchman in the Bar - 'The Woman' as Old Man Healey's Henchman - 'Short Rope for a Tall Man' as One of Crown's Henchmen/Mob Member and in 'A Matter of Faith' as a cowboy in the Crown gang - 'The Wrong Man' as one of the townsmen at the carnival and in 'The Money Gun' as one of the townsmen.
He has appeared in a lot of the TV Western Series in the 50's thru the 80's. He also as done several movies such as "The Apple Dumpling Gang" — "Blazing Saddles" & "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."
Jimmy Noel as one of the Crown Henchmen. In this episode you can see him (along with Ethan Laidlaw) holding Mark back. Jimmy Noel was in four episodes of "The Rifleman" – 'The Assailants' as one of the townsmen – 'Outlaw's Shoes' as one of the townsmen – 'Short Rope for a Tall Man' as one of the Crown henchmen – 'The Apprentice Sheriff' as a barfly. Jimmy was a stuntman in several television westerns like "Gunsmoke," "Wyatt Earp," etc. and often appeared in the background or wherever. He was actually Milburn Stone's long running stuntman and stand-in on 'Gunsmoke.' If there was any physically activity involved especially in the later seasons for Stone, Noel was probably doing it. He has appeared in at least 140 Gunsmoke in the background or wherever. I did find a talking appearance but for some reason it was not credited. He is typically painted up to look like Stone and really has his same build and everything.
Earl Spainard was in several 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 and 'Outlaw Shoes' as one of the townsmen - 'Guilty Conscience' as one of the townsmen - 'Short Rope for a Tall Man' as one of the townsmen - 'The Spoiler' as one of the townsmen.
He also appeared in "Walked By Night" as a Liquor Store Proprietor.
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.
Frank Ellis was in several episodes of "The Rifleman" - 'End of the Hunt' and 'Short Rope for a Tall Man' as one of the townsmen. Frank was an American film actor. He appeared in over 480 films between 1917 and 1954.
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
Bloopers for this episode & other episodes
The Clarence Bibs Story
around The McCain Ranch