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The Unwanted Return - part1
Written by Vanessa Rose aka lilyrose

Note: this is months later after the Vaqueros episode. It’s not set between any episodes. Its somewhere in season four.
I also used Michelle Palmer's stories scenes that she wrote for Lucas' account on Vaqueros and Mark's Memories.

You should read Lucas's and Mark's accounts on "Vaqueros" written by Michelle Palmer before reading my story.


He would have justice and that stupid sodbuster would pay. Vengeance was sweet. That sodbuster had thought he killed Miguel and his men... His men did die but Miguel had been in a coma and somehow, he had escaped that mental prison...

He would find wretched Maria, and the gringo's bratty kid. He smiled as he cleaned his rifle. Yes, he would find them...and everything was going to be his! The brat, Maria and the famous Rifleman's weapon.

********
Lucas McCain was checking on the fences when he noticed a small piece of paper nailed to the wood fence. He tore it off and read the words:

Amigo,

Watch over your leetle one
I'm coming

The Patron

Lucas gasped and dropped the paper. It floated away as the wind took it wherever. The Patron? Miguel from Old Mexico desert.....

Miguel grabbed my rifle, but I kept my hand on it. We stood there staring at each other for a few seconds before I finally released it. I had Mark to think about - no matter what I did, I had to keep my son safe! The men were proud of the rifle they now had. They were glad to have our horses too. I told him we needed the horses. I reached into my pocket to take out my money. I wanted to get rid of them - I had to protect my boy!

He said he’d take my money - and everything else. “You gonna leave us out here?” Miguel laughed at my question. Those were my last words.

Suddenly, Miguel took the butt of my rifle. He called to me. When I turned toward him, he slapped the rifle at me, hitting my squarely in the throat. I fell to the ground, suddenly overcome in pain. Only a grunt came out.

“Pa!” Mark rushed over to me. Miguel grabbed Mark and lifted him up. Mark continued crying my name as he struggled in Miguel’s arms. Miguel was happy Mark was strong, but he suddenly made a demand. “Hey stop it! Stop it or I will kill him right now!”

"No.....please," Mark begged. Miguel pushed the boy toward one of his pals and told him to take him to camp. Mark called out to me as they dragged him away.....

Lucas snapped himself from the horrid memories. He wouldn't tell his son about the note, never would he say anything about it....

********

Two weeks passed by and Lucas had forgotten all about the note. He stood near the house, chopping wood when he heard horses ride up. He turned to see Micah on his horse.

"Hello, Micah! What can I do for you?" Lucas immediately noticed something was wrong. "What's wrong Micah?"

"Lucas," Micah began.

"What is it?" Lucas repeated.

"Mark's been kidnapped." The words pounded in Lucas' head..... Mark's been kidnapped... Again! In two months he had been kidnapped twice!

"Mark's been kidnapped?" Lucas froze.

"Lucas! Get on your horse and come join the posse!" Micah ordered sharply. Lucas grabbed his rifle and put the saddle on Razor. He had to have his son... his only son, his young son, his Mark, his wife's son....his boy.

********

"You know, Blue Boy, do you think you'll get a stomachache from eating all your sugar cubes?" Mark said to his horse, as the horse ate from his hand. They were at the watering hole, Mark was fishing but he hadn't gotten any fish for supper. He smiled as he whispered softly to Blue Boy. He patted Blue Boy's head when a voice spoke.

"Hello, leetle one! Nice to see you again, no?" Mark whirled around to see his nightmare come alive again.

"Miguel?" Mark whispered. The Mexican bandit smiled. Mark shuddered. How could this be happening? Was this even real? Did Mark fall asleep underneath a tree and was having another bad dream?

"You think I would stay in Old Mexico forever? No, that not fun! I want to have fun with your Pa, my amigo!" Miguel kept smiling. This time he had a jagged scar on his face. "You know, kid, with the injury that your Pa gave me, I should be dead, but I miraculously lived...." Mark swallowed the lump in his throat. He prayed hard to God that his Pa would come sooner or later.

"Why did you come back?" Mark asked quietly. Miguel laughed.

"Don't you understand, leetle one? Your Pa ruined my gang of patrons! What am I supposed to do with no other patrons beside me?"

"You mean bandits!" Mark exclaimed. Miguel laughed.

"So, I crossed the Old Mexico and I decided to have my revenge! Now if you don't mind, I'd like you to come with me!" Mark stepped back into Blue Boy.

"No! I won't! Never!" Mark cried. Miguel laughed again. Mark had thought he would never hear that laugh or Miguel's voice again.

"Too late, Nino, I started my new patrons!" Miguel twirled his mustache and stepped closer to Mark. "I already made your choice." He lowered his voice. "You're coming with me even if you don't want to!" Miguel twirled his gun his hand. "Get on the horse! Now!" Mark knew that Pa would want him to obey Miguel but.... He didn't want to be separated from his Pa again! He didn't want to go anywhere with Miguel and his new gang of bandits! Sadly, Mark put his foot in the stirrup and mounted Blue Boy. Miguel smiled.

"Good boy!" Mark glared at him. The "patron" mounted on his horse. Mark then realized that he had left his fishing pole by the water so Pa would have known that he was gone!

*********
They all looked at the fishing pole that leaned against the tree. There were tracks of two horses: Blue Boy's and another.

"Who do you think took him, Lucas?" Toomey asked.

"I know who it is..." Lucas replied, sighing. Toomey, Micah and John Hamilton looked at him.

"Who?" Micah asked.

"Miguel." Lucas said staring at his rifle in his hands.

"Miguel!?! But you killed him!" Micah exclaimed. Lucas looked at his friend..

"I guess he's alive. I found a note two weeks ago saying, Watch over your leetle one, signed, the patron! I should have told you Micah but I forgot and..." Lucas drifted off. How could he be so stupid to forget to tell the Marshall of North Fork about the Old Mexico bandit....? He could barely get the echoes of Mark's cries for him out of his head! He needed to find his boy now! Toomey, Hamilton, Micah and Lucas started to follow the trail.

*********
Mark pushed his hat on his head so he wouldn't get sun in his eyes. They had been riding for a few hours now and he was awfully hot. He had resisted during the middle of it but he received a slap on the face. He didn't care what Miguel was saying to him until he suddenly stopped.

"Down." Miguel motioned. Mark got down when he saw a campfire near trees. Three Mexican men stood around the fire.

"Oh! Miguel is back! And you brought the McCain kid!" Miguel's friend said. "Did he resist you, brother?" Brother? Miguel had a brother? Miguel's brother had perfect English which was strange for a Mexican bandit. Mark stood there feeling numb again just like he had been last time with Miguel but this time he was going to fight back because his Pa was alive and he just knew that he was alive.

"He didn't resist one bit!" Miguel shoved Mark roughly towards the brother. "He did try one thing but I corrected him, didn't I, Nino?" The brother grabbed Mark by the shoulders and looked at him up and down.

"He's strong. He's perfect for the job that we have planned for him!" The brother smiled. Mark froze to his spot. What job? What was going to happen to him? Would he be alive enough for his Pa to rescue him?

"Si! He's definitely strong! You should how much he fought me during the first time we met, Rio!" Miguel replied proudly.

"What job?" Mark asked. Miguel and his brother looked at each other and laughed.

"Nothing you need to know about, Gringo kid." Mark's captor replied.

"Yes I do! What is wrong with you? I didn't do anything to you that should make you want to have revenge!" Mark blurted unable to contain his anger and frustration from getting kidnapped. The two other men--one of them was English and the other Mexican, they both laughed. The English man stepped towards Mark and put his hand on his shoulder.

"Son, you need to calm down. Miguel and Rio are just using you, all right? So calm---" Mark pulled away.

"I'm not your son!" Mark yelled. The man looked at him with stern eyes.

"You will be...." Mark's stomach cramped at what the outlaw said. "I'm your new pa! And your name is Mark Samuels, boy."

The Unwanted Return - part 2
 

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

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