The Writer's Corner
The Next Step…
Chapter 16 - The Return of Johnny and Lou Drako
Written by Deanne Bertram
It was a Saturday morning, come the end of July, when Johnny and
Lou Drako returned to North Fork after being gone on their
honeymoon. Johnny said goodbye to Lou in front of the hotel and
then walked to the Marshal’s Office. Surprised to see someone
new sitting behind the desk.
“Well, I leave on my honeymoon and come back to find I’ve been
replaced?” Johnny queried with laughter in his voice.
“No sir, Deputy Drako. I’m just helping out. Earning by room and
keep while my leg was healing. I’m Drew Anders, U.S. Marshal.
I’m a friend of Mark McCain’s.”
“Well, any friend of Mark… Speaking of Mark, do you know where
he or Micah might be?”
Drew pointed towards the cells, behind Johnny. Johnny turned
around and laughed.
“Mark, I thought school was out for the summer. Just what are
you and Hope doing in the cell?”
“Johnny, welcome home! I’m helping Hope study. When did you and
Lou get back?” Mark asked as he stood and walked from the cell
to shake Johnny’s hand.
“Just a little while ago, thought I’d come check in to see
what’s happened while we were gone,” Johnny answered.
“Well, things were quiet here in town as far as the law goes,
but…” Mark laughed as he couldn’t continue. Micah was walking
into the office.
“Johnny, good to see you back! How’s married life treating you?”
“It’s better than I ever imagined,” Johnny replied, as a small
grin crossed his face.
“Micah, you taking notes or something?” Mark asked.
“Mark, I’ll have you mind your elders! Don’t you have work to do
out at the ranch?” Micah asked, trying to change the subject.
“Not yet. Pa’s not expecting me until after one. I told him I
was planning to tutor Hope this morning. ”
“Well,” Micah stated, letting a little bit of frustration come
through in his voice. “This ain’t no school room. It’s a jail,
so why don’t you mosey somewhere else and study, boy!”
“Yes Marshal. Just wait until Hope tells Miss Hattie how you
treated us. Sure don’t want to be in your shoes!” Mark hollered
as he grabbed Hope’s hand and ran from the office.
“Just what did that mean?” Johnny asked.
Drew answered, “The Marshal’s been seen in the company of a very
fine woman and trying to keep it a secret.”
“OUT!” Micah yelled and pointed the way to the door.
Micah walked to pour a cup of coffee. “So you and Lou….”
Drako interrupted, “No, no, no Micah. It’s not me and Lou. You
and Miss Hattie? Does Lucas know?”
“Now why would Lucas need to know?” Micah replied.
“I seem to remember Lucas telling me about three men you knew,
being in love, and you wanted to know who was going to be
first?” With a school boy gleam in his eye, Johnny continued.
“So maybe it’s not just the three of us now. So, are you going
to make an honest woman out of Hattie?”
“Drako, that’s between me and her!” Micah exclaimed.
“So you are admitting its true?”
Johnny decided to walk the town before heading to the hotel.
Eager to see his wife, but knowing he needed to return to his
duties. As he walked, the store owners and residents welcomed
him home and wished him well.
“Home” Johnny said to himself as he stepped to the porch of the
hotel, turned and looked down the street of North Fork. “Sounds
mighty fine, peaceful, and quiet…”
His revere was broken by a squeal that could only have come from
his wife. Johnny entered the hotel to see Lou embracing Milly.
“Milly, when?” Lou asked. “Johnny, Milly just told me she and
Lucas are expecting!”
“A baby!” Lou said, deadpan, but her Irish brogue could be
Johnny strode to Milly and gave her a hug and offered his
congratulations. “So, when does this blessed event happen?” he
“Sometime after the first of the year, in January,” Milly
answered; a gleam in her eyes. “Lou, I was over at the general
store and heard Mrs. Donner state she had seen Johnny walking
the town, so I knew you were back and I just had to tell you the
news. I’m on my way over to the dress makers. Seems my clothes
won’t be fitting me much longer, I’m already starting to show.”
Johnny saw Lucas pull the buckboard up in front of the hotel, he
congratulated Lucas on the news.
“So cowboy, you still got it,” Lou called as she slipped her arm
through Milly’s and escorted her out and down to the
“Well, marriage sure hasn’t settled her down,” Lucas stated as
he smiled at Johnny.
“I keep trying Lucas, but that Irish will of hers…”
“Well, maybe getting her with child might help lessen her will,”
“I keep trying Lucas, but it’s only been a month that we’ve been
married.” The two laughed and then went headed over to Sweeney’s
to grab a beer.
The Next Step — Preparing for
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch