The League of Zorro

This is a school assignment I had a lot of fun doing. It turned out magnificently. I mean, how often can you re-read your favorite books and count it as school time? Here is a scene inspired by William McCay’s writing in the Zorro series. (Sorry about the funny paragraphing.)

The League of Zorro

Joanna D. Fall ’06

I watched as my master Alejandro de la Vega strode quickly down the hall.

“That can mean only one thing…,” I thought staring after him from the kitchen.

“I’ll be catching up on my reading…” his voice trailed off down the hall. “Nobody disturb me…”

“Zorro would ride again,” I guessed and started to leave the kitchen, but the elderly kitchen maid returned, dumping a heap of dishes into the sink and spattering soapy water everywhere.

“Senorita Elena’s here,” she commented. “You can’t leave the kitchen until you finish the dishes,” she added, glancing in my direction. “Heaven knows I have enough work.”

“But Zorro might need my help!” I thought. “And why did he tell me to wash the dishes anyway?” Elena would make Alejandro eat something before he rode out as Zorro, and then there would be even more dishes to wash. “Unless–, ” I reasoned, “–I finished them before–,” I turned toward the sink which overflowed with dishes

“Mateo,” my master’s lazy voice broke lazily into the kitchen,

“Senorita Elena needs some refreshments.”

I grabbed some fruit, and, placing it on a tray raced past the scowling kitchen maid and out of the kitchen.

“Zorro’s business takes precedence,” I thought, smiling, “He may need my help.”

I found my master standing over his desk, poring over maps. Elena, seated on the other side of the room, was talking earnestly to him.

“–You scout the inn, Mateo and I will spring the ambush at–” She looked up as I came in. I placed the platter on a side table near her chair and joined Alejandro at the desk.

Elena sighed as she got up from her armchair across the room and moved the platter to Alejandro’s desk.

“Eat something!” she told him.

“If only I could search their headquarters…,” he murmured, pushing away the platter.

“I could pretend to be Zorro,” Elena said sitting down again as she continued her plans, “a perfect disguise, and you could search the raiders’ headquarters at the inn. Mateo could be the lookout–”

Alejandro glanced up for the first time since I had entered, “The raiders have a force much to great for that, besides–” His eyes swept the room, looking, I knew, for an excuse, “–ah, they will not come by that pass, its–”

He noticed me for the first time.

“Mateo,” he said, alert suddenly, “Where did you say the raiders were watching?”

“Senorita Elana’s house,” I answered promptly. He would need my help, I knew, to defeat the raiders. “Perhaps I could even ride with him,” I thought.

“So you see,” he told Elena, “If they were to catch you, they would know who you were, and possibly who I am as well. They may already have plans to hold you for ransome as bait for Zorro.”

“So I cannot go home,” she concluded, “all the more reason for me to be of use here.”

Alejandro collapsed into a padded chair.

“I can’t–Your father wouldn’t have–” He passed his hand over his brow. “It’s dangerous.”

“So is riding out without eating,” Elena countered. “How ling has it been since you’ve eaten?”

“The raiders have hit,” I said quickly, “He must ride soon; it is a very dangerous man’s task.”

I realized that perhaps I had spoken too soon; Elena was glaring at me.

“It is quite dangerous for a child–”

Alejandro seemed to have overcome his phase of fatigue and was staring quite seriously at the door as Elena spoke; suddenly, he leaped across the room and wrenched it open. There was no one outside of it.

He walked quickly across the room and pulled the heavy velvet drapes shut; Elena stopped talking.

“Listen,” Alejandro said quietly, “Remember yesterday, when I was late to your party? I think Commador Orfeo is involved.

Elena looked stricken, “He must know. He rode this way just yesterday, and i thought i heard retreating hoof beats just as I arrived!”

Alejandro set his shoulder to the bookcase at the back of the room, and it yielded, revealing the passageway to the Lair of Zorro.

Elena went to the entrance and called after him as he ran into the darkness, “Alejandro,” she said as I ran past her to help my master.

“Yes,” he replied, his voice slightly muffled.

“It is quite dangerous.”

Zorro leaped onto his horse and pulled me up behind him.

“Instead, I’ll meet you at the inn and help you search it,” Elena called after us as we shot under the waterfall, which concealed the exterior entrance to the Lair of Zorro, and into the evening.

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