The High Chaparral

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Fourth Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Wind giving John advice

Buck held hostage

Injured Sangre in shackles

4.88  Sangre
An all-out Indian war is threatened when a wounded Apache leader is held hostage at the Cannon ranch.
Written by Jack P. Sowards         Directed by Phil Rawlins

Story Line:  Although the original intent to bring wounded Apache warrior Sangre to the Cannon ranch was to give him aid, his presence stirs up a bitter reaction from his own people and from Lt. Allen, head of a cavalry unit that wants Sangre on homicide charges. The circumstance places John Cannon and his ranch in the middle of an impending battle.

Guest Stars:

Pat Renella 
as Sangre

Kaz Garas 
as Lt. Allen

Charles Maxwell 
as Sgt. Smith

Dave Cass (right)
as the corporal

Evans Thornton 
as Maj. Benson

Jerry Wills 
as Trooper McAdams


Character Highlights:  If you're looking for lots of gunplay and horse chases this episode is for you.  There is not much dialogue and what there is sometimes gets a bit preachy.  As is his style, Wind always gets the last word and doesn't hesitate to lecture anyone within earshot about ethical issues.  Good scenes of Mano disguised as an Apache.  The renegade Apache leader, Sangre, is not very fully developed so we aren't sure why he later reveals that he speaks French, English, and several other languages.  


Complete Episode Synopsis:  John Cannon races out to bring in his men because he is expecting an Apache attack.  He encounters Sam and the boys herding cattle, tells them to leave the cattle and hurry back to the ranch, and then he and Mano go in search of Buck, who is up a side canyon.  They find Buck in a life or death struggle with an Apache.  Unable to fire upon the Indian for fear of hitting Buck, the two men can only watch helplessly, until Buck finally manages to overpower the Apache.  

Buck struggles with Sangre.

Victoria treats the injured Sangre.

The Indian has been wounded in a previous attack, and Buck wants to leave him there for his friends to find.  Mano thinks he could die before then, so a decision is made to take the wounded man back to the ranch.  There, they all learn that the Apache is Sangre, an extremely dangerous war leader who has come down from the hills with about 200 of his warrior to wreak havoc on the white man.  He had just finished a murderous attack on a neighboring ranch, killing or taking captive everyone in sight, and this is apparently how he was wounded.

As John supervises the fortifications being erected at the High Chaparral, he is concerned how Wind will perceive the imminent attack.  Since Wind is away from the compound, and no one knows where, John orders Sam to send the boy to him when he returns.  Before Wind shows up, an Army detachment led by an arrogant Lt. Allen rides in.  They have found Sangre's trail and followed it to the High Chaparral.  They place the Apache in irons, although the Indian is too weak to be much of a threat at this point.  The Lieutenant makes it very clear to John that Sangre's death would stop the attacks, but John won't let anything happen to the Indian as long as he's on the ranch.  John keeps Sangre under armed guard. 

Lt. Allen and Sgt. Smith with 
Trooper McAdams in the back

The ranch is fortified with sharpshooters on the roof of the bunkhouse.

When Wind shows up, he cautions that the entire ranch has been surrounded.  Since the main Army encampment is at Gila Flats, the Lieutenant orders his corporal to go fetch them.  John advises that the Lieutenant should listen to Wind, but the officer makes a surly remark about supervising Indians and not taking counsel from them.  A few minutes later, a rifle shot is heard from the desert, and all know the corporal has been shot dead. As plans and fortifications are firmed up against the attack, John tells Wind to let Sam know where he is from now on.  He then tries to figure out if Wind will support the ranch in an Apache attack.  Wind tells John that men are pretty much alike no matter what name they use.  He says that Sangre kills even his own people and admits that with Sangre's death, another would soon take his place.  It is apparent that Wind stands with John where the safety of the ranch is concerned.

While Buck and Sergeant Smith run the gunpowder trail from the corral to the house, the two men get into a discussion of ethics about the Indians and the ranch, with Wind trailing along.  The Sergeant accuses John of stealing the ranch from the Indians.  Buck counters that John bought it from the Spanish.  The Sergeant then asks Wind if the Spanish bought it from the Apaches.  Wind says "no," but then, the Apaches didn't buy it from the Navajo, either.  Good repartee in this scene. Since someone needs to get to Gila Flats and bring back the main Army force, Mano volunteers, even though Wind would be the most likely to succeed.  Before Mano can leave, however, Buck sneaks out to fetch the soldiers.  

Buck decides to slip out before Mano can.

Mano is disappointed that Buck 
has interrupted his plan.

Mano gives it deep thought, then he dresses in Sangre's old garments and heads out in the opposite direction from Buck.  He encounters Wind, who gives sage advice:  "If they see you, walk boldly.  If you hear a night lark calling, answer it; it won't be a night lark."  Wind then hands Mano his rifle.  When John walks out the front door of the ranch house a few moments later, he learns that both Buck and Mano have gone for help.

Mano disguised as an Apache, decides to sneak out in the night also.

Buck is held hostage in the middle of battle.

Buck is eventually captured by the Apaches, who want to exchange him for Sangre.  John won't make the exchange because "Buck knew what he was getting into when he left."  An all out war commences with a mob of Apaches shooting at the ranch.  Buck is held hostage right in the middle of the foray, and everyone is cautioned to shoot anywhere except in the vicinity of Buck.  Victoria goes up and down the ranks passing out bullets.  As the fighting gets worse, it becomes obvious that the ranch will be overrun.  John tells Sam to pull everyone back to the ranch house, where they make their last ditch stand.  Inside, John gives his pistol to Pedro with instructions to find Victoria and give it to her. 

It is now up to Mano to get the soldiers, but Mano is having his own problems.   Dressed in Sangre's clothing, he is mistaken for the Apache warrior.  The soldiers won't let him approach, and as they mount up to go after him, Mano has to ride for his life to keep from being shot.  Back at the ranch, Victoria is momentarily taken hostage by Sangre in his attempt to escape, but John intervenes, once again refusing to kill Sangre even when he implores John to shoot him.  In the meantime, Mano leads the Army directly back to the ranch, where the Army manages to run off the invading Apaches.  

The cavalry prepares to advance on the ranch.

Mano held at gunpoint by Buck in order to avoid being shot by the Army who think he is Sangre.

Mano discovers Buck under guard and releases him, but to keep from being killed, he has to pretend to be Buck's prisoner.  Buck marches Mano back into the compound where Major Benson wants to put him under arrest as Sangre.  As Sangre is led out of the ranch to become an Army prisoner, it is noted that the Apaches will choose another leader.  John says he will be right there at the ranch waiting for them, and Wind says that this is why they will be back.  (Synopsis by Sandy Sturdivant)


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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