MEETS SENORITA JUSTICE AT LAST
and her little companion, retribution
“Give myself up to a common thief?
NEVER!” was the Visconde’s caustic response. “Lancers,
arrest El Zorro!” he yelled while shaking his fists in the air.
A quartet of soldiers moved toward Zorro with their
razor sharp lances and the Fox quickly sprang into action. He flung
Glorioso’s bullwhip across the eyes of one soldier and shot another
one in the left shoulder with his pistola. The Fox spun around
again, just as the third lancer announced his presence behind Zorro by
yelling, “I have you now, Señor Fox!“ Then the soldier foolishly
moved himself between the Dark Knight and his beloved Selena.
“Lesson number one, lancer ...” Zorro said while
adroitly relieving his opponent of his weapon by flicking Glorioso’s
bullwhip around the lancer’s rifle, “is never shout at your prey if
you are trying to catch him unawares!”
The sub-altern stood open-mouthed as his lance flew from
his grasp and into the Fox’s waiting empty left hand. “Lesson number
two is, never challenge me one-on-one if you do not know what you are
doing,” El Zorro said mockingly. “HEYAAAH!” The Fox used the
lance’s blunt end to butt the soldier in the stomach.
As that man doubled over, the outlaw shoved him into yet another
man loyal to the Commandante.
Meanwhile, Garcia and Reyes fended off the few remaining
lancers controlled by the Visconde. Lancer Hugo and his amigos
easily disarmed the attackers, for the commandante’s men lost their
enthusiasm for battle when they saw El Zorro overpower four of
Glorioso’s men so easily.
Frustrated by the Fox’s superior agility, the Visconde
yanked Private Jimenez, who was immobilized by his fear of the
military’s legendary opponent, and shoved poor Jimenez toward Zorro.
“Kill him,” Visconde de Estrada ordered,
“and I will add two hundred pesos to the posted reward!”
But Joaquin Jimenez’s madre had not raised a
fool. Jimenez turned tail and ran fort he cuartel gate.
“Gracias for your help, amigos!” Zorro yelled out
while striking down the last soldier left standing who was determined to
kill the Fox.
Garcia acknowledged Zorro’s gratitude with a broad
grin. “I should have acted sooner. I feel responsible for Señora de
la Vega’s injuries.”
“No, my friend, you most certainly are not.
The guilty party in this farce is now groveling at my feet.”
Zorro tweaked the Commandante by flicking his wrist just a fraction,
causing the whip to merely graze Glorioso’s head.
“Y-you ... crass ...hueco!” the
“For you, Señor Cobarde [coward], your
punishment is just beginning,“ Zorro grimly stated. “So, collarse!”
“Keep your eyes open, Corporal Reyes,” Garcia
ordered, while looking around the Cuartel’s yard. “Zorro wounded
that miserable raton Corporal Peldar.
But where is he?” the sergeant wondered aloud.
“I do not see him anywhere in the yard,” Reyes
replied, as his eyes quickly scanned the area.
The sergeant frowned.
“Reyes, you, Hugo and Diaz release Señora de la Vega and stay
with her. “As for me, I am going to ...”
Corporal Reyes was already untying one of Selena’s
wrists when he saw movement in his peripheral vision. Santa Maria!
It was the injured Peldar who was aiming an escopeta at Zorro’s
“SERGEANT!” Reyes screamed, “To your left, it is
Corporal Peldar! He has a rifle!”
Reyes’ friends carefully laid down Señora de la Vega on the
ground as the corporal grabbed a discarded lance from the ground and
charged toward Peldar.
Garcia shifted his considerable bulk as he turned toward
the steps leading to the lancer’s barracks. His mouth opened in
horror. Oh no, you
don’t, raton! Garcia said to himself while trying to decide what
to do. The sergeant estimated that there was about six feet between him
and the Fox.
“ZORRO! LOOK OUT!” Garcia yelled.
Capitán Glorioso had noticed Peldar crawling by the
soldiers’ quarters’ steps and saw the corporal lift an escopeta
at his masked nemesis. The Visconde wiped the blood trickling from cuts
on his forehead made by Zorro using Glorioso’s own favorite whip with
his panuelo. He
struggled to his feet and grinned at the Fox.
“Now I have you, accursed enemy.
Zorro froze momentarily. His eyes had followed the
Visconde’s gaze behind him. Dios, mi! Peldar! The Fox had been
so preoccupied with neutralizing Glorioso that he forgot about Corporal
Peldar ...no time to think, man, and move! In the split second of
his hesitation, Zorro saw the flash of the escopeta’s muzzle and he
groaned inwardly. Too late ... too late...
“CRACK!“ The sound of an escopeta firing
echoed in the cuartel, and Sergeant Garcia did the only thing he could
do - he hurled himself with all his strength at the Fox.
“OOOOOOOFFFF!” Zorro exclaimed as the force of impact with the huge
sergeant slammed the Fox face first into the dirt. When the man in black
recovered his senses, he Fox looked down at a powerful pair of hands
gripping his legs, a pair of hands belonging to Sergeant Garcia.
“W-whew ...” the Fox gasped as air slowly returned
to his lungs, “y-you s-saved m-my life, sergeant. For that, I am
m=most thankful ...I-I think!” Zorro
gingerly rubbed the right side of his neck.
Madre de Dios! I shall certainly have a massive headache later
... Zorro thought as he
tried to move his now sore neck.
“GOT HIM!” Reyes
exclaimed as he stood over Corporal Peldar, whose body now sported a
lance thrust into his back.
Zorro managed to stand and found himself staring at the
second of the most improbable sights he had ever witnessed.
Who could have guessed Corporal Reyes was a man of action.
First, Garcia prevents me from being shot and now Reyes killed Peldar,
the soldier who intended to kill me. Amazing, he muttered to
himself, simply amazing!
Glorioso saw his chance and took it.
He stumbled toward the Cuartel’s gates. But he never got any
farther than a couple of feet when he suddenly felt himself jerked
“DIOS!” he yelped. Zorro had wrapped the whip
expertly around one of the Visconde’s ankles.
“Leaving us so soon, Capitán? I think not!”
he heard the Fox laugh above his head. as Glorioso tripped and
fell. “Now, get up!” Zorro commanded while he unwound the whip.
Diaz and Lugo were carrying the Señora into the
commandante’s office when they were distracted by the sight and sound
of men climbing over the back wall of the Cuartel.
The men scampered down the roofs of the stables and the barracks
and then surged forward to help Garcia round up the remaining
“Not to worry, señores.”
Zorro announced while keeping Glorioso at bay with the capitán’s
whip, “those are Don Alejandro’s men. And none too soon, he
hastily added to himself.
Sergeant Garcia ordered Sanchez, Miro, and several other
Glorioso loyalists into the jail cells.
He also told Corporal Reyes to open the Cuartel gates and send
for Dr. Avila pronto.
Zorro nodded at the
sergeant. “Sí, I believe that is time for the good people of Los
Angeles to deal with their tormentor.”
Garcia himself and Reyes threw open the gates and then
returned to see what El Zorro would do with the visibly shaking
“Settle down, Commandante Glorioso, or I perhaps I
should call you by your proper title, the former Visconde de
Estrada?” the Fox taunted the profusely sweating officer. Perhaps
since you are so uncomfortable in your dress uniform I could relieve you
of oh, say your fancy rank ensigns?” the Masked Avenger commented
The now much hated whip struck Glorioso on both
shoulders and then Zorro again wound it around his legs, sending the
Visconde tumbling back into the dirt.
“Do not touch me again with that whip!” Glorioso
shouted, “Garcia, arrest the outlaw known as El Zorro, and I swear,
upon my honor as a Spanish Grandee, that I will share the five thousand
pesos award with you!”
The portly sergeant shook his head. “I am very
sorry....” Garcia stopped and glanced around the pinched expressions
of his brother lancers and felt all of the pent up anger that lurked
beneath the crowd’s silence., “but I can no longer obey an officer
of the King who enjoys flogging people ... hurts innocent women!
You should be ashamed of yourself!” The sergeant finished what
was for him, the longest and most important things he had ever said.
“No, I make no apologies for my actions today!” he
proudly stated. “Corporal Reyes! Hugo! Lock up this criminal,
Zorro laughed until his sides hurt. “Well said,
Sergeant Garcia!” But as
he helped Glorioso to his feet, he grabbed the Visconde’s uniform
collar and found he could no longer stifle his rage over the
Visconde’s assault of his wife. He soundly cuffed the capitán twice
with the butt of the whip.
“Did I not warn you earlier, Glorioso, never to touch
me or Senora de la Vega again?”
Zorro hissed into his ears. “You are most fortunate that I am the not
the Eternal Judge or else you would be condemned forevermore in the next
life! “This blow is for me ... and this one is for Selena.” The
Fox clasped his hands together and landed a bone crunching backhanded
blow to Glorioso’s right jaw.
The Visconde rocketed to the ground and vainly tried to
shake the vertigo from clouding his wits. Zorro watched with undisguised
joy, his hands planted on his hips, at the sight of the aristocratic
Grandee crawling through the dirt. Finally, the Fox began to haul
Glorioso to his feet. But the Visconde de Estrada tried playing what he
thought was his trump card. There might be one chance left for me. Slowly
and very painfully, the commandante straightened himself as much as he
could in the iron grasp of the Fox’s powerful hands.
“L-listen to me everyone! Don Diego is really El
Zorro!” de Estrada yelled. “Make Zorro remove his mask, Sergeant
Garcia, I order you!”
“Don Diego’ is the Fox’?”
Garcia said incredulously. “You
are muy loco, Excellency. It seems that every commandante posted
to Los Angeles thought my friend was Zorro! Besides, Señor Glorioso,”
Garcia said menacingly, you have caused enough trouble and pain
for Don Diego and the dear Señora de la Vega, so shut up!”
“I know that Don Diego is really Zorro and I can prove
it. Make him remove his mask, I tell you. De la Vega is the Fox!” the
Visconde insisted petulantly.
Zorro pushed the commandante away from him. Then the
Dark Angel tossed back the whip and lightly popped off the remnant of
Glorioso’s left sleeve.
the capitán shouted at Zorro.
“No, no, no, commandante. Have you already forgotten
my name? Permit me to refresh your memory.”
Once more the outlaw twirled the lash so fast in the air that the
whip was nearly invisible to the growing crowd of Angelinos who stood at
the gate watching and enjoying Glorioso’s public humiliation.
“CRACK, CRACK, CRACK!”
Zorro deftly engraved his “Z” into the Capitán’s dress
military jacket. “Do you
remember now, Commandante? My name is Zorro, not porco!“
Another blow here and there, and buttons flew from his uniform. The
Commandante briefly turned his back to El Zorro and the Fox immediately
hit him squarely across his bottom.
Tomás Ballarias laughed so long and hard that his face
hurt. “Hit him some more for me, Zorro!”
Glorioso sputtered angrily as Zorro ‘s whip entangled
his feet yet again and forced the Grandée to his knees. “I DEMAND
that I also be given a whip to defend himself. “After all, Señor Fox,
I am a gentleman and you are a thief!”
“Defend yourself, eh?” Beneath the black silk mask
Zorro‘s face flushed red. “Very well, I shall offer you the same
chance that you permitted Conchetta, Maria and Teresa Soto’s daughter,
Carlita. None at all. Now, stand up, pronto!”
“NO!” Glorioso balled his hands into fists.
“I REFUSE! I AM THE VISCOUNT DE ESTRADA! I AM--”
“And I AM EL ZORRO, THE FOX AND I THINK YOU TALK TOO
MUCH, SEÑOR!” the man in black angrily retorted.
Zorro snapped the lash a half dozen times across
Glorioso’s chest and back, completely shredding his dress jacket. As
the capitán tossed aside his ruined clothes, the Fox continued striking
him all over his body, hitting Glorioso whenever and wherever he wished.
The crowd roared its approval with each blow that the
Fox gave his prisoner. “More,
El Zorro, more! We want to hear him scream for mercy!” Señor
Ballarias, the tailor told the Fox.
“Make him suffer the way that Don Diego and I did!”
Teresa Soto anxiously pushed her way inside the Cuartel.
“And I say the Commandante should pay for his crimes with his death!
The tailor approached Zorro, who was becoming very
alarmed at the souring mood of the Angelinos. “You must release
this raton to us, Señor Fox. He
brutally tormented us so we,” the merchant said as
pointed to all of the shopkeepers, peons and Indians who comprised the
majority of the crowd, “are the ones who have the right to punish this
To Glorioso, Ballarias’s statement was patently
absurd. “Fools, you will never learn to keep your assigned place in
society! We, the Grandées,
were born to rule those entire not of our class because It is the
divine order of things. You are merely merchants, weavers, tailors, mestizo
peons,” and here Glorioso spat out his last words, “And Indians!
Señora Teresa Soto glared at the capitán. “If what
you say is true, o high and noble Visconde de Estrada, then how were we
lowly citizens able to defeat you, eh?”
Juan Ramon Glorioso, the Visconde de Estrada imperiously
straightened himself to recover some of the dignity that he had just
lost. “Because you had the power of the obviously misguided dons
behind you, puta!”
Señora Soto grasped his shirt and spit in his face. “Canaille!
I will see you hang! Judge Vasca is a fair and honorable man
and he despises corrupt officials!”
“And I shall be sure to inform the good Judge about
your torture and murder of my great niece, Conchetta Reyes Miro,” an
elderly vaquero angrily told Glorioso.
“I am Armando Reyes. No
one in Los Angeles shall permit you to escape the King’s justice!”
Sí!” The Pueblo’s
citizens wanted to execute Glorioso now, the law be damned. “Why wait
for the Judge, amigos? Hang him immediamente!” Several peons
Visconde de Estrada was astonished by the depth of the Añgelinos
hatred. They are
uneducated, simple-minded creatures. They must be ruled with an iron
fist. he growled sotto voce as his volcanic anger erupted yet
“Señores, you do not understand,” Glorioso ranted.
“This is the sacred, divine order of the Lord’s Universe! We, the highborn, are preordained by God to maintain
discipline in society. It
is the natural way of things. The
poor and middle classes live to serve the rich, just as women were
created to be taken and conquered by men!”
Zorro and a few of the de la Vega vaqueros had to
restrain Armando Reyes.
The Fox handed Reyes to Pepito, his father’s foreman.
“Take this raton, Glorioso and throw him into a nice, filthy
and flea infested cell before I change my mind and allow Señor Reyes
and the townspeople whom he despise so much have their way with him!”
But before Pepito and the de la Vega vaqueros had
finished tying the Visconde’s hands behind him, Zorro looked pensively
at the whipping post which moments ago, his beloved Selena had been a
“Uno momento, muchachos,” the Fox grinned and
then chuckled. Of course...
“Sí, El Zorro!”
The Fox refocused his attention on Glorioso. “Señor,
I have been suddenly divinely inspired by Señorita Justice.
Citizens of Los Angeles, listen to me. Gobernador Sola is en
route to our Pueblo as I speak. Everyone says that they want to see
‘justice served’ by hanging Commandante Glorioso without
a trial. Amigos, we are not animals. We are civilized
citizens of the Spanish Empire. I propose a fitting punishment for our
beloved capitán. I shall
bind him to his own whipping post.
What say you, amigos?”
Teresa Soto roared with laughter.
“Sí, Sí! We not kill him Señor Zorro; we will merely
decorate his back with his own whip!”
END OF CHAPTER 43