Chapter Six

" What are you going to do now, Don Jose?"  A formal servant asked." We can't
keep hiding in these hills."

Making a fire for their camp, Desoto said." I know Paco, but now I know that
de la vega knows I'm here, I'm sure he knows what I'm going to do."

" What are you planning to do, patron?" asks Paco.

Grinning, he replied," I'm going to take Bernado away from him."

Eyes widen Paco exclaimed, " Don Jose! He's going to kill you if you do so!
You know he won that tournament eight years ago!"

" That is why I had came to California!" yelled Desoto angrily, throwing a
handful of dry wood in the fire, watching the fire sparkled in the air.

" Don Jose, you are not going to….."

" Si, I am! I am going to challenge de la vega into a duel, and I'm going to
use that duel to take away Bernado you see."  Looking at his neatly shined
sabre.  " He took away my best servant that year and embarrassed me in front
of all my servants, I cannot forgive him for that.  I want him to know how it
feels to be embarrassed in front of the peon's and the people that he loves."

" Then you are going to challenge him in public? In front of the governor? "
Paco asked.

Desoto looked at him straight in the eye, and laugh heartily, " I will go
masked just as de la vega will, I will make him take off his mask the moment
I disarm him."  Paco saw his eyes gleaming with joy, so he didn't say
anything, knowing that his master will blow if he does.  He went back
polishing his sabre as Desoto went to sleep with an evil grin on his face.

Paco sighed.

Up upon the other side of the hills, a man garbed in black satin guided a
great stallion dashing across the hills.  Breathing heavily he dismounted and
searches for unusual print if he can find any.  Just as he was about to give
up, something caught his eye.  He kneeled and looked closely, it was a large
boot print engraved the surface, as he examine it, the boot print was much
larger then normal boots, and he also found out the heels were engraved much
deeper, " A person who has exclusive boots and walks heavily…." Zorro
thought, he stood up and studied the landscape around that area, " If they
are hiding here, they will have to find a place near water, and I just happen
to know where that might be!" Zorro thought and mounted Tornado, as he did
so, he can feel slightly pain of his wound, wishing that the pain would go
away, he guide Tornado to a near by stream.

Dawn was setting, Paco woke up before Desoto, he got up and started to clean
up the camp.  He thought about his master and Don Diego as he did. " Why is
my master so full of hatred? Why can't he just let go…" He looked at Desoto
and shakes his head.  Just then, Desoto woke up, seeing Paco staring straight
ahead of him doing nothing he yelled, " Paco! What are you doing?" Paco
turned with a start, he saw his master's eyes glow with fire, he stammered,"
I just finished all what I can do and waiting for you to wake up."

" Waiting for me to wake up! Can't you find something else to do! " He
reached up his hand and was about to hit him when he heard a sound of a
crack.  A black whip fell nicely around his wrist and stooped him from
hitting Paco.

" I don't think that is a good idea, Desoto." A new voice appeared.

Desoto smirked, " Well, well, isn't it the famous El Zorro? De la Vega, I
must admit, you make quite an appearance." Laughing, he continued, " But too
bad you are an outlaw, with a great price on your head too."

" Desoto, I'm not here for conversation," Zorro said in a deep tone, " I came
to ask you to go back to Spain, you don't belong here."

" Well, what if I refuse to go back?" Desoto replied grinning villainously.

" Desoto…"

" I'll tell you this, I believe you know why I have come," Zorro nodded.
Desoto continued," I challenge you into a duel, both of us will be masked, if
I win, you will have to reveal yourself to everyone."

" But if I win, " Zorro continued, " You will leave California and never come

" All right, if that is what you wish, I will, I don't even bother staying at
that miserable pueblo." Desoto smirked.

Zorro feels weak and tired by then, he can feel fresh blood trickling down
his arm, hoping that he could end this quickly he said quietly, " Name the
place and time."

" Tomorrow at noon, in the plaza." He said. " I have been practicing for
eight years since that day I lost, you better be prepared de la vega."  Zorro
stared at him.

" But he is wounded.." Paco began to protest.

" Silencio!  How dare you question my plans." Desoto yelled.  Paco looked

Zorro looked at the way he was treating Paco, he shook his head.

Turning back to Zorro, Desoto said, " You will be there won't you?"

Nodding, Zorro replied, " I will be there."  Whistling to his steed, Paco
went up to him, " Gracias for stopping Don Jose from hitting me." He said
shyly.  Nodding at him, Zorro mounted Tornado and turned back.

" Do not forget! " Desoto yelled, " I shall win!!!" Laughing loudly he took
his saber and sliced off a branch.

Feeling weak, Zorro rode slowly across the hills, thinking and thinking, his
mind drew to Anna Maria.  How beautiful she was! He sighed, just as he can be
revealed to the ones he loved, this has to happen.  His shoulder winced with
pain, " But this won't stop me from seeing her!" He thought with a smile.  He
headed to her hacienda.

It was five thirty in the morning, Anna Maria stirred in her sleep, she
slowly opened her eyes, she turned and glanced at the clock, five thirty,
knowing that she wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, she got up and got
dressed.  She walked out to the balcony and gazed at the rising sun.

" Something disturbing you, senorita?" a cultural voice said.

" Zorro!" Anna Maria said with surprised.  He climbed over the balcony
gracefully as she rushed over into his arms, tears welled up in her eyes, "
Do you know how worried I was?  I was so frighten when that man shot you, how
can he do this to you?"

" I know, I know, my love," he said as he held her tight in his arms, " That
man is after me, it was a situation that we didn't settle a long time ago."

Anna Maria looked up into his eyes, " What is it?"

Smiling, " you don't need to know about it, not now." He said, kissing her
lips slightly.

" But why? " Anna Maria asks.

" Because you will know soon.." Zorro replied, looking into her eyes, he
kissed her again,  Anna Maria smiled and returned the kiss.  " I have to get
back soon, or Bernado will sure be horrified going out with my wound."  Zorro

" I have to be going now, Anna Maria, I will see you soon." He said.  He let
go of her and began to climb down.

" Wait!" Anna Maria called. " I have something for you." Zorro came back up.
Taking out the necklace, she gave it to him and said, " This is my heart to
you, I hope you will be safe at all times when you wear this."  Zorro let her
fasten it around his neck.  " Gracias, I will always wear it.  Adios for
now."  He leaped down on Tornado's back and rode for home.

" Adios, my love." Anna Maria whispered and blew a kiss.