The Rifleman
"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"

The Schoolmaster
Episode 86

Miss Adams was gone. She was no longer North Fork’s school teacher, and we would miss her dearly. North Fork now has a brand new teacher – a male teacher from the East. His name was Mr. Griswald,
The Rifleman  - The Schoolmaster - Episode 86and this is his story.

On the first day of school, I decided to ride Mark into school. Then Billy hopped up for a ride. Before I knew it, I had half the kids in my wagon! We were almost to school when we came up on three very cute kids. Naturally, being the nice guy that I am, I offered to give them a ride also. I took the smallest boy on my lap, then waited for the other two to climb off. We were off again!

As we were on our way, Mr. Griswald, dressed in a Eastern style three piece suit and tie, went to the door to watch us pull up. He looked at his watch with a somber expression on his face.

As soon as we pulled up, the kids jumped out of the wagon. “Here he comes,” Billy stated. I told you he looks like he eats persimmons.”

My son, you know the one with the innocent-looking smile? Well, he smiled real big as we studied Mr. Griswald. "He sure does.”

"Now boys," I warned them to watch what they said, but I couldn’t help but be a little amused.

Mr. Griswald walked up to the wagon and introduced himself. I introduced myself, as well as Mark and Billy Davis, Mark’s friend. “These children are twelve minutes late for class.” Mr. Griswald looked at his pocket watch to enforce his statement. I tried to explain how a Western school operated. Many families didn’t have time pieces, so the children had to judge their pace by the bell. “They’ll be no bell for my classroom. Punctuality is the responsible of the individual.” His expression was firm.

“I see,” I stated. But I wasn’t so sure he saw. “Well fellas, you better hustle!” I gave Mark a pat on the back and helped him down off the wagon. Then I helped Billy down. He accidently hit my rifle and it fell off the wagon. Billy immediately apologized for his clumsiness.

Naturally, my boy Mark bent over to pick it up and hand it to me. “Don’t touch that!” Mr. Griswald suddenly shouted.

Mark’s hand froze. “But it’s not-“ he started as he once again bent to pick it up.

“I said don’t touch it!” Mr. Griswald ordered gruffly.

I stared at Mr. Griswald, not quite believing that he was talking to my son like that – especially when I was still standing right there! I didn’t much appreciate it either. “But it’s not good for a gun to stay in the dirt,” Mark tried to explain calmly.

But Mr. Griswald was anything but calm! He was acting like Mark had just threatened to burn the school down or something! “Take your places in the schoolroom…immediately!” he ordered Mark and Billy.

Hello? Didn’t he see me, the father, sitting right there in the wagon? Didn’t he think I was capable of disciplining my own child? But Mark said nothing. He nodded, gave me one last look, then hurried into the classroom.

Mr. Griswald bent over and picked up my rifle. He held it out to me and asked, “Is this gun loaded, Mr. McCain?”

Now I ask, what good is an unloaded gun? “Certainly,” I answered as I took my gun from him and sat it securely on my lap.

“In the name of sanity, how can you place a loaded weapon within easy reach of children?”

I remained calm knowing he was from back east and not used to the western culture’s way of life. “Your points well taken, Mr. Griswald,” I stated. “But it can’t go off without being cocked. And the reason it’s loaded is because a rifle’s a necessary safeguard in open country.” I tried educating him on some facts about the West.

“Safeguard? Carelessness is inexcusable anywhere!” Mr. Griswald stated.

“I just explained-“ I started, but he wouldn’t let me finish Mr. high and mighty thought he was so much wiser then me. He ordered – yes, ordered – me not to bring a firearm to the school again.

I stared at his retreating figure as he walked into the schoolhouse. Boy, did I feel sorry for those kids right now!

His first order of business was to make sure the children understood his rules. “Learning is your duty, teaching you well is mine,” he stated as he held a long pointing stick in his hand and walked up and down the rows of desks.

His second order of business was to change the way kids out here lived. He ordered that no child was to come to school without shoes on. He warned that any child coming to school without shoes would be sent home. Mark couldn’t keep quiet on that matter. “Well, but a lot of the shoes will be dirty before they get here, especially those walking. Pa only brought them in today because it was the first day.”

Mr. Griswald’s response? “Young man, you are speaking out of turn.”

Mark suddenly straightened up. “I’m sorry.”

Then Mr. Griswald jabbered off about his being aware of how dusty the road was and how much the kids took pleasure in looking neat and clean. About that time Mark rolled his eyes, but lucky for him Mr. Griswald was too busy talking to see him do it. Then Mr. Griswald stated that walking bare footed is a threat to personal health as well as appearance.

From the look on Mark’s face, he thought Mr. Griswald was full of it! But he yes sired him along with everyone else.

"Come November, I'll wear some,” Billy announced then.

Mr. Griswald turned his attention to Billy. “You will wear shoes tomorrow like everyone else,” he ordered sternly.

“But I gotta wait ‘til first frost!” Mr. Griswald told him to remain after class and explain his behavior.

Again, Mark spoke
The Rifleman  - The Schoolmaster - Episode 86 to defend his friend. It was obvious to him as well that Mr. Griswald just didn’t understand the ways of the West. “Billy’s got five sisters, Mr. Griswald. Now, his mother buys for one each month.” But Mr. Griswald didn’t allow any exceptions to the rules of the class.

He turned back to “William” and told him he’d buy him a pair of shoes after class. “Well, I ain’t too sure my Ma would like that,” Billy stated. But Mr. Griswald didn’t want to hear it. He’d make arrangements with Billy’s mother.

“And Mark, I want no more interruptions from you.” Mark knew that was a final warning.

Mark sure had a lot of homework that night! He was busy doing his homework while I worked on my own chores. But when I came in at nine I found him asleep at the table. I walked up behind him and gently laid a hand on his shoulder. Mark lifted his head up. “It’s after nine, son.” Nine o’clock was Mark’s bedtime. “You better get to bed.”

But Mark said he had to finish his homework. I can remember other times when Mark didn’t finish his homework, and the last time was when he and Billy went fishing. He knew that on nights when he had lots of homework it was straight home from school. I questioned him about him and Billy going fishing after school today. “No Pa, honest!” Mark answered. “It’s that old Persimmons’-“ I shot Mark a warning look. “I mean Mr. Griswald.” He said he gave so much homework that no one had time for anything else – even chores!

I told Mark that his lessons were more important then chores right now – he had his whole life for chores!

But Mark wanted to know what the sense was in learning about some Greek named Academes. These were the precious moments for me – when I am able to do my fatherly duty and teach my son. I savored these moments with him. I sat down and tried to explain. "Mark, everything you learn comes in handy someday, one way or another." I asked him if he ever heard of a battle the Greeks fought called Thermopylae?

Mark said he did remember, but Mr. Griswald said it wasn’t even there anymore. – it was now a swamp. “Well son, the place may be gone, but knowing what happened there saved my life when I was in the army.”

Mark was all ears now. His eyes grew wide in surprise. "Honest?"

I nodded, then I told him about it. "It was the first year of the war, on an eight man patrol, we ran smack into a party of rebs. There must have been twenty of them. They opened fired. In a few minutes there was only four of us left." Mark stopped me, asking if I was scared. I nodded. "They drove us back against the cliff. Looked like we didn't have a chance. Then I remembered a box canyon I scouted a couple of days before. Oh, about fifty yards across, about the same width as the pass through the mountains of Thermopylae If we could get to it we could hold them off the way the Greeks held off the Persians."

Mark understood. "Sure cause, cause only a few of them could get into the canyon at a time.”

“Right!” I stated as I continued my story. "Well, we crawled and fought every inch of the way. We finally made it. And we did hold them off until our main column showed up.”

"I see what you mean.” Mark eagerly went back to his homework, now understanding the importance of Greek history.

I was proud that I was able to change his thinking. Then I told him I’d go bed down the stock. But Mark was just too tired and soon fell asleep, his head once again on the table.

The next morning, Mark was quite as eager about history. Sally was reciting what she had learned from her history assignment the night before. Mark only half listened. He was tired and wasn’t in the mood to engage in a boring history lesson. Billy got Mark’s attention and passed him some jujubes. Mr. Griswald saw the exchange and stopped Sally. He then ordered Mark to pick up where Sally had left off.

Mark stood up and began naming the goddesses. But Mark suddenly stopped and admitted he hadn’t finished his homework the night before. “And why not?” Mr. Griswald asked angrily. “Everyone else is prepared.”

Mark answered honestly, not thinking there was anything wrong with his reason. He stated that he fell asleep after talking to me. But in Mr. Griswald’s eyes, there was something wrong with that, and he let Mark know how wrong I had been. “You will remain after school for an hour,” he stated.

Mark closed his eyes, knowing he was to be punished. "Yes sir.”

"Every day! Since your father considers talking more important then studying, it becomes my duty to see that your lessons are completed here!" Griswald stated.

That made Mark mad. He hadn’t figured the McCain family out yet, and one thing you don’t do is bad
The Rifleman  - The Schoolmaster - Episode 86mouth me in front of Mark! “You got no cause to talk that way about my Pa!” Mark stated bravely.

Mr. Griswald ordered Mark to sit down. “You got no cause to say anythin’ about my Pa!”

Mr. Griswald glared at Mark as he took off his glasses. “I said sit down!” he ordered.

Mark became even more angry. "No!” he shouted. “No I won't sit down! No!” Then he ran out of the school house.

I was surprised when I came in the house later to find Mark sweeping our rug. I gently set the bucket I was carrying and asked in a calm voice, “You kids get out of school early today?”

He didn’t stop sweeping, but answered my question in an annoyed voice. “No. I just came home.”

As I rolled my sleeves up, I stopped to look at him. Mark knew better then to run out on school. He knew how I felt about his education. I watched him sweep for a moment, then walked towards him. I knew there had been some kind of trouble. “Some kind of trouble son?”

Talking about it seemed to make him more agitated. “Mr. Griswald got all riled because I didn’t finish my homework.”

I propped my foot up on a chair and leaned towards him. Sternly, I asked “He sent you home?” I looked straight at him waiting for an honest answer. Mark told me Mr. Griswald had told him to stay after school for an hour every day. “Every day?” I asked suddenly. “For how long?”

“He didn’t say,” Mark answered.

I didn’t like talking to him with his back turned. I wanted some straight answers. “Mark!” I called his name sharply. He turned and looked at me. Immediately I knew there was something he wasn’t telling me. In a calmer voice I asked, “What else?”

“He said that…you thought talkin’ was more important then my studyin’, that you weren’t doin’ good for me. That’s when I came home.”

“I see,” I simply stated. But I didn’t think that was cause for Mark to come home.

“He isn’t fair!” Mark declared.

“He’s strict, but I don’t think he means to be unfair,” I corrected him. My voice was still calm.

My words angered Mark. “He’s a mean, nasty, rotten, old varmint!” he shouted hatefully.

“Mark!” I said sternly. “I want you to go back to school. As long as Mr. Griswald’s the teacher there, you’ve got no choice but to obey him.” I told him this sternly as I looked him straight in the eye so he would no there was no arguing about it

But he had been hurt by his new teacher, and he wasn’t allowing himself to understand Mr. Griswald. "But Pa I can't. I hate him!"

I was a bit shocked at his words. “Hate?” I asked. “Isn’t that a strong word to use just because you don’t agree with someone?” Mark looked at me, knowing I was right. He had no cause to say the things he had just said. I sternly looked at him. Keeping my voice calm, I stated, “You better go back.”

Looking in my eyes, he knew I was ordering him back. I was giving him no choice. “Alright,” Mark said. But I knew he was mad at me for making him go back. He handed me the broom and left. I watched him leave, still afraid he was holding a grudge against his new teacher.

When he returned to school, the children were having lunch. Mark apologized and promised that he would make up his homework he missed last night. Mr. Griswald accepted Mark’s apology, but announced sternly that he would remain an hour today and tomorrow for his conduct in class. Mark accepted his punishment and walked over to Billy.

“He should have stayed in Boston, the old stick!” Billy exclaimed.

“It’s the way Pa feels that bothers me,” Mark stated as he stared at Mr. Griswald.

They walked back into the classroom. "I know something that will fix him and his old Greeks!" Billy declared as he walked up to Mr. Griswald’s desk. Mark wanted to know what that was, but Billy told him he’d see. Then Billy took a handful of jujubes out of his bag and put them on Mr. Griswald’s open book. Billy slammed it shut.

Mark gasped as he ran up to the desk. “Don’t do that!” he begged. But Billy said it was too late – it was already done.

Mark opened the book up and looked. Billy was right – it was already done! He closed the book then realized that Mr. Griswald had walked in the room. Mark took off his hat and stared at Mr. Griswald. “What are you doing at my desk?” he asked. Mark was suddenly afraid. He didn’t know what to say. “Answer my question!” Mr. Griswald demanded.

“I…I was…Nothing, Mr. Griswald,” Mark answered lamely.

Mr. Griswald ordered him to take his seat. Mark did nervously, knowing that in only moments Mr. Griswald would find the mess. Mr. Griswald sat down at his desk and opened his book. He stared at the jujubes smashed in the middle of his book. Mark had been seen slamming the book shut, so Mr. Griswald immediately looked at Mark.

He angrily stood up and took off his glasses. “Stand up, Mark McCain,” Mr. Griswald ordered.

Mark stood up nervously and waited for his punishment. “Every book has a soul. You have destroyed this book – murdered a piece of literature!”

Mark turned and looked at Billy. “No!” Mark shouted. “No, I didn’t! I didn’t!”

He turned and looked at Billy. “Please, Mark,” he begged. So out of loyalty to his friend, he kept silent.

Mr. Griswald grabbed his switch and demanded Mark to come forward. Mark slowly made his way to the front of the classroom. Mark closed his eyes as he realized he was about to be whipped. Slowly, he turned around and waited for the thrashing.

It came – he was whipped.

Later that afternoon, Mark was laying face-down on his bed bawling because I was upset with him. I yelled at him, angry for what he had done. “Mr. Griswald said you were standing at the desk opening the book when he came in.”

Mark lifted his head from the pillow and looked at the wall. “I’ll never go back to that school! Not as long as I live! Not while he’s there!” Mark screamed.

He didn’t seem to understand the problem! I was getting angrier. “Books are valuable, expensive and hard to freight! The school needs every one it has. Destruction’s not like you, Mark”

Mark suddenly lifted from the pillow and turned. “Billy did it, not me!” he shouted.

I was shocked. “Billy?” I asked. “Why didn’t you tell Mr. Griswald?” Mark gave me a lame excuse – he didn’t want to snitch on him. It was now time for Mark to learn another hard lesson in life. I stood up as I took this new information in. “I don’t know what to say.” I was trying to keep my emotions – my anger and disappointment – at bay. But as I turned around to speak, my voice held the anger. “But if you choose to stand up and take the blame for someone, you gotta do just that. Not run away.”

“I don’t mind the punishment,” Mark stated. “I just can’t take anymore of him.”

I was tired of going around and around with Mark about this. I thought I had made myself very clear. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what else to say. Or maybe it was because I didn’t know what to think…Whatever the reason, I suddenly spat out, “You’re not the one who passes on teachers. You’ve got no choice but to go back to school.”

“I won’t!” Mark stated angrily.

That made me even more angry – his back talk…”If Mr. Griswald’s not the right teacher for us, it’ll be taken up by the town council. In the meanwhile, you’ll go back!” I demanded.

“No!” Mark shouted. “No please, Pa! Please!” He was begging me, but that didn’t help either of us.

“Mark, don’t disobey me, too.” I stated. Then I turned and walked to the door. I turned and angrily glared at Mark once more as he began crying. Then I firmly closed the door leaving him to do some serious thinking.

Mark was upset. He felt like I didn’t understand him. “I can’t, Pa,” he cried softly after I left. “Not even for you.” Then he laid down and cried into his pillow.

Little did I know that the next
The Rifleman  - The Schoolmaster - Episode 86 day Mark and Billy played hooky from school. When it was about time for school to let out Mark and Billy were sitting on a bank. They were throwing pebbles into a pool of water. Mark suddenly suggested they get going before someone saw them there. “I know just the place,” Billy stated. “We can hide out every day. Nobody’ll ever find us!” Mark wanted to know where that was. He said it was a cave in the hills over there.

Billy started to stand up to take Mark to the cave, but Mark grab hold of the back of his pants. “Wait!” he said. Billy turned to look at him. “Uh…just because I’m not going back is no reason for you to stay out.”

“I’m not going back either!” Billy declared.

Mark smiled. He was glad to have a partner in crime. “Okay, let’s go!”

Billy led him to the cave. Mark was impressed – it was an old mine cave. Being a boy, Mark was curious as to how far back it went. So naturally, he went to explore, jumping in an old cart to ride down the track.

Billy pushed him off and watched him go. But he didn’t go far when there was a loud crash. There was a cave-in and the rocks all fell. “Mark!” Billy shouted. “Mark, are you alright?”

But Mark didn’t answer. He hurried out of the cave to get help.

Mark suddenly came to and discovered he was trapped in the cave. It was dark and he was hurt. His legs were stuck. He was trapped. He hollered for Billy, but got no answer. He suddenly heard a noise and looked up. The entire roof was about to cave in, and if it did there would be no hope for him! “Oh Pa!” Mark cried. “What’ll I do now?” He then began sobbing, feeling frightened and very much alone.

Meanwhile, I was out working on the fence when I saw the kids laughing and playing as they ran down the road. I smiled at them. The one with his shirt unbuttoned sure was cute! But then I suddenly realized Mark wasn’t with them. I sat down my pliers and hurried toward Sally. I called out to her. “Is Mark on his way home from school?” I asked.

“I don’t know, Mr. McCain!”

I suddenly had this feeling – you know the feeling a parent gets when he knows his child’s in trouble. I forgot about my chores and jumped in my wagon to go find my boy. When I got to the school, Mr. Griswald insisted Mark hadn’t even been in school today. “No, I’m not mistaken. And I tell you he left for school early this morning,” I stated worriedly as we walked out of the school house together.

Mr. Griswald stated that both Mark and Billy were absent. I knew Mark should be home by now even if they had played hooky. Mr. Griswald suddenly asked why. “Anything could be expected of a rebellious boy like your son,” he stated as we walked down the steps.

I turned and glared at him. “Now look, Mr. Griswald. Mark never gave me trouble until you came!” I stated harshly. “You’ve educated him to rebellion.”

He started spouting off that his training and credentials were the finest. Oh please, give me a break! I was angry because my son was missing and he was declaring him a rebellious child. I didn’t much appreciate how he had treated Mark, and it was time I gave him a piece of my mind! "It takes more then credentials to make a good teacher. It takes a heart and I don't think you've got one! But your gonna help me find those boys."

"Excuse me Mr. McCain, I have work to do at home." He started to walk away.

I angrily grabbed his arm. "Were gonna look for those boy and when we find them they better be alright!” I warned him.

He looked down at my hand that was still on his arm. He knew I meant business so I removed it. "Very well," he finally agreed. "I suggest we begin our search at the Davis ranch where they undoubtedly spent the day.”

"For your sake I hope so,” I answered. “Come on!” I hurried toward my wagon.

I quickly headed for the Davis Ranch. But as I traveled, Billy suddenly ran out in the middle of the road. Mr. Griswald called my attention to him and I quickly stopped my wagon and jumped down. “Mr. McCain!” Billy cried.

I ran over to him and got down on my knees as I grabbed him gently and looked into his eyes. “Billy, what are you doing out here, son? Where’s Mark?” I asked, suddenly worried something terrible was wrong.

“He’s in the cave! In the cave!” Billy cried in a panicked voice. I asked him what cave.
The Rifleman  - The Schoolmaster - Episode 86“Where all the dirt fell in. We was hiding, and all the dirt fell in!”

It sounded like a cave in! Fear gripped my very being. “On Mark, son?” I asked suddenly frightened my boy was badly hurt. “Did it fall on Mark?” I squeezed his arms tightly as I asked him this question in a very frightened voice.

But Billy was so frightened. “I don’t know,” he answered. “I guess it did.”

I asked him where it was, but he couldn’t answer. The fear in my voice was scaring him.

Suddenly, Mr. Griswald spoke up. "Stop sniveling!” he demanded. “Where is it?"

Billy suddenly turned to him. He was angry, knowing Mark was in trouble because he hated Mr. Griswald. "None of it would had happened if you hadn't said mean things about Mr. McCain. That's why Mark left school, that's why!" He shouted. He didn't know what Billy was talking about. "You said Mr. McCain wouldn't let Mark study, and it was his fault Mark didn't have his homework." I gave Griswald a hard stare. I couldn’t believe he had said such things in front of the entire class! Mr. Griswald stated he never realized what he had said. I told him to forget it for now and told Billy to show us where the cave was. I raced off. I had to get to my boy as fast as possible.

Billy took us I into the cave and showed us where the mine had fell in. I told Billy to stay there, then I told Griswald to come help me – I wasn’t giving him a choice that that’s for certain!

I ran up to the pile of rubble and began removing rocks. “If we can get through,” Mr. Griswald stated.

“I’ll get through!” I promised him. My boy was in there and no power on earth was going to keep me from him. I furiously moved the rocks just as fast as I could. I had no time to waste.

Mark was laying on the other side of the rubble frightened, trapped, and alone. He was afraid as he watched the beam pressing to give way. He knew there was only a matter of moments before the entire beam would give way and he’d be crushed – gone forever.

A piece of the mine fell on Mr. Griswald and hit him in the shoulder. I immediately stopped to make sure he was alright, then I went back to removing the rubble as quickly as possible. “Mark? Mark?” I screamed, desperately hoping I would hear some sign of life from my son. It was killing me not to know how he was. Mark, can you hear me?”

Mark heard my desperate cries. But as he was about to call out, the beam began moaning again, fixing to give away. Once again, he was overcome with fear that this moment was the last moment of his life.

When I didn’t hear anything, I began removing the rubble even faster then I had before. The fact that he wasn’t calling out to me was a very bad sign. Something was wrong – something was very wrong!

Suddenly, I heard him. “Pa? Pa? Pa, over here!” His voice was weak and fearful. But he was alive! My heart swelled in joy! My boy was alive!

“Hurry, Griswald!” I ordered! I had to get to my boy, to put my arms around him and tell him everything would be okay.

I removed more rubble – enough for me and Mr. Griswald to squeeze through. I squeezed through the hole, then turned to help Griswald through. I may need his help.

Mark watched as I came through the hole. When he saw me, his voice became louder and more desperate. “Pa, over here!” I screamed as more dirt fell in his face.

I ran to him as fast as I could. I grabbed him. We looked deeply into each other’s eyes for only a moment. We had been at odds, but I was now relieved that he was okay – my eyes told him everything. They told me that I forgave him and that I loved him. I pulled him close to me in a tight, relieved hug. “Oh, I knew you’d come, Pa!” he shouted as we held each other.

I pulled away and looked into his eyes, not quite believing a man like me could be so lucky – he was okay! But suddenly, from above I heard a noise. I looked up and determined the beam was about to give way, and when it did we’d all be dead.

Desperately, I started working to get my boy out of there. “It won’t budge, Pa. Not an inch!” Mark cried, suddenly frightened again. “But I don’t think it’s broken.” I wasn’t concerned about it being broken right now – that would mend. I was more concerned about getting him free so we could get to safety.

I began pulling on the cart to lift it off his legs. I grunted and groaned, telling Mark to move his leg out quick if it moved even a little, but it wouldn’t budge. “Ah, this isn’t going to work. We need a lever,” I stated.

I began looking around. “There’s not much time,” Mr. Griswald warned. I didn’t have time for negativity. I had to stay positive and work…hard!

"Archimedes once said, 'give me a lever and I can move the world'," Griswald told Mark, but at the moment Mark didn’t really care what Archimedes had said..

The bean began to give out again. It was getting worse and worse with each passing moment. Mr. Griswald saw the panicked look on Mark, and he felt the same Panic himself. “We’ll get you out, Mark,” he assured him.

I found a large beam and positioned it under the cart. I tried lifting it with the lever with no luck, no matter how hard I tried! “This isn’t going to work,” I suddenly declared. “We’re gonna need a flat rock.”

“A fulcrum!” Mr. Griswald stated.

“Yeah,” I answered. I looked around and pointed one out. Mr. Griswald went to get the rock.

The ceiling was really about to give out. “Hurry!” Mark cried. “Hurry! It’s gonna fall!” he cried desperately.

I tried to reassure him. “We’re trying, son.” But I was too busy trying to get him out to comfort him. It was going to be either his getting to safety, or us all perishing from the collapse. “Hurry up, Griswald!” I shouted.

Griswald brought the rock back and slid it under the lever. "The position of a fulcrum determines the amount of leverage," Griswald me.

I really didn’t care to hear him spouting off knowledge. I only wanted to help my son. “Yeah, yeah well get over there and pull him out when I press down,” I answered.

I stood on the beam and used every ounce of strength I had to push that lever down. I succeeded and Mark removed his leg from under the cart. He was free and we could now get out of here! “Mark, can you get out by yourself?” I asked. He thought he could. “Come on,” I ordered as I grabbed his arm and pushed him forward. Then I pushed Griswald forward. They hurried out of the hole to sa
The Rifleman  - The Schoolmaster - Episode 86fety. I looked up as the ceiling squeaked again. It was just about to give way!

I got out just in the nick of time – the moment I climbed through the hole, the entire ceiling gave way and the whole mine gave in.

The four of us – Billy, Griswald, Mark and me – sat near the entrance of the cave. I fixed Mr. Griswald’s arm by making a sling with it so he’d be able to travel home a bit more comfortably. “It’s sure gonna be dark riding home,” Mark commented.

"It won't be dark long. Tonight the moon rises at eight sharp. It's in it's final quarter and should furnish plenty of light," Mr. Griswald told us.

I must admit that even I was impressed with that. "Well Mark, I told you, learning comes in handy.”

I smiled at Mr. Griswald, suddenly having a new respect for him. “You’re right, Mr. McCain. “And I hope I'm not so set in my ways that I can't learn myself from what's happened in the pass few days.”. He then turned to Billy. "On, and Billy, think I might have a jujube?"

As much as I liked this happy reunion, it was time for us to get going. Billy’s parents didn’t know where he was.

All was well in North Fork once again!

piddlin' stuff.....Arnold Moss played The Schoolmaster, Stevan Griswald.

Jimmy Fields played Billy Davis. He's the kid with the jujubes.

Steven Gardner played the boy at the school in The Schoolmaster & The Apprentice Sheriff.
Steven is the son of Arthur Gardner and today is a lawyer.

Pamela Cole played Sally, a schoolgirl
Deidre Cole as a schoolgirl
Pamela & Deidre are Chuck's nieces.

Michael Connors as a schoolboy
Steven Connors as a schoolboy
Jeff Connors as a schoolboy
Kevin Connors as a schoolboy
Barbara Laven as a schoolgirl
Larry Laven as a schoolboy
Mark Levy as a schoolboy
Robert Levy as a schoolboy
Jo Carol "JC" Nadel as a schoolgirl
Rae Sunshine Lee as Blondie
Dian Van Patten as Sarah
For more information of the kids on the set of The Schoolmaster

Bloopers — The Schoolmaster
(more on the kids)

For more information of the kids on the set of The Rifleman

*All four of Chuck's boy's were in this episode.  Can you pick any of them out?  You can't see all four of them here but you can in the episode.  They are in the wagon ride to school and some in the class room.  Jeff played Toby Halpern in Tension and he and Mike both appeared in First Wages.  Did you see them?  They are the boys that wanted Mark to go fishing.

*North Fork had three different school teachers.....Marilee Phelps - played the school teacher, in Eight Hours to Die. (1958)  Depending on where you check this info you will find her credited as Miss Adams or teacher.
Later Patricia Barry played Adele Adams, the towns school teacher in Three Legged Terror and The Woman. (1959) 
 In The Schoolmaster - Arnold Moss played Stephen Griswald, the new school teacher in town. (1960)

Although we never saw Miss Pritchard, she is mentioned in The Jealous Man.   So I guess you could say 4 different teachers, but we only met 3 of them.

Boys Costumes Depicted in Television Shows: The Rifleman (U.S., 1958-63)

Connors' family tidbit.....Michael Connors, the oldest son of Chuck Connors, became a full U.S. citizen on 8/11/64, he was sworn in at the Department of Justice in Los Angeles.  Michael was born in Canada while his father was playing baseball for the Montreal Royals.  This gives Michael dual citizenship.
Mike is a Dolly Grip. 

Bloopers - The Schoolmaster

You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
Mark's Memories

Character Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?

Bloopers Index
Bloopers for this episode & other episodes

The Promoter

Dead Cold Cash

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