The High Chaparral

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Second Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Victoria talking John into letting
the children stay.

Choddi and three cohorts

Choddi signaling other children

2.35 Ten Little Indians               All
When John Cannon feeds hungry Apache children orphaned by Pima Indian attacks, his ranch is threatened by the two tribes.
Written by Warren Douglas       Directed by William F. Claxton

Story Line: Buck and Billy Blue find the young Apaches in the desert including Choddi, grandson of Geronimo. Geronimo and his braves come for the children, but the young Apaches mistake them for Pimas and hide in the desert. The Apaches threaten revenge if they are not returned, while Pimas wait nearby endangering the children.

Guest Stars:

Armando Isfas
 as Choddi

John Hernandez
as Apache Boy #1

Adelaine Johnson
as Apache Girl

Character Highlights: A light-hearted episode which includes active involvement from all the main characters, the bunk house boys, and Violeta. Blue and Buck partner well in the opener, both being a pretty soft touch for the orphaned children. It is Blue who comes up with the solution for getting the kids to eat. While initially demonstrating his usual stern character, John also demonstrates his soft side when the children mistake him for an apostle. Includes a nice scene with Reno singing them a lullaby, but unfortunately, that whole night time scene, including Choddi's signaling, has been cut in recent airings.  Good episode overall, although the ending is a little bit corny.  We see Armando Islas, who plays Choddi here, again at the end of the season as Carlos in "For the Love of Carlos".


Complete Episode Synopsis
While hunting strays, Buck and Blue come upon two orphaned Apache boys whose parents have been killed by Pima marauders. Attempts to assist them are only partially successful, but when Buck and Blue head for home, the boys follow. On their way back to Chaparral, though, the party is attacked by a band of four Pima Indians. Buck and Blue drive them off, only to find that the Apache boys have also disappeared. Not for long, though, it seems, for the next time Buck turns around, they're back, only this time there are four little Indians on that paint pony.

Buck and Blue debate what to do
with their followers.

The crew is amused at John being
mistaken for an apostle.

Back at the Chaparral, Big John is less than thrilled. Though he sympathizes, sort of, he also knows the danger of harboring the orphans - especially when he finds out it was the Pima after them. Victoria prevails upon him, though, and he agrees to let the children stay a little while so that she can feed them. At this, the children bless themselves, and Vaquero learns that they have mistaken John for John the Apostle, whom they believe the holiest, and the succor of little children. John's family and the Chaparral hands find this frankly hilarious; John finds it less so.

At Mano's urging, Vaquero asks for
more information from Choddi.

Once he leaves, though, it is Manolito who determines what is really going on. Asking Vaquero to interpret, he asks first how many Pima were in the raiding party and then why it was that four full grown Pima were chasing two small Apache across the desert.

Mano knows they have a sack of hot potatoes on their hands.

It is then that the truth comes out - Choddi is the grandson of Geronimo - and Manolito suggests that they have themselves one sack of hot potatoes! No one is ready to tell Big John, yet, however. The hands all set out to make the boys presentable, starting with baths.

Victoria discovers the second little girl hiding in the summer kitchen.

While they're at it, Victoria sets out to do something with their clothes. As she's at it, she and Violeta find two more little Apache hiding in the summer kitchen, two little girls, bringing the total, now, to six. Then Big John comes onto the scene, demanding to know what is going on, and if anyone has discovered anything about the children. When Vaquero admits that Choddi is Geronimo's grandson, he blows his stack and is about ready to demand that the children all be returned to the desert, but Victoria sends the littlest Apache girl to him, and Big John, who is really a big soft heart, relents.
The children are all fed, clothed and put to bed, with Reno singing the lullaby, but after the ranch hands have all retired, Choddi uses the lamp to send a signal out into the desert. John stops him, and when he won't admit what he was doing, tells Manolito to watch him. The rest of the night is quiet, but the next morning there are two more Apache boys asleep with the others. John is disgruntled at running an Apache orphanage, and even more concerned that the Pima might have seen the signal too. He sets Buck and the men to setting up the barricades, but as they do, Pedro sees two more wanderers just beyond the perimeter fence - two more Apache girls one of them a mere baby.

The children wait for John's blessing.

Choddi's grandfather, Geronimo, suspects
a trap at the High Chaparral.

John can hardly turn them away. Needing to return his ten little Indians to their rightful kin, however, he takes the men and goes looking for Geronimo - who has been watching the Chaparral, and wants to know how much ransom John wants for his grandson. Suspecting a trap, he does not believe John when the latter tells him there is no ransom, and John invites him to come see for himself that the children are safe. A nice idea, except that the children themselves have panicked and gone into hiding. Geronimo gives John until sunset to find them, or he will attack the ranch.
The sun is nearly set when Blue finds the lot hiding under a bush. They herd them back into the compound and prepare for Geronimo's arrival. John tries to explain to them why he must send them back - that he is not an apostle, just a man trying to do the right thing for all of them. Choddi answers, in English to everyone's astonishment, that he knows John is not a holy man, but that he is a good man, and that Choddi, too, is just trying to take care of his responsibilities, the orphaned children who have trusted themselves to him. Moved, John praises Choddi and tells him he will be a great chief someday, perhaps one who can help them all live together in peace.

Choddi finally reveals that he speaks
English after all.

Geronimo's men ride in the back gate to rescue the High Chaparral from the Pima.

While they talk, Vaquero signals that Geronimo is approaching, and Buck and Blue ride out to meet him. They come back in a hurry, though, chased not by Geronimo, but the Pima. John rushes the men to the barricades and the children, except for Choddi, into the house. The battle looks like it is not going well for the Chaparral, and then Geronimo arrives to lend a hand, let in through the back gate by his grandson. Geronimo and his braves chase the Pima away.
The Apache return, and as the men settle the children with them, John says good-bye to Choddi. He also tells the boy to tell his grandfather that it's been nice having him on their side. Geronimo tells them that tomorrow is another day, but John is still pleased enough at the outcomes to offer a dozen head of cattle for the families who take in the children. Choddi manfully refuses, telling John that the Apache will take care of their own. Everyone says goodbye, and the ten little Indians and their new families ride away.

Blue and Buck say goodbye to the children.

(Synopsis by Sheryl Clay)


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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