The High Chaparral

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Third Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Gregory Walcott as Sgt. Winslow

John encouraging Buck to take the scouting
 job if he wants it

Buck acting as scout for Army detachment

3.61  Auld Lang Syne                Buck
Buck becomes involved in gold robbery by helping an old Army buddy.
Written by Walter Black          Directed by Herschel Daugherty

Story Line:  A happy reunion between Buck Cannon and Army Sgt. Travis Winslow leads to Buck's hiring as a scout for Winslow and his detachment of men, who are escorting a military gold shipment through Apache country. En route, Buck learns that the Indians are not the only threat.

Guest Stars: 

Gregory Walcott 
as Capt. Winslow

Jonathan Lippe 
as Harry Lark

Tony Epper (right)
as Hanley

Character Highlights:  John gives Buck an important gift by relieving him of his ranch duties so that he can pursue a temporary scouting assignment with an old friend from the Confederacy.  As their scout, Buck is definitely in charge and in his element.  He is truly crestfallen when his old captain takes him hostage and asks him to join them in their illegal pursuits.  Unlike "Filibusteros" where Buck's allegiances from the war nearly seduced him into corruption, here his integrity never falters.  After he is released into the desert he demonstrates his considerable survival skills and his determination to set things right where the thieves are concerned.  Luckily he did not take Rebel on this trip because he is left without a horse until he takes up with an Indian pony.  His calm, affectionate interaction with the pony as he plots his next moves are excellent to watch.  Back at the ranch, the scenes where John tries to explain to Blue the nature of war-time allegiances seem a bit contrived but there are several good scenes here of Mano and Victoria arguing.  

Complete Episode Synopsis:  In Tucson, Buck runs into his former Captain Winslow from the Civil War, only the man is now wearing the stripes of a sergeant and the uniform of the Union Army. Winslow is in town with Lark, Haney, and one other soldier, and they are looking for a scout to guide them through Apache territory to Yuma. Sergeant Winslow offers the job to "ex-Corporal Buck Cannon." It is obvious that Buck is sorely tempted, and he does have a great liking and respect for his former captain, but it is just as obvious that he considers his job to be with his brother on the High Chaparral. When his former captain urges him to take the job "for auld lang syne," Buck leaves town deep in thought.

Back at the ranch, everyone notices how quiet Buck has become. At Victoria's urging, John talks to his brother and discovers that Buck would like the opportunity to reminisce, only Buck considers himself responsible to the ranch. John urges Buck to go ahead and scout for his friend, not so much because the Army needs a good scout, but because Buck needs the opportunity to relive some of his special memories.

On the way to Yuma, Buck learns that the Army wagon is full of $50,000 meant for the Army paymaster. He also learns that his former captain has never been in Apache country. Buck tells the other man that ‘when things are at their peacefulest, you gotta watch out the most.' Sure enough, they run into an Apache hunting party, whom they manage to back down with their combined show of Army might.

Back at the ranch, Blue is having difficulty understanding why Buck is trying to relive war memories. John and Mano both try to explain that it is not the war that Buck is remembering, it is the bonding experience that came with it. Blue continues to mull it over. Finally, he equates it to the bond he and Sam have had since being captured by the Apaches and held prisoner for three days, expecting to die at any moment. He admits that he now has a special feeling for Sam, and he begins to understand the bond that Buck has for his former captain.

On the road to Yuma, Buck learns that his former friend has no intention of taking the gold shipment to Yuma. Instead, Winslow plans on crossing into Mexico. When camp is made that evening, Buck is asked to join in the piracy. To give him enough time to think it over, he is tied up for the night. He is also told by Winslow that there are only two reasons for a man to live: defending what's his, and defending something he wants to be his. During the night, Buck is released by Winslow, again for "auld lang syne," but he is given no horse, no gun, and no canteen to face the dangers of the desert. On the trek to nowhere, Buck is attacked by two Apaches. He manages to overthrow them and acquire one horse and a broken lance. Using various parts of the bridle, along with a sizable chunk of the horse's tail, he manufactures a whip. All during this time, he talks to the horse as if the horse were a pet, calling it endearing names like "little pony." After taking a little time to practice with the whip, he goes in search of the Army bandits.

Buck spies Lark buying supplies in a sleepy little village on the border. He follows Lark far enough from town before confronting the soldier in order that Lark will have a two day walk back to civilization. Instead of making the man go it without water, however, Buck gives Lark a canteen. Buck then sets off after the others. What has to be ad-lib occurs at this point when he says, "Let's go soldier horse; come on little pony." He eventually overtakes Winslow, who has killed the other two men, and brings Winslow to justice before the federal court in Yuma.  (Synopsis by Sandy Sturdivant)

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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