Blue working on his own in
Barbara Hershey as Moonfire with
Victor Jory as Kelly in "The Peacemaker"
1.22 The Peacemaker
Billy Blue Cannon quits the ranch after a
quarrel with his father and leads a peace representative of the President to
Directed by Richard Benedict
Written by John Starr Niendorff
Originally Broadcast: March 3, 1968
On the trail Blue falls in love with Kelly's adopted Apache daughter, Moonfire.
Kelly, an idealistic dreamer, meets Cochise's demands for a strip of land
separating the High Chaparral from Tucson. This would cut the Cannons' supply
route and threaten them with bankruptcy. John, angered by the peace terms and
bewildered by his son's decision to marry, knows he will most likely have to
defend the ranch against the Apaches.
as Prowling Dog
as Lt. Corey
Character Highlights: Episode
focuses on Blue, opening with the usual scenes where John finds fault with
everything Blue does and Blue becomes increasingly angry. When John challenges
both his masculinity and maturity by telling him he needs to stay alert in order
to "work with the men around here" it is the last straw for Blue and
he decides to quit the ranch, leaving without a plan for what he might do or
where he might go. When he meets up with Kelly and Moonfire, he introduces
himself as Billy Blue and is presumed to be Mr. Blue. After he learns that Kelly
thinks "men like John Cannon kill Indians for sport" Blue continues to
avoid telling them who he really is, even after impulsively proposing to
Moonfire in order to save her from an arranged Indian marriage. Moonfire seems
mildly grateful but the romance lacks electricity. "Peacemaker"
appears to have been intended as a "Blue becomes a man" type of
episode but he acts more juvenile and impulsive here than in several other first
season episodes, such as "Survival" or "Firing Wall". When
Kelly, the pacifist appeaser, rises up to shoot his Apache assailant before
dying, it seems like a contrived political statement set in the wrong place and
Complete Episode Synopsis
John Cannon’s eyes, his son is still a boy, who doesn’t quite measure up to
the other ranch hands. That fact is brought home to Blue when his father
continuously chews him out in front of the other ranch hands. Following a series
of escalating incidents, Blue has a fight with his father and quits the High
Chaparral, going off on his own to prove himself to be a man. After leaving High
Chaparral, Blue narrowly escapes being killed by two Apaches and runs into a
small Army unit on special assignment. Blue introduces himself as “Billy
Blue,” not wanting to be known as John Cannon’s son, but rather as a man of his
John watches as Blue rides away,
to keep him from leaving.
Blue comes upon the Army unit
escorting Moonfire and Mr. Kelly.
|The Army unit’s lieutenant has been charged with escorting Mr.
Kelly, a peace representative assigned by the President, to negotiate a treaty
with Cochise. The lieutenant foists the task of escorting Mr. Kelly and his
adopted Apache daughter, Moonfire, on to Blue in the guise of hiring him as a
scout. While Blue is reluctant at first to take on the job, he eventually gives
in to save face and the need to prove he’s a man. And also because he’s
immediately attracted to Moonfire.
|While traveling to
Cochise’s camp, Blue learns that Mr. Kelly met his father in Tucson
and that Mr. Kelly blames John Cannon for some of the difficulties in
making peace with the Apache. After hearing this Blue is even more
reluctant to reveal his true identity. Blue, Mr. Kelly and Moonfire
are captured by the Apache a short distance from Cochise’s camp. They
are saved from being killed by Moonfire, who identifies herself as an
Apache. The three are taken to Cochise where Moonfire learns that her
real Apache father is dead and that she has been promised to a brave
named Prowling Dog.
The group is introduced to
Blue kisses Moonfire after
defeating Prowling Dog defending her as
|Blue realizes that
Moonfire wants no part of Prowling Dog and tells everyone that Moonfire is his
woman. To his surprise Blue learns he must fight Prowling Dog to win her. Blue
bravely takes on the Indian in a knife fight where he is badly disadvantaged.
Although badly cut, Blue finally does gain the upper hand and bests Prowling
Dog. Cochise declares him the winner and tells Moonfire she must dress her
man’s (Blue’s) wounds. After dressing his wounds, Moonfire tells Blue she
thinks he’s very brave and that she’s proud he fought for her.
Moonfire asks Blue if he meant it when he
said she was his woman. Blue admits that he meant it - that he’s
fallen in love with her. Moonfire tells Blue that she belongs to him
and they share an intimate kiss.
|Later Mr. Kelly tries to negotiate a peace treaty with the very wily Cochise.
Cochise tells Mr. Kelly that if no one from High Chaparral crosses the lines he
draws on a map, Cochise will consider peace. Blue knows, however, that the lines
Cochise has drawn will prevent his father from having an easy supply route to
Tucson, adding many days to the journey and most likely driving John Cannon from
Arizona. He explains this to the overzealous Mr. Kelly who isn’t deterred,
explaining that the cost of peace is very high and that John Cannon must pay the
price. Blue tells Mr. Kelly he’ll have to take that up with John Cannon, still
not revealing that he’s Cannon’s son.
Cochise indicates the territory he
from John Cannon that cuts the High Chaparral off from
supply routes to Tucson.
|Moonfire tells her adoptive
father that she’s in love with Blue. Realizing that Moonfire won’t go
with him unless Blue accompanies them, Mr. Kelly asks Blue to take
them to High Chaparral where he must explain Cochise’s peace terms to
John Cannon. Blue reluctantly reveals that he’s John Cannon’s son and
both Moonfire and Mr. Kelly are shocked to learn the truth. Blue then
escorts the pair to High Chaparral.
Blue introduces Moonfire and Mr.
to his father and Victoria.
|Blue is warmly greeted by
both Victoria and his father, who are very pleased he’s returned. Big
John is disappointed to learn that Blue has returned only because he’s
acting as Mr. Kelly’s scout. Mr. Kelly proceeds to explain Cochise’s
peace terms to Big John who’s outraged, exactly as Blue had
anticipated. John takes Blue aside and in the course of asking him
about Mr. Kelly’s misguided intentions, learns that Blue plans to
marry Moonfire. Blue earnestly tells his father than he loves the
girl, but Big John immediately tries to talk his son out of it. The
old argument that Blue is not yet a man surfaces.
|Big John admits Blue is a man, but that maybe he still has a little
growing up to do. He asks his son how he can possibly marry a woman he hardly
knows. Blue’s smug reply is “You did.” John tells Victoria of Blue’s
intent to marry Moonfire and that he fears he’s lost his son. Victoria
convinces him to talk to Blue just as the ranch comes under attack by a band of
Apaches led by Prowling Dog who holds a grudge against Blue for shaming him in
the fight to win Moonfire.
Blue tries to explain his feelings for Moonfire to his father.
Kelly steps forward to try to stop
shooting just before he himself is shot.
|Mr. Kelly tries to stop the
fighting, walking unarmed into the melee shouting for everyone to stop
shooting. Prowling Dog shoots him down and as Moonfire runs to help
him she is shot in the back with an arrow. Moonfire dies in Blue’s
|After burying Moonfire, John has a
heart to heart talk with Blue and asks his forgiveness, telling him
they need men at Chaparral - his way of asking him to stay on and give
it another chance.
At Moonfire's graveside John
to Blue and asks him to stay on.
(Synopsis by Pat Banazsak)
Much of this
material, including the Story Line descriptions, comes from The High
Chaparral Press Kit released in 1971.
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.
portrayals of these characters
to Season One Directory
Return to Home/Contents