The High Chaparral

Previous Episode

Second Season
Plot and Character Highlights

Next Episode

Nickanora, Victoria, and John
"Shadow of the Wind"

Fabrizio Mioni as Nickanora

Mano and Luke Askew as Johnny Ringo
"Shadow of the Wind"

2.40  Shadow of the Wind                 Mano, Buck, Blue
The celebration of a peace treaty with the Indians is cut short for the Cannons by scalp hunters disguised as lawmen.
Written by Warren Douglas       Directed by James Pevney

Story Line:  Nickanora, an old friend of Manolito and Victoria, admits he has come from Mexico with Johnny Ringo's gang to scalp Indians for profit. When the gang kills an Indian family, Mano goes after the group alone and is captured. John Cannon and the High Chaparral wranglers locate Manolito, but hesitate to start a gun fight, fearing an approaching Apache war party will be alerted by the shots.

Guest Stars: Fabrizio Mioni as Nickanora, Luke Askew as Johnny Ringo, Red Morgan as Buckskin Frank Leslie, Chuck Bail as Curly Bill Brosius, Charles Horvath as Burt Alvord, Debra Domasin as Apache girl.

Character Highlights: Opening scene shows how much patience Buck usually has with Victoria who is quite frazzled and ordering him around to help her get ready to go to town. Classic exchange: V: "Where is John?", B: "John who?"  John's attachment to Victoria is shown when he bristles at the attention shown to her by Nickanora.  It includes a very nice affectionate scene between John and Victoria in their hotel room. Some of the best parts of the episode revolve around the practical jokes being played on Blue by Buck and Mano, including cute scenes of Mano and Buck in the bath tubs and one where Joe dumps Blue out of bed in his long johns. Some of the plot threads surrounding the Apaches and the scalp hunters seem to be left hanging at the end.

Complete Episode Synopsis:  Victoria Montoya Cannon is not pleased. John is off dealing with "heifer trouble," and the bunk house boys are busy playing polo in the yard, leaving her alone to pack and load the buckboard by herself. There is a fiesta in Tucson to celebrate peace with the Apache, but it doesn't look like she's going to get there in any kind of a hurry. She regales Buck to find her some kind of assistance, since her husband apparently has things to do that he finds more important than pleasing her, but Buck doesn't have much luck breaking up the game. Finally, though, just as Victoria's patience has reached its limit, the boys' attentions have been gotten, and John returns, and it's off to the fiesta.

Once in town, Victoria's mood lightens as she and John prepare for the fiesta. The boys, together with Buck, Blue and Manolito, have already gone down to see the sights. Blue is intent on using the festive atmosphere to meet some pretty seņorita, and Manolito decides to "assist" him by giving him false Spanish phrases to use, getting the poor boy into all kinds of trouble, much to the amused delight of Mano and Buck. Into this happy scene ride a group of shadowy characters, portending no good. One of the men, as it turns out, is an old friend of Victoria and Manolito's, Nickanora. His companions are more suspect: none other than "the pride of Tombstone" Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill Brosius and a number of their desperado friends. While Nickanora is off greeting Victoria, Buck and the boys meet Ringo's men in the cantina. A fist fight ensues while John, back at the hotel, is trying to decide how to react to Victoria's old flame. It is not until later, however, at dinner at the hotel, while Nickanora is trying to impress Victoria that Johnny Ringo admits what they are really doing there. Nickanora has come into the Territory to put together a party of scalp hunters, jeopardizing the peace in order to exact vengeance, and collect bounties, to win back his own lands lost to Apache raids. John is appalled, and threatens Nickanora if he does anything to carry out his plan, but Nickanora is adamant. The Cannons, and the Chaparral crew, leave the dinning room.

Early the next morning, alerted that Nickanora is on the move, John rallies his men. Blue is shaken from the grips of an amorous dream by a less than understanding Joe Butler, sent off in search of Manolito and Buck. He finds them, and gives them Big John's orders, but not before wrecking his vengeance on Manolito. Getting the bath boy to translate, he confirms his suspicions that Manolito has been sabotaging his efforts at winning a girl, and empties of bucket of hot water on him. John has already decided to send Victoria, with Pedro and Manolito, back to the ranch. On the way, sister and brother argue about the changes in Nickanora's personality. While they are riding, they find a young Apache girl who's parents had been killed and scalped. Victoria has no choice but to accept the fact that her old friend has turned vicious. Manolito decides to go after Nickanora himself, believing that he can stop the man before he creates an Apache uprising. At the bounty hunter camp, Nick and Johnny Ringo are arguing over the wisdom of hitting the Apache settlement that night. Johnny believes they'll be expected, and concerns that Nick is no longer rational, quits the band. As he is leaving, though, he finds Manolito hiding in the rocks, and captures him. He then convinces Nickanora not to kill him but to hold him hostage against their future escape.

While Manolito is talking to Johnny Ringo, Apache war drums start. Manolito, who can read them, says they tell of a gathering of the tribes. John, and the Chaparral crew also hear them, and follow them to Nickanora's camp. Nickanora, buying time, puts Manolito on display, and tells John that if he will retreat and let them leave, they can collect Manolito, unharmed, in the morning. Buck points out that gunplay will just bring the Apache raining down on them, and Johnny, concurring, suggests a single, unarmed, hand to hand combat between two of their parties to settle the issue. Buck volunteers, and John agrees. Then Johnny volunteers Nickanora to fight for their side. Buck nearly defeats him, and when Nickanora pulls a knife, Johnny takes this as a betrayal of his own word, and challenges him to a duel of honor. He kills him. The Apache have heard the shots, however, and John knows he must get to Cochise as soon as possible - but not before Buck and Manolito both get a chance to say their good-byes to Johnny. Ringo looks calm as they go, but he knows he might never see any of them again; the Apache have him surrounded and his future is anything but secure.  (Synopsis by Sheryl Clay)

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

Return to Season Two Directory

Return to Home/Contents