The High Chaparral

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Fourth Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Monte Markham as Dave Redman

Mano and his cellmate plotting their escape

Mayf Nutter as Roy

4.90  Too Late the Epitaph           Mano
Manolito is jailed in a case of mistaken identity on charges of holdup and murder.
Written by George Atkins         Directed by James Neilson

Story Line:  En route back to the Cannon ranch from a cattle purchase, Manolito is arrested when mistakenly identified as a member of a gang who held up a gold shipment hours earlier. He is released when an old friend Dave Redman, a fast-rising leader of the community in which Mano is being held, vouches for him. Later, when Mano finds himself framed for murder, he learns who his real friends are.

Guest Stars:

Monte Markham 
as Dave Redman

Mayf Nutter 
as Roy

John Myhers 
as Stoker

Willard Sage 
as Pete, the marshal

Jerry Wills 
as Haunch

John Gilgreen 
as Bailey

Jack Williams
as Pete, stage driver

Raymond Guth (right)
as Luther, stage guard

Gordon Dilworth 
as the Judge


Character Highlights:  In a season of episodes with predominantly dark themes, this one is as close as we come to a light-hearted one, despite the heavy sound of the title.  It is pretty much a solo Mano vehicle, taking place in a town far from the ranch. Monte Markham turns in a good performance as the sleazy nice guy who has neither scruples nor conscience, but it is Mayf Nutter as Roy, the dim-witted stage coach robber, who steals the show.  While Mano is initially angry with him since Mano is being blamed for Roy's actions, he quickly comes to see that Roy is a little slow and easily manipulated by others, but not really a bad person.  Roy is adrift because his old partner was killed in the stage coach robbery and Roy is clearly incompetent as a robber on his own.  Mano befriends him for both their benefits and proceeds to devise a clever strategy to get them both out of the predicament they are in.


Complete Episode Synopsis: "No, no, Mackadoo, I rest. You, being a horse, do not. I know it is unfair, but that is how it is, amigo. Vamanos." Manolito is explaining the facts of life to his horse when he hears gunshots. In the gully below, a stage robbery is taking place. One of the robbers falls to the ground, mortally wounded and the other rides away, only to run into Mano, who makes him give up his gun and the money bags. "You will do me the honor of accompanying me to the nearest town," Mano says graciously, but the robber has other ideas. He'd rather die than surrender, and rides away again. A short while later, Mano is cleaning up at a small pond, explaining to Mackadoo that since he is a hero, he must look like one. The marshal and his posse arrive, and much to his astonishment, the stage driver, who is riding with them, identifies him as the man who robbed the stage. Instead of being hailed as a hero, he is arrested as a criminal.  

Mano and Mackadoo, cleaning up.

Mano, identified as the robber.

Back at the High Chaparral, John and Buck are discussing the price of cattle and how their hopes are pinned on Mano to get a better price for their herd. As Buck is saying he hopes Manolito doesn't get himself sidetracked, Mano is in the marshal's office with a bandana on his face, being identified yet again as the stage robber. In spite of his protests to the contrary, he is summarily put in a cell while the deputy takes the money back to the bank. When the name "Dave Redman" is mentioned in connection with the bank, Mano realizes that he is an old friend and asks to see him. Apparently, Dave is held in high esteem in the town and the marshal finds it hard to believe that he would know a "stage robber". Nevertheless, Mano and Dave are reunited and recall their youthful adventures "a long time ago."
Dave believes Mano's tale of what really happened when the stage was robbed, even though Mano tells him that "Of the two of us, I was the one most likely to turn into a bad hombre." He makes arrangements with the marshal to release Mano because his "friend is a good man, and I owe him and his family a lot for putting up with me through some pretty wild years."  After his release, Mano meets Dave in his office and expresses his appreciation for what he's done. Dave sends him to his home for a bath and a hot meal. He then sends a clerk to the marshal's office with the message that Mr. Stoker wants to see him at home right away.

Redman and Mano recall old times.

Completely unsuspecting, Mano knocks at the open door, and calls out for Mrs. Redman. Instead of Redman's wife, he finds Mr. Stoker, dead on the parlor floor. He picks up the gun lying by the body, just in time for the marshal to arrive and arrest him for murder. The town wastes no time setting up a gallows to hang the man who killed their leading citizen. The marshal assures Dave that everyone knows he would have done anything to save Mr. Stoker and that he shouldn't feel guilty about what his friend has done. While they're talking, the stage arrives - along with the robber that Mano had stopped earlier. Within minutes, Mano and Roy are sharing the same jail cell. A scuffle ensues when they recognize each other, and Mano tries to tell the marshal that this is the real robber, but he threatens to shoot him if he continues his claims. 

Mano and Roy settle into Roy's hideout.

Roy is contrite when they discuss the robbery and the fact that Mano was mistaken as the culprit. He even apologizes for beating him up, and explains that he was angry because his friend was killed for that money, and he was a good friend who took care of him. During their discussion, the gallows are being tested in preparation for the hanging on the morrow. Mano offers to "figure things out" and be Roy's friend, if he'll help him to escape from jail. Liking the idea, Roy agrees, and follows Mano's directions. Pretending to fight again, they catch the marshal off guard, take his gun, and lock him in the cell, making good their escape. Dave Redman watches them race out of town with a smile on his face.  Roy takes Mano to the hideout he shared with his late partner, and they settle in comfortably. As Roy says, "It's yours now, too, just like it was mine and Haunch's. It's your place to live."

"Roy, I want you to know I appreciate it," Mano tells him, "but I already have a place that I live in. In the Arizona Territory, outside of Tucson, called the High Chaparral." The only problem is that he can't go there until he clears himself of the murder charge. When Roy asks why his friend would get him into trouble like that, his response is, "I look and look, but I do not know why."

Later that evening, they talk about right and wrong, and how to survive without taking from other people. In the midst of their conversation, Dave Redman arrives, gun drawn. When Roy asks how he knows about their place, he tells them that Haunch was his friend, too. It doesn't take long for Mano to realize that Dave is the man who'd told Haunch when the stage would be carrying money, and therefore when to rob it. He admits killing Mr. Stoker because he had begun to "catch on" to him. Mano's arrival at the jail presented the perfect opportunity to place the blame on someone else. Stoker had been treating him like a son, and he'd expected to inherit everything, but instead he was going to leave him "the joy he would experience by making his own fortune." He'd left him completely out of his will.

"That man had a greater knowledge of your worth than you did," Mano states. "Where did you hear that?" Redman demands. "I did not hear it anywhere - I only said it," Mano replies. Apparently, Stoker had said the same thing. Dave has a proposition for them. Rob two more stages and he'll provide the money to get them out of the country. Mano pretends to agree, with Roy as his willing partner, and Dave provides the necessary details. "Mano, it is good to be back in harness with you," he says as he shakes Mano's hand and departs.

Redman and Mano shake on the deal.

A puzzled Roy asks, "Mano, are you still against robbing stages?" "Yes, Roy, I am," is his firm response. The following day, Redman watches as a money box is loaded on the stage. Although the marshal expresses his misgivings, Redman assures him that he's sure everything will be all right. The marshal agrees, since he intends to ride along on the trip. Mano and Roy are stationed in the rocks above the road, waiting for the stage to appear. When it does, Roy puts his bandana over his face and asks, "Aren't we going to rob the stage, Mano?" "No, Roy, we are going to let the stage go by, and go back and cook some more beans."

Redman accuses Mano of backing out.

Back in town, Dave is prepared to hear bad news from the marshal, but he's disappointed when everything goes well. Puzzled, he pays a night-time call on the "partners" to see what went wrong. Mano uses the excuse that his horse threw a shoe, and denies trying to "pull anything" when Dave accuses him. "How can you say that - this is as important to me as it is to you. After all, my life is on the line, Dave."

Convinced that Mano is on his side, Dave tells them that they have one more chance and nothing will go wrong this time - he will be riding inside the stage. When he leaves, Roy is confused and Mano is contemplating his next move.

While Dave is getting on the stage with the money, Mano and Roy are riding into town, making themselves conspicuous with gunshots and fast riding. The marshal immediately calls for a posse and takes off after them. In the meantime, Dave is ordering the driver to stop the stage, then looking around anxiously for the "robbers."

Mano and Roy are riding hard and fast to the agreed-upon location of the robbery, with the marshal and posse close on their heels. They stop and hide just in time to see Dave, driving the stage, tell the marshal that they were attacked 20 minutes ago. Mano declares, "We were in town 20 minutes ago," as he and Roy show themselves, and Redman shoots at them, wounding Roy in the shoulder. Mano dives for cover, telling Redman that it's over, but Dave continues to shoot until Roy shoots him.

The marshal finds the money bags still on the stage, and asks, "Why? Why would he steal when he had the whole world in the palm of his hand? He could have been anything he wanted to be - and everybody knew it."

"Yes, only he did not," Mano replies. 

Returning to the High Chaparral, Mano is greeted with smiles by Buck and Victoria, but not from Big John. He introduces his friend, Roy. "I told him there may be the possibility of a job on the Chaparral."

"Well, what is it you've been doing best, Roy?" Buck asks innocently.

"Robbing stage coaches," Mano answers with a laugh as Big John glares at him, unamused. "No, really. The judge gave him a suspended sentence and put him in my custody, but we have to teach him a new trade, eh?" Dismounting, he walks over to a stony-faced Big John and asks, "Oh, John, whatever happened to the herd, hombre?"

"Had to sell to Henderson."

"Well, how much?"

"$19 a head," he replies in obvious disgust.

Mano laughs heartily. "Outside of Santa Fe, the most they offered was fifteen, hombre," he says, leaving his brother-in-law speechless for the moment.

Delighted, Victoria exclaims, "You see, I said Manolito would bring us good news!"

"As always, my sister, you are right, you are right!" Mano is undisguisedly pleased with the news he brings. Big John shakes his head and heads into the house as Mano, Buck and Victoria welcome Roy to the High Chaparral.  (Synopsis by Kat Garcia)

Buck and Victoria welcome Roy.

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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