| It's a hot day for travel with the threat of rain and flooding in
the offing, as the High Chaparral crew makes their way to
Tucson with a mule train for a major supply run. It's a dusty trip, but the men are looking
forward to a few days in town. All except, perhaps, Sam, who has
just had a short verbal altercation with his brother over five dollars
Joe claims he does not recall owing him.
Sam and Joe disagree about a debt.
Buck is not impressed with Blue's
|Once in town, Buck sets out to have a
"chin" with store keeper Wiley as the boys retire to the
"watering hole." Wiley has almost everything Buck needs,
including his dynamite, but no .44 cartridges. Two mountain men have just
bought him out. Buck is distressed because they badly need that ammunition and
he sets out to find the mountain men, starting with the nearest saloon. He
doesn't find them, but he does find Blue plinking away at a newly acquired
guitar, and Sam and Joe in the middle of a fist fight.
|He establishes that Blue has
not seen the mountain men, breaks up the brawl between the Butlers by
pointing out the girl they've been tussling over has long since left,
then reminds everyone that they will be leaving early the next morning.
On his way out of the saloon, though, he finds his two mountain men,
Bruger and Roark, getting ready to leave town. Unbeknownst to him,
they've seen the mule train already, assessing it's potential with
greedy eyes. Despite Buck's attempts at charm and negotiation, they refuse to sell him even one
box of cartridges.
Bruger and Roark see the Chaparral
supply train as an easy mark.
Lobo decides on a siesta to wait for
prey to come to his trap.
|The reason for Bruger and Roark's unfriendliness becomes clear after
they ride out of town. El Lobo is back, having broken out of the Yuma
prison, and they are running with his band. They convince El Lobo to
attack the Chaparral mule train, despite the risks he would run of
recapture, and against the protests of El Lobo's girlfriend, Pilar. The
unsuspecting men, says Bruger, are low on ammunition, and would be just
like shooting a covey of quail. But it is only when Lobo finds out that
Manolito is with them, who was responsible for putting him in that Yuma prison in the first
place, that he agrees to try.
The mule train will be coming through Renata
Pass for water. It is a location El Lobo does not like, and he is
determined to redirect them. But first, he will have a siesta, and then he
will show the others how a wolf thinks.
|The boys get a late start the
next morning after a night of carousing in the saloon and Mano is very
nearly left behind. Out on the trail, Blue is disturbing the peace with his guitar, despite
Buck's attempts to shut him up, and Buck and Sam are worried about the
condition of the stock, who are half dead from thirst. Buck steers them
toward Renata Pass for water, but when they get there they find the water
hole poisoned. They have no choice but to continue on further up into
the mountains to a spring Buck knows about, and right into El Lobo's
The boys have a hard time getting
going in the morning after a hard night in town.
|As the horses and pack
animals scatter, Buck moves the boys under cover in a box canyon. They
are safe for the moment, but "plugged in good," as Joe says.
Blue is fading with the heat and
|El Lobo has problems of his own. He sends a
few men up the gorge to worry his victims with rifle fire, then proposes
to let the sun and the lack of water do the rest. Roark and Bruger don't
trust the plan, however, and convince some of Lobo's men to join them in making a rush at
the Chaparral men. They are unsuccessful though, losing several men in
the attempt, and Lobo contemplates killing them for it until Pilar
intervenes and reminds him that soon he will have less men than the
|Back in the canyon, our boys are painfully low on bullets, and
suffering from the sun. And Mano has told them who it is they're up
against. When Buck confirms that the mountain men know about their
ammunition situation the outlook seems dire indeed. The Butlers
settle their differences in the face of impending death, and the others
just hunker down and hope for a miracle. Buck, however, is hatching a
sends Pedro to gather up some long sticks, and Blue to cut him a sapling.
And, after, breaking sticks with Manolito, he sends Mano to go retrieve
mule with the dynamite.
Buck works out the fuse timing on
the dynamite as he puts his plan together.
Pilar proves loyal to Lobo when she
kills the men who tried to double-cross him.
|In Lobo's camp, the atmosphere is also tense.
Pilar is growing frustrated with the inactivity, and when Lobo does not
listen to her, Bruger and Roark try to convince her to kill him, and let
them take over. Pilar is more loyal than that, however, and she kills the
mountain men instead. El Lobo knows it is time to act. Moreover,
Manolito's daring and successful attempt to retrieve the mule has
infuriated him. He orders the attack - and charges right into Buck's
ingenious defense: a war-bow strung with guitar strings and
dynamite-loaded arrows. The airborne assault proves successful,
destroying or scattering El Lobo's forces. It looks like total victory
for our brave and ecstatic Chaparral gang.
|All has not
quite ended, however. As the others congratulate Buck, Manolito finds El
Lobo wandering in the underbrush. Pilar pulls a rifle on him, but El Lobo,
fearing for his life, makes her put it down. Manolito, however, is feeling
guilty about sending his father's friend to jail the last time they had
met, and he agrees to let him go. Pilar, on the other hand, chooses to
stay with Manolito. He keeps her too, right up until the moment Buck and
Blue ride up with his horse, and then he leaves her there in the desert
while he rides off to join his friends and head for home.
A temporary standoff.
(Synopsis by Sheryl Clay)