The High Chaparral

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Mano in "Apache Trust"

Mano and Buck in "Apache Trust"

Chief Morales and Blue in "Apache Trust"

3.56  Apache Trust             Buck, John, Mano, Blue
Billy Blue is captured by the Apaches, who use him as a pawn in a bartering game to stave off an impending cavalry attack.
Written by Jon Bennett Reed, Robert Warren         Directed by Herschel Daugherty

Story Line:  Although he denies pillaging an army weapons patrol, Apache Chief Morales anticipates a retaliatory attack by the cavalry and threatens the life of his hostage, Blue, unless his terms are met. John Cannon, who believes the Indians to be innocent of the pillaging charge, pleads for time, and vows to bring in the guilty parties in a desperate attempt to save his son.

Guest Stars:   

Chief Dan George 
as Chief Morales

Ronald Feinberg 
as Griswold

Mark Jenkins 
as Lt. Mulvaney

Evans Thornton 
as Col. Willkampf

Mike Jones 
as Sancho

Chris Erickson (right) 
as Lt. Rogers

Character Highlights:  Blue continues to demonstrate his increasing maturity, volunteering to stay behind while Buck rides back to the ranch for help.  In something of a switch, it is Buck who is willing to accept Blue's decision as an adult and John who still sees him as a boy in need of protection.  When he learns Buck has left Blue alone, John tells him, "You can't send a boy to do a man's job."  Even though John does not blow up at him as he might have in the past, it is clear that he blames Buck who is overwhelmed with guilt. Blue's first concern on seeing his father is that he not blame Buck, that it was his decision to stay.  John later apologizes to Buck but it does little to allay Buck's guilt.  Includes caring scene when the HC crew rescues Mano from his desert predicament. Chief Dan George makes an excellent contribution in the role of Morales.    

Complete Episode Synopsis:  Buck and Blue, during their daily travels, encounter a small band of soldiers escorting a lone wagon across the desert. When Buck questions their wisdom, Sergeant Mulvany explains that the rest of their regiment is elsewhere, hoping to draw the Apaches off so that they can safely their bring the wagon to its destination. Only a short time later, however, Buck and Blue hear the sounds of confrontation and return to find that the soldiers are under attack by what looks to be Apaches. Blue volunteers to remain behind, hidden in the rocks, to watch what is happening down below while Buck goes back to Chaparral for help. Buck is reluctant to leave him, but Blue insists he’ll safely keep out of sight. Buck leaves, but Blue is quickly found and taken prisoner by Chief Morales.

John, after hearing Buck’s story, questions Buck's judgment in leaving Blue alone and they all saddle up and set out towards the site of the massacre. John finds Blue is missing and he blames Buck, who is overwhelmed by guilt at having made the wrong decision. They quickly find out that Blue has not been killed but has been taken prisoner by the Apaches. John meets with Chief Morales, who explains that the Apaches did not attack the soldiers but that they know they will be blamed just the same. To give his people a sign of strength, Morales has taken Blue prisoner. John bargains for Blue’s life, telling Morales that he will keep the soldiers from attacking the tribe by finding the real villains responsible for the crime. Morales agrees, but sets a time limit. If John cannot succeed by the deadline set, Blue will die.

In the meantime, Manolito, who has been scouting the scene of the attack, has an idea who really might be responsible and strikes out on his own. He finds the hide-out of an old comrade, Griswold, a huge “Grizzly” bear of man with a booming voice and a black heart. Old Grizzly acknowledges to Mano that it was his men who attacked the wagon, disguised as Apaches, so the army would go after the Indians and leave Griswold’s band free to make their escape to the border. Mano tries to sweet-talk Grizzly into allowing him to rejoin his band, hoping to trap the outlaw much the same way he trapped El Lobo in “Mark of the Turtle,” but Griswold doesn’t fall for the scheme. He quickly realizes that Mano is lying and, to repay him for his deceit, they stake Mano out in the middle of the desert to let the sun finish him off.

Fortunately for Mano, the men from Chaparral, chasing the same trail, find Senor Montoya in his helpless predicament and Mano, still half-conscious, tells the men about Griswold’s plan. John insists that Manolito, still sick from the sun, go back to the ranch on a buckboard, but Mano refuses. He insists on riding with the men and, after suggesting to Buck that he ride with him, laughs when Buck comments, “That’ll be three.” “Three what?” “Three dumb animals!” The men from Chaparral track down the bandits and Mano, smiling and waving a gun, personally apprehends the fearsome Grizzly.

Blue, meanwhile, is close to losing his life. The soldiers are closing in on the tribe and Morales explains to Blue that his death will bring heart to his people. When Blue questions how this can be so, Morales explains that while anyone can kill an enemy, it takes strength to kill a friend. Fortunately, just before the deadline, John reappears with the army commander who tells Morales that he knows they are not guilty and that there will be no retribution. Morales refuses to allow John to release Blue ... but instead, true to his honorable nature, frees Blue himself.  (Synopsis by Brenda Meskunas)

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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