The Rifleman
"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"

The Hero
Episode 59


After a long, hard day of hunting he was pleased to see a campfire in the distance. The campfire
The Rifleman - The Hero - Episode 59would have coffee, and after a little rest he would be able to continue on his travels. But as he approached cautiously, he made a startling discovery. This wasn’t a campfire of an ordinary stranger. This was an outlaw’s campfire – an outlaw named The Domino Kid. He was a wanted man and he was a perfect target.

Colly pointed his rifle at the unsuspecting camper who was simply lying there as he smoked on a cigarette. “Alright,” Colly cleared his throat. “Mister, stand up.”

Domino looked at him but didn’t move. “You know who you’re talking to?”

“Yeah, I know who you are…Domino,” Colly answered. He was obviously very nervous.

Domino gave a short laugh. “Won’t don’t you just mosey on along, huh?”

Colly cleared his throat nervously. “I mean what I say. Get up. I’m…uh…taking you in.”

Domino looked at where his gun belt laid with his special guns that had dominoes etched on the handles. He lazily took a long puff off his cigarette then stuck it back in his mouth. Suddenly and quickly he turned to grab his gun, but a shot sounded from Colly’s rifle. Bang!

The Domino Kid was dead.

Later that night, Micah and I were in his office playing chess. I was happy because it looked like I was about to beat him this time, and I suggested he concede. But while he was thinking on this we were interrupted by Colly. “I…uh…brought in the Domino Kid.”

Considering who it was, Micah and I were both a bit shocked to say the least. Micah went to look at the body and I looked at the guns. It was the Domino Kid alright, not doubt about that! “But you, Colly!” Micah exclaimed.

Colly was still a bit surprised himself. He tried explaining that he had been hunting and stopped at the camp for a cup of coffee. He killed the Domino Kid in self defense.

While we were carrying the body into Micah’s office, Sam Bedford came to see what all the excitement was about and was surprised to find his employee, Colly, there. The whole group stood there wondering what was going on. When Micah announced that Colly had killed the Domino Kid, everyone was shocked. Bedford stated that he didn’t believe it as he went in to see for himself. They wanted to know how it happened. Still in shock, he told his story again. “Well, I was just telling the Marshal I…I came on his camp accidentally and I had the drop on him…and he went for his gun anyway, and I…had to kill him.”

He was suddenly deemed a hero. Bedford suddenly came back over to Colly. “Now tell us, Colly, exactly how did you get him? Did he come after you? Did he draw on you or what?”

Colly explained it again. “Well, I just warned him. He went for his gun anyway. There was nothing else I could do!”

Bedford stared hard at Colly. “Sure wasn’t. You got him the only way you could, didn’t ya? In the back!”

Colly stared at him. “Why, he’s a killer, a man with a price on his head. He’s wanted dead or alive!”

We stood there watching as the townspeople suddenly turned on him. “There’s never an excuse for shooting a man in the back!” Bedford declared.

He started to leave, but Colly stopped him and asked him about the reward the stage line posted - $1,000.00. “You expect a reward for that?” Bedford shot out angrily.

Colly turned to Micah. “Dead or alive, Sam. You posted it yourself!” Micah answered, letting Bedford know he had no choice.

Bedford was angry, but he knew he had no choice. "Alright, you'll get it. In silver. In thirty pieces at a time!” Then he left. The other men who had just deemed Colly a hero walked away suddenly grumbling about Colly.

Colly turned to us. “He was a killer, wasn’t he? He deserved to die.”

I nodded. “Sure, Colly,” I answered quietly.

“Then what I did was right! I don’t know anything about handling a gun! I couldn’t stand up to him.”

“Shooting a man in the back…always leaves room for doubt,” I explained.

It was late when I got home
The Rifleman - The Hero - Episode 59last night so I overslept the next morning. When I got up, I saw that Mark was already up and dressed. He had already fixed fresh coffee for me and…even made bacon and eggs! “Good boy,” I praised him kindly. Mark asked about the chess game Micah and I had been playing. I told him I would have run if we hadn’t bee interrupted. Then I announced, “Somebody brought in the Domino Kid.” I took a sip of my coffee, waiting for the explosion that was sure to come.

I didn’t have to wait very long. Mark was suddenly excited, asking me who shot him. When I told him, he reacted like the folks in town. "Colly Vane shot the Domino Kid? I never thought he had the nerve to talk back to a nanny goat.”

I looked at my son. “Well Mark, you never know how a man will react under certain circumstances,” I explained.

“Boy, I bet the whole towns talking about it, huh?" Mark would have sat there and talked on it all morning, but I told him to get to eating so he wouldn’t be late for school. Then I told him I’d be in town later and we would ride home together. “Fine,” he answered. But his mind was elsewhere. “Colly Vane,” he mumbled as he thought on it. “I never thought he had the nerve!” I looked at Mark then, a bit worried at how he would react to the rest of the story. But I didn’t want to get into that with him now.

Later that day, I went into town to do my errands. I was waiting for Mark, but had seen no sign of him yet. I stopped in front of Micah’s office. “Have you seen Mark around today?” I asked as I looked around for him. He hadn’t seen him this afternoon. I was frustrated. “Oh, I hope he wasn’t kept in again!” That boy knew how to get himself into trouble!

Micah handed me a paper he wanted me to sign. It was a statement saying I saw Colly bring in the domino Kid. Sam won’t post the reward without it. He didn’t want Colly to collect and was making it very difficult on him. Micah said there’s been talk around town all day, even having Colly arrested for murder. “Murder,” I asked suddenly. “Killing an outlaw’s murder?”

“Shooting a man in the back. Outlaw or not,” Micah answered.

I slapped the reins down in frustration and handed Micah back the paper. “I don’t know why you waited for me, Micah. I’m not the only one who saw Colly in.” Micah couldn’t sign it and the others won’t

Suddenly, I heard a group of children yelling about something. I turned to see what was going on and saw a group of kids hassling Colly. “Sam fired him this morning. Brad Jacobs had his wife throw Colly out of his boarding house. And now the kids!”

As I looked at the group surrounding Colly, I saw Mark reach over and pull a shirt out of Colly’s carpet bag. Mark was taunting him just as much as the other kids. That made me angry! I jumped down from the wagon and hurried over to the kids. Mark had his back turned and was laughing. He turned and suddenly saw me standing there. His smile quickly disappeared from his face when he saw the angered look on my face.

He stood there knowing he was in trouble and I didn’t approve of what he had done. “Give me that!” I ordered Mark and an angry voice. Mark handed me the shirt and I snapped it out of his hand. “Get in the rig, Mark,” I ordered.

Mark said nothing as he glanced back at the children, a bit ashamed that he was being yelled at in front of the kids. Then I slowly walked towards the kids. The other children stood there, frozen in their spots and staring at me. They saw my angered expression and were probably a little afraid of me. “Seems to me you guys got better things to do at home,” I told them as I started toward them. “Go on.” I didn’t stop walking toward them until they turned and ran from me.

I handed Colly the shirt back. "Maybe you better make yourself scares for a while Colly." He stuffed the shirt back into his bag and said he intended to. Then he slowly walked away. He looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

I turned back toward the rig and frowned. I was so very disappointed in my son right now. I walked up beside the rig where Micah was still standing. I glanced at Mark who wouldn’t look at me. He knew he was in trouble. I grabbed the paper from Micah’s hand, knowing that someone needed to stand up for Colly. “Let’s go find a pen, Micah,” I said as I gave Mark another look.

I stayed in Micah’s office for a long time so I’d cool down It was one thing when a town harasses an innocent man, but when it’s your own flesh and blood…well, it angers and disappoints me! But I finally walked back outside I didn’t say anything but started to walk around to get up onto the seat. But Mark spoke. "You mad at me Pa?"

I stopped walking and turned back to my son. I looked him in the eye. I had been angry, but I had calmed down. "No Mark, I'm just disappointed in you. It seemed to me you always stood on your own two feet. You had your own ideas and stuck to 'em. Never saw you trail along with the herd before." It’s hard to imagine my son having any bad thoughts towards a person.

This time, Mark had given into the gossip. I guess it was a little to much for a young boy to walk away from. "But Pa, everybody know he shot him in the back."

I suddenly jumped to Colly’s defense. "Nobody knows anything except what Colly said."

"But it's a lie, everybody know that Colly couldn't stand up to anybody as good as the Domino Kid in a fair fight,” Mark suddenly argued.
The Rifleman - The Hero - Episode 59

I gave my son a hard stare and spoke calmly but firmly. "Good Mark? An outlaw? A killer?"

"Well, he's better then somebody like Colly!" Mark declared.

I stared at him in disbelief. I could feel myself getting angry. Mark could see my face turn to anger. He knew he had said too much. “Move over,” I answered. That’s all I could say. As I walked around the wagon, it was hard to control my temper. I stopped for a second at the back telling myself to stay quiet and not say anything to him until I calmed down, else I would regret what I said. I was probably counting to ten to calm myself down! Then I quickly climbed up onto the seat and drove off.

When we got home Colly was there waiting for us. His girlfriend, Alice, was there with him. Mark said he’d put the buckboard away. I didn’t say anything to him as I jumped from the wagon and went to talk to my guests. I waited to hear what they needed. Colly couldn’t ask the question, so Alice finally spoke up for him. “Will you sell Colly a horse, Mr. McCain?” No one else would sell him one.

"Running away Colly?" I asked. He said he wasn’t. Alice stated that her father had fired him and he was thrown out of his boarding house. What else could he do. “Right now his own talking,” I stated. “He can stand on his own two feet long enough to buy a horse at least.”

“Alright, so I am running away! What do you expect me to do? You saw them in town. I shot a killer, a man with a price on his head, and everybody hates me!” Colly said.

I stopped him right there. “You said last night that what you did was right. If that’s the truth, stand up for it!” I declared. “What good is going to do Alice for you to be called a coward? Maybe you can run away, but she can’t.” Colly stated he’d send for her when he got settled somewhere else. “There is nowhere else for you!” I declared then. “And you’re never gonna get settled. And this is gonna follow you around. The bigger they make the Domino Kid, the smaller you’re gonna be!”

Alice didn’t agree with me. She begged Colly to take her away with him right then, but he started to realize that what I was saying was true. He had to deal with this now – to stand up for himself.

Suddenly, some riders approached. I walked up to them to see what they wanted. They were looking for a friend of theirs who had camped up in the hills last night. I told them I hadn’t seen anybody. They stated he was up there because they saw his campfire. I suggested that maybe he rode out. “Well, do you think he’d leave his bedroll behind? That bedroll had blood on it. It was wet. Like I said, he’s a friend of our. And if anything happened to him, we would take it kinda personal!” One of the outlaws was looking at me like he didn’t believe me. I insisted that I couldn’t help them. “Well then I guess we’re gonna have to find someone who can!” They turned their horses around and rode off toward North Fork.

Now Alice was really upset. She knew they were looking for the Domino Kid, and as soon as they rode into town, they’d find him. She asked me if I still wanted him to go into North Fork. I didn’t think it was a good idea with those outlaws there. I told Colly I’d give him a horse. But Colly suddenly had something to prove. "Stand up for what I thought was right. Isn't that what you said, Mr. McCain?" I started to tell him that that was my advice before these outlaws showed up. “Thank you for the advice,” he interrupted me. “The people of North Fork are just going to have to decide who’s telling the truth: a dead man or me!”

I rode back into town to see what I could do to help. When I got there, there was a large crowd gathered outside the undertaker’s office. “Practically a state funeral,” Micah declared. “I almost expect the flags at half mast anytime now.”

I commented that it was a surprise the whole town wasn’t in mourning. Then I asked him if he’d seen three gunslingers in town. “Those three?” Micah motioned toward the undertaker’s office.

I watched them walk out. “They stopped by the ranch, said they were looking for the Domino Kid.”

“They found him,” Micah answered.

Micah and I both knew it wouldn’t take them long to figure out who did it. I had told Colly to stay at my place until I got back. Micah suggested I keep Colly out at the ranch until they left. He’d never get a chance to collect the reward money if he came in to claim it. I decided to go try to work out something with Sam Bedford, although I didn’t think I could.

I slowly walked toward his
The Rifleman - The Hero - Episode 59office. I could feel the eyes of those three men on me the whole time. As I stepped upon the boardwalk to walk inside, I turned and saw all three heads turned, staring straight at me. The minute I walked in Sam turned away from me. He didn’t want to talk to me, but I gave him no choice. I asked him if he was going to pay Colly the reward. “When you signed that paper, you didn’t leave me with much choice,” he answered. I reminded him that everyone saw him bring in the Domino Kid. “Everybody saw the hole in his back too,” he declared.

“I don’t figure you, Sam. You were always a pretty level-headed man,” I stated. “I can’t understand you now…glorifying an outlaw! You know, Colly’s the one getting hurt. Or is that what you really want? Maybe he and Alice are getting too serious, is that it?” He stated he wasn’t good enough for her. “Why not? Because he’s just one of your stable hands?”

"Because he's a cowardly little coyote," he declared. “And why don’t you mind your own business?” Then he turned back to work on his books.

When I asked about the money, he assured me it would be in on the morning stage. I wanted to pick it up for him. "What's the matter, is he too timid to even do that now?"

“No, I just don’t want him coming into town, not with these three gunslinger’s here!” I stated. “They’ll kill him, Sam!”

“Oh, I don’t know. He was good enough to handle the Domino, I bet he can handle them,” he stated.

“You hate the boy that much?” I suddenly asked. He said he was playing the hero, and maybe he’d get what he deserved. That made me mad. "You call Colly a coward. If you want somebody killed, why don't you do it yourself?" I walked out of the office.

But when I stepped onto the street, the three gunslingers were there. “Thought you’d want to know – we found that friend of ours.” I told him I was glad to hear it. “Now we’re looking for somebody else. The sidewinder who gunned him in the back. I don’t suppose you’d know anything about him though.” He thought I should know since maybe I was nosing around for the award money.

“I’m not the only one nosing around, Mister!” I stated

“I asked you a question,” the gunslinger stated.

“And you got your answer.” Suddenly, the three started moving around me. As they circled around me I punched one, knocking him to the ground. The other one came at me and I punched him. I twirled my rifle and pointed it at the one left standing. He’d ask anymore questions he had when I came to collect the reward.

When I got back to the ranch Colly was grooming one of my horses. He suggested I got the horse’s teeth looked at before they started giving him a lot of trouble. He wanted to be a veterinarian someday. Now with the reward money, he can do it. He asked me when it was coming into town. “Tomorrow morning,” I answered.

He smiled. “Good. By tomorrow night Alice and me can be on our way to Kansas City.” But I suddenly told him to hold off on the reward money. Those men we met this afternoon were waiting in town for anyone coming to collect the money. “I guess there isn’t much I can do about it,” Colly stated.

“Wait here for a few days. Men like that can’t hang around in one place for too long,” I suggested.

“Well Mr. McCain, you uh…you said I couldn’t run and hide, that I have to face up to this right here in North Fork” I thought on it for a minute then told him to stay here until morning then we’d ride in together.

I went up to the house to start supper. I looked around for Mark but didn’t see him, so I hollered for him. He came out of the house, letting me know he was getting some wood for supper. “Fine. When you’re through, set another place at the table, will ya?” I requested kindly.

But Mark was still upset with Colly. He looked toward him. “Is he staying?” He asked in a disapproving voice.

I suddenly turned. I didn’t like his tone of voice. “That’s right,” I answered, waiting to see what he’d say next.

He looked disgustingly at Colly. “Oh,” he groaned. “Well, he can have my place. I’m not hungry.”

I suddenly walked toward him. The anger I had from earlier was flaring up again. He knew better then to talk this way!

But he was ready to face up to this whole mess. I told Colly to stay here and wait until morning and I'd go with him. "Mark, Colly's a guest in our home, you show respect,” I ordered as I stood right in front of him and looked into his eyes. Mark didn’t say anything, but I could tell he didn’t want to follow my order. “You hear me boy?"

"Yes Pa,” Mark answered. But I could see the defiance in his eyes.

I waited for him to say more – like that he was sorry or yes sir or something, but nothing came. He just continued to stare at Colly. “Well?” I asked.

"Well I don't know why you want me to respect somebody like him!” Mark spit these words out so spitefully and hatefully that it angered me.

I was so angry! “Ah-“ I started. But I turned and realized Colly had heard what he had to say. Anything I had to say to Mark right now wasn’t very nice. I was too angry to speak, so I decided to flat out punish him for now. “
The Rifleman - The Hero - Episode 59Go to bed, Mark.” I ordered. Mark stared at me. “Go to bed!”

Mark turned and silently went into the house. I turned toward Colly and opened my mouth to say something, but I was too ashamed. I couldn’t even muster up an apology. I simply turned and stomped into the house after Mark.

The next morning I finished getting ready for town, but when I came out to the living room Colly was gone. Mark came in carrying firewood and I asked him if he’d seen Colly. “He left about fifteen minutes ago.” He said this in a voice that told me he was still upset with Colly, and probably a bit angry with me.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked suddenly.

“Well, I was getting the firewood!” Mark answered hatefully.

I didn’t like his tone of voice…at al! “Your not still smarty from last night, are ya?” I asked as I buttoned up my shirt and stared sternly into his eyes. I knew the answer already. I could tell from his tone of voice.

Mark suddenly realized I was upset with him. “Well, I know I shouldn’t have said what I did, but well I couldn’t help it!”

I stared at Mark for a second. Then I hurried for the door and grabbed my hat and rifle. “Well maybe you don’t know it, son, but Colly just went out to earn the respect you didn’t give him. Just hope he doesn’t have to pay too high a price for it!”

With that I walked out the door to leave Mark thinking on that. Mark angrily threw the wood down by the fireplace and sat down, knowing he was in a lot of trouble.

I quickly rode into town. I asked Micah if he’d seen Colly, informing him that he rode on ahead of me. “Oh, he’s gonna show everybody!” I stated.

There were men standing around waiting to see what would happen when the stage arrived with the money. One of the gunslingers was standing among them. I asked Micah where the other two were. “I can’t see ‘em, but I can sure feel ‘em!” Micah declared.

When I walked in, Sam looked pretty upset. He wanted to know if Colly was here yet, I told him that I was sure he would be soon. I pointed out to him that he looked pretty upset. “Oh, it’s Alice. She’s leaving – she’s going away with him!” I told him it was nothing to worry about – those gunslingers wouldn’t let him get far. “But she’ll blame me!” Sam suddenly stated. “Now you’ve got to stop him and keep him away from here. I’ll give you the money and you can-“

Suddenly, Colly was there. He was standing out on the street. “Mr. Bedford!” he called. Sam didn’t answer. “Mr. Bedford! I’m here to collect.”

He wasn’t even carrying a gun. I told Sam to have him come inside. Sam asked him. “There’s nothing to talk about. I just want the money. Bring it out!” Colly called.

“I don’t know what you mean!” Sam stated.

“You’re stalling, Mr. Bedford. You know what I mean. I’m here to collect the reward. “!,000.00 for killing the Domino Kid.”

Suddenly one of the gunslingers – the one with the mouth – was standing behind Colly with his drawn gun. Sam called to warn him, but Colly was shot in the back and fell to the ground.

As soon as I heard that shot I was out there. I fired my rifle while rolling on the ground, killing the gunslinger with the mouth.

Another one came toward me shooting, By I shot my Rifle at him twice and he fell to the ground, dead.

Third time’s a charm! I turned and fired on the last one. He fell to the ground. He was dead.

Micah and I immediately ran to Colly to see how bad he was hurt. I didn’t think it looked too bad, but suggested we get him over to the docs right away. Suddenly Sam said, “Let me, Lucas.” He realized that he was partly to blame for what had happened to him. Micah and Sam helped a very weak Colly up to his feet and dragged him off to the doc.

I stood there in the middle of the street a
The Rifleman - The Hero - Episode 59nd looked around at the gawkers. “Unarmed and in the back. I hope you’re all proud of yourselves. Now Colly’s a hero…like the Domino Kid!” Then I walked off.

Mark, Micah, and I walked out of Micah’s office to watch Colly and Alice drive out of North Fork. They smiled and waved at us as they drove away. "I sure was wrong not believing Colly's story," Mark stated. He finally realized that Colly had shot the Domino Kid in a fair gunfight.

I looked at Mark, happy he had finally come to realize that. But as bad as he was, there were others who were worse. "That may be so, son, but your not as wrong as some of the older people in town that should have know better."

"Maybe in some ways they could use a little growing up too,” Mark admitted.

Micah looked at Mark and confessed, "In one way or another Mark, we can all use some growing up.”

"Well don't include you and Pa." Mark stated this with the utmost confidence!

"Yes son, us too," I announced.

Mark just stared at us in disbelief!


piddlin' stuff.....Robert Culp appeared in two episodes The Hero as Colly Vane, he played the town hero until the town folks found out the outlaw was shot in the back ― The Man from Salinas as Dave Foley, the bounty hunter who claimed to be Rudy Gray's brother so he could get the $2,000 bounty on Gray.

Frank Ferguson played Sam Bedford, Alice's father and the man in charge of the stage line. He also appeared with Robert Culp in Trackdown.

Lynn Cartier appeared in two episodes of Panic as Mrs. Porter, she was the lady in the General Store who overheard Cass and Mark's conversation ― The Hero as Alice Bedford, Colly Van's girlfriend and Sam Bedford's daughter.

Dick Keene was Mr. Jethroe. He was the old timer in the beginning of the episode. He is one of the townfolks who was surprised that Colly got the Domino Kid. He at first thought Colly to be The Hero.

Dennis Cross appeared in six episodes ― The Safe Guard as Witcherly ― The Gaucho as Ned Dunnell, he was killed by Manolo for like his sister - The Hero as Dorn, the gunslinger in charge ― The Vision as Fance Degnan. He was the cowboy by the wagon that laughed when Mark told Hazel he thought she was pretty ― Martin in Quiet Fear.  He was the cowboy who attacked Abby Striker in the barn ― The Patsy as Lafe Oberly, a member of Doke's gang. 

Steven Marlo appeared in four episodes The Patsy as Doke Marvin, one of Sully Hobbs' gang ― The Hero as The Domino Kid, he was the one that Colly Vane shot in the back ―  The Assailants as Sgt. Will is the one who confronted Micah in the telegraph office ― The Anvil Chorus as Stagg the cowboy who said he wouldn't give his guns to nobody.

Whitey Hughes was a well known and respected stuntman, he appeared in twenty-seven episodes of The Rifleman and still counting.  Whitey had over a 50-year career as a stuntman and stunt coordinator, he has been praised as one of the top stuntman in Hollywood.  Whitey was the best of the best!

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. ~Arnold Laven
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.

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