A rifle shot rings out across the desert, a voice yells “Rider coming in!”. The location – somewhere in the Arizona Territory, the time – sometime in the 1870s. Pedro, as vigilant as ever in the guard tower, warns the occupants of The High Chaparral of a possible threat to their safety.
This was a work of 1960s television fiction, of course. The tale of a rancher who, in this lawless west, takes a stand against any and all who would destroy his vision of the future. Having lost his first wife to an Apache arrow shortly after moving to their new home, he steels himself for the task ahead when many would give up.
With Apache raids from the north and Mexican cattle rustlers from the south, vigilance is the keyword in the survival of his family and loyal ranch hands. As a side note, I always felt sorry for Pedro. Maybe he was unlucky in drawing straws for guard tower duty.
Fast forward about 140 years to modern day Arizona. No longer a ‘territory’ but a fully-fledged state, with laws and agencies in place to protect the citizens against incursion by hostile forces. There is only one problem…
Big John Cannon would have welcomed the creation of the Border Patrol. So would Pedro, not having to spend so many hours up in that tower under the blazing sun. I don’t think they would be so impressed by a federal government that takes the teeth away from an agency designed to protect them. Or the fact that those gunless wonders in Washington are willing to sue their elected state officials for attempting to help them. read more »