EL ZORRO AND SENORITA DE ROJAS
As he expected, the Commandante saw Señorita de Rojas
was offended but to her credit she controlled her temper. The elegant
highborn lady‘s nose wrinkled as if she had sensed a vile odor. Selena
slowly rose from her seat and boldly walked around his desk. Glorioso
sprang to his feet, unsure what she would do or say now as she halted
inches from his chest. The officer instinctively reached for his sword as
he looked down into her now indecipherable gray eyes.
"Thank you very much for your time Capitán
Glorioso. I regret to say that I do not agree with your views,” the señorita
continued sardonically, “Buenos tardes."
As he observed her depart the Cuartel from his office
window, Glorioso thought to himself that Selena de Rojas certainly bore
watching. Señorita, I hope for your sake that you leave me
alone to govern the Pueblo de Los Ángeles. I shall not tolerate
interference from anyone, especially a woman.
Don Diego slammed his fist repeatedly against his saddle
horn as he rode his palomino into the de la Vega stable. The servants knew
something was drastically wrong because their young master usually had a
kind word for each of them and a wink whenever he returned from the
pueblo. Today he studiously avoided their welcomes as he rushed from the
stable into the hacienda and climbed the stairs like a mountain
cougar on the prowl for its next meal.
SANTA MARIA! Glorioso had discovered yet another scheme to
separate the good people of Los Angeles from their hard-earned money!
Zorro can not defeat this warped adversary alone, this time. I must
somehow convince the dons to band together and help the peons and
tradesmen pay these new levies while they send a representative to
petition the Gobernador
to depose this mad Commandante! Ai, now I am thinking clearly. I shall
ride through the de la Vega estate and offer pesos to those who are unable
to pay the new taxes! And I know that my father and Don Alfredo will see
the wisdom of this plan, but
Bernardo entered the secret room as Diego began his
ritual metamorphosis into the Masked Avenger. He started to tell
his young friend that Crescencia had been in the Pueblo earlier today and
spoken with Señorita de Rojas.
“Selena was in Los Angeles today?” Diego inquired
Sí. The mute sliced the air with his animated arm movements. Surely
you must have seen her?
His master replied, “I honestly did not see the señorita
today in the pueblo, Bernardo,” as Diego focused on donning on his black
Señorita de Rojas told Cresencia that she spoke to you but
that you were so upset over the Commandante’s new edict that you did not
even see her. His mozo continued.
Diego pulled the mask over his face to complete his
disguise as El Zorro as he reached the bottom of the stairwell that led to
the cave. “Si, I was so mad that I wanted to storm into Capitán
Glorioso’s office and force him to eat the parchment that his Aviso
was printed on! But,” Zorro noted just before he mounted Tornado, “you
have something else to tell me, eh?”
Bernardo pursed his lips. “I overheard Crescencia
informing the cook, Señora Guaderas, that Señorita de Rojas went to
plead with the Commandante to try to get him to change his mind regarding
his new taxes.”
The Fox was astonished. “What a foolish thing to do by
confronting him in his office!” Then he remembered the night that he had
earlier seen Maria Suarez’s body being buried in Señorita Selena’s
garden. “Bernardo, I shall definitely pay a visit to her hacienda
this evening. I now realize I should have done so earlier since the señorita
is now actively involved in defying the Commandante. El Zorro must do
everything in his power to protect her.”
His mozo grasped Tornado’s reins. Do you not
believe that she can take care of herself? Bernardo raised his
“We know Glorioso has already committed two murders,
and both victims were women. I need to remind her that Glorioso is a most
ruthless man,” Zorro replied over his shoulder as he lightly prodded his
mount. “ Into the night, Tornado!”
Bernardo’s information that Señorita de Rojas had
actually challenged Capitán Glorioso regarding his arbitrary and sadistic
treatment of the citizens of Los Angeles piqued his curiosity. Why would
the fabulously rich Señorita take such a bold risk in questioning the
Commandante’s policies? It would be far easier to, like the other
“idle wealthy” persons of her class, sit back and
allow him to plunder the countryside. Perhaps beneath
the layers of lace and silk petticoats there beat a heart of true
compassion for those less fortunate than she. Zorro permitted Tornado to
run as fast as the stallion wished. After a few minutes of hard riding, he
reined his horse to a halt as they came into a clearing. There, at the
summit of a small hill overlooking the Camino Real path to the San Gabriel
Mission, lay the de Rojas hacienda. By contrast with his father’s
own tasteful manor, Don Martino’s home resembled a lavish and exotic
Moorish castle. The four corners of the main house were comprised of
miniature minarets, reminding Zorro of the Andalusian architecture in
“Come, Tornado, you remember the location of the señorita’s’
bedchamber do you not? Sí? Bueno, let us see if she has not yet retired
for the evening.”
Tornado obediently strode through the gardens beneath
her balcony. “Wait here, my friend.” The Fox quickly used his whip to
make his way up to her second story window and then slowly parted the
sheer curtains draping the opening and peered inside. Her bed was turned
down but empty. Zorro gracefully lifted himself onto the windowsill and
Minutes later the señorita entered the room and the Fox
could not help but stare at her. Selena was a tantalizing vision in rose
colored silk. She turned her back to him as she removed her robe and then
walked toward the window to close the drapes. Zorro inhaled slowly. Dios,
but she is beautiful. Although the bodice of her nightgown was exquisitely
decorated with lace from her shoulders to the base of her throat, it was
cut daringly low, revealing almost all of her creamy bosom. The rest of
the material clung provocatively to her curvaceous form. O Blessed Virgin,
forgive me for what I am thinking!
“Señorita de Rojas, before you come any closer I
should warn you that you are not alone!” Zorro’s strong timbre of his
voice filled the silence of Selena’s boudoir.
“W-what? Who is there?” Her eyes strained to see the
origin of that obviously masculine voice but all she could discern was a
black clad shape adorning her windowsill.
“You need not fear me. It is I, El Zorro,” he
whispered his identity to gauge her reaction. My God, she is coming
closer toward me dressed only in that tantalizing gown...
“Señor Fox, to what do I owe the honor of your personal
attention?“ she inquired with a trace of amusement.
His eyes continued to rove over her body as she finally
halted just inches from his perch. Selena was close enough so that he
could easily pull her into his arms and then ... Zorro abruptly cleared
“You had a conversation with the Commandante earlier
today,” he finally managed to say after shrugging inwardly to clear his
senses, “may I inquire as to the subject matter of your little tête-à-tête?”
She chuckled, “you may, señor. I upbraided our
‘beloved’ Capitán Glorioso for his greed and callousness regarding
the citizens of Los Angeles.”
“Dangerous words, Señorita. Might I suggest that you
... ” Zorro began saying.
“The Commandante said the exact same thing that you
are about say, and my answer to you both is this: the welfare of our
people is my business!” She threw back her head, challenging him to
argue with her.
Zorro swallowed deeply, marveling at her courage.
A remarkable woman, every inch a lady. He mused to himself.
“Nevertheless, I must warn you again to tread lightly. The Commandante
would not hesitate to arrest you,” the Fox replied, his voice dropping
his voice to the barest of whispers.
As Selena stepped even closer to where the Fox was
standing, her gray eyes became charmingly animated with blazing defiance.
She stood there with all her heart willing him to kiss her. What am I
doing? It is Diego de la Vega whom I love...but El Zorro is here now. Selena
closed her eyes eagerly wondering what he would do next.
He drew her to him. At that moment, he realized how much
her presence excited him. Careful ... I must move slowly. Zorro
placed his gloved left hand against her cheek, lightly caressing her face.
Selena responded to his sensuous touch immediately. The señorita relaxed
against his shoulder and he found himself wanting to
make love to her now, social conventions be damned. Dios! Selena de Rojas
inflamed the very center of his being and she desires me as much as I
desire her, hHe reflected quietly. Zorro whispered ‘querida’
and gently held her chin up so that he could kiss her. When his lips
possessed her mouth, Selena shivered, which stoked his passion. He
maneuvered her towards her bed and placed her on it. For several long
minutes he continued to stare at her face and deliciously soft neck.
“Oh, your pardon ... but ... Señor Zorro ... I have
never done anything like this before,” she replied softly.
But Zorro, being the gentleman that he was, could not
dishonor her like this. “Selena, Selena.” he repeated her name over
and over. He forced himself to break physical contact as he tenderly drew
up the satin coverlet over her.
“Will I see you again, El Zorro?” she whispered.
“Señorita, you know that I am a wanted outlaw with a
price on my head-”
‘No, El Zorro, you are quite mistaken. There is only
one criminal here in Los Angeles -- Capitán Glorioso,” the señorita
He dipped his head in a small salute. “We are in
complete agreement, señorita. Will you promise me to refrain from
antagonizing the Commandante any further?”
Selena de Rojas snorted, “you can not vanquish
Glorioso alone. Permit me to help in some small way!”
The Fox stood before her with his hands on his hips. Well,
señor, she is stubborn, far more stubborn than Señorita Cabrillo ever
was. Dios, mi, that señorita was a child and Señorita de Rojas is not!
She is a beautiful, sensuous woman. Strong-minded women such as this
lovely señorita are impossible to reason with, but at least admit to
yourself you are attracted to this type of woman. he sighed aloud.
“I shall consider your offer, señorita. Buenos noches
and thank you for a most ... stimulating evening. Sleep well.” El Zorro
kissed the back of her right hand and disappeared into the night the way
END OF CHAPTER THIRTEEN