The High Chaparral

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Victoria discovers Annalee's diary.

decides to stay.

Anthony Grey arrives.

1.03  Ghost of Chaparral     Victoria
Victoria's efforts to overcome husband John Cannon's memory of his first wife are thwarted when Apaches lay siege to their ranch and she is kidnapped.

Produced by William F. Claxton
Directed by Leon Benson
Written by Gabrielle Upton   
Originally Broadcast:  September 17, 1967  

Story Line:
Victoria is exchanged for an injured Apache and receives two opportunities to live in safety and leave the husband who doesn't love her. Former suitor Anthony Grey rides in with an offer to take her to England, as Indians attack in earnest. Don Sebastian, her father, arrives with armed vaqueros to break the siege and insists his daughter return to the safety of her home in Mexico.

Guest Stars:

Patrick Horgan 
as Lord Ashbury,
Anthony Grey

Carlos Rivas 
as Jorge

Joaquin Martinez 
as Little Cloud

Character Highlights: There may be some dispute as to where this episode belongs in the order, but it was shown immediately after the pilot and does not seem to make sense anywhere else, regardless of when it may have been shot. John is obviously still grieving for Annalee and his relationship with Victoria is cold and distant. Both behave as virtual strangers, calling each other Mr. and Mrs. Cannon or Ma’am. At one point Victoria asks, "May I call you John now?" To which he responds stiffly, "You may call me anything you like, Mrs. Cannon." John is similarly cold and domineering toward Blue, who is in turn distant and unaccepting towards Victoria. Buck also acts as though he has just been introduced to her. When Buck calls her Ma’am, she responds, "Victoria, not ma’am. I am Victoria." When Victoria is held hostage and there is a strategic disagreement between Mano and John about gaining her release, Mano threatens John by saying, "If he hurts her the first bullet will be for him; the second one for you." Mano and Buck barely acknowledge each other.  Mano is clearly not vested in the arrangement at this point since he later asks Victoria, "Why do you stay? Can’t you see they do not want you?" All the main characters are in the process of working out their place within the group.

In many ways, this is the transition episode from Annalee to Victoria where they come to terms with each other through Annalee’s diary. For those who might want to read more into the past history than we have evidence for, at one point Annalee’s diary reads, "This strong, kind, good man believes that everyone else is strong. God give me strength to keep my secret." This episode re-confirms the arrangement with Don Sebastian, although Victoria tells her father that she did not become Mrs. Cannon as part of his agreement, but because she wanted to. In the end John does ask her to stay and even Blue softens and begins to accept her. When her father declares that the arrangement is finished Victoria tells him resolutely, "No, it is just beginning."

Complete Episode Synopsis
       Blue and Sam are riding through the desert when they see smoke. Crawling to the edge of a canyon, Blue sees four men around a campfire, with a bloodied Indian brave staked out to the ground. Blue tells Sam he is going down to cut him loose, though Sam tries to stop him. Blue almost has the brave free when the captors discover what he is doing. Sam fires a warning shot before they can draw their guns. Blue scatters their horses. Then he helps the Indian on his own horse and mounts up behind him, with Sam hurrying behind them, rifle still ready.

Sam tries to stop Blue from interfering.

Vaquero gives the call to supper.

     At the ranch, Vaquero rings the dinner triangle. Victoria tells him it’s not yet time, that Blue and Sam haven’t arrived yet. Vaquero says that Mrs. Cannon always had him ring the dinner bell at six o’clock. Victoria gently reminds him that she is Mrs. Cannon now.  John Cannon tells Mrs. Cannon that dinner smells good as he makes his way to the table. Before he can sit down, Victoria tells him she has put warm water in a basin and laid out a fresh shirt for him. John is confused for only a second, then mumbles to Buck that he’s going to wash first. Buck looks down at this own dirt and looks a little confused himself.

     While John cleans up, Victoria tells him that she feels that something is wrong – maybe with Blue and Sam. John says matter-of-factly that anytime anyone sets foot outside the compound, he runs the risk of an Apache arrow. Victoria says he sounds like he doesn’t care what happens to his own son. He says that it’s none of her affair and that Blue’s mother is dead. Then he moves a chair – “Here’s where we always had it” – before leaving the room.

Victoria tries to reach John at the gravesite.

     John stands at the grave of Annalee and Victoria joins him. How many wives do you have, Mr. Cannon? Victoria asks. She looks at the grave site. “I think you have two.” John says he made a bargain with her father – he didn’t promise anything else. Victoria replies that marriage is its own promise. Can she call him John now? He says she can call him anything she wants, still calling her Mrs. Cannon. My name is Victoria, she says hotly.
      Reno calls from the roof that Blue and Sam are coming. Now the rescued brave is lying across the horse. John looks him over and growls that they risked their fool necks over a dead Indian, and left a trail of blood to their front door. He could expect something like this from Blue but Sam should have known better. Then the Indian groans. John looks stricken as he meets his son’s gaze.
     Victoria, Buck and Mano are tending to the brave in the bunk house. Buck says it looks like he was pulled apart by a pack of wild cats. Victoria is angry at the perpetrators, even though Blue has said that they were Don Sebastian’s men. And Blue was right to help the Indian and his father was wrong and she is going to tell her husband so. Yes, Ma’am says Buck and she snaps that he should call her Victoria.

The wounded brave is tended to in the bunkhouse.

     Victoria brings a tray of supper to Blue in his room. Victoria tells him that what he did for the Indian was fine and right. She has also brought him a book of poetry. Victoria tries to touch him but he pulls away. “Pa says when you miss supper you miss it.” Victoria starts to say, “And your Ma says…” but Blue cries out, “No! I don’t mean no disrespect, Ma’am, but you can never be my mother. Never.” Victoria manages a small smile though she is upset and says softly that 'never' is like 'always' and there are no such things. When she leaves, Blue picks up the book she has left.

Victoria is held hostage.

     Victoria visits Annalee’s grave again. She prays that “this dead lady” will know that she is still loved, and she needn’t rise up every day to prove it. Victoria only wants to do what Annalee would do – to be a wife and a mother. Suddenly, she is grabbed by several Apaches. One holds her, a knife to her throat. Manolito translates – Victoria won’t be harmed. All they want is Little Cloud. John tells Mano to say that if they harm her in any way, every one of them is going to die. Mano, through clenched teeth, tells him not to threaten the Indians.
       The spokesman for the Apaches demands to know who hurt Little Cloud, a relative of Cochise. John tells Mano not to tell them that the men were Don Sebastian’s, because of their pact. Mano is furious – he is more concerned with his sister. He’ll go along with Mr. Cannon, but if the Indian hurts Victoria, the first bullet will be for the Apache, the second one for him.
       Little Cloud revives enough to say something and the Indians release Victoria as they reclaim their brave. Victoria immediately goes to Mano and slaps him hard. “You will never talk to John Cannon that way again!” Blue goes to her, saying it was all his fault. Victoria tells him she still thinks he was right before running into the house. Mano rubs his sore face and laughs. He has told himself a hundred times not to try to understand a woman. John wants to know what Victoria was doing out alone when she knows the rule. Victoria tells him she had to talk to Annalee. John is shocked. “You'll have nothing to do with Annalee – nothing at all.”

Mano asks Victoria why she stays here doing this.

     The next day, Manolito watches his sister churning, obviously taking out her feelings through the chore. He wants to know why she stays when she could live in a castle and have everything. Can’t she see they don’t want her here? It’s not their fault, it's Annalee’s, Victoria yells. The dead woman reaches out from her grave – she is against her! But Victoria is going to win. Win what? asks Mano. That piece of granite that you have taken for a husband?
     Victoria storms into her bedroom. She pushes back the chair that John moved to the spot where she wants it. She takes the photo of Annalee from the table and opens a trunk to put it inside. Here she finds Annalee’s things. A scarf, a glove, a feminine hat. I think I’ve found you out, she says. You were a silly woman, just like me. She puts the hat on her head and opens a purse. Inside is a diary.

     While she is reading John comes in and explodes. What does she mean, going through Annalee’s things? Victoria apologizes and tries to cajole him – aren’t Annalee’s things just like any other woman’s? John doesn’t think so. She meant more to him than anything else in the world and she always will. This is too much for Victoria. She yells at him, all the feelings she’s kept inside. Nothing she does pleases him. John is obviously sorry but reminds her that he married her only to bind her father’s agreement. And if the agreement isn’t satisfactory . . .   Victoria cuts him off, yelling that it’s not just unsatisfactory, it’s impossible.

Victoria's frustrations finally explode.

Victoria and Mano greet Lord Ashbury.

     Suddenly shots ring out. A group of men ride through the gate, Apaches on their heels. Victoria recognizes one of the riders and rushes into his arms with joy. He is Anthony Grey, Lord Ashbury, a friend of the Montoya's that they knew in Europe.

Sam and Buck don't know what to
make of this newcomer.

Tony has brought his own champagne and suggests they have a glass while he tells them of his adventures in finding them.  Sam and Buck are nearly dumbfounded by the likes of Lord Ashbury.

     Blue recognizes one of the Englishman’s group and greets him sarcastically, “Well, look at the Indian skinner.” The man goes for him angrily until Sam pulls them apart. The Mexican says it’s all Blue’s fault. The Apache found them and only one got away – the rest are dead. Inside the house, Tony explains that they came across the Mexicans running for their lives. “They rattled on in Spanish quite a bit”, he says, and he couldn’t follow it. Manolito is worried. When Don Sebastian hears that some of his men are dead he will blame John and say he broke the pact. To Don Sebastian, that is worse than betraying his country. There are angry voices outside and John rushes out. Blue and the Mexican are fighting while the others cheer Blue on. John breaks up the fight and tells his furious son to clear off.

Blue rebuffs Victoria's assistance
after the fight.

     Afterward, Tony watches as Victoria tries to help Blue clean his cuts, but Blue pushes her away, telling her to leave him alone.  Tony tells Victoria that this ranch is a far cry from the life she and Mano and he led in Europe. He confesses that he fell in love with her then. She can’t really like living out in the middle of nowhere. It can’t be her life. But it is, she assures him happily. He confesses that he came to America for her, to ask her to marry him. He doesn’t know what her marriage to John means to her but it’s obvious to him it’s not a matter of sheer, all-consuming joy. He tells her he can give her anything in the world she wants and all his love.
     Reno fires a warning shot from the roof. “Apaches!” John takes Mano out to talk to them. Little Cloud is dead and Cochise wants all the Mexicans responsible for it killed. They are to hand over the two that they’ve got and if they don’t, the Apaches will come and get them. Sam says he’s not too keen to risk his neck for the murdering Mexicans but he doesn’t want to hand them over, either. So now they have a fight on their hands. John gives the orders to get the barricades ready. Tony Grey is not happy. How can John risk all their lives? It’s more sensible to sacrifice the two. John says that’s the same as murder. He has a pact with Victoria’s father - he has no right to give up Montoya men to certain death. "Have you the right to give them Victoria?", Tony demands. He wants to take her and leave. John tells him that they would be taken as hostages and killed.  Is that the only reason you don’t want me to go? Victoria asks. It's reason enough, says John. She runs to her room and slams the door.

Victoria discovers her bond with Annalee.

     While they wait at the barricade for the attack to begin Buck asks his brother if its true that Victoria is leaving when the fight is all over. He heard she was packing and might go off with “that English thing.” John reminds him that the agreement doesn’t say Victoria can’t do whatever she wants to. Inside, Victoria is indeed packing. But she finds Annalee’s diary again and stops to read it. Annalee has written about doing just what Victoria is doing – packing and returning home. She writes that she knows John loves her, but he never shows it though she needs it. She must not make demands on him. This good, kind, strong man believes that everyone else is also strong. She prays for strength to keep her secret.
     The fighting has begun. The Apaches shoot flaming arrows which land on the water tower and roof, setting them ablaze. Victoria joins the effort to douse the flames when her skirt catches on fire. John hears her screams, grabs her and puts her in the water trough. Reinforcements arrive in the form of Don Sebastian himself with plenty of men, scattering the Apaches.

Victoria's skirt is ablaze after helping
to douse the fire.

     After ascertaining that his daughter is still alive, he tells John that because of his mock heroics in rescuing “some stupid Indian”, three of his men have been killed and their horses and cattle taken. Blue steps up, accepting the responsibility. John says that Blue did the right thing but Don Sebastian is not interested. He says their arrangement is terminated.

Don Sebastian

Victoria greets her father in her wet, partially burned attire, her face dark with soot. Don Sebastian orders her to get her things, she is leaving the ranch. Victoria asks John what he has to say about it. He doesn’t hesitate. “Mrs. Cannon, I want you to stay."

John Cannon

     Victoria beams with happiness, only looking at her husband as she refuses Lord Ashbury’s offer to come with him. Don Sebastian demands to know how she can stay with his enemy. Victoria tells him kindly that John Cannon is not his enemy and that she didn’t become Mrs. Cannon as part of his agreement. She would never have allowed that. When she met John Cannon she knew she had found a very special man with whom she could have an exciting life – the man she wanted to marry and this is why she will stay. John looks relieved and Blue has a smile on his face. Tony says his goodbyes – he will go back with Don Sebastian. Don Sebastian tells his son-in-law that they still have an arrangement. Both men agree they like it.
     Victoria visits Annalee’s grave once again. John joins her and invites her for a walk. She tells him that she thinks Annalee is at peace with her now, because she helped her. How? asks John. “That is our secret – Annalee’s and mine,” says Victoria.

Blue approaches them, Victoria’s poetry book in hand. He has memorized a poem for Victoria, Sir Walter Scott’s “My Native Land,” which he recites for them. He says it explains how he feels about “all this,” meaning the ranch and the land. Victoria agrees that it’s how they all feel about it.  

(Synopsis by Ginny Shook)

Sir Walter Scott

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

Supervisory Producer:  Irving Elman
Production Manager:  Kent McCray
Music by Harry Sukman; Theme by David Rose      
Director of Photography:  Harold Stine, A.S.C.
Color Consultant:  Edward P. Ancona
Unit Production Manager:  Andrew J. Durkus
Assistant Director: Sherry Shourds
Stunt Coordinator:  Henry Wills
Story Editor: Ward Hawkins
Art Direction:  Hal Pereira, McClure Capps
Edited by Ellsworth Hoagland, A.C.E.
Set Decoration:  Robert Benton, Bill F. Calvert
Post Production Co-ordinator:  Bill Wistrom
Casting:  Russell Trost
Sound Recording: Joe Edmondson, Joel Moss
Make-up Supervision:  Wally Westmore, S.M.A.
Hair Style Supervision:  Nelly Manley, C.H.S.
Titles by CINEFX
Location Scenes filmed at Old Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
Filmed at Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California

Much of this material, including the Story Line descriptions, comes from the NBC 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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