The Writer's Corner
Sugar & Salt
Written by Vanessa Rose aka
*Note: I made
the contest idea up just for fun.
The person stepped forward and took the salt container and
poured a little more. Yes, Millie wouldn't know what she had
done. The person almost dropped the container when the door
slammed open. She turned around, gasping.
"Oh, Mark! I didn't see you! You startled me." The person said
sighing with relief. Eleven year old Mark McCain bit his lip
"Oh, sorry, Mrs. ---Ē
"Mark! How pleasant to see you again!" Millie Scott interrupted
Mark McCain turned from the North Fork woman and smiled at Miss
"How is Lucas today?" Miss Millie asked taking her pie from the
"He's fine. Hey, is that the pie for the Town Contest?" Miss
Millie grinned at him.
"Yes, indeed, it is, Mark."
"I bet Pa will bid for it." Mark said. Miss Millie gasped and
shook her head at him.
"Young man, do not tell your father what you just said to me or
you know what will happen! He will wash your mouth out with
soap!Ē Millie said with stern eyes. "I'll be right back; I have
to put my pie in the oven." Mark leaned against the counter and
stared at the candy jars. He looked around and noticed the woman
was gone. Millie stepped into the room and smiled at him.
"Now, what are you doing here?" She asked with a sparkle in her
"Well, Pa wanted me to ask you if you wanted to have dinner with
us..." Mark explained.
"Now who would provide the food?"
"At the hotel." Miss Millie nodded.
"All right, I will join you for dinner but I have to go for a
moment. Would you watch the pie?" Mark blinked. "Mark. You'll be
fine. All you have to do is put mittens on and take it out of
the oven. You don't want it to burn, do you?" Mark shook his
head no. "I'll be right back. Oh, when you're done taking it out
of the oven, will you sprinkle sugar on it?"
After Millie, Lucas and Mark had a wonderful meal at the hotel
cafe, they parted ways went home. The next day, they arrived to
see the bright banner with the words: North Fork Town Baking
Contest. Lucas looked over at his son who looked like a little
kid who was happy to skip school today.
"You know, son, the whole school is out because of the
contest... Do you want to sit with your classmates or with me?"
Lucas asked pulling up to the Marshall's Office.
"No sir! I want to be with you, Pa!" Lucas smiled as they both
got down from the buckboard. His son was so very special to him.
'Oh, Margaret, I wish you were here to see our son grow up.'
"Hello, Lucas! How are you doing? Where's Mark?" Marshall Micah
Torrance greeted coming from his office. Lucas looked around and
saw Mark talking with some of the schoolboys. "Oh, he's with
Lucas sighed. Those two boys were trouble together but when they
were apart...they were perfect angels.
"Mark!" Another boy, Billy ran up to his son.
"Who do you think will win, Mark?" Freddie Toomey asked Mark.
"Don't know, maybe Miss. Millie or your Ma." Mark answered
watching everyone set up the judges' table. Miss Millie was an
excellent baker and maybe that's why Pa liked her so much but
Mark knew better.
"All right! Gather around everyone!" Micah called.
"See you around, Mark!" Freddie called as Mark ran to his Pa.
"Son, I'm going to be one of the judges so you will behave, all
right?" Pa told him. Mark nodded a little disappointed but the
disappointment faded when one of the judges started to judge....
Pa lifted a pie cover and Mark knew it was Miss Millie's. Pa
sliced the cherry pie and gave one small slither to each of the
three judges. They all took bites when they suddenly started to
gag. The whole town gasped.
"Water!" Pa begged.
The woman lifted her hand to her mouth trying to cover her
amusement. It was such a perfect plan to ruin Millie Scott's
"What is going on?" Micah asked as Sweeney gave them all water.
Millie's face reddened. The woman smiled. Yes, yes, her plan was
going to be perfect!
"Who's pie was that?" Lucas McCain demanded with tears in his
eyes. "Someone put too much salt in it!"
"It was mine, Lucas." Millie whispered. Everyone turned their
heads to look at her.
Mark gasped. Miss Millie's had SALT in it?
"Millie? It was yours?" Mr. Toomey asked with shock on his face.
"Yes, and I'm so so sorry." Miss Millie turned and ran into the
"She's disqualified!" Micah said rubbing his cheek. How could
Miss Millie have salt in it? After a woman's pie had won, they
all left the street. He saw his Pa go into the General Store. He
ran after him and saw them quietly talking.
"What's wrong, Pa? Why did Miss Millie have salt in her pie?" He
asked, with questions whirling in his mind. Pa and Miss Millie
turned around to look at him. Millie had red eyes from crying.
"Mark Warren McCain, did you put salt in the pie?" Pa said with
terribly stern eyes. He barely used Mark's middle name unless it
was something really bad.... Mark's eyes widened.
"Pa! Why would I do that?" Mark exclaimed, surprised that his
own Pa would think that he would do that to Miss Millie.
"Maybe because Freddie asked you to?" Pa said.
"I would never do that to Miss Millie's pie! Honest, I
wouldn't!" Mark said upset that his Pa wouldn't listen to him.
"Mark, tell me if you accidently put salt in it, please. Just be
truthful." Miss Millie said softly.
"I didn't do anything with you pie except put sugar on it!
That's all I did just like you told me to!" Mark said his voice
"Won't you believe me, Pa?" Mark asked Lucas. Lucas sighed and
rubbed his forehead.
"I don't know son. Just be honest!" Lucas replied unsure if his
son was lying or not.
"Pa!" Mark gasped. "I didn't do anything with that pie!"
"Son, why don't you go home and read the Good Book?" Lucas
suggested. Mark's jaw dropped.
"Pa! You've got to believe me!" Mark's voice started to rise
higher. Lucas looked down at his son, his brown eyes pleaded
with Lucas to believe him.
"Mark," Lucas warned. Micah walked in when Mark ran outside.
"What's wrong with him, Lucasboy?" Micah asked.
"We think that Mark might have put salt in the pie." Millie said
"What in the world?! Why would you think Mark would do something
like that?" Micah exclaimed.
"Well, Freddie could have told him yesterday to do it for his Ma
to win." Millie replied sadly. Lucas had no idea what to do with
his son. Was his son lying? All the evidence turned to him....
Mark buried his head into his hands as he sat underneath the
"Why would Pa do this to me?" He cried softly. "I didn't do
anything." He started to cry softly when a warm comforting hand
touched his arm..
"What's wrong Mark?" A woman's voice said.
"Oh, hello, Mrs. Toomey." Mark lifted his head.
"Won't you tell me?" She said kindly. Mark shrugged.
"My Pa thinks that I ruined Miss Millie's pie." He looked up at
her. Her face paled.
"Oh? And what does Miss Millie think of it?"
"She believes I did it!" Mark almost shouted. "Sorry, Mrs.
"Its all right. I'll go speak to your father."
"Thanks Mrs. Toomey but do you think if you talk to him it will
change anything?" Mark asked.
"Yes, I think it will, Mark." Mrs. Toomey patted his shoulder
and walked away.
Mrs. Toomey stepped into the General Store.
"Mrs. Toomey! Hello! I'm so glad for you that you won the pie
contest." Millie said noticing the blue ribbon in Mrs. Toomey's
"Actually, Millie, I want to give you my award." Mrs. Toomey
said looking down at the floor.
"You what?" Micah asked blinking.
"I cheated and I believe that you should have what you deserve."
Mrs. Toomey explained. "I put the salt in your pie while you
weren't there. Mark didn't do it, so please, just tell him that
he didn't do it. I did and I'm so very sorry." Lucas gasped.
"Mrs. Toomey! You did it?" Millie asked.
"Yes, and I just want to say I'm sorry." Mrs. Toomey turned to
Lucas. "Lucas, you better say your sorry to Mark. He's
"Thank you for telling me the truth, Mrs. Toomey." Lucas thanked
"Son?" Mark heard his Pa's voice as he set the table with forks
"I'm sorry, son. I was wrong about you putting salt in Millie's
pie. Someone else did that." Mark lifted his head.
"Really?! You don't believe that I did it anymore?!" Mark
exclaimed. He grinned.
"No, son, I don't." Mark dropped the dishes on the table and ran
into his Pa's arms.
"Pa?" Mark asked with his face in his Pa's chest.
"Letís ask Millie to not make any salty pies!" Pa let him go and
ruffled his hair.
"All right, son." Pa grinned back at him.
"Oh, and Pa?"
"Could we have chocolate cake instead?"
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch