The Rifleman
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Waste - part 2
Episode 144

I knew it wouldn't be long until the bandits would come after us. I had to think of a way to get us out of here.

"Pa? What will those bandits do when they find the other one up on the hill?"
The Rifleman - Waste part 2 - Episode 144Mark wondered.

"They'll come after us and try and keep us from getting to our horses,” I answered quickly. I didn’t really have time to talk. I had to figure out what to do! “Keep an eye out for them son."

Mark went to the door and opened it to watch for them. When he saw them, he closed the door quietly and put a chair under the door knob. He hurried over to me. "They’re comin' Pa!"

"This way?" I asked.

"No...the other way like you said, where the horses are." I was relieved, because I certainly wasn’t ready for them yet!

Micah was still bleeding some. “How much?” Mark wondered. He was still so full of questions! “Just enough to keep it clean.” Again, I spoke rapidly because I didn’t really have time to talk. “Look, check the front.” Mark hurried over to the window and scratched some of the paint away with his knife so he could peek out without them seeing.

I watched the back of the saloon. I sure was worried with Mark there! I turned and looked at him as he peeked out of the hole. He walked over to me. He stood behind me as I watched out the back. “What are they, Pa?” Mark asked. “What kind of men are they?”

“Bandits, son.” I didn’t’ turn to him, but continued watching out the back. “The worst kind. Dirt poor and stupid. There’s not the brain of a coyote among them. Best they can do is sneak around the countryside, find a man alone and knock him on the head for his horse…or his gun…or his boots.”

. "Pa, you didn't have to give them the rifle. You didn't have too!" Mark declared regretfully.

"I couldn't start a fight with you in the middle Mark!" Mark apologized. I snapped at him then. "You know, having you here is like having both hands tied behind me. You're not a child anymore, Mark. You must know that."

My words just got Mark all riled up again. "We've already settled that Pa. I'm not goin'! If we do get out of this it'll be together or...or not at all. Pa, they cut up Micah something awful...someone's got to take care of him!" Mark was worried for me. "You can't do it alone! And even if you do send me off, I'll come right back and jump one of them with a rock. I swear I will!"

The Rifleman - Waste part 2 - Episode 144never talked to me like that before son,” I commented quietly.

“I've never had to. We've never been in such a fix before."

"No, I...” I sighed heavily. “I guess we haven't."

It was only a matter of time before the bandits figure out where we were. I had to act fast! I started by dusting off a mirror. I started positioning it the way I needed it for my plan. As I was doing so, Micah started moaning. I hurried over to him and bent down beside him. “Micah?” I whispered.

Micah turned and looked at me. “Lucas Boy!”

“How is it, Micah?” I asked worriedly. Micah moaned. “How bad is it? I’ve got to know!” Micah was confused. I quickly explained to him what happened.

I found some old rifles. They only had one shot a piece in them, if they worked! I had taken them from the guy I killed on the hill. “Now, that leaves three of them, Micah. Now, they’re across the street behind the shack they were living in. They’re drunk, I think, which should give us an edge.” Micah wondered what they were doing here. I figured they were probably on the run and had to hole up somewhere. I told Micah the head man’s wife was having a baby – I think she was having it now.

Alphonso had managed to sneak to the place his wife was holed up. He called to the old woman. “Los Gringos? Los Gringos?” he asked, but she didn’t know. Alphonso sat in the doorway. His wife turned her head and looked at him. He smiled. He couldn’t stay away. He came over to her with a bottle of whisky. He wanted to take away some of her pain, but she shook her head and turned away. He turned away sadly and left.

They had cut Micah up bad. Micah didn’t know how bad it was. “What’d they do it with?” I asked. Micah didn’t remember anything. He didn’t feel anything.

I asked him if he could see to shoot. He said he could see. I tried to give him a rifle, but he was too weak. He couldn’t even hold it. I was frustrated – it looked like I was on my own! Micah wondered if they knew where we were. “Yeah, I’m sure they know by now,” I answered quietly.

“You got a plan?”

“Yeah, I got a plan, Micah. It’s a little involved, but it just might work.” I didn’t want to tell him about it
The Rifleman - Waste part 2 - Episode 144though. I hurried to set up my plan. After finding a lantern, I started positioning the table. “Pa?” Mark turned from the window, curious as to what I was doing. “Pa, what are you doing’?”

I didn’t have time to explain. I sat the lantern on the table. “Just a minute. Let me work it out,” I answered quickly.

“Tell me what you’re doing!” Mark argued.

I put a chair at the table. Frustrated, I turned to Mark. “Just a minute, son. Just a minute!” I insisted. I then went to adjust the mirror. I took some matches from my pocket and sat them on the table. After getting everything adjusted, I said, “All right, that should be right.” I told Mark to sit down and light the lamp. Mark went to the table and started to move the chair. “Don’t move the chair! Just light the lamp!” I ordered.

He lit the lamp. “What’s this all about, Pa?”

“All right, good.” I told him to turn the wick up all the way. I walked to the door and looked at the mirror. From there, it looked like Mark sitting at the table. I told Mark to blow it out for now. “It just might work if they’re drunk enough!”

Mark walked over behind me. “What’s this all about?”

I turned to him quickly. “Quiet and sit down!” I ordered again. I reached for the rifles. “Now you stay there.” Mark slowly lowered himself. “Sit down, son. You get ready to light that lamp.” I looked out the peeping hole to watch for them. I was nervous. This had to work if we were to get out of here alive. I had to make sure…

Suddenly, I decided on something else. “Mark, set a couple of empty bottles on that chair near the back door, huh?” I was ready for them. I wanted to get this over with.

As Mark started back for the table, Micah called out to him. Mark stopped and hurried over to him. All of a sudden, Micah was feeling so good. Micah needed some whisky. Mark told him there was nothing there but empties, but the bandits had some whiskey and we would get some of that soon. Micah wasn’t so sure.

I could hear Mark talking to Micah about Margaret. I overheard Mark as he told Micah, "No I don't really remember her at all. Sometimes I think I do, but sometimes I’m almost sure, but…I don’t really. I know that what I think I'm remembering is just the photographs that Pa has. I was only three."

“It’s hard,” Micah stated. “And so is…everything else. Funny thing, I’ve always had a notion that nine out of ten people in North Fork who’ve never even saw a picture of your Ma could give an accurate description of her just from knowin’ your Pa.” I smiled about that. It made me happy to know I was keeping her memory alive.

Suddenly, it was back to reality. I saw the bandits coming down the street. They were headed here. “They’re coming,” I announced. I hurried to the door. “Mark, the lamp!”

Mark hurried over to the table and waited to light it on my nod. I watched the door as it slowly opened. The bottles fell from the chair one by one. The door came open all the way. Mark looked towards me, but I shook my head to wait. The first bandit stepped in. I nodded for Mark to light the lantern. As soon as he did, the first bandit fired his gun at the mirror and shattered the mirror.

With the two rifles I had, I shot the first two bandits. Now all I had left was Alphonso. Mark blew out the lantern and hurried over to Micah. Micah wanted to cry out, but Mark covered his mouth with his hand to keep him quiet.
The Rifleman - Waste part 2 - Episode 144
I took a handgun from one of the bandits. I hurried behind the wall and waited for Alphonso to come in. The door opened slowly. But as I stood there, I suddenly got an idea that would buy me a little insurance. I took out some of the bullets from the handgun, then squeezed the trigger, three times, hearing three clicks. The gun sounded empty. My plan worked like a charm! “No more bullets, Gringo?" Alphonso yelled out as he entered the room. I then shot into the air. Alphonso dropped my rifle and started begging me for his life. "Don't shoot...I don't woman is going to have a son, just like yours!" I shoved him away. Yeah, my son! “Please senor, I feel really bad for what happened to your friend, but I don’t do that! They do that! They’re very big man! They big man!” He just kept ramblin' on. He was hoping to keep my attention while he pulled the small gun from his belt. But I knew what he was doing. He turned and started to draw on me, but I shot him first. He fell to the floor.

It was over. I was upset as I threw the gun to the floor and hung my head. I suddenly felt the pressure and anxiety overwhelm me. I wanted to sit down and cry, and I may have if I hadn’t suddenly heard Micah call my name. He and Micah needed me. I had to stay strong for them.

“Lucas, I’m needin’ some whiskey real bad. Will you…see if you can get me some?” I turned to go. “Oh Lucas-“ Micah stopped me. “Don’t be gone too long.”

I knew it was bad. I had to help my friend! “I won’t,” I promised.

Micah looked up at the roof. It was broken and he could see the stars. “I came into this world under a open sky, so Mama told me. And I just soon go out the same way. And I thank the Lord, Mark, you and your Pa are here with me.”

I left to find some whisky. I saw the old woman. She saw me with the rifle and fled. I walked into the building where the pregnant woman was. When she saw me walk in, she was suddenly fearful. I wanted to help her, but she was so afraid. She was all alone. I had to get some whisky back for Micah. I saw the disgust in her face. I quickly turned and headed back to the saloon with the whisky.

I bent down next to Micah. “Micah, these wounds have to be cleaned up.” I started to pour the whisky on his cuts, but Micah stopped me. He didn’t want me wasting drinking whisky on his cuts. He wanted to drink it instead. He didn't want me to waste good liquor on the outside of him. "I never could stand waste. That's all this whole day has been, just waste." He told me to sit down with him.

I told him I couldn't because the girl was having her baby now and the old lady ran off and left her. I didn't know if I could help her but I had to try. I hurried back to help the girl. She was ready to deliver. I quickly started washing my hands in preparation of delivering the baby. I didn’t even have time to finish. She let out a cry and I knew I better catch that baby. I pulled the covers back and put my hand between her legs in time to deliver the baby. She let out a scream.

I cleaned the baby up, happy to have been able to save it. Then I washed my hands. I smiled at her. After all, this was supposed to be a happy time. But she wasn’t happy. She turned from me. I was the reason for her unhappiness, and I was sorry for it. I hurried out.

Back at the saloon, Micah and Mark were sleeping next to each other. Mark mumbled to me as I bent
The Rifleman - Waste part 2 - Episode 144 down in front of them. “It’s a boy, son,” I announced.

“A boy…yeah,” Mark mumbled sleepily. I smiled. “Can I go back to sleep now?”

“You sure can son.” I watched my two best guys sleeping. I couldn’t help but smile. I was so happy we survived. I don’t know what I’d do without either one of them!

The next day, I hitched up the wagon for the girl and her baby. She would have to go somewhere. She couldn’t stay here. I waited for them to walk out. I reached out to help her into the wagon, but she pulled away. She wanted nothing to do with me. She would do this all by herself. I handed her the reins. I knew she hated me. We stared at each other. She finally took the reins from me, then she slapped my face really hard. I reckon I deserved that since I killed her husband. I watched her ride off.

When I got back to the saloon, I smiled as Mark dumped water over Micah’s head. Micah was groaning from his aching head. “How do you feel now, Micah?” Mark asked.

“You know something? I shoulda died when I had the chance,” he complained. Mark laughed. “Instead of drinkin’ all that bad whiskey!” Micah knocked the bottles out of the way.

Boy, I sure did love these guys – even if they were impossible!

 Waste ~ part 1

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