The Rifleman
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The Adventure Begins.....
Lucas Managed to Stay Awake
Written Donna Hume

Lucas managed to stay awake throughout the day with Mark, the pain from his arm was a mighty big help.  It seemed like every time he turned around, he was running into something with it; there were times he could feel a cold sweat rolling down his face, the pain was so intense.  Funny, he didn’t seem to notice it that much before the doctor worked on it.  “Pa, what’s wrong, Pa?” came the voice of genuine concern.  “Just my arm, boy.  Nothing to worry about.  They walked around the town, checking prices on items they would need to restock.  Mark suggested they get some jerky, “It would be nice to have something to count on for eating while we’re on the trail, other than beans.”  Lucas laughed a bit but consented to Mark’s request. He also noticed that there was an abundant supply of hardtack and hard cheese in this town, so he made a mental note of these other items that could be helpful foods while out on the trail.

As they continued looking around the town, Lucas tried to make himself familiar with the people who lived in the community.  The more he knew about them, the safer he could keep his son.  Mark was making friends with every storekeeper, it came naturally for him.  Like his mother, he saw the good in everyone and it made him more likeable.  Lucas, on the other hand, was much more skeptical than his son and while he was not making enemies, he was not making friends either.

Lucas wanted to check in at the livery to check on his stock, the livery owner told him that he had to put the horses outside in the coral as he simply did not have the space to keep them all inside.  Lucas told him he understood, as long as the livery owner made sure to take care against rain rot.  All arrangements worked out to everyone’s satisfaction and Lucas was ready to go on to something else.  Of course, on his way out of the livery, he managed to turn and ram his arm right into a support pole.  He gritted his teeth and managed to hold on to it long enough to keep himself upright.  He was pale and white in color and Mark looked up at him, knowing he was in pain, knowing the day had been draining on him.  “I’m sorry Pa, maybe we just should have gone back to the hotel.”  Lucas looked at his son, “Mark, what were you going to do all day at the hotel?  We had important things to do today, we’ll go back there tonight after supper.  Speaking of supper, let’s go get some, what do you say?” Lucas thought he could take Mark’s mind off of him by mentioning food and perhaps the thought of apple pie.  Mark looked up at his father, “Pa, your arm really hurts, don’t it?”  “Doesn’t it,” Lucas corrected Mark on his grammar.  “Well, doesn’t it?” he asked again.  “It doesn’t hurt so bad that I don’t want to get something to eat for supper, now let’s go,” and with that he brushed the top of Mark’s hair and ushered him toward the restaurant.  When they sat at a table, the waitress came over to take their order and Mark wanted to know if they had any more apple pie.  The waitress told him she was sorry, all they had was chocolate cake and Mark said, “I’ll have that.”  Lucas asked him what he wanted before the chocolate cake to which he responded, “More chocolate cake?”  Lucas looked at the waitress, who was having a difficult time holding back her laughter, that Mark would have meat, potatoes, and vegetables, lots of vegetables.  She asked him what he would have and while he thought he would just have coffee and cake, but with Mark looking at him, “I’ll have the same.  He’ll be drinking milk and I’d like coffee, black.  Thank you.”  While they waited for their meal, Lucas looked around the restaurant, trying to see if anyone looked out of place, like they had just come into town.  Everyone seemed to belong, except for he and Mark.  They talked about their day until the food arrived and Mark seemed to inhale his, at least it appeared that way to Lucas.  Perhaps it was because he really did not have an appetite, or maybe Mark really wanted to get to that chocolate cake.  Either way, Mark had scarfed down his chocolate cake and Lucas still had not finished his meal.  “Pa, I think we should go back to the hotel,” Mark said.  Lucas had just been picking at his food, not aware that Mark had noticed.  “I think that might be best son.  But I think I want to stop by that doctor’s office first,” Lucas felt something must be wrong with his arm.  When they arrived at the doctor’s office, he was just getting ready to close but he allowed for them to come in, “What seems to be the problem?”  Lucas explained that his arm hurt more since the doctor set it than it had since the injury.  The doctor agreed to take another look but tried to explain that with the dislocation of the shoulder, all the tendons, ligaments, nerves, and muscles, and such had been stretched out of position and something might be pinched.  When the doctor had everything unwrapped, he believed he saw the problem.  It appeared that a blood vessel had been pinched, cutting off the blood supply to the arm.  “I’m afraid that I will need to relocate that shoulder again, Mr. McCain.  This will not be as easy as the first time,” the doctor told him.  “Easy, what was easy about the first time?” Lucas asked, there was no sarcasm in his voice, the doctor could hear the pain.  “The fact that it went in after having been out for so long.  I suggest you take some of that laudanum now, I’ll get a couple of men and we’ll meet you in your hotel room.  Mark, why don’t you wait here until I come back and get you when it’s over,” the doctor said.  “I want to be with my Pa,” Mark spoke up right away.  “Your Pa would be better off if you were not there boy.  You need to stay here,” the doctor told him.  Mark tried to push past him, “Me and my Pa, we’re partners.  We do everything together.”  The doctor held Mark’s shoulder and spoke very quietly, “Boy, your Pa is going to be in a lot of pain, more pain than he has known.  No father wants his son to see him like that.  Fathers are supposed to be infallible, indestructible.  How do you think he will feel when you see him cry out in pain?”  Mark didn’t know what to do, he wanted to be with his Pa but he didn’t want to make him feel bad, “Pa, do you want me to stay here?” his voice in a quiver.  Lucas knew what happened the first time and he didn’t want Mark to see him like that but he also knew that leaving Mark behind could splinter their already angst-ridden relationship.  He had promised Mark they would stay together, “No son, but maybe you could wait downstairs in the hotel until they’re done?”  This seemed to satisfy Mark, the doctor; not so much.

Once back at the hotel, it took several tries before they were able to get Lucas’ shoulder out of its’ socket and then many more to get it back in.  During the process, the arm was rebroken and needed to be reset as well.  Lucas was grateful for the laudanum as the pain was intense.  He could not help but scream out and Mark could hear him downstairs in the lobby.  He tried to cover his ears, he tried not to hear, but the screams were loud and they sounded of great pain.

Finally the men came down from the room and the doctor walked over to Mark, “I suppose you heard your Pa up there?”  Mark nodded, tears welling up in his eyes.  The doctor told him not to let his father know he heard anything, Mark just nodded again.  Then the doctor knelt down and held Mark until he stopped shaking, “I know this can’t be easy on you, but your Pa is going to need you to be really strong for him.  Do you think you can do that?”  Mark nodded again.  The doctor gave him a pat on the back, “I gave your Pa some medicine to help him sleep, try to keep him from bumping that arm.  I’ll come back to see him in the morning,” he was looking at Mark though Mark appeared to be in a daze.  “Young man, do you understand what I’ve told you?”  Mark answered in trepidation, “Yes sir.”  The doctor could not help but worry for Mark, “Would you like me to stay with your Pa for the night?”  Mark looked him right square in the eye, “No sir, me and my Pa, we’re partners.  He can count on me, he told me he could trust me,” he said with some indignation.  The doctor smiled at Mark, patted him on the back again, “I’m sure he can, boy, I’m sure he can.”  The doctor stood up and pointed Mark up to the room, as he watched Mark walk up the stairs, he could not help but smile at the determination of the young boy.  Once Mark was out of view, the doctor turned and left the hotel and headed back to his office, on his way, he was stopped by a stranger asking him if he was aware of an injured man with a boy who recently came into town.

The Adventure Begins.....
Lucas Managed to Stay Awake - part 2

These stories are based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!

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