A New Beginning
Miles from the de la Vega hacienda Pablo
and Quintana hid the wagon among the dense growth of trees. There two
men waited with fresh horses and supplies along with the young wife and
child of one of the men. For the most part the kidnapping of the de la
Vega child had gone smoothly but the additional hostage was something
the men did not expect. However there was no time to stop to discuss
the woman's presence for the men must move quickly so not to be
discovered. Leaving the two hired men behind to eliminate any sign
that they were there Pablo and Quintana forged on with the women and
"Keep that screaming brat quiet," snarled Pablo looking at Leonar.
"Let us go and I promise I will see that you get your money," Leonar replied.
"Of course once you are free the de la Vega's will pay," laughed Pablo. "You must think I am a fool. Now quiet that kid."
what?" Leonar answered defiantly. "Will you kill us? Then where would
you be? My father and the commandante would hunt you down like the
animals you are."
"If they want their loved ones returned to
them they will obey or that brat and you will just vanish," grinned
Pablo. "Once they pay the money we will disappear and they can have
you and that brat but they must find you first. We will have them
running in circles. There will be no time to look for us until it is
"It seems as though you have thought of everything or have you? I have not heard you mention Zorro."
not speak that name again or you will be very sorry," spoke Pablo with
anger. "Remember no one says you have to be returned unharmed just
For the first time since she was taken from the
hacienda Leonar knew fear. These man were not crazy like Don Miguel or
Pina but they were every bit as dangerous. It was not just the money
they wanted but also revenge. Who was to say once the ransom was paid
that these evil men would release the child and she unharmed. Tears
filled Leonar's eyes as she looked down upon Maria Isabella's angelic
face. Leonar knew she must do nothing to anger these men but she
prayed that someone would find them soon. Riding alongside Leonar the
young wife of one of the men smiled.
"Your child is hungry," she said in a whisper. "Should you not nurse your baby?"
"Maria Isabella is not my child," said Leonar. "They took me not her mother."
your horse,"said the young wife moving close. "Take my child and I
will nurse the little one. Once she is fed she will settle down."
Leonar said exchanging children. Leonar wondered if this woman could
be the key to helping her escape or was this only a momentary kindness?
the hacienda Don Alejandro was waiting in the sala with Anna Maria and
Don Grigorio. A couple hours had passed since Pablo had taken his
prisoners and fled. Don Alejandro had sent a servant into the pueblo
to bring back Don Diego and the commandante while sending Benito and
the other vaqueros to follow the tracks left by the wagon.
Unfortunately Don Alejandro's men had lost the trail. Hopefully once
Diego and the commandante returned to the hacienda they would have more
luck. From what Don Alejandro remembered Pablo and Quintana were very
clever and dangerous men. Diego and the commandante would have to use
caution and skill to outwit these culprits. Don Alejandro was proud of
how his son, as Zorro, had handled criminals before yet would his
personal feelings get in the way this time. With the life of Diego's
baby daughter and Leonar at stake would his judgment be impaired?
Would the commandante's reaction be any different? This should have
been a happy time for both men instead they must fight to find the
"Dear Anna Maria," said Don Alejandro compassionately. "Diego and
the commandante should be here at any moment. They will find Maria
Isabella and Leonar and bring those scoundrels to justice."
"I hope so," said Anna Maria looking pale. "Father and I know how dangerous Pablo can be. I don't trust him."
trust Diego," said Don Alejandro. "Diego will leave no rock unturned
until he finds his daughter and Leonar. You must believe."
"I will try but," began Anna Maria as Diego and the commandante entered with Padre Felipe.
yelled Anna Maria running into her husband's arms. "Pablo, the servant
who tried to blackmail my family, has kidnapped Maria Isabella and
taken Leonar, too. Oh Diego what shall we do?"
"Mi querido it
will be alright," Diego said looking deeply into his wife's distressed
face. "The commandante brought a patrol and Sergeant Garcia has
already begun the search. We will join them once we speak with Abuelo
and the seamstress again."
"Diego, you must find them," pleaded
Anna Maria. "You know how dangerous these men can be. I don't believe
they would give a thought to killing the daughter of the governor or a
baby. Also the baby will need nourishment soon…"
"My child, let
us say a pray," comforted the priest. "Diego and the commandante know
what must be done. I do not believe these men are foolish. They
planned this very carefully. I am sure they have made arrangements for
the babies nourishment until an exchange is made."
Maria," said Don Grigorio. "Padre Felipe is right. These men want the
money and know they must not harm their hostages. Maria Isabella will
be fine until Diego and the commandante find them."
Trying to be
brave Anna Maria turned her face to her husband then returned to her
seat followed by the priest and Don Grigorio. Still in deep pain
himself, Diego joined his father and the commandante in the nursery
where la ninera was recovering from the blow to her head. After giving
a brief description of the man and the events that took place the three
men stepped out onto the balcony to plan what must be