"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
I certainly don’t know what I’m going to do with that boy of mine!
The way he grows…So, while he
was in school, it was back to town to buy him more shirts! But boy
oh boy, if I didn’t find myself in a mess for the next twenty-four
While I was riding into town, there was some trouble that was
beginning to brew up the street at the saloon. A confederate
Corporal and Major had rode into town. Corporal Troc walked into the
saloon and ordered Sweeney to give him a bottle of whisky. Then he
picked the bottle and glass up and hurried out the door. Sweeny
chased after him, wanting his dollar. The Major asked Sweeny to put
the tab on his bill, but Sweeny didn’t have an account for these two
soldiers, nor did he intend to. He went to get Micah.
That’s where I come in. I rode into town and walked into the General
Store for my boy’s shirts. The two confederate soldiers recognized
me. “Lieutenant Lucas McCain. Eighth Indiana. Union Army,” Troc
“Imagine seeing him after fifteen years,” King stated. “We’re in
luck, Corporal. We’re in luck!” You’ve probably guessed by now that
their luck meant my misfortune…
In the General Store, I examined a shirt for Mark. "Lucas, that
shirt is going to be much to big for Mark," Milly declared.
“The way that boy's growing Milly, it will be to small for him in
three months," I declared. Boy, but he’s growing up so fast! Milly
didn’t say anything, but simply shook her head and wrote it down.
Just then, a man came into the store and straight up to me.
"I'm Lucas McCain," I nodded.
"Majors compliments sir. He'd like you to join him outside at your
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Corporal Troc, aide to Major King sir, at your service."
I looked over his shoulder, out into the street. There stood a man
with a Major's Confederate uniform on. I didn’t recognize him.
"Well, you can tell the Major if he wants to see me to come on in
"That's impossible sir," Troc stated.
"Why?" I asked.
"You wouldn't be expected to know why…would you?" I turned and
looked at Milly. Then I turned back and told Troc I had no idea what
he was talking about. "Shall I tell him you'll be out sir?"
"Yes,” I answered, returning to my task at hand. “You can tell him
I'll be out...when I'm through in here."
"Thank you sir." He stomped his foot, then walked out of the store
and went over to the Major.
"Who in the world are they?" Milly wondered as she watched him
"Search me," I answered.
"Well, he certainly acted as if he knew you. I mean he called you
Lieutent," Milly pointed out.
"Well I use to be a Lieutent, Milly.” Suddenly, I thought about the
name. “King.” I thought for a minute. Then I turned to Milly. “He
said Major King, didn’t he?” Milly nodded. I looked out toward the
street. “You know, that name is familiar.”
Troc told King that I didn’t remember him. “Really?” King was
surprised. “That’s odd. We remember him very well. Don’t we,
Just then, Sweeny came back across the street with Micah. Micah
asked the Major to explain what was going on. "Not mister,” he
answered harshly. “I'm Major Aaron King, 12th cavalry, better know
as King's Hazah."
"Is that so," Micah asked. "Well then, surely the Major has a dollar
for the whiskey." But King argued, stating he wanted it put on his
bill. That’s when I walked up.
"Sweeney!" I called when I heard what was going on. "Charge the
bottle to me." I looked at the Major. “The Major is an old
acquaintance of mine.”
The Major thanked me. Micah asked how long we have been friends. I
told Micah we weren't exactly friends. "Hardly! But if we had met
under different circumstances we might have been...hey Lieutenant?"
I nodded as we continued looking at each other. "I'd like to think
that Major," I answered.
King turned to Troc, reminding him that he’d told King I didn’t
remember him. I jumped right in. “Well, at first I didn’t, Major.
“Fifteen years,” King interrupted me.
Micah realized we knew
each other in the war. “Siege of For Donelson,” I explained.
But the Major was quick to correct me. “The Battle of Fort Donelson."
I nodded and kindly agreed wit him.
I began explaining to Micah that I was Lieutent then with the 8th
Indiana. You could tell the Major still held some kind of grudge.
Even after fifteen years. I was on the winning side and Troc was
very upset about that. “If we had reinforcements, we would’ve licked
them!” Troc declared angrily.
I kept my cool. “Maybe so.”
King turned to him. “The fortunes of war, Corporal,” he reminded
him. “How many times do I have to remind you of that?”
“Lieutenant McCain was my captor, Corporal.”
I corrected him. “It was my platoon, Major, not me alone.”
Troc angrily spit out, “You were in charge, sir. That made you
I reminded Troc that he was following the same orders I was. “Defeat
Major apologized for his aid. “He finds it hard to blame only
circumstance for what happened afterward. "You see, we were sent to
Donnerton." I turned my head to look at Micah. "And after two and a
half years in prison Corporal Troc and I were all that remained of
the 12th Calvary,"
"I'm sorry Major, I didn't know," I answered.
My apology upset Troc "You didn't know? You didn't know, huh?" He
The Major stopped him. "Again the fortunes of war - south at
Andersonville, north at Donnerton. Both blights on the face of
humanity," He offered me a drink. I told him I didn't think the
middle of the street was the proper place to have a drink. I
suggested going into the saloon. He got upset with that. “No!” he
shouted. “In the mind, it’s a small place. Not enough room to move
around in there. I don’t like being crowded in.” He looked like just
the thought of going inside a building scare him to death. I studied
him, trying to figure it all out. Now it was Troc's turn to calm the
Major down. They mounted up and rode out of town to camp.
Micah asked me what I thought of them. “I don’t know what to make of
it, Micah,” I answered honestly. “I’ve never seen anything like
those two. War...imprisonment...they can do odd things to a man.”
Micah reminded me that the war has been over for a long time. I
nodded as I watched them ride out of town. “You heard what he said,
Micah. Donnerton Prison. Some say that it was worth then
Troc and King rode out into the wilderness. They found a nice, wide
open place to camp. That made the Major suddenly feel comfortable
again. “Everything big…quiet…free…Nothing to close in.” The Major
looked around. He found a stone floor. “Remember when we had a stone
floor?” he asked. “We knew we couldn’t dig cause it was stone. The
walls were strong. The windows were none…It was a tomb, Corporal!”
He suddenly became upset and hit the rock with his fist. “We were
living in a tomb!”
Troc grabbed his arm to calm him down. Troc said all King needed was
a drink and a good night’s rest. King leaned against the rock and
suddenly felt afraid again. “We’ll drink to the past. The past that
still lives in the soul of Lieutenant Lucas McCain, eighth Indiana!”
The next morning, I was hard at work as usual. I had lots of wood to
cut and was trying to get Mark off to school. Mark hurried out the
door, books in hand. He handed me a kerchief. “If you wait till I
get home from school, I’ll help you with the rest of the wood,” Mark
“This won’t take long,” I assured him as I wiped the sweat off my
face. “Besides, I want you to stop by Milly’s on the way home from
school.” He wondered why. As I continued wiping my face, I
explained, “I bought you three new shirts yesterday. She wants to
take some tucks in for you. They’ll a little big.”
“Well, didn’t she have any in my size?” Mark asked.
“Oh, these will fee you,” I promised him. With a grin, I added
“About six months from now.”
Boy, you should have seen the look Mark gave me! He sure didn’t
appreciate me trying to conserve money by making him wear bigger
clothes! “Six-“ he started. I turned and grinned at him. “Oh, Pa,”
Mark declared as he hurried off toward his horse. I went back to my
chore, but stopped to watch Mark ride off. That boy!
I had a pretty good pile of wood before long. Suddenly, I heard
“Nice big pile of wood, Lieutenant.”
I turned to see Troc pointing a gun at me.
I turned back around and straightened up. He ordered me not to try
anything. “What’s that gun for?” I asked.
“The Major’s orders, Lieutenant.”
“The Major’s-“ I started.
Suddenly, Troc called out to the Major. King stepped around the side
of the barn. “Good work, Corporal. Corporal Troc is most reliable.”
King held his gun on me. “Corporal, search the barn find what you
need. They’ll be food in the house.”
He told me to turn around. He wanted my back to him. "What is it you
want Major?" I asked.
"You, Lieutent McCain, you. And I won't hesitate to kill you if the
need arises, although I don't want to yet."
I didn’t understand. "You'd kill me? Why?" I asked.
"Once I stood under your gun - a helpless prisoner - as you stand
now...and for that I and Corporal Troc spent two and a half years in
the hell that was Donnerton prison," he explained.
"Look Major, that was fifteen years ago. We were at war. That's over
now - ended!"
“There will be no end to the war, Lieutenant, as long as men like
you and I oppose one another,” King stated. I told him I don’t
oppose anybody. “As long as the memory of Donnerton remains, you
oppose me,” he argued.
I tried to talk sense to him again. “But Major, I had nothing to do
with you being in that prison!” He stated he was capturing me now.
“Your out of your mind!” I sneered at him.
Suddenly, he hit me over the head with the butt of his gun. I fell
to the ground. “How dare you speak to your superior officer like
When I came to, I found myself against the well in my yard. I was
gagged and shackled. They had a rope tied to my shackles. I shook my
head. I could hardly believe this was happening! “You shouldn’t have
talked to the Major that way, Lieutenant,” Troc stated as he tied
the rope to his horse. “Next time, he’ll use that gun to kill you
Troc ordered me on my feet as he started the horses forward. I had
no choice but to stand up as they started the horses on their way. I
held the rope and tried to walk as fast as my shackled feet would
allow me to.
They took me outside of town. I was hot, sweaty, and tired by the
time we got to their camp. They stopped me right in front of a cage
not much bigger then me. It looked like a cage. Troc came up to me.
I tried to say something, but he pointed the gun up towards my
throat. “You’ll be resting a long, long, time!” He promised me.
I knew what they were planning on doing, and I desperately continued
trying to speak. King stood by the cage, telling me how proud he was
of how the cage turned out. He and Troc had designed it themselves.
“Of course, it isn’t as spacious as our quarters in Donnerton
Prison…But it’s only required to hold one man.”
I couldn’t believe this! I just stared at him and again tried to
speak. Troc finally took the gag off of me. “You intend to put me in
that thing?” I asked angrily.
“I not only intend on putting
you in there,” he answered me. “I intend on keeping you there – for
2 ½ years!” I told the Major that I wouldn’t last a week in there!
“We won’t leave you, will we, Corporal?”
Troc just stared at me. “No sir. Not for one minute! “
I stared at the Major. He really had gone loco! “Wouldn’t be proper
to leave a prisoner. Also, I’m gonna observe your reaction. Besides,
we don’t got no where to go. What could be better? We have open sky.
We have fresh air. This will be our home.”
“Your mad!” I declared angrily. “The both of you are mad!” I started
toward the Major. “Major, that thing is…a cage!” He hit me. I fell
to the ground on my knees. The major ordered Troc to release my
I gasped for air as Troc got right in my face. “Listen to me,
Lieutenant! You’re gonna crawl in there! You’re gonna crawl on your
hands and knees like we did at Donnerton. And you’re gonna start
crawling right now or I’m gonna blow your brains out!” Troc ordered,
yelling at me. “You hear me? Now, you crawl!” He pushed me toward
the cage. I tried to crawl in there, but my strength was spent. Troc
had to help me. “Crawl in there like the animal you are,” he
As they locked me in there, I looked around. Fear filled my eyes as
I realized I was locked up into this tiny space. I had no idea how I
was ever going to get myself out of this mess!
Unfortunately, Mark didn’t arrive home from school until way past
dark. He rushed inside the open door. "Pa, I'm home. Sorry I'm late
but Mr. Griswald-" Mark stopped when he realized the house was dark.
“Pa?” he called, looking around the house. The house was in
shambles. The Major and Troc had indeed done a thorough job on
robbing my house! Mark laid his books on the table and stared into
the living room. “Pa,” he said in a worried voice. Then he hurried
out the door, jumped on Blueboy and raced to town to find Micah.
The Major and Troc had steak for supper. They left me have the bone
with fat on it. Troc poured the coffee grounds over it before giving
it to me. “He ain’t gonna like this,” Troc declared. “At least, not
at first he ain’t.” Of course, it had taken them awhile to get used
to the food at Donnerton as well.
Troc walked over to the cage and told me he had dinner for me. He
kept the gun on me. He opened a compartment at the top and threw the
cut-up meat into the dirt at my feet. “Hope you don’t mind eating
off the ground. Wouldn’t do for you to see a tin plate. We never did
have tin plates at Donnerton.” He laughed. “We didn’t have any
plates at all.”
I looked at the food. I picked a piece up and stared at it.
Disgusting! I quickly threw it down. But when I glanced down again,
I saw a bone – a sharp T-Bone! I ripped the meat off of it and threw
it down in the dirt. Then I lifted my head to make sure they weren’t
watching. I began sharpening the bone on the rocks. If I was going
to get out of here, I’d need a weapon.
As I sharpened it, I kept my eyes on my captors. I didn’t want them
to discover my plan! I worked long and hard to get that knife really
Suddenly, the Major softly walked up to the cage. “You asleep,
Lieutenant,” he asked.
“What is it?” I asked angrily.
“I thought I’d talk to you,” he answered. “Keep up your morale. At
Donnerton, the guards used to talk to us quite often.”
I had the knife sharp enough. If I could get him to come a little
closer, I could use it on him and try to get away. “I can’t hear
what you’re saying,” I said loudly.”
“You want me to come closer?” the Major asked. “I’m quite close
I looked over to see where Troc was. I had to plan my escape out
carefully. “What’s the matter, Major? You afraid?”
“Of you? Hardly!”
“Well, I can’t hear what you’re saying. You’re gonna have to
come closer!” I insisted.
The Major suddenly grew angry. He lunged at the cage and kicked it.
"I will not come any closer, and you can't make me! This is your
prison.....you hear me!" "This is not mine.....this is your prison!"
"I don't belong in there.....!"
Troc came over to calm him down. He told him to go lie down and look
up at the stars.
I watched them walk away then picked up my man-made knife. I looked
at it. Since I had the time, I decided to work on making it a lot
sharper. Angrily, I went back to work.
The next morning, I was busy trying to plan my escape. I tried to
position myself in a way that I would be able to kick the gate to
the cage. I couldn’t find a position that would work. I laid back,
frustrated, the knife in my teeth. Suddenly, I looked up. Maybe…just
maybe…I grabbed hold of the boards on the ceiling and positioned
myself. Then I lifted myself from the ground and began swinging back
and fourth. I gave the door a hard kick. I didn’t’ mind them hearing
my testing it out. I’d had enough of this cage and was ready to
attempt my escape.
Troc heard the noise. “What’s the matter, Lieutenant? Getting
restless already?” Troc asked, not moving from his seat by the fire.
“You better stop moving around so much. You’ll wear yourself out!
“I hear ya'!” I answered.
Troc stood and brought my breakfast over to me – salt pork and bread
drippings. He removed the rod from the door so he could put the food
It was now or never! I lifted myself from the ground and gave the
door a hard shove. The shove knocked Troc to the ground. I leapt out
and stabbed him dead with the knife. The Major started towards me. I
grabbed Troc’s gun, turned, and shot the Major. This was all
carefully planned out – it was over in only a couple seconds!
The Major dropped to his knees. "You had no right to escape.....you
were my prisoner." The Major fell to the ground. He was dead.
They were both dead. I grabbed the key to the chains bound around my
feet and unlocked them. I was free.
As soon as I got home, Mark fixed me something to eat. I sure needed
it! As Mark brought the coffee over to me and poured it, he yawned.
“You better get to bed, son. Riding with Micah all night must have
tuckered you out!”
"No Pa, I'm not tired,”
Mark argued. "You’re the one who needs the rest! Must have been
pretty bad, huh?"
"Yeah,” I answered with a sigh. “It was worse for them, Mark...being
like that fifteen years later."
Micah came in with the Major's things. He slapped the saddle bags on
the table and asked me how I was feeling. “I tell ya', I’m glad I’m
here!” I retorted.
While we were talking, Mark picked up a confederate flag. "You
always told me a flag was a symbol of courage Pa. What right did
they have to carry this?"
"It was their flag Mark," Micah explained.
"Yeah, but...look at the type of people they were...what they did to
Pa!" Mark was very protective of me. He didn’t like it when others
mistreated me. I reckon we both have that in common!
"You can't rightly blame them son,” I explained gently. “Donnerton
Prison was responsible for that." I took the flag from him. "This
flag stands for the bravery of all the men who fought and died under
it. The men who fought against it. Only to prove in the end that
victor and loser were one and the same-free men in a free country."
piddlin' stuff.....John Dehner
appeared in four episodes ― The Money Gun as Tom King a hired gun
The Blowout as Al Walker a gunslinger ― The Baby Sitter
as Wood Bartell, a self-righteous, bigoted father.
(He was Fancy's Father) ― The Prisoner ― as Major Aaron King, a ex-Confederate
officer who seeks revenge on Lucas.
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 Ganaway,
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
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.
Bill Quinn appeared in thirty-eight episodes as Sweeney the owner/bartender of The North Fork Saloon.
Sweeney was first introduced to The Rifleman in The Marshal.
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
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
Joe E. Benson appeared in The
Rifleman many times, probably more times than listed. Sometimes
credited & sometimes not.
*Please note: In Dark Day at North Fork
he appeared as two different characters - as one of the townsmen &
Joe was a good friend & a neighbor of Chuck's. He helped Chuck build
a tree house for the boys and also help build the addition onto the
house which was later called the den. (One of the several
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
Character Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?
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