The High Chaparral

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Second Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Leslie Bethel and Pamelyn Ferdin as
Annie and Jennie Simmons

Buck shivers in the cold when he is held captive after being shot by bandits

William Sylvester as Jack Simmons, belatedly comes to Buck's assistance.

2.53  No Bugles, No Drums              Buck
Buck tries to find and return the missing husband of Ann Simmons, an old girlfriend.
Written by John D. F. Black        Directed by William F. Claxton

Story Line:  Annie gives Buck a valuable diamond ring to identify him as her representative if he finds her husband Jack. Buck is overpowered by the Truscott gang in a border town. Simmons rescues Buck and the diamond, but refuses to return to his wife. Buck is recaptured on the way home by the thieves and his chances for survival appear slim.

Guest Stars:

Bethel Leslie
as Ann Simmons

William Sylvester
as Jack Simmons

Pamelyn Ferdin
as Jennie

Gregory Walcott
as Truscott

Wayne Foster
as Waters, the Barfly

Jerry Gatlin
as Jonas

Arthur Metrano
as the Bartender

Character Highlights: Rather silly chase scene in the opener, but good bunk house boys interaction with Buck at the beginning. Buck’s exchange with Annie is believable – painful without being too sappy. He also has some very good scenes with Pamelyn Ferdin as Annie's daughter, Jenny.  Excellent interaction between Buck and Victoria, that shows how much she understands him and how much he allows himself to open up to her. Subtle, affectionate scene between Buck and Mano & Blue when he turns down their offer of assistance. (Scene has been cut in recent airings.)  Buck probably suffers more in this episode than any other and his misery is palpable. John is out of town throughout this one.

Complete Episode Synopsis
A pretty woman and her young daughter come driving across the Chaparral range. Alone, they are easy prey for the inevitable bandits who would attack their wagon. The bandits manage to board and halt them, but that's as far as they get, as the High Chaparral boys - Blue, Manolito, Sam and Joe - come riding over the hill to save them. The boys drive the bandits off, only to find that the woman and child have come to Chaparral specifically to see an old friend, Buck Cannon.

Jennie fires from the wagon at the bandits who are in pursuit.

Buck rides in to find the boys waiting to tease him about his mystery visitor.

Unaware of his visitor, Buck rides in later that evening to some good-natured ribbing from his friends. He is shocked however, when Mrs. Annie Simmons turns out to be an old flame of his, one for whom he still has strong feelings.

Buck is surprised when it turns out he does know Mrs. Simmons.

Annie has come to enlist Buck's help in finding her runaway husband. She feels she has driven the man away trying to make him fit into her personal visions, and she wants the opportunity to tell him she was wrong. At first Buck is resistant, he still cares about her deeply and feels that her husband is wrong for her.

Victoria assures Buck that whatever he decides to do, it will be the right thing.

Even Victoria's wise counsel doesn't sway him, but the little girl, Jenny, does and he agrees to try to find her father. Annie gives him her diamond wedding ring to prove that Buck's mission comes from her.

Buck is moved by Jennie's strong
desire for her father's return.

Buck's friendly banter is greeted with disdain by the bartender and customers.

After banishing Blue and Mano from his trail, Buck sets off alone to the border town where Annie has directed him. The inhabitants are as inhospitable as the whiskey.  No one knows anything of Jack Simmons, but they do notice the ring.  That evening two of them jump Buck for it in his camp.

Truscott, a bandit leader is interested in the ring Buck has.

It is Simmons who comes to his rescue; he was in the saloon the whole time, as Buck suspected, and he wants to know how Buck has come by his wife's ring. Buck tells him, but Simmons is more interested in venting his anger at Buck, whose memory he's been competing with all of his marriage. Buck tries to convince him to come back, and he returns the ring, but Simmons refuses. He knocks Buck down in anger and leaves.

Simmons takes satisfaction in besting Buck.

Buck interrupts Simmons' card game.

The next day, Buck returns to the saloon to tell Simmons he's leaving and give him one more chance to come along. Simmons bids him good riddance, and a fight ensues. While they pound each other, the two would-be thieves from the night before come in, just in time to see Buck disable Simmons and take the ring back. Buck leaves town, but the brigands jump him on the road, shooting and wounding him.
Finding nothing of value but the ring, they decide to have some "fun", stripping Buck down to his long johns and tying him up without a blanket, even when the evening falls and the night turns bitter. As Buck chokes and coughs with cold, though, it is Simmons who once again breaks into the enemy camp and frees him. Buck takes his revenge by stripping the outlaws and taking their boots, leaving them barefoot in their underwear in the middle of the desert. He and Simmons leave, abandoning the others to the elements.

The bandit gang is left barefooted in
their long johns.

Victoria comforts Buck as he watches the reunion between Annie and Jack Simmons.

Simmons, it appears, has had a change of heart. Buck is too injured, he claims, to make it home alone, so he guesses he just better come along and see him safely there. He finds his wife and daughter back on the High Chaparral. The reunion between Jenny and her father, and Jack and Annie, is painful for Buck, but he understands it's what Annie and Jenny really want, so he has to accept it.

 (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

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