The Writer's Corner
Written by Matthew
I decided to surprise everyone with a story. I dedicate this to
all of you!
“Son, come on wake up! We have to gather our stuff and load it
in the car. We got 2 hours till we have to leave.” That is what
I heard at 5 o’clock this morning. I didn’t mind though! This is
one get away I couldn’t wait for.
Me and my Dad were longing for some Father/Son bonding time. Our
fast pace lives were starting to get to the both of us. With my
Dads work load and my forever ringing cell phone and friends
banging at the door, we really needed to get away from our
suburban life for a few days.
A few weeks back my Dad pulled out a map from his desk drawer
opened it up and told me to close my eyes and drop my finger.
Where my finger lands is where we go. So, I did just that! My
finger landed on a small town called North Fork. Wanting to know
more information on this small town, I decided to Google it. I
was amazed… The history… this place was perfect for me and my
Dad. Gunfights, old saloons some guy they once called The
As me and my Dad were heading out on our adventure I pulled out
an envelope with papers. “What’s that?” Dad asked me. “ Well
Dad, I wanted to brush up on a little bit of history of North
Fork and this McCain guy, they once called The Rifleman.”
“I’m impressed, I didn’t think you would take this getaway so
serious. I’m glad! So, tell me what does it say?”
“Well Dad, from what I gather .. that this McCain man was the go
to guy. He was there when you needed him to be. I guess he had
some sorta Rifle he used to carry with him. It says he killed
some men but, all in self defense.” As I was reading this I
couldn’t help but think how different times were back then
compared to now. “ This is kinda cool Dad, Mark was his sons
name. Same as mine!”
“That is cool, Mark. We have been driving for awhile. Let’s stop
and get some rest. By tomorrow night we should be in North Fork.
But not with out a good nights rest.”
“Okay Dad or should I say Pa! You know like they used to say
back in the day.” We both looked at each other and laughed.
The second Day of our vacation arrived. I was even more excited
then ever. I knew by tonight we would be in North Fork!!
Over breakfast, I explained to Dad what else I had read. The lay
out of the town and the people that once walked the streets.
“I guess the town Marshals name was Micah he was buddies with
McCain, oh, his name was Lucas. I found that out last night when
I was supposed to be sleeping.” I said to Dad with a grin. I
knew my Dad possibly couldn’t be mad!
“Alright… Okay… son. Lets get going so we can arrive before
This drive was taking way to long! When I was just about to bust
I seen a sign say Historic North Fork 5 miles ahead.
“Dad…Dad…only 5 more miles!!!”
“Yes, I seen that too. But it took us longer then I thought so
we are not heading into North Fork tonight. Were going to sleep
at this motel 8 then when we wake up will head on into town.”
“No!” I stated “ We got to stay in North Fork at the Hotel! It
was once owned by Lou Mallory”
“Who is Lou Mallory?” Dad asked in a puzzled voice.
“ I don’t know, some hot tempered Irish woman that once owned
the hotel. But Mark and his Dad used to stay at the hotel on a
regular basis. You can rent the room that was there favorite!
Please Dad, Please.”
“Okay, if it means that much to you.”
“Yes, it does Dad. The more I read about Lucas and Mark the more
fascinated I am by the two of them.”
I couldn’t believe it we were heading into North Fork and
staying at the Hotel!!!
North Fork Bound
“Look Dad, at the flickering street lanterns.” I said as we were
nearing North Fork. We had to park our car in a parking lot
because cars were not permitted to enter town. North Fork was in
it’s original state and that’s the way it was to remain.
“Okay, let’s grab our bags!” My Dad said with excitement . As we
were getting a better look at the buildings I heard my Dad say,
“ Take a look at this place, WOW! Have you ever seen anything
“ No Dad, I sure haven’t.” I couldn’t believe my eyes either. “
After we take our bags to the hotel can we check out the town?”
I asked with my fingers crossed.
“ No, let’s go to the hotel and get a good nights rest and the
go from there.”
“Oh…alright.” I knew I shouldn’t push it. Since I was lucky
enough that we were staying at the hotel.
It was so neat to be walking down wood sidewalks and crossing
over dirt roads. The town still had no electricity and
everything was still handled the old way.
“Okay son, I see the hotel front.”
As we entered the hotel, I could not get over the décor. It was
just like I had read and had pictured in my mind. I seen some
pictures hanging above a bookshelf. I walked over to take a
“Hey Dad, come over here and check this out. These are the
people I was telling you about. There is Lucas and Mark McCain.
Oh that must be Lou Mallory… and these…””
“Others must be…”
“Micah and that must be Hattie..”
“And that has to be Mille…”
“Oh, Sorry Dad. I was just so excited to see the faces of the
people I have been reading about!”
“I know you are son. We really need to get to bed. Our room is
right up these stairs.”
“Dad, I know this is asking a lot but can I please get one of
these books. It goes into way more detail about their lives then
anything that I have gotten off of the internet.”
“Sure, but after this straight up those stairs to our room.”
The person working the desk was dressed in era fitting attire.
He told us that a storm was rolling in and we would have great
I grabbed onto the staircase banner taking in everything I could
get my eyes on. This place was so important to the McCain's and
I sure could see why.
“ Watch your step Mark. These stairs are so narrow definitely
different then modern day hotels.”
I could here the thunder rolling in as we were entering our
I was taken back as I looked around our room. “ Dad, I don’t
know what to say. This room is perfect!”
I didn’t hear anything from my Dad. He was standing at the
window in a daze. I walked over to take a look at what he was
looking at. I couldn’t get over what a wonderful place this was.
I felt like my finger landed on North Fork for a reason and a
My Dad walked over to the book that I had just gotten and said “
Let’s get to know them McCain's.”
So we pushed a couple of chairs together lit a lantern and
started reading about North Fork and the McCain's.
“ Dad do you think we might be able to go visit the McCain’s
“I’m sure we can fit that in.”
It was getting harder and harder to keep my eyes open. The
tapping of the rain and the flickering of the lantern. As
difficult as it was I decided to call it a night.
Morning had arrived and I found myself in the room by myself. My
Dad was nowhere in sight. I got cleaned up and dressed then went
to look for him. I did not have to go far though he was
downstairs in the hotel lobby talking with some man.
“Good morning Mark. This is Mr. Roush.”
“Good morning Mr. Roush.”
“Good morning Mark. How was it sleeping in the hotel last night.
I heard you slept in the McCain's favorite room.”
“It was great. I can understand why they enjoyed that room. You
can see all the way to the other side of town from the window in
“I think that’s why Mr. McCain liked that room also. It was
important to him to see what was going on at all times. Many
good and bad folks entered North Fork from time to time. Mr.
McCain made sure he was available when needed.”
“Mark, Mr. Roush is going to give us a ride out to The McCain
Ranch later on today.”
“That will be great. I can’t wait”
“Have either one of you rode a horse before?” Mr. Roush asked
Me and Dad looked at each other and then looked at Mr. Roush and
shook our heads no.
Mr. Roush laughed and said “ This should be fun. I will see you
both back here later on. Have a fun day around North Fork. Oh
and Mark, Mark McCain used to love the hotels apple pie you
should make sure to try some during your stay. They still use
the same recipe.”
“Oh.. I will make sure to do that! I said.
North Fork Bound
“Well Dad lets check this town out!!”
“Okay Mark, let’s go check out North Fork!!”
When we both stepped out of the hotel we went to the center of
the street and took a good look around us. I could see many of
the places that I wanted to stop at but which one would be the
first. Last night I couldn’t absorb in all what North Fork had
to offer. I certainly could today !
We decided to go to the Marshalls Office, I thought that would
be the perfect place to stop at first. We walked in and the
first thing I noticed was Micah’s desk and chair. I went over
and sat in his chair and kicked my feet up on his desk. What an
awesome feeling!! I then went over and checked out the jail
cell. I imagined all the criminals that were placed behind these
bars! I glanced over to a paper that was laying on a table. It
was a memo that Micah had written. It stated how much his
position as the Town Marshall meant to him and his best friend
Lucas was the best Deputy he ever had, even though he wore his
badge on the wrong side of his chest once. No matter what was
going on in Lucas’s life he was there. I wiped a tear away as I
sat the memo back on the table. What a wonderful place this
North Fork was and what wonderful people once lived here.
Dad asked me “ Which place next?”
“The General Store!”
Before I left Micah’s office I took one more look. I never
wanted to forget this moment. Then off we went to the General
We entered the General Store. What a wonderful sight to see.
CANDY, bunches of CANDY!! Dad said “ Go on Mark get yourself
some of that Rock Candy.”
We had such a busy day visiting North Fork. I enjoyed it all!
Even though there was a lot more to see .I couldn’t help but
think about The McCain’s Ranch . I couldn’t wait much longer to
go visit it.
“Dad is it about time to head back to the hotel?”
“You getting anxious son?”
“ Yes, Dad I sure am!!”
“Okay we will head back to the hotel and get some of Marks
favorite apple pie.”
“Then can we go to the ranch!!”
“We’ll see Mark… we’ll see.”
“What do you mean we will see? Mr. Roush is going to take us out
to the ranch! Remember?!”
“Yes, I remember Mark… We were going to surprise you, but I
might as well tell you now.”
“Well…. What is it Dad?”
North Fork Bound
“Well Mark, we are going to stay at the ranch.”
“We are?” I stood there puzzled. What my Dad was telling me
wasn’t sinking in! I almost thought I heard him wrong! “ Can you
say that again?” I asked in disbelief.
Dad chuckled “ We are going to stay at the ranch! We have
permission to visit and stay the night.”
“Just us?!” I asked
“Just us” Dad replied
“Hurray! I can’t believe it! I just can’t believe it!” I stood
“ Well Mark, lets not just stand here. Let’s get going!!!”
“ Dad, can we get that apple pie to go?”
Dad laughed and rubbed my head and said I will see what I can
do. I’m not sure if North Fork has a to go menu.”
I headed up to our room to pack our bags up and head to the
ranch. Dad went to see if we could take our food with us.
Packing up my suitcase, I felt excited and sad. I was sad that I
was leaving Marks favorite room and the town of North Fork. But
I was headed to Marks home and I was happy for that!
Dad was waiting at the bottom of the staircase with the food in
“Mark, It wasn’t easy but I manage to get our food to go!”
I smiled, the food was actually the last thing on my mind. The
ranch was the first!
Mr. Roush was waiting out front with 2 horses.
“Mr. Roush aren’t you riding out with us?”
“No, I’m sorry I’m not able to make it out to the ranch. I have
directions for you to follow.”
“That’s to bad, I was looking forward to hearing some stories
about the McCain's.”
Mr. Roush replied “ I think you will be able to figure out who
the McCain’s were by spending time at the ranch.”
“ Mr. Roush, one more thing. How we supposed to take all of our
things with us on these horses?”
Mr. Roush laughed so hard it was sounded like it was straight
from his belly!
“ Follow me Mark.” Mr. Roush said
“Where are we going?”
“We are heading to the blacksmith. There we will find the
McCain’s wagon. That is how you will head to the ranch.”
Mr. Roush opened the doors to the blacksmiths and there it was
the McCain’s wagon!
My Dad brought over the horses and Mr. Roush showed us how to
harness them up. Then we loaded the wagon and we were off to the
It didn’t take to long, I thought it might take all day but it
“WOW! What a place! It looks just like the pictures!” I said to
“ It sure does, lets unload and then we can put the horses in
the barn along with the wagon. I would hate for anything to
happen to this.” My Dad said
We got everything squared away with the wagon and the horses.
The barn was in great shape for being so old. Things have been
well kept. I could tell how much the McCain’s must have meant to
North Fork for things to be so well kept.
Walking up to the house with butterflies in my stomach. I didn’t
know what to expect when I opened the door.
I stood there for a second took a deep breath and turned the
key. I pushed the door open slowly. Absorbing every thing I
Me and my Dad stepped in and stood there for a minute looking at
the room. I felt nothing but warmth, compassion, strength and
love. I walked over to the table and sat my bags down. I took a
seat. Dad sat beside me.
“Mark, what are you thinking?” Dad asked
“ I’m not sure, I’ve never felt like I knew someone that I have
never met before.”
“ I feel the same way, son.”
After we sat there for some time we checked out the rest of the
place, I enjoyed looking at old pictures. Eating my dinner at
their dinner table. Marks favorite apple pie was the best apple
pie I ate!
I went out side and walked around looking at the trees and the
beautiful grounds. Everything was just wonderful.
It was getting late and I needed to get some sleep I headed on
to bed. It was some what sad because I knew tomorrow we were
I kneeled besides Marks bed and prayed. While I prayed for the
first time I cried during a prayer.
After my prayer I fell fast asleep.
I woke up the next morning to the smell of eggs and bacon. I put
my clothes on and headed to the kitchen.
“Mr. Roush, why are you here?”
“Well Mark, I came here to ask you something.”
“Okay, well what is it?”
“When your old enough would you be able to come work for us and
take care of this ranch? I know your going to need sometime to
think about this. Take all the time you need. If your plans are
college we have a great one not to far from North Fork.”
I looked at my Dad. Then looked at Mr. Roush,” Well… How could I
Mr. Roush smiled and said “ Well it is here for you when your
able to work for us.”
Mr. Roush had left while me and Dad had begun to eat.
“ Well, Mark I bet you didn’t expect that?”
“No I sure didn’t. There is one thing that I didn’t expect even
more then that though.”
“Really? What was that Mark?” Dad asked
“My prayer was answered so quickly.”
Dad smiled and grabbed my shoulder. “I think you will do just
fine here when that time comes.”
It was so hard to go back home and leave North Fork even though
I knew I would be back.
I said goodbye to the town folks of North Fork and told them I
would be seeing them again!
THE END ( for now)
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch