JUSTICE AT LAST
Cornelio Esperon met Gobernador Roberto Sola just outside the
Pueblo’s main entrance. Although Sola was disappointed that his old
friend, Don Alejandro de la Vega, was not present to greet him, Don
Cornelio reassured the Gobernador he would see Don Alejandro very soon.
Alejandro has the situation here fairly under control now,” Don
Cornelio began to explain to the Gobernador when he was interrupted by a
Cornelio! Don Cornelio!” shouted a rider who was heading for the Gobernador’s
that is Rolando Gilberto, my head vaquero! “ exclaimed Don
Cornelio. “ Gilberto what is happening in the Cuartel? Have El Zorro,
Don Alejandro and Don Alfredo taken Commandante Glorioso prisoner?”
Gilberto removed his sombrero before greeting his patron. “Don
Cornelio, Don Alejandro sent me to bring you and the Gobernador
as quickly as possible to him. Zorro and the Angeliños have
begun their attack on the Cuartel!”
Gobernador Sola was thoroughly shocked by this news. Don
Cornelio, Don Alejandro’s mozo made no mention of that outlaw
being involved in this affair! This is a most disturbing development.
Take me to the Cuartel immediamente!” Sola commented
Your Excellency! Andalante!” Don Cornelio ordered his men.
de Estrada struggled uselessly against the combined strength of both
peons and lancers who hastily bound his wrists to the Cuartel’s
whipping post. He wondered what the raging mob would do to him now that
he was at their mercy. Must endure the insults of these insufferable
riffraff until I can argue my case before Gobernador Sola. He is a Grandee
who understands the proper order of things in our society. Sola will
most certainly restore command of this garrison to me and, after I have
executed Zorro, I shall be rid of both that vagabond and Diego de la
Vega! But truthfully, Glorioso believed that now that the true
“brutish” nature of the lower classes was running amuck in the
pueblo, he would be torn to pieces..........
Soto playfully tossed a couple of rotten tomatoes back and forth in her
hands. “Ready, señoras and señoritas?
Montezuma Flores smiled wickedly. “Ready, Señora Soto!”
Remember, amigos, the ‘female employees’ of La Casa de
Hospitalidad have the first shots at our esteemed Commandante
Glorioso. Only after all of us, and I do mean all seven of us,
have each had a shot at this porco, will the rest of you good
citizens of Los Angeles be allowed a chance to teach him some
manners!” Soto addressed the crowd.
talking!” Señorita Aña Gonzalez shouted. “I want to begin our fun
Soto glanced at Zorro who saluted her to start the festivities.
Soto yelled to her fellow former employees of Capitán Glorioso’s La
Casa de Hospitalidad.
seven remaining La Casa “ladies” threw their overripe produce
at Glorioso with all of their strength.
capitán desperately struggled for air but each time Glorioso opened his
mouth, his taste buds were rewarded with the delectable bouquet of
spoiled tomatoes, bits of lettuce and/or squash. His pristine white
uniform tunic soon resembled an artist‘s palette of the primary colors
red, green and yellow. Glorioso’s nostrils became filled the
accompanying stench of rotten vegetables and he began to gag.
water, por favor! “ he painfully gasped. “I demand that you give me
water! DO YOU HEAR ME?“ he to roared, “ I AM THE VISCONDE DE
Montezuma placed her fist against the Visconde’s nose. “You demand,
Señor Raton? You are filth, and by the Three Marias, you will feel
what is like to be slapped around like a dog!”
Zorro grasped Señora Montezuma’s arm to prevent her from carrying out
her threat. “ Give him some water, Señora. After all, we are
people even though we are mere shopkeepers and peons!” Teresa Soto
Fox laughed, revealing a row of perfectly white teeth. “Exactly so,”
he bowed to the ladies. “Your pardon, but I promised Don Diego I would
see to the Señora de la Vega’s comforts and return her safely back to
him. I shall leave Sergeant Garcia in charge. Gobernador Sola
should arrive shortly. Remember, Señoras, no fists, no rocks, just
rotten vegetables, eh?”
Avila helped Selena into a sitting position and plumped several pillows
behind her. “I am glad that you are better, Señora de la Vega.”
gracias, Dr. Avila. I can not wait for Diego to take me away from this
place.” she replied sadly.
me to be a reasonable substitute, but only con tu permiso, Señora.”
said a voice Selena recognized belonged to he most handsome man in the
entire world .. her husband.
ZORRO!” Selena was overjoyed to see him at last, especially clad all
in black... She looked at Dr. Avila and quietly asked him to leave.
nodded to Dr. Avila. “I made a vow to Don Diego that I would
personally deliver the Señora to him as soon as possible... if the Señora
is well enough to travel.”
Avila chuckled. “Of
course, Señor Fox. I shall see if Don Alejandro has a wagon ready to
transport her home. Hasta la luego.” The doctor bowed to her and
winked at Zorro as he closed the door to the Commandante’s bedroom.
when Zorro was certain they were truly alone did he crush her body
Oh, Selena, Selena, forgive me for taking so long to rescue you
...” A few ears trickled down his mask.
is nothing to forgive mon coeur. Diego, I am so... tired...”
she never completed the sentence as Selena closed her eyes and fell
asleep gently against his shoulder.
a Dios, she is asleep. Time to go home. The Fox opened the bedroom door and returned to the bed to
scoop Selena into his strong arms.
and Don Cornelio entered the Pueblo de Los Angeles’s plaza as Zorro
exited the Cuartel carrying the exhausted Selena de la Vega. Don
Alejandro told his head vaquero, Pepito, to place her into the
back of one of his rancho’s carriages. Corporal Reyes and
Lancer Hugo rushed forward to assist Pepito. Don Alejandro noticed
Sola’s group approaching the Cuartel and urged the Fox to leave
Señor de la Vega. I promised your son I would deliver her to your hacienda.
My personal safety is secondary to hers.”
Alejandro bit his lip to prevent himself from calling the Fox
‘Diego’ in public. “My.. dear amigo, El Zorro,” he began.
SEIZE AND ARREST EL ZORRO!” Sola shouted, extremely disturbed by the
sight of Capitán Glorioso bound to a stake and covered from head to
foot with refuse. But as Gobernador Sola’s soldiers attempted
to arrest the Fox a solid wall of Angeliños who blocked their
movements. “Capitan Tameron, please execute my orders at once!”
Zorro is our hero! No! It is Glorioso who should be imprisoned!”
Several peons in the crowd shouted. “Leave El Zorro alone!”
Soto, Tomas Ballarias and Alcalde Baltazar confronted Capitán Eduardo
Tameron who was in charge of Gobernador Sola’s military escort.
They refused to move when Tameron repeated Sola’s orders.
Glorioso is the real criminal, Your Excellency.” Alcalde Baltazar
assured the Gobernador. I myself will give testimony regarding
the Capitán's criminal activities.”
shoulder muscles tensed. I pray that Sola listens to them. In his
peripheral vision he saw the crowd part for Tornado who trotted up to
him. But I did not summon him. How--? Then Don Alejandro spoke
from behind the Alcalde.
hope you did not mind, El Zorro. All I said to your horse was ‘your
master needs you.’ A most remarkable animal.“ Don Alejandro said
quietly. Diego’s father then told Gobernador Sola. "Good
to see you again, Luis. It has been almost thirty years, has it
Alejandro, to say that I am appalled by what I have seen here in Los
Angeles today, that is a drastic understatement,” Sola testily
de la Vega scowled. "If you will step inside the Commandante's
office Luis, the Alcalde and I will explain everything to your complete
Sola looked at
El Zorro who was mounting Tornado. "I cannot allow this thief and
outlaw to leave. He must be placed under arrest."
Soto and her ladies shoved the lancers away from the Fox. “Over our
dead bodies, Your Excellency. Come on, señoras, we have handled men far
worse than the likes of you!“
Sola insisted that El Zorro leave Señora de la Vega with Don Alejandro.
Alejandro looked into the Fox’s hazel eyes now red from fatigue.
“You have done all that you possibly could, Señor Zorro. Por favor,
vaya con dios.“
nodded in agreement and even managed a slight chuckle. “I believe,
Your Excellency your lancers will have some difficulty in carrying out
your orders. Now if you will excuse me, there is still some work I have
left to do. Hasta la luego!" The Fox gently mounted Tornado,
saluted his Excellency and quickly disappeared from sight.
the Fox had prearranged with his mozo, he rode to a small hut at
the outskirts of Los Angeles and told Tornado to wait behind the
building. He knocked three times on the door and was very happy to see
Bernardo waiting for him.
my friend, I must change quickly and return to Plaza as Don Diego. His
manservant signed frantically in the air. And how is Señora Señor
de la Vega? Is she badly hurt?
look of intense pain cross Diego's face as he removed his mask.
"Bernardo, I know that the capitán assaulted her. “ He paused as
the mozo looked deeply into his master’s eyes. “No, Bernardo,
Glorioso will answer to the Spanish Crown for his crimes. I must hurry
now and make an appearance as Diego in Los Angeles before we can all go
nodded. I understand my friend. His manservant finished pulling
his own Zorro costume and Diego helped his mozo tie on the black
you remember what to do?" Bernardo nodded. "Bueno. Then off
caballero rushed into his rust colored suede suit and then
quickly mounted his horse Bernardo had saddled and waiting for him. Don
Diego de la Vega urged his palomino towards the Cuartel and tried his
best to feign surprise at the lancers were just locking up Commandante
Glorioso in one of his own cells. The péons and shopkeepers were
celebrating the fact that Gobernador Sola had ordered Capitán Glorioso
arrested. Teresa Soto was the first person to notice him. She waved to
Don Diego and said "Señor de la Vega you just missed El
younger de la Vega dismounted and walked over to her. "No, I did
not, for you see there is El Zorro." He pointed toward the
Church where Bernardo, disguised as Zorro, saluted him aboard Tornado
and then rode off. “The Fox was very kind enough to escort me to the
Cuartel just as I returned from Santa Barbara."
Welcome back! Were you able to contact Judge Vasca?” Don Alejandro
hugged his son. “Oh, where are my manners? Roberto Sola, this is my
son, Diego de la Vega de la Cruz.”
pleased to meet a friend of my father’s from Madrid.” Diego bowed.
Sola acknowledged Diego ‘s respectful greeting. “Señores, and good
people of Los Angeles. Do not concern yourself about His Excellency the
judge. One of my own soldiers will bring him to Los Angeles tomorrow.”
Sola announced solemnly.
Alejandro laughed. “Excellente! He glanced at the commandante, who
somehow managed to look both indignant and resigned at the same time.
“I can not think of a more fitting place than the whipping post for
you, cobarde,“ Don Alejandrp said derisively to Glorioso, “except at
the end of a hangman’s rope!“
Soto and the citizens of Los Angeles yelled and the men threw their
sombreros into the air. Once again, dons, merchants and peons alike
shouted “Viva Señorita Justice! Viva Sola! VIVA EL ZORRO!”
I hate to be impolite, but where is Selena?” Diego anxiously
inquired as they walked away from the Cuartel.
OF CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR