ZORRO VERSUS GLORIOSO
Garcia kept pulling at his uniform collar during Glorioso’s verbal
exchange with El Zorro. There was no hot sun baking the Pueblo’s dirt
streets on this November day, since the morning’s winds had been
blowing in from the colder regions in the northwest. No, his unease was
caused by Señora’ de la Vega’s bruised face and her gaunt look. And
the sergeant had her moan several times after that loco weasel
Corporal Peldar had roughly dragged Don Diego’s wife from the
Commandante’s office and thrown her against the whipping post.
Garcia had already decided what he and the majority of the soldiers
would do about Capitán Glorioso. Although he and Corporal Reyes had
originally wanted to wait until Judge Vasca’s arrival, the shock of
seeing the beautiful and kind Señora de la Vega so blatantly mistreated
pierced his tender heart. Again, he felt quite ashamed that he had
permitted his best friend’s wife to be so abused. By The Three
Marias, we lancers will stop this madness today!
nodded silently in Corporal Reyes’ direction. Reyes did his best to
nonchalantly make his way to where the sergeant was standing behind the
whipping post. Dios must be with us, Garcia thought as he rolled
his eyes heavenward. The corporal as usual dragged his feet as he
walked, and his boots kicked up enough dust to choke the entire Cuartel
and made sufficient noise to wake the dead. Fortunately, the Commandante
only had eyes and ears for El Zorro.
how many of the lancers are with us?” the sergeant whispered to his
shrugged. “I do not know what you mean--” he halted in mid-sentence
at Garcia’s stern look. “Oh, sí, that ‘with us’ plan!
Uh, I think Ramirez, Gonzalez, Lugo, Ortega, Fuentes, Ramon, Tenares,
Pasquale, Los Cruces, Diaz, plus you and me.”
..... everyone knows what to do?” Garcia asked nervously, fervently
hoping Reyes would not ruin their mutiny.
Reyes whispered, “Sí. We are doing this for the Señora de le Vega. I
would kill myself if she dies!”
you would not need to worry about, corporal. In that case I would kill
you myself! Now go and see that everyone is in position!”
Sergeant Garcia.” Yet Reyes remained where he was.
reached over and slapped the corporal on his rear end with the flat of
his saber. “Baboso! Now!” Dios, mi! Please allow Reyes’
brain to work normally at least until Zorro rescues the Señora de la
Glorioso glanced somewhat impatiently at his vest pocket watch while
waiting for Zorro to consider his demands as he paced back and forth
just inside the now locked Cuartel gates. The Commandante dearly wished
he could tell Don Diego personally about his joyous night of passion
with his preciosa, Selena. Oh, well. One cannot have
everything in life. There was something else in El Zorro’s
reaction at seeing Selena de la Vega’s bruised form bound to the
whipping post, something interesting or perhaps Glorioso misinterpreted
the Fox’s anguished glances toward the Señora. Yes, intriguing he
decided to himself. Those eyes, so full of anger, so ravaged by hate,
very similar to the reaction of an outraged husband. Husband! Of course,
Dios be praised!
grinned mischievously. How could I have been so blind! Those hazel
eyes ! I have seen the same look in Don Diego’s eyes. Diego de la Vega is Zorro! Very clever of the young hidalgo.
Although the mask hides most of your features, caballero, the anguish of
your heart shone in your eyes. Your love for Selena has betrayed you ! The
Visconde de Estrada laughed aloud. How fortune had favored him! After
today, Zorro and Diego de la Vega will both be dead. And it is very
gracious of Don Diego to bring Gobernador Sola. His Excellency will
personally witness the triumph of the superior Grandeé intellect over
an hidalgo such as Diego de la Vega. As for El Zorro, “hero of the
people, he scornfully thought, the people, bah! And they will
longer have Zorro to defend them!!
Garcia, come here at once!” the Visconde shouted. “I have additional
orders for you. I will request that El Zorro must enter the Cuartel alone
to rescue the Señora. When he reaches this spot,” Glorioso drew
an “x” in the dirt in front of him, “you are to close the gates
immediately. I shall have the Fox trapped.”
Your Excellency, “ Garcia responded as he saluted smartly. But I
will not obey those orders, mi capitán, as you will soon see, the
sergeant grimly determined. I let Don Diego down but I will not allow
anything to happen to my other good friend, the Fox. Must make certain
that all of the lancers in our group are ready to move!
Zorro rubbed his chin thoughtfully, Glorioso has some new twist in
his plans to depart Los Angeles with Selena!. Santa Maria, what has his
twisted mind devised now? The Fox leaned against his faithful mount,
Tornado.. “My friend, I am afraid I may need to resort to the
unthinkable to save Selena,” he whispered to the stallion.
walked over to where his father was discussing the Visconde’s latest
demands with Don Alfredo. "“Don Alejandro, we must act
immediately. Señores, I believe that there is only one way to respond
to Capitán Glorioso's threat to kill Señora de la Vega. Please inform
everyone to retreat from the Cuartel fifty yards towards the Church of
the Blessed Sacrament, but I wish to speak with Jacinto and his Indian compadres.
Por favor, Don Alejandro, Don Alfredo, there is very little time
left!” Zorro said anxiously.
the elder de la Vega began to protest his orders, El Zorro gently
grabbed him by the shoulders and said, "Please, Don Alejandro, do
not question me now. It is imperative that you follow my instructions to
the letter. Here is what I want you to do…” The Fox then whispered
his plan into his father’s ear
de la Vega smiled encouragingly at him. “Senor, trust yourself and
above all else, trust in God.”
Don Alejandro, and gracias for all of your help and faith in me.
”Zorro replied sincerely. My father, pray especially hard for
Selena who has suffered terribly while in Glorioso’s custody, the
Fox thought in his heart.
positioned Tornado so that his mount prevented the lancers from seeing
what he removed from his saddlebag. He quickly stuck a pair of small
sized pistolas [ the kind women usually armed themselves with]
into his banda behind his back.. He removed his saber and cape
and tossed them down. The Masked Avenger watched soberly as his father
moved everyone back to the relative safety of the Church. Don Alejandro
selected a small group of his vaqueros and told them to follow
him. The Fox nodded to himself after he saw the de la Vega men run
behind the Cuartel. Zorro prayed silently. Blessed Virgin, I beseech
you to grant success to my plan. As always, Holy Mother, please implore
your Divine Son to help me at my desperate hour of need.
signaled Don Alejandro that he was ready to speak with Commandante
Glorioso. The Fox placed himself directly before the cuartel gate.
"Hear me, Visconde de Estrada, this is my final offer. I surrender
myself to you so that you can claim the reward for capturing the
infamous outlaw, El Zorro, and have the tantalizing thrill of unmasking
me in public. I am alone and I await your reply."
Visconde muttered to himself. How is it possible for de la Vega to
read my mind? Praise all the Communion of Saints! This situation is
developing better than I could have imagined.
Estrada repositioned his bicorn on his slicked back hair and pulled out
his saber. He held his back as straight as humanly possible and
bellowed, “Guards, how many people are in the plaza?”
El Zorro, Your Excellency. The others have moved back to the church.”
reported Lancer Gomez.
by all means, open the gates, Corporal Peldar, for our important guest,
por favor.” de Estrada ordered.
Zorro assumed, the Commandante's appearance was almost immediate. The
heavy wooden gates of the Cuartel slowly swung open. Capitán Glorioso
strode into the Plaza like a peacock. He raised his aristocratic chin
and sneered at El Zorro.
Señor Fox. Not only shall I have the pleasure of stealing the
wealthiest caballero in all of California’s wife from him I
also shall have the supreme joy of finally discovering your secret
identity. Unless of course, being an outlaw, you will renege on your
used every ounce of self-control to present a cool demeanor. He finally
said between gritted teeth, "You sir, are the true coward because
you hide behind a woman's skirts!"
sputtered angrily as he stepped toward the Fox. He resheathed his
saber and removed his favorite toy, his bullwhip, from the buckle on his
left side. The Commandante raised the whip to strike El Zorro but halted
Señor Fox, you almost goaded me into committing a tactical error. Very
clever, very clever. Now, Señor, you will walk into the Cuartel and I
will tie you to the whipping post and proceed to carry out a sentence of
death upon your person."
Zorro stood defiantly before him, and repeated his answer ,“No!”
Glorioso was incredulous. "What did you say, Señor Fox?"
masked adversary glared at him. "You heard me correctly,
Commandante. I will not surrender myself to you unless you release Señora
de la Vega. I cannot, as a Spanish gentlemen, permit the Señora to
suffer any more indignities at your hands than she already has had to
endure. Therefore you will release her from the whipping post and have
the doctor treat her wounds immediately!" El Zorro moved toward
Comandante until he towered over him. "Well, Viscount de Estrada, I
carefully scrutinized the Fox who stood brazenly before him with his
arms crossed over his chest. “You cannot be serious, bandito.
You dare attempt to dictate terms to me?”
Zorro snarled viciously at Glorioso. “Consider this, Viscount de
Estrada. If you attempt to leave Los Angeles with Senora de la Vega, you
will surely die. And I can promise you that the peons’ means of your
execution will be far more protracted and painful than even you could
Viscount’s face purpled from rage. “But I shall have had the
satisfaction of unmasking you. Besides, Don Diego,” de Estrada
said sotto voce, I shall inform the citizens of the pueblo that I
have sported with your wife in my--”
de Estrada never finished his sentence because El Zorro backhanded the
Commandante so hard the officer’s head actually bounced when he struck
the ground. Momentarily stunned, Glorioso groped around for his
for this, Commandante?” the Fox said mockingly as he twirled the
Commandante’s lethal weapon around and around his head. In one quick
movement, Zorro leaped over Glorioso and cracked the whip at the lancers
guarding Señora de la Vega. With his left hand Zorro flashed one of the
pistolas and shot Corporal Peldar who was aiming his weapon at
fell, and the remainder of the lancers surrounding Señora de la Vega
scattered, as they abandoned all thoughts of obeying Glorioso’s last
order to kill Señora de la Vega in desperate attempts to avoid any
contact with their Commandante’s whip.
and Reyes watched stunned by the sudden turn of events.
now would be a good time to signal our men!” Garcia bellowed.
signal sergeant?” Reyes sputtered in his usual bewildered fashion.
TO ARMS, ALL LANCERS WHO ARE WITH ME AND CORPORAL REYES! PROTECT THE SEÑORA!”
Ramirez, Gonsalves, Mendoza, Orlando, Corporal Reyes and Sergeant Garcia
all primed their own weapons and began encircling the whipping
Your Excellency.” Zorro said, or forfeit your own life!” The Fox
drew his other pistola and aimed the small firearm directly at de
END OF CHAPTER FORTY-TWO