The High Chaparral
To Stand For Something More
Notes: Lots of screen time for Joe, though he is not on his best behavior.
Blue is left in charge of the High Chaparral for the first time. Joe and Pedro are not particularly impressed - they just want some help. But Blue has more important tasks to do. "He cannot be expected to do peon's labor," says Pedro, with pointed sarcasm. Blue is not amused. As he rides off, Joe and Pedro wish that they could be in charge someday, when there is nothing to do but ride the range.
Blue confesses to Victoria that the two men aren't taking him seriously. She explains that the men who work for him need to know that he is willing to work as hard as they do, even if it's just for a short time. They need to know that he thinks their job is important enough to do himself. Blue thinks they should know this since they are his friends, but Victoria says that men don't, not when one is raised to a position of authority.
Meanwhile, Mexican bandits Miguel and Raul find out that the beautiful stallion of Don Sebastian Montoya is now residing on the High Chaparral. And with almost everyone gone from the ranch, it's the perfect time to steal the horse.
Blue finds Joe and Pedro trying to pull a steer stuck fast out of a mud hole. Taking Victoria's advice, Blue stops to help. Pedro can't help noticing that the new boss is staying clean on his horse, unlike "a common cowpoke" pushing the cow in the mud, and Blue can't resist the bait. They make it "look good", and a hard tug pulls Blue face down in the muddy water. He comes up spluttering that they're going to dig holes and plant fence posts "until the moon comes up." Pedro remarks that Blue even sounds like Big John.
"I never thought old Blue couldn't take no joke," says Joe bitterly, as they stop to rest from their hard labors. But Blue has cleaned up and cooled off and he gives the men the rest of the day off. They don't need to be asked twice, and take off for Tucson. Miguel and Raul see them leave. Now there is nothing to stop them from taking the stallion.
When its late and the men haven't returned, Blue decides to go after them, even though it means leaving Victoria alone on the ranch. The minute he rides out the bandits ride in.
Of course Blue finds Joe, Pedro and Felipe in the saloon, where they have obviously been partaking in liquid refreshment. Blue pulls them to their feet but another cowpoke, enjoying the fun, tells him to leave them alone. "You don't speak to our boss that way," Joe tells him. The others laugh loudly at the idea. Joe decides to respond with his fist.
John, Buck, Mano and the rest of the ranch hands return to the High Chaparral to discover it deserted and the stallion gone. Buck turns right around and goes to Tucson. Here he finds the boys are all in jail, where they would rather stay than face the wrath of Big John Cannon. Buck tells them that John is bound to cool off in five or ten years.
In front of the rest of the family, John berates Blue and orders him from his sight. Blue decides the only way he can win back his father's trust is to get the stallion back on his own. Manolito, who know where the bandidos like to hide, and Buck pave the way for Blue to earn back his pride on his own by sneaking into their camp first. Blue stands his ground even when he is facing at least ten gang members with guns drawn. He bluffs, and tells them they are surrounded. Buck, Mano, and John come up behind them with their weapons ready and Blue watches in wonder as all the bandidos drop their guns. The stallion is saved. Manolito escorts the bandidos to their fate. Blue apologizes to his father. John tells him he is proud of the feelings Blue has inside that made him want to save the horse. He gives Blue the stallion to take back to the ranch, telling him that he has earned the half of the horse that is now is.