Played by ROBERTO CONTRERAS
If ever there was a jack-of-all-trades on the High Chaparral, that person would be Pedro. He shows up in the very first episode when Buck goes into Tucson and brings back the bunkhouse group, and he stays close to the family throughout the run of the series, running the gamut from cook to wrangler to guard to blacksmith to comedic relief. Never is he portrayed in any other form than that of trusted ranch hand.
There is not a great deal of back story to Pedro, but his background is better known than that of Reno's and Ira's. We learn that he grew up helping his cousin make fireworks, and this is presumably in Mexico, possibly near Nogales, as this is where the cousin has his fireworks located. We also learn that Pedro spent time in the Yuma prison because he verifies that they do serve turkey there on Thanksgiving. In the "Sea of Enemies" script, it mentions that Pedro's surname is Carr. Just about everything else we learn about Pedro can be seen through his actions on the ranch or in town.
Pedro is a true cowboy. He can ride better than Sam, drink better than Joe, wrangle better than most of the other hands, hates snakes, is an expert shot, and he never gets lost. He speaks the two languages of the ranch, reads the signs of the desert, and is at home wherever he happens to curl up for the night. He never bellyaches about the food, does his chores as directed, and he still manages to find time for fun. For all his comedic relief, he also does not hesitate to step forward when there is danger. He's used as much by Big John for projects as he's used by Sam to herd the livestock.
Except for the rare times that he dons odd clothing, such as the band uniform he used in "Champion of the Western World" and the undertaker's garment in "The Firing Wall", Pedro can be found in an odd combination American-Mexican western wear. He wears a shirt and boots like the others, but his pants, knee chaps and hat are definitely Mexican in origin. His language is apt to be a combination of Spanish and English, although his accent is always Spanish. He is tall and bone thin, and wiry to the core. With long black hair, black eyes and moustache, he has the classic unkempt bandido look so common to desert living along the border during those times. He would make a good undercover operative in any Comanchero camp.
Pedro is people smart. He can read expressions and inflections like the back of his hand. He never hesitates to do as ordered, but he might not follow the command to the letter at the time it is given, unless he is sure the command won't be changed. Nowhere is this trait exaggerated more than when John and Victoria get in their arguments, with Pedro caught between them. One such occasion occurs in "No Trouble at All", when he is ordered to hitch and unhitch the buckboard, according to whomever has the upper hand in the argument at the moment. Since he thinks Victoria will win the argument, he never really does what Big John tells him, and this leads to a reorganization of the tack room when Big John discovers the deception.
Although Big John treats most of the ranch hands with the same civility and distance, it is Pedro he seems to favor most often with things most important to him. It implies a deep-seated trust in the ranch hand, a responsibility Pedro does not take lightly. When he's acting as guard for Victoria, he will not leave her, even if it is to help Sam fight the Apaches, search for a lost child, or do some other bidding of Victoria's.
Pedro also has fun. He detests fist fights and would rather skulk off than stay to the bitter end, but he loves a good poker game and drink fest, often staying up all night with the boys in the local saloons. It is easy to rope him into just about anything that promises a good time, be it whiskey, women, or song. He's also been known to pull pranks on Blue and other members of the bunkhouse. On one occasion, when the whole crew returns from Tucson in various stages of disrepair, Pedro, who has guard duty that night, leans over Sam and remarks, "Looks like I missed a good time."
Pedro likes everyone, and he plays no favorites on the ranch. He's as much at home with Buck as he is with Ira, and he's loyal to the last drop of his blood. Everyone likes him. He takes great pride in everything he does, whether it is cooking for the ranch house, herding cattle, shoeing horses, or fighting Apaches in the course of a day's work. When he's an outrider for Victoria, he never lets his guard down, although he has been known to fall asleep at the ranch while on guard duty. He volunteers for danger about as much as he shies away from it, but he never lets his friends down. When the going gets tough, the ranch counts on Pedro. (By Sandy Sturdivant)
From "The Firing Wall"
See the Guide to Character Weight to determine in which episodes Pedro had major or minor roles.
Return to Bunkhouse
Return to Home/Contents