The Rifleman (1958–1963)
1 user 1 critic
Lucas helps a man after he's shot in a shootout by a man who wants to keep a secret about his past. When he allows Mark to take in a pet, he doesn't know that his decision will endanger his son's life.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Lucas McCain
Mark McCain
Ward Haskins (as Robert Wilke)
Joe Flecker
Hal John Norman ...
Father (as Hal Jon Norman)
Doc J. Burrage


After Ward Haskins shoots down an old saddle tramp, Joe Flecker, Lucas McCain takes Joe to Doc Burrage but he can't be saved. Soon after, Haskins visits Lucas saying he must have something Joe had on him. Lucas doesn't know what he's talking about and throws him off the property. In town the next day, Lucas tries to find out what Haskins was looking for but the Doc tells him two children died the previous day of anthrax and the town is on the verge of an epidemic. When Mark contracts anthrax from Flecker's pony, his life is put in danger. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Family | Western




Release Date:

6 January 1959 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mark is given an anthrax vaccine, but the human anthrax vaccine was not available until 1954. See more »

Crazy Credits

Chuck Connors breaks the 4th wall in the opening credits after he shoots his riffle and then stares into the camera. See more »

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User Reviews

Johnny Crawford puts on a excellent acting job in this show.
15 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

At the beginning of this episode, a sinister gunman named Ward Haskins guns down a worried drifter in the streets of North Fork. Lucas carries the drifter over to Doc Burrage's office but it was too late to save the small frame man. The only possession the man has is a horse that Mark takes a liking and ask his Pa if he can take care of the horse.

Later Haskins shows up at the Lucas ranch causing trouble. It seems that he was after a piece of paper the drifter was suppose to have on his person. Lucas knows nothing of the paper and sends the man off after a small fight. But before Haskins' leaves the horse, that belong to the drifter, bites Haskins on the hand.

The following day, Lucas goes into town while Mark stays at the ranch to take care of the horse that appears weak. In town, Lucas hears about an anthrax epidemic that is spreading in animals and is deadly if obtained by humans. Lucas knows that the horse may have the disease and rides back to warn Mark. But it is too late, the horse has already scratched Mark and the virus is spreading. But to make matters even worse, Haskins shows up at the ranch wanting the paper.

A well performed show. Johnny Crawford, even though still just a child, does an excellent job of making the viewer feel part of the episode. His acting is top-notch in this production and makes the show better with his performance. Another nice show in this first season.

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