Diego’s sprain was minor and within two days he was able to walk short distances without any noticeable limp. A day later, Sgt. Garcia and Caesar entered the inn and were invited by Diego to sit with him. The patrón ordered more wine and asked the sergeant the reason for his glum countenance.
"I captured Zorro, Don Diego," he sighed.
"But that is wonderful, sergeant!" he exclaimed. "Why are you so unhappy?"
"Because he got away," Garcia moaned. "So did the two thousand pesos."
"That is too bad. That must have been some fight if he got away from you," Diego deadpanned.
"No, Don Diego, there was no fight." Then Garcia brightened a bit. "But I did find out something about Señor Zorro that no one else knows. A secret."
"What, sergeant?" Diego leaned close and asked conspiratorially.
"That he is afraid of dogs," the sergeant said in triumph. "He was afraid of Caesar."
"Sergeant, you cannot be serious!" Diego exclaimed.
"Sí, Don Diego. So now all I have to do is keep an eye open for anyone who is afraid of Caesar and I will know that he is Zorro." The big man smiled in anticipation.
"But if he was afraid of Caesar, how did El Zorro get away?" Diego queried.
"That I cannot figure out, because he took my horse and Caesar, too." He looked under the table at the dog sleeping peacefully against his foot.
"Might I suggest, Sgt. Garcia, that the bandit played a cruel trick on you?" Diego ventured.
"But he seemed so sincere," Garcia recalled. Then he sighed. "Corporal Reyes said the same thing. I suppose you could be right, Don Diego. But I am still going to see if anyone in the pueblo is afraid of dogs, just in case."
Both men sat quietly with their own thoughts, enjoying their wine. Finally, Garcia smiled. "But I am also a little glad that he got away. We have saved each other a time or two, you know."
"Yes, I know," Diego responded. Caesar had jumped up into his lap and he was scratching behind the little dog’s ears.
Looking at his pet, Garcia smiled. "So I guess that means that I should not blame Caesar for Zorro’s escape."
"Of course not, Sergeant," Diego said with a smile. Caesar had curled up and fallen asleep in his lap. "In fact, I propose a toast to your little friend." Diego raised his glass and Garcia followed suit. "Hail, Caesar," he said. The dog slept through the toast made in his honor.
|Caesar Chronicles Introduction|