Rules of the Game aka Elise Brown — episode #4
As Jas arrived in the
town of McKinley.....he saw someone he knew from the
past. Elsie Brown, a saloon girl from Carson City.
Now Elsie Baron, a dressmaker. It's been over a year
since he last saw her.
She had gone for help when he got pinned down by a
wagon. He felt he owed her a favor. But he wasn't
the only one who just came into town that knew
Elsie. An old friend, Charlie Vance stopped by to
see her also. He forced his way into her shop and
disgraced her in front her customers. He accused her
of taking off with all his money, while he was laid
up. She insisted she used the money to take care of
him with. He started tearing up the clothes in the
store and throwing hats and other items around. The
two ladies rushed out of the store saying they were
going for the sheriff. Elsie asked them not to. She
told him she had made a new life for herself and she
wasn't going to let him do anything to spoil it. He
told her that he was a part of her life. He then
forced himself on her while she begged him not to.
The sheriff called for Vance to come out of the
dress shop. Elsie came out and told him everything
was alright. She asked the sheriff to go away. Just
then Vance came to the door and the one lady pointed
him out to the sheriff. He asked the sheriff if he
had some kind of complaint against him. The two
ladies said that he was destroying her property and
they were witnesses to it. The sheriff told Vance
they wouldn't stand for this in McKinley. Vance
walked up to Elsie and told her to tell them whose
property this was and whose money bought all these
frilly things the ladies wear. He told them that he
found her working in a saloon. She was one of Jenny
Lou's girls in Cason City. "Go on.....tell
'em.....you've got a stamp on ya'." By this time a
crowd had gathered. It didn't take long for them to
clear out when they heard that. She, like Jas
was..... Branded! He told her to go pack her
things, they were leaving. She refused.
Jas was watching in the background and slowly
approached her shop. As Elsie and Vance entered the
shop, Jas followed. Vance tried to shut the door,
but Jas went right in. Vance asked him what he
wanted. Jas told him he could be a customer as he
walked over to Elsie. Vance told him he wouldn't
want to meet the prices, not even if they were a
closing out sale. "Now that was a very sinister
remark," said Jas as he turned towards Vance. Elsie
got between the two men. He told her to go ahead and
talk to her customer; he'd be waiting for her at the
He told her it had been a while and the hand had
healed, thanks to her. She remembered the tall man.
"I could still be pinned under that wagon outside of
Carson City if she had not brought help." She told
him he almost needed some help again. She told him
that Vance could have very easily killed him. "I
never put much stock into reputations.....he's an
expert on reputations. His or yours!" Said Jas.
"Reputations are a funny thing.....seems that people
never want you to be anything but what you were. You
try and hide, but somebody will find you," said
Elsie. He told her that she could change their
minds. She didn't believe that. She felt that once
people marked you, they didn't want you to change.
Jas told her to forget about them and asked her if
she had changed. "Are you any different?" She said
she didn't need to answer that. He felt he was
entitled to an answer, being that she thought he
could have been killed over her. She told him she
had gotten away from something she hated and in this
town she was respected, until now. "So yes.....yes I
have changed!" Jas told her
to give the people time, if she wanted to she could
win back their respect. She asked him how long he
was staying. He told her until Vance left town. He
reminded her he still owed her a favor.
The sheriff was in his office, his daughter Ginny,
brought him his supper. He told her to stay away
from Elise and her store. She couldn't understand
why, Elsie had always been nice to her. He said he
didn't want to discuss it anymore. Just then
Harkness barged in the office. He told the sheriff
that Vance was all liquored up and shoved Jim Wagner
all around the hotel lobby and now he was over at
the Long Horn Saloon waving his gun around.
Before the sheriff could get to the saloon shots
rang out. Elsie came running out of her shop. She
was looking for Jas. She told him that was Vance
doing the shooting. Jas told her the sheriff had
just gone in. She said no one could handle Vance in
his condition, especially the sheriff. Another shot
rang out. "He'll be coming after me next.....it's
happened before!" Said Elsie. She had come to ask
Jas for that favor. "Ask!" Said Jas. She asked him
to help the sheriff, get Vance out of town without
trouble and without her. He said he would help the
sheriff if he would let him. Jas had gone over to
the sheriff's office and waited for him to come
Vance made a fool out of the sheriff, everybody
could see it. Vance would just laugh at him. The
sheriff turned and walked out and went back to his
office, with Miles the bartender and Pollard tailing
right along complaining. Miles complained about him
taking the tax payers money and expecting the town
to do the fighting. "He's a trained gun.....he kills
for hire," said Jas. He told them the sheriff
wouldn't stand a chance against Vance. The sheriff
said he knew that. He's a sodbuster. The only reason
he took this job was because his crop had failed
eight years back and nobody else would take the job.
Miles told him he should have quit. Jas told them if
they forced the sheriff to go up against Vance, they
would be killing him. Suddenly another shot rang out
from the saloon. The sheriff turned to Jas and
asked him if Jas would be interested in being
deputized. Maybe with the two of them, it would make
a difference. Jas agreed.
The sheriff got the mayor up in the middle of the
night to witness his swearing in Jas as his deputy.
The mayor wasn't very happy about it and made him
well aware of it. Jas placed his hand on the Bible.
"Now repeat after me," said the sheriff. "I then
'state your name,' do solemnly swear to uphold....."
"I Jason McCord do solemnly swear....." He didn't
get to finish, when the mayor heard who he was, the
look on his face said it all. "What was that name
again?" Asked the mayor. The sheriff started to
continue swearing in Jas, but the mayor stopped him.
He asked Jas to repeat his name. "McCord, Jason
McCord." He asked Jas if he was the same McCord as
in coward. Jas just looked at him and told the
sheriff to get on with the swearing in. The mayor
told the sheriff he wasn't swearing Jas in as any
deputy of that town. "We don't want
him!" Just then a shot rang out. The sheriff argued
with the mayor, no one else had offered to help. "We
are not going to disgrace ourselves by accepting his
help.....this man has no right to wear the uniform
of his country and he certainly has no right to
carry a deputy's badge either!" Just then Miles came
rushing in saying that Vance had just killed Jim.
"Now will you do something?" Yelled Miles.
Everybody rushed over to the saloon. Harkness was
dead, Vance had killed him, then ran out the back.
The sheriff felt bad, if he had only done something
before, he thought. The sheriff and Jas teamed up to
try and find Vance. The sheriff went out the front
way, Jas went out the back way. Jas called to Vance
and shot a warning shot into the air. Vance new he
was a hunted man. He ran and hid behind some stairs.
Vance thought he heard someone coming. He went into
the street with his gun drawn. Just then a shot rang
out! Vance was shot in the back. Jas was the first
one to get to him. The sheriff congratulated Jas for
getting Vance. Jas insisted he didn't shoot Vance.
Mrs. Wilcox noticed that Vance had been shot in the
back. Jas told them he had fired a warning shot, but
that was all and when he got to Vance he had already
been shot. Nobody, except the sheriff believed Jas.
The sheriff defended Jas and said it made no
difference how he was brought down; he was a
murderer and fleeing from the law. Miles reminded
everybody that Vance never gave Harkness a chance to
draw. "Did that make it any less of a murder?" Asked
reminded them that Vance was a gunfighter and
Harkness was a shop keeper. He asked them....."Is
that what they called a fair fight?" The mayor told
Jas not to try and wriggle out of it, you never even
gave this man a warning and that Jas came up behind
him and pumped a bullet in his back. "He killed like
a coward, because that's what he is!" "Jason
McCord.....Captain McCord of Bitter Creek!"
The crowd was surprised, but didn't have too much
time to react when they heard a scream.
"Vance!" It was
Elsie. She pushed her way through the crowd, calling
Vance's name. She kneeled over the body and Jas
helped her up. She asked Jas if he was the one who
killed Vance. He told her she knew better then that.
Miles told her not to listen to Jas that he gunned
Vance down while his back was turned. She turned and
slowly walked away. "Good riddance," said Mrs.
Wilcox. Elsie heard what she had said and turn and
looked at the crowd. She was crying. "This
town.....this town." "Do you really think Vance was
so bad? Do you think he was so rotten? Do you know
what your precious God fearin' little town is in
store for now? His brothers.....I assure you they
will not forget how he died or where he died. Ben
and Cody will be around and then this self righteous
town will really have something to be shocked
about!" She left crying. The mayor asked to see
Jas's gun. He smelled the barrel and told the crowd
the gun had been fired. Jas reminded him that he had
fired a warning shot in the air. The mayor said a
jury would decide that and told the sheriff to lock
Jas up. The sheriff resented it and you could tell
by looking at him. "That is an order!" Said the
mayor. He told him he was to serve McKinley. They
weren't all going to pay for what Jas had done. Jas
told him the whole town was on the side of the
mayor, he better do what he said. The sheriff
started to take Jas over to the jail when the mayor
yelled....."If anybody comes looking for
satisfaction.....we'll turn over the guilty party!
That will square all of us."
Jas told the sheriff that in jail or not, he keeps
protecting their town.
It didn't take long for the news to get to Ben and
Cody. They rode into town and was set on revenge.
They saw Elsie and rode up to her. Cody told her
they told Vance to leave her alone, but he wouldn't,
he had to
have her, and nobody else was good enough. She told
him no matter what ever happened between them, she
never lied to him. Cody said it didn't matter, it
was past now.....for his sake they were leaving her
alone. They were there to give their brother a big
send off. They started shooting up the town.
Everyone scattered. The mayor asked them to wait. He
told them not to take it out on the town, they
didn't kill their brother, but they do have the man
who did. He ran into the sheriff's office to get
The Mayor told the sheriff to unlock the cell. The
sheriff refused, he said he couldn't stand by and
let them do that. He felt there was a chance that
Jas was innocent. The mayor told him they wanted
somebody's hide and if it wasn't Jas, it would be
all of them. You could still hear the shooting going
on outside. The mayor said he would go outside and
the sheriff was to bring out McCord.
Jas knew all along that the sheriff was the one who
shot Vance. The sheriff said he wasn't sorry for
what he did. Vance was a killer and he was the law,
so he shot him. He told Jas he was ashamed for
letting Jas take the blame. Jas understood, he knew
if some of the other people would have backed him
up, he would not had been forced to kill Vance. He
felt the guilt could be spread pretty thin around
McKinley. He left Jas out of the cell and said he
was going out to own up to what he had done. He told
Jas there was no reason for him to get involved, he
had done enough already.
The crowd was all gathered around, arguing. Some of
the townfolks didn't want any part of it and then
there was the mayor and some others taking the
cowards way out. Ben and Cody was going to hang Jas.
When the sheriff approached the men, he told them he
was the one they wanted. Ginny, his daughter ran
over to him crying. Jas walked out of the sheriff's
office slamming the door behind him, getting
everyone's attention. "I believe you
gentlemen came to see me!"
Said Jas as he walked over to his saddlebags and got
out his saber. Ben told him he has lived up to his
reputation. "No mister.....your brother lived
up to my reputation!" "He lost his nerve.....he
wasn't any good!" "Is that a trademark of your
family?" Ben yelled
to Jas he was a lair. Jas threw his saber at the
rope and cut the rope he was to be hung with. The
crowd scattered. "He turned and ran!"
Cody yelled....."Not Charlie!"
As he started for Jas. Jas shot Ben in the shoulder
and Cody in the leg. He walked up to the brothers
and asked them how fast was their brother. They told
him, not as fast as him. "Then I wouldn't have to
shoot him or anybody else in the back.....would I?"
They both said 'no.' Jas put his gun away and told
them to get doctored up and bury their brother the
right way. "As for you worthy citizens of
McKinley.....you've got a friend to bury.....a
friend you all helped to kill by refusing to uphold
the law." The crowd hung their heads in shame and
slowly went their way. The sheriff wanted to
apologize to Jas, but he told him there was no need.
The mayor walked up to Jas and said that they all
had misjudged him and wanted to know if there was
any way to make this up to him. "Some other
time.....if I were you I would try and convince Miss
Baron to stay on in McKinley, that is if she'll give
you another chance," said Jas. Jas then went and got
on his horse. The sheriff took off his badge and
pinned it on the mayor, without saying a word the
mayor knew Pollard no longer wanted to be the
sheriff. Miles called to Jas and then threw his
saber to him. Jas waved as in a thank you gesture,
and then rode off.
the saddlebag..... 1
Dobkin directed this episode.
Remember him from The Rifleman?