lightly tapping at the door Don Alejandro entered the bedroom. The
gentle fluttering of the window curtains were the only sounds he heard
as he looked about the room. Closing his eyes Alejandro sighed with
relief to find Zorro had gone. At least his son would no longer be in
danger from Garcia and his men. Walking toward Anna Maria he felt a
sudden tightness in his stomach as the light from the open window cast
a pale shadow on her once cheery face. In the past Don Alejandro was
appalled by Monastario's despicable behavior but since he learned of
the commandante's hidden secret his heart softened. Sadly his eyes were
drawn from Anna Maria to the bed where Monastario lay. He wondered how
he would have behaved if his wife and child were taken from him in such
a violent way. Ones position in life, wealth and respect would mean
nothing without a loved one to share it.
"How is he?" asked Don Alejandro standing next to Anna Maria.
"Not well," she replied. "He has lost much blood and is not conscious. I fear that he will not be strong enough to survive."
"And Diego?" questioned the don.
"He is probably waiting in the sala as Diego right now," she said trying to smile.
dear, you must get some rest. The child you are carrying must come
first. Bernardo can handle what needs to be done." Bernardo nodded in
agreement as the don continued, "Leonar is waiting for news of the
commandante. Please come with me to the sala. I think she could use a
"Very well," she said turning to Bernardo. "Watch over
the commandante and let us know if there is any change in his
condition." Bernardo smiled and nodded his head again as the two left
Diego had changed his clothes quickly and hurried
downstairs to the sala. Putting on an air of surprise and relief he
walked toward Leonar. Taking her hands in his he appeared shocked by
her torn and bloodied clothes.
"Leonar, what has happened? Are you all right?" he said.
"Si.....no. Capitan Monastario has been shot by Don Miguel and he is hurt very badly," she said trying to hold back tears.
"How is this possible?" he inquired. "Don Miguel is the son of one of my father's closest friends."
son it is so," said Alejandro entering the room with Anna Maria.
"Sergeant Garcia came to the hacienda this morning looking for Don
Miguel. It is believed that he had something to do with the death of a
woman from the tavern. We also learned that the commandante was married
and his wife was murdered by Don Miguel."
"This is so incredible. Where is Ramirez now?" asked Diego acting as though all information was new to him.
lancers have taken him to the cuartel to be locked up," said Garcia.
"The senorita was just telling me the events which took place. It seems
Don Miguel still had a grudge against the commandante and took great
pleasure in shooting him. Zorro made an appearance just in time to save
both her and the commandante. We are now awaiting Corporal Reyes and
the doctor's arrival."
"Don Alejandro," interrupted Leonar fretfully. "How is Enrique?"
eyes turned toward Alejandro and Anna Maria. Taking a deep breath Anna
Maria looked at Alejandro and stepped forth. "I am afraid his condition
is quite serious. I am so sorry."
"I must see him," Leonar said her eyes filled with tears.
"Leonar, Sergeant, please come with me," Alejandro said hoping to give Diego and Anna Maria some time together.
alone Diego eagerly embraced his wife. Placing her head against his
chest Anna Maria became overcome with emotion and began to weep.
Feeling the pounding of her heart and the tension in her body Diego
held his wife until the strength of his arms brought her comfort.
Taking Anna Maria by the hand Diego led her out to the garden where
they sat in the warm sunshine among the brightly colored flowers.
amor, I am sorry that I did not arrive sooner to stop Ramirez. No
matter what differences I have had in the past with Monastario...I
would not have wished this. I have seen a change for the better in him
since his return. In his office I saw him looking at a picture he took
from his desk of a beautiful young woman. It must have been his wife.
He looked at her so...I do not know how I would react if something
happened to you."
"Oh Diego, nothing is going to happen to me or
our unborn child. Soon we will have a little one and you will be a most
loving father just as you are a husband," she smiled. "Poor Leonar. She
is deeply in love with the commandante. I wish there was something we
"It is no longer in our hands. We can only hope for the best."
"I am very proud of you my husband. You are a courageous and loving man. I am a most fortunate woman."
gate swung open as Dr. Avila, Padre Felipe and Corporal Reyes quickly
entered and made their way directly to Diego and Anna Maria.
"Diego, Senora," said the doctor. I am here to see the commandante. Please take me to him."
Follow me and I will show you the way," said Diego releasing Anna
Maria's hand. The doctor and Padre Felipe followed Diego into the
hacienda while Anna Maria offered Corporal Reyes some refreshment on
the patio. The doctor moved quickly passed Diego once the bedroom door
was opened. Before beginning his examination the doctor handed his bag
to Bernardo and peered over at Leonar.
"Senorita, I think it
would be best if you and the others would wait in the sala," said the
doctor. "Bernardo and I will do what we can for the commandante."
"...but I do not wish to leave him," she said.
I think we should do what the doctor requests," said Padre Felipe.
Taking her arm he urged her to follow as Alejandro and Garcia stepped
into the hallway. Leonar began to argue with the padre but reluctantly
followed the others.
"My child, you need to change and freshen
up," said Padre Felipe. "You would not want the commandante to awaken
and see you this way. The doctor may be sometime. Go now."
"All right, but only if you promise to get me if there is any word."
course my child, at once," said the padre with a reassuring smile.
Leonar excused herself and went to her room to freshen up and change
her clothes while Diego and the others remained behind.
do whatever I can for Leonar and the commandante but I believe that
Leonar could use the comfort of her father," uttered the padre.
"Si. That is a good idea," added Alejandro. "I will go into the study and write the governor at once. Con primiso."
padre let us move to the patio to wait for word from the doctor,"
insisted Diego. "We can join Anna Maria and Corporal Reyes for some
"Ah Don Diego, that is an excellent idea," Garcia replied eagerly.
chose his words carefully as he sat in his study composing the letter
before him. He did not wish to alarm the governor but urgently
requested that he leave Monterey for Los Angeles for his daughter
needed him. Soon after sending a servant into the pueblo to post the
letter Alejandro pushed his chair away from the desk. Setting his pen
down on the desk Alejandro leaned back in his chair. He would soon have
to write another letter to his dear friend, Don Carlos, explaining the
sad situation involving Don Miguel. This was going to be a hard letter
to write but a necessary one. Before he did anything he felt he should
discuss the situation with Sergeant Garcia so that his facts were
clear. Leaving his study he made his way out to the patio where he saw
Leonar and the padre sitting in a corner by themselves talking while
the others remained in quiet conversation around table.
"Diego, has there been any word from the doctor?" questioned Alejandro hoping the news would be encouraging.
"No father, there has been no word. Did you manage to get the letter off to his excellency?"
Benito has taken it into Los Angeles. I was about to write Don Carlos
but...how can I tell him of his son?" inquired Alejandro.
would be the best person to write," replied Garcia reaching for the
bottle of wine to refill his glass. "This will be a difficult task but
it is necessary." No sooner did Garcia raise his glass to his lips then
the doctor appeared. It was now late afternoon and everyone was eager
to receive news of the wounded man. Slowly Leonar stood and walked with
the padre toward the doctor. The others gathered around anxious for a
word of encouragement.
"Senorita, the commandante is still
alive. He has lost a great deal of blood and is extremely weak but
thankfully Zorro and you managed to get him to the hacienda where
Bernardo stopped the bleeding. I wish I could be more encouraging but
only time will tell."
"Doctor, may I see him," asked Leonar.
course child. You and the padre may go in. I must speak with Don
Alejandro and then I will join you," smiled the doctor. Anna Maria led
Leonar and the padre into the hacienda.
Remaining behind the
doctor turned to the men and said, "I chose not to tell this to the
senorita because she has more then enough to handle but there is
something you should know about the commandante's condition. It was
necessary to remove the bullet which was lodged in his back. If he
survives he may be paralyzed."