The High Chaparral


It is fitting that the first person that John Cannon meets on the old Rivera ranch that he has bought is Vaquero. Vaquero worked for the Rivera's, and there is no limit to his knowledge of the ranch and of the country. It is through his eyes that the Cannons first come to see and love their new home.

Vaquero is many things in the Cannon household, and his position isn't positively stated. We see him sweeping with a broom, helping with dinner, riding herd, even doctoring the sick or wounded. It appears that he can do anything, and he is called on as a sort of omnipotent being inside the Cannon world. He knows the Apaches and their ways, and possesses a wisdom in his advice concerning them. He is almost a Mexican Jeeves, shimmering in and out of situations with a well-placed but un-pointed observation that John Cannon seldom can ignore.

When Victoria Montoya takes her place as the second Mrs. John Cannon, he fits even more comfortably into the framework of the High Chaparral. Being Mexican himself, he even takes on a paternal-like protectiveness of Victoria, as demonstrated in "Once on a Day in Spring." His real love, however, is his own people, and time after time we get insights into his political belief, always on the side of the peon and the oppressed. He proves invaluable to Manolito when they hatch a plot to break Santos Casteneda out of jail in Mexico. In "The Promised Land," he holds the fate of an entire town in his hands by assuming the responsibility of dealing with Don Sebastian Montoya in a sale of land, and he is every inch the dignified and worthy businessman.

Vaquero disappears after the second season and no explanation is given for his absence, but given the man's abilities and the confidence he inspires in others, he could have done anything. One can almost see him smile that enigmatic smile at the thought of becoming mayor of that small town he saved from ruin, and the role would fit him well. (By Lisa McKenzie)

From "The Assassins

See the Guide to Character Weight to determine in which episodes Vaquero had major or minor roles.

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