"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
The Brother-in Law
This story is about my wife’s brother, Johnny Gibbs. Mark and I didn’t know
it yet, but he was coming for an
unexpected visit. He stopped up the road from the ranch a ways to shave off
his mustache. While he was there, some neighbors happened by and they
startled Johnny, causing him to pull out his gun. Johnny stated he was on
his way to see me, that he was my brother and law. The men were curious as
to why a couple men on the trail came to such a surprise to him. After they
leave, Johnny looks at his wanted poster.
Well, I had a horse named Duster I wanted to break for Mark. Several of our
neighbors had already tried him, and it was now my turn. Mark was sitting on
the fence watching me when Johnny came up behind him. “Well, that looks like
a frolicsome little beast!” Johnny declared.
Mark didn’t even turn around. He was too busy watching me. “His name’s
Duster. He’s mine. That is, he will be, soon as he’s broke.”
“I wouldn’t bet on the rider, boy. He’s gonna get his whiskers bucked off
any minute!” This started Mark and he turned to look and see who would say
such a thing. His eyes grew big and he could not say anything. “Well, what’s
the matter? Swallow something you can’t get down?” Johnny asked, pulling
Mark’s hat down over his eyes. Mark ran into the house and sat down at the
desk with his mother’s and Johnny’s pictures were. He looked at the picture
and realized that Johnny hadn’t changed a bit.
I had gotten bucked off the horse and was pretty sore, thinking I needed
something really soft to lay on. Johnny came into the corral and called my
name. I couldn’t believe it! I ran up to greet my brother-in-law and
introduced him to my neighbors, telling them he was a rodeo cowboy. “Colonel
McBirdie's All Star Wild West Show and Rodeo. Proud to know you folks.” Then
Johnny had to tease me. “So that rough colt’s been giving you a rough time,
“I don’t know, Johnny. I think I softened him up a little,” I retorted back.
Johnny went to ride Duster. Mark ran back outside and stated he knew his
Uncle Johnny right off. Then he showed me the picture. I told him he was
going to break Duster for him.
watched the show, and Mark started rooting for his uncle right off. He was
able to calm him. I carried Mark over to Johnny and Mark jumped into his
arms. Johnny stumbled a bit, which startled me, but he said he had just been
laying off the rodeo lately. We said our good-byes to the neighbors and went
to get reacquainted.
As we were cleaning up, I asked Johnny if he was ever going to settle down,
and he stated it wasn’t for him. It didn’t take long for him to get down to
the real reason he came. He was broke and got an offer to meet up with a
wild west show in Wichita, but there was a hitch. He needed two or three
hundred dollars. “You’re looking at the wrong man, Johnny. Cash is the most
we got least of around here,” I answered him. I offered to let him work for
us awhile for $30 a month.
Johnny didn’t want anything to do with my offer. “Look fellas, this is a
family visit. Let’s not make me a problem.” I couldn’t go into that anymore
because while we were talking, Alvah Kemper, a neighbor of mine, rode up and
had an offer for Johnny. He told Johnny that he heard what a good bronc
buster he was and that he would give him $100 in prize money if he could
stay on Lucifer, an outlaw colt that belonged to Mr. Stacey for at least 30
seconds. He wanted to make Jeff Stacey eat crow. Jeff Stacey was a cruel man
and got mostly everything he wanted. Of Course Mark had to brag up his Uncle
Johnny by telling Mr. Kemper that when his Uncle Johnny got done with
Lucifer they would have to change his name to 'Buttermilk'.
Well, as it turns out, Johnny decided to go into town after all. Of course,
I wasn’t exactly aware of what he was doing in town. That night, Mark and I
were getting Johnny’s bed ready. “You think a lot of your Uncle Johnny.
Don’t ya', son.” I stated.
Mark smiled. “The way ma talked, I’d rather be like him than anyone else in
These words startled me and I stopped what I was doing for a few moments. I
must admit that it did hurt a little to hear Mark say he’d rather be like
Johnny than me. But I quickly recovered and said, “A little neater, I hope.”
When I picked up Johnny’s jacket, a piece of paper fell out. As I picked it
up, I thought I knew what it was. I slowly unfolded it and realized that
Johnny was wanted for robbing an express office.
A rush of emotions hit me. I was angry that he had deceived the family like
this. I was hurt that my son thought so much of him and was going to be
crushed when he found out the truth about him. I was so angry, in fact, that
I ordered Mark to go to bed. Mark was a bit taken aback at my harsh voice.
He started to tell me he wanted to stay up until Johnny got back. “You heard
me, son. Get to bed!” I ordered in an angry voice. Perhaps I was a bit harsh
with him, but I had a hundred emotions going through me, and I needed time
to deal with them before Johnny got home. Little did I know what he was
You see, Johnny decided that $100 wasn't enough, so he went to Mr. Stacey
and offered to throw the ride if Mr. Stacey would pay him $500.00. Mr.
Stacey liked the idea, but did not trust Johnny. He reluctantly agreed, but
also warned him that if he double crossed him, he would answer to his right
hand man, Oliver.
I was there waiting when Johnny got home. I was still very hurt and angry.
But I was also worried for my boy. “Let’s not make you a problem, huh?” I
said angrily as I showed him the wanted poster I had found.
Johnny got a guilty look on his face. “So, now ya' know,” was his answer.
“Well, I was gonna tell ya' as soon as I got my nerve up. You wanna hear my
side of it, or are you just gonna stand there and judge me?”
I continued to keep the angry look on my face, but agreed to listen to what
he had to say. “The show folded in Boston, and I was drunk as usual.” Johnny
started. I wanted to know what he had to do with work. “I tried it all
over!” Johnny declared. “It’s like a bull in a China shop! But you get used
to living one way and you can’t settle for sow belly and beans money.”
“So you held up an express office, huh?” I yelled at him. I was so tired of
hearing excuses. He told me that he was drunk and didn’t know what he was
doing – that when he was leaving, he backed out right into the arms of the
Sheriffs and dropped the strong box on the Sheriff’s toe. Then he told me
that in all the confusion he had managed to escape. I couldn’t believe he
was laughing about it – like it was a big joke. “Well, I don’t think it’s a
Johnny was putting me in a really bad position. He wanted me to let him try
to win the race on Saturday. If he was able to, he’d head to Mexico. I was a
man who believed in doing the right thing. Suddenly I said, “He said he’d
rather be like you than anyone else in the world!” My thoughts were now on
my son and how this news would upset him. Johnny didn’t understand what I
was saying. “Mark,” I simply stated.
“Oh, well you know kids.”
Now, THAT made me angry. I couldn’t control my raging temper anymore. I
punched him right in the eye. In fact, I punched him so hard that he fell to
the ground. He looked at me, shocked that I would do that to him. “Yeah. I
know kids!” I threw back at him, angrily. I know my boy for sure, and this
is going to break his heart!
“You owe it to Margaret to stick by me. She would have. You know she would
have, Luke.” I couldn’t believe he would stoop that low as to bring my
deceased wife into this! I was so angry. I punched the post on the porch as
I thought about it.
The next morning, there was a stiff silence in the air. Mark knew there was
something amiss, but he also knew me well enough not to say a word when I
was in this kind of mood. Johnny thought an explanation was in order, and
again, he made a joke out of a very serious situation by telling Mark that
he was trying to defend a woman when a man was making a lot of “off-color”
remarks, but it turned out to be her husband. I didn’t like such talk to go
on with my son anyhow, and the fact that he was making a joke of it angered
me more. So I decided to go to town and talk to Micah about the situation.
I told Mark to clean up.
The ride into town calmed me down some. I told Micah I wanted to talk to him
about Johnny. “No you don’t.” I was confused. He told me that Mark had bet
his week’s earnings that Johnny would win on Saturday. I hadn’t known that.
That’s when I knew that I couldn’t let my boy down. I would find some other
way to get Johnny out of there. I had to protect my boy from getting hurt.
Well, again that night, Johnny went into town and got drunk. He came out
drunk and singing (♫
Jimmy Crack Corn). Mr. Stacey’s
heavy was there and warned Johnny that Mr. Stacey didn’t like drunks because
they talk too much. Johnny promised he wouldn’t let it happen again. When he
got back to the ranch, I was working in the barn and Mark was supposed to be
in bed sleeping. But when Johnny came back, Mark came out to help him to
bed. I think he was afraid I would get more angry, because I saw Mark hurry
him inside. Mark was still idolizing him. It made me angry to see Johnny
acting like this. As Mark helped him to bed, Johnny said, “Mark, my partner,
you are a good boy! You know, I got championship belts and a whole mess of
medals. from rodeoin’. Would you like to have ‘em, kid?”
“Don’t need no medals to prove anything to me, Uncle Johnny.” Mark answered
proudly. “You’re all right just the way you are.”
“Couldn’t give ‘em to ya' anyway.” Johnny muttered. “Their in pawn shops all
over creation.” Johnny started telling Mark how good he used to be. Mark
told Johnny to get some sleep, but Johnny had some things to tell Mark that
would do him a lot of good.
The next day, Johnny approached me and told me about the deal he had made
with Mr. Stacey. I suddenly grew angry again, but he told me that he had
decided not to do it. He had lied about the show folding in Boston. He hurt
his hip a year ago, and he was all through with the rodeo. He promised he
would do his best to stay on the horse for the required thirty seconds, even
if it killed him. After that, he’d be ready to turn himself in. I asked him
why he changed his mind. Johnny got really quiet and looked towards the
house and Mark. “Oh, I got a clear picture of myself all of a sudden,” he
The next day, Johnny did what he promised. Everyone was there to watch. Mark
and I cheered him on the loudest of all. As Johnny got closer to that thirty
second mark, Mr. Stacy grew more angry, realizing that he had been double
crossed. When Johnny was done, Mr. Stacy sent his heavy to get Johnny.
Oliver started to rough Johnny up, but I was expecting some sort of trouble
like this and was ready to help out. I told Oliver to ride right out of
North Fork. Mr. Stacy was mad and wanted to know what gave me the right to
boss around one of his men. “Since one of ‘em started interferin’ with my
personal family, Mr. Stacy!” I answered.
Mr. Stacy still thought he could bully me. “Well, maybe you’d prefer to have
the Marshal do the interferrin’.”
“I’ve already talked to Micah,” I informed him. “And now I’m gonna talk to
you about yourself. And these people you never learned to live with. You
know, the way you think, the way you do things, it hasn’t won you the
respect you’ve been fightin’ for. If folks knew the kind of hand you were
playing today, they’d start looking down on you even more. Or worse, they
might even take to laughin’ at ya'. Turnin’ away when you talk to ‘em. So,
if I was sittin’ where you are, Jeff,
I’d try to look at things differently. It’s not too late. You might even
learn to like it.” He couldn’t say anything back. I think he wanted to get
away from me!
It was finally time to say good-bye to Johnny. We rode to Slone’s Crossing
to meet Micah. We watched Johnny go up the hill and meet Micah. Then I asked
Mark, "If Uncle Johnny sends all the Championship metals and belts that he
promises, where would we put them all?"
"Where would he send them from, 'jail'?" Mark asked. I jerked my head around
and stared at him, surprised.
“You knew all along?”
“He told me. It wasn’t because he was drinkin’ either. Deep down, he wanted
to tell me.”
I thought for a minute. The I smiled, pride was all over my face. “Seems
I’ve been sightin’ you short, son,” I stated. “I thought I had to keep my
boy from getting’ hurt.” Then I looked at Mark and smiled really big. I
couldn’t keep the pride from my voice. “And all the time he was a man.” I
stated. “I’ll have to remember that!” We waved at Johnny. Then we turned our
horses around and headed home.
Courtland as Johnny Gibb, Lucas' brother-in-law - Mark's
appeared in four episodes ― Two episodes as Doc Burrage,
The Legacy and
Panic. He also appeared as Barton in
The Spiked Rifle as the man
on the stagecoach that was more worried about his money then Mark and as Jeff Stacey in
The Brother-in-law, he was the one willing to pay
Johnny Gibbs to throw the contest.
Charles Watts appeared in three
episodes ― Panic as Maury Cass, he was the man who
tricked Mark into telling him about the yellow fever ― The Brother-in-law as Alvah
Kemper, he was the one who offered Johnny $100 in prize money if
he could stay on Lucifer― The Mescalero Curse as Joe Beaseley, he was the man
who was witnessed the drunk get run down by Juan Mogollan while
coming out of the saloon.
who played Oliver - Jeff Stacey's heavy.
appeared in two episodes ―
Hostages to fortune
as Mr. Russell/old rancher,
he's the one who invited the boys in for donuts
― The Brother in-law
as one of the cowboys on the trail.
Carol Henry appeared in two episodes ―
The Brother in-law as a rancher ―
The Indian as one of the townsmen in the saloon.
Butler — Stuntman — Stunt coordinator — Actor - Archie has been in
more episodes then anybody with the exception of the regular cast and he
probably was in more episode then some of them. ~Arnold
Remember him in The Sharpshooter? Remember when Lucas shot the whiskey
bottle and it shattered into pieces? Archie was the cowboy who slid the
whiskey bottle to Lucas.
Sometimes Archie was a stand-in for Paul Fix
Bobby Somers — has done many of stunts in his day. He worked
with some of the best! Sadly Bobby went unaccredited in most of his
movies/shows. His list of credits is way to far to list. Please checkout
IMDB for a list of his credits.
Although Bobby is known for his stunts, Bobby did a lot of different thing
such as Miscellaneous Crew and Acting.
appeared in twenty-three episodes as Johnny Crawford's stuntman. Not sure who doubled for Johnny in the episode of
Requiem at Mission Springs but he is a possibility, especially after that bad tumble Mark took.
Songs of The Rifleman
Can you name the episodes these songs were in?
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's