The High Chaparral

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Second Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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John McGiver as Ebenezer Binns

Mano and Buck, partners guarding Eben

Willard Sage as Hank Pogue

2.37 Ebenezer                             Mano, Buck, Pedro
Crusading editor Ebenezer Binns risks his life against extortionists and killers.
Written by James L. Henderson       Directed by Harry Harris

Story Line: John Cannon persuades Binns to establish Tucson's first newspaper in hope of running the lawless element out of town. A plot by Hank Pogue, the town boss, to kill the fearless editor fails twice. When Binns starts to print his first edition exposing Pogue's operation, Manolito and Pedro barricade themselves in the newspaper office to protect Binns from Pogue's determined gunmen.

Guest Stars:
John McGiver
as Ebenezer Binns

Willard Sage
as Hank Pogue

Tom Reese
as Judson, the gunman
Helen Kleeb
as Mrs. Mulroy

George Ostos
as young Juanito

Alex Montoya
as Miguel Morales
Leonard Stone
as Stoop
, the Bartender

Robert Luster
as Camel

Character Highlights: A pretty even-handed episode with good portrayals from all the main characters and the bunk house boys. Excellent interaction between Mano and Buck who are neither one happy with their job of protecting Eben. At one point Mano responds off-handedly to Buck’s inquiry about a recent gunshot victim, "He tried to ambush Eben. I had to shoot him." The episode includes an unusual night time scene inside the bunkhouse when Sam is rousting everyone out of their bunks to ride to Tucson.  One of the best parts of the episode is the night time street fight. When Buck and the boys ride up to help Mano and Pedro, Mano says to Buck, "Never have I been so happy to see your ugly Gringo face. How did you come – by turtle?" Unfortunately, this exchange has been edited out of recent airings.  The fight scene includes Mano using a whip and demonstrating his fencing skills with a stick. Pedro plays an involved role throughout this episode.


Complete Episode Synopsis
John Cannon has arranged to bring a crusading newspaper publisher, Ebenezer Binns, to Tucson to help expose the corruption that is hurting the town. But before Binns even gets to his rendezvous with Buck, Manolito and Blue, who are supposed to lead him to the High Chaparral, he is waylaid by a band of comancheros, led by Miguel Morales, who drive off his pack animals and threaten to kill him. Buck and the boys arrive just in time to save him, but Binns has little concern for his own life. Much to Buck's dismay, he sends them all riding after his pack animals - his printing press is on them, without which he is helpless.

Mano, Buck, and Blue searching for Eben.

Once arrived at Chaparral, the full extent of Binns' task is revealed. Town boss, Hank Pogue, is ruining Tucson, in John's opinion, and he wants Binns to expose him and drive him out. John hopes that the Southern Pacific Railroad will someday come through Tucson, but knows the town needs to be cleaned up for that to happen.

Victoria offers Eben the key to the
printing office in Tucson.

Binns has taken up similar crusades in Kansas and Missouri, and jumps at the job. In fact, Binns believes that word of his arrival has already reached Tucson, and that the attack on him in the desert was perpetrated by somebody who knew him from one of his former crusades. In gratitude for his promise, John and Victoria present him with the keys to an office they have rented for him, and his new newspaper, The Tucson Citizen.

(See Historical Note below.)

In Tucson, at Pogue's saloon, a drifter named Judson demands to see the town boss. Pogue knows him by reputation - Judson has recently been involved in a stage robbery in California.  Pogue agrees to protect him from the law in exchange for half of Judson's take in the robbery. Seeing little choice, Judson agrees. As the two men parlay, the Chaparral men ride into town with Binns and his printing press. Pogue is not pleased, he's had trouble with Binns before. After sending a henchmen to find the comancheros who attacked Binns earlier - under Pogue's orders - he tells Judson he has a job for him: Pogue wants Binns dead. Again, Judson is not happy, but he seems to have no choice in the matter.

Pogue and Judson plot about getting
rid of Ebenezer Binns.

John instructs the crew to stay in
Tucson to guard Eben.

Back at the Citizen office, Pedro, Buck, Manolito and a little boy named Juanito whom Binns has hired to do odd jobs are trying to put the press together, while Ebenezer - Eben to his friends - plans his attack. The first edition of the Tucson Citizen will include a front page letter to the Territorial governor exposing the corruption in the town. Worried about Eben's safety, John insists on leaving Buck, Manolito and Pedro behind to guard him, though he, himself must get back to the Chaparral. On his way, he is waylaid by Frank Pogue, who tries to make a deal with him.
But John wants no part of it, he's not afraid of Pogue, he just wants him out of town. His attitude infuriates Pogue, and now John is on the town boss's hit list, too.
Buck and Manolito begrudgingly share bodyguard duties for Binns, while the man sets up shop and hunts down his first stories. While Manolito is on the look out, Eben is ambushed by Judson. The newspaper man is intent on cruising the streets in search of public opinion and Manolito is unable to discourage him. While he is out on the street, Judson takes a shot at him, but Manolito is able to thwart the attempt, wounding Judson in the process. Since Manolito has seen Judson in Pogue's saloon and knows he is working for Pogue, Binns insists on confronting Pogue personally, to the dismay of his bodyguard.

Mano wounds Judson in response to
his ambush attempt on Eben.

Eben works into the night at Mano dozes.

Once he sees him face to face, though, Binns recognizes Pogue as an old nemesis, Joe Fox, a wanted bank robber he once drove out of Kansas. Though Pogue/Fox denies the charges, Binns is determined to expose the man, and Buck and Manolito know they are going to have their hands full. Realizing they will need help, Buck rides back to the Chaparral, leaving Manolito and Pedro to protect Eben. While Binns races to complete his first edition, Pogue rallies his forces to destroy the newspaper office and Ebenezer Binns.
Pedro, having staked out the saloon, gets word back just in time. Since Manolito can't get Binns to leave safely, he knows they have no choice but to try to defend him in his office. Buck arrives with John and the bunk house boys just in the nick of time. Manolito has managed to buy them a few minutes, pinning Pogue's rowdies with his bull whip, and then the Chaparral gang fall to, chewing up the scenery and Frank Pogue's men.
Even Juanito's dog gets into the act, taking out his fair share of bad guys and John Cannon fights his way into Eben's office. For a while it looks like the Chaparral gang is winning, until somebody lofts a torch into the newspaper office. While John struggles to put out the blaze, the comanchero, Miguel, sneaks into the office through the back door and grabs Eben. The intrepid crusader is not without defenses, though, and he blinds his assailant with a bottle of printers ink.

Pedro and Mano try to hold off the mob until Buck gets back with the Chaparral gang.

Eben admires the sign outside his office.

The fight goes on, and so does the printing press in furious counterpoint as Eben finishes his morning edition, and the Chaparral crew win the day. As Eben puts his paper to bed, they all head off to the closest saloon for a victory celebration.  The next morning the new Tucson Citizen is on the street, and Hank Pogue/Joe Fox is finally off it, arrested by the army in response to Ebenezer Binn's lead article. Buck and Manolito retire to the saloon for a beer, and a nice long read of the morning paper, feeling satisfied with the outcome of their adventures, and very pleased with themselves.

(Synopsis by Sheryl Clay)

Historical Note

The oldest continually published newspaper in Arizona, The Tucson Citizen was founded in 1870 by John Wasson and Richard McCormick. McCormick provided the financing for the paper in order to publicize his campaign for Congress as a Representative from the Arizona Territory. Started as a weekly publication called The Arizona Citizen, it became a daily in 1879.  The name was changed to The Tucson Citizen just after the turn of the century.  It continues to be published under that name today.  The Southern Pacific Railroad came to Tucson in 1880.

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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