The High Chaparral

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Second Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Buck after purchasing the saloon from Hipple

Kathryn Hays as Tornado Frances

Buck and an inebriated Frances

2.38  Tornado Frances                  Buck
Buck Cannon's plans to open a saloon are threatened by a temperance group led by spirited Frances O'Toole.
Written by Charles Lang       Directed by James Pevney

Story Line: Oscar Hipple sells his saloon to Buck, but conceals the fact it was wrecked by Miss O'Toole's crusaders. Buck hires Warren Case to help restore the saloon and learns Miss O'Toole started the crusade when she came West to marry Case, but found him drunk. She leads a second assault and Buck's deputized customers jail her for trespassing.

Guest Stars: Kathryn Hays as Frances O'Toole, Dub Taylor as Oscar Hipple, Charles Robinson as Warren Bates, Harry Hickox as Calvin, the Sheriff, Tom Nolan as Wilburn, Ellen Corby as Mrs. Dilts, Winifred Coffin as Woman #1, Polly Burson as Woman #2.

Character Highlights: A light hearted episode where we get to see Buck in the tub. Also one of the few episodes where Buck is in something other than his signature black outfit, in this case a white shirt. Good demonstration of the relationship between Buck and Victoria and how much Buck respects her opinion and wants to stay in her good graces. Demonstrates how the family, including John, back Buck up even when they think his venture may be a little off base. Very nice "courting" scenes between Buck and Francis.

Complete Episode Synopsis:  Temperance fever grips the little town of Oracle, inspiring the women of the town to storm the saloon and destroy it. The owner, Mr. Hipple, decides that he can't fight against the opposition, so he puts the saloon up for sale and searches for a buyer. Buck Cannon, in town after two months of prospecting on his own, wins big at a poker game, attracting the notice of the desperate saloon owner. Hipple offers to sell the saloon to Buck for his poker winnings, telling him that a tornado had hit the saloon and wrecked it. Buck, ever the optimist, purchases the saloon, bent on making it a first class establishment.

Buck notifies John to meet him in Oracle for a big surprise, and the Chaparral men assemble there to meet him. Instead of hitting it big in the gold fields like they thought, Buck informs them that he has bought the saloon. John then informs Buck of the real reason that the saloon was closed, and introduces him to the formidable Miss Frances O'Toole, the ringleader of the temperance women. After some prevarication, Buck visits Frances and tells her that he is opening a saloon, and warns her to keep out of it, telling her that "no woman was put here on earth to prevent a man from raisin' his glass". The battle lines are drawn when Frances refuses to stay out of the saloon's business and Buck promises to press charges if she interferes.

Meanwhile, Frances' former fiance, Warren, is hired by Buck to help with renovating the saloon. Bit by bit, Warren tells his story to Buck of how he lost Frances because of a drinking binge. Just before opening day for the saloon, Buck hears that the women are planning a raid against the saloon. He visits Frances at the schoolhouse and again promises to enlist the help of the law against her if she damages his establishment.

On opening day, Buck joyfully buys the first round of drinks, but he is quickly advised of the approach of a crowd of women on the street. He urges the sheriff to deputize each of the men in the saloon, which he does. John meets the women at the door of the saloon, warning them against trespassing and damaging property, but they warn him to stand aside, and commence their attack. The skirmish ends with each woman being carted off to jail. At the jail, the women are mortified at their predicament. John and the sheriff make them an offer of clemency, provided that the ladies agree to never again interfere with the business of the saloon. All agree except Frances, who stubbornly stays in the jail, sneezing and coughing from a cold.

Buck's uncertainty about how to get Frances and Warren back together is solved when Mrs. Dilks, one of Frances' allies, asks the sheriff to deliver a large jar of her hot ginger tea and honey cold remedy. Buck pours out half of the concoction and substitutes a pint of blackberry brandy, making a potent medicine. He delivers it to Frances and goads her into taking it, telling her that she has to take at least half of the jar before it will do any good. By the time she does, she is drunk and freer with her emotions. Buck presents Warren's suit, and when Warren shows up, jealous at the amount of time Buck has spent with Frances, she accepts him once again. After a happy wedding and reception at the Cannon ranch, the two newlyweds drive off in the night amid firecrackers popping and copious rice-throwing.  (Synopsis by Lisa McKenzie)

Much 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.
Especially good portrayals of these characters

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