Both the High Chaparral and Montoya's hacienda are threatened by a man who wants revenge for having his hacienda sold by the government to Montoya. Adding to the problem, he was the childhood sweetheart of Victoria, who he wants back.
Against the advice of the others Buck goes to the town of Spokes for the Fourth of July. Instead of celebrating he saves an old hide hunter from the father of the man he killed, who he caught cheating at cards, and from the townspeople.
Manolito returns to the High Chaparral with Montoya's stallion after paying a breeding fee for Big John. On the way back the stallion and his money are stolen. His father persuades Manolito he should make an effort to recover the horse.
Big John proposes the ranchers work together to drive their own herds to Wichita instead of Texas to increase their profit. However, it appears the Apaches may be causing problems with a young brave Big John released helping them.
Victoria along with Sam and Pedro come under attack by Apaches along with a baby and his grandfather. They are fifty miles from the ranch with the Apaches staying on their trail with horses that are wore out and no food for the baby.
Tulsa Red arrives at the ranch asking Big John for $5000. When he refuses, Tulsa threatens to kill Buck the next time he comes to Tucson. Big John decides to pay but when Buck learns about it, he retrieves the money in spite of the threat.
When Big John decides to sell supplies to Maximillian revolutionaries in Mexico, he creates a lot of animosity. The community, the hands, Buck, Manolito and even his wife Victoria fight him. Sam and Wind, however, stick with him.
On a trip to sell cattle Manolito recovers the money stolen from a stage, but is charged with stealing it himself. After a friend has him released from jail, he is framed for the murder of the town founder and in deeper trouble with the law.
Two young Apaches clash over what the tribe should do as their Chief dies. One wants to kill the white men while the other who has been chosen as the new Chief wants peace with the whites. Big John has to decide if he can trust the offer.
On the way to a wild time at Fiesta in Mexico, Buck runs into the sport of boy fighting in a cantina. He rescues the losing boy from the fight and his owner but finds the boy and himself in danger from the men he took the boy from.
Dan Casement returns on the hunt for three men who burned his ranch and killed his grandson. He rescues Buck and then returns to the High Chaparral to return a crucifix Victoria had given to his grandson Joey while Sam decides to help him.
A young white man held as a slave by the Apache is chased by them to the ranch house where the Cannons protect him. However, Wind and the hands don't trust him although he says he hates the Apache so they accept him with reservations.
After finding his wanted poster, Buck tells Victoria and Manolito about his life after the war as a wanted man. Big John was a lawman who tracked him down helping him against his Civil War pals who held up a bank for which Buck was wanted.
After the death of Don Sebastion, his ranch is willed to his brother whose only concern is gambling, women, drinking, and a good time. Manolito who didn't want it must convince his uncle to save the ranch and to work with Big John as well.
Big John recalls all the hands to the ranch as Buck finds a wounded Apache who attacks him. The Apache is taken back to the ranch which prepares for an attack. Three troopers arrive who inform them the Apache is Sangre who is their Chief.
Victoria and Wind go to the Tucson bank as the Army deposits a money shipment. After the Army leaves, a trio of bank robbers enters. In the mêlée the only man with the combination is knifed. The six hostages have an unsure fate if he dies.
Big John and Red Eagle trade brothers while Big John is allowed to round up horses on Apache land. Red Eagle's brother White Horse is a despised white man but when his Apache wife Tanea is sick, he comes for a white doctor to save her.