The High Chaparral

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Fourth Season
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Red Eagle returning Buck as promised

Albert Salmi as White Horse

Wind defies Sam's orders

4.86  A Man to Match the Land      Buck, John, Mano, Wind, Sam

Albert Salmi is the sole survivor of an Indian battle who decides to live as an Apache.
Written by Clyde Ware         Directed by Don McDougall

Story Line:  Needing to fulfill an Army contract for the sale of horses, John Cannon, Buck, Manolito and Wind head for Indian country to round up a wild herd. Confronted by a tribe of embittered Apaches led by White Horse and Red Eagle, Cannon is allowed access to the herd only on condition that White Horse accompany the group with Buck left behind in the Apache camp.

Guest Stars:

Albert Salmi 
as White Horse

Michael Keep 
as Red Eagle

Jennifer Rhodes 
as Tanea
Alan Dexter 
as the doctor

Myron Healey 
as Taylor


Character Highlights:  This is a "Can't we all just get along?" episode with multiple parallels between the white settlers and the Indians.  We see issues of trust, hospitality, honor, brotherhood, and love played out from both perspectives. White Horse is treated badly by the ranch hands when he is held by the Cannons, while Buck is treated well when held by the Apache.  Wind doesn't trust the Cannons, because he believes they are stealing Indian horses until he finds out they have made an honorable deal to buy the horses.  The town doctor does not trust the Apache enough to go treat Tanea but later admires their grit and intelligence enough to arrange for a milk cow for the children of his new-found Apache friends.  Includes a very heroic act on the part of Buck when he offers his life for Tanea and demonstrates Mano's allegiance and concern when he instantly objects. We get to see Mano's major musical debut here when he sings and plays guitar during the impromptu fiesta.


Complete Episode Synopsis:  A hard hard rain has come to the desert, causing the arroyos to fill with flood waters.  In the aftermath, many head of cattle have drowned and most of the horses have run off for higher ground.  With commitments to the Army, Big John has a real dilemma on his hands.   The trail of the horses leads into Apache lands, and to go there invites real trouble from the various bands.  Sam explains to a group of hands in the bunkhouse that the trail will be to the mountains to the north where Geronimo and several other war leaders are currently encamped.  This causes great concern among the hands, but Joe is the first to volunteer to go along.  Eventually, the others also agree to go, since Big John will be with them, putting himself into as much danger as they would be.  

The HC crew, dressed in rain slickers, inspects the damage from flash flooding.

Sam confronts Wind's defiance of his orders.

This foray into Apache lands causes big problems for Wind.  He looks upon it as horse stealing, and he refuses to have anything to do with it.  When Sam orders him up on his horse, he rebels.  He tells Sam that he can fire him or hit him:  "Your choice.  But I guess you know which one not to choose."  Sam says he would never hit him, but there were those on the ranch who would, just for the way Wind thinks.  Sam puts Wind to work digging a run-off drainage ditch for the bunkhouse, and he instructs that it has to be done deep and right by the time he gets back.  When Buck makes a comment about living to see the day that Wind picks up a shovel, Wind retorts, "I'll feel clean digging in the earth.:
As the men go on their horse hunt, they encounter Red Eagle, a Jicarillo war chief, and about 20 of his warriors.  Red Eagle agrees to let John hunt horses on the condition that they swap brothers during the roundup.  As White Horse and Buck exchange sides, John and his men are given three days to conduct the roundup.  White Horse is a white man and blood brother to Red Eagle.  He gets recognized by some of John Cannon's hands as a man named Morrison, a man blamed for the slaughter of a wagon train because he did nothing to help save them.  White Horse explains to John that there was nothing he could do, that they were attacked by Geronimo's band.  It was at this time that he quit being Morrison and began being White Horse.  He points out that the people on the doomed wagon train were from Ohio and Pennsylvania, and they would not know a friendly Apache from a hostile one.  He left white society and found acceptance with Red Eagle's band.  White Horse is just tolerated and not truly treated with kindness and respect by the High Chaparral hands.

Michael Keep as Red Eagle

Red Eagle honors Buck as his guest.

In Red Eagle's camp, Buck is treated like one of the family.  He is accorded a special place of honor, and even the children enjoy playing with him.  He is given an Apache name, which White Horse's wife, Tanea says is Nan-do-di-sha-i, which roughly translates to Buffalo Bear.  It's a name of honor, and he accepts it with honor.  Red Eagle also asks if John Cannon would stand tall in battle, and Buck assure the chief that John Cannon was a man of his word and worthy of respect.  At the end of three days, the ranch hands have their herd of horses, and White Horse and Buck return to their own people.  John informs Red Eagle that on the first day of each month for a year, he will deliver ten cattle to the Apache for letting him cross their lands in search of the horses.
Back at the ranch, a fiesta is held for the safe return of the party, and mention is made of the cricket soup Buck ate at the Apache camp before he knew what was in it.  Mano sings a special song in honor of his sister, and he's really very good at it.  When the men go to work breaking the horses, Wind is still digging away at that trench Sam told him to do, and he's obviously very tired of it.  When he asks if it is true that John paid for the horses with cattle, Mano looks down at the trench Wind is digging and makes a remark about the "benefits" of horse stealing. Into this scene rides White Horse.  He's been shot, is in shock, and is almost incoherent about needing a doctor before he faints.  

The injured White Horse taken to the Cannon's guest room after collapsing.

Buck gives the doctor no choice in deciding to treat Tanea.

As he is carried inside, John tells Wind that someone needs to ride into Tucson for the doctor, "that is, if it isn't against your ethics."  Wind apologizes to John for not believing in John's ethics, and he races off to fetch the doctor.  After White Horse is treated, he regains consciousness long enough to tell everyone that he needed white man's clothing, that the Army mistook him for an Apache and shot him.  He was riding unarmed to get a doctor for Tanea, who is dying.  Since the doctor doesn't want to ride into Apache territory to treat Tanea, Buck pulls his gun and forces him.

Mano objects to Buck pledging his life for Tanea's.

In the Apache camp, Red Eagle wants to wait for White Horse, but the doctor cannot wait to treat Tanea because she has appendicitis.  Since White Horse is behind the main party because of his injury, Buck pledges his life for Tanea's life.  The doctor operates.  The next morning when White Horse and John ride into camp, Tanea is up and out of danger.  The doctor has been won over to the Apaches in the same manner that Buck has.  The doctor asks John to send along a milk cow for the children when he sends the cattle each month.  (Synopsis by Sandy Sturdivant)

Tanea after successful treatment for her appendicitis.


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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