The Mark of Zorro chapter 39 “Meal mush and goat’s milk!”

The Mark of chapter 39 “Meal mush and goat’s milk!”
Author McCulley, Johnston, 1883-1958
Title The Mark of
Note Published serially under the title: The curse of Capistrano.
Language English
Copyright Status Public domain in the USA.


They crowded forward—troopers, natives, , surrounding Vega and the who clutched at his arm and looked up at him from proud and glistening eyes.

“Explain! Explain!” they cried.

“It began ten years ago, when I was but a lad of fifteen,” he said. “I heard tales of persecution. I saw my friends, the frailes, annoyed and robbed. I saw soldiers beat an old native who was my friend. And then I determined to play this game.

“It would be a difficult game to play, I knew. So I pretended to have small interest in life, so that men never would connect my name with that of the highwayman I expected to become. In secret, I practiced horsemanship, and learned how to handle a blade—”

“By the saints, he did!” growled.

“One half of me was the languid you all knew, and the other half was the Curse of Capistrano I hoped one day to be. And then the time came, and my work began.

“It is a peculiar thing to explain, señores. The moment I donned cloak and mask, the part of me fell away. My body straightened, new blood seemed to course through my veins, my voice grew strong and firm, fire came to me! And the moment I removed cloak and mask I was the languid again. Is it not a peculiar thing!

“I had made friends with this great , and for a purpose.”

“Ha! I guess the purpose, !” Gonzales cried. “You tired whenever this was mentioned, and did not wish to hear of violence and bloodshed, but always you asked me in what direction I was going with my troopers—and you went in the other direction and did your confounded work.”

“You are an excellent guesser,” said Don Diego, laughing, as did the others about him. “I even crossed blades with you, so you would not guess I was . You remember the rainy night at the tavern! I listened to your boasts, went out and donned mask and cloak, came in and fought you, escaped, took off mask and cloak, and returned to jest with you.”

“Ha!”

“I visited the as Don Diego, and a short time later returned as Señor and held speech with the here. You almost had me, sergeant, that night at Fray ’s—the first night, I mean.”

“Ha! You told me there that you had not seen Zorro.”

“Nor had I! The fray does not keep a mirror, thinking that it makes for vanity. The other things were not difficult, of course. You can easily understand how, as Zorro, I happened to be at my own house in town when the comandante insulted the .

“And the must forgive me the deception. I courted her as Don Diego, and she would have none of me. Then I tried it as Zorro, and the saints were kind, and she gave me her love.

“Perhaps there was some method in that, also. For she turned from the wealth of Vega to the man she loved, though she deemed him, then, an outcast and outlaw.

“She has showed me her true heart, and I am rejoiced at it. Your excellency, this is to become my wife, and I take it you will think twice before you will annoy her family further.”

His excellency threw out his hands in a gesture of resignation.

“It was difficult to fool you all, but it has been done,” continued. “Only years of practice allowed me to accomplish it. And now Señor shall ride no more, for there will be no need, and moreover a married man should take some care of his life.”

“And what man do I wed?” the Lolita asked, blushing because she spoke the words where all could hear.

“What man do you love?”

“I had fancied that I loved Zorro, but it comes to me now that I love the both of them,” she said. “Is it not shameless? But I would rather have you Señor than the old I knew.”

“We shall endeavor to establish a golden mean,” he replied, laughing again. “I shall drop the old languid ways and change gradually into the man you would have me. People will say that marriage made a man of me!”

He stooped and kissed her there before them all.

“Meal mush and goat’s milk!” swore Sergeant Gonzales.

THE END

kasiaeliza

Mama dwójki Zorrątek. Trenuję jujitsu japońskie i kiedyś miałam krótką przygodę z kendo. Lubię RPGi, planszówki, geografię, historię, piłkę nożną i książki. Nie wróć, książki to kocham. :) ----------------------------------- Mother of two Zorro cubs. I train Japanese jujitsu and once had a short adventure with kendo. I like RPGs, board games, geography, history, soccer and books. Wait, come back, I love books. :)

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