The High Chaparral

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Second Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Buck negotiates with Santos for
Blue's release.

Sarah arrives at the High Chaparral.

Buck is both angry and relieved to
see Blue return safely. 

2.49  Feather of an Eagle               Buck
Billy is taken hostage by Apaches after he ignores Buck's advice and frees a white girl from them.
Teleplay by William F. Leicester        Written by Lowell Hjermstad        Directed by Harry Harris

Story Line: Buck learns Apache leader Santos considers himself to be Sarah's husband. Buck hesitates to use force which would break the Cannon peace treaty with the Indians. Santos threatens Blue's life unless Sarah is returned.

Guest Stars:

Frank Ramirez as Santos

Quentin Dean
as Sarah

Alicia Bond
as Terza

Character Highlights: Very intense episode, especially for Buck who initially believes Blue has been killed. In the beginning when Buck and Mano oppose Blue’s plans to rescue Sarah, Blue snaps at Mano and Buck in an understated but very realistic way. After Blue is captured and with John away, Buck steps into the patriarch role automatically. When his authority is questioned by Santos he declares "I am the man Cannon." The episode includes an important bunk house crew scene where there is a split in the ranks with Sam remaining loyal to John in his absence and Joe backing him up, unfortunately this scene has been cut in recent airings. It also includes a rare scene where Buck is genuinely angry and short with Victoria. Good reunion scene after Blue is released and Buck’s anger with him gives way to relief.

Complete Episode Synopsis
While on a reconnaissance mission to count a group of Apaches and determine their intentions, Buck, Manolito and Blue spy a white girl traveling among them. Blue is quite upset at the sight, but it is plain to Mano and Buck that the girl has been at least partly raised by the Apaches. Blue isn't satisfied at their explanation, but he returns to riding herd the next day with the rest of the crew. Meantime at the Apache camp an Indian woman, Terza, is trying to win the affection of Santos but he is only interested in Sarah, the yellow-haired girl, whom he considers his wife.  He rebuffs Terza. 

Blue regrets not trying to rescue the girl
from the Apaches.

Blue motions to Sarah to join him
in an escape attempt.

Sent off to catch a stray, Blue decides to track down the Apaches, who are on the move, and attempt to rescue the girl. While the girl is drawing water away from the others in the band, Blue makes himself known to her and tells her that he has a horse nearby for her escape.

Sarah contemplates making her
escape with Blue.

She speaks English well and joins him readily. Blue lifts her onto his horse, but several Apache men overpower him. Blue screams for the girl to ride, and she gallops away as the Apaches beat Blue.

Buck hears the worst about Blue.

Manolito and Buck, searching for the missing Blue, spot the girl riding Blue's horse and stop her. She is belligerent but finally tells them that she saw Blue being beaten to death. The news hits both men hard, who turn to bring her back to the High Chaparral.

Mano is also stunned at the news.

Despite Mano's offer to tell John, Buck knows that is his job and he blames himself for not watching Blue more closely as he rides off ahead of Mano and Sarah.  Arriving first at the ranch, Buck tells Sam and the boys and swears to ride against the Apaches.  Pedro and Reno are keen to ride with him but Sam will not allow it without direction from John, who has gone to Yuma for the week. With a split in the ranks of the men, Joe stands by his brother.  As Mano and Sarah ride in Buck clearly feels nothing but resentment towards the girl. He asks Mano to tell Victoria the news. Manolito tells her the best way he can, and she is devastated.

Joe, Reno, and Sam, unsure about how
to respond to the news of Blue's death .

Suddenly, Santos, Sarah's Apache husband, gallops toward the gate and throws a spear down. Manolito recognizes the sign of life, the feather of an eagle, on the spear, and they all rejoice at the news that Blue is still alive.

Sarah is touched by Victoria's kindness.

Victoria takes the girl, Sarah, into the house to help her clean up. While chatting with her, she discovers that Sarah was abducted by the Apaches when she was a little girl, and that she carries with her one of her old shoes and a hair comb from her previous life, all the evidence she has of what that life had been. Victoria is touched by the childish gesture, and she encourages Sarah in all her dreams. She is shocked, however, by scars on Sarah's back, put there when Sarah had once before tried to escape.
Buck, Mano, Sam, and Joe head off to the Apache camp and are greeted by an arrow with a piece of Blue's shirt with a drawing of a cannon on it.  Buck takes it to mean that they want to see someone from the Cannon family and so he heads on in alone.  A group of braves jump Buck and bring him to the Apache encampment to see Blue.

Buck tells Santos that he is
"the man Cannon".

Santos, expecting to see John, questions Buck's identity.  Buck declares that "I am the man, Cannon.  Hermano. Blood brother." Santos wants to make certain that the Cannons know that Blue is alive and ready to be given back to his family as soon as Sarah is returned.

Blue held hostage, tells Buck not to
return Sarah to Santos.

Buck and Victoria clash momentarily
about how best to gain Blue's release.

Buck is permitted to return to the ranch and make the Apache demands known. As head of the Cannons in John's absence, he has a difficult decision, but knows his only real choice is to give the girl back to the Apaches. Even Victoria cannot argue for long against the plan, for she knows that it is the only way to save Blue's life.  Buck tries his best to explain the situation to Sarah, but she is hateful and angry towards him, scratching his face to make her feelings clear.

Their dilemma meets a sudden resolution when Terza, long jealous of Sarah and hoping she does not return, frees Blue from the camp and provides him with a horse. After Blue returns home to a happy reunion (and an angry scolding from an enormously relieved Buck), the Cannons no longer feel obliged to surrender Sarah.  Knowing the Apaches are not likely to let her go without a fight, they get ready for a siege. 

Blue, Buck, and Mano prepare to meet
the approaching Apaches.

Sarah decides she wants to return to
Santos after he declares his love.

The Apaches gather in full sight, greatly outnumbering the men of the High Chaparral. Santos, under a sign of truce, rides to the fence and pleads with Sarah to return with him, professing his love for her. She says nothing as he prepares to attack. Suddenly Sarah, touched by Santos' declaration of love, races to find a horse, and despite Blue's pleading with her not to go, she jumps the barricade and rejoins her husband. The crisis past, the Apache warriors and Sarah turn back to their encampment, and depart in peace.  Sarah has left behind the small shoe and comb, remnants a past she no longer has a need to hold on to.

(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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