"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
The Long Goodbye
Early one morning, Mark and I took a ride over to Grandpa Fogarty’s
place. He was fairly new in
area and was currently working on fixing up his place. Mark and I
dismounted our horses as we called out. “Hello!” I called. “Hello in
the house!” Mark wondered if they were up yet, so we sat out to find
You couldn’t help but notice the mess around the house. The weeds
were dying and needed trimmed badly. There were old boards and
barrels lying everywhere for one to step on. As I stepped onto the
step at the bottom of the porch, my boot broke the step right in
two. Mark and I laughed at each other as I again called out,
“Somebody home?” But there was no answer.
Inside the house, Grandpa was working on the stove as he listened to
his young grandson, Woody, reading from a book. But when his
grandson read a big word, Grandpa went to the table where Woody was
sitting as the pig in the kitchen grunted. He slammed shut the door
Mark and I were standing at and bent over to look at the word his
grandson had read. I opened the door a second time and peaked
inside. Again, the door slammed shut in my face. Woody kept reading.
Mark and I opened the door a third time. This time I stepped inside
and looked around the corner at Grandpa. He turned to correct Woody
on a word – swine like sunshine their pig. “Oh…swine,” Woody stated
as the pig began grunting again. Mark and I looked at each other and
I knocked loudly on the door and was finally invited inside. Grandpa
talked about the word swine. “That was a nice word for a pig until
they started calling human being swine – then it ruined the word as
far as any decent pig was concerned!” I wondered about that one!
Suddenly, Grandpa remembered why I was there. I had come for my
riata. I assured him I could wait – braiding was an art. Mark
wondered how he learned to braid. Grandpa started telling a pretty
crazy war story. The boys listened intensely. They were taking the
whole story in. I told Grandpa that we were going into town and
wondered if I could pick up anything for him. “Ah, no thanks,”
Grandpa answered. “I buy my own supplies – always have and always
“Hey Pa, according to my history book, General Freemont was never in
Idaho!” Mark declared as we mounted our horses.
I laughed. “Mark, a man as old as Grandpa Fogarty who has pioneered
the country so much may tell a tall tale every once in a while.
Chances are he’s done a lot of brave things he isn’t even telling
“Suppose that’s why they keep moving around so much?” Mark asked
“How do you mean?”
“Well, Woody says they hardly live at a place more then a few
months,” Mark stated.
I stopped him right there. “Mark, we get along fine minding our own
business. Let’s just keep that way, huh?”
Grandpa and Woody got into town before we did. A woman by the name
of Mrs. Dalrymple almost ran into Grandpa as she went into the
General Store. She wasn’t too pleased. “Are you alright?” she asked.
“Of course I’m alright,” Grandpa answered. Then he told Woody to get
into the store so they could buy him a new pair of britches.
Milly got Woody a pair of britches as requested. "When do you start
school?" She asked.
"Oh I'm not going to school, Miss Milly. I keep pretty busy out at
the place," Woody answered innocently.
Just then, Mark and I walked in. "Ah, a new pair of trousers for
school, huh Woody?"
For some reason, my question got Grandpa all riled. "Mr. McCain! I
mind my own business, expect my neighbors to do the same!”
Wow, but he just bit my head off! "Simmer down Mr. Fogarty, school
is everybody's business."
But Grandpa wanted out of there. He asked Milly how much the pants
were and she told him 75 cents. She asked if she should just charge
him and he got
offended. "You don't derail me of no charge account. If I can't pay
for it I don't buy it! I mind my own business, go as I please, and
expect my neighbors to do the same." He took Woody and the britches
"That old bronco's four square and hard as bedrock," I declared.
Milly just laughed.
Now, Mrs. Dalrymple, was North Fork’s leading busybody, and she was
absorbing all of this. When Grandpa left, she walked over to us,
shaking her head. "Just imagine! That poor little fellow never
knowing a mother's hand to tuck him in at night, seeing to his
prayers…" She patted Marks shoulder. "I hope you know how fortunate
you are Mark to have a proper education."
"Yes ma'am,” Mark answered simply.
"Poor little Woody, completely ignorant of the finer things in
life," Mrs. Dalrymple shook her head.
"But he sure can read," Mark announced. "Why you should have heard
him read to his pig in the kitchen this morning!"
That upset her. "His pig? In the kitchen?" Oh boy, here we go!
"Yes ma'am, she's smart, that pig!”.
"A pig in the house?" she said again. She was in total shock, I
"Yeah," said Mark. I had to hide my grin. Mark was so serious. He
didn't realize what he was telling Mrs. Dalrymple until after he saw
how surprised she was. "Woody's real smart for his age though."
"As the twig is bent, so grows the tree," Mrs. Dalrymple stated.
That was enough for Mark. He excused himself and went to pick up the
mail. Oh sure, run away when the going gets rough!
Mrs. Dalrymple approached me immediately. “Lucas, I’ve got to talk
to you as a responsible member of this community. How can we permit
that child to be raised in a pig sty?”
I stopped her, assuring her that Woody was a fine boy. “But he’s
filthy! Probably doesn’t eat right!” she declared.
Even Milly was on her side! “And he has been missing school.”
I reminded them that Grandpa and Woody had just got here and they
haven't had much time to get settled in yet. "Lucas, you're head of
the town council," Milly started.
“I know I’m head of the town-“ I started,
But Mrs. Dalrymple interrupted me. “We all have to do our best to
help that child, and you being a father should be the first to…”
Micah picked that time to walk in. The minute my best friend saw
that I was between two determined women, he started to turn and
But it was too late – he’d been spotted. “Marshal Torrance!” Micah
touched his hat as she walked up to him. “Marshal, something’s got
to be done about that poor little Fogarty youngster!”
“I don’t know, he seems like a normal boy to me – just dirty,
hungry, and curious!” Micah tried to brush it off as he started
inside with a roll of his eyes.
But it wasn’t that easy! “Before that boy is absolutely ruined, he
must be placed in a proper foster home!” She insisted.
Micah didn’t want to have anything to do with this! "Grandpa wants
to be left alone. I know!!" Again, he tired to walk passed Mrs.
Dalymple, but she kept arguing.
“Then he must be made to understand – it’s for the boy’s own good!”
“Maybe just until he gets his place fixed up and…livable?” Milly
I had no choice but to speak up. I warned her to let Grandpa figure
this out for himself.
“Lucas, now is your chance to help that boy, just as you would want
Mark helped if he were in need!”
Oh sure, she had to bring my one weakness into this!
Micah tried again. “Grandpa Fogarty isn’t too far out from when
every man was his own law!”
“No ifs, ands, or buts about it, gentleman! I’ll do my duty, and I
expect you to do yours.” Then Mrs. Dalrymple walked out. Micah and I
stared after her. We really didn’t want to get involved.
Then Milly spoke up again. “I know how you must feel Lucas, but what
if it were Mark?” I knew I had
no choice! The two ladies had me over a barrel!
We went over to talk to him, and let me tell you – I wasn’t looking
forward to this talk! He talked about being a former peace officer,
but he quit carrying a badge when Woody was orphaned. I wanted to
get this over with, so I jumped right into the fire, you might say.
I sat down next to him. “Mr. Fogarty, we stopped by to uh…have a
talk about Woody.”
That perked him up. “Woody?” He laughed. Grandpa was sure fond of
“Well, some of the ladies in town figure he ought…well, he oughta
uh…have a more substantial home…that is until you get on your feet
and get settled.”
Micah sat down then. “Lucas means you might feel better knowing he
was in a nice home so he could go to school regular and church
affairs…kid stuff, you know what I mean.”
Grandpa wasn’t very happy. Our words had offended him and he was
very quiet. “I must be getting old! I can hardly believe my ears!”
I tried to make him feel better. “You gotta figure what’s best for
Woody, Grandpa. You can see him all you want.”
Silently, he looked at both of us. Then he stood up and went up the
steps. He turned at the door, staring angrily at both of us. "Lucas
McCain I always trusted you as a friend!"
"I'd be a poor friend if I didn't speak my true thoughts, Grandpa."
He turned back and walked up to me. "Well now Mr. Fuss and Feathers,
you just listen to me! That boy ain’t living on charity and there
ain't nobody gonna make a grub line coyote out of him! There’s a lot
to be learned from poverty…Learning what’s necessary and what ain’t.
Woody’s learning how deep he is…how strong he is…how to depend on
himself…How necessary it is to work to live…How he can be proud of
the work he does! He don’t see me scraping or a bowing to nobody for
crumbs or left overs. And nobody’s taking my grandson away from me,
and that’s for sure!" He sent us on our way. We knew he’d be upset!
Later that day, Grandpa and Woody were outside working side by side
as they worked on building a flume from the spring to their house.
“Gee, imagine having water running straight to our back door!” Woody
declared. Grandpa assured Woody they’d do it without going into debt
– they wouldn’t even need nails if he couldn’t straighten the used
one’s out really good. Woody assured him he could.
But Grandpa didn’t know there was a man inside his house tearing the
place apart. The stranger called out to Grandpa, and he went to see
who it was. He told Woody to keep working. When Grandpa walked into
the house, he found the man taking a hammer to his skins. “Hey you,
stop that! What are you doing to my goods?” he yelled. Then the man
drew a gun on him. “Who are you?”
“You know me, Fogarty,” the stranger declared.
“Debo…” Grandpa stated as he walked closer to him. “Debo Lee!”
Debo looked him up and down. “Once a bum, always a bum!” He laughed
at Grandpa, wondering if he’d given up train-hopping and getting in
“They sentenced you for life,” Grandpa said. He was shocked to see
“I changed that sentence! Like you changed my plans for the Pacific
Express some five years back.”
“You broke out!”
Debo nodded. “And that took some doing,” Debo declared. Grandpa had
to sit down. He was suddenly very afraid. “Yeah…that took some dying
Debo started looking around for the
money again. He figured it would be a little fancier around there
“with all that money.” Grandpa declared that he never had any money
to spend. “I sat in a wet, stone cell five years thinking about that
money! And that five years…that made me kinda careless about human
life. Now, you just tell me where it is! That simple!
“I’ve told sheriffs, soldiers, traitors, railroad bulls…and now I’m
telling you! I never had that money!” Grandpa insisted.
“You’re the only one who could’ve touched it!” Debo insisted. “Oh,
you’re gonna loose your old age holding out my money!”
Grandpa had to make him understand that when he dynamited that train
he was a bum riding the route.
“I never knew anything about that money then or since! And I’m
telling you like I’m telling everybody else – I think that money
burned up in the wreck!” Debo wondered why he was hiding out in this
shack. Grandpa told him he was tired of everybody nagging him about
the money shipment. “Nobody bothered us here.”
“Us?” Debo suddenly asked.
Grandpa realized what he had just said. He tried to think of
something fast. His first concern was to protect Woody. “Yeah. Me
and the pig.”
Debo laughed wickedly. “Oh, what a sad story you tell!” Suddenly,
Debo grabbed his hand and cried in pain. Grandpa told him his hand
needed looking after. But Debo turned and grabbed Grandpa by the
throat. He threatened to ring his neck if he didn’t tell him where
the money was. Grandpa told him the money was in the bank – he had
to tell him something so Debo wouldn’t kill him.
Debo threatened Grandpa then. If he made one little mistake, he’d be
begging for a crust of bread. But Debo’s hand was really hurting.
Grandpa warned him that his hand needed looking after. Grandpa
poured some whisky on the cut, but Debo wanted to drink it – not
used it on his hand!
Grandpa knew he needed to chase Woody away, so he announced he was
going to get some water. He wouldn’t run away – he had nowhere else
to run! “If you ain’t back in a minute, I’m coming after you! And I
ain’t got nothing to lose, you know!”
When he got outside, Grandpa found Woody walking on some stilts he
made. Grandpa looked toward the house then ran up to Woody. His
calling out started Woody and he lost his balance. “You darn fool
kid! You can’t eve straighten nails without my watching you every
second!” He yelled. “I tell ya' and I tell ya', and you never learn
Woody stood up. He assured Grandpa he could tear them apart. But
Grandpa was upset. He told him he wasn’t good for anything. “You’re
the most no good kid I’ve ever seen.”
Grandpa had no choice. He couldn’t let Woody know what was going on,
but he had to get him out of there. Woody was upset at the things
Grandpa had said to him. “I’m sorry, grandpa.”
Wood reached out to touch him, but Grandpa shoved his hand away.
“It’s too late to be sorry! You and me’s come to a parting of the
ways. You go on your way and I’ll go mine!”
Woody was crying now. “But Grandpa, I ain’t got no place to go!”
“The Marshal and McCain…Them do-gooders in town…They want to set you
in a life of luxury. Go on in with them!”
“I won’t do it again, Grandpa!” Woody insisted. “I promise! Just
don’t talk like that. I love you, Grandpa!”
Grandpa was almost in tears now. Doing this was breaking his heart.
“You scat on out of here!” He ordered. He continued yelling at him
as he shoved him away.
"Well, alright! Alright.....I'll find me a place, a place where
there ain’t a cranky old man won't be yelling at me day and night!"
“Go on!” Grandpa yelled again.
“You and your old water flume…I ain’t never coming back! You hear? I
ain’t!” Woody cried.
Grandpa was in tears now. “Go on! Get of my property!”
“I ain’t never coming back! You ain’t worth it!” Woody turned and
ran away with tears streaming down his face.
Meanwhile, Mark and I were at the ranch. I was trying out Mark’s
stirrups, but no matter how hard I pulled on them, his feet were
just too short! “These stirrups are just not long enough for you
anymore!” I declared. “I guess I’ll have to make you some new ones!”
“I like them!” Mark argued.
“Well, it’s no good holding onto things you can’t use, son,” I
stated as I grabbed a harness from the peg on the side of the barn.
That got Mark to thinking. He wondered if he could give Woody his
old school books he didn’t use anymore – they were for Woody’s age
and he could keep up by studying them at home.
“That’s a good ideas, son. You know, Woody may be living in a new
home in town soon.”
“Well, he’s already got a home,” Mark argued. “Are they moving
“No, Mark. You see, Mrs. Dalrymple is looking for him a place to
stay while Grandpa’s fixing up their place.”
“Oh, that nosey ol’ Mrs. Dalrymple!” Mark declared.
That boy! “Now, she’s only thinking of what’s best for Woody. You’ve
seen the conditions. It’s not like they can’t see each other
"But Pa, they got it better then you think! They get along real
well, laughing, and working together. And they figured out plans for
fixin' up their place." I tried to make Mark understand. "What if
something happens or a gun goes off, or a fire breaks out? What if
Woody got hurt? Grandpa can't see real well. "But Pa there are other
things just as important. Woody's got a Grandpa and they stick up
for each other. The two of them together. Like.....you and me!" Boy
that hit home. It made me think. "And Pa, you wouldn't let anyone
separate us if things weren't going right, would you?" He was right
"No Mark, I wouldn't." Kids could surprise you, couldn’t they? “I
guess sometimes we grown ups can’t see the forest through the trees!
I’m gonna see what I can do to let Woody stay with Grandpa.” He
thought that was great!
"Mr. McCain!” Mark and I looked up to see Woody running into the
yard. “Oh Mr. McCain! Mr. McCain!" He was crying.
I hurried up to him and lowered myself to h is level. “Woody, what
is it? Where’s your grandpa?” I asked gently.
“What’s wrong? He sick?” Mark asked.
I told Woody to tell it the way he wanted to. “He said that I was no
good to him. I made a pair of stilts. And he told me to get out and
find another place,” Woody cried.
“Well, that doesn’t sound like your grandpa. You sure you haven’t
forgotten something?” I asked.
“No sir, that’s the way it was.” Woody went on. “But I was
thinking…Maybe the heat was affecting him or it was that man that
come.” I turned and looked at Mark. We both suspected it was the
man. “Grandpa’s a real old man, you know. Maybe there’s something
wrong. Him and me…we don’t dump on each other!” Suddenly, Woody
hugged me and cried. I held him as he cried, knowing this was very
emotional for him.
But then he straightened up. "I ain't really crying Mr. McCain. I
just don't know what I'm gonna do!"
“Of course you’re not really crying!” I declared. “Because you’re
here with us and there’s really nothing to cry about. It’s getting
late, I bet you’re hungry.” I turned and asked Mark to fix him some
scrambled eggs. Mark said he make them with strawberry jelly. I told
Woody I had an errand, then I hurried over to Grandpa’s place.
Grandpa was still having trouble with Debo. Debo had finished off
the bottle of whisky. He kept putting Grandpa down as he called him
a “begger” and a “worthless tramp.”
He gave Grandpa some advice – “Don’t trust nobody, don’t care about
anybody, don’t work for anybody – except for yourself!” Debo wanted
to get to the bank that evening – he didn’t want to wait until
morning when the bank opened. Debo shoved everything off the table
and stood up. With his gun in hand, he went up behind Grandpa. “Old
man, I’m getting sick of your foolish ways!” He lifted the gun and
started to hit him over the head with it.
Suddenly, the door squeaked open. That scared Debo and he lifted
Grandpa out of the chair and held the gun to his head. “Old man, if
you so much as cough, I’m gonna blow it right back down your
throat!” Suddenly, the pig came into the door. Debo laughed. “Just
the pig coming back in to say goodnight!” He laughed some more.
Debo shoved Grandpa toward the door. “Hold it!” I was there with my
rifle pointed at Debo. Debo held up his hands.
Grandpa rushed up to me. He was worried about Woody. I assured him
he was okay. Debo started begging. “Now look…mister…whoever you
are…I-I-I’m harmless..I mean…I mean you scared me when you came in
without a friendly hail. Well, my old friend Fogarty there…we were
old-time partners, so to speak-“
Suddenly, Debo grabbed
a gun and turned over the table, knocking the light out. Bang! Bang!
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Everything was quiet. “Luke? You alright Luke?”
“I’m alright, Grandpa,” I answered as I stared at the dead man. He
lit a lantern and shone it on the dead man. “Who is he?”
Grandpa didn’t want to get into that right now. He just wanted to
It was a few days later when Mark and I came over to Grandpa’s house
to see the completed flume. Grandpa talked about having to wash
stuff now and he wasn’t too happy about that. I just laughed. Mark
was trying out Woody’s stilts. He turned and looked at me. He asked
me if I wanted to try them out. "No thanks Son, but take one big
step for me." I had no sooner got those words out of my mouth when
Mark fell flat on his face into a mud puddle.
I laughed. I couldn’t help myself…it was very funny! Even Mark
laughed after he got over the shock of it!
That’s my boy!
piddlin' stuff.....Edgar Buchanan
appeared in six episodes. Five episodes as Doc Burrage
― The Pet ―
The Second Witness ―
The Trade ―
The Deadly Wait ―
The Angry Man and as Grandpa Fogarty in The Long
There were two
doctors before Doc Burrage although neither of them were ever named
or given credit. Those two episodes were The Sharpshooter
and The Marshal. In End of a Young Gun
Lucas told Hank he would go get Doc Sedley? Doc Burrage was first
introduced to The Rifleman in The Pet.
Teddy Rooney played Woody,
he was the grandson of Grandpa Fogarty.
Joan Taylor played Milly Scott. Milly
bought The General Store from Hattie Denton. Hattie had to leave to
go and help her sister in Denver. Joan Taylor appeared in eighteen
episodes as Milly Scott and was introduced to The Rifleman
in Miss Milly.
Virginia Christine appeared in
two episodes ― The Spike Rifle as Mrs. Hardy, she's the
lady that was on the stage and told Lucas to give the man the money,
give him whatever he wants! ― The Long Goodbye as
Mrs. Darymple the busy body in the General Store.
William "Bill" Zuckert played
Debo Lee. He was the bad dude who claimed he and Grandpa were
partners in a train robbery. He came after Grandpa thinkin' he had
the money from the robbery.
Tom Smith - How many times has Tom Smith
been on The Rifleman? Is it 7 or 9? He was in The
Queue as a customer in the dining room Outlaw's Shoes
as a cowboy in town ― The Clarence Bibs Story as a cowboy
in town ― Millie's Brother as a card player ― The Long
Goodbye as a cowboy in town ― Suspicion as a cowboy in
town and he was in Squeeze Play which later they used stock
footage from Squeeze Play for Conflict and End
of the Hunt.
How many actors played Nils or was it Niles or Nels? Was it Swenson
or was it Svenson? See my Blacksmith
*riata is a lasso: a long noosed rope used to catch animals
I received an e-mail from a Rifleman fan and thought ya'll might be
interested in it..... Hi Margie, your site is really great. It
stands as a loving tribute to a show and a time I'll never forget.
There's a bit of music I can't seem to find anywhere!! It's a waltz
that's sometimes played as an intro or outro to the show. You can
hear it at the end of The Long Goodbye and also at
the beginning of the episode that has Mark Twain (The Shattered
Idol) in it. Oddly enough this same piece of music was also
used as the theme for the Yancy Derringer show. I'm not
sure which show used it first but I'm guessing that composers must
have been hard to come by in that era
I've attached a sound byte that I found on the web, but the sound
quality is not the greatest.
I forwarded Kevin's e-mail to John Gilbert, Herschel's son and here
is his answer.....Interesting that you mention Yancy Derringer. I
haven't heard anything about that show in years. I wasn't aware that
the music was used for this show. Knowing this however, I'm assuming
that it was a FOUR STAR production since my father was music
director there and occasionally recycled his film scores for other
purposes. Others also did this with music from OPEN SECRET, which
was used in dozens if not hundreds of episodes of SUPERMAN, RAWHIDE,
TARZAN and even LEAVE IT TO BEAVER in the early 1950s. The piece of
music you are referring to came from the 1956 film called THE NAKED
HILLS (aka THE FOUR SEASONS) with David Wayne, James Barton, and
Keenan Wynn. My father composed the score for this film and used its
music extensively in numerous Rifleman episodes. You can sometimes
find it on EBay or in a video store that specializes in old movies.
My father mined his film scores for cues to use in the Rifleman and
I have heard cues from perhaps a dozen or so films interspersed
occasionally into Rifleman episodes for a particular effect. I hope
Best regards, John Gilbert
Thanks Kevin Gallagher & John Gilbert for this great question and
piece of information!
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear
Character Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and
wondered who is that guy?
Bloopers for this episode & other episodes
around The McCain Ranch