A New Beginning
The excitement at
the hacienda continued following the birth of the de la Vega twins.
The nursery adjacent to Anna Maria and Diego's room was finally
complete. Both parents loved the soft warm tones, numerous toys
scattered throughout the room and the sheer lace curtains that
shimmered when a breeze rippled through the windows. The heirloom
carved crib given by Don Alejandro was placed in the nursery next to
the one brought by Don Grigorio and the two were decorated with
handmade linens in pink and blue. How fitting that the cribs, which
held Anna Maria and Diego, should be used for their precious little
ones as they slept contently. Once "la ninera" was chosen to help with
the care of the children everything would be perfect.
after the birth of his children Diego sent a note to Padre Felipe
asking the priest to suggest a woman to help with the care of the
babies and to come to the hacienda to discuss the forth-coming
baptism. As soon as the note was received Padre Felipe went to work
finding the perfect nanny for the de la Vega children and happily the
woman he chose accepted.
Abuelo, an Indian woman, worked and
lived at the San Gabriel mission for many years along with her husband,
Innocente. It was there at the mission they raised their children
under the love and protection of the mission priest. Now with the
death of Innocente and her children grown, Abuelo eagerly accepted the
proposal made by Padre Felipe to become la ninera to the newborns.
Taking only a few personal items the Indian woman and the priest
climbed aboard a wagon and headed toward the de la Vega rancho.
Felipe," greeted Diego. "Gracias for coming so quickly. One baby can
be difficult for a new mother but two…poor Anna Maria has not had a
moment to rest."
"Do not worry my son," smiled Padre Felipe.
"This is Abuelo. I know the children will receive excellent care in
"Come Anna Maria is in the nursery," said Diego. "Let us go upstairs and meet my family."
proudly led the way to the nursery where Anna Maria was attending the
children. Instantly the babies took to Abuelo and she to them. Anna
Maria was delighted as she watched the care in which the Indian woman
handled her little ones. Padre's Felipe choice had been an excellent
one and the new parents were extremely grateful. Before the padre
returned to the mission he blessed the babies and set a date with the
elated parents for the baptism. After arriving back at the mission the
priest had the rest of Abuelo's belongings collected and sent to the
Meanwhile the plans for Leonar's rapidly approaching
wedding were going smoothly. The governor and Leonar's Aunt Margarita
completed the invitations and arranged for coaches to bring guests to
the wedding in Los Angeles. Don Alejandro, acting on the governor's
behalf, booked rooms at the inn nearby. The mission at San Gabriel
would soon host two very different but happy occasions; a baptism and
However Leonar had become so wrapped up in helping
Anna Maria in the past months she had neglected the making of her own
wedding dress. With time growing close and more time available to her
thanks to Abuelo, Anna Maria prepared a surprise for her dear friend.
Early one morning a carraige arrived at the hacienda bringing Anna
Maria's seamstress with a great deal of material for the women to
see. After hours of painstaking consideration Leonar chose a design
and material. Before returning to her home to begin the pattern the
seastress took all measurements and promised to return for the first
fitting within the week.
"I cannot believe that everything
is going so smoothly," said Leonar looking radiant. "Father, with Don
Alejandro's help, has made arrangements for the guests, the invitations
are about to be sent, our living quarters are almost complete and now I
will have my beautiful dress. Oh gracias, dear friend, I feel like I
am living in a dream."
"Oh Leonar, I just new that everything would turn out. I know you both will be very happy."
the moment we met I knew Enrique was a good man even though he tried
not to show it. I fell in love that moment and have never questioned
"You are going to be a beautiful and very happy bride," said Anna Maria happily.
within the dense wooded hills behind the de la Vega rancho two men
continued watch for patrols of soldiers while anxiously awaiting
information that would help them format a plan. This time neither
Zorro, nor Diego de la Vega or anyone would stop them from getting what
"We must be careful," snarled Quintana. "I do not wish to end up in a filthy prison again."
"Do not worry. Everything must be right before we strike," replied Pablo. "These rich pigs will pay and pay well."
their escape from a northern prison no one had given a thought to the
two men. The first man known as Quintana had been one of the henchmen
captured by Zorro and turned over to Sergeant Garcia. Quintana
originally was sent to the pueblo de Los Angeles to help "the Eagle" in
his nefarious plan to take over California. Luckily for Fuentes he
ended up in jail instead of the end of Zorro's sword. There in prison
no one listened to his insane ramblings of young de la Vega disquised
as Zorro except a greedy Indian named Pablo. Pablo, the second man,
had worked for the Verdugo family for many years before devising a plan
to extort money from them. Diego, as Zorro, came to the rescue of the
Verdugo family only to win the heart of Anna Maria and the disgust of
Pablo. Having found a mutual interest the two men planned their escape
and traveled down California to exact their revenge from the Verdugo
and de la Vega families.
Meanwhile in the pueblo Capitan
Monastario was busy planning an enlargement to his quarters. Since a
commandante must live within the cuartel certain adjustments would have
to be made to accommodate a wife. Monastario hoped that with all the
adjustments made to his quarters his future bride, Leonar, would find
the surroundings more comfortable. Thanks to the cooperation of the
weather the plans for the commandante's quarters moved along swiftly
and would be ready in time for the wedding.
With the commandante
occupied with renovations Sergeant Garcia took charge of the every day
occurrences in the cuartel and surrounding areas. His earlier
experience as acting commandante allowed him to take on this new
challenge with ease. The first real demand of him came with the news
of the escaped prisoners. Garcia hastilly had his men inform the de la
Vegas of the escape and led a search through all areas surrounding Los
Angeles. To the surprise of everyone Garcia had gone from a bumbling
incompetent to a rather thorough individual.