Writer: Arthur Browne, Jr.
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Original Air Date 06/23/1959
Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain
Dabbs Greer was an American actor who had a prolific career spanning more than 50 years. A highly recognizable character actor—the quintessential everyman—he played a wide range of supporting roles in film and television. Originally from Missouri, his southern accent lent authenticity to the rural characters he often portrayed, especially in Westerns. Frequently cast as a minister, his most memorable role may have been Reverend Alden in "Little House on the Prairie" (1974–1983).
Greer made his film debut in the 1938 feature "Jesse James." He appeared in the 1958 film noir "I Want to Live" and reprised a similar role in the 1999 film, "The Green Mile," in which he played the Tom Hank's character, Paul Edgecomb, as an elderly man.
Greer appeared in several recurring roles in popular television series in the 1950's and 1960's, including THE RIFLEMAN, in which he guest-starred eight times: he portrayed Marcus Trimble in "Outlaw's Inheritance" (episode 38), Sam Elder in "Boomerang" (episode 39), Brett in "Panic" (episode 47), Farley Steele Weaver in "The Jailbird" (episode 73), Jack Scully in "The Promoter" (episode 87), Finny in "The Wyoming Story, Parts I and II" (episodes 96 and 97), and Taylor, a prison guard in "The Stand-In" (episode 114).
Greer's recurring roles in other popular TV series included "Hank" (1965–1966), in which he played track coach Ossie Weiss, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" (1968-–1970), as Sheriff Norris "Norrie" Coolidge, and in"Gunsmoke" (1955–1975) as storekeeper Wilbur Jonas.
Lee Kinsolving, born Arthur Lee Kinsolving Jr., was an American stage, film and television actor. He appeared in more than 20 movies and television shows during his brief career. He studied acting under Mary Welch, a member of the famed Actors Studio in New York. Following a brief stint on Broadway, Kinsolving was signed by the agent Richard Clayton, who guided James Dean and Tab Hunter in their rise to stardom. Despite his initial success in Hollywood, Kinsolving became disenchanted with the industry and left to pursue other interests. He had a few film roles, including Pvt. Dean in the war drama "All the Young Men" (1960), starring Alan Ladd, and Sammy Golden in the drama "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1960), starring Robert Preston.
Kinsolving guest-starred in several popular shows of the 1960s, including the medical drama "Ben Casey" (1961–1966), Rod Serling's iconic anthology series, "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), the off-beat anthology series "The Outer Limits" (1963–1965) and the adventure series "Route 66" (1960–1964). He made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Tom Elder in "Boomerang" (episode 39). He also guest-starred in the westerns "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), starring Richard Boone, "Zane Grey Theater" (1956–1961), starring Dick Powell, and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness.
Hope Summers was an American actress of the stage, radio, film and television. Her acting career began in the 1930's, when she worked primarily in community and stock theater and radio. Her career was most active in the 1950's and 1960's, when she appeared in numerous films and television shows. Her film credits include "Zero Hour!" (1957), "Inherit the Wind" (1960), "Spencer's Mountain" (1963), "The Hallelujah Trail" (1965), "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (1966), "The Shakiest Gun in the West" (1968), "Rosemary's Baby" (1968), "Charley Varrick" (1973) and her last movie, "Foul Play" (1978).
Summers began working in television in the 1950's, guest-starring in a wide variety of genres, but especially Westerns. Her television credits include "The Loretta Young Show" (1956–1959), "Maverick" (1957) and "Wagon Train" (1957), "Gunsmoke" (1958–1963), "Dennis the Menace" (1959), "Petticoat Junction" (1963) and "The Phyllis Diller Show" (1966). She played numerous memorable recurring roles in many hit television series, including "Hawkins Falls: A Television Novel" (1950). Her best-known role was Clara Edwards, Aunt Bee's gossipy neighbor, in "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968) and its spin-off, "Mayberry R.F.D." (1968–1971). Summers appeared in 16 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN as Hattie Denton, owner of the General Store. Hattie was first introduced in "Eight Hours to Die" (episode 6). Her last regular television role was playing Olive in "Another Day" (1978).
Harlan Warde was an American actor who appeared in 180 films and television series over a 40 year career. Most of his early film roles were uncredited. He appeared in 18 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying John Hamilton, President of the North Fork Bank. His character debuted in "The Safeguard" (episode 8). Warde had recurring roles in other television series, many in the Western genre. Among his many other TV credits, he also appeared in "Dragnet" ( 1954), "You Are There" (1953–1956), "Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre" (1955 1957), "Perry Mason" (1958–1966), "The Virginian" (1962–1971), "Bonanza" (1962–1972), "The Big Valley" (1965–1969) and "The Fugitive" (1966 1967).
Banker John Hamilton is forced to foreclose a mortgage on Sam Elder, a hard drinking, no account rancher who is six months behind on his loan payments. Sam flies into a rage, which brings on a fatal heart attack and leaves his 18-year old son an orphan. Lucas takes pity on the boy and gives him a job as a hired hand. The boy asks Lucas, who reluctantly agrees, to teach him how to handle a rifle. What Lucas doesn't know is the boy has secretly purchased a rifle on his own, and as soon as he learns to use it, plans to exact vengeance on Banker Hamilton, whom he blames for his father's death.