The Rifleman
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Royal Springs 
The Kendrick Gang's First Appearance
Written by Vanessa Rose aka lilyrose

Royal Springs is a fictional town. This would be during the season two of ‘the Rifleman'.

"NO! Don't you dare come closer?!" Susan shouted. Kitty ran inside the girls' bedroom in her nightgown. Lynn was trying to shake her awake.

"Get out of the way, Lynn." Kitty whispered. Lynn scrambled off the bed and ran out the door. "Susan!" She grasped Susan's shoulders and shook her.

"Susan! Wake up! It’s just a dream!" Susan thrashed for a moment then stilled. Kitty let out a sigh of relief. She watched Susan finally sleep peacefully.

"Good night, Susan." She whispered as she walked out leading Lynn into her own room.

The Next Day

Susan inwardly groaned as she was handed the lunch pail that was for her and Sammy. She hoped there would be something good to eat in there unlike yesterday.

Lynn was too young for school; Mama had decided to keep her at home until she could finally learn to read before she started to go to school.

"See you this afternoon, Susan." Mama said giving her a kiss on her forehead.

"Bye, Mama." Susan called as she and Sammy walked outside of the General Store and onto the street to the schoolhouse.

"I like school!" Sammy said. Susan smiled at him. He had always liked school until Moe had forced them not to go... Susan knew that she shouldn't be thinking of what had happened with Moe and Mother... but it was so.. Awful, she just couldn't keep the memories away. 'Jesus, help me, please. I really need you.' She prayed silently. Warmth flooded her body and she felt happy again.

"Be careful!" Susan said as Sammy ran inside the schoolhouse. She liked the teacher, Grace Manwell; she was kind but very smart. She really didn't want to step inside the schoolhouse yet... She wanted to be by herself... Ever since what happened Lynn had stuck to like glue but finally Susan would have time for her.

"Hey its orphan girl!" Beatrice, the school's bully taunted. Susan ignored the three girls as they stared at her. "Did the Rifleman really save you or was it all a lie?" Susan stiffened and kept walking when Beatrice's friend, Faye stuck out her foot.

Susan found herself sprawled on the ground, her lunch pail open with food on the ground. She glared at the three girls when a hand appeared in her face. It was a boy's hand, Andrew's hand.

"You okay, Susie?" Andrew asked as Susan accepted his offer. She brushed her dress from the grass clippings.

"Yes, thank you. We should go inside." Faye and Beatrice stared after them because all the girls liked Andrew. He was kind, thoughtful and really cute. Once inside, Andrew and Susan laughed together.

Later that day....

Larry and Keith Kendrick were sitting in the Royal Springs saloon, not drinking anything, normally they would but they had better plans instead of getting drunk and thrown out of town. The local man walked inside the saloon and the two brothers nodded at him. The man slid onto a bar seat.

"Well, Carter?" Keith asked. Carter Carlyle grinned at him.

"My family will welcome you." Carter responded.

"But we're part of a gang." Larry said dumbly and a little loudly. Keith socked him the arm. "Ouch! What did you do that for?" Keith shook his head.

"Stupid, just plain stupid." Carter said.

"You callin' me stupid?" Larry asked his voice raising.

"Yeah, in fact, I think that you're so stupid that you can't even spell economy!" Carter replied putting his hand on his gun. Over Larry's shoulder, Keith nodded at Carter.

"Uh. Economy? Why, I didn't go to fourth grade, Carter! How many grades did you go through?" Carter stifled a laugh and tried to make his voice sound very serious.

"All the way through high school, Larry." Larry's eyes widened.

"Hey, you're just tryin' to get me into a fight, that's all!" The young Kendrick brother exclaimed. Keith rolled his eyes and mouthed the word 'stupid' to Carter.

"Hey Carter," Carter's older brother, Jack greeted stepping inside the saloon. Carter stiffened at the sound of Jack's voice.

"Hi." Carter said turning around.

"Who are your friends?" Jack asked. Carter blinked. Friends? They weren't friends at all. They were outlaws--he was just a normal cowboy... but he kept a secret that only he knew except for his superiors knew.

"Right. This is Dale," Carter motioned to Larry. "And this is his older brother, Kenny." Jack shook their hands. "Boys, this is my older brother, Jack."

"Oh! The Jack who married your fiancée, right?" Larry said. Carter closed his eyes. That a stupid man.

"We all thought he was dead." Jack said quietly.

"Yeah, I thought he was dead too." Keith said. Carter's heart quickened. Did Keith know his secret? If he did, everything would be for nothing. Wasted, completely wasted.

"How long have you known my little brother?" Jack asked sitting beside "Kenny".

"Oh, about two years... Why?"

"I have to go now. See you around." Carter said putting his hat on his head. Jack grabbed his arm stopping him.

"Need work?" Jack asked.

"That's why I'm leavin'." Carter replied sharply.

"Do you wanna work at the store?"

"No thanks. I'm gonna work somewhere else... Maybe the livery or something." Carter felt awful for being so sharp. "But thanks for the offer, Jack." Jack smiled at him and nodded.

"Of course, little brother."

*********
Keith narrowed his eyes at Jack who was sipping water.

"Wimpy, huh?" He said. Jack looked at him quizzically.

"Wimpy?"

"Yeah, you're wimpy." Jack shrugged his confused expression still on his face. "You aren't drinking anything stronger are you?"

"No. I'm married and my wife doesn't like it if I drink. I don't like drinking anyway." Jack replied.

"Then why are you in here?" Keith asked.

"Get out of the store for a while, I guess."

"You really don't know your brother, do you?" Keith asked. Jack's brows furrowed together.

"What do you mean?" Keith shook his head and paid for his drink and left the saloon.

*********
"Any messages for me?" Carter asked the hotel manager. The elderly man shook his head. Carter sighed. How long were his superiors going to be quiet? He trudged up the stairs and opened his hotel door. He stepped inside and suddenly someone wrapped his arm around Carter's neck. He grunted as he struggled against the intruder but a knife was pressed against his throat. He stilled.

"We know that you're working for the government, Carlyle." Randy Kendrick hissed in his ear. Randy was the leader of the Kendrick Gang and the father of Larry and Keith. "Why don't you just go home where you belong?"

"I can't leave. This is my home." Carter said. Randy pressed his knife harder into his skin.

"You don't want anything to happen to your sister-in-law or... your nieces and nephew." Randy threatened.

"You better not do anything to them!"

"Just leave and I won't bother them again, Carlyle. Understand?" Carter nodded. Randy let him go, shoving him into the wall. Carter reached out to steady himself instead he felt nothing but pain as his head hit the bed stand beside the bed.

Several Hours Later (6 PM)

"Carter?" Jack said knocking on the door. "Carter?" He leaned close to the door. No sound. He twisted the doorknob and walked inside gasping as he saw his little brother sitting on his bed rubbing his head.

"Carter! What happened?" Jack asked rushing towards him.

"Someone jumped me that’s all." Carter replied not looking at him. Jack narrowed his eyes.

"I know when you're lying." He stated. Carter groaned.

"Fine, someone was waiting for me in the room. He threatened me and that's all." Jack peered close and saw a little bead of blood on Carter's neck.

"That's all? So they didn't press a knife to your neck?" Jack asked trying to keep his furious anger down.

"Jack, I can take care of myself." Instead of replying, Jack inspected his head.

"Well, there's blood. We better go to Doc."

"Does Doc Garner still live here?"

"Yes. He does." Carter groaned.

"Great! He's always hated me." Jack's brother complained.

"Because you always got into fights and he had to stich you up." Jack responded helping his little brother up from the ground.

"This isn't fair." Carter grumbled. "I don't want to go see Doc Garner."

"Well, too bad. I have to tell Kitty that I'll be late for supper... again." Jack shook his head and sighed.


....the story will continue....

A Continuing Saga ―
Royal Springs is a spinoff of The Rifleman after "The Shack"

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

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