The High Chaparral

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Second Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Clive Clerk as Chatto and 
Michael Keep as his father, Chief Natchez

The stallion both Chatto and Blue
try to tame

John stands up for Blue's rights
to the stallion

2.33 The Stallion                     Blue
An Indian outbreak threatens to erupt when Billy Blue Cannon and an Apache boy fight over a wild horse.
Written by Ken Pettus       Directed by William Witney

Story Line: Chatto, son of an Apache chief, first discovers the prized stallion, but fails in his attempt to capture it. When Billy Blue successfully ropes the horse, Chatto becomes infuriated with Cannon and steals it back. Billy Blue retaliates and a feud begins. Chief Natchez approaches John Cannon and warns him of trouble if Chatto loses the horse. The two boys meet and fight while High Chaparral wranglers and Apache braves watch and prepare for battle.

Guest Stars:

Clive Clerk
as Chatto

Michael Keep
as Chief Natchez

Character Highlights: If you like lots of horse action this is your episode.  It’s okay as a Blue vehicle, but he acts pretty selfishly, like a kid who is willing to put everyone at risk when he doesn’t get his way with the stallion. John, on the other hand, is uncharacteristically gentle, understanding, and supportive towards Blue.  He takes Blue’s side throughout the dispute. There are a number of good interpreting scenes with Mano as the go-between for John and Natchez. This is a little curious since a few episodes back in "The Hair Hunter" John seemed to understand and speak fluent Apache without assistance. 

Mano, acting as interpreter between
John and Natchez.

Buck comes across a bit harsh here in his recommendations for breaking the stallion, especially compared to his usual gentle demeanor with his own horse, Rebel, and with the Indian pony in "Auld Lang Syne", the camel in "Stinky Flanagan", and other animal interactions.  The distinctive music theme in this episode is not heard in any other.


Complete Episode Synopsis
A beautiful black stallion running wild across the Arizona wilderness catches the eye of two young men, Blue Cannon and Chatto, son of Apache chief Natchez. Both boys are equally determined to rope the stallion and keep him, and both attempt it. Chatto ropes him first, but his rope breaks. Blue then tries and is successful in capturing him. The boys fight over who will keep the horse while their respective supporters, the Apache and the men from the Cannon ranch gather round them. The argument threatens to jeopardize the new agreement for peace made by John Cannon and Natchez, but as Blue has captured the horse, Natchez is willing to rule against his son's claim in order to keep the peace.

Blue is triumphant as he ties off the
stallion he has just roped.

Blue cajoles the stallion with treats.

Blue, ecstatic with his magnificent stallion, brings him home to a training corral at the High Chaparral and spends every spare minute with the animal. Buck encourages Blue to use hobbles and a firm hand to "break" the stallion and show him who's boss.  John, however, sees Blue's enthusiasm for the horse and encourages Blue to "win" the horse instead of "breaking" him. He tells him that winning a horse is like sparking a girl, and Blue then proceeds to use every method of cajoling he can with the horse, depleting the ranch's supply of sugar in the process. After a week, Blue brings in his horse to demonstrate that not only is he rider-broken, but that he comes to Blue on command.
Chatto, meanwhile, has been watching Blue and his stallion, plotting to steal the prize horse away. He gets his chance one day when the men are gathered around the camp eating their dinner. Blue witnesses the theft and gives chase, but the horse he is riding is no match for the aptly named Sirocco. When John appeals to Natchez for the return of the animal, Natchez refuses, for the Apache believe that if a man isn't strong enough to hold his horse, then he is unfit to own it. Blue refuses to give up and resumes searching for Chatto and the horse. The other Apaches, except Natchez, decide to side with Chatto and move to break the peace alliance with Cannon. The Cannon ranch hands also decide to find Blue and help him get his horse back.

Chatto rides away on Blue's stallion.

The Chaparral men don't interfere, but stand by during Blue's fight with Chatto.

When Natchez learns of his braves' intentions, he rides alone to the High Chaparral and appeals to John, who is quick to spring on his horse and ride away with him to confront the protagonists and avoid bloodshed. Both groups and the fathers find Blue and Chatto in a fistfight again. The two men break up the fight, and John proposes that they allow the horse to decide which master he wants. The boys agree, and each tries his hardest to make the stallion come to him on command, but the horse sees his herd off in the distance, and runs to meet it.
John tells Blue that "some things are just naturally born to run free". Blue extends his hand to Chatto and helps him up on the horse he is riding, and the two ride off together.  

(Synopsis by Lisa McKenzie)


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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