Ralph Meeker as Tracy Conlin
Blue and Buck
Geraldine Brooks as Faye Layton
1.08 The Price of Revenge
Fay Layton, a widow, whose husband
once owned the Cannon's ranch, hires a fast gun to drive the Cannons off the
Produced by Buck Houghton
Directed by Leonard Horn
Written by Frank Chase
Originally Broadcast: November 19, 1967
Tracy Conlin, the hired gunslinger,
agrees to poison their water and plunder the ranch, but misjudges the stamina of
John and Buck Cannon. After Conlin fails to drive the Cannons away, Fay Layton
agrees he must kill John and Buck. With water gone and supplies running short,
John, Buck, and Billy Blue make a desperate attempt to save the ranch by driving
the herd toward fresh water through a narrow canyon.
as Fay Layton
as Tracy Conlin
as the Clerk
Character Highlights: Giving
us some background info, Tracy Conlin is an old friend of Buck’s from when
they used to ride together. They talk about "that time in Abilene"
together. This episode portrays a rather juvenile-acting Blue, more so
than really fits with what has occurred in previous episodes. He seems upset
just watching the violence of Conlin’s fist fight in the saloon even though in
"Destination Tucson" and again in "Quiet Day in Tucson" he
was a participant in much larger, more violent melees. Likewise, when he finally
shoots Conlin, he completely breaks down over the shock of it even though he
been shooting and (presumably) killing people in at least two of the previous
episodes. Touching scene, however, where Buck kisses him on the forehead.
Victoria has a strong confrontational scene with Mrs. Layton. This is the first
episode in the series where John seems genuinely affectionate towards Victoria
throughout. It also seems to be the first that Mano fully accepts John as his
sister’s husband. He and Victoria have a very compelling dialogue where he
explains how much she means to John and why she should stay at the ranch to
support him. Mano is otherwise mostly absent from this episode. Ralph Meeker is
not very convincing as a dangerous gunslinger and too much time is spent on his
dialogue with Mrs. Layton. The music is almost comically melodramatic.
Complete Episode Synopsis
| A dark chapter from The High Chaparral’s past comes to light when the Cannons
suddenly find that they are no longer welcome in any public place in Tucson.
Discovering that the store and the saloon, among other establishments, were all
recently purchased by a wealthy woman from Santa Fe, John confronts her to
inquire why she bears them a grudge, to which she replies, “Ask your wife!”
Victoria, however, is totally ignorant of her motives.
Mrs. Layton refuses services to the
Mano explains why Layton wants
|Later, over dinner, Mano explains that
Mrs. Layton, along with her husband, Tom, owned The High Chaparral 15 years ago,
but the ranch failed when they ran out of water for their herd and Don
Sebastian, having only enough water for his own cattle, refused to help them.
Tom, having lost everything, committed suicide, thus leaving Fay Layton a bitter
widow who moved away. She eventually acquired a great deal of money, but her one
true motive was to someday return to Tucson to gain her revenge. Finding that a
no-good Montoya (Victoria) was now living in the home she lost, she decided to
direct her hate toward the Cannons.
Mano convinces Victoria to stay
and support John at High Chaparral.
Unable to purchase anything in town, Mano
goes to Rancho Montoya for badly needed supplies. Victoria wants to go
with him thinking it will make things easier for John if she is not
around, but Mano
convinces her that her place is beside him at High Chaparral.
Meanwhile, Buck tries to break the news to John that Buck’s old friend,
Tracy Conlin, has been recruited by Mrs.
Layton as a hired gun ... presumably to be used against the Cannons.
Conlin finds no difficulty in giving up friendship for Mrs. Layton's
high wages ... furthermore, he finds her attractive, so much so that he
asks her for half of the High Chaparral once the Cannons are driven
away. Mrs. Layton, however, who can feel only hatred, spurns his
Buck tells John that Conlin has
himself out to Mrs. Layton.
Conlin attacks Blue.
| Conlin tries non-lethal
means of driving the Cannons off, scattering their herds, poisoning
the water holes, and attacking the Cannon men on watch. He
knocks Blue out at the Rim Rock watering hole before dousing it with poison. When
John only doubles the watch, Conlin explains to Layton that the only
way to get rid of a man like Cannon is with a bullet in the head.
Furthermore he tells her, you will have to kill his brother too.
Mrs. Layton instructs him to “do what you
have to do” to force the Cannons out.
|Conlin tries to bushwhack
John as he rides through a narrow canyon, but only succeeds in grazing
his head and knocking him from his horse. Buck goes to John's
aid and quickly determines where Conlin is likely to be on the hill
above them. Buck sets off after Conlin, not realizing that Blue
is following him. Buck gets the drop on Conlin at first, but on
their way down the hill Conlin knocks Buck from his horse and in the
fist fight that ensues, he hits Buck in the head with a rock, leaving
him unconscious. Blue sees all this and holds Conlin at
gunpoint, but Conlin challenges Blue to stop him and Blue ends up
killing Conlin just as Buck revives. Blue is distraught at
having killed a man and is reassured by Buck that it was not his
fault, that it was Conlin's choice.
Buck assures Blue that shooting
was not his fault.
John tells Mrs. Layton what her
John brings the body into
town and forces Mrs. Layton to see what her revenge has cost her.
Whether she truly regrets Tracy's death, or simply realizes she cannot
accomplish her goal, Mrs. Layton gives up and moves away, leaving the
Cannons to once more purchase supplies in Tucson. Just as they
are loading the last supplies, Mano returns with supplies from Rancho
Montoya, somewhat perturbed that his difficult journey has been
(Synopsis by Brenda Meskunas)
Production Manager: Kent McCray
Producer: Irving Elman
Music by Harry Sukman, Theme by David Rose
Director of Photography: Harold Stine, A.S.C.
Color Consultant: Edward P. Ancona
Unit Production Manager: Andrew J. Durkus
Assistant Director: Sherry Shourds
Stunt Co-ordinator: Henry Wills
Story Editor: Ward Hawkins
Art Direction: Hal Pereira & McClure Capps
Edited by Archie Marshek, A.C.E.
Set Decoration: Robert Benton & Bill F. Calvert
Post Production Co-ordinator: Bill Wistrom
Casting: Russel Trost
Sound Recording: Joe Edmondson & Joel Moss
Makeup Supervision: Wally Westmore, S.M.A.
Hair Style Supervision: Nelly Manley, C.H.S.
Titles by CINEFX
Location scenes filmed at Old Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
Filmed at Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California
of this material, including the Story Line descriptions, comes
from The High Chaparral Press Kit released in 1971. The
Character Highlights were written by Charlotte Lehan. The Episode
Synopses were written by members of the HC Discussion Group and are attributed
at the end of each one.
good portrayals of these characters
to Season One Directory
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