The Rifleman
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The Reporter
Written by Vanessa Rose aka lilyrose

*The Graceland Gazette is purely fictional and it does not have any relation to Graceland Tennessee. I just liked the name for it and I thought it would be really nice for it....
This story is dedicated to Morgan, keep on writing!


Michelle Corners stepped down the wagon coach and looked around. The town was small, no wonder The Rifleman would live here peacefully. The coachman handed her bag and Michelle walked into The Mallory House. It wasn't like the usual fancy hotels that she had stayed in before but it would have to do.

"Hullo!" A red haired woman greeted at the front desk.

"Hello, I would like to have a room." Michelle greeted. The woman handed her a pen.

"Room Six. Please sign your name here." Michelle smiled at her and signed, M. Graceland. "Thank you." Michelle went up to her room and washed her face. The room had no key...she would have to put a chair in front of the door if she wanted to be safe.

It had been a long ride of dirt and grit but she had made the trip! Her father wouldn't believe that she could survive dirty cowboys and--- She heard a yell out in the street. She ran to her window that faced the street. Two teenage boys were fighting each other while other classmates were cheering them on.

Michelle had watched her older brothers get into fights when she was younger... and the last time they got into fights, they went to prison for two years. She quickly went down the stairs and decided to break the boys' fight. She wouldn't want anyone---anyone, to become like her brothers. She didn't glance at the woman at the desk she just kept her fast pace walking to the street. Why wasn't the Marshall or lawman stopping them?

"Stop it right now boys!" She shouted. No one could hear her above the cheers of the classmates. She whistled a high pitch whistle that made every single person on the street including the adults. The two boys stopped punching each other and stared. She stomped to the boys and grabbed each of their arms. "You're coming with me!" Of course they didn't know her but they just were completely shocked by her starkness. She dragged them toe the Marshall's office. The Marshall behind the desk was talking to a tall blond man but Michelle didn't care.

"Marshall! These two boys were fighting in the street showing their classmates that its good to fight over some stupid reason!" Michelle said. The two men gaped at her.

"Mark Warren McCain!" The tall man said-- McCain? The Rifleman's son? "I am so sorry...Mrs..."

"Pa! Jerry was being rude to---"

"Mark," The Marshall warned. The boy closed his mouth sighing.

"Miss Michelle Graceland, Mr. McCain! Excuse me; I need to rest since I took a long ride in that stage coach!" She let the boys go from her iron grip and turned on her heels and walked out of the office.

**********
Mark cringed with every single word that his Pa said or yelled. After that strange woman, Michelle Graceland embarrassed his Pa in front of Micah, Mark knew he was in major trouble ....

"GO TO THE BARN!" Mark sighed.

"Pa, please listen to me. I didn't mean to fight Jerry but ---" Pa turned his back towards Mark.

"Go!" Pa ordered. Mark turned around and ran into the barn. Oh, now he was in big trouble if only Jerry hadn't been mean to Shelly...

**********

"Will you just stop it, Jerry? I don't want to go to the picnic with you!" Shelly said ignoring Jerry's advances. Jerry was seventeen who was still in school because he had trouble with mathematics. Shelly’s was fifteen! Just fifteen just like Mark. Mark had been walking towards Micah's office when he heard Shelly cry for help. Mark ran to her following her voice.

"Mark! Help me!" She kicked at Jerry who was leaning closer to her. Mark rolled his fists.

"Jerry, leave Shelly alone!"

"What are you gonna do about it, McCain?" Jerry turned around and faced Mark. Jerry was a lot bigger than him, he was smaller than Pa but he was bigger than Mark.

"If you don't stop it, I'll will..." Mark turned to see the stage coach come in. Jerry threw the first punch at the distracted Mark.

"Mark!" Shelly screamed.

********
Mark sighed as he rubbed his shoulder from where he hit the hotel stairs. The barn door opened with his tall Pa filling it.

"Son, I'm sorry. Shelly came over and told me what happened. I'm sorry that I didn't listen to what you had to say." Mark nodded still looking away. How many times had his Pa not listened to him? "Oh and son?"

"Yes Pa?" Mark replied.

"Will you forgive me?" Mark turned and smiled at him.

"Of course!" Pa looked away at the horses. "Is there something else you would like to say, Pa?"

"I don't want you to go near that Michelle Corners woman. All right?" This made Mark curious...

"What's wrong with her?"

"Well son, I believe she's an investigative reporter from the Graceland Gazette." Mark's eyes widened.

"No way!" Pa shook his head and chuckled.

"Son, why don't you help me with the chores?" Mark got up from sitting on the bale of hay and walked with his Pa outside.

**********
"Don't tell me Michelle went to North Fork!" Mr. Graceland shouted pounding his fist on his desk. The messenger gulped.

"Yes sir, she has. We just received a wire from the spy---"

"Don't you dare call him a spy? He's just watching over my daughter!" Mr. Graceland snapped. Brett Corners was supposed to marry Michelle but she had run off to do some stupid assignment that was meant for a different reporter, a male reporter actually.

"Sir, what should I do?" Mr. Graceland's messenger asked. The older man turned around snapping his fingers.

"Make Corners get the Rifleman scoop before Michelle does! Then she'll think that she can never do a man's job!"

***********
Michelle decided to head for the McCain ranch but she wanted to tell the Marshall why she was really in North Fork.

"Good morning, Marshall Torrance." She greeted cheerfully.

"What can I do for you, Miss. Graceland?"

"I am a investigative reporter, Marshall and my editor sent me on a assignment about the famous Rifleman." The marshal’s face paled.

"Sorry ma'm. The McCains don't like visitors like that."

*************
Brett laughed inwardly. He knew where the McCains lived. He was definitely going to get the scoop and if he did get the big scoop he would take Michelle's pretty hand in marriage. He smiled and walked away into the saloon. He mounted his horse and started to gallop to the McCain Ranch.

When he arrived, he saw a boy about fifteen chopping wood. This must be the McCain kid. He thought.

"Howdy!" Brett said. The boy turned and looked at him.

"Uh, hello. Who are you?"

"I'm Brett Corners and I was looking for your pop."

"Why?"

"I'm a reporter that's why!" Brett unmounted and smiled at the kid. "Where is he?"

"He's in town." The boy lied. Brett stood there his eyebrow raised.

"No he isn't, kid. I was just in town. I would have passed him by."

*************
Knowing he was busted, Mark started to put wood in a stack.

"My Pa's too busy, sorry mister." He didn't notice that Brett had found his Pa's rifle.

"Is this the famous Winchester rifle that I have heard so much about?" He heard the stranger ask. Mark whirled around.

"Hey! Give that back!" Brett was studying it closely.

"Sure kid, sure."

"Will you stop calling me kid?" Brett handed the rifle to Mark.

"Only if you tell me where your pop is." Brett replied airily. Mark sighed.

"He's out on the ranch and you wouldn't be able to find him." Brett rolled his eyes.

"Maybe you'll tell me more about the life of Lucas McCain. Where's your mother?" Mark glanced at the rifle.

"She passed away over six years ago. Now will you leave?"

"Aww, The Rifleman is a widower?" Brett got out a small notebook and pencil. "This is perfect! The headlines will be 'Rifleman is a Widower and Father'". Mark gritted his teeth.

"You're trespassing, Mr. Corners. Please leave." Mark said taking his rifle into his hands. "Now."

"Sorry, kid, what's your name again?"

"Mark, now LEAVE before I shoot you." Mark demanded. Brett walked closer to the house.

"Sorry but I can't. I have to have the scoop on Lucas McCain so I can get a promotion in the Gazette and the marriage of the editor's daughter. So... will you let me in so I can see how it looks like to live in a house where the Rifleman person lives?"

"NO!" Mark shouted, his anger showing. "LEAVE!"

"That's not a good way to show hospitality, Mark." Brett chided. Mark ran in front of Brett.

"Don't make me shoot you."

"You can't shoot me. Why would you want to hurt an innocent man?" Brett looked behind Mark. "Hey, did you throw a baseball threw the window?" Confused, Mark turned to look only to feel his rifle ripped out of his hands and a shove in the back. "Thanks a lot kid!"

************
Lucas rode into the yard and put Razor away. He slapped his forehead. He had forgotten his rifle?!

"Mark!" He noticed Blue Boy was still in the barn with no saddle. The wood wasn't put away... it had been an hour ago that Lucas had left Mark alone... "Mark?" He walked inside to see his son tied to a chair.

"Paa!" Mark yelled. "Look out!" A man pointing a gun at Lucas appeared. He threw an ugly glare at Mark.

"Stupid kid. All I wanted was some things about The Rifleman and he wouldn't say anything. You better tell me some stuff so I can write it down and go back to my city house! I just really want to have my promotion!! You know, kid, your pa's wanted in some states... Did you know that?" Lucas looked at his son whose face showed surprise.

"Leave us alone! I'm not telling you anything, Corners!" Lucas spat.

"I can't leave you alone! I wanna marry Miss Graceland and it will be all of your fault if you don't let me have the scoop before her! She thinks that I love her but I don't!"

"You don't love me?" A soft voice asked. Lucas and Brett turned their eyes to see Michelle Graceland in the McCain doorway holding Lucas' rifle pointed at Brett.

"Really, Brett?"

"I...uh... I'm really sorry, Michelle." Lucas said softly. Michelle lowered her eyes then back up at Brett.

"Why did you have to bother the McCains?"

"I wanted to have a promotion..." Brett said lowering his gaze.

"Drop the gun, Brett."

ONE WEEK LATER

"Goodbye, Mr. McCain, Mark." Miss Graceland said as she stepped into the stagecoach.

"Bye, Miss Graceland." Mark replied returning her smile.

******************

"Pa, I love you."

"I love you more, Son."

The End

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

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