"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
Back in those days, a man’s land was
something a man held on to. Many of us ranchers would even die
holding on to our land that we sweated over for so many hours. For
me, it was my son’s legacy – and that made my fight even more
You see, the railroad was coming into town and somebody
wanted my ranch awfully bad!
There was a man staying at the hotel. His name was Willard Prescott,
and he was the man trying to take my land. I was being a
little…stubborn about it, so he decided to go a different route with
me. He decided to hire a few henchmen to be rough with me.
He had bought a piece of land to sell to the railroad for a profit,
but my land was next to his, and it was keeping him from being able
to sell his land to the railroad. “The owner won’t sell. Now, if he
continues to hold out, he’s gonna force the railroad to use the
alternate route over here.” He had one week to sell. He was going to
have one last talk with me the following day before he turned me
over to these men.
The day he came to visit, Mark and I were busy fixing the fencing in
the south section of our ranch. Mark drove the team while I walked
along side looking for problems. When we stopped to fix a broken
part of the fence, we saw Prescott coming. I grabbed my rifle, ready
for action, and sent Mark on to work on fixing the fence by himself.
He didn’t want to, but I didn’t give him a choice.
"Good morning McCain.” I held my rifle up as I leaned on the fence
post and just glared at him. “Now is that anyway to greet a
"Well in my book Prescott, a neighbor is someone who lives on the
land, not someone who speculates with it."
"Buying and selling land just happens to be my business, that's
all," Prescott explained.
"And working the land just happens to be mine."
"With the money you'd get from the railroad you could buy a better
piece of land to work," said Prescott.
"I'm perfectly satisfied with the piece of land I already have."
“Your neighbors along the route are anxious to sell.”
I gave a laugh. “You’re really worried about them, aren’t you
Prescott?” He laughed and told me that I had to live with them.
“Well, we’ve worked out our differences before.”
“Yeah. But this time you are taking money out of their pockets.
They’re not gonna like that.” I told him if I did sell to him then
the ranches on the alternate route wouldn't like it either. “You
can't please everybody.”
I started to go back to work on the fence, but then he pulled out an
envelope and told me it was for me. “A bribe?” I wondered.
“No,” he tried to assure me. “Just a business proposition. I wanna
protect my investment and I’ll share some anticipated prophets. Just
good, sound business.” I told him it wasn’t my kind of business. I
wondered why he thought I was going to change my mind. “McCain, I’ve
yet to see the man whose mind I couldn’t change, sooner or later.” I
That evening, as I sat out on the porch steps relaxing with my
cigar, Mark came to stand in the doorway. I reminded him that he
needed to get to bed. We had a lot of work to do tomorrow on the
south section fence. But Mark had a pressing question about the
enveloped Prescott had offered me.
“How much was in it?” I told him
I had no idea. I wondered why he asked that. Mark walked over to me.
“I was just thinking.”
“Thinking what?” I asked.
Mark sat down on the step next to me. He didn’t look at me as he
said, “Maybe we oughta sell.”
I couldn’t believe it! “Did I hear you right?”
“Well, there…There’s an awful lot of land in North Fork just as good
as our and…and besides, you were saying only last month that we
could do with a little extra money.”
To say I wasn’t a little upset with him would by lying. "Mark, this
is our home!"
"I know but..." Mark stopped.
"But what?" I asked.
“Nothing,” Mark answered as he looked down at the ground.
“There is something. What is it?”
“Nothing,” Mark insisted.
"Now son, we've got an understanding we always speak out on what we
Mark knew he had no choice. He had to tell me. "I didn't want to
come running to you...complaining like a kid. Your always saying
that a man should fight his own battles," said Mark. I asked him
what battle was he talking about. "Yesterday with Kenny Wheeler...we
use to be good friends but...but I wasn't gonna let him get away
with saying what he did about ya'.”
“What did he say?” I asked.
“He kept calling you names ‘cause you wouldn’t’ sell the land.
Probably got it from his father because Mr. Wheeler wants to sell
and you’re in his way.”
"And that's why Mark McCain wants to give in!" I said.
"It's not givin' in Pa...I just don't want people turnin' against ya'!"
"We can't help what other people do son. We have to stand up for
what we believe in. It's just a matter of principle."
"Principle...sometimes that seems to be nothing more then just a
word. Maybe I shouldn't have said that but-” he stopped.
"Sure you should have said it Mark, because you're right. Sometimes
it is only a word. It has to be something we live and feel, not just
something we talk about." I could tell he still didn’t understand.
"Mark...when your mother passed away, I took you away from Oklahoma
because...well I...I couldn't stand the ranch there anymore. I
couldn't stay yet I really couldn't leave...I kind of carried it in
my heart. I didn't know it at the time, but...I was looking for a
place just like it. Well I found it here in North Fork. Same land,
same valleys, same hills. This house we built...same
house...barn...same barn.” I looked toward the hill. “That hill
Mark...that's the way it use to look in the moonlight, kind of a
soft blanket of silver on it. The only thing missing is the cross at
the crest that marks your mother's resting place.
Otherwise it's the same hill." He looked at me and I knew he
understood. It didn't matter how many Kenny's or town folks there
were to call me names. I told him he better get off to bed. He
started for the door and then turned to me, wanting to say
something, but he didn't, we understood each other. I just sat back
and enjoyed the land, the valleys, the hills, the house and the barn
in the blanket of silver from the moon that shone down on
The next day we went out to the south section to check the cattle.
When we got there every one of fence posts had been hacked off at
the base and the barbed wire was cut. Mark wondered what made the
cattle break through. “They didn’t break through, Mark!” Mark didn’t
understand. “They were driven through. Look, this was done with a
wire cutter. And every one of these posts was deliberately hacked
off at the base!” Boy, was I mad – and I knew exactly who was behind
it! Mark wondered what I was going to do about it. “Round up those
steers for now,” I answered.
When I got to town Prescott was outside of the hotel reading the
newspaper. I picked up a chair and walked over to him. I straddled
the chair as I glared at him without say a word. He finally folded
his paper and gave me his attention. “I got your message.” He acted
like he didn't know what I was talking about. "This morning down at
the south section of my property.” He still played dumb. “My fence
was down and my cattle were on your land," I said.
"What's that to me?" Prescott asked.
"You wanted me to know I had trouble...you wanted me to know
that...you meant business," I said.
"Now if you think you have a legitimate complaint, why don't you go
straight to the marshal?"
"I was going to...but I thought it over...I decided to keep this
strictly between you and...me.” Then I asked, “About that envelope
you had yesterday..."
He smiled as he pulled the envelope out of his pocket and handed it
to me. "I told you I was going to hold it for you. It's all yours
I took the envelope from him and started to sort through the money.
I pulled out a bill. "This twenty ought to be enough to cover the
cost of my fence damage." I threw the envelope at him and stuffed
the twenty dollar bill in my pocket.. "And if you think you have a
legitimate complaint, and then you can go straight...to the
marshal." I walked away from Prescott and rode out of town.
Prescott’s three hired guns watched the whole thing. After I rode
out of town, the boss, Dave, walked up to Prescott. He noticed I was
Mark and I were on our way to the south section to redo the fencin'
when someone took shots at us. We took cover, but when the shooting
was done we couldn't see anyone. Mark asked me if I knew who they
were. “I don’t know, but I know who sent them – Prescott!”
“To kill you?” Mark asked angrily.
I sighed. “Not this time.” I wanted to get home.
When we got there, there was a buggy outside. I jumped off the
wagon. Mark knew he should stay put. I had my rifle ready as I
started around the house. As I turned the corner to my porch, Lou
was standing there. I called to Mark. “Not the way you usually greet
me!” she complained.
I was too frustrated to play games! “I wasn’t expecting you, Lou.”
Mark greeted Lou then. He invited her for supper but she declined
the invitation. After Mark walked inside, Lou started drilling me.
She demanded to know who I was expecting. I told her it was not
important. “Important enough for you to be ready to use that,” she
motioned toward my rifle. “You were in town yesterday. You could’ve
come up to see me.”
“I didn’t have time!” I declared. She was offended. “Lou, I had
other things on my mind.”
She knew it was Prescott. “I saw him operating in Denver, Lucas.
He’s used to getting what he wants.”
“Well, he’s not gonna get what he wants this time!” I informed her.
She tried to warn me that the men working for him could get rough.
“So, let ‘em be rough.”
“Be sensible, Lucas!”
I laughed. “Like the people who sold you their land so you could
resell it later on at a profit for the railroad?”
She smiled, knowing I was right. “But I feel differently now. North
Fork’s my home. I care about it. Besides, I…I don’t like the idea of
your getting hurt” I smiled at her for that. She grew argumentative
again. “Oh Lucas, you’re not just fighting Prescott! What about Fred
Wheeler and the other ranchers along this route?”
I tried to explain to her that if I sold, the ranchers on the
alternate route wouldn’t like it. I just can’t please everybody!
“I’m only asking you to be practical! Don’t you understand?”
“Don’t you understand?” I shot back. “This place is a part of me. No
one’s gonna take it away.” Lou said the fight wasn’t always worth
it. I knew she was worried, but suddenly she said, “Lucas, sell out
and buy another piece of land!”
I shot my head up. That sounded like a…”You rode all the way out
here on your own to say that? Or did Prescott send you?”
That sure got her riled! “I’ve never met a man like you before!
You’re…you're impossible! I hate you! You’re just completely
impossible!” I didn’t say a word, but watched as she hurried over to
her buggy. “I didn’t mean that, Lucas. I don’t hate you.”
“I know.” I nodded my head toward her.
“But you are impossible! Without another word, she left. I couldn’t
help but smile. She sure was a feisty one!
That night, Mark and I were sleeping. In the quiet of the night, I
heard a loud noise and sat straight up in bed. Mark was awakened and
asked me what it was. After I put my pants on, I hurried out into
the other room. Someone had thrown something through the window and
caught the curtains on fire! Mark put the fire out on the floor.
After the fire was out, I told Mark to get dressed. We were going
We slowly and quietly rode into town. I left Mark in front of
Micah’s office with the horses while I made my way into the hotel. I
knocked on Prescott’s door. When he opened it, he found himself
facing my rifle. I cocked it as I pointed it straight at him. I was
very angry! He just looked at me without saying a word.
I slowly moved into the room, forcing him to back up less the barrel
of my rifle be shoved right into his face. “My house was set on fire
tonight,” I announced angrily.
“Why tell me? I had nothing to do with it,” Prescott said.
"I could blow your head off Prescott!”
“I was downstairs all evening-“ he started.
I wasn’t in the mood to hear any of his lame excuses! “I could blow
your head off and not give it a second thought." He told me to relax
and put the gun down. He was relieved when I put my rifle down until
I grabbed a hold of him. As I gave my little speech, I kept a firm
hold on his collar and kept shaking him. "On the ride in I kept
thinking, what should I do to him and how should I handle this? Well
killing you is not going to get me what I want. Taking you to the
law still needs more proof. So, I guess it's still between you and
me. Now I've been getting your messages but you don't seem to be
getting mine. So now you listen and you listen good. You can tear
down all my fences; I'll put up new ones. You can burn my house to
the ground; I'll build a new one. You can try to scare me off with
an arsenal, I won't scare. So you give up Prescott, you give up
because I won't!" I shoved him and he fell onto the bed. I then
walked out and went to get Mark and we headed home.
The next morning, Mark and I were on our way outside to start
working when I saw Prescott riding up. Immediately, I went back
inside and grabbed my rifle. I cocked it as he rode up, ready for a
fight! "I thought over what you said last night McCain," said
Prescott. I told him to turn that buggy around and get out of here.
"You know I can't help but admire you!”
"Did you hear what I said Prescott?"
"I'm gonna get what I want, one way or another," said Prescott. I
started again to tell him to get off my land. Suddenly, he said,
"Isn't that right Dave?"
"That's right Mr. Prescott," I heard. Mark and I turned to see Dave
standing just off the porch.
"Your covered from the other side too.” Mark and I saw a man coming
from behind the barn.
“And from behind.” Mark and I turned to see a man coming off the
side porch. We were covered! They were all holding their guns on us.
"Throw that rifle away McCain," Dave ordered.
"Now you can put up a fight if you want to but your son's liable to
get hit in the cross fire," said Prescott. I threw my rifle on the
“Now can we talk business?”
‘No deal, Prescott,” I answered without hesitation.
“Fair price,” he tired.
Prescott told Mark to go in the shed. Mark just stood there until I
told him to do what Prescott had said. After Carver put Mark in the
shed, Prescott gave me one last chance. I didn't answer with words.
Instead, I throw a punch right at Dave. But then Spencer hit me from
behind. Spencer then picked me up and held me while Carver started
to beat on me. I managed to kick Dave while the others held me. This
just angered him more and he continued hitting me.
I could hear Mark in the background calling to me and pounding on
the door to the shed.
Dave kept hitting me until I fell to the ground. "Change your mind
McCain!" Prescott pleaded. He still sat in his buggy.
But I kept silent. His men kept hitting me and I managed to get a
kick in again at Dave. Again I fell to the ground. "McCain! What do
I slowly stood up and delivered a hard punch at Dave. Dave got mad
and drew his gun. He cocked it as he pointed it at me. "Hold it
Dave!" Prescott ordered.
"I'm gonna make him pay!" Dave yelled angrily.
Prescott jumped out of his buggy. "I said hold it!" Prescott grabbed
me and helped me to my feet. I stood in front of him, short of
breath. We just looked at each other. "He doesn't know the meaning
of the word beg. But he knows the meaning of the word fight," he
said as he smiled at me. "Well sometimes you make a bad investment.
What do you do? You take your losses and you try something else.
That's business.” He winked at me. “So long, McCain.”
He turned to get on his buggy, but I stopped him. “Just a minute,
Prescott! You still owe me $5. Fire damage on my house!” He gave me
the money and left.
Suddenly, Mark started knocking on the shed again. I hurried over as
he started calling my name again. I opened it and Mark grasped me.
“I’m alright, son,” I assured him. But he asked me if I was alright
anyway. I tried to tell him everything was okay, but he grabbed on
to me tighter and asked again. I again assured him I was okay. But
mark was still upset by what had happened. He wanted to get me some
water. He had to do something to help me! “Alright, get me some
water,” I said.
That evening I was setting on the
steps of the porch looking at the
land and all I owned and thought how all this was worth standing up
for. It was our land, Mark's and mine and no one was going to take
it from us, no matter what. Just then Mark came out and sat on the
steps with me with a big smile on his face. I asked him what he was
thinking. "I'm not thinking, I'm looking."
"Looking at what?" I asked. "
The hill, the valley, the herd, every rock...every blade of
grass...and all of it ours."
"Looks good to you, huh?"
"Especially now...before I only saw it with my eyes."
I understood what he was saying. "And now you see it with your
heart," I said.
"Yup...just can't explain it though.”
"Nobody can son, it's a deep warm feeling...a comfort we…we just
happen to call home." I watched my son look over our land as if
seeing it for the first time. We were happy!
This is what I call a "shirtless" episode!
piddlin' stuff.....Gerald Mohr played Willard Prescott in this episode of
Squeeze Play. He was the man who wanted to buy the McCain Ranch.
Alcaide appeared in ten episodes ―
Trade as Hamp Ferris, he was the cowboy who wanted to turn Morley
in for the reward ― Obituary as Panama Billings, he was
gunfighter who rode into North Fork trying to make a name for
himself and another notch on his gun ― A Case of Identity as Lon
Perry, he was the cowboy along with his partner Captain James Gordon
who scheme to make Wingate think Mark was his son ―
A Time for
Singing as Spence, the leader of a gang of bank robbers who were
going to rob the North Fork Bank ―
Meeting at Midnight as
Schroeder, he was working with Benton & Morgan to break Carl Miller
out of jail ― Dead Cold Cash as Ben Casper, the attorney
for Sara Caruthers ― The Wyoming Story part 1 & 2 as Ross, the Henchman for Forbes McKee the Indian Agent ―
The Journey Back
as Will Carney, he was looking for revenge for his brother's death ―
Squeeze Play as Dave Rankin, the heavy for Willard
Gee how many times did John Anderson star in
The Rifleman? Who
appeared in the most episodes Chris Alcaide or John Anderson? How
about John Milford?
appeared in two episodes ― Squeeze Play as Phil Carve, he
was the one with the studded leather cuffs ― Requiem at Mission Springs as Rance, the leader
of the gang.
Henry Madden played Hal Spencer. He was the one who came from the back of the house, the opposite side that Dave (Chris Alcaide) came out on.
Blair as Lou Mallory. Patricia was first introduced to The
Rifleman in 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.
Tom Smith - How many times has Tom Smith
been on The Rifleman? Is it 7 or 9? He was in The
Queue as a customer in the dining room Outlaw's Shoes
as a cowboy in town ― The Clarence Bibs Story as a cowboy
in town ― Millie's Brother as a card player ― The Long
Goodbye as a cowboy in town ― Suspicion as a cowboy in
town and he was in Squeeze Play which later they used stock
footage from Squeeze Play for Conflict and End
of the Hunt.
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
Character Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie
and wondered who is that guy?
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