"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
Man from Salinas
I was covering for Micah while he was
out of town. I walked the streets with my rifle in hand making sure
law and order were being kept. Mark rode in from the ranch. Mark
proudly announced that everything was locked up tight at the ranch.
asked him if he had any homework. As usual, he had math. I told him
to go to Micah’s office and get started on it. “Then I’ll buy us
both dinner at the hotel.”
I didn’t get any complaints from my teenage son! “Yes sir!” Then
Mark asked, “Say Pa, Are we going to be staying in town the whole
two weeks that Micah’s gone?” I told him yes. Then I wondered why he
asked. “Nothin’, it’s just that uh…that way we get to eat at the
hotel and I don’t have any dishes to wash!” That boy – always
I didn’t know it, but there was a man lurking in the shadows
watching me – and everyone else on the streets. It was the end of
the day and John was locking up the bank. This man started to walk
inside, but John apologized. The stranger was really disappointed.
He wanted desperately to make a deposit. John agreed to let him in –
he couldn’t argue against a man wanting to put money in the bank,
But the man closed the door, then turned with a gun in his hand. He
sure did appreciate John doing this favor for him! John was just
about to find out how much the stranger did appreciate it.
As the stranger held the gun on John, John stuffed money in the bag.
“Is that all?” the bank robber asked.
“Isn’t that enough?” John asked, frustrated. “Practically the entire
cash assets of this institution!” The stranger figured it was
The robber ordered John to follow him to the door. He pulled back
the shade and looked out on the street. I was out there talking to
another man. He turned and looked at John. “Now listen to me. You’re
gonna raise up the window shade. When I’m leaving here, you’re gonna
smile and wave at me like I was an old friend you’re saying goodbye
to. Now, if you don’t do what I tell ya', I’ll put a bullet through
that window right into you.”
He ordered John to smile. He waited until John’s smile looked
genuine. The robber left the bank and climbed on his horse. I walked
up onto the boardwalk in front of the bank. I saw John smiling and
waving, but something didn’t seem quite right. I just stood there
and stared inside. Suddenly, John started making motions that the
man was holding him up. I looked down the street toward the man and
back at John. Then I hurried down the street. “You, hold it!” I
He turned and fired. He missed me, but my shot hit him and the horse
threw him. I hurried forward to see if he was alive. The man was
alive but barely. He reached for his gun. “Don’t try it,” I warned
as I kicked the gun out of the way.
We grabbed the bank’s money from the stranger’s shirt. “Who are
you?” But he passed out. I ordered some men to get him to the docs.
I took out his wallet and opened it. All he had was a pay voucher
receipt from Bar Horn Ranch outside Salinas. “Rudy…Gray.”
John couldn’t believe a loner like him tried to rob his bank. I told
John to get the money back over to the bank. Mark took the horse to
the stable. I, on the other hand, had some work to do!
I went over to the Doc's to
see how his patient was doing. He said he didn't know much yet. If
Rudy didn't hemorrhage or if he wasn't moved he might have a chance.
But he doubted it. I didn't want to leave him there but the Doc
wouldn't hear of moving him. He said that Rudy was going
to need a lot of attention; he would keep him in his back room. "If
you move him to jail or any other place, you’re gonna have a dead
man on your hands for sure," said Doc. “My job is to save lives, and
I say he stays right here! He certainly can’t get up and walk away,
Lucas.” I agreed to let him stay there but I told the Doc he was to
keep me posted. If he happened to start talking I wanted to know
I then went over to the telegraph office to telegraph the Sheriff in
Tom, the telegraph clerk in Salinas
took the message. “Foley, listen to this!” He declared after taking
the message. “Rudy Gray got himself shot down in New Mexico
territory. A place called North Fork – trying to rob another bank.”
“That darned fool,” Foley said as he took the telegraph. As Foley
read it, Tom kept talking about how they’d been looking for him up
there. He was worth $2,000.00 dead or alive. “You didn’t read this
too good,” Foley said as he studied the telegram. He read the
telegram. “It says ‘man tentatively identified as Rudy Gray caught
and shot during North Fork bank holdup. Identification places him
Bar Horn ranch your area. Gray unconscious, not expected to live.
Not expected to live. McCain, Deputy Marshal.’”
Foley pointed out that the way it read, we didn’t know who he was.
“Well, the Sheriff will sure let ‘em know when I give him that.” Tom
tried to take the telegraph from Foley, but Foley told him to go sit
down and behave himself.
Foley started assessing the situation. He figured that Gray had been
working for the Bar Ranch two weeks ago when he killed the bank
clerk trying to get off with the payroll. The Sheriff didn’t send
the Wanted posters to the Federal Marshall’s office in Denver until
three days ago. Tom decided North Fork hadn’t received the posters
yet. “It kind looks that way, don’t it?” Foley declared. “If this
McCain fella knew who Rudy was, I mean if he had a poster or
something, he wouldn’t be saying here ‘please advise.’ He’d be
yelling for his money, wouldn’t he?”
Tom started looking and discovered the Denver stage only came
through North Fork once a month. The next one was due in next
Friday. Foley started getting an idea. “Let’s see…North Fork. That’s
about…oh…a two day ride. I could be there by…Thursday at the latest.
Pick up ol’ Rudy. I could be out of that town before this McCain
even knew he was wanted.” Foley was twirling his gun as he spoke.
“Sure,” Tom said. “And then he’d get them posters on Friday. And
he’d be wiring up here after you first thing.”
But Foley had that covered to. “And you get the wire and ya' forget
to turn it over to the sheriff just the way you’re gonna forget to
turn this over to him.” He held my telegram in his hand. “And you
and I’d be gone before anybody knew the difference.”
Tom wasn’t sure about that idea. Foley tried to convince him. He
reminded Tom that the poster said “Dead or alive” and he wasn’t
expected to live. “Now, we could kinda use $1,000 a piece, now
couldn’t we?” Tom wondered if he could get away with it. He’d have
to pretend to be somebody else. “Oh yeah, that’s…that’s easy
enough.” Foley took his gun out and started twirling it again,
throwing it up in the air as he twirled. “That’s no problem.
Simplest thing in the world….I think.” He threw the gun up behind
him and caught it. “I bet you $2,000 I can do it.” He put his gun
back in his holster. “How’s that?”
I went back to doc’s to find out how Rudy was doing. Doc said he was
running a high fever. He only had a day or two to live. “Doc, you
uh…you couldn’t make that three days, could ya'?” I asked as I
walked further into the room.
I showed doc the telegram I’d just received.
“Rudy Gray, local family. Do everything possible. Brother arriving
by Thursday.” He gave me the telegram. “I don’t know, Lucas. I don’t
know.” I told him to do what he could.
Gray’s brother showed up just as I was stepping out of Micah’s
office a couple days later. "Sir?” I stopped and turned to him. “I
see you're wearing a deputies badge, would you happen to be McCain?"
I told him I was. He introduced himself as Tom Gray, Rudy's brother
from Salinas. “My uh…brother, Rudy…Where is he?” I told him he was a
doc’s office. “Is he still alive?”
“He’s still alive.”
Gray nodded. “Well, I came as fast as I could.” I warned him there
wasn’t much hope. “I’d like to see him.”
I wasted no time in taking him to doc’s office. Doc stood and shook
his hand. “I’m sorry, Mr. Gray. I did everything I could, but he
never regained consciousness.”
Gray got all choked up. “You mean he’s gone?” Doc assured him he was
alive, but barely. I opened the door and started to follow him in,
but he insisted on seeing his brother alone. Doc and I agreed and
closed the door.
Gray walked over to the bed and looked down at the dying man. He
stood over the bed looking down at the man. “I guess there’s no
sense in you and me wasting any time, is there?” Gray said as he
picked up a pillow and put it over his face. The man was dead within
We heard Gray calling for us and hurried in. Doc checked for a
pulse, then covered the dead man up with the sheet. He was dead.
Gray was upset, trying to hold his emotions under control. Doc
quickly ushered Gray out of the room. I was upset – I always hated
to see a man die – good or bad. I walked out of the room and closed
the door. I softly spoke to Gray as I stood behind him. I could wire
his family in Salinas. “No, no. Don’t do that. It’s all over, isn’t
it? Ain’t nothing more you can do to him now. He robbed your bank
and he paid for it and that’s the end of it.” I remained silent. He
turned to me. “It’s true, isn’t it?”
“I suppose so,” I answered simply.
“Well, I just wanna take him home as quietly as I can. Be a whole
lot easier on the folks. They’re kind of old and…be a lot easier on
‘em if I can do it my way instead of just sending some cold
I agreed, telling him the blacksmith would have to make a box. “And
tomorrow, you can take your brother home on the Denver stage.” I
told him it was due in the
morning and goes back through Salinas. He didn’t seem to like that
idea. “Something wrong, Mr.
“Well, no…nothin’ wrong. I just…I don’t want to take him on the
stage, that’s all. All them people shootin’ their mouths off and
being sympathetic. I don’t need that.”
“Well, nobody on the stage has
to know,” I assured him.
"Couldn't I just do it my way? Just me and him?" Foley pleaded.
“I’ll buy a wagon. There’s no law against that, is there? Havin’ a
I told him there was no law. Secretly though, I wondered about this.
It just didn’t all add up. Gray told doc he’d tend to the
undertaker, then to getting a wagon. He wanted to pay Doc’s bill,
but doc assured him there was no charge. He shook doc’s hand all
I couldn’t help watching with suspicion. He just wasn’t acting right! He
didn’t act like a grieving brother. Maybe that was the problem – he
seemed to be…acting…Even doc
could tell I was bothered about something.
As I went outside, I saw Gray walk into
the undertaker’s office next door. I tried to shake off my suspicion
as I went back across the street. Gray’s horse was just outside
Micah’s office. He was blocking my path, so I pushed him out of the
way. That’s when I noticed it – I could barely see a monograph on
the saddle. I lifted the saddle bag up to look - he had a
monogrammed saddle with the initials D. F. The last initial should
have been a G, were he really Gray’s brother. That really got me to
wondering so I headed back to the telegraph office to get in touch
with the Sheriff in Salinas again.
That night, I sat outside Micah’s office relaxing and listening. In
the distance I could hear Nils hammering as he made the coffin for
the dead outlaw.
Mark came out while I was deep in thought. "Pa...are you going to be
going to bed?"
"In a while. How's the homework?"
“Well, you better get to bed, too.”
Mark was listening to the hammering. “That hammerin’ and sawin’ Nils
is doing…When you know what it’s for, it…well, it just doesn’t sound
the same as when you’re fixin’ a fence or something like that.” Mark
had walked down to stand by the hitching post where my big feet were
"No it doesn't son! Well I'm gonna have another look around town,
I'll be back in a few minutes.
better go get your books.”
As I started out, Foley was leaving the saloon. He assumed I was out
making my rounds. “I hope all this noise isn’t disturbing
everybody.” There he goes again – being too nice!
“Well, it has to be done,” I answered.
“Yeah, I suppose it does. I was just on my way over to the
blacksmith’s to see how he’s making out.”
I walked over with him. Nils almost had it all done. Gray admired
the handy work – said his brother would be proud. Hm…there he goes
being so nice and…so unbelievable to me. Gray wondered what the cost
would be. “I don’t like to charge for…well, it’ll just be three
dollars for the material.”
“Holy gee…You folks been awful good to me,” Gray said as he took out
his money. “I’m just terribly sorry that you had to get mixed up in
it at all. Well, it’s been a long day. I’m awful tired, I don’t mind
tellin’ ya'. Tomorrow we’ll uh…Well, tomorrow will be here soon
I watched Gray leave. “Nice fella. He sure is taking it hard,” Nils
“Yeah, I guess he is,” I answered him. But he sure was playing it
up! I just couldn’t buy it.
The night was quiet and dark. I watched Gray walk into the hotel.
Then I walked over to Micah's office and locked up. I took my horse
down to the stable to bed down. Gray watched until everything was
quiet and we were all in our beds. He then made his way to the
blacksmith’s. He harnessed his horse to the wagon and quietly pulled
it down to the undertaker’s. He walked up to the door and started to
I came out of the shadows. I knew the truth. He wasn’t Gray. He was
Foley. I held my rifle up. “That’s far enough.”
Foley looked up at me. “Mr. McCain?” he said politely.
“That’s right. Take your hand away from that gun.”
Foley held his hands up. "You sure gave me a turn coming out of the
shadows that way. I was just uh...just ah...wanted to see if my
brother was alright."
I knew the truth. "You wanted to get that body out of here before
the Denver stage arrives in the morning, that's what you wanted!
“Bounty hunter? I don’t know
what you’re talking about, Mr. McCain. Rudy Gray is my brother.”
"I wired the Denver Marshal. Rudy Gray has no family! All he's got
is a price on his head!" He then shook his head. He threw the knife
he still had in his hand at me, hitting my rifle. He then quickly
drew his gun and fired. He missed me. I then shot and killed him.
The next day Mark had gone
to the telegraph office to pick up a wire. It was from the Sheriff
in Salinas. "They arrested that clerk that was workin' with Mr.
Foley," said Mark.
"Good!" I dipped my pen in the ink well and started to write.
"You have to write out another report?" Mark asked.
"Hm...that's the worst part of taking over for Micah. Every time you get a
job done you've got to write a long letter to the marshal in Denver
telling him all about it." I went back to my report. I was stuck on
a line. "When I attempted to pick up the bounty hunter.....when I
attempted to stop....." I just couldn't think of the right word to
"Apprehended...thank you Mark!" Mark smiled that smart-elecky smile
of his then walked out the door. I just shook my head at him.
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.
Jack Hogan appeared in The Man from Salinas as Rudy Gray. He's the guy who persuaded John Hamilton
(owner of the bank) to stay open for one more transaction, he wanted to rob the bank.
He also played Joe Carson in Stranger at Night as the man
accused of killing the cowboy with the initials R. M.
Ralph Moody appeared in a total of twelve
episodes of The Rifleman beating John Anderson and John Milford out at
eleven episodes. He appeared in nine episodes as Doc Burrage and in three other
episodes. The Visitors as Jonathan Dodd — The Spoiler as Roy
Merrick and The Hangman as Eban Muchen.
Doc Burrage: Six Years and a Day
― The Actress ―
Dark Day at North Fork ―
The Mescalero Curse ―
Man from Salinas ―
Quiet Night, Deadly Night
― Mark's Rifle ―
Requiem at Mission
Doc Burrage was a regular character ~ how many different actors played Doc Burrage?
Can you name them?
Joe Higgins played Nils
Swenson. Is it Nils or is it Nels/Niles? What is his last name.....Swenson/Svenson
Blacksmith? Joe Higgins holds the record for playing Nils or was it
Niles or Nels? There were four episodes that Joe did not play Nils or was
it Niles or Nels?
played the bartender in Strange Town — Rafe the blacksmith in The Wyoming
Story part 2 — Short Rope for a Tall Man as Henry Schneider the
horse thief — Stopover as
Scotty the Stagecoach Driver.
Stopover was the only episode to run one day over
Harlan Warde appeared in eighteen
episodes as John Maysfield Hamilton, President of the North Fork
Bank. He was first introduced in The Safe Guard. In
this episode North Fork's Bank was first established and John
Hamilton was new to North Fork.
played Tom, Salinas'
Lucas worn the deputies badge on his right side of his shirt in both
of these episodes - The Man from Salinas and in
In Gun Fire.....he picked up the badge and pinned it on the
right side of my shirt. "You’re suppose to wear that over your
heart," said Micah. "I've got a big heart Micah."
*Pretty fancy gun twirling done by Robert Culp
in the Telegraph Office. Some one told me they met Robert Culp and
he told them that this was really him doing the gun twirling in this
directed Tinhorn ― Jealous Man ― Day of Reckoning
― The 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 Rifleman ― 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.
Did you know that Lawrence Dobkin played General Phil Sheridan in both
The Rifleman and 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.
Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
Character Actors Index
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