"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
Quiet Night, Deadly Night
As I told you before, we have a feisty new Irish red head in town. She’s
mighty pretty, and I think we’ll end up really good friends, but boy is
she a mean one when she gets riled! There’s been several times I’ve
experienced just how mean she could be – and today was no exception!
Even though we were doing nothing wrong…well, you see…Mark, Micah and I
were merely standing outside Micah’s office when Lou walked by. We were
just minding our own business, mind ya'. But when Lou walked by, Micah
just HAD to say hello!
That alone was enough to set her off! She turned and glared at us. Then
she said, “There’s nothing good about this afternoon, Marshal.” Then she
looked straight at me! “And I’m beginning to believe there’s little good
about this town either…or the people in it.”
I just looked at Micah and said, “Those are pretty strong words!”
“And well they should be, cowboy!” Lou declared. She turned and looked
towards the hotel. “I’ve never seen the likes of it! I’ve been working
my fingers to the bone for over a week trying to get it to open, and do
you think that I can get anybody in this town to help me? I cannot!
They’re all too busy!”
Micah sure didn’t help matters any when he said, “Well, now that folks
know the railroad’s coming through, they probably got their own plans to
“Oh, I’m sure they do. And if that was the real reason, I’d have no
quarrel with them at all!”
Then she looked straight at me again! What did I do! I wasn’t the one
that told her it was a good day! “Just what do you think is the REAL
Boy now, that got her even more riled! “You know perfectly well-“ She
stopped. “It’s because I knew about the railroad and took advantage of
my information!” Then I reminded her of all the things she bought at
bargain prices. “That was business! I certainly wasn’t going to wait for
the prices to go up!”
“True,” I agreed. “But most people still think you tricked them. That
can happen in a small town. You’re gonna just have to give them time to
uh…get over it.” Micah told her she shouldn’t be angry.
She said is was “they” who were angry. “And as for time, I haven’t got.”
Again, she directed this statement right at me. “Every minute that hotel
is closed, I’m loosing money! And with my girls coming in, I gotta-“
Micah interrupted her. “Did you say…girls?” She did! They would be in on
the Denver stage this afternoon!
“In the hotel?” I was shocked!
“Well, you don’t expect me to run the whole place by myself…or do
She turned and stomped off.
“Girls?” Micah asked.
“Girls,” I answered.
Mark’s mind was whirling. “Girls,” he breathed.
Well, we decided to hang out in town until the stagecoach arrived. I
reckon we were all curious about Lou’s “girls.” Mark sure was! The
minute he saw the stagecoach coming, he came running into Micah’s office
and told us it was here. Then he hurried over to the hotel to tell Lou
it was coming.
As soon as the stage stopped, the driver told Micah to get Dr. Burrage.
“I’ll get him,” Mark said. The driver announced that they had a really
When the driver opened the door, Betty said, “Miss Lou, I’m real sick!”
She asked Molly what was wrong with her, but she didn’t know.
“She’s sick, that’s what’s wrong with her,” the male stranger answered.
I stood back watching as the ladies started to get off the stage.
Suddenly, Betty went limp on Lou. She asked me to help and I carried her
into the hotel. After all the commotion and as the people started to go
on their way, Micah noticed a familiar looking stranger get off of the
stage right behind the ladies. He looked at Micah, then walked into the
hotel and Micah went to his office to check out the wanted posters.
When Dr. Burrage got to the hotel,
he told Mark to wait outside. Then he
hurried into the hotel. Betty had a fever, but the doctor didn’t know
what was wrong with her yet. Molly told us that Betty must have had the
fever when they left Denver, she knew when they left she wasn't feeling
very well. That would make it about two days that she already had the
Dr. Burrage suddenly noticed the crowed gathered at the doors of the
hotel. He ordered them to get away. The driver asked Mark to help him
with the bags, but Dr. Burrage stopped him. “Mark! Don’t touch that
“Ha?” Mark was surprised!
“You do as I tell you!” Dr. Burrage ordered the rest of the people to
leave. There was nothing there to interest them. Then he told the driver
to take the stagecoach and the baggage outside town. Everyone was
confused. We didn’t understand what was going on!
“And Mark, you get Micah and tell him I want to talk to him outside.”
Mark nodded, but he didn’t move. The stranger suddenly wanted to know
what was wrong with the woman. “Well, I ain’t sure. Two days now. High
fever and aching and…the way she looks. If the fever breaks, we’ll know.
If it don’t break…well, we’ll know anyhow.
"Spell it out!" The stranger ordered.
"Smallpox.” When I heard that word, fear came over me. You’ll soon find
out that this hit very close to home! Fear gripped me! Of all the
diseases in the world, this just HAS to be the worst possible thing we
could have been hit with!
I rushed toward the door. "Mark!” I suddenly shouted. “You heard the
Doc! You get Micah and you stay out of here!" Mark just stood there. I
could see the worried look on his face. The last thing we wanted to do
was leave me there. He couldn’t go through that again! "Go on Mark," I
said more gently.
He knew he had no choice. "Yes sir," he obeyed me. He then ran over to
Lou asked the Doc if there was any chance he could be wrong. He said he
could be, but she was showing all the signs of smallpox and didn't want
to take any chances with the town. "The town...what about us? We were on
the stage with her, all of us in here. We touched her!" The stranger
declared. The Doc told us he was quarantining the hotel and nobody was
allowed in or out with no exceptions. "You mean...maybe we got it right
now?" Asked the stranger. Doc said if we didn't have it before there was
a chance we could get it now and that you couldn't get it a second time.
I asked the Doc about himself, he said he didn’t have to worry.
The stranger held up his hands. “You don’t have to worry?”
Micah was going through his wanted posters when Mark ran into his
office. "Micah...Doc Burrage wants to see ya'!" Micah kept going through
the poster. "Micah!"
"What's wrong?" Asked Micah. Mark told Micah about the smallpox. He was
surprised. Mark told him that the Doc didn't want anybody inside of the
hotel and that Micah was to come to the hotel and wait outside until he
came out. "What about the others, your father?"
"I guess they're have to stay there," said Mark. Just them Mark noticed
the poster Micah was holding, it was a poster of the man who was on the
stage. Micah went over and took his shotgun out of the gun rack and
headed for the hotel.
The Doc told Lou to take her onto a cot in the dining room. She needed
plenty of blankets because she was chilling.
The stranger was getting nervous. He didn't want to be anywhere near the
girl with this illness. He slowly started for the door. Doc saw him and
asked him what he was doing. “I don’t want to be anywhere near her!”
“But we’re all quarantined!” Lou told him.
"You can stay here if you want lady. Do whatever the Doc say. Me...I'm
takin' my chances some place else," said the stranger.
"You'll take your chances with the rest of us!" I said.
He drew his gun on us. "Nobody gives me orders! Nobody!" He then cocked
the hammer of his gun.
Doc spoke up then. "My friend...you've been exposed to smallpox. If
you've never had it your chances of getting it are very good! Would you
like me to describe what it's like, it ain't a pretty picture, not
pretty at all!"
"I'm not staying here and make sure I get it!" The stranger declared.
He then opened the door to the hotel and was about to start out when
Micah approached him with his shotgun. "Don't move! I said don't move!
Now raise your hands! Take his gun Lucas!" I walked up to him and took
his gun away from him. "Alright Coyle, turn around," said Micah.
He was surprised
Micah knew his name. He’d dropped out of sight for
awhile. “Lucas, this here’s Lee Coyle. He’s wanted back in Kansas. Two
murder charges.” Micah ordered him out.
But Doc argued with Micah about that. He was under quarantine. Lou
argued with the Doc as well. Coyle thought it was funny. He thought we
had ourselves a little problem. “Nothing we can’t handle, Mister!”
Doc told Micah we might have a chance. “There’s a new serum they get
from cows. If we can get some, it’ll help us.” He went on to tell Micah
that we'd have to find a town that had a case of cowpox since the serum
is made out of the blood that they get from the infected cows. Micah
told the Doc he would send out wires to every town, every town within a
“Lucas, watch Coyle. I’ll have men posted outside in case he tries
I ordered Coyle to go sit in a chair. Then I started to close the door.
But then I saw Mark standing there. My boy…”Hell, son. You stay out
there.” Mark backed up. “You think you can handle the chores at the
ranch, son?” I asked as I kept my eyes on Coyle. “…until we get things
straightened out here.”
“Well sure…I reckon, but…but Pa, if it’s all the same to you, I’ll see
if maybe I can bunk in the night with Nils. I mean, I’d be right up the
street and…” I told Mark that would be alright. Maybe he could take him
up on a game of checkers. He was two up on Mark now.
“Well, you keep your mind on the game. With a little luck, you might
beat him.” Mark couldn’t say anything. There were too many thoughts
there. “You run on along now, son.”
“Alright.” Mark turned, but he couldn’t leave. He was so very worried.
“Uh Pa?” I turned and looked at my boy again. “I hope everything turns
“I’m sure…” I started. But we remembered another time when it didn’t. I
couldn’t be sure it would. And I wouldn’t tell him it would. "I hope it
does too son." He turned and walked away and I closed the door to the
As I closed the door, Coyle stood up. He laughed at me. Then he turned
and looked at the crates of whiskey. He thought he’d have himself a
drink. “Stay where you are, Coyle!” I ordered. But he knew I couldn’t
shoot him. Anyway, what did he have to loose?” He said either he was
going to die from the disease, I was going to shoot him, or he was going
to hang. He had nothing to loose. He took a bottle of whisky out of the
Then Lou came in. You know Lou…”You drink that whiskey, mister, you pay
for it!” He then threw a coin right at her face. I caught it before it
could hit Lou.
The Doc, Lou and Molly started moving Betty to the other room. I got
distracted when they almost dropped her. When I turned to help them,
Coyle called out to me. As soon as I turned around, he threw his drink
in my face. Then he took the pistol from me and knocked me out.
Coyle just stood there laughing. “Well, that’s a lot more like it!” He
told the others to pull down the shades and lock the door. Doc wanted to
take care of the girl, but Coyle wanted to think. When he checked
outside he could see Micah and several men guarding the place.
After investigating the street, he gave Doc permission to take care of
the girl. I started coming around and Doc bent down to check on me.
Coyle ordered him to leave me alone. Coyle ordered me to sit down in a
chair. Doc helped me get there. My head was still aching!
Meanwhile, Mark was having a really hard time with this. It brought back
so many memories – memories he had buried deep inside him. He waited at
the Blacksmith’s for Nils to get there. Nils was surprised to find him
there. Nils had just taken out his whisky bottle when he saw him. Mark
asked Nils if he could bunk with him that night. Nils said yes. “You
hear about it?” Mark asked then.
“About what?” Nils asked then. “Oh, you mean the smallpox. Yeah I heard
about it first thing I got in town.” Not thinking, he started to offer
Mark a drink. But he changed his offer to a drink of water. They decided
to play a game of checkers. “But if you’re gonna even up the score,
you’ve got to concentrate. You can’t go thinking on anything else, now!”
Mark thought on me over at the hotel. Mark suddenly had to check to see
how I was doing. He told Nils he’d be right back.
I asked Coyle if he’d figured a way out of here. He said he’d wait until
after dark. Then he could take the marshal and deputy and escape. “Then
what do you do? Just keep running until you drop dead in your tracks?”
Doc asked. Coyle didn’t like that. I reminded Coyle that a gun was
nothing against small pox. Doc and I played on his fear of the disease.
We tried convincing him that he was going to get the disease. The only
way for him to walk out was if that serum got here in time.
Just then Lou came through the room with an arm full of clothes. Coyle
knocked the clothes out of Lou's hands and grabs her. He ordered Doc to
the door to see if Micah had heard anything. “You try to tip him off –
or do anything else – and you got yourself another patient!” He had the
gun right in Lou’s face.
“Doc, aren’t those clothes supposed to be burned?” I asked then. Doc
said they were.
“And Miss. Mallory, be sure to give your hands a good washing.” Coyle
wondered why she had to do that. “Because, those clothes are
I watched Coyle as I asked, “Isn’t it a little late for that kind of
“Never too late. Every little bit helps.”
That got him away from Lou and really spooked him. We’d all touched
those close at one point! “How come now you tell us to wash our hands?
How come now you tell us?” he screamed. Doc said he wasn’t given the
chance. He threatened to kill all of us if we pushed him too far. He was
Coyle sent Doc to the door to check on the serum. Micah hadn’t heard
anything yet. Nils told him there was some cowpox near here, so we had
reason to hope. As Micah was talking, Mark ran up to stand beside him.
“Is Pa alright?”
“He’s fine, Mark,” Doc answered.
That wasn’t good enough for Mark. He wanted to see for himself. “Can I
talk to him?”
“Well…He’s busy. Maybe later,” Doc answered.
Micah asked if he was having any trouble. Doc assured him everything was
fine. Coyle knew Doc had tried to tip off the Marshal.
The Doc went to tend to Betty and Molly went to make some broth. Coyle
told her to hold it. “I won’t try to run. If I go out after being in
here, I’d be a killer just like you!” Molly declared.
That left Lou, Coyle and me in the lobby of the hotel. He ordered Lou to
sit down, but she refused. “I guess you should expect this sort of thing
when you run a hotel. I hope the people of North Fork will understand.”
“Understand?” I asked.
Coyle didn’t like us talking. He again told Lou to sit down. She again
“Somehow I feel like this is all my fault. I’m sure they think so too.”
She just looked at me as she talked.
“How can you blame yourself for this?” I asked her.
Coyle turned to Lou. “Listen to me!” But he was ignored.
“It’s not because I brought Betty here to work. Only a child would blame
me because Betty came down with the smallpox. It’s the way I’ve acted
since I’ve been here. I know what my attitude was. You once said I have
a chip on my shoulder.” I opened my mouth to argue, but she didn’t let
me. “Well, you were right. My Dearly departed father always said if you
ask for your comeuppance, you’ll get it. Well…this is mine. For someone
who…really wants friends and doesn’t know what to do about it…I guess I
take first prize.
Coyle started yelling at Lou again. But suddenly, Doc called to her. He
needed her help. “What’s that mean?” Coyle wanted to know.
“It could mean anything,” Doc answered. “It could mean we should know
soon.” He turned to Lou. “She’s pouring sweat. Take those blankets off
and put some fresh ones on.”
As they left, Coyle started wiping his gun with a cloth. I started
laughing at him. “What are you laughing at?”
"I was just thinkin'...this is probably the first time in your life
you ever ran up against something you couldn't shoot at and kill." He
told me to shut up.
Mark couldn't concentrate on his and Nils checker game. Nils told Mark
not to worry, that he had seen me in tougher situations then this.
“Besides, smallpox ain’t sure death.” Mark shot his head up and stared
Mark didn’t have any interest in playing. “Have you ever seen smallpox,
Nils nodded. “Yeah…I’ve seen it, boy. It’s uh…” He couldn’t’ finish. He
again told Mark to concentrate on the game. But Mark was thinking back
to a long time ago – another life…another town…”I saw it once back in
Oklahoma. I was only six, but…but I remember the sight like it was
yesterday.” That’s why this was so hard for him – he watched his own
mother die from this horrid disease. Mark had to do something. He left
for the telegraph office to see if there was any news on the serum yet.
Lou sat with Dr. Burrage as he examined her. She was breathing better
and her fever was down. Doc told her he was sure about what it was. “Are
you positive?” she asked.
“Of course I’m positive!” Doc declared. He showed her the spots.
When molly brought in a tray of food, Coyle ordered her to come to him.
He asked her to have a drink with him. She didn’t want to. I couldn’t
see him doing this. I stood up to make a move towards him. He cocked his
gun and pointed it at me. "Don't try!"
Just then, Lou came out from the dining room. "Why shouldn't he try it?
We're all going to be dead anyway!"
Coyle turned to her. "What do you mean?"
"The fever’s broke...these are the blankets off of her bed...she soaked
them through. When we took them off we saw it! She's breakin' out...you
know what that means? There's nothing anyone can do now it's too late!
It's too late even if the serum gets here!" She took tiny steps toward
him as she spoke.
"What are you saying?" Coyle yelled.
She took another step toward him. "Didn't you hear me? She’s breaking
out! There's nothing anyone can do now .unless.....we might have a
chance…we might have a chance if we burn these blankets! Here Mr. Coyle
you do it!" she yelled. Then she threw the blankets at him. They landed
on top of his head.
I lunged forward and threw him to the floor. But he held firmly to the
gun. We struggled with it. I tried taking the gun from him. He pointed
the gun right in my face, but I suddenly shoved his hand back and threw
him to the floor. When I did, the gun went off. Coyle lay dead on the
floor. It was finally over.
Hearing the gunshot, Micah started banging on the door. Doc ran to open
it. “What’s going on in there?” Micah asked.
Before we could say anything, Mark ran up to Micah and showed him a
telegram he’d just gotten. They were sending the serum. Mark turned and
saw Coyle laying dead on the floor. “What happened?”
Doc stepped forward. “You go on in and ask your father!”
I couldn’t believe it! “Hold it, Mark!” I ordered. “What's the matter
with you Doc?" I asked.
"Nothing to you to worry about. Mark has had the measles.” Mark stared
at Micah in surprise. Then he looked at me. I turned and looked at Lou
who had a big smirk on her face. “I've made mistakes before.
Measles…chickenpox…smallpox..the symptoms are all the same. You just
have to wait."
I walked up to Lou. "Measles huh?"
She gave me this innocent look. "Well…I had to think of something.” She
looked up at me and smiled. I just stared at her. She was something
The next day, Micah, Mark and I were standing outside the hitching post
again. We saw Lou walking from the General Store with an armload of
packages. The men tipped their hats at her as she passed. Mark and I
greeted her. This time, I said good morning.
You know Lou…”There’s nothing good about this morning, Lucas McCain!”
she declared. Oh no, here we go again! “I’ve never seen the likes of it!
“The likes of what?” I asked as I took her packages.
“That!” She pointed at the hotel. This time, there were lots of people
working. “They haven’t give me a minutes peace!” She turned and glared
at me. “It seems like everyone in town showed up to go to work this
morning! I’ve been running all morning buying supplies…food for the
“Is there anything we can do to help?” Micah asked.
Lou held up a hand. “No thank you! I have all the help I can use!” I
told her Micah was just being friendly. “That’s just the trouble.
Yesterday I didn’t have any friends. Today, I’ve got too many!” She took
the packages from me and walked toward the hotel. But then she turned
around. “But you know something?” She smiled. “I like it this way
Mark sighed. “Women!” he declared. Micah and I turned and looked at him
in shock. He decided to add to that to save his hide. “But what would
you do without them?” Then he smiled.
I turned and looked at Micah. Micah laughed while I shook my head in
disbelief! You never know what’s going to pop out of that boy’s head
Blair as Lou Mallory. Patricia was first introduced to us in
the episode Lou Mallory. She played a hot-tempered Irish lass who was a
razor-sharp businesswoman. She joined the cast in the
fifth and final season and appeared in seventeen episodes. Patricia replaced Joan Taylor who played Milly Scott
owner of The General Store.
Ed Ames played Lee Coyle. He was the stranger, the wanted man in
Maureen Dawson played Molly
Carpenter. She was one of the girls Lou sent for, the one who told Lou
about Betty being sick.
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
Carol Leigh played Betty
Lind. She was the one who had the measles.
Charles Harrison played the
stage driver. I got this e-mail from the grandson of Charles Harrison,
a one time actor who appeared in the Rifleman episode Quiet Night, Deadly
Night. Charles was originally set to play the part of the
bad guy (Lee Coyle played by Ed Ames) but the director said that he was
physically too small to play the part (it would look bad for Chuck Connors
to beat up a little guy)
Buddy Roosevelt appeared in four
episodes ― Panic ―
Two Ounces of Tin —
Quiet Night, Deadly Night
as one of the townsmen ―
Death Never Rides Alone as a barfly.
Joe Phillips appeared in four
episodes of The Rifleman as a Townsman ― Quiet Night,
Deadly Night ― Outlaw's Shoes ― The Actress ―
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 & the Bartender.
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
appeared in six episodes — New Orleans Menace as
Tiffauges Rider ― Legacy as the preacher — Lariat
as the card dealer — Baranca and on of
Angels ― The Vaqueros as one of the townsmen and
Quiet Night, Deadly Night as one of the townsmen.
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
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.
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?
Bloopers for this
episode & other episodes
around The McCain