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Mark and Freddie's Adventure
Written by Vanessa Rose aka lilyrose

*Royal Springs is a fictional town*

SIX DAYS PRIOR: "Pa, I've been saving up some money for weeks! Why can't we go?" Mark McCain said to his Pa who was brushing down Razor in the barn.

"Son, I need you at the ranch." Pa replied not looking at him.

"Itís not like Freddie's gonna lead me into trouble!" Mark winced knowing that it was the wrong thing to say. Pa looked at him and raised his eyebrow at him.

"So... This time he won't lead you into trouble?" Pa asked. "Last time you said that, he led you into trouble....again." Mark groaned.

"He's my best friend!" Pa rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, a friend who leads my son in trouble." Pa muttered under his breath. Mark stifled a smile.

"I heard that! Come on! Please??" Pa sighed and finally gave up.

"Okay son. You may go." Mark smiled.

"Thanks Pa!" He walked out of the barn calmly like an adult. Once he was out of earshot, he shouted, "WHOO HOO!!" Pa shook his head and kept on brushing his horse.

SIX DAYS LATER:

"Are we lost, Freddie?" Mark asked as he watched his best friend scratch his forehead. They were standing in the middle of nowhere. "Are we even close to Royal Springs?"

"I told you to call me Fred, Mark." Freddie replied looking at his map. "Uh, uh huh, hmm..." He looked at the map with an ugly stare. Then he looked at Mark then back at his canteen that lay beside him.

"Are we, Fred?"

"Yes, I think so." Freddie mumbled. Mark wanted to throttle him.

"You got us lost?!"

"No, you're the one who gave me this map." Freddie said. "Why don't we just camp here until morning?" Mark agreed and started to set up camp. Freddie started the fire.

"Maybe we should have gone on the stagecoach." Mark said as he laid down on his bedroll leaning on his elbows. Freddie elbowed him in the ribs making Mark's head hit the ground. "Ouch! Why'd you do that for?"

"That's why." Mark followed Freddie's gaze. Two Apache Indians were standing in front of the fire with spears in their hands.

"Oh, right." Mark said dumbly. He noticed how they both looked so familiar. Then he realized, they were the two Indians who had kidnapped him when he was little boy: Artak and Chaqua! Mark could hear Freddie's loud gulp. The Indians just stared at them blankly making Mar

"Hi. This is Mark and I'm Freddie..." Freddie introduced his voice wavering with fear. He whispered to Mark, "Get your .22! Letís get going!" Mark then noticed his rifle was near Blue Boy. He felt like slapping himself. His Pa always told him to keep his firearm near him. He bolted for it only to feel himself being grabbed from the behind and put on a horse just like the time the Indians had captured him.

"MARK!" He heard his best friend shout. Mark lifted his head to see Artak tie Freddie and gag him. Then he left his best friend all alone!

"FREDDIE!" Mark shouted back as his body bounced on the bare back of the horse.


TWO DAYS LATER:

Freddie stepped inside the Marshall's Office, dirty and tired. Lucas and Micah were standing there talking.

"Freddie! Where's Mark?" Lucas asked.

"I'm sorry, Mr. McCain. I tried to help him... I really did." Micah gasped.

"What happened to Mark?" Micah said.

"We camped and then there were two Indians... and they looked awfully familiar to Mark. You should have seen his face. It looked like he had just seen a ghost!" Lucas and Micah looked at each other exchanging a worried look.

"Where is Mark?" Lucas repeated.

"Mark went for his .22 and then one of them grabbed Mark and threw him over the horse. I tried to stop him but the stronger one grabbed me and tied me up... It took me a day to reach a town and then someone helped me here. I really tried to save him, Mr. McCain. I'm sorry." Freddie hung his head. Lucas looked like he was going to boil over.

"Do you think itís those two Indians that kidnapped him when he was boy, Lucas?" Micah asked.

"If it they Artak and Chaqua, I will personally kill them."

********

"What happened to my friend?" Mark demanded boldly stepping forward towards Chaqua the Indian chief. He had remembered that day for a long time--he would have nightmares and everything, even his Pa used to have some. But this time, he was going to be brave and fight back. Chaqua stared down at him and then turned away from him.

"Hey! Why won't you answer?" Mark asked.

"Do you remember when I brought you into camp, young one?" The Indian said. Mark nervously shifted on his feet.

"Yeah." Mark answered.

"I wanted a son who was strong and courageous. You are him." Mark gasped and stepped backward.

"What? My Pa found me and took me away from you. Why did you take me away from my friend?"

"I have watched years over you... I have waited for the moment to take and reclaim you." Reclaim? Mark inwardly shuddered. "You were always with your father... and I could never take the chance."

"Don't you understand? I'm not going with you."

"You have been with us two days, young one and yet, you try to escape each time only to be severely punished by Artak." Mark wanted to scream. Why did this Apache make him so angry? "Itís time to rest, young--"

"Can you just call me by my name? Itís Mark." Mark interrupted finally getting irritated with being called young one.

"It is not your Indian name. Sleep." Mark sighed and obeyed silently. He felt Artak watch him.

"Boy, you need to rest if you want to stay alive." Artak whispered sounding hostile. Mark sighed quietly. What had happened to Freddie? Had he been found by settlers? Did Pa know where he was? Probably not....

"I know you're coming for me, Pa. You always do." Mark said finally drifting to sleep.

*******
Micah said he would wire Royal Springs any towns near North Fork about the Indians having a captured fifteen year old boy with them. Lucas barely slept at Lou's hotel....

Freddie saddled his horse with food and water. He was going to find his best friend.

*******

Mark sat on a horse holding the horse's hair. He liked saddles and reigns a lot better than bareback. It was in the middle of the day and they seemed to go nowhere... but the Indians probably knew where they were going.

"I am taking you to my wife. She will get you proper clothes." Chaqua said sitting on a horse stiffly beside him. Mark didn't reply. He had to figure a way out of here. Chaqua pushed his horse to the head of the horses when Mark took his chance.

He galloped as fast as he could. He pushed the beautiful horse fast. He wished his best friend was here, he would have survived a lot longer with him. He heard the pound of hooves on the ground behind him. He didn't care as long as he was closer to his Pa. He reached a forest and decided to go into the thicket of it.

'Be brave, Mark. You have to be.' Mark told himself when the Indians surrounded him on their horses. He looked around for any opening to escape through. YES! They all stared at him with hard eyes. Mark closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. Then he kicked the flanks of the horse and held on tight on the horse's hair.

He had to get to his Pa and Micah.

Suddenly he saw lariats wrap around his horse's body. He tried hard to get them off but he couldn't.

"That was mistake, Mark." Chaqua said quietly. Artak pulled Mark off the horse and backhanded him.

"Go." Artak shoved Mark towards the area back into camp.

"Leave me alone!" Mark said his anger pouring out. "JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!" Chaqua raised his eyebrow.

"Son--"

"I'm not your son! Won't you leave me alone? I just want to be with my Pa--"

"You are with your Pa, boy!" Artak said. Mark didn't let any tears out, he couldn't and he wouldn't.

"I'll never be your son and you won't force me to be. Ever." Mark snapped.

"Let him go!" Another voice said. Mark turned to see a girl sitting on her horse with her eyes mean and cold. She had a rifle pointing at Artak and Chaqua. "If you don't let him go, I'll kill Chaqua." Mark gasped.

"Kylie James?" He whispered softly.


Mark's and Freddie's Adventure - part 2

This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!

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