The Rifleman
"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"

The Executioner
Episode 142


A man rides into North Fork one day. He rides onto my ranch looking for something. He goes out onto the range on my land and begins digging near a rock, but suddenly he realizes he’s not alone. From a rock, he sees two riders approaching –
The Rifleman - The Executioner - Episode 142he’s not happy to see them and quickly jumps on his horse and races away.

The men two men ride down the road looking around. One of the riders is an Indian, and the other a regular man. They are trying to track the first man that is now hiding a short distance away from them. They didn’t care if the man named Gannaway was ahead of them. As long as they kept him moving, he couldn’t get the money without them knowing about it.

One day, Micah stepped out of his office to find an unfamiliar horse tied up outside. The stranger, Russell Gannaway, was at the hotel’s restaurant eating. The waitress was interested in getting to know him, but he was very distracted. His answers didn’t match up with what she was saying. That annoyed her.

When Micah walked in for breakfast, he noticed Gannaway sitting there. It seemed he should know him, but he couldn’t place him at the moment. As the waitress went to get Micah’s breakfast, Gannaway came to sit down at Micah’s table. “My name is Gannaway. Russell Gannaway,” he announced. Micah wondered if he knew Gannaway. He gave a short laugh. “I thought marshals were supposed to have good memories for names.”

“I have,” Micah stated. “I’ll place you, just give me a minute.”

Gannaway saved Micah the trouble. “There was a poster on me about four years ago.” Then Micah remembered the stagecoach robbery that happened just outside of town. He wondered what Gannaway was doing back here. “A man just out o’ prison has to start some place. Has to convince people he’s honest. I thought I’d try to convince the people where it’d be the hardest.” Micah thought that was easier said then done. He just wanted a chance.

“What do you figure on doing?” Micah asked.

It was then that Gannaway gave Micah some startling news. He had a friend he thought would help him. His name…Lucas McCain. “Yeah, I know him,” Micah answered Gannaway’s question. “Seems to me the $5,000.00 in that stagecoach robbery was never found.”

“That’s all I ever heard about in prison. Everybody wantin’ to know what happened to the money.” Gannaway assured Micah that he had no idea where the money was.

Just then, Micah noticed me riding up outside. Gannaway hurried out the door to talk to me. Micah, curious as usual, decided to come as well. As he stood out on the boardwalk, Micah saw Mark and me standing outside his office talking to Gannaway. He also noticed two strangers ride up and tie their horses outside the saloon.

Gannaway was trying to gain my trust back. “Lucas, I had time to plan and think. I can see now how wrong I was. A man’s gotta have friends and he’s gotta be respected. That’s why I came back to North Fork. Figured I have to make a man see it before I could start makin’ a life for myself.” I warned Russell that it wouldn’t be easy, especially since the money was never recovered. “I can’t return what I never had. You still believe me, don’t you?” I told him if I didn’t believe him, I wouldn’t be willing to help him.

Micah came over then and showed me the two men going into the saloon. Gannaway suddenly turned to me and told me there was a way I could help him. “I need a week or two of hard work in the open air so I can…feel myself again. If you have any stumps to pull or rocks to…to clear, I’d appreciate it.” I told him my place was in pretty good shape. “Oh, I don’t expect to get paid, you understand, just a place to sleep, that’s all.”

That’s when my boy Mark spoke up. “Uh, Pa? There’s some rocks in the North Field near the road.”

I turned and looked at my boy. “I know that, son.” Then I turned back to Russell and told him he had the job. Russell thanked me. He said he had to get his horse’s shoe fixed, then he’d be ready to leave with me.

Micah questioned me on how well I knew him. “He helped Mark and me get settled when we first came here.” I looked at Mark. “Son, I was uh…hesitating because of you,” I stated honestly.

“But Pa, he deserves a chance just getting’ out of prison like that.” Then, Mark just had to add in an onery voice, “And besides, you’ve been threatenin’ to clear up that field for two years now!”

I shook my head at that boy of mine. “I never know with you, Mark, whether you’re being charitable or practical.” Then I turned back to Micah. “I never
The Rifleman - The Executioner - Episode 142could understand Russell robbing that coach. He was a respectable rancher.” I wanted some coffee.

Those two guys in the saloon had found Russell Gannaway, and they were curious as to the new friend Russell seemed to have. The Indian decided I looked dangerous.

The next day, Mark had a geography test at school and he was studying one last time before heading off to school. I sat there drinking coffee listening to him. “the main rivers that flow into the Mississippi are the Ohio, the Tennessee, the…the Missouri, the Ar-Kansas, and the Red.” I smiled at how hard he was studying! He seemed to really want to get that down.

Russell walked in and announced it was nippy out. I offered him a cup of coffee, then I turned back to Mark. “Mark, if you get through that geography test without shaming yourself today, I’ll buy you supper at the hotel tonight.” That made Mark happy. He said he’d certainly do it! “And by the way, son, get back early now because we have to get into town right away.” Mark said we picked up the mail yesterday. I told him I needed to go to the bank. “Our catalog order is coming on the stage tomorrow, and I’d like to have the money ready.”

I invited Russell to join us for supper. “That is if Mark doesn’t get his rivers crossed up,” I declared. Russell said he’d like that then left.

I turned back to Mark as he worked on memorizing again. “The Main rivers that flow into the Mississippi are the Ohio, the Tennessee, the Missouri, the Ar-Kansas, and the Red.” I couldn’t help but smile at my boy! He sure was studying hard!

Russell rode out to the North Field. His only agenda wasn’t to pick up the rocks for me. When he got there, he immediately started digging for the money, but he had to stop when Mark rode up on his horse. He had a message from me. “Pa said he changed his mind. You might as well just pile the rocks on the side of the road here an’ make kind of a wall.”

Russell started picking up rocks and setting them on the cart. “Well, one place is as good as another.” Mark just sat there on his horse. Russell asked him if he was on his way to school Mark said he was, but didn’t make any motion to move. In fact, he seemed to enjoy watching someone else working on the chore. Russell suddenly stopped working and looked up at Mark. “Look son, if you don’t get movin’, I’ll ask you to help me here!”

“Uh-uh! I guess school work’s easier than this!” Mark declared. “See you later!” Mark quickly rode off, leaving Russell alone once again.

Russell then started over to where he was originally digging when he heard someone yell.."Hey old friend.....good morning!" It was the two men from town - Sanchez and Brooks. They were watching him from the hills. “Wish he’d wear his gun. I always feel mean shootin’ a half-dressed man.”

“This trick of the Navaho always works,” Sanchez told him. “We can strap his gun on him afterwards.”

Russell walked to them. He hadn’t seen them ride up. “Indian trick,” Sanchez declared.

“He was busy talkin’ to the boy,” Brooks stated. Russell wondered what they wanted. “Well, we aren’t interested in renewing old friendships. We want the money.”

Russell took another step forward. “Look…Look at it this way. I spent four years in prison and you two went scot free!”

Sanchez stepped forward. “Look at it this way, we helped you rob that stage. So we so we have an equal share.”

“But I’m the one who got caught,” Russell argued. “I figure my time in prison is worth that share.” Brooks warned him to strap on his gun. “Besides, I don’t have the money.” Brooks warned him to strap his gun on, or they’d do it for him after he was dead. “If you kill me, you’ll never get the money!”

“Neither will you!” Sanchez declared. “It’ll be an Indian standoff.”

“Mexican standoff,” Brooks corrected his friend. Then Brooks thought of something. “If you’d had the money, you wouldn’t have to come back to North Fork. Figures you must have hid it here after the robbery. Where?”

Russell walked closer to them as he spoke. "I didn't hide it...I gave it to someone. As soon as I get it back I'll split it with you.” Sanchez didn't believe him. He couldn't think of anyone here that Russell could have trusted with the money. Russell wouldn’t name any names.
The Rifleman - The Executioner - Episode 142
“Do you believe him? Who does he know?” Sanchez asked Brook.

“The man he’s working for,” Brooke decided. “Is that right, Gannaway? McCain got the money?”

Russell hesitated for only a moment before answering. “Yeah…Yeah…McCain, that’s right. He’s got it!” Sanchez wanted to get it from him, but Russell stopped him. “He’s not carrying it around with him. He’s got it at the bank.” This time Brooks wanted to go get it. “Well, we can’t all three of us go an’ get it from him. McCain is known as an honest man around here. I promised him I’d split it if he’d keep it for Mr.. I have to get it myself.”

Brooks agreed, but he wanted that money today. Russell told him he couldn’t get it today. He promised me he’d stay here a week to help me out. They didn’t want to wait a week, though. Sanchez told him to tell me he changed his mind. “He’ll get suspicious!” Russell warned them.

“Tell him you hurt your hand so you can’t work anymore so you must leave right away. Then ask for your money.” That sounded like a great idea to Brooks, and Russell agreed to go along with it.

“Alright, I’ll get him to give it to me this afternoon. We’re going in for supper. An’ then I’ll meet you back here and we’ll divide it.” Russell started back up.

Brooks didn’t want to meet there. He told Russell to bring him the money at the hotel – then they’d ride out after dark. Russell got on the cart and started driving the horses back home.

But Sanchez and Brooks had a different plan then they told Russell. They weren’t planning on splitting it three ways. They were going to kill Russell then take off with the money.

Micah watched from his office as Brooks and Sanchez rode back into town. He suspected something was going on so went to talk to Brooks who had his feet propped up on the hitching post while he read the newspaper. “Saw you boys ride in yesterday. Stayin’ long?”

“Don’t plan to, no,” Brooks answered.

“Where’s your partner?” Micah asked.

“Partner?”

“That Indian you rode in with,” Micah answered harshly. “Where’s he?”

Brooks smiled. “No partner. Just rode in together.”

I was just asking. Lots of new faces in town lately.”

“You always ask a lot of questions, Marshal?” Micah told Brooks it was his job. “You’re good at it, Marshal. No need to worry about me though. Plan to leave town tomorrow morning. Got no business here at all.” Without another word, Brooks went back to his newspaper. Micah still wasn’t too happy about it.

He started back to his office when he saw us ride into town. Russell told me he wanted to get a drink and go to the store. I told him we’d be at the bank about twenty minutes.

As Russell walked into the saloon, Brooks watched. So did Micah. Micah watched Sanchez leave the General Store and walk over to Brooks. Brooks and Sanchez spoke briefly, then headed over to the saloon to find out why Russell didn’t go to the bank with us. Micah watched that too.

Russell explained to the two men that he didn’t want me getting suspicious. “Wouldn’t do if he thought I was anxious or didn’t trust him.” He told Brooks that he’d get the money right after dinner at the hotel.

“We’ll be there,” Sanchez declared.

“No!” Brooks argued. “This town’s got a nosy Marshal. We’ll be outside watchin’ for you.” Brooks saw me and Mark walking towards the hotel. “You better go after him, don’t leave him alone with that money too long.” Russell agreed to meet them in the saloon after dinner.

While we were in the hotel eating supper, Sanchez and Brooks were spying on us outside. Sanchez announced that Micah, the “nosy marshal,” was inside with us eating supper. There was no sign of money changing hands yet. They’ll be ready for him.

Micah was still suspicious of Russell. “Went over all my old records this afternoon, it refreshed my memory. That money was never found. And there were men involved in it who were never found either. Except you.”

I listened quietly. When he was finished, I spoke. “You’re getting’ at something, Micah.”

“I think so, but I’m not sure what,”
The Rifleman - The Executioner - Episode 142Micah answered. “Just strikes me funny that Gannaway here should come to town an’ then those other two strangers show up about the same time.” Russell said it was a coincidence. “Maybe so,” Micah answered as he watched Gannaway closely. “But they were watchin’ you pretty good this afternoon and I was too. And you were all three together in the saloon.” Russell explained calmly that he was just getting a drink.

“That’s no reason to badger a man, Micah,” I warned him in a stern voice.

“It’s enough. Suppose those two fellow are somehow connected with Gannaway here. Remember, the money was never found. Suppose they think he’s got it hidden? Now that he’s stayin’ at your place, that's you and Mark.”

At the mention of Mark, I glanced sideways at my boy. That seemed to put a whole new light on the matter. Mark wondered what Micah meant. “Well, if there’s any shootin’, you and your father may find yourselves right in the middle of it.”

I couldn’t argue with him there! “He’s right, Russell. I know we’re old friends, but I still have to ask you. Did you do anything to put Mark in danger?”

My question upset Russell. He would never do something like that to us, he said. But as he went back to eating, I suddenly noticed something. He was cutting the meat pretty good, considering he’d hurt his hand that afternoon. I questioned him about this, but he couldn’t answer me. I ripped the bandage off his hand. It was nothing but a bruise! "All right Gannaway, now I want answers...about those two men in the Saloon. And why did you strap on a gun this afternoon?"

He was getting nervous. "To protect myself Lucas. They thought that maybe I might have the money hidden. And they...they threatened me."

"Have you hidden the money?" I asked.

"Well no...no...I told 'em I didn't have the money."

"It doesn't look like they believed you...they're still in town," said Micah.

“Yeah. Why didn’t they leave? What else did you tell them?” I asked

The more we questioned Russell, the more nervous he got. "Did you tell them you had it hidden or maybe someone was keepin' it for you, is that why they're waiting around?" He was getting more and more apprehensive with both of us pressuring him.

"Is that it?" Russell didn’t answer. I was getting angry as I began realizing the cold, hard truth. Russell didn’t answer me, which made me even madder. I grabbed him by his coat and pulled him out of his chair. "Did you put my son in danger with a lie like that?" He didn't answer. He was whimpering. I hit him across the face.

That got a response. “I had to, Lucas. You don’t know those men. If I didn’t promise to get it back, they were gonna kill me!” he yelled desperately.

“Where were you supposed to get it from?” I asked. My face was only inches from his, and my face looked mean. He was afraid of me now.

“I couldn’t tell ‘em it was hidden. I had to tell ‘em I gave it to somebody else an’…an’…I was gonna get it back from him.”

“Somebody else?” I think I already knew the answer to my next question. "Who?" He didn’t answer fast enough for me. “Who?” I yelled as I jerked harder on his coat.

“You.”

“Me? Why me?”

Gannaway was gasping from fear of me. “Lucas, I can’t face them. alone, but you can.
The Rifleman - The Executioner - Episode 142You’re good with a gun!”

Oh boy, I sure was angry now! “You figured on me to do your killing for you.”

Gannaway was getting desperate. “Listen…Listen…Suppose the money is near your place. With those two out of the way…Listen, Lucas, we can find it…You and me!”

"You get out of here before I kill you!" I shoved him and he fell to the floor. He got up and ran out of the hotel straight to Sanchez and Brooks.

Mark was concerned the two men would kill him. “All he has to do is come up with the money, son, to save his life; and I’m sure he can do that.”

But he had another trick up his sleeve. Gannaway ran down the street toward the saloon calling out to Sanchez and Brooks. “McCain tried to kill me!” He yelled loudly. “He’s got it. He lied to me. He double crossed me. He’s got the money!”

They all went for cover as I walked out of the hotel. I stood on the boardwalk and spoke my peace. “Now, listen to me. Gannaway is lying. I haven’t got the money!”

They fired at me. I fired three shots and ran back into the hotel. They weren’t going to take a chance that I might be lying. I told Micah they were behind the furniture wagon. Micah headed over to his office to catch them in the crossfire. I told Mark and Ruth to get behind the desk out of the way. Then I headed back out to face the outlaws.

I stood at the window to the hotel and peered out. “McCain, throw the money out in the street,” Brooks ordered. “That’s all we want.”

I broke the window with the butt of my rifle and started gunfire. They fired back and then it stopped. Micah started up the next round. They were trapped. There was no place for them to go! While Micah and I kept firing out onto the street, Sanchez and Brooks made their way around the back. Sanchez came up on the desk and grabbed Ruth. “Pa, behind!” Mark screamed. I turned and fired. I killed him in one shot. Then Brooks ran after Gannaway. He shot Gannaway in the back as he tried to flee. I shot Brooks.

It was over. All was quiet.

The next day, Mark a
The Rifleman - The Executioner - Episode 142nd I had ourselves a job to do. We had to find the money. When we got back into town, we were both dog tired. Mark looked in the windows of the Marshal’s office. “Pa, Micah’s not here,” he announced.

I heaved a heavy sigh. “Just ou
r luck!” I went to sit down next to Mark outside Micah’s office. “I hope he gets back soon. There’s too much money here to…” I propped my tired, aching feet up on the hitching post. “…leave unguarded.” Then I laid my head back on the window sill and…

“It was a lot of digging. It was worth it, though, to find that money. And besides, we cleared away all those rocks that were in the field, didn’t
we, Pa?”

“Hmmmm….” I was asleep.

“Pa, didn’t we?” Mark looked at me as I started snoring. “Well…almost done, anyhow…” Mark decided he’d join me as he put his hat down over his eyes and went to sleep.


*Lawrence Dobkin directed The TinhornJealous ManDay of ReckoningThe Executioner. Writer of the episode The Actress. He also directed some episodes of Branded. Besides doing this, he appeared in many other shows and films.
He appeared in four episodes of ― The Sheridan Story as General Phil Sheridan. Knight Errant as Don Chimera del Laredo ~ he was the guy with the sword. The Gaucho as Juan Argentez, the Gaucho's father. The Day a Town Slept as Ben Judson. He was the man who beat Micah in the election for Marshal of North Fork.
Again another The Untouchables guest star.
Did you know that Lawrence Dobkin played General Phil Sheridan in both The Rifleman and Cheyenne?
In Cheyenne he played General Phil Sheridan in Gold, Glory, and Custer. This time he is presiding officer at a court martial hearing involving Custer's Last Stand. Thanks PJH!

piddlin' stuff.....Adam Williams appeared in six episodes ― The Challenge as Jake Pardee, the leader of the gang and the one who thought he had to prove himself ― The Score is Even as Jax, he was the one in charge and the one who told Andy to kill the McCain's ― The Prisoner as Corporal Troc a ex-Confederate officer and the aide to Major Aaron King ― The Anvil Chorus as Platt, the leader of the gang ― The Executioner (which he wrote) as Russell Gannaway, he was a former friend of Lucas's, just released from jail and the one who hid the stolen money on the McCain Ranch ― The Old Man Running as Jeb Sherman, the leader of the gang and wanted for killing a railroad agent.

Michael Pate appeared in five episodes ― New Orleans Menace as Xavier, the man who thought Lucas to be a 'muy mucho, much man' ― The Second Witness as Brad Davis, he was the man dead set on killing Lucas for testify against his brother ― The Visitor as Pete Morgan, he tried to kill Ann Dodd in this episode. In The Mescalero Curse as Mogollan, an Apache Indian who put The Mescalero Curse on Lucas ― The Executioner, Sanchez, the Indian and one of the heavies that came to collect his share of stolen money from a friend of Lucas's that just got out of jail.

John Davis Chandler played Brooks. He was Sanchez's partner.

Amanda Ames/Eileen Harley/Wallace Earl appeared in five episodes ― The Hangman as Myrtle, the owner of the Feed and Grain Store ― The Silent Knife as Myrtle, owner of the Hardware store ― The Executioner as Ruth, the waitress.
Amanda Ames was credited as Eileen Harley in The Retired Gun as Claire Wheatley Carney, who was an old friend of Margaret's and married to The Retired Gun.  She also appeared in Short Rope for a Tall Man as Mrs. Lovering, her husband bought Lucas's cattle.

Tom KennedyDeath Never Rides Alone as one of the townsmen at the saloon ― The Assailants as one of the townsmen ― Gun Shy as a the townsman/man getting off of the stage ― The Decision as one of the townsmen - The Executioner as the man reading the newspaper - Day of Reckoning as a churchgoer ― Guilty Conscience as one of the townsmen ― Which Way'd They Go? as a barfly - Outlaw's Shoes as one of the townsmen - The Challenge as one of the townsmen - None So Blind as one of the townsmen - A Young Man's Fancy as one of the townsmen - End of the Hunt as one of the townsmen.
You can see Tom in The Rifleman many times, probably more times then listed.  He always went unaccredited, but not here at the ranch.

*Lawrence Dobkin directed TinhornJealous ManDay of ReckoningThe Executioner & Man from Salinas.   He wrote the episode The Actress.  He also directed some episodes of Branded.  Besides doing this, he appeared in many other shows and films.
He appeared in four episodes of The RiflemanThe Sheridan Story as General Phil Sheridan.  Knight Errant as Don Chimera del Laredo, he was the guy with the sword.  The Gaucho as Juan Argentez, the Gaucho's father.  The Day a Town Slept as Ben Judson.  He was the man who beat Micah in the election for Marshal of North Fork.
Did you know that Lawrence Dobkin played General Phil Sheridan in both The Rifleman and Cheyenne?
In Cheyenne he played General Phil Sheridan in Gold, Glory, and Custer.  This time he is presiding officer at a court martial hearing involving Custer's Last Stand.  Thanks PJH!

Bloopers - The Executioner

You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
Mark's Memories

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Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?

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Waste ~ part 1

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