The High Chaparral
For What We are About to Receive
Note: A comedy of errors episode with lots of screen time for the bunkhouse boys.
Victoria is determined to have a Thanksgiving feast on the High Chaparral with everyone on the ranch invited. The only trouble is, the only farm turkeys that are available are raised by Fergus MacLeish. But John isn't about to do business with MacLeish - the man is squatting on High Chaparral land and threatened to sue John for damages his cattle did to the squatter's crops.
No one wants to disappoint Victoria, and the thought of a turkey dinner instead of beef for a change puts the men on the quest for a bird. When Buck and Blue are in Tucson they find out there is a turkey shoot going on. Both Buck and Blue lose but Manolito steps up and saves the day. However, while Mano is saying his goodbyes to his lady friend, Perlita, her fiancÚ, Carlos, decides the best way to get revenge on the smooth talker Montoya is to ride off with the wagon, complete with caged turkey in the back.
Meanwhile, Joe, Reno and Pedro talk wistfully and loud enough for the boss to hear about the wonders of a turkey dinner. Though Big John is not amused he decides he'll extend the hand of friendship to MacLeish after all. Joe almost gets thrown from his horse when MacLeish and his sons greet them with rifle shots and a demand to throw down their guns. But John tells them he is unarmed and merely wants to buy their turkey. The Scotsman says he is happy to do so, as long as John will sign a claim saying the land is McLeish's. John's spirit of friendship is gone and he tells MacLeish he now has one week to get off the High Chaparral property.
On the way home the buckboard with Carlos at the helm is spotted and they take off after it. Carlos gets away, but the turkey in its crate falls off the back. The boys tackle the poor bird and are very pleased with themselves when Mr. MacLeish rides up with his sons, rifles pointed again. Their turkey has been stolen and they think this one is it. Joe tells him that no one is taking their turkey - he is about to make a threat when Buck, Mano and Blue ride up. In his usual jovial manner, Buck persuades the angry family to leave.
But the turkey seems to have disappeared from Pedro's arms. The entire crew combs the desert, making their best turkey calls. They finally have to give up. On the way home they come across a poor family in a wagon with three small children. They have the turkey! "It's a gift from God," one of the children tell them. And of course, Big John doesn't have the heart to tell them any different.
Pedro hasn't given up the search. He hears the musical gobbling sounds and once again, a bird is in his arms. But then there is another sound, and he looks up to see Apaches with arrows pointed at him. It is Chief Koso, who has made peace with John Cannon, and his small band of braves. Koso thinks the bird is sacred and belongs to him. His medicine man has told them that a sacrifice of this sacred bird will bring them plenty of game. Pedro offers to trade the turkey for his rifle, so the Chief can catch more birds, and the Apache agrees.
John is just about to tell Victoria how they almost had a turkey when Pedro rides in with the gobbling bird under his arm. Victoria prepares a banquet for everyone, laid out on long tables in front of the house. Before they can begin, Perlita rides up in the buckboard, wanting to return the stolen property. She is not happy with Manolito but cheers up at his invitation to join them for the feast.
Big John starts to say the Thanksgiving blessing. He is interrupted by Buck's friend Bart (who Mano beat out at the turkey shoot), the MacLeish clan (who have come to apologize - a neighbor saw Chief Koso steal his turkey. "You're a mean man, John Cannon, and I dinna care for you a bit but I'm sorry I called you a thief. There - I said it." ), and Chief Koso and his men - who shoot an arrow into the roasted turkey. It seems that Pedro gave him a rifle that doesn't work. They are all invited to sit at the table. "It's just like the first Thanksgiving," says Victoria. John finishes giving thanks and asks the Lord for a blessing on everyone at the table.