"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
The Lost Treasure of Canyon
Micah, Mark, and I decided to have some family time together. We
went to High Butte to settle a cattle deal. We
talked Micah into going along with us to take in the Bill Cody
Circus Show. On our way home, Micah requested a detour so we could
see the town he grew up in. Canyon Town was now a ghost town.
Mark was curious to know if anyone still lived here. Micah told us
that when the mines gave out, folks just drifted away – there was
nothing left here for anyone. “Well, it looks like we have our
choice of putting here for the night or…on the trail,” I announced.
Micah wanted to wait here. If we got an early start in the morning,
we’d make it to North Fork by Friday.
We rode down the street. The wind was blowing the dirt and
tumbleweeds all around us. I looked around as I got off my horse.
Micah said that when he was a boy it was big city life. He pointed
to the 5 cent whisky sign at the saloon. “If my memory serves me
correctly, the price included all the stew you could stow away.”
Mark saw something and interrupted me and Micah. He saw a door
closed all by himself. He was having typical boy jitters. Micah and
I looked and saw the door closing. “Well, the wind plays funny
tricks on un in a ghost town, Mark,” Micah explained. “The door’s
all warped and dried out – they open and shut by themselves.”
Micah’s answer didn’t satisfy my boy. “Well, there’s only one way to
find out, son,” I told Mark. I patted his shoulder as we started
toward the old general store. We walked inside. It was empty. “Well,
are you satisfied, Mark?”
Micah was busy reminiscing his boyhood. “One of the biggest treats I
can remember as a boy is being allowed to sweep out the store here
for a stick of licorice.” We looked around and I couldn’t help but
to see all the dust in the store. There was an open door and I saw
an entrance to an old mine. Micah and I went out to investigate it
while Mark stayed inside.
We stood outside as Micah remembered. “Just about everyone who owned
a piece of property in town tried their hand at mining some time or
another. Why, in ten years more then five miles of tunnel was dug
underneath this town. It’s like a crazy patchwork quilt down there
now.” The payoff was few. Most folks, including Micah's father, only
had blisters to show for their work.
Mark picked up an old newspaper and started reading it. Without
looking up, he started to walk forward. He bumped into a big man.
You should have seen the look on my boy’s face when he realized
there was a strange man standing in front of him! He was shaking –
he was so scared! Then he started backing up, trying to get away
from this man and ran into the counter. He knocked off a lamp, which
crashed to the floor. Micah and I heard the sound and decided we
best go investigate it.
I must admit that when I walked in and saw that man standing there
like that I was a bit startled. But Micah walked right up to him.
"Say, you look familiar mister," he commented.
Just then an older man with
a crutch entered the store. "I knew it…I knew it!" "It's – your
young Micah." It was Mr. Newman the bigger man was his son Herbert.
It had been 25 or 30 years since Micah and the Newman’s had seen
each other. They were the only two left in town. Micah introduced
us. “Now, are you all gonna come to our supper table peaceable, or
am I gonna hafta get mean and start dragging?” Mr. Newman asked. We
accepted his invitation. We told him it was really kind of him to
invite us. “Not kind, not kind at all!” He stated. “Just a windy old
cuss lookin' for some friendly ears to bend! Micah told us he was a
fine old gentleman. You couldn't help but like the guy.
Bus Mark stopped me when we started to leave. He was still concerned
about that door. "Mr. Newman and his son came through that door so
they couldn't have been in here. But somebody closed that door!”
I tried to stop my boy’s fretting. "The answer is simple Mark,
nobody closed it." I put my hand on Mark’s shoulder and led him out.
"Like Micah said, the wind plays tricks on ya'. We went out to get
our horses. Mark couldn't help but look back. The door closed again.
Mark stared at the door. I walked up beside him. "Doors still
closing on you son?" I teased him.
"I guess so," Mark answered, the sound of fright in his voice.
"You wouldn't like much livin' in a ghost town, now would ya'?"
We had a hearty meal around the supper table that night. Mr. Newman
was telling us about his mining. “Well, along bout that time the
bank been moved out, leaving us the last in town.” Mr. Newman turned
to Micah. “Say, now that you know we’ve been staying on here, maybe
you can get out here now and again!” Micah said marshalling in North
Fork kept him busy. He explained where he had been.
Mr. Newman laughed at the mention of Bill Cody. He’d heard he’d
turned into a side show fella. He figured Mark got a kick out of
seeing the circus – Mark said he certainly did!
I figured it got lonely here for Mr. Newman. He said he had his boy
there to keep him company. Micah wondered what kept Herbert here.
“Oh, a man can make a fair living scraping up tunnels. A dollar or
two a day.”
Mr. Newman told his son he could tell us that he was hoping to
strike again. Herbert stayed silent. “Guess strike was the wrong
word to use,” Mr. Newman commented. “Only a fool would keep on
prospecting after a thousand people have dug day and night year
after year. You know, Micah, there is a strike here. It was found by
my boys twenty years ago. Found…and lost." Micah suddenly remembered
that he had two other sons “Had, Micah. Austin and James died some
twenty years ago. Seemed like the voice of the Lord said that much
gold better be left in the earth.”
The wind began howling.
Mark stared outside, still afraid that there were ghosts or
something out there. I smiled at him. I sure was having fun at his
Mr. Newman kept talking. “Well, going on twenty years…we was the
last family in town. We’re thinking about making our move. Me and my
boys - move out on a little farm maybe. The boys were working the
tunnels, takin' out a dollar here and there, wanting enough to stake
a piece of land somewhere. And then they found it. Breaking through
this wall into a cavern – a cavern that would like to blind ‘em for
gold croppings. Gold, Micah! Gold so thick you could break off
chunks off the wall with your hands. I was up here in the house
fixing some grub. The boys were digging in the caverns along about
the third day. And then I felt it – the earth trembling. Herbert was
the only one that got out alive. It was bad enough before the
earthquake – finding your way through all those tunnels. But after
it was all over…” He shook his head.
I asked him if he ever found the cavern they were working in. “I
looked once. That was to say a prayer to a blank wall – a prayer
that my boys would rest in peace. Herbet kept searching. Tunneling
here, tunneling there – hoping to strike it again – more gold then a
man would ever see in a lifetime. But it seems as though the cavern
was just swallowed up in deep earth.”
Mark looked out the window again. He saw something strange in the
window. I looked up and saw it too. “You see it too, Pa?” Mark
asked. I did see it, but I didn’t figure it was anything bad. Mr.
Newman started laughing. Those tumbleweeds gets them every time! I
laughed at my boy’s fright. I couldn’t believe how frightful Mark
Mr. Newman asked Micah to stay the night – he had a good supply of
Micah said that after supper we would go up the slopes to his old
homestead. Mr. Newman informed Micah that it was still there. I told
Micah we’d take a walk up the slope “if Mr. Newman would leave the
dishes for us.”
Mr. Newman said he’d play us a game of checkers for that privilege.
He told Mark if he fetched the lanterns in the back room that would
take care of his share of the dishes. Mark was all for that! He got
the lantern and started to leave when he felt someone watching him
from behind the curtain. He slowly walked over and pulled the
curtain back. There was no one there.
We started up the hill. Micah
was breathless by the time he got to the top. “You know, I recall
racing up this hill and having enough wind at the top to whistle a
Mark laughed. “I bet I can whistle a tune after running to the top,”
Mark commented. Micah agreed with Mark.
Something was bothering me. I felt that Herbert was bothered about
something. Micah remembered him a a quiet, studious boy not much
different then he is now. I just got the feeling the sooner we got
out of town the better he'd like it.
We kept walking along the path. But we stopped at a tunnel entrance.
Micah waved me to come over and look at it. “This here’s a tunnel
entrance where I used to play a trick on my Pa. When we’d pass, I’d
duck in here and use it for a shortcut and come out up ahead.”
"Time passes quickly, doesn't it Micah?" I commented.
"Like the wind on your cheek Lucasboy. Here…and then gone." We then
started off again.
Little did Micah or I know that Mark didn’t follow us. He had
listened to Micah’s story and decided to play a trick on us. He
smiled as he hurried into the cave. He went in further and further,
trying to guess the right way to go. Deep and deeper in the cave he
went. But suddenly, he felt…and heard…that there was someone behind
him. He hurried along, hoping to come out of the other end soon.
With each passing second, he grew more and more fearful. “Pa?” he
called, hoping it was me.
But there was a laughing man behind him. “Pa?” he called again. Then
he turned and started running. He was afraid someone was after him.
He hurried, desperate to get away.
Micah and I Walked on along the path, unaware that Mark was no
longer behind us. Micah commented that it was a shame an intelligent
man like Herbert would chain himself to this town. He didn’t like
the Newman’s spending the rest of their days here. We had stopped
and I kept looking behind us to see where Mark was. I called out to
him. We had thought he was right behind us. “I wonder if he’s
cutting through that tunnel after hearing me say it was a shortcut.”
I was a little miffed at that boy! “Micah, that boy loves to play
tricks like this!” I stated. “I better go on back and follow him
through.” Micah said he’d wait on up ahead where he should come out.
Mark was still running through the tunnels. He heard moaning and
someone running behind him. “Pa!” he screamed fearfully. Meanwhile,
I walked into the cave looking for him. I did my best to follow his
Mark felt he had to get out of there – and fast! He looked came to a
dead end and started looking for a way to escape before the groaning
caught up with him. He found a hole in the wall and climbed up into
it, escaping from the other man. He fell down the other side
The deeper I went into the cave, the more concerned I became.
“Mark!” I called several times, shining my lantern to see if I could
find him. But Mark never answered. I kept tracking him.
Mark stood up and looked around his surroundings. As he shown his
lantern around, he found a skeleton. He stared at it, not quite
believing what he was seeing. Fear gripped him as he realized that
something strange was going on.
Suddenly, he heard a noise behind him. Mark spun around to see what
it was. He held his lantern up as hands moved rocks out of the way.
It was me. Boy, was Mark relieved! “Pa,” Mark breathed thankfully.
He sure was glad to see me!
I was upset with him. "Mark!
What are you doin' in there?" I pushed rocks out of the way so I
could climb in and yell at my boy some more. "Mark...there's nothing
smart about you cutting through these tunnels,” I griped as I
climbed inside. “You might have got lost or have got hurt."
"I was only trying to play a trick on ya' but I found-" He started
But I interrupted him. I wasn’t through with this boy yet! "Do you
realize how far underground you are? Why did you come down this
far?" I demanded to know.
"I didn't know where to go...there was somebody behind me-"
Again, I interrupted him. "I was behind you son...didn't you hear me
"No I didn't," Mark answered. He turned and looked toward the
I shook my finger at him. "Mark if you ever pull a trick like this
again-" I started, but then I suddenly stopped when I saw what was
It was a skeleton. “Well, I was trying to tell ya'!” Mark stated.
“Who do you think it is?”\
“I don’t know,” I answered as I grabbed his lantern and started
toward it. I found a knife in the skeleton – he had been stabbed.
Mark called to me again. “Pa, bring the lantern!” I shown it on the
side of the cave. “Look Pa, it’s gold!” Mark declared. This was Mr.
Newman’s cavern. “Well, that must be his-“Mark stared. “But Pa, Mr.
Newman said he had two sons lost in the earthquake.”
I knew the answer to that already! “No earthquake, son. From the
looks of that opening over there, I’d say this cavern was sealed off
by a stick of dynamite and whoever that man is…he wasn't trapped in
here, he was stabbed with this knife. I thought we better take this
to Micah and let him figure it out.
As we started to leave, Mark commented that he didn’t think it was
me behind him. He kept hearing sounds. I asked him what kind of
sounds as I gave him back the lantern. Just then he hollered "Pa!"
I turned to see what Mark was yelling about. There was a strange man
– like a cave man – with a pick axe getting ready to hit me. I
suddenly started fighting him. We struggled with each other. He
started choking me with my rifle. I worked at getting loose. I hit
him hard with my elbow twice, then flipped him over. But he pinned
me to the ground and started hitting my head on the ground. I
punched him hard. As he reached for a big rock, I grabbed my rifle
and cocked it. "Alright...hold it!" I ordered as I aimed my rifle at
him. He stood there frozen with the big rock held over his head.
Slowly, he threw the rock down. I stood up and grabbed my hat.
“Alright, who are ya'?” I demanded to know. He didn’t answer. “Who
are ya'?” I screamed. He didn’t say anything, but just stared at me.
“Are you Austin Newman?” He said nothing. “Are you James Newman?”
He went berserk. "Your not gonna take me! Your not gonna take me
alive!" He started to tear the braces loose in the cavern walls.
Everything started to give way. “Let’s get out of here, Mark!” I
yelled. I grabbed Mark and ran. We hurried through the opening. “Are
you alright Mark?” He nodded. “Alright, move!” I yelled. We got out
of there in a hurry. Micah heard the commotion and came looking for
us. I told him the place was gonna cave any second and that he
needed to get us out of there.
When we got back to the Newman place Herbert told us the story. "It
was brother against brother. There was more gold then one man could
use. Yet they fought. James had killed Austin. They fought over
shares and they both lost. One dead, the other living the death.
Driven mad by what he done to flesh n' kin.” James had been living
in this town for twenty years without Mr. Newman ever seeing his
son. Herbert explained that his Pa's eyesight had always been poor.
"After I dynamited the cavern there was no cause for him to think
that there wasn't an earthquake. No cause for him to believe that
his sons hadn't died like honorable men. The gold was there, right
within reach. I never touched it. I left Austin there just the way
he died. James...how could I ever explain what James was?" He had
taken care of James all these years. James lived in the tunnels and
only came out at night. His mind was gone but he knew he was to
protect the secret of the caverns. He left his father think that he
was searching for gold when he was really trapped here. He and his
father. He had to protect this secret.
Just then Mr. Newman got up from his nap. He asked what had been
happening. “We were in the tunnels, Mr. Newman. Some of them
collapsed,” I announced.
“Collapsed?” Mr. Newman
turned to his son. “I just don’t see no point, son. I just don’t see
no point in your keeping looking for this cavern and maybe loosing
your life!” Micah told him that he and Hebert were just discussing
that and thought it was time for them to get that farm. That made
Mr. Newman happy. “Well now, I just don’t know what to say!” I
reminded him he had a checker game scheduled. “Right!” Mr. Newman
stated. He ordered Micah to get the checker board. He was sure hppay!
Later, Mark was out on the front porch. I went out to talk to him.
"What are you thinkin' about son?"
"For a moment there I really thought we were rich," he answered.
"Well, we are. We're very rich. You'll realize it more and more the
older you get.”
"What do you mean, we don't have any gold?" Mark pointed out as he
sat down beside me.
I had to make him see there were more to riches then money.
"No…but...do you remember the old oak tree back at the ranch that
you use to climb when you were knee high? That's gold to me, Mark.
Real gold. And then the fields in back of the barn, the way they
look in the morning green with dew. And at night after a hard day's
work sitting around the house with the fireplace going. That's a
kind of gold, isn't it?"
He understood. "Your right, Pa.” He thought about it for a second.
“You know something, we really are rich." I smiled at him as I
tipped his hat and slapped my arm proudly around his shoulders.
Fawcett appeared in two episodes ―
Lost Treasure of
Canyon Town as Mr. Newman the nice old man who
remembered young Micah ―
as Pyrite Rand the old man who also claimed he also killed Larson.
Robert Foulk appeared in five
episodes, four times as Toomey ―
The Raid as Toomey, the man who wanted to turned back,
he didn't want go on to help Lucas find Mark ― The Second
Witness as the Toomey, the man who made the coffin for the
Three Legged Terror as Toomey, the man who Johnny
Clover was sketching when his uncle came to Lucas' ranch ―
Outlaw's Inheritance as Toomey, the man who didn't
want Lucas to represent North Fork after finding out out Lucas'
The Lost Treasure of Canyon Town as
Herbert Newman, the man who was trying to hide the secret of the
*According to the credits in The Three Legged Terror
— Toomey is also a Blacksmith — See Arnold Laven's comments on this in
Mickey Finn played James Newman.
He's the brother who went crazy in the cavern.
Bloopers - The
Lost Treasure of Canyon Town
Lucas' story, now hear Mark's