Welcome to The Writer's Corner
A Bring Back Milly Production
by Michelle Palmer
The year Lucas, Mark, and Milly
spent apart was a hard one; but at least the three had letters
to help each other through the hard times. It was through these
letters that the love the three had for each other grew. One
final letter revealed from Milly and Lucas to the other revealed
the true feelings they discovered they had held inside them for
a long time.
April 1, 1885
Saying goodbye to you tonight was the hardest
thing I ever had to do. I hated watching you
ride away tonight, knowing it was the last time
I would everÖ
Oh Milly, I wish you didnít have to go, but I do
understand. I understand how hard things can be
when you lose someone whoís close to you. I made
the mistake you made, and perhaps you are being
the brave one Ė going back to face your mistake.
Mark never understood my running away, and I
canít say that I blame him. He was bitter for a
longÖlong time. We shared many tears and said so
many hard things to each other. We made it
through without too many scars, but if I had it
to do all over againÖ
Anyways, I just had to get my words down on
paper. Iíll mail this tomorrow so that itíll be
waiting for you in Kansas City when you get
Milly, you are the most special woman that came
into my life since the death of my wife. I will
tell you now that you are gone that it breaks my
heart to see you go. But I understand. I
understand more than you know.
I pray this letter finds you well. Just know you
are in my heart and thoughts every day. Give
your mother a kiss for me. I hope you find what
you are looking for.
April 1, 1885
My Dearest Lucas,
Oh, how my heart is breaking. As I sit here
writing this before going to bed, I canít help
but remember the kiss we shared just hours
before. Must I really get on a stage tomorrow?
Will I ever see you again? Oh, I canít ask that
question right now, because the mere thought of
leaving you just tears me up inside.
I know you understand why I have to go. I see it
in your eyes, but I see hurt in your eyes as
well. I see hopelessness. But Lucas, I donít
want you to stand still and not allow yourself
to live. The selfish part of me wants to beg you
to wait for me until I can return, but I donít
know whenÖor if Iíll ever be able to do that.
Thereís a piece of me thatís missing right now,
and until I find that piece I cannot possibly
love you the way I so desperately want to.
You and Mark are so dear to me! I will always
hold your memories in my heart, and I hope you
will write me, because I want to always know
whatís going on with you two.
Please, Lucas, for me just go on living. If I
come back someday and we were meant to be then
your living wonít keep us apart. But if you find
another to fill your empty spaceÖwell, then itís
for the best.
I must turn in now, my love. I have packing and
storing to do in the morning. Oh, Iíll leave the
key to the store with Mr. Hamilton.
April 2, 1885
My Dearest Milly,
I have a confession to make. I was in town at
noon when I heard the stage pull in. I know I
promised you that Iíd stay away, and I tried.
ButÖI just could not let you leave without
seeing you one more time. I kept your wish in
staying away, though I assure you it was
difficult. You see, I stood in an alley and
watched you walk out the doors of the General
Store once more. I watched you lovingly run your
hand across the door. Were you remembering the
same thing I was thinking of in that moment,
Mil? Were you remembering our first meeting?
I almost ran to you when I saw you look down the
road in the opposite direction. I wondered if
you didnít mean what you said the night
beforeÖabout you not wanting to say goodbye at
the stage. I saw you crying as you boarded the
stage. Was it me and Mark you were crying for,
Mil? Or was it North Fork?
You know itís funny. I can say things to you in
writing that I canít say to you face-to-face. I
thought of a million things as I watched you
board that stage I should have said to you.
Maybe you would have stayed thenÖBut then again,
maybe thatís what I didnít want Ė for you to
Iíll say goodbye for now. But please know you
are in my thoughts and prayers. I worry about
you traveling by stage, and I wish someone was
with you to make sure you got to Kansas City
safely, but I sent God with you. I asked him to
take care of you.
April 2, 1885
sure was hard saying goodbye to you. It was harder watching you
and Pa say goodbye, though. Oh Milly, I know that País probably
never told you, but he loves you. I know he loves you. I see
the smile when he knows you are coming.
explained to me why you had to go, and I think I understand.
There were so many timesÖstill areÖthat I want to go running
back to Oklahoma to say goodbye properly. I know Pa stayed for
the funeral and all, but the way we left I didnít really
understand, until now. I had a hard time adjusting. I had
nightmares for months and cried myself to sleep almost every
nightÖuntil a special family came into our lives and helped us
learn how to live.
not sure, but I think Pa may have gone into town today to watch
you leave. He didnít say where he was going, but when he left
he had a look on his face that told me where he was going. I
hope he didnít hurt too much.
anyway, I reckon you know youíve become like a mother to me, and
I sent a chip of my heart with you back to Kansas City. Milly,
when you finally say goodbye to your family and make amends, I
do hope you come back. Life just wonít be the same without you.
neither will my PaÖIím afraid you have something that belongs to
himÖYou know what it is.
April 10, 1885
Thank you for your letters. Finding them here
when I arrived meant a great deal to me. I know
my decision has been hard on you, but when my
mother saw me, her face lit up. I have come home
to so many unresolved emotions and so many
memories. I must go see my fatherís grave
tomorrow. Oh, I do hope seeing his grave will
help me heal a bit. I know I need it.
I have a confession to make,
Lucas. I was hoping you were there somewhere. I
told myself that if I saw youÖI would crumble
into your arms and change my mind about leaving.
Thatís why I didnít want you and Mark there Ė
because I knew that I would change my mind at
the last minute. You may think Iím weak and may
wish you did come out from hiding, but Lucas you
did the right thing! I could never be free if I
didnít come home. Please understand!
The trip home wasnít all it was
cut out to be. Iíll explain my adventures in
Markís letter and let him read it to you if he
wishes. You just give him those raised eyebrows
and heíll tell you everything he knows. I just
wish I could see the excitement in his eyes when
he reads of the adventure I encountered.
I miss you,
LucasÖMore than words can say. I do hope we are
April 10, 1885
Yes. I know your father is hurting. Iím sorry I
had to leave, but I knew I couldnít be happy if
I didnít come back to find myself. I couldnít
move on until I went back and faced my pain.
Running is the easy way out of our pain, and so
many of us do it when things get tough.
You will be happy to know, Mark, that I had
myself quite an adventure on the way to Kansas
City! Now that itís over, I suppose you can tell
your father about it; but if only he knewÖhe
would have never allowed me on that stage! You
see, unbeknownst to us, a man traveling with us
had $5,000.00 in the strongbox on that stage.
Somebody knew it and laid a log in the middle of
the road Ė I know what youíre thinkingÖĒOldest
trick in the book.Ē But it worked. The
stagecoach driver jumped down to move the log
andÖyou guessed it, three men with bandanas over
their faces jumped out with their guns. They
took the money and another $1000 besides that
was being transported to the bank in a
Well, then we were on our way again. When we got
into Missouri, A group of IndiansÖI think they
were OsageÖattacked our wagon. Oh, how I wanted
to be back in North Fork! In that moment, I
would have done anything to be in North Fork.
But we soon figured out they only wanted our
food supplies Ė nothing else. When they got
that, they were on their way.
Now, you may think thatís all the adventure one
coach could stand, but we were fully
entertained, I assure you, Mark. You see, near
the end of our journey, we stopped at a junction
where we were going to spend the night. The man
who had all that money in the strongboxÖwell, it
turns out he had stolen that money. He was a
bank robber. The Sheriff confronted him and the
man drew. He died practically at my feet.
Iím sure you will be happy to know, then,
that my trip back to K.C. wasnít all boring. It
was quite exciting, I assure you.
Well, I need to get these letters to post. I
love you, Mark. You take
enjoyed your stage coach ride very much! Boy, as I read this
letter to Pa, you should have seen the look on his face! He
said he didnít see anything enjoyable about it Ė you could have
been killed! Oh, but I explained to him that you would remember
this ride a lot more since you DID have the adventure! Oh, and
next time you decide to take a ride with such adventure, please
take me along! I had to laugh when I realize that money stolen
off the stagecoach was stolen. Say, did they ever catch the
robbers who stole the stolen loot? Oh, Iím laughing just
thinking of the whole mess!
I need a
laugh right now, Milly. You are missed more than you will ever
know. Pa is quite hard to live with right now. I donít know
what to do to get through to him. Everything I do is wrong. He
yells at me for every little thing. In fact, today I came home
from school only to be sent to my room. He told me that I
didnít do my chores this morning, which I didnít, but thatís
because he wanted me to water some of the garden before I went
to school. Of courseÖthese days, it doesnít take much to set
Oh Milly, how do I get through to him? What do I say? I know he
misses you, and I know I shouldnít be writing these things to
you, but I just need someone to talk to. Itís no secret that
these last two years Iíve come to care for you like a mother, so
mother to son, please tell meÖhow do I get through to him?
Well, Pa just walked in so I have to go. Iíll talk to you soon.
p.s. He misses
you so badly. I see it in his eyes.
Iím glad to hear you made it home safely. I wish
you were here so you could tell me what to do with the boy.
There are times I feel soÖinadequate as a father. There are
some things women are better at, and Iím sure if you were here
youíd be able to tell me what to do.
Things arenít the same here without you. I hope
things are going well.
Iím sorry things are so rough on you. I wish I had an answer, but I
donít. I knew you cared very much for me, but I
never realizedÖOh Mark, Iím so sorry Iíve had to
leave you. I DO hope to return someday because
my heart is in North Fork. I never felt more at
home then I did there.
Just love your father. You two have always talked before. Perhaps
you should just tell him how you feel, straight
out. Donít sugar coat it. Your father is aÖwell,
heís a very stubborn man and sometimes you just
have to be blunt to get him to really understand
what you are trying to say.
Oh, Iíll keep you in my prayers, Mark.
I have to tell you something exciting. Iím inserting a newspaper
article for you to read. My mother is getting
one tomorrow. Itís certainly going to be
different! Perhaps someday weíd be able to hear
each otherís voices.
Your letter was so short. Iím worried about you. Mark told me about
the trouble you two are having, and I hope you
two can sit down and try to work everything out.
You two are so close and it hurts me to think
that my leaving has caused such friction between
you. Please work things out with him.
I went and saw Fatherís grave. Heís buried in a cemetery nearby and
Mother bought a big headstone for his grave. Oh,
it was so hard seeing his name and dates on
there. I should have come back to the funeral,
but I was still running from all my pain. When I
left here, I left with so much between us. My
family was hurtingÖoh so badly, yet IÖI walked
away. My sister who lives in Denver, she is
quite a bit older than I amÖeven she made it to
Fatherís funeral. When he died, I was justÖI had
a man who had hurt me terribly. He wanted me to
marry him but IÖWell, anyhow thatís another
reason I was so broken when I came to North
I wept over Fatherís grave. It hurt so badly to really accept that
he was gone, but I did because I had to. Oh
Lucas, I longed to feel you there. You could
bring me such comfort with just a hand on my arm
or walking beside me. Your eyes would calm me.
But I suspect that if you were here, you wouldÖ
Oh, I shouldnít think such things. I may be too forward in my
I was telling Mother yesterday about our first
meeting. Do you remember it? You walked in that
door demanding I send that silly pump back for
you! Oh, I was so mad! After you walked out, I
took that silly thing and threw it under the
counter. I told myself I would never set eyes on
itÖor you again! But just a couple days later I
found myself seeking your forgiveness. Iíll
never forget what you said. Itís not what you
said, but rather how you said it. I could hear
the ďI forgive youĒ in your voice. Thatís when I
knew you were a bit rough around the edges. I
took you as a personal challenge, Lucas McCain.
Well, I best
close for now. I DO hope this finds you and Mark
I havenít received a letter from you, and this
one may pass yours. I sort of hope it does. Mark
and I are taking a trip. Things have been pretty
tense around here and I donít have to tell you
why. Mark told me that he mailed you with his
version of the truth. WellÖI hesitate to say,
but Iím afraid our boy is right. Iíve been hard
to live with and I think getting away for a
couple week s is what we both need. There is
still some tension between us, but things are
getting better. Please continue to pray for us;
as I, my sweet Mil, will continue to pray for
I will write you when I return.
Take care of
I wanted to write you and tell you about whatís
been going on. I donít know if País told you,
but we took a trip away from North Fork for a
couple weeks. Things were so much better. Oh, I
donít want you to worry, Milly. Things will be
better again soon, but Iím afraid País been
There were these men who bushwhacked Pa. He was
shot right out of his saddle. You see, he rode
into Red Creek one day to get his rifle fixed Ė
you know Pa and his rifle. Anyhow, when he was
on his way home, he was shot. This man named
George Vale strapped his guns on Pa, thinking he
was dead. But Pa woke up the next morning and
rode into town. He couldnít remember anything,
Milly. Not evenÖme. When I got there and found
him, he was out of his head. Everyone thought he
was Vale, this horse thief and murderer! I tried
to tell him who he was! I did, MillyÖbut he
denied me. He said that I wasnít his son.
Oh, you can imagine the pain I felt when he
rejected me. I couldnít understand it. I still
donít completely. Some menÖthey tried to lynch
him because they were convinced he was George
Vale. I was so scared, Milly Ė so very scared! I
didnít know what to do. In that moment I
realized I was just a boy. I didnít have the
power to stop this.
Then I mentioned the rifle and his memories
started coming back. He admitted that I was his
son and we lived on a ranch, but I donít think
he remembered much more. And then he passed out.
Iím sitting beside him here in bed. I wonder
what he will be like when he wakes up? Will I
see the recognition in his face I so want to
see? Or will he stare at me blankly, trying to
remember me? Oh Milly, I need you right now. I
need you here to help me understand. Some men Ė
the men who tried to lynch Pa Ė they took me to
supper tonight and we talked. They and the
doctor tried to explain amnesia to me, but I
still donít understand. I want him to love me
again, Milly. What ifÖ
The doctor said heíll post this for me now. Iíll
let you know more once he wakes up. I just had
to tell you whatís going on and get my thoughts
I love you.
tried to stop the last letter before it left, but I was too
late. I fell asleep with my head on País chest last night.
When I woke up this morningÖwell, I should say he woke me up by
calling my name! I was so happy. Milly, he doesnít remember
anything after being shot. He doesnít remember not remembering
me and Iíd like to keep it that way. Oh, I hope you didnít send
a letter to Pa and mention this. I donít think you did butÖDoes
he need to know what happened? I know we donít keep things from
each other but I donít know if he could handle this.
are going to go home soon, Milly. Pa still has big gaps in his
memory, but Iím sure those things will come back to him in
time. I must tell you that he remembered you this morning.
While I was talking to the doctor, I heard him say your name.
He loves you.
must close for now. Thank you listening.
Iím glad to hear things are better between you and Mark. I hope
your trip away does a lot to clear your mind.
Oh, I miss you two so much! I wish I could be
there to fix you a nice fried chicken supper. I
know you and Mark both love my fried chicken.
Lucas, I know you miss me. But please donít allow your life to
stand still. Please keep moving. I guess I
should take my own advice. As I sit here in the
dimly lit room tonight, I keep thinking back to
that night at the ranch when we said goodbye.
The kiss you gave me told me to stay. My heart
told me to stay, but there was something that
told me to leave.
I do hope you had a good trip. Tell Mark to study hard and make me
Mark told me he wrote you and told you about my
injuries. That boyÖhe just doesnít know when to
stay quiet. Iím sorry he bothered you. After
being shot, I woke up confused. There were a lot
of things I didnít remember, but I remembered
you and Mark. When I opened my eyes after being
shot I felt Mark there. But before I woke up
your presence was so strong. Were you thinking
about me that strongly or was it just in my
Maybe I was dreaming. You smiled down at me and
kissed me. Okay, I suppose I was dreaming, but
you said, ďMarkís here. He loves you. Donít
forget Mark.Ē What an odd thing to dream about.
Iím not sure what it meant, but I was glad to
see your face in my dreams.
Iím back at home now and slowly remembering
things. Our boy tried to take advantage of my
lapse in memory last night, Mil. He tried to
tell me that it was my turn to do the dishes.
Oh, but I didnít let him get away with it!
Frankly, I didnít remember whoís turn it was to
do the dishes, but I figured with the way he was
acting it was definitely his turn and I told him
so. But in the end, I wanted to do the dishes. I
could just hear your laugh in the room as you
watched our banter. You would have been so
So donít worry, my sweet Mil. Iíve talked to
Mark about keeping quiet Ė not worrying you
unnecessarily. I canít wait to hear from you!
Oh, my heart is aching for you and your
father after receiving your letter! I so want to
rush out and get on the nearest stagecoach, but
I am so worried that I have to wait to hear what
is going on. I am praying without ceasing for
you and your father.
Oh, dear me, I just got your second letter
this very moment. I canít imagine what you felt
when you realized your father had forgotten you.
I pray you donít hold any grudges about it,
Mark. From what little Iíve heard, you canít
reason things folks remember. I am happy to hear
you and I were in his first thoughts after he
woke up. It does my heart good to know I mean
Since you asked me for my advice, I will give
it to you. The secret is safe with me, and I
think it should stay that way. I will never
mention the amnesia to your father, Mark. I know
him so well, and I know that if he knew heíd
forgotten you it would cause him more pain. Iíve
already hurt him so deeply, and I donít want him
to hurt anymore. Maybe he will remember someday.
If he does, Iíll help you and your father
through this somehow. But for now letís just
keep it quiet.
I had a bit of adventure here. I sent you that article on a
telephone? Well, we got our telephone and I was
able to use it for the first time the other day.
Do you know that anyone with a phone can pick it
up and listen in on your conversation?
Oh itís hideous! I was telling one of my friends
about your father, and before I knew it she had
us engaged to be married! Oh, and donít you DARE
tell your father about this Ė heíd never let me
hear the end of it. I told Mother Iíd have to be
more careful with what I said on the phone in
Iíll try not to worry, Mark. But until I receive a very convincing
letter from your father, I wonít rest! I canít
restÖnot until Iím sure he is okay.
And yes, my dear Mark, I am well aware of your Pa and his rifle! It
has given me a lot of cause to worry.
I love you Mark. Stay strong and give your
father a kiss from me.
Donít you dare get onto Mark for telling me
about your recent ordeal. I want to know about
these things. I worry for you two every day. I
will make sure to tell Mark in the next letter
to him to tell me if anything goes wrong!
You know, itís strange but a few days
before I got Markís letter, I had this feeling
that something terrible was happening. I was
thinking about you and Mark so much late one
evening. I stayed awake and prayed for you. That
must have been the night. Oh, Iíve always heard
about stuff like thisÖhow a person who really
cares deeply for a person can feel when he or
she is hurting, but I never experienced it Ė not
even with my brother. But I felt it that night.
Iím not convinced you are completely well. I
donít feel it in your letter, Lucas. Please
write me back soon. Oh, I know what youíre
thinking, but I canít help being a woman!Ē
Things are settling down here. Iím working at
one of the local grocers. Itís not as glamorous
as what I might find in North Fork, but it keeps
my mind occupied. Iíve been talking to my
brothersí friends and trying to come to terms
with his death. I feel less bitter now.
No you canítÖhelp being a woman. I think thatís
what I like so much about you.
What can I say to convince you that Iím better?
Shall I remind you about the dances we went to?
Shall I remind you of our first kiss that took
place after a dance? Or should I tell you about
the evening I whispered in your ear and you
blushed? I remember how your hair looks when
itís down and the moonlightís shining on it. I
remember how your eyes sparkle and shine when
you look at me. I remember you in that red
dress. You look so good in red.
Oh my sweet Mil,
I am back to normal now. I see you everywhere I
walk. I know itíll get easier in time, but right
now I just hurt. I want to beg you to come back
to me butÖWell, perhaps you will in Godís time.
Markís up to his old tricks again. Heís been
absent-minded all week. I just found out this
very day that he has a big geography test coming
up. Mr. Griswald told me Markís known about it
for over a week, yet I havenít seen him pick up
geography book to
study. Heís also neglected his chores Ė the wood
box, laundryÖSays he has been working hard. You
know how Iíve been threatening him about the
rock pile. Well, Iíve had to put him to work on
that. Maybe that will teach him about being
responsible. They are closing the school for a
week to do some repairs. Heíll take care of it
I think Mark wants to put a letter in with mine.
Iíll close for now.
Milly, I miss you more than words can say.
Please remember you are always in my thoughts.
I sure wish you were here
right now! I have a big geography test and I sure could stand
some of your milk and apple pie right now! Then you could help
me study for this geography test. Youíre a lot more fun to
study withÖOh, nothing against Pa, mind you but youÖYou just
have more patience than Pa does! Pa told me I have to tackle
this test, and I best make a good grade on it or else Ė and you
know what that Ďor elseí means.
Honestly, I donít mind
getting yelled at by Pa right now. Iím just glad heís back to
normal. You canít even hardly tell he ever had amnesia!
I better close now, País
yelling again. Told me I best get started on the laundry I let
pile up. Heís making me wash sheets today. Boy, oh boyÖI wish
youíd stayed and married my Pa so YOU could do this laundry!
And heís going to make me
clear that rock pile! Can you believe it? This is so unfair!
I miss you, Milly
Oh, now I know you have a memory lapse! You may
very well have taken me on some dances, but do you really
remember the dances you didnít take me to because something came
up at the last minute? Do you remember, Lucas, the dance that I
waited and waited and you never came? Or did you Ďforgetí about
Lucas McCain, I donít know who it is you kissed
after a dance for the first time, but it wasnít me! If you
remember correctly, you took me on a picnic down at Millerís
Pond one day. Do you remember that? You bent over and kissed
me as we were just about to have dessert. I smiled at you and
told you I meant real dessert. How could you forget that? So
my dear Lucas, I must ask, just WHO did you kiss for the first
time after a dance? You should be mighty glad Iím in Kansas
City right now or you would get a good piece of my mind!
Perhaps you should go have Dr. Burrage re-examine your head!
About Mark: I
feel for Mark having to do such a laborious job. Have you
forgotten that he is a boy? He is mischievous, Lucas, but
you should think back to when you were his age. How did
you behave? Oh, I know you are bringing the boy up right,
and I admire you for it. But I canít help but to be soft
with him. I guess I always will be.
I will be waiting for your explanation!
My Dear Mark,
What makes you think I would have done the laundry?
Iím glad to hear your father is doing better. I can
tell he is from his letter I received today, except he does
still seem to be a bit confused on certain issues! As for the
geography test, wellÖyou must just do your best. Just remember
what I always tell youÖgo over the dates and points of interest
over and over in your head until you remember them by heart.
Sit straight and study hard. Of course, by the time you get
this letter it will be all over. I DO hope it went well.
Mark, you really
should see Kansas City! It is going through so many
changes. They have tall buildings Ė some even have ten
floors! We have telephones in almost all the buildings and
even the schools! Oh, and a man was here yesterday telling
us about the newest invention: electricity! Oh, if only
you could see. Perhaps one of these days you could come
for a visit. And did I mention indoor plumbing?
I love you, Mark.
My Sweet Mil,
Oh, I must have still been hot with fever when I
wrote that, my dear. I know very well that we
were at Millerís Pond the day I first kissed
you. I was just checking to make sure you
I did kiss you at a danceÖor rather after a
dance. You took my breath away that night in
that red dress. Oh, I loved holding you in my
arms while we danced.
You see how Iím talking? What would people think
if they heard the Rifleman talking so
romantically to a lady? I would never live up to
the reputation as a hard, mean olí cuss again!
Milly, Mark and I have just had another one of
his growing up times. I bought him a gift. I
meant to tell you about it, but it just slipped
my mind. He is now the proud owner of a new hat.
Oh, it makes him look so much older, and I
almost cried when I saw him put it on his head.
That boyÖheís a little devil! We had ourselves
another adventure and Iíll let Mark tell you all
about it. He ordered me not to tell you a thing
since heís not sure whoís letter you will read
I canít help but wonder, Milly, if you have
attended any dances? Have you worn that red
dress I love so much? If you have Iím sure every
man in the room stared at you.
I must close for now, my sweet Mil. Mark is
asking me something about taking a break to go
That boyÖwill he ever grow up?
Your loyal admirer,
better not have told you a thing about this! Boy, oh boy do I
have an adventure to share with you! Itís such a great story Ė
I almost thought it was a dream! Okay, well part of it WAS a
dream, butÖWell, where do I start?
know how I told you in the last letter about Pa making me clear
out a rock pile for punishment because I wasnít being
ďresponsibleĒ in his opinion? WellÖan old neighbor came back to
North Fork. He had been involved in a robbery in which
$5,000.00 was stolen. Anyway, he came back to North Fork
looking for work. Well, Pa told him a lie, Miss Milly! Honest
to goodness! He stood there in front of ME and told Mr.
Gannaway that there was really no work that needed done! I just
had to argue with him as I reminded him about the rock pile!
Well, it turns out that there were two other men in North Fork
who wanted that $5,000.00 andÖOh, you just arenít going to
you know what I found out? That $5000.00 was buried on OUR
land! Me and Freddie used to play in the rock pile when we were
younger, and we used to imagine there was a treasure buried out
there! Why, I told Pa that one day when he found me, I was
sleeping beside this big rock and I had a dream that I found a
treasure and we were rich! Milly, do you know where we found
that treasure! Under this great big rock! It took Billy
Lehigh, Sam Montgomery, me and Pa, oh and a team of horses, to
move that thing. How did they ever bury that money under that
rock? I donít get it! Anyhow, Pa made ME do the digging while
he rested. I wish you had been here. You would have said,
ďLucas, that boy needs to rest! It isnít good for a boy his age
to work so hard!Ē Then Pa would have said, ďItíll make him
strong, Milly.Ē Then you would have put your hands on his hips
and gotten right in his face with that look of yoursÖsort of
like the one you had on your face that very first day in the
store. Then he would have smiled and said, ďYes maíam.Ē
Iím sort of glad I got to dig because I found the $5000! Oh Milly, it sure was something! I started imagining what if me
and Freddie had found that money. We could have spent it all on
candy! Of course, if it was after you came, you would have
wondered where we got all that money and I wouldnít have only
been in trouble with Pa, but with you too! Who boy, but you
know how to get your point across. I cringe as I remember that
ear-pulling you gave meÖoh and the yelling you did too!
Going back to town with that money was exciting! In fact, while
we waited for Micah to come, I dreamed that Micah told me I
could have all the money! I started dreaming about what I was
going to spend it on. And of course, one of the things was
indoor plumbing. Milly, the dream was so real! I didnít even
get a reward!
you believe it? Would you have ever guessed that we had $5000
buried on the McCain Ranch? Oh, if only I had known!
AND despite of the fact that I was being irresponsible in País
eyes, he gave me a hat! You should see it. Pa said it makes me
look more mature. He said Iím growing up!
still miss you, Milly.
My Dear Lucas,
I guess I should tell you that I am rolling my eyes
at your explanation for forgetting about Millerís Pond. Donít
think I believed a word of it Ė not for a moment! And as for
kissing me after a dance in my red dressÖYes, you did kiss me a
couple of times after a dance, but I was NEVER in a red dress.
I know your mind is whirling for excuses, but let me give you
some advice. Just stop! You are just getting yourself into
more trouble! I havenít worn that red dress since I came home.
I canít bear the thought of someone else seeing me in it. I
hope to come back to North Fork someday, and when I do I will be
wearing that dress when you see me.
Honestly, Lucas, I have had invitations from some gentlemen
asking me to accompany them to a dance, but I just havenít had
the desire to go. I wouldnít have fun without you there.
When I close my eyes, I can still feel you dancing with me out
on the floor.
As for Mark, wellÖheíll grow up in time. Youíre
funny, my dear. In this letter you complained that heís growing
up too fast, then you turn right around and ask me if heíll ever
grow up? If you ask me, Iíd say there is still some boy in you.
I could only imagine Mark in your latest adventure.
You know, he complained about your resting while he dug and what
I would say.
And heís absolutely right! Lucas McCain, heís
just a boy and he does need his rest. Maybe I canít give you
the look Mark wanted me to give you, but let me tell you
somethingÖI can see your eyes now as I speak.
I saw somebody the other day that reminded me
of my brother. We talked for hours over coffee in a cafť
around the corner. He told me about things that I hadnít
remembered in some time. He made me cry as I remembered my
brother and how much trouble he and I got into. I know I
told you some about my sister. I never really knew her.
She married rather young Ė at 16 Ė and moved away so my brother
and I never felt like we had a sister. I loved my sister,
and she does come to visit us in Kansas City once in a while.
My mother has been a bit under the weather lately. I do
worry about her living in this house all by herself. I
suppose thatís what is making me stay. I feel Iíd leave
her all alone were I to leave right now. She needs me,
Lucas. The doctor said she had a small stroke. Oh,
nothing to worry about but stillÖshe doesnít think as clearly as
she used to. Sheís had so much grief in her life and I
hesitate to think what she would do were I to leave her so soon.
Iím still healing from my loss. I havenít brought myself
to going into my brotherís room yet, where so many of his things
still sit where he left them. I know I have to do that,
and it will be hard.
Iíll be thinking about you, my sweet Lucas.
Your letter made me laugh! Yes, if I had been
there, I would have made sure you got plenty of rest. Iím sorry
you didnít get a reward, but sometimes the best rewards are
those that come from the heart. Iím sure your father gave you a
good pat on the back for a job well done.
tell your father thisÖSeems like I had so many things to tell
him this time. We had ourselves quite an adventure here
the other day. Mother asked me to deposit some
money for her in the First National Bank here in Kansas City.
While I was there, two men in masks came in. I wasnít too
scared at first because they didnít seem too angry; but then
they pulled out these rifles and demanded everybody to get down.
As I was down on the floor, I reeled my mind trying to decide
what to do. Well, from behind me I saw an officer with a
gun in the doorway, so I quietly crawled towards one of the
robbers and jerked on his ankles really hard. He gasped in
shock and fell to the floor. The rifle fell from his hand
and I grabbed it.
I was able to stand up as the other man turned his rifle on
everyone. He started to take a shot when a man standing
behind him hit him over the head. I have to chuckle when I
think of it now. Oh, if your father knew heíd give me an
Both men were arrested without getting a cent from
the bank. I was still able to make our deposit.
So you see, Mark, we both had adventures with money,
Well, I have a friend stopping by for lunch. I must
run. Give your father a kiss for me.
I love you.
I must chastise you for what you did. Mark let
me read your latest letter about the bank
robbery. You know I cannot approve of what you
did. It was dangerous. That man could have
killed you! You should have stayed on that floor
and been a good girl like I would have wanted!
Oh, I have a good mind to give
you a piece of my
mind! Tell your mother to give you a good
spanking! Thatís what you need.
Iím sorry to hear about your mother. I will keep
her in my prayers and pray she will fully
recover. As for your brother: oh, I wish I could
be there with you to offer my support when you
go into your brotherís room. I know it will be
hard, honey, but just remember that your brother
is in Heaven. He and your father both, Iím sure
Things seem to be quiet on the home front for
the time being. I havenít sold the store yet. I
havenít really tired. I just keep hoping thatÖ
I must go now. Micah wants me to come into town
so he can talk to me.
Oh, Mark told me to tell you hello. School is
keeping him quite busy and he doesnít have time
to write this time. Heíll send you a letter
I understand about Mark being busy. Send him
I went into my brotherís room the other day. I told you it would be
hard and it was. I spent hours in there alone as
I picked up various items that belonged to him.
Each item held a memoryÖa link to our past
together. I cried and allowed all my grief to
pour out. Then Tommy, my brotherís friend, and I
went to supper and he allowed me to talk about
my brother. Now, before you think anything,
Lucas; please understand Tommy is a friend Ė he
could never be anything more.
Iíve struggled on rather to tell you or not, but
I donít want any secrets between us. My heart is
still in North Fork.
Mother is recovering. Sheís been getting out,
but spending time with her friends is hard. She
canít think like she used to and some of her
friends canít understand this. I take her to
church with me every Sunday and that does her a
world of good.
I deeply miss you.
To: Milly Scott
Place: Kansas City, MO
Milly, Please pray for Mark and I. Difficult
trial coming up. Will Masters. Letter to follow.
My Sweet Milly,
I have some news and I need you here with me so
badly! You helped me through when Mark was 12.
You and I made a decision together before going
to Micah. Together, we convinced Micah to go
along with the plan. Remember Willie Masters?
Remember the nightmares and how terrified our
boy was? Remember how I cried in your arms in
town that day? Remember kissing me softly as I
told you I wanted to lie to him Ė to tell him
Masters was dead? At the time we thought it was
the best thing for him.
And today I have
to tell you that Mark knows the truth. He knows
the manís alive, and he knows about the bounty.
Willie Masters was caught down near the Mexican
border. Markís testimony is the only testimony
that can hang him. Oh Mil, I am so torn! Mark
insists he can do this. He was so angry with me
for lying at first, and I didnít tell him you
helped in the decision.
What do I do, Mil? How do I get through this
without you? Oh I need to hear you tell me
everything will be okay! We leave tomorrow to go
to the trial.
Milly, please pray. Iíll be thinking hard about
you, hoping God will lay it on your heart to
pray for us. This is such a trial. I just canít
stand the fact of Mark going through this again.
I donít know if I can survive it the third time.
Iíve decided Ė Iím sending you a telegram. This
just canít wait.
My Dear Lucas,
Tears are falling from my eyes as I write
this right now. I shared your opinion in this
decision. I remember how Mark trembled in my
arms after Masters shot him, and I remember the
fear he held for a long time. Lucas, that day
you came into town you fell into my arms and
wept. You had gone home to find Mark hiding
behind a bed because he was so scared. You were
desperate and thatís why I agreed with you to
let Mark believe heís dead. I still believe that
we made the right decision.
Iím sorry, my love, that you have to go through this again. Iím
sorry Mark has to see this man. Oh, I will pray!
My heart aches for you. I wish I knew how things
were going right now. Oh, I wish to take you
both in my arms and hug you. I know this is hard
Please write me and let me know how things
are. IÖI just canít write right now. Iím too
upset and worried.
North Fork, New Mexico Territory
To: Milly Scott
Place: Kansas City,
Milly. Trial over.
Masters will be hung Monday morning. Mark is very upset.
Itís starting again. Please pray. Lucas
North Fork, New Mexico Territory
To: Milly Scott
Place: Kansas City,
To: Lucas McCain
Place: Rosetown, NM
Lucas. I will pray. Hold
him and talk to him. I love you both. Milly.
North Fork, New Mexico Territory
To: Milly Scott
Place: Kansas City,
To: Milly Scott
Place: Kansas City, MO
Milly. Hanging over.
Masters is dead. Mark is holding up well. We have a fine
boy. Will be in North Fork in a few days. Lucas.
North Fork, New Mexico Territory
To: Milly Scott
Place: Kansas City,
To: Lucas McCain
Place: Rosetown, NM
Lucas. Please wire when
you are home. Travel safely. Send Mark my love. Milly.
My Dearest Mark,
As I sit here in my room tonight, I wonder
where you are. I asked your father to wire me
when you were home. Knowing you are down by the
Mexican border scares me. I still remember your
last trip down there when your father almost
died. I hope you are safe tonight. I hope you
are happy. I hope you were able to find peace
with this terrible ordeal that has lasted so
Oh Mark, your father didnít want you to
know but I spoke to him the day he came into
town. I supported him in his decision to tell
you Masters was dead. We both thought it would
be the best decision. Mark, my heart ached at
the fear I saw in your eyes. I hated having to
ride over to the school and pick you up every
afternoon Ė not because it was a burden, because
it could never be Ė but because you were so
afraid of Masters. I wanted to kill that man
myself when I learned he had shot you. I watched
your father cry over your fears. I tried to help
you both the best I could.
From your fatherís last telegram, I think
you are doing better. Oh, I hope so, Mark
because I so want you to be happy. After
everything you and your father have endured, you
deserve nothing but the best.
I hope your travels are safe. Send your Pa my
love. Please write as soon as you can.
North Fork, New Mexico Territory
To: Milly Scott
Milly. Sorry we
were delayed. Will explain in letter. Do not worry. Lucas
Pa told me I should write
you right away. He fears you are beside yourself with worry, even though he
just sent you a wire telling you NOT to worry. We just got home today. I
suppose we had some more excitement Ė more excitement than I ever bargained
You see, there was the trial
first. By the way, I remember you being there for me when I was 12. That
was a really dark time in my life, and having Pa there was good; but you
held me like only a mother can. You helped Micah and Pa both to see that I
When I first heard Masters
was alive, Iíll admit that I was very angry. Pa never told me you were in
on the decision. You see, Pa knew it would take some proof to convince me
this animal was dead, so he brought me a fake
telegraph from Sam Buckhart.
Oh, I should have never believed it but I see now that at the time I needed
to believe that if I was going to survive my ordeal. Iím not angry with you
or Pa anymore. I canít say that I wouldnít have done the same, were Pa the
one suffering like I was.
The trial was hard. All
those memories came flowing back. I had to see him, Milly. I had to stand
in the court (which was really in a saloon) and tell the judge what I saw.
I hated thinking on it but I hated the fact that he was killing people and
getting away with it. Then the judge made me look at him. Oh, it was one
of the hardest things I ever had to do Ė looking at that manÖI didnít really
know if I would be able to do it. But I did. Afterwards, I hurried away,
Then I told Pa I was staying
for the hanging. Micah had to convince Pa to allow me to stay. Donít be
upset with us, Milly. I know you donít approve of boys my age seeing such a
gruesome thing, but I had to! I just had to! I was lied to about his being
dead, and unless I was there to watch him hang, there was no way I could
ever believe it. Pa knew that, and so did Micah. Please understand.
We left after that. It was
a hard trip back and we actually got lost, if you can believe that! We
ended up in Mexico. Now, Iím sure you remember what happened last time Pa
and I were in Old Mexico. Well let me tell you, that was a picnic compared
to this time! Okay, so Pa wasnít hit in the throat with a rifle and hung
from a tree, but Micah was badly beaten and cut up, then buried in sand up
to his head. These menÖif you can call them that were these stupid (País
word, not mine) Mexican bandits. They didnít seem to have any sense and
were planning on keeping me as their slave; and kill my father.
Itís a long story, Milly.
Pa told me not to go into the details when I tell you, but let me just tell
you that I was really scared. Pa tried to get me to leave him and Micah
there, but I just couldnít do it! Oh, I know he was upset with me, butÖI
just couldnít let Pa stay there with Micah so injured. We didnít even know
if Micah would live or die. But we came through that experience together.
Pa killed all the bandits and helped the wife of one of the bandits have a
baby. Yep, Pa delivered a baby!
Okay, I have to close now.
Pa just said thereís a hundred things to do on the ranch. Pa says to tell
you hello. Heíll write later. País pretty tired from the ordeal. We both
I finally convinced Mark to go to bed. Weíve
been back three days and Iíve been running
non-stop. Itís been an exhausting ten days or
so. Gee, I donít even remember how long itís
been. I got Mark through his latest ordeal, and
I know Mark told you about Mexico. He told me
that he never wants to go to Mexico again. I
canít say I blame him.
Iíve been thinking about you tonight. Well, I
think about you every night, but tonight Iíve
been really thinking about you. I was
remembering how much Mark and I enjoyed you
coming for supper and cooking for us. Oh, how I
miss those times! I guess itís because I just
feel so very lonely right now and I donít know
How are you, Milly? Have you adjusted in Kansas
City? Have you made a lot of friends? Have you
Howís your mother?
Thatís funny that you mention thinking about me, because I was
remembering all the times I worried about you.
Youíd have to go face some gunfighter or an
outlaw of some sort and I would just worry about
you. Sometimes I had to keep Mark calm. Oh, but
do you remember when Mark and I were trapped in
the store with those stage coach robbers? I
thought for sure they were going to kill you!
And who saved who that time? You know I saved
I know how lonely things can get, Lucas. Tommy and I have been
spending a few evenings together just talking
and remembering back to the days when we were
growing up. We have an understanding that my
heart belongs to another. I hope thatís okay,
Mark didnít tell me all the details about Mexico. Please tell me
what happened! I was so worried when I didnít
hear from you when I should have. I did feel
some relief when I received the telegraph, but
Markís letter sounded like things got pretty
Oh, another thing. I know you are holding on to the General Store
in hopes that I will some come back, and I hope
I will come back soon; but I want you to sell
it. Itís really very important to me.
The ordeal in Mexico was bad enough. Letís just
leave it at that.
You can spend time with Tommy if you want.
Youíre a grown woman.
I talked to Mr. Griswald. Mark will be attending
school full days for awhile Ė just until he
catches up on his school work. He missed so many
days while we were gone for the trial. When I
told Mark, he wasnít happy but heíll obey me.
Speaking of Mark, Iím a bit aggravated at that
boy. I had to put him on restrictions for a
week. Last Saturday, instead of mending a fence
like I told him to, he and some of his friends
decided to have a calf-roping contest on our
ranch. Five strays are now down in Choctaw
Canyon. He was supposed to get them out two days
ago, but yesterday he decided to go fishing with
Freddie! Heís also neglecting his chores! Iím
going to have a talk with that boy when he gets
home. Ever since Freddie came back, seems Mark
finds himself in trouble.
I better close for now.
Dear Miss Milly,
Boy, Pa sure is putting the
work on me! Heís really riled at me. He told me I have to do all these
chores, and Iím on restrictions for a whole week! I reckon it was the
calf-roping contest I did when I should have been mending a fence that
started the whole thing, but I think heís also missing you.
I mentioned your name today
about you thinking Pa cooked the best catfish. He got a big smile on his
face, which won me a small victory. Milly, I wish you could come home. Pa
misses you so much! But he does seem upset about something ever since he
read your last letter. Iím not sure what the problem is.
How are things in Kansas
I know I just sent you a letter yesterday, but I
have some good news. I was able to sell the
General Store. $1,000.00. Great deal, huh? I
sold it for more than you were asking. Okay,
Iíll be honest with you, Mil. The truth is
thatÖwell, thereís this new woman in town. I
thought YOU were feistyÖYou are a kitten
compared to this woman! Her name is Lou Mallory
and she is shrewd. Iím a bit embarrassed to
admit this, butÖwell, it seems she knew the
railroad was coming to North Fork. She bought a
lot of property, including the hotel and the
General Store, for a profit.
I will wire you the money. Iím to settle with
her in the morning. Oh, I have to tell youÖMark
is spitting mad. Apparently he had a bit of a
mishap while rounding up those strays and he was
saved by Lori! He is fit to be tied Ė doesnít
think a man should be saved by a womanÖEVER!
Iíll close for now.
Is there something wrong? You donít seem to be yourself. If I said
something to offend you Iím sorry.
Of course, I think you for the money. Iíve been busy here. Iíve
been working harder at the grocer and may use
this money to invest in it. The business seems
to be really good here.
Iím sorry to hear about your problems with Mark. Just remember that
heís a boy. Every boy needs a best friend.
Remember back to when you were his age. And
donít you dare give him a hard time about Lori!
Heís just now discovering girls. I donít want
him fretting about them. Iíll write him a few
words of encouragement Ė from a womanís
I think I know whatís bothering your father, but I canít talk about
it with you. Itís a bit personal. He has no
reason to worry, though. We are both lonely and
need someone to spend time with. Mark, adult
relationships are difficult to understand. I
wish we could explain them to you better.
Your father told me about Lou Mallory. He doesnít seem to like her
very much. Is she really that mean? Is she like
an old, snobby woman or something? Just curious.
Your father told me you were riled because Lori rescued
you. Let me tell you a few things about women Ė
at least as far as Loriís concerned. Some women
arenít prissy and waiting to be rescued.
You know me, I know how to speak my own mind, I know my
own mind, and I donít hesitate to use it. It
took a while for your father to warm up to that
but he did. Lori is an only child and her
fatherís girl. He raised her more like a boy
than a girl but sheís finding at her age that
she likes boys. You just treat her with respect
no matter what your personal feelings toward her
Kansas City is fine. Thereís always something going on,
and there are a lot of people here. Iím staying
busy working at the grocer and spending time
with my friends.
I love you, Mark. Give your father a hug for me.
I think he can use one.
Oh my sweet Milly, I miss you so much! Iím
sorry for the shortness of the letter I wrote
you but I guess I was a bit bothered by
something you told me. I donít want to talk
about it. Please understand.
This Lou Mallory is going to take some getting
used to, Iím afraid. Sheís very bossy and
speaks her mind. She has a head full of red
hair, and it matches the red in her eyes a lot
of the time. She is from Ireland if that tells
you anything. You know how those Irish women
could be. Do you remember the Jackmanís Ė that
stupid man and his stupid sons? Well, they
kidnapped Lou and took her to their farm or
ranchÖwhatever you want to call it. I had to go
out there and rescue her and she was spitting
fire! I mean, she was mad!
Anyways, Mark has taken to her and he arranged
for us to have dinner at the cafť with her one
night. Apparently her folks died when she was
young and sheís had to do a lot on her own. She
seems nice enough, but she doesnít hold a candle
I canít believe the store is sold. When I walk
in there now, itís not the same. I keep
expecting to see you in there. I guess a lot of
things have changed Ė and not all for the good.
I hope this letter finds you well.
I donít know how much Pa told you about my Ma
and how she died, but today, I was forced to
remember that horrible day. You see, Miss Lou
Mallory hired some girls to help out in the
hotel. One of them was sick and Dr. Burrage
said she might have small pox. Thatís what my
mother died from. I was outside the hotel. Pa
was inside. He was stuck in there with that
sick woman and I was so scared.
Oh Milly, that was a horrible time in my life Ė
when my mother died. It was so hard for me to
understand at the age of six. I was so
worried for País safety. I was so afraid that
he was going to get it and I didnít know what I
was going to do. But you will be relieved to
know that the girl had measles Ė not small pox.
I wish you had been here, Milly. You would have
known just what to say to make me feel a little
better. You probably would have given me a
slice of that apple pie you make so well, then
made me talk it all out.
Anyways, everythingís okay now. I love you,
Milly. And I miss you.
Now thatís the tone I like to hear. I wonít pretend I donít know
whatís bothering you. I never meant to hurt you
Lucas, but I do believe in being honest. Thatís
all I was doing.
Things arenít going so well here right now.
I saw someone the other day that stirred up a
lot of bitter emotions. She was a close friend
of my brotherís. Okay, maybe she was closer
than a friend. Anyways, she was pretty upset
with me after his death. Sheís held a lot of
anger inside for so long and when she saw me she
just yelled at me for a long time. I canít say
that I didnít deserve it, because she was right
Ė I didnít give my brother the respect he
deserved. I ran as far away from him as I could
get, and didnít even have the decency to go to
his service to say goodbye.
Actually, thereís more to it than that. You
see, the day my brother left he asked her to
marry him. I didnít know it, but that very day
they went to the Justice of the Peace and they
did marry. She never told anyone. He had to
board the train just an hour after the ceremony
and never had a chance toÖShe had such regrets
about that. You know how it is when youíre
young. You just never think somethingís going
to happen. She never told the family, and I
just donít think my mother could handle it right
Before she left, she did accept my apology, but
our friendship will never be the same. We were
sisters, yet we werenít sisters. Weíll never be
sisters now. I was so upset, and Tommy expected
me to go to this dinner engagement with him that
evening. I just couldnít find it in my heart to
do so. I needed someone to share my pain, and
thatís just not something Tommyís willing to
do. If I canít give him my heart, than he canít
get ďemotionally involved.Ē Thatís what he
called it. I couldnít share this with Mother,
either. Not with her delicate state right now.
So I had to cry into my pillow that night.
My sister is coming down from Denver for a
visit. Sally will be coming with her.
Iím not sure how that will go, but I know my
sister will put the pressure on me to stake down
here in Kansas City. She never did forgive
me for going out West, and if I came out West
againÖWell, anyway, I love her dearly but she
told me sheíd never come to my wedding were I to
marry a rancher. She thanks our family
should stay ďrichĒ and ďpure.Ē She doesnít
want our family marred by ďpoorĒ blood.
I just received Markís letter today. Iím
sorry for the ordeal he had to go through. It
must have been horrible for him to believe you
were contacting the same disease as his mother.
Iím glad everything turned out alright.
Motherís calling me
for dinner. I really must go. Iím sorry if
some of the words are smeared, but I couldnít
keep the tears from falling. I feel so close to
you when I write these letters. I know that if
you were here you would comfort me. Youíd tell
me to ďcry it out.Ē And I would!
Give Mark a kiss for me, and tell him to
give you one from me as well.
I love you both and miss you dearly,
Iím so sorry I couldnít be there in this
difficult time. I think people should be more
understanding and sensitive toward your
feelings. Donít they understand the hardships
youíve been through? You know how I feel Ė one
shouldnít judge a person until they walk a mile
in that personís shoes; and even then, they
should step lightly.
Oh Mil, I could feel your pain in your letter.
I wish there was something to sayÖI just donít
know what to say. I hope things are better for
you now. When is your sister supposed to come?
I hope she didnít give you a hard time.
On a lighter note, our boy is all upset again.
He went into town to get the latest magazine.
This monthís feature is Johnny Drako. I donít
know if I ever told you about him Ė we
practically grew up together. Then we grew
apartÖsort of went opposite directions. He
became a gunfighter and, well anyhow Mark didnít
get the magazine. He decided to arm wrestle
Jeff Connors for the last magazine and he lost.
Can you believe that boy? Fifteen years old and
heís still reading those fictionized old
I have to get ready to ride into town. I miss
I didnít receive a letter from you with País
last letter. He told me you were having a hard
time. I hope things are better and you can
write me soon. I miss you a lot.
Pa sent me to bed, but told me I could write you
a letter to put with his. Iím having to do it
by lantern light in bed.
Milly, Iíve had another one of those growing up
times País always telling me about. Johnny
Drako, the famous gunfighter, came to town. Oh,
I was so excited! I finally talked Pa into
going to town and I just stood at the window of
the saloon and looked at him. He motioned for
me to come inside, and when I did, he gave me
some pretty stern words that were really hard to
swallow. He made me pick up his gun then was
proud when I sat it right back down. Then he
told me something Iíd never really thought about
before: He said that the first man who held the
title of ďfastest gunĒ had it taken from him by
another. I never really thought of it that way.
Then I got to thinking about Pa and how he was
sort of a gunfighter too. Pa explained to me
that Johnny Drako became a good shot and was
ďforcedĒ into gun fighting a lot of times. Why
did I ever let myself think that gun fighting
was something to be proud of? Pa put it pretty
bluntly when he said that there is no ďGOODĒ or
ďFAIRĒ gunfight. A gunfight means someone is
pointing a gun at someone else with the intent
to kill them.
Do you know why Johnny came to North Fork, Miss
Milly? He came because he wanted to live out
the rest of his life in peace. But then some
outlaws rode into town and stole my horseÖOh,
not Blue BoyÖHe had a sore foot at the time. I
wanted them to just let the outlaw ride out with
it. I didnít think it was worth anyone dying
over. But those men wouldnít have it that way.
Pa, Micah, and Johnny all stood up against them
and they rode out. There was no gunfight after
Before Johnny rode out, he told me and Pa that
heíd find peace and quiet in the same place
every gunfighter does. It was sort of sad. As
I watched him ride out, I wondered if Iíd ever
see him againÖor if Iíd hear that he found his
quiet place among the other gunfighters who had
gone before him.
Pa just came in and said lights out, so I have
to close now. I miss you, Milly. I hope things
are better for you.
My Dearest Milly,
Iím worried about you, honey. I havenít heard
from you in some time. The last letter you sent
me had me worried. Please write and let me know
whatís going on.
Mark is growing up. He had three girls chasing
him. Oh now, donít you worryÖI put a halt to
all of it. I told him he had to talk to the
girls and inform them he was to concentrate on
school work. He wasnít too happy with them or
me Ė felt he was being punished for something
that wasnít his fault, but I told him that
sometimes these things just fall in our laps.
Then I had to get Miss Lou Mallory out of a
sticky situation when one of her old
acquaintances showed up in North Fork and
proclaimed he was going to marry her. I showed
him in that pleasant manner of mine that nobody
treats a woman the way he treated her. That
was, of course, after Mark gave me a lecture of
Iím going to keep this short this time. Iím
worried about you.
$525.50! Thatís how much I made on the crop I
planted this year. Can you believe it? We had
a rough drought this year and many of our
neighbors lost their crop, but not me! I
sweated and watered everyday and I made it! I
made it big! Arenít you so proud of me?
Milly, we havenít heard from you in quite
awhile. Iím worried. You know how I feel about
you and I expected to hear from you by now.
País awful worried too, Miss Milly.
I keep thinking about all the times Iíve come
into town after school and sat with you at the
table to have pie and milk. As I sit here
tonight, I wonder what it would have been like
if youíd been there earlier in our lives. Maybe
you and Pa would have married and I would have
had a mother like the other kids who would have
a snack all ready for me after school. I could
talk to you about my problems and youíd help me
solve them in a motherly way. Sometimes, youíd
even sweet talk my Pa. I really miss thatÖ
But Milly, I miss YOU! I just want to know you
This will be the last time I write to you until
I hear from you. It breaks my heart not to hear
from you. Iím awfully worried. I hope
everythingís okay and you are just really busy.
Itís been a pretty rough day for me. Mark and
Freddie got in a big fight over a discussion
about rifles. I had to have a heart-to-heart
talk with Mark tonight. It was rough, but
tonight I realized just how much my boy is
becoming a man. Iíve figured out that maybe heís
ready for a rifle.
I hope everythingís okay with you, Milly.
Milly asked me to write a brief note to
you. She has been
very ill, Iím afraid. She was mugged on her way
work one day and was roughed up pretty bad. The
the man that did it.
Heíll be behind
bars for a long time. Unfortunately, she was
already under a lot of pressure. Sheís been
dealing with things
she canít talk to me about. And then her sister
and my older daughter are like night and day.
They are so
different and some pretty harsh things were
said. Milly was very
upset. The assault happened the day after her
sister left Kansas
City. The beating really took its toll. She is
just getting over pneumonia.
Lucas, please donít be upset we didnít
write you sooner. She
asked me not to because she was afraid youíd
come, and she said
sheís not ready for that. Please donít be angry
with her, Lucas.
She does care for you a great deal.
She said give Mark a kiss. Sheís on the
road to recovery, but it
will be some time before sheís completely
better. Things were pretty
hard for us there for awhile.
Iíll try to keep you informed.
My Dearest Milly,
I received your motherís letter today. It came
to quite a shock to me upon hearing about your
illness. I was out the door, getting ready to
go to Kansas City. Micah talked me out of it.
Oh Milly, I want to be there right now taking
care of you. It hurts me very much to hear that
you were treated in such a manner. Of course,
you know if Iíd been there that man may not have
made it to jail ÖIt burns me up inside to think
that a man beat you up.
My heart is breaking right now. I canít wait to
read a letter written in your hand so Iíll know
to stop worrying, but until I see you standing
in front of me, Iím afraid my worrying will go
I havenít told Mark yet. I suppose Iíll tell
him tonight while weíre sitting out on the porch
Milly, all these weeks Iíve been worried
thatÖwell, it seems so silly now. Iím not happy
that you kept this from me, Iím sure you know
that. And you are right. If I had heard you
had been beaten and were sick, I would have
rushed right down there to you.
Holding you in my daily prayers,
My Dearest Lucas,
Iím so sorry for being silent for so long. Oh again, I
must apologize for the ink running, but I just
know Iíll be in tears before this letterís
I know you wanted to be here and help me through
this difficult ordeal. Thatís why I couldnít
tell you. Oh, please donít be upset with me. I
knew that if I saw you that I would have melted
in your arm. well, I have very deep, warm
feeling for you and Iím afraid I still have some
things to deal with before we can even think
about being together. Oh, I miss you so much,
Lucas. I miss you more than words can say.
My sister came to visit us for a few days. Sally
couldnít make it, which meant she would have
many opportunities to tell me about everything
Iíve done wrong. I tearfully told her about my
brotherís marriage and having met the widow, and
she was appalled. She told me the woman had to
be making the entire incident up because Ted
would never do something so stupidÖI couldnít
believe this! My own sister was saying such
horrible things about our deceased brother.
Then she started in on me, telling me that I deserved everything I
got. I had ran away when Father and Mother
needed me so badly. I sent my father to an early
grave. I showed no respect to my brother because
I ran away. I have hurt my mother and I am the
reason she had the strokeÖIt was a very
emotional few days. Then when I told her I
planned on going back West someday, she told me
sheíd go to mother and talk to her about
changing the will.
Oh Lucas, it was
just horrible! I had to beg her not to talk to
mother about any of this! I had to get down on
my knees and beg! Itís not the willÖI could care
less about that. Iíd rather have my Mother than
anything else. But if she went to my mother, she
would have told her about Ted, and I didnít want
her to know.
A couple days after my sister left, I was traveling to the bank
with a large amount of cash. Somehow this man
who had been in the store earlier knew about the
money. He also seemed to know I would be taking
it to the bank. He tackled me and pinned me down
as he searched for the money. Luckily, he found
it in my handbag. Then he left. Of course
thereís more to the story than that, but thatís
all you need to know. I got really sick as I
recovering and developed pneumonia. The doctor
was really worried for awhile, Lucas. He said
that all the pressure I was under really added
It took forever for me to recover through that. I looked forward to
your letters, Lucas. I had Mother read all yours
and Markís to me every day. Those are what got
I must close for now. Motherís insisting I lay down and rest.
Please donít worry. Iím getting better.
My Sweet Mil,
How can you write me a letter like that and tell
me not to worry? Oh, my heart is broken for what
you went through. I am worried. Iím very worried
about you. Oh Mil, whatís keeping you there?
What are you looking for? I want us to be
together. I have this sudden desperate need to
protect you from all that terrible stuff, donít
I want to come and kill that man for putting his
filthy hands on you! Please tell me exactly what
he did to you, Mil? Did he hurt you badly? Oh
honey, Iíve got to know! As for your sister, she
sounds spiteful and jealous of you. Could it be
that sheís jealous for what you have and she
doesnít want you to have anything more? Could it
be, Milly, that she saw how happy living out
West and all meant to you and maybeÖthe
relationship you and your brother had Ė one that
she never got to share?
As for your not telling me, Milly, you should
have notified me right away! I would have come
and comforted you! I would have been there to
help you and your mother through this. Oh Milly,
IÖI just donít know what this is Iím feeling
right now. I feel so helpless, yet I feelÖWell,
I feel something else.
Take care of yourself, Mil.
Pa told me tonight that youíve been going
through a rough time. He wouldnít give me any
details because he said they were private, and
only you could tell me. Milly, what happened? I
know Pa told me not to ask you, but Iíve got to
know. Are you sick? Are you going to get better?
Iíve got some good news. Maybe this will cheer
you up. You know how Iíve been asking Pa for a
rifle? Well, he finally broke down and let me
have one. It was a rough start Ė I met this man,
whom I think was a lot like Pa was when he was
rather young. He was young and cocky. Pa said he
learned to shoot way too early. Anyhow, Pa and I
got into some fights over him. Pa didnít want me
to visit with him because he thought h e had
tried to rob Miss Lou, but I insisted on seeing
him. It turned out that Pa was right.
Anyhow, Pa told me to get a move on. Heís
awfully worried about you, Milly.
I love you.
Iím almost fully recovered now. I still tire easily and
my mother worries, but the doctor doesnít see
any reason for me not to make a full recovery.
Please stop worrying. Oh Lucas, Iím sorry Iíve
upset you. That wasnít my intention Ė not at
all! And I know you donít understand why Iím
still here. There are some unresolved issues Ė
issues I cannot discuss, not even with you.
Please understand, Lucas. I still care for you
very, very deeply.
I know what you are worried about, and Iím sorry I didnít give you
more details now. The attack wasnít that bad.
The man slapped me a few times. He punched me in
the ribs and broke one of them. Thatís what
caused the pneumonia. Then when he heard voices
behind him, he stopped. I donít know what he
would have done if someone didnít show up.
words about my sister gave me a lot to think
about. I had suspected these things, but never
voiced them aloud. When I read your letter, I
felt a release knowing that what you told me was
true. I did tell her about you and she told me
you were definitely not marriage material. I
thought that was funny because if I were to ever
get married, Iíd want to marry someone like
youÖeven if you are rough around the edges.
Mark told me he finally has his rifle. Howís that going for you?
Iím sure itís hard watching our boy doing such a
grown up task. It would be hard for me. Iíd
probably watch him shoot one time then run to
him and tell him letís go have some pie. Thatís
enough practice for today! You know how I am.
Iíve got to get ready for work now. I canít wait to hear from you.
Lucas, can we not mention what happened anymore?
Iím truly ready to move on.
Oh, I miss you! And I love you so much! Your País right, the things
that happened are pretty private. I want to keep
them between the two of us. I will tell you,
though, that Iíve had some worries and then I
was mugged on my way to the bank. But Iím all
better now. Donít worry, Mark. Iím on the road
Iím so proud of you for getting a rifle, but I ask you to remember
that the rifle is a tool. Please treat it as
such. And please go easy on your father. Iím
sure this is all so hard for him.
Mark, as I sit here under the lamp light at my desk, I canít help
but to feel that you need me right now. I feel
this hard, sick feeling in the pit of my
stomach. Is something wrong? I just feel like
you need me to hold you while you cryÖI hope
itís just all my emotions and the fact that I
I love you Mark.
My heart is so heavy and troubled tonight. Mark
has just been through a storm. Itís a
storm that was so
dark Ė so deep Ė that I really wondered if we
were going to survive it. He didnít want to
write and tell you about it, but he told me I
could. Heís so afraid that you will hate him. I
told him you would act like any motherÖyou would
Some boys came to our house one day. His friend
Charlie was bragging about my rifle and
Charlieís cousin wanted to see it. I suppose
they conned Mark into letting them see it by
saying my rifle was nothing special. You know
how sensitive Mark is. Words do hurt him as much
as sticks and stones. Well anyway, thatís when
Milly, Charlie is dead. His death is the fault
of two boys: Charlieís cousin andÖMark McCain,
my son. These words are even hard for me to
write, but I must write them, Milly. I
must tell you
that a child died at the hand of my son. The
boys struggled with the rifle. Mark was trying
to get it away from the boy when it went off.
Weíre not really sure whose hand Charlie died
Oh Milly, Iím
sorry for the words smearing, but I canít keep
my own tears from falling as I write this. I had
to watch my son suffer through something so
terrible! I wanted to take his pain away, but
removing his pain would have only caused more
problems. I did an awful lot of yelling, and I
was pretty strict in my punishment. He fell into
a pit of guilt and self-pity. At his lowest
point, he was so depressed and so agonized over
everything that he actually told me he wanted to
die. He hated the sight of my rifle and wanted
nothing to do with that. I struggled and
struggled, trying to find the key to unlock the
hurt from his heartÖto
make him accept the fact that he had messed up Ė
not my rifle.
Then one night an escaped killer took Lou
hostage at the hotel. I had put my rifle behind
the counter at her suggestion of speaking to
Mark without the rifle. Mark and I talked that
evening, still not getting very far. I came to
get Mark some milk and saw Lou and that monster
there. In the end, Mark was able to throw the
rifle to me and I killed the man. That action
took so much out of our boy, and I think thatís
when he was at his lowest point.
It was such an
emotional aftermath, Milly, but I got Mark
through it. Heís quickly getting back to normal,
but heís still trying to wrap his hands around
the facts of what happened. Itís hard for him,
as you can imagine. Itís hard for me to watch
him, but Iím glad I could help him through this.
Heís so strong, Milly. And he cares so much
about what happens to him.
Oh, I need to
feel your arms around me right now. I need to
fee your kiss on my cheek as you speak softly to
me and tell me that this will be okay.
My heart broke to hear about Markís most recent struggle. I hope he
is better. It just hurts me to think that Mark
had to suffer through such an event in his life.
But Lucas, I must admit that I was happy to hear
he went into such a darkness because if he had
dealt with this easily, we would have a lot to
be worried about. He needed you, and you were
there, Lucas. You are a wonderful father!
Of course I forgive him! If I had been there, I
would have stood by the punishment you dished
out, because this is something that could not be
left unpunished. I would have taken him in my
arms and comforted him, but I too would have
given him a stern lecture. Iím glad to hear heís
finally taken responsibility for what happened.
Please hug him for me, Lucas.
Lucas, tell him I love him, and Iím on my knees
praying for him. Please tell him I want for
nothing more than to get on a train and come to
him. But the distance is against us, and by the
time I get there I hope it would be over.
Iím including a letter to him with
yours. You read it and decide on rather to give
it to him or not. I certainly donít want to push
Your father told me what happened to you. I know
you two are dealing with this event in your life
the best way you know how. My heart broke when I
heard of the tragic events. Those are the worst
sort of lessons to learn, Mark. I wish you
hadnít had to learn such a dark lesson. There is
a darkness inside all of us, Mark. Even your
father and I could experience the darkness.
I told you in my last letter that I felt you
needed me. I suppose I was feeling your hurt all
these miles away. I did pray for you that night,
Mark. I prayed so hard.
Oh Mark, please know that I love you. I could
never hold such an event against you. You have
my forgiveness if you need it. After hearing
about the struggle you went through, Iím more
convinced than ever before that you are your
I wish I could have been there to help you
through this ordeal, but it sounds like your
father did an excellent job. The important
thing, Mark, is forgiveness. As long as youíve
asked your fatherís forgiveness, Charlieís
familyís forgiveness, and Godís forgiveness you
will be okay. But Mark, you must forgive
yourself. Until you do that, no one else can
And thatís the end of my motherly lecture. Letís
move on. As long as you are over this, thereís
no reason to ever mention this event
againÖunless you need to.
So, tell me about this Lou Mallory your father
Mark told me you were asking about Lou Mallory.
I told him he could tell you anything he wants
to, but I want you to read my letter first. So
Iím folding his letter with mine so there will
be no mistakes.
I knew you would ask eventually, and Iíve been
preparing myself for this day. Milly, when you
were here, I felt aliveÖreally aliveÖfor the
first time in a long time. Iíd called on a few
ladies from time to time, but I never had any
desire to pursue anything with them. I felt this
hole deep inside me that none of them could
Then you came along. Now, I must admit that when
you first came to North Fork, I wasnít too
impressed. You didnít give me much to be
impressed with. After all, you were bossing me,
and that was something I just wasnít used to.
But then that night after I killed those two men
that were collecting money for you, I looked
into your eyes. You silently asked me for my
forgiveness. I saw somethingÖa beauty I hadnít
seen in a long timeÖin your eyes. And in that
moment, you managed to warm that dark, cold spot
I had deep inside me.
You told me once that you werenít too keen on
fishing. But that evening, I felt you had me
hooked and you were getting ready to yank me in.
Then after I said those magic words, you
rewarded me with a smile that completely melted
my heart. Ever since then Milly, there was no
one else I ever wanted to be seen alone with
Then you left. My heart broke that day, Milly.
Now, donít think that I hold anything against
you because I donít. I understand you had to
youíve left, Iíve learned just what you mean to
me and my heart still warms when I think of your
smile or feel your lips touching mine. The
thought of you keeping company with another man
just burns me up inside.
Please donít misunderstand me. I donít write
these things to upset you. I want very much for
you to come back to North Fork because when you
But Milly, Iím lonely. Without you, I feel this
huge gap missing from me. Oh my sweet Mil, I
want to dance every dance with you. I want to
watch every sunset with you. I want to sit down
in the back of your store and tell you all my
troubles like I used to. Iíve told you things
that Mark doesnít even know. Iíve told you
things thatÖno other person alive knows because
I trust you. I can feel your heart, and I know
you care for me.
Then Lou came into town. She was a feisty
red-head with a temper to match her hair! She
knows how to speak her mind, and does quite
often! She sort of reminds me of you in that
when she has something that needs saying, she
says itÖbut you may be a bit nicer about saying
it. Sheís attractive and sheísÖsheís a lot
different than you. I donít feel anything
romantic toward her, and she definitely isnít a
woman I would ever settle down and marryÖBut
sheísÖwell, sheís fun to talk to.
One evening, I came to talk to her. Over coffee
I told her about Margaret and how lost I felt
after her death. Then I told her about you. I
told her about how much IÖcared for you and how
lonely I was feeling. I also told her that you
had my heart. With that understanding, I asked
her if I could call on her.
Milly, please understand how lonely I am! I just
need someone of the opposite sex to spend time
with and toÖto talk to
She understands that she can have my companyÖand
maybe a little piece of my heartÖbut she could
never have my devotion, because I feel Iím
devoted toward another. And I hope, Milly, that
you know who that is.
You would really like Lou. She may be feisty,
but she is a great person. She is always there
ready and willing to help a person in need. Oh,
but when it comes to apple pie, YOU, my sweet
Mil, take the cake! Her apple pie leaves a lot
to be desired!
I miss you so much, Milly. Please hurry home.
Thank you for
understanding. Your forgiveness means a lot to me.
Are you sure you want to
know about Miss Lou Mallory? I asked Pa, and he said it was okay, but heís
sticking my letter behind yours so he can tell you some things first. Ainít
that just like a Pa? He doesnít trust me to tell it to you straight!
Well, Miss Lou is a really
nice lady. Sheís a lot feistier than you are. Pa said he had enough
trouble keeping you happy. Miss Lou is a red-headed wolverineÖthose are
País words, not mine! She can be sweeter than chocolate cake one minute,
then meaner than a gunfighter at sundown the next. But sheís so nice,
Milly. País been going to see Lou on Friday and Saturday nights, and I
think they are going to a barn dance together soon.
Honestly, Milly, thatís all
I know. When I ask Pa about it, he just tells me their relationship is
ďcomplicatedĒ and itís something Iíll understand when Iím older. I hate it
when adults say that! Iím 15 years old. How much ďolderĒ does Pa want me
País standing over my
shoulder telling me to wrap it up. He looks really nervous to mail your
letter this time. Okay, okay, he said to say no more.
Love you, Milly.
Iím sorry itís taken me a few days to respond to your latest
letter, but I was coming to terms with your
words. I thank you for your honesty.
Really, Lucas, you donít need to explain why you are courting Lou.
Youíre a free man. I lost all rights to you when
ďLooks like youíre gonna need a new pane of glass in that
window, Miss Scott.Ē Those were the words you
said to accept my apology. It wasnít the
wordsÖbut the way you said them that made ME
feel like you had just lassoed my heart. You,
Lucas McCain, pulled my heart right in.
understand about loneliness. I mean, these
letters help, but they do little to take away
the loneliness for you I feel. Thatís why Iíve
been spending time with TommyÖbecause Iím
lonely. He makes me laugh and can tell a story
to make you bust. You would really like him,
Lucas. But he understands that he canít have my
heart because it belongs to somebody else.
Lucas, I donít know when Iíll be able to come
home. I want toÖso badly. I want to step off
that stagecoach and see you there to greet me.
I want you to take me in your arms andÖ
But can it ever be, Lucas? Could you ever trust
me again to just come home? How do you know I
wonít run away?
You see, without answering these questions, Iím
afraid we could never really have a future and
thatís why I hesitate to come home.
Honey, what can I do to convince you that I DO
trust you? What can I say to make you
understand? As for losing all rights to me, you
didnít do that when you left. You still have my
heart, canít you understand that? Canít you see
that, Milly? I donít want Lou Mallory. I want
Milly, do you remember that day by Millerís
Pond? Do you remember what I said to you? It
still rings true. There is nobodyÖnobody on this
earthÖwho could EVER fill that empty spot my
wife left when she diedÖbut you!
When you do come back, Milly Ė And I do mean
WHEN Ė you may get to arrive on a railroad. Yes,
it is coming to town. The men are working hard
on building it, and I fear that our boy has
taken quite a shine to it. He has gotten himself
into quite a bit of trouble. Heís currently on
restrictions Ė again Ė because instead of
obeying me and coming home to help me with the
cattle, he and Freddie (seems these days, I
canít mention Mark without mentioning Freddie)
decided to go to the railroad camp instead. You
can imagine how angry I was when I finally found
Oh, and just WAIT until you hear his latest
idea! You better sit down for this oneÖ
I miss you, Mil.
So much has happened since I lost wrote to you.
It was quite awhile since we heard from you
again after Pa telling you all about Miss Lou.
And you didnít even write me a letter! Pa told
me not to mention that to you, so donít tell him
I brought it up! Itís just that I really like
getting letters from you.
First of all, I saw someone killed in the
General Store. Do you remember Mr. Winters? You
know, he had a wife and ten kids? Well, he was
killed over $100.00. It really upset me, so much
to the point that I wanted Micah to outlaw the
use of weapons in North Fork. I was so upset. I
said some things to Pa in anger that I regret,
but Pa didnít yell at me too much because he
knew it was my hurt that was talking. I was
really convinced, thought, that we should just
outlaw firearms all together!
But then Micah went out of town. He left Nils in
charge. Iím sure your laughing like I did. But
it actually worked out for the best. You see,
Nils got the same idea I did, only he was able
to do something about it and he made it illegal
for anyone to carry firearms in town. Then some
outlaws found out and decided to use it to their
advantage. Well, letís just say Pa had to rescue
me and Nils and I had to admit that I was wrong.
But then I mentioned to Pa that maybe someday
machines could take the place of horses. Pa
didnít much like that idea though.
Did Pa tell you about the cougar attacks? Do you
remember how Pa told you I went into a darkness
afterÖthe accident? Well, Pa went into his own
darkness only I didnít understand it. You see,
there was this cougar on the loose. He attacked
and killed some people. Then one night Mr.
Toomey came and told us that Sam Donovan had
been found dead on the road home. It was
horrible and I was terrified after that. What
with all the terrible stuff that had been going
on lately, I had already been having nightmares.
Well anyway, Pa was keeping me awfully close to
him and he let me go with him the day he hunted
for the cougar. Milly, he missed the cougar when
it started to attack me. After that, heÖhe just
went into this darkness and he started acting
likeÖlike he had just tried to kill me or
somethingÖJust a few days before, he had
insisted we keep talking aboutÖabout all the
pent up emotions I was still feeling for the
stuff that had happened earlier. And then he
completely shut me out. He finally came home and
apologized to me. We wept hard together that
night, Milly. Itís not often that I see my Pa
But nowÖIíve come up with an idea to make money.
Pa just shakes his head, butÖWhat would you
think about me raising chickens? Iím not talking
about raising them to sell, but rather for eggs.
I could make a lot of money selling eggs and
Miss Louís already said sheíd buy them from me.
I was thinking about building my own chicken
roosts. This year, Iíd let all the eggsÖwell,
most of the eggs to hatch. Then I could start
collecting eggs next year. What do you think,
Milly? Pa doesnít much care for my ideas. I was
thinking a hundredÖor maybe even more chickens
and he just shook his head and said NO!
Heís awfully riled at me right now. I keep
trying to explain to him that I like adventure,
and the railroad coming to town is a lot of
adventure. Well, I better close for now. I love
I feel so lost right now. I came back to Kansas City to find
myself. I wanted closure on my brotherís death
and on my fatherís death; but the truth is that
things have changed so muchÖNo, thatís not true.
I have changed, Lucas. Iíve been back for about
six months or so now and I no longer feel like
this is my home. I donít know what I was
thinking Ė of course a town as big as Kansas
City wouldnít just stop growing and changing
because of meÖ.or rather, it wouldnít be kind to
You see, my father was a banker. Did I ever tell you that? He was
the President of a bank here up until my
brotherís death. Then he retired. When I was
growing up, I attended fancy parties and wore
evening gowns made with satin and lace. I went
to the opera and even helped out at the mission
down the road. My folks werenít rich, but we
never wanted for anything either.
Now, LucasÖIím forced to put on these fancy
gowns and go to these big, fancy parties and Iím
just so unhappy. When Iím dancing with Tommy, I
get to remembering back to the barn dances I
attended in Santa Fe and North Fork. Those were
so much fun! And I remember that a Friday or
Saturday night with a fellow in the West is a
walk in the moonlight or a stroll in a
carriageÖMaybe even dinner at the hotel. Out
here, Iím expected to go to a French restaurant
and eat snails while the man Iím with talks
about his money and influence in Washington.
Itís smothering me, Lucas.
Thereís another reason I came back, Lucas. This
reason is just between you and me. You see, when
my father died he left me a great sum in his
Will. I used some of it to buy the General
Store, but I still had a large amount unsettled.
Beth is contesting the will. Oh Lucas, itís just been so rough. I
love my sister dearly, and I know my father did.
He even explained to Mother that sheís married
with a family and they have money. But I am
unmarried and have none. I didnít ask for this,
but I do want to respect his wishes, and his
wishes were for me to have it. My sister is of
the opinion Ė and maybe sheís right Ė that I
lost my rights to his money when I abandoned my
family and ran away.
So, now you know.
I hesitated to tell you because I didnít want
you to get the wrong idea. I DO hope you can
forgive me, Lucas. Just yesterday, I signed the
papers to release myself from the terms of the
will. Mother has left me provided for in her
Will, and sheís put certain provisions there to
make sure her wishes will not be contested. My
sister is allowing me to keep part of the
estate, but most of it will go into a trust for
her children. I, of course, have no children
who will need a future secured.
Even my Motherís kind gesture has caused me some problems. Sheís
leaving me the house. I donít want it, but I
donít know how to tell her. Iíve accepted the
fact that I no longer fit into this sort of
life. My heart is in the rugged, unsettled West.
How do I tell Mother without breaking her heart?
How do I tell her that the legacy she and Father
wanted to leave me would be nothing but a fraud
if I accepted it? Oh Lucas, Iím soÖso confused.
As for my coming back to North ForkÖAfter you
read this letter, you may decide it best I donít
return. I tried to explain it the best I could.
I didnít want you to think I wanted to be rich
or have anything to do with money. Itís always
been a part of me, and itís always bored me. I
feel like such a failure!
So you see, Iím very confused. The life Iíve always hadÖthe one I
grew up withÖis no longer here. I came back to
find something that died, and I donít know what
to do. How do I come to terms with the horrible
things Iíve done when they just arenít here
Iím sorry Iíve burdened you with this, Lucas. I will close for now.
My Dear Mark,
I cringed myself when I read about your egg idea. It sounds
fascinating, of course, but where would you put
all those chickens, my dear boy? I can see why
your father didnít go for it. Perhaps you should
start with twenty or so and see how that goes.
Then if you want more, you can buy more with the
profit you make. Itís just an idea. After all,
your father is working a cattle ranch, not
Iím sorry to hear about all the hard times you and father have had.
I wish I could have been there to help you and
your father, but you two have each other. You
can weather any storm.
Mark, I know you miss me. I miss
you so much as well! Iím trying to get my issues
resolved, but it is harder than I first thought
it would be. Just keep praying for me, as I know
Iím sorry this is so short, Mark, but I am rather tired after
writing a lengthy letter to your father.
I love you.
Iím sorry itís taken a while to get back to you,
but thereís never a dull moment in the McCain
household! Between a trip to Santa Fe to visit
some old friends, a kid Markís age who wanted to
kill me, Mark getting himself into a lot of
trouble (and Lou Mallory going with him), and
the Railroad coming to North Fork, my head is
But, another winter is on us and Iím hoping for
a nice, calm winter. Is that even possible? I
donít know but I certainly hope so! After the
year Mark and I have had, we could stand for a
little LESS excitement around here. Iím hoping
Halloween comes and goes without too many
Now, about your latest letterÖI can tell you are
under a lot of pressure, and I wish I could take
you in my arms and help you deal with all this.
You know I would, my sweet MilÖI canít take you
in my arms, but I can try to help you sort
through this, so letís just break everything
First of all I DO want you to come home Ė very
much, but I wonít pressure you. This is
something youíll have to decide for yourself.
And I want you to stop with this talk. You are
under a lot of pressure right now, so I forgive
you for even thinking I could hate you for what
you told me.
Second of all, you are NOT a failure, Milly. If
YOU are a failure, then I am too. If you only
knew the sort of person I was when Margaret
started working on me. When I came home, I
wasnít the same 18 year old boy that had left
earlier. I was a cold, hard man who had killed
fellow brothers over selfish issues, and in the
end their efforts failed.
People remembered me as this
stubborn, prideful but very nice young man; but
when I came back I was anything but. Milly, when
I came back and discovered my parents dead and
buried and a friend deadÖI bolted! I ran away
far and fast. Did I ever tell you that?
I was gone for close to two years. I
participated in some gun fighting, worked some
cattle trails, and even almost found myself
engaged to a woman who could have made me rich.
But I wasnít happy with whom I became. I had too
many drinks one night and almost killed an
innocent man. Thatís when I was able to take a
cold, hard look at myself; and I didnít like
what I had become. I knew I could never be that
same boy I had been when I left for war; but I
also knew that I could never be who I had
become. When I came home, I became very ill.
Margaret was there and she nursed me back to
health. I asked her to be my wife.
Life changes us, Milly. I think youíve already
established that you were wrong for running away
after your brother died; and you furthermore
established that you were wrong for not going
home when your father died. Only you, Milly
Scott, can decide rather you were indeed right
or wrong. I canít do thatÖyour Mother canít do
thatÖand your sister cannot. After my wife died,
I too ran away. I have no voice on that subject
because I did the same thing you did. Sometimes
the pain cowardís us and thereís nothing
powerful enough to make us stay.
Milly, you are learning that you
are not the person your Father and Mother shaped
you to be. You are Milly Scott and thatís good.
Did running away change you? Of course it did.
You no longer want to be dressed in fancy
dresses, attend balls, and eat snails? Hey, I
canít say that I blame you. But maybe itís not
that you no longer want to. Maybe it should be
that you never wanted that; and running away
helped expose that. So Milly, you are not a
As for your sisterÖBeth? Iím trying to find
something nice to say about this woman, Milly,
but Iím failing miserably. I am very upset and
shocked at the way your own sister has treated
you. It sounds like Ė and please correct me if
Iím wrong Ė that your sister harassed you to the
point of your willingly giving up the fight. Am
I right, Mil? Is that what happened? Your sister
is a self-centered snob who should be helping
you through these difficult trials instead of
causing you more pain. Iíve a good mind to ride
up to Denver and give her a piece of my mind!
Now, about your fatherís willÖI donít blame you
one bit for giving in to the contesting. You are
being the bigger person as far as your sister is
concerned. I never, for a minute, thought the
money was important to you. And Iím happy for
what your mother has tried to do to appease you.
Your mother loves you so much,
Milly. It sounds like she understood your
running away. It sounds like sheís supporting
you completely. And it sounds like she wants you
to be happy. Milly, take it from someone who
knows how it feels to leave so much unsaid. Talk
to your mother while you can. Explain to her how
you feel. She loves you. Sheíll understand. You
can always sell the estate later and put the
money in a trust for the children Iím sure you
will have some day.
I hope my letter finds you well and you are able
to resolve some of these issues. I hope Iíve
helped you, Milly.
Iím sorry I didnít get that letter in with País
the other day. I was on restrictions and he was
riding me pretty hard.
Have you ever read ďA Tale of Two Cities?Ē We
got some new neighbors all the way from England.
He was a book salesman over in England and
brought quite a collection with him. As a matter
of fact, right now Iím reading ďThe Three
Musketeers.Ē Thatís because Pa keeps calling me,
Freddie, and Billy that. It sure is something!
Iím enjoying reading all about these swords and
such. Boy, that must have been an exciting time
Oh, and Mr. Bullock is also helping me with my
math. I made an A+ in math! I sure am happy
How do the winters get out there in Kansas City?
Do you get much snow? We are in the midst of a
snowstorm right now. The wind is howling
something fierce and Iím trying to stay warm.
País back is aching something awful but I canít
get him to stop working. I keep rubbing the
stuff on it that Dr. Burrage gave him, but it
seems to hurt him worse this winter than usual.
He said heís getting old, but heís still awfully
Iím about to go out and help Pa with the chores.
Iíll talk to you later, Milly.
December 15, 1885
My Dearest Lucas,
Iím so sorry itís been so long since the last letter but itís been
a bit busy here. Winters in Kansas City can be a
bit hairy, and this one is no exception. We got
a rather major snowstorm back at the beginning
of November. In fact, your letter sat in our box
at the post office for two weeks before it was
delivered to us. Then as soon as they got the
streets cleared from that storm, a second one
arrived. I, of course, was at work. We were
stuck there for three days before someone came
and rescued us. It really scared me. We were
almost out of coal, which is what was used to
heat the building.
It really gave me a lot to think about, Lucas. I was shivering from
cold and I thought about all that you have said
to me. Iíve come to some decisions, but Iím not
ready to divulge them to you yetÖnot until I
have a bit longer to think about them. But I
will tell you that your memories and smile kept
me going during those days.
Then at the end of November, we got a third snowstorm. This time
Mother and I were at home. BUT surprisingly, my
sister and niece had AGAIN arrived. My sister
was overly anxious to get our fatherís estate
settled. When the snowstorm hit, she was stuck
here for two weeks. She only left a few days ago
and insisted she would not be home for Christmas
this year. This news, of course, upset my
Mother, but then thatís what Beth is best at Ė
Beth saw me reading one of your letters one evening. Oh, I was
feeling lonely and took out the letters you and
Mark had written to me. I actually do that
sometimes. She sat down across from me and
wanted to know who writes to me that puts such a
smile on my face. I told her about you.
Beth is my sister,
Lucas, and I love her. But what you said about
her is right. She is a self-centered snob. Iím
sorry I have to say that about my sister, but
she assured me that if I married you, she would
make sure that I never got my hands on one
single penny of the Scott money. I told her that
was okay because I didnít want the money. She
called me some things that I wonít dare repeat.
She became so ugly with me.
Youíve met Sally. Sally is so different from my
sister. She is sweet and caring. She puts others
before herself. She tolerates her mother and
respects her because Beth is her mother, but
Sally canít stand to be around her much. I know
when she was there in North Fork she talked
about my sister as if she was the most wonderful
person in the world, but thatís Sallyís way. Iím
proud she turned out so well. I wish there was
more I could do for my sister.
My sister was already 15 years old when I was
born. She married at 16, so Iíve hardly ever
lived with her. After she left, my mother put an
arm around my shoulder and told me to pay no
mind to her. That if I wanted to marry a rancher
with a small ranch, that was my business. Love
was more important than money, but that was
something Beth never figured out. My mother said
Beth was born with a silver spoon in her
mouthÖand one in her hand. Those are horrible
things for a mother to have to say about her own
daughter, I know.
Listen to me! Here I keep going on and on and itís Christmas! Iím
sending you and Mark a package via the train. It
should arrive right around Christmas.
Oh, I remember Christmas last year. Do you
remember it, Lucas? You invited me out to the
ranch. I cooked you two up a fine Christmas
dinner and we just sat around the house telling
stories and laughing. Then I got stuck there
overnight because of the storm? Do you remember
that? Oh, I sure do! I noticed how upset you
were when you realized I was going to have to
stay there all night. I was awfully riled at you
and I told you I was no longer going to fix you
that apple pie Iíd promised you!
Oh, I just get to laughing thinking about it!
You sent Mark out to the barn to feed the stock,
then you walked into the kitchen where I was
scrubbing a spot that didnít need scrubbed. You
said, ďMilly, that spotís been there since I put
the counter in.Ē Then I threw that scrubber
down. You wrapped your arms around me and you
No. Iím not going to tell you what you said. Iím
going to see if you remember yourself! Iíll be
waiting for your reply, Lucas.
December 25, 1885 (At least it better be!)
Lucas and Mark,
I wish I could be with you on this special day. I hope
you enjoy the gift.
December 26, 1885
My Dearest Milly,
Thank you so much for the quilts. Mark and I
both very much appreciate them! They will keep
us very warm on these long winter nights! When
Mark opened the box (and yes my sweet Mil, it
was Christmas morning), I watched him lift the
quilt from the box and his eyes grew wide. We
unfolded both of them and studied each square
you sewed together. I can only imagine the
conversations that were spoken over these quilts
as you worked on them. Who else? Your mother?
I also loved the McCain Brand you sewed into
both quilts. Oh, how talented! These will always
be treasured! I do hope you enjoyed the gift
that Mark and I sent you via the train. I hope
it got to you in time for Christmas.
Funny you mentioned last Christmas, because I
remember that so clearly! I grew anxious when
the storm intensified and knew I wouldnít be
able to get you back to town that evening. I was
upset youíd have to spend the night, and you
should have known why. I was merely concerned
about your reputation, Milly! But there was
nothing I could do.
Ah yes! You did get riled indeed! You were just
about to start peeling the apples I had fetched
for you from the cellar when I stupidly made the
announcement that I couldnít get you home. I
still remember that look on your face as you
abruptly turned from me and went into the
Oh, I chuckle
about it now, my sweet Mil. I knew Iíd have to
explain things to you, but I didnít want Mark
around. He was sure surprised when I actually
sent him to the barn since I had just five
minutes before told him the storm was too fierce
for him to go to the barn. But the storm that
was brewing in the house was much fiercer. I
walked up behind you and wrapped my arms around
you. Then I said, ďIíd rather have you here
every night, but only when we are married. Iím
not riled you have to stay. Iím merely concerned
about the talk in town.Ē
Then you turned and stared at me. Iíd mentioned
the ďMĒ word. After a few more moments, you
understood I wasnít ready for that, as I could
tell you werenít ready either. Then you smiled
that beautiful smile of yours and batted those
eyelashes. I was rewarded with a great big kiss!
I felt that was the Christmas present I had
wanted all day! But then WHO had to break the
kiss, Milly? Do you remember that part? It
But it went okay. Mark and I gave you the
bedroom and we slept in the front room. Of
course, you should have heard the teasing I got
from Micah in town the next day! But donít you
worry, Milly. I sat him straight! I told him
that if he ever uttered a single word about
this, Iíd take his shotgun and stick it where
the sun didnít shine! You see, my Sweet, I
always get my point acrossÖone way or the other!
And I DID get my apple pie to boot! I told Santa
Clause I wanted both those gifts from you this
year, but I got neither Ė the pie nor the kiss.
But I suppose the quilt will have to doÖfor now.
Again Milly, I am sorry about your sister. Iím
sorry you have a sister like that. Iím glad to
hear, though, that her daughter is turning out
okayÖall things considered. Just keep your chin
Happy New Year!
Thank you for
the quilt! I was so surprised when I pulled it out of the box. Your box
arrived on the train a few days before Christmas. When Pa was told about
it, he told me to go fetch it, but not to open it. Oh, you can only IMAGINE
my protesting, but he stayed firm on that. He even made me take it home and
set it under the tree. Do you know how hard that was? Pa said it was
teaching me disciplineÖI thought that was HIS job!
I hope you had
a Merry Christmas, Milly. I was just talking to Pa about our last Christmas
when you came out to the ranch and cooked us that wonderful turkey dinner!
This year we had Christmas dinner at the hotel with Lou and Micah. It was
good and I had fun, but it wasnít as special as last yearís. Maybe it was
special because you got snowed in and had to spend the night. It made me
feel so warm insideÖalmost like you were my Ma and lived there with us. Oh,
and of course you and Pa kissing in the kitchen while I peaked in the window
(but donít tell Pa that!). I wouldnít tell you, except youíre too far away
to give me a hand on the backside or an ear-pulling. I donít mean any
disrespect, Milly. But I could tell you and Pa really loved each other. In
factÖyou still do.
I watch Pa
when he gets your letters. He sits down in the chair and just stares at it
while he reads it. I canít even get him to hear me when heís reading.
Sometimes late at night, I stand in the doorway and watch him with your pile
of letters. He just shifts through them one after the other and reads
them. Now, if that isnít love I donít know what is.
I better go.
Itís getting late and looks like another snow is coming in. Pa wants to get
January 7, 1886
Iím SO glad you and Mark liked the quilts. Yes, Mother and I worked
on them for months! I wanted to show what you
two mean to me, and Mother said there isnít
anything much more special than a patchwork
quilt. We spent hours over the months, and as we
worked, I told her story after story about you
two. She laughed and
By the way, Lucas, I got to thinking about my
last letter and how I mentioned the ďMĒ word, as
you so delicately put it. Those were speaking in
generalities. I hope you didnít think I meant
anything by it.
This has been such a hard winter! It seems like weíve had storm
after storm out here. Iím ready for an early
spring. Perhaps by the end of January weíll find
some sort of break from this cold, harsh winter.
I donít think Iíve even seen grass since it all
started back in November! Will spring ever
Oh, Iíve some exiting news to tell Mark so Iíll
close for now.
Oh, and I did get the stationary as you can see.
Iím sure your friend Lou helped you pick it out.
Itís almost too beautiful to write on!
Take care and stay warm!
January 8, 1886
I wanted so badly to get this letter written last night, but it
just wasnít to be.
You told me in one of your letters a few months back about Machines
taking the place of horses. Well, no doubt the
train has replaced the covered wagon, but have
you ever heard of an automobile? They are
already seen in the East Ė further East then
Kansas City. BUT, my Dear MarkÖthere was a man
here from the East and he had a miniature
horseless carriage he was showing off. It runs
on some sort of fuel and water. Itís very
extraordinary! I wish you could have been here
to see it. He said that in other countries, some
are already using them to drive back and forth!
I cannot imagine! What would life be like
without having to depend on the horse? Even in
Kansas City horses are seen everywhere.
Iím glad you and your father liked the quilts. I made them with
much love. As for your father loving me,
wellÖtime will tell. And donít you worry about
seeing the kiss. Iíll make sure to take care of
you when I do get home!
Take care, Mark.
February 2, 1886,
Boy, what a month! Weíve had our own bout with
weather! We had a hard snow at the beginning of
the month, but that was quickly followed by
rain! Yes, I said rain! It can stay rather warm
here, and it lurked around freezing. Then it
rained for two days straight. Freezing rain Ė
ICE! It killed a lot of our trees. They fell
down. My, but that ice storm reminded me of
Gettysburg as those limbs started snapping and
trees started falling! Mark and I sure do have a
lot of cleaning up to do now so weíre going to
be busy. But I reckon that keeps us out of
Iíll have to keep this letter short. Milly, Iím
really missing you right now. I close my eyes
and your face is still there, but itís not as
clear as it used to be. I need to see you so I
can remember how you look. Are things beginning
to clear for you?
February 16, 1886
My dear Lucas,
Yes. Your letter last fall really helped me clear several things
up. I talked to Mother about not wanting to
settle in Kansas City. You know what she said?
She just smiled and said she has a feeling Iíll
soon be settling in New Mexico Territory. And
she was happy about it! I told her I wasnít sure
about that, but she said, ďOh, I know, Milly. I
know youíll be there very soon.Ē
Mother doesnít want to leave here. She said Iím not comfortable in
the East, and she could NEVER be comfortable
living in the West. Oh, I would hate to ever
leave her behind! I just canít bear the thought
Well anyway, Tommy and I went to a Sweetheartís Banquet a few
nights ago. He wanted to dance every dance with
me. Iím not sure that I was too comfortable with
that. Every time somebody tried to cut in, he
just glared at them. I finally left and told him
to dance with himself.
Iíll close for now, Lucas. I miss you.
I started to send you a telegram as soon as it
happened, but I thought that would be too cold.
Iím afraid thereís been an accident. Mark fell
from his horse and heÖOh Milly, he canít walk!
He canít feel his legs and Iím so scared for
him. I donít know what Iím going to do.
Oh Honey, you know how Mark is. He has so much
energy and loves ranching, but what sort of life
could he have if he canít walk? Whatís this
going to do to him? Heís so bitter. He hasnít
said much, but I can tell how much heís hurting.
Lou and I are leaving soon to take Mark to
Mission Springs down by the Mexican Border.
There are some hot springs there, and they have
some sort of healing power.
Milly, please pray for Mark. Iím terrified.
My precious Lucas,
Oh, my heart is breaking! I will await word from you that Mark is
recovered. I dropped to my knees and cried out
to God the moment I got your letter. I wish I
could be there with him. Why didnít you
telegraph me? I would have come! I would have
helped you care for him.
I will pray without ceasing until I get word from you. Please take
care. Wire me when you get any news.
North Fork, New Mexico Territory
Milly. I can
walk. Thank you for your prayers. Letter to follow. Mark
Thank you for
praying for me. Pa had to do a lot of convincing to restore my faith, but
he did it and everythingís okay now. I can walk. I am going to be okay. I
really donít want to talk about it in a letter.
That was a
scary experience for me. I hope I never have to go through something like
that again. Itís amazing just how lost you feel when you go through
something like that.
Iím sorry this
letter is so short.
My sweet Mil,
Tears are running down my face as I write. I
canít begin to express to you the relief I feel.
Mark said heíd write you, but his letter is
awfully short. You see, he is still trying to
come to terms with some of the stuff that he
felt during his recent ordeal. It hurt me so
much to watch him suffer. I watched my son lose
all faith in himself. He didnít even want to try
and get better. He just kept telling me it was
no good. He couldnít walk. He was going to be a
burden for the rest of his life.
It took things getting much, much worse before
he got better. An incident came up while we were
down there (I knowÖthis doesnít surprise you
any, does it, honey?)ÖAnyway, Mark almost froze
to death. It was during that desperate hour that
he spoke to God. God helped restore his faith.
Then the next day when his faith started to
waver, I was there speaking with God, reminding
Mark that God was there.
Hereís the strangest part of all. When we got
back to North Fork and we told Dr. Burrage how
we had soaked his legs, Dr. Burrage said that
wouldnít have made any difference Ė the problem
was in his back, not his legs!
Do you see, Milly? Soaking his legs did him no
good Ė none at all! This was a matter of faith Ė
pure and simple. God chose this time to reveal
himself to Mark in a big way, and Mark has come
out stronger then ever!
Thank you, Milly, for all your prayers.
My Dear Lucas,
Iím so relieved to hear Mark is better. We all need to have a
lesson in faith every once in a while. I think
that nowÖmaybe itís your turn.
Tommy and I went out last night. When he brought me home, heÖhe
kissed me. To say that I didnít want it would be
a lie, Lucas. I believe in honesty and I MUST be
honest with you. His kissing me though really
woke me up. I felt nothing in that kiss, and I
longed to. I remembered what your kissing me did
to me, and thatís when I knew the truth.
Lucas, I know I havenít told you how Iíve felt and Iím not sure Iím
ready to say the words quite yet. I have to know
thoughÖwhere do you stand?
I broke things off with Tommy last night. I told him I never wanted
to see him again. He was so selfish about that
kiss. He wanted more and I told him I didnít
even want what he gave me. He told me I was old
fashioned and I asked him to leave. I thought
Iíd feel loneliness, and I doÖbut not for him. I
feel relief. I feel like somebody has unlocked
my cage and Iím now free. Do you know what Iím
saying, Lucas? Do you?
I know I just wrote you a couple days ago, but I wanted to include
a letter in with Markís birthday letter. I do
hope you arenít too angry with the things I
said. Iím afraid Iím chasing you away. I asked
Mother what I should do, and she told me to be
honest, so thatís all Iím doing.
Markís 15 years oldÖ15! Oh, I can hardly believe it! What happened
to the little 12 year old boy that walked in
with you into the General Store? Thinking about
it makes me long for those days back.
Oh, I long to see you and Mark again, Lucas. I miss you both so
very much. And IÖwell, I love you both.
My Dearest Mark,
Oh, how I wish I could be with you on this special day. As I write
these words, I smile at the memory of your
fourteenth birthday and how excited you were to
turn a year older. How I long to put my arms
around you and wish you a happy birthday like I
did last year. I canít believe itís already
been that long since we said goodbye.
Oh Mark, I only knew you for two years, but those were two of the
most precious years of my life. I think of that
time everyday and long for the day when I can
return to North Fork and see how much youíve
grown. My heart has been so unsettled since I
left. I never realized just how much I left
FifteenÖMy boy is turning fifteenÖMy, where did the time go? It
seems like just yesterday we were at your house
celebrating your thirteenth birthday. I
remember crying at how mature you acted when you
gave the reward money away. More so, I remember
the pride in your fatherís eyes.
Mark, I know Iíve told you before, but I want you to know just how
very special you are to me. You are like the
son I never had Ė and I long to someday ride
into North Fork on the train and see you
standing there, smiling, with your arms held out
for me. I long to see your father again as
Happy birthday, my beloved Mark. Iíll see you
After receiving your letter, I went into town
and talked to Lou. I told her that I could no
longer spend time with her alone. I still want
to be her friend, but we could never be anything
more. She was hurt because her feelings toward
me were more than friendship. It will take a few
days, but it will get better.
Iíll make a confession to you, Milly. Iíve
kissed Lou. It wasnít last night, but it has
happened. Itís loneliness that caused it, but
thatís no excuse. Iím sorry if Iíve hurt you.
But I want you to know that we are both on the
same page. I too have opened my cage and am now
Milly, IÖI love you, honey. I love you. Iíve
loved you for a long timeÖeven before you left.
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
Joan Taylor Brings
Romantic Interest to The Rifleman Series
by Pat Morrison
The Modesto Bee, Sunday December 25, 1960
This is a
story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
The Writer's Corner
Table of Contents
around The McCain Ranch