El Zorro Discovered
By Billy Thomas
The sun set beautifully in the Pueblo de Los Angeles that evening. The Spanish flag was flying high again, and the threat of the Eagle's plot had finally been defeated.
"Diego, I'm very proud of you riding to get help like that," Alejandro assured him. "That showed great courage on your behalf."
Finally after a long hard stare at the Spanish flag and the sun set, Alejandro and Diego headed back home. "I just hope that this is the last we hear of the Eagle and his plot," Diego spoke out.
"I also Diego," Alejandro agreed.
The next day Sergeant Garcia arrived at the hacienda with the mail. "Buenos dias, Sergeant," Diego greeted.
"I have this letter for your father, Don Alejandro," Sergeant informed Diego.
"He's in the library." Diego pointed.
Sergeant Garcia delivered the letter to Don Alejandro. It was a letter from his old friend in Monterey, Senor Gregorio Verdugo. Alejandro read the letter.
"What is it?" Diego asked.
"It seems Gregorio Verdugo in Monterey has a business deal for us. He has some supplies that the people of Los Angeles need. He's asking for ten thousand pesos for the supplies," Alejandro answered.
"Ten thousand pesos is a lot of money father," Diego cautioned.
"I know, but it's worth the money for the supplies," Alejandro assured.
"I don't know. Remember that Monterey has been plagued with a bunch of bandits robbing the past few months," Diego reminded him.
"I think it's worth the risk. All of Los Angeles need the supplies," Alejandro stated.
That evening Alejandro sat down and wrote his good friend Gregorio Verdugo. He assured Verdugo that he and Los Angeles were interested in the supplies, but that he could not attend himself to work out the details.
"Diego!" shouted Alejandro.
"Si, father," Diego responded.
"I need you to go to Monterey for me to work out the details on the supplies. I am already obligated to go to the cattle auction, and I cannot be in two places at the same time," Alejandro reminded him.
Diego assured his father that he and Bernardo would leave the following day. The letter had gone out two days earlier, and Diego was still uncertain about the wisdom of carrying such a large sum over the lonely and desolate stretches of the Camino Real.
"Bernardo, I'm still concerned about carrying the ten thousand pesos with us, especially after all the robberies in Monterey," Diego cautioned.
"We must find a way around this ordeal. Any suggestions?" Diego asked.
Bernardo thought long and hard. He motioned with a wave of his hand and made a huge belly.
"Sergeant Garcia?" Diego asked.
Bernardo nodded yes.
"That's it! We will have Sergeant Garcia bring the money to Monterey in a few days just in case we are attacked by bandits. Great thinking Bernardo," Diego agreed.
Bernardo motioned with his hand a sign of Z.
"No, I don't think we will need Zorro in Monterey," Diego answered.
That night Diego and Alejandro went to bed. Bernardo decided to pack one of Zorro costumes just in case they needed the Fox. He entered the secret passage through the front room cabinet. He walked up stairs and entered the little room where Diego kept the two outfits: Diego's attire and Bernardo's clothing that he wore on numerous occasions helping Zorro. He packed Zorro's clothes and proceeded back down to where he entered. So preoccupied was Bernardo with the details of packing he failed to notice the secret panel still ajar. Bernardo walked out to the stables and got the horses ready for the long journey the following morning to Monterey.
The next day Bernardo and Don Diego stopped first by the cuartel to give Sergeant Garcia the money.
"Sergeant, we need you to bring the money to Monterey for us, but give us a two-day head start," Diego told Garcia
"Si, but why?" Garcia asked.
"We thought this would be a good idea in case we were robbed on the way," Diego explained.
"Good idea. I'll take Corporal Reyes with me," Garcia responded.
"Gracias, Sergeant," Diego thanked him.
Diego and Bernardo proceeded to Monterey. Back at the hacienda, Don Alejandro was busy getting ready for the cattle auction. He was looking for his auctioneer tag that he needed to take with him. He then remembered that he had left it in the front room cabinet the last time he had gone.
Don Alejandro went to the cabinet and opened the doors. He felt a light breeze of air coming through a crack in the cabinet. It was obvious there was something behind the wall. He pushed on the wall and noticed the secret passage. "What's this?" Alejandro asked himself. "I remember a rumor of a secret passage within the hacienda but I thought it was only a rumor." Alejandro proceeded into the secret passage.
He first noticed a lantern on the wall of the secret passage. Don Alejandro lit the lantern and proceed through the cave down the long passageway. He stumbled upon a black stallion. Don Alejandro eyes grew big from astonishment as the horse gave a loud nicker. "What in the world?" Alejandro asked himself. Alejandro proceeded to walk over to the black stallion. Taking his hand and stroking the black horse's mane realized that this had to be Tornado. He only knew of one black horse in the region and it was the horse that Zorro rode.
Don Alejandro wanted to see what else awaited him in the passage. He decided to walk back up the passageway. Alejandro stumbled into a little room where he saw some black clothing hanging. Don Alejandro for a long time stood there in silence and decided to take a closer look at the clothing. He noticed a sword, cape and a black mask with two eye holes in it. "I just can't believe it" Alejandro spoke in astonishment. "My son is Zorro, then why has he deceived me and why has it not told me this?"
Alejandro continued to walk through the secret passage. He found the entrance to the library. He also found the entrance to Diego's room where he would enter and leave the hacienda as Zorro. Alejandro that night sat in the living room wondering if he had dreamed it all or if it was real. He sat and remembered the time Diego faked his guitar string breaking and the other numerous times he would get up and run off for some odd reason. It was then he had realized that Diego had been deceiving him. "I just hope that one day, Diego, you tell me why you misled me all these months," Alejandro spoke to himself. With that, he went to bed and proceeded to the cattle auction the next day. Two days later Sergeant Garcia and Corporal Reyes traveled onward to Monterey with the ten thousand pesos.