Outside a chapel in the middle of
the desert, an old peon is talking to his burro about how nice it will
be to work at the chapel once there is enough money to pay for a padre
to be there every day, and once there is a new bell in the chapel tower.
Into this scene drive Victoria and Manolito. Victoria asks her brother
not to tell John that she is making a novena to the Lady of Guadalupe to
help her conceive a child - an idea that delights Manolito.
Victoria asks Mano to keep the
of her visit a secret.
Mano is held at gunpoint by Stacy
|But while she is praying, a
man with a hook for an arm approaches her from behind, introducing himself as
Finley Carr, and asking if she is John Cannon's wife. Carr tells Victoria that
John had taken something from him, and that she will help him to get it back.
Outside the chapel, Carr's brother Stacy is holding Mano at gunpoint. Carr
instructs another man, Hank, to set the rig's horse free. Mano tries to escape,
but Jube shoots him. Victoria is sure her brother is dead, but she can do
nothing. Carr orders everyone to move out.
|Out on the range, Sam and Buck find Victoria's horse,
Irene, running loose and take
it back to the Chaparral. John is unconcerned at first, believing Victoria is in
the house, but Vaquero explains that Victoria and Mano went to the
chapel. Buck asks if he shouldn't assemble some of the men for a
search. John agrees, and says he will ride over to the chapel with
Sam. They find Mano and the old peon at the chapel. Mano is alive but
dazed, as the bullet only creased him.
John discovers Mano is still
|The peon tells
how he offered the men the money being saved for the chapel bell, but
that they wanted only to take Victoria away. John tells Sam to stay
and take care of Mano, and to wait for Buck and the others, while he
follows the rig's tracks. He promises to mark a trail once the wheel
tracks run out.
Carr shows Victoria where he
intends to ambush John at the the bottom of the cliff.
|Meanwhile, Victoria and
the four have camped, and Victoria is keeping her distance from the three men
around the campfire. Stacy is respectful, but Jube tries to assault her, causing
Carr to intervene. This is not what they are there for. Carr explains to
Victoria that her rig will be pushed off the edge to fall and break below. Carr
knows John will descend and discover that Victoria is not dead, but also knows
that John will leave a piece of himself down among the debris.
Victoria asks Carr what did John
do to him, and he indicates his hook and his scar - a battle, just
nine days before the war ended. Victoria tries to comfort him, but he
rejects her pity, saying it only makes him hate John more. He promises
her he'll kill John in a very special way.
|With the Chaparral men somewhere behind him, following the broken trail Carr
has left, John arrives on horseback at the edge of the bluff and sees the broken
rig below him. Hidden from view above him, Carr yells to John that he has
Victoria. Then they all hear a shot and John climbs up the rocks to find his
horse shot and his hat gone. Retrieving his rifle and canteen from the dead
horse's saddle, he continues climbing until he discovers a fire with warmed
coffee and beans. But both are heavily laden with salt, and he spits them out.
John discovers the crashed rig at
of the cliff and fears for
darkness falls, he lays down by a fire he's built, but is awake enough
to level his pistol at Carr and Stacy as they approach him. Carr,
calling John "Captain Cannon", asks John if he remembers him. He
brings up Petersburg, and tells how John left him without a hand. John
says the war ended for him at Appomattox. When he tells Carr that his
own brother Buck fought for the Confederacy, Carr tells him he should
have fought for the South, too. Carr tells John that they're going to
do Petersburg all over again, and that this time it will be John who
The cage built on the bluff where
John is held captive.
John, Buck catches up with Carr's man, Hank, as he is changing another
of John's trail markers. Buck pulls Hank off of his horse, and
threatens to drag him behind his own horse, giving him five seconds to
tell the truth about where John is. Up in Carr's camp, John is being
held in a cage made of young trees, which is padlocked shut. Stacy
lets John out, telling John that Carr is allowing him ten minutes with
Victoria. Victoria tearfully tells John that these men have murdered
Mano, but John assures her that Mano was only hurt.
She tells John how horrible it
was to see him being reeled in by Carr, while she was helpless to
prevent it. She sobs that John must hate her, but he assures her that
he has never loved her more and tells her that Carr has promised no
harm will come to her. She cries that what touches him touches her,
and that, should he die, she will die, too.
|John demands that Carr let Victoria go free, offering
to stay for Carr to do what he will with him. Carr refuses, saying they instead
will re-enact the battle of Five Forks, the last real battle of the war. Carr
says that his honor, and therefore his life, were buried there, and he intends
to get them back. Carr says he'll see John run the way he, Carr, did. He
promises that if John doesn't run, he and Victoria can go on home, but that if
John does run, and Carr is sure he will, then John, as a dead man, has no
John held captive by Finley Carr.
|Later that night,
when Carr refuses to let him sleep, John asks him what he plans to
live on once Carr has killed him. He tells Carr that most men live on
things they love, like a woman, the land, or work, but that a man who
lives on hate just hates himself, but is looking around for something
else to direct that hate towards.
The Chaparral men question Hank.
|Hank has asked Buck for a horse and a head start for Mexico, in exchange for
showing them a back way into Carr's camp. He leads them to the bottom of a steep
bluff, saying the camp is straight up, right over the top. They will have to
climb up on foot once the sun rises. As day dawns, the men of the Chaparral
climb up the rocky cliff side. Stacy is pacing in Carr's camp. Victoria pleads
with him to ask Carr if she can visit John, again. Instead, Stacy tells her
he'll bring John to her. Carr stops him, but Stacy tells Carr that there can be
no harm in just letting her see him.
Carr tells Stacy to bring her
out. Stacy opens her tent, and she runs towards the cage, but when
Victoria pulls even with Carr, he restrains her, saying she only has
permission to see John, nothing more, and has Stacy bring her back to
Blue, Buck, and Mano watch
helplessly as Carr's re-enactment plays itself out.
|As this is going on, the
Chaparral men arrive at the top of the mountain and hide in the rocks behind
Carr's camp. Carr emerges from his tent in his Confederate uniform. He has Jube
pull Victoria from her tent, and bring her to a point where the Chaparral men
can see him holding a pistol to the back of her head. Carr yells at the men that
one shot, or even one move, from them will result in Victoria's death. He tells
another of his men to release John and gives him a saber. Blue, horrified by his
father's condition, starts to aim and fire, but Buck grabs his rifle away,
telling Blue that shooting will only get John and Victoria killed. He returns
Blue's rifle to him, and Blue turns his face away, trying to hide his fear and
Carr bears down on John from
|Carr begins to
narrate the conditions as they were at Five Forks years before. He
walks proudly to this horse and theatrically holds out his hand to
Stacy, waiting for his brother to hand him the reins. Instead, Stacy
drops the reins to the ground and disgustedly walks away. Mounting his
horse and, holding another saber in his right hand, rides down on John
time and time again, each time clashing sabers with him. Finally, John
is knocked to the ground. He yells to John to get up, mistaking the
other man for his own past. When John points this out, Carr rides down
on John again.
This time, John successfully
deflects the saber out of Carr's grasp with his own saber. Carr
pauses, then rides down on John again, this time aiming for John's
saber with his hook, which cuts it off at the base. A stunned Carr looks at the hookless leather base stump
which covers the stump of this own arm and screams, "Kill her! Kill 'em
both!" Stacy reacts and shoots Jube before he can shoot Victoria in
the head, then pushes Victoria behind him as gunfire erupts between
the Chaparral men and Carr's men. John jumps in the trench, and tells
Stacy to get in, too. John shields Victoria's body with his own as the
Carr's last effort to retrieve his
| Soon, the men from
the Chaparral gain the upper hand, and all of Carr's men drop their weapons.
Carr, who was shot from his saddle, drags himself by one arm to where his hooks
lies. This pathetic scene causes Stacy to step up out of the trench, and Blue to
lower his rifle slowly.
Blue realizes that Carr is no longer
When Carr reaches his hook, he
tries to re-attach it to its base, then dies face down in the dirt
with the hook grasped in his hand. Victoria and John, embracing in the
trench, look on, stunned.
Carol Anne Gordon)