The Lancer Fanfiction Archive

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FDrabbles and '55 word' fiction


Select a Quote from a Lancer Episode and write a piece in which that line is uttered in another context by a different character. (The exact phrasing of the line may be altered to better reflect the new speaker's speech patterns)


100 Words including the title


The woman intently examining the bolts of calico looked familiar. Teresa made her way quickly past the shelves heavily laden with an enticing array of fabrics.

“Hello, Mrs. Dane,” she said, offering her right hand politely. “We weren't sure that you were still living here in the city.”

“Oh, hello, dear,” the older woman murmured. Then she looked up and her eyes glimmered with dawning recognition. “Why, you're Murdoch's ward, aren't you? Teresa . . . O'Brien, isn't it?” 

With the brightest of smiles, Teresa displayed her left hand, adorned with a plain gold band. 

“I go by Lancer now.” 




Double Drabble/Double Quotes  


“Who d'ya think she is?”

“I'm sure I don't know Brother, but I do intend to find out.”  Scott Lancer quickly checked his reflection in the storefront window, made a minute adjustment to his hat and then began moving purposefully along the sidewalk towards the cluster of young ladies--- only to be halted by Johnny's firm grip on his arm.

“Hold on, Boston. Don't waste ya time, can't you see how she's lookin' at me?”

Scott eyed the group skeptically.

“Teresa does seem to be pointing us out, but I can't say I noticed those eyes lingering on you.”  He started forward again.

“Now, wait a minute, there's an art t'handlin' a woman.”

At that moment, Teresa O'Brien stepped away from the group, guiding the lovely auburn-haired stranger towards the Lancer brothers.

“Johnny, Scott, I'd like you to meet Miss Mary Shaffer.”

Johnny stepped forward. “Hello, ma'am.”

The young woman smiled briefly at him, then turned and fastened her hazel eyes appraisingly on Scott.

“Do I understand correctly, Mr. Lancer, that you're from Back East?'

Sensing an advantage, Scott swept his hat from his head with a winning smile. “Well, Miss Shaffer, I don't keep that a secret.”




500 Words


“Here he comes.”

Johnny Lancer was sitting atop the corral fence, leaning forward with his forearms on his thighs. Scott lounged beside him, his back against the fence and elbows resting comfortably across the top rail. Rather than washing off the accumulated dust and sweat of a hard day's work, the brothers were instead intently watching the door to the guest quarters. They were rewarded when Jellifer B. Hoskins, horse-wrangler and all around handyman, finally emerged. He was attired in his very best clothes, with his beard freshly trimmed and visible comb lines in his sparse grey hair.

“Whoo-ee, will ya take a look at Jelly! Whatta ya think he's all slicked up for?”

While Scott appeared to carefully consider the question, Jelly stuck out his bristled chin and marched purposefully past, not sparing more than a sideways glance at his two young employers.

“Well, Johnny, I do believe our friend Jelly just might have an assignation with a woman.”

Jelly whipped around at that, glaring. “Waal, that just shows what you know. I ain't got no ass-ig--- whatyacallit, just me and Gus are havin' supper over ta Miss Dunbar's restaurant.”

“Gus tired of cookin' for ya, Jelly?” Johnny asked with a laugh.

When Jelly only sputtered in response, Scott crossed his arms over his chest and offered his own assessment. “Brother, it would appear that Miss Guthrie is now ‘calling the tune'.”

Jelly took a few steps closer and nervously fingered his collar.  “Now Boys, it ain't like that atall.”

“Well, Jelly, you are wearing your Sunday best. On a Thursday.”

“Hey, Scott,” Johnny asked, grinning down from his perch. “He wearin' that ‘Oh' stuff again?”

“Oh yes.  Eau lavande  . . . romantique .”  Scott removed his hat, waving it in a futile attempt to ward off the scent of imitation French cologne. 

“I tell ya, Jelly, things keep goin' like this, and before ya know it, she's gonna have ya completely hog tied.”

“Many a good man's been lassoed by a determined female,” Scott observed sagely as he resettled his hat. 

“Now, I'm still a free man . . .”

Johnny jumped lightly down from the top rail. “Yeah, well it sure looks like you're about to be tied down.” He flicked the ends of Jelly's string tie.

Scott pushed himself away from the fence. “Don't worry,” he said reassuringly, clasping the older man on one shoulder. “You might still be able to break loose---- if you pull hard enough.”

“Goll-durned rope ain't gonna break fer me.”

Johnny threw one arm up around Scott's shoulders and the brothers walked away, laughing heartily at Jelly's glum expression.

He stood forlornly watching them, until another hand settled heavily upon his shoulder.

“They're young, Jelly, they don't understand. Sometimes a man, when he's finally found the right woman, well, he's more than ready to be ‘tied down'. Sometimes he doesn't even want to test the rope.”

Jelly looked up gratefully and nodded. “Well, I reckon you got that right, Boss. You sure got that right.”



200 Words including the title


“Wes tells me you're leaving.”

“That's right, Brother.” Noting the obvious concern in Scott's voice, Johnny grinned. Scott would cover for him; he always did. “Guess you own fifty percent of the ranch, huh?”

Johnny waited expectantly.

“Are you sure, Johnny?” Scott asked finally.  “This might all blow over in a couple . . .  months. Maybe you should try . . .  talking to Murdoch.”

Johnny's hopes plummeted at his brother's doubtful tone. "Nah, forget that. I got a lot of places to go before they box me in,” he replied, deeply disappointed that Scott hadn't offered to square things, yet determined to brazen this out. “You belong here.”

Scott nodded solemnly. “Yes, I do. I killed Pardee, after all. And I'm already doing more than half of the work.”


“Well, I'm sure you've given this careful thought. It was nice to have met you, Brother. Good luck.”

Bewildered, Johnny grasped the extended hand. “Bye, Scott.”


As Johnny rode off with Wes, Teresa offered a mild remonstration.  “Seems to me, Scott, you could have tried a little harder. You could have put up a fight.”

Cheerfully, Scott drew her closer. “He's a man, Teresa. He's not a little boy. It's his decision.”






Begin with a key line from A FAVORITE Lancer scene. Have the person(s) spoken to react differently this time. For instance if they acted happy, have it hit them the wrong way and they get angry, or if they laughed have then respond in a seriously sexy manner. This is an opportunity to "fix" a scene by showing what a character *should have* said or done.


Double Drabble

Scene from “THE ESCAPE”

Scott is missing.  Sarah Cassidy has warned the rest of the Lancers that her husband believes Scott was a traitor and is now out to kill him, urging Murdoch to send his son far away. She has also dropped a few bombshells on the Lancers regarding Scott's year-long stay in a Confederate prison camp and the fact that he was the sole survivor of a failed escape attempt. In response, Murdoch has been forced to admit that there is a lot about his son that he doesn't know. Sometime later: in the Lancer Great Room, Murdoch pours himself a drink.  Teresa speaks to him, insisting that Scott couldn't have done it, that everything is going to be okay.  Murdoch doesn't respond to anything she says, just keeps drinking with a grim look on his face.

He drains his glass, then announces that he's going back out to rejoin the search.

Teresa stops him, saying:  “Whatever you believe, Scott didn't do it.”

Murdoch responds with: “Do you think I'd be out of my mind trying to find him if I thought he did? No, Teresa.  No son of mine could do a thing like that, that's one thing I'm still sure of in this life.”

Murdoch's reply bothers me on several counts. 

Here's what he and Teresa could have said, in a Double Drabble:

As Murdoch started to move past her, Teresa clasped his arm.

“Whatever you believe, Scott didn't do it.”

Her guardian covered the young girl's hand with his own and gazed down into her trusting face.

“Teresa,” he started gently, but she pulled away, letting her hands fall to her sides. They curled into involuntary fists as she stared up at him in disbelief.

“No. He wouldn't.”

“Darling, we don't know what happened. He was young . . .”

She shook her head in fierce denial. Murdoch stepped closer, reaching out with strong hands to hold her, needing her to be prepared, just in case.

“Teresa, a year in that place is a very long time . . .  And if this Cassidy was with him, then---- then he's known Scott longer than we have.”

The dark head bowed beneath the weight of this truth. Murdoch sighed wearily as he released her and turned to go.  At the door, he was halted by the tremulous question.

“If it is true, what will you do?”

Refusing to look at her, refusing to allow her to see his uncertainty, Murdoch simply shook his head.

“Let's find him first.”

He wrenched the door open and made his escape.


Double Drabble

Scene from “ THE BUSCADEROS”

In town, the Sheriff's office.  The Tax Collector is there and the Sheriff, Jelly and Murdoch. They are discussing turning over the tax money in response to Drago's demand for cash and his threat to use the Gatling gun on the town once more.

Jelly, to ML:  “You gonna let ‘em go through with payin' the ransom?”

ML: “How can I justify stopping them? . . . The danger to their families . . .”

Jelly: “What about Scott?  What if it's true they think he's Johnny and their number one's got a grudge against him?”

ML: “He'll be dead by the time they get the tax money.  If he's not dead already.”

Jelly: “Well, don't even think that.”

I for sure didn't want to think that!   So here's how it could have been ;-)

(200 words including the title)



“You gonna let ‘em go through with payin' the ransom?”

Murdoch shrugged. “Jelly, how can I justify stopping them?  . . . the danger to their families . . .”

“What about Scott?” the grizzled horse-wrangler demanded.


“That's right, Scott! Don't go and tell me ya forgot about ‘im agin.”

“Now look, Jelly, just because I left him in Boston for . . . a while . . .  doesn't mean I ‘forgot' about him.”

“I guess some folks just have themselves a real hard time when it comes t'admittin'--”  

Murdoch turned away in exasperation, but Jelly, unwisely, finished the thought anyway. 

“---they maybe made a mistake.”

“I made a mistake!?” Murdoch whirled around in fury. “YOU told me the blond one was SCOTT!”

“He is!”

Murdoch stepped closer, towering over Jelly and glaring down grimly.  “Are you sure?”

“Waal, ‘course I'm sure. Other boy's got dark hair.”

“Johnny?” Murdoch guessed.


“But, out at The Ranch, the blond one said ‘Take it from me, Johnny Madrid.'”

Jelly scratched his beard. “Now, Boss, that don't make a lick a sense, ‘cause I know for a fact this here's a ‘Scott Show'.”

“It is?”

“Only ‘The Buscaderos',” Jelly announced with smug satisfaction. “Best durn Lancer episode ever!”




700 Words


The episode opens with a cute scene involving The Boys, Jelly and a leaky water trough. Murdoch arrives, the problem of the day is outlined, there's a bit of conversation and then Scott volunteers to take care of Murdoch's horse. Scott goes into the barn and is never seen again. In the next scene, Murdoch and Johnny are talking in the Lancer Great Room:

“Johnny, I want you to go to Cabot Springs—dispose of that property.”

Johnny turns away from the fireplace as his father continues speaking.

“Pay the back taxes on it, sell it for anything you can get.”

Johnny places his hands in his back pockets. “Murdoch, look, I'm not very good at those paper things, you know that. Why don't you send Scott?”

“You're going. Now remember, I want a legal transaction. That's all that's important. I don't want any loose ends.”

Murdoch is insistent, and it's no surprise when, in the next scene, Johnny is on his way to his next adventure. Now, being of the opinion that there simply were not enough “Scott Shows,” of course I would have loved to have heard Murdoch say “Fine, I'll send Scott!” or at least “Take Scott with you!”  And you have to at least wonder where Scotty disappeared to during so many of those second season episodes. I'd like to think he was having a good time! ;-)

So here's a “Too Long for A Drabble” (700 words) visit to “LANCERLAND.” Thanks to KC who got me wondering about the Barn and thinking about Johnny's pants . . .



“Murdoch, look, I'm not very good at those paper things, you know that.”  Johnny slid his hands into his back pockets.  “Why don't you send Scott?”

“You're going. Scott has to get ready for Blue Skies.”

“Yeah, but then he gets time off when Chad shows up,” Johnny pointed out resentfully. “You know, maybe this is something you should handle yourself.”

“No, Johnny, not after what I went through last week. I'm staying right here.”

Johnny studied his father quizzically for a moment, before he remembered. “Dios, Murdoch, I'm sorry.”

"There are some things in this world a man tries to forget, Johnny. ‘Little Darling' is one of them."

A stillness settled over the room as Murdoch sipped grimly at his drink. And tried.

Johnny pulled something unidentifiable from his pants pocket. <<When in hell was the last time I wore pants with pockets?>> he wondered, as he casually flung ‘it' into the fireplace.

“You know, Murdoch, none of us has been havin' a good run lately. I mean, I had ta face down a scarecrow. And before that, Scott's grandfather came to visit.”

Silenced by Murdoch's glare, Johnny watched his father stalk to the liquor table. Only after he'd poured another brimming glass did the older man look over at Johnny again.

“Now remember, I want a legal transaction. That's all that's important. I don't want any loose ends.”

Johnny sighed. “Look, Murdoch, you know my feelin' on that: legal don't get the job done. You'd be better off t'send Scott.”



“I said, ‘fine'. I'll send Scott.”

“But--- it's my show!”

“I'm sure Miss Loring will be happy to see Scott again. Though Joe Don Baker seems to like you well enough,” the big man mused.

“Hey! It's my turn. Besides, Scott already took care of your horse.”

“Don't we have some nameless ranch hand to do that?”

“That's Scott's role in this episode,” Johnny informed him.

“And for that he gets one-third of this Ranch? Where's your brother now?” Murdoch demanded.

Johnny shrugged. “Still in the barn, I guess.”

“He hasn't come out?”

“Nope. Did that before too. He sent the kid out, Silas, then ol'Boston just stayed in the barn til the final scene.”

Murdoch finished the rest of his drink in one nervous gulp. “Well . . . maybe we'd better leave him alone then?”

“Murdoch, he ain't in there alone.”

“Johnny, I don't need to hear any more-----”

“Fine! I mighta figured you wouldn't care that while I'm out wrestlin' with the Devil in the form of Pat Hingle, or riskin' my neck up on some roof, Scott's inside havin' a roll in the hay!”

Murdoch thumped his glass down.  “Stefanie's back?”

“Like she ever really left,” Johnny grumbled.

Murdoch sighed “Scott's ladies do seem to keep returning. Unlike ours.”

“Don't speak too soon, Boss,” Jelly announced as he bustled into the room. “Least, not til you see who Scott's invited to the party this week.”

“Party?” Johnny and Murdoch asked in unison.

“Yup. Scott patched that trough up good ‘n proper, and filled it with champagne! Even got some blonde woman from back East's sayin' she's gonna take off her clothes and get right in it, too!”

Both Lancers moved hastily towards the ornately carved front door of the hacienda. When Johnny bumped up against him, Murdoch turned and cast a baleful look down at his younger son.

“Where do you think you're going?”

“Murdoch, look, I'm not very good at that handyman stuff, you know that. Why don't you send Jelly?”

“You're going. It's your show,” the Lancer patriarch reminded him, while Jelly sputtered in the background. “Let's go, Jelly,” the tall rancher said, “See if Scott needs any ‘tune calling' done.” Once out the door, Murdoch sprinted towards the barn on his impossibly long and spindly legs.

Jelly paused just long enough to shoot Johnny a triumphant look, then hustled after “the Boss.”

“Bye, Jelly,” Johnny said despondently. He started to put his hands in his pockets, then thought better of it. <<Might as well get started for Cabot Springs>>, he decided. It was never a good idea to keep a guest star waiting, least of all, Joe Don Baker.


FYI: the sequence of second season episodes mentioned are:

Legacy #10
A Scarecrow at the Hackett's #11
Little Darling of the Sierras #12
Shadow of a Dead Man #13
Blue Skies for Willie Sharpe #14
Chad #15

Joe Don Baker guest starred in three Lancer episodes, including the pilot.
Lynn Loring and Stefanie Powers were in two shows each.




July 2006 Triple Drabble


The Original Scene:
Scott is visiting his brother in jail, where he's sharing a cell with Charlie Poe. They talk about how the quit claim deeds to the land being bought up by Marks are going to the state capital by train, where they will be registered.

SL: “You figure you're gonna stop that train all by yourself?”

JL: “I figure you bust me outta here, we'll both stop it.”

Before Scott has a chance to respond, Charlie interrupts with a sarcastic line about how much he “loves” hearing that two bright, ambitious young men are planning to take up a new career. Charlie goes on to list all the things that need to be done when holding up a train, making it very clear that at least four participants are necessary.  Recognizing that Charlie seems to know an awful lot about this, Johnny starts questioning him. Suddenly, Johnny grabs Charlie's leg and pulls up his trousers, revealing the marks from leg irons. Charlie is distressed and moves off camera, while the brothers' resume their conversation through the bars.

SL: “Johnny---let me get this straight. We're gonna rob a train?”

JL: “That's right, Scott, that's right. When you think you can bust me outta here?”

SL: Well, if we're gonna go crazy, then why waste any time? Make it tonight . . .”

JL: “What time?”

And then Sheriff Gabe enters and says “Time's up, Scott.”

Now Scott was intently watching and listening to everything that went on between Charlie and Johnny. So why does he just continue the conversation as if none of that even happened????

Here's how it could have been:


Leg irons.

Johnny's body had blocked his view, but Scott could easily picture the marks. He hadn't been behind bars twenty-four hours and Charlie Poe already had that look about him. Now Scott knew why.

Scott shifted his concerned gaze away from Charlie, who had flung himself down on his cot, and back to his brother. Johnny regarded him expectantly through the bars of the cell.

“Johnny, let me get this straight. We're gonna rob a train?”

“Dios, Boston, didn't you listen to what the man just said?”

“Yes, I did,” Scott replied, exhaling in relief. “But I was afraid you were still going to want to do it anyway.” He grinned at his brother to make it clear no insult was intended.

“'Course I do. But you have to round up a coupla more people ta help.”

Scott's smile disappeared; he stared at his brother in disbelief. “Well, Murdoch's out, since he's on his way to Sacramento,” Scott observed dryly.

“I'm serious ‘bout doin' this, Scott. So when do you think you can bust me out?”

“Johnny, the streets are crawling with Marks' deputies; the odds aren't very good.”

“Scott, I've had worse!”

Scott briefly dropped his gaze to the floor, then looked up to meet his brother's eyes.  “So have I, Johnny, so have I. Now, you listen to me. We're going to sit tight and wait for Murdoch to get back. Then we're going to handle this legally, through the Courts.” 

“Legal don't get the job done, Scott. Marks has Judge Ord in his pocket. People are already runnin' scared and giving up their land.”

“Then we'll appeal, put the quit claims on hold, force Marks to prove his Spanish grant is authentic. The Law works, Johnny, you just have to give it time.”

“Time's up, Scott.”



July 2007

scene from “THE HIGH RIDERS ” 

Murdoch: "They're strangers to me."

Teresa: "It'll take a little time," she admits as she picks up a blanket and places it over him. "But once they get to know you---"

"They'll stop hating me?"

"Oh, they don't hate you. They want to love you."

Teresa's sugary sweet response to Murdoch in their Great Room scene in the pilot show has always struck a false note with me, so I thought I'd fix that . . .

Double drabble, 200 words including the title:


Murdoch Lancer sat alone in the darkened great room, staring at the embers. In one hand he clutched a large silver tankard that was, undoubtedly, empty.

"Who's there?"

"It's me," she responded. <<Who else would it be?>>

"I suppose it would do no good if I told you to go to bed?"

<<And miss the action?>> "I'll fix the fire," she said simply. Poker in hand, Teresa crouched in front of the fireplace prodding the blackened logs. "You're thinking about your sons out there, aren't you?"

"They're strangers to me."

<<Oh, really?>> she thought, rolling her eyes. <<And whose fault is that?>>

After a few more savage pokes at the wood, Teresa gave up on the dying fire.

"It'll take a little time," she assured Murdoch with cheery optimism as she placed a blanket over him. "But once they get to know you---"

"They'll stop hating me?"

"Hate" was a strong word, but what, exactly, had Murdoch expected, love at first sight?

As Teresa settled on the floor beside him, Murdoch morosely answered his own question. "That's probably too much to hope for."

Stunned silence.

"Well, of course it is, unless you actually TALK to them, Murdoch!" she spluttered. "Johnny thinks that you threw his mother out, he doesn't know how much you loved her or how hard you tried to find them, because YOU haven't told him. And you ALWAYS knew where Scott was, right there in Boston. You need to explain that you never visited or wrote letters all those years because . . . well, I'm sure you had a very good reason," she finished lamely, placing her head in his lap.

"I ought to get myself a dog," Murdoch murmured as he stroked her hair. "They don't talk back."

Teresa clenched her teeth. The man was unbelievable.


Double Drabble

 Revised Scene from “Chase a Wild Horse”


“Johnny, I don't want you to go!”

Scott stepped aside as Teresa ran into his brother's arms. Johnny held her close, but when he spoke, he used that same nonchalant tone. “Teresa, you gonna shed a tear for me?”

The hurt was evident in her eyes as Teresa drew away, except Johnny didn't see it; he was busy pulling some money out of his waistband. “I tell you what, I want you to go out and buy yourself a new dress.” Teresa mechanically held out her hand as Johnny counted some bills into it.

“Get yourself out of those jeans.”

Teresa's chin lifted, tears fully dissipated by a fierce glare.

Scott prudently took another step back.

“You should talk.” Teresa slowly turned her palm over; Johnny's money fluttered to the ground.


Slap! Teresa's other hand caught Johnny full in the face.


“Buy yourself some new clothes,” she suggested disdainfully, then flounced towards the hacienda.

Scott watched appreciatively, until the heavy wooden door slammed behind her. “Well . . . I don't see anything wrong with those jeans.”

Glancing sideways, Scott sighed and reluctantly removed the bandanna from his neck. 

“Here, wipe your nose why don't you? It's bleeding.”




The following pieces first appeared in a souvenir booklet compiled for the 2006 Boston Homecoming. Note: Unlike the Drabbles above, here the title is not part of the word count)


In the dusty street, hands hover over holstered weapons as the renowned ex-gunfighter reluctantly faces his challenger.

Behind him, a third man watches intently, cradling a carbine.

The young upstart reconsiders, then slowly walks away.

Johnny Madrid Lancer angrily confronts his brother. “That ain't the way it's done.”

Unrepentant, Scott Lancer shrugs. “Now I know.” 



 “New Beginning”

Hearing those long awaited cries, the old man stopped pacing. It seemed forever until his son emerged and placed the tiny bundle in his arms.

Murdoch Lancer gazed upon his granddaughter's face. “Son . . . I never held you,” he whispered.

Scott squeezed his father's shoulder. “All that matter, Sir, is that you're holding her, right now.”





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