Reyes Takes a Vacation;
A Crossover in 4 and 1/2 parts.
Standing in the now cleared out laboratory, only
the dying vortex behind them to show what had been there the day before,
Wilma more carefully perused her companion.
“Nice outfit, Buck,” she said, fingering the gold braid on
one sleeve. “Where did
you get it? And why?”
“From Zorro’s friend.”
He smiled at the memory of the past day. “And it was to enable me to play a little game of bruha
with a local rancher.”
Buck explained the game and what happened.
“Been eons since I have played such a rollicking game of poker.
Well, the local version anyway.”
Wilma just shook her head at her sometimes
exasperating friend. “You
do realize that you could have been stranded there with that
“Yeah, that thought occurred to me,” Buck
said sheepishly. “But I
must at admit, Zorro’s appearance made this whole thing seem a bit
surreal,” Buck added.
“Yes, he gave me quite a scare at first.
He doesn’t know how close he came to being knocked cold with a
laser. Luckily, he
mentioned your name before that happened.”
“Kind of took me by surprise, too.
I thought he was some fictional character until he swooped down
to help me.” Buck thought
a moment. How in the world
would a rich and casual young man like Diego know someone like this
Zorro, whose wanted poster he had seen on the way out of the tavern?
This whole adventure was weird and unbelievable.
He tried to remember the stories from his childhood while at the
same time being grateful there had been a couple of people who spoke his
language. And he was
particularly glad that the same people were so willing to help him get
back home. Especially since
he had totally misjudged the time frame of his rescue.
He had thought, when he had not seen Diego after the beginning of
the card game, that it would be the young rancher who would meet Wilma.
“You were met by just Zorro?
No one else?”
the only one. He
asked my name and said he was there on your behalf.”
So where was Diego? Buck thought.
“Interesting coincidence, though,” he mused aloud.
Buck recalled his and Zorro’s conversation
from the back of his horse. He
pondered. Finally he
asked, “I wonder where Don Diego was after he told Zorro….”
Who’s Don Diego?” Wilma asked and was puzzled by the look of
surprised comprehension on Buck’s face.
It dawned on him.
Like Bruce Wayne and Batman.
Clark Kent and Superman.
Diego is Zorro. Now
he remembered the rest of the story from his childhood.
He laughed, then answered Wilma’s question. “The one who gave me the nice clothes. Zorro’s friend.”
And how! he thought, still thinking how ironic it was that
Reyes had taken him to probably the only person who could have possibly
helped him return home under the circumstances.
Reyes stood watching the retreat of his friend
and the bandit, Zorro, long after they could not be seen anymore.
Then he gazed into the basket.
The first stars of the night sparkled on the top layer of coins.
He realized just what he had in his basket and almost dropped it
in shock. If he had heard
rightly, there were over two hundred pesos in there.
That was a king’s ransom, the corporal thought.
That would not only buy a new suit, but also the means to treat Señorita
Bastinada to some of those things to which she was accustomed.
“Corporal, did I hear Don Guillermo
correctly?” Sergeant Garcia asked from behind him.
Without thinking, Reyes clutched the basket
tighter to his chest. “About
“That he gave all his money to you?”
“Sí, he did,” Reyes said, his voice
“Why would he do that?” Garcia asked.
“He liked me,” Reyes said. “He said so.”
“But what are you going to do with it?”
“I am going to give it to Don Diego,” Reyes
“Don Diego doesn’t need the money,” Garcia
said with a sigh. He was
hoping for a bottle of wine. Keeping
order among all those card players was thirsty work.
“Don Diego said he would keep it for me.
I am saving it,” Reyes explained.
“Why would you want to save all of that?”
“Because someday I will want to marry a nice señorita
and have a house of my own and horses and cows,” Reyes said, his voice
“But who would marry a soldier?”
“Maybe someone who likes two hundred pesos?”
You can’t buy a house with two hundred pesos,” Garcia
said in exasperation. He
was getting very thirsty.
“Maybe, maybe not, but I am going to use this
money to court a nice señorita.”
“Corporal, let us take a few of these pesos
and buy some wine to celebrate your good fortune.
Then I can take care of the rest for you,” Garcia suggested.
“Maybe we can buy a bottle of wine, Sergeant,
but Don Diego is going to take care of my money for me. He promised,” Reyes insisted.
“Am I not your best friend?
Would I not take care of your money for you?”
“Yes, Sergeant, you are.
And you would take very good care of my money.”
“Then why don’t you let me keep it safe in
the comandante’s office?”
“You would not want me to hurt Don Diego’s
feelings, would you, Sergeant?” Reyes asked, thanking his patron saint
for that bit of insight.
Garcia scratched his chin. Well, since the corporal put it that way, he supposed not.
“I see what you mean, Corporal,” Garcia said with a sigh.
“Let me at least help you guard the money until you take it to
Four months later, Diego did indeed give
Buck’s regards to the new Señora Reyes.
“But Diego, that nice friend of Juan’s
really needn’t have gone to so much trouble.
I would have married Juan anyway, if only he would have asked.
He is such a dear, sweet man,” the former Señorita Bastinada
said with a soft smile. She
looked at her new husband, a man who could dance with her, a man who did
not tell her things just to flatter her out of her money, a man who made
her feel young and desirable again.
He was giving Pogo a cup of punch, and she watched while he
filled up another cup for her.
“Yes,” Diego said,
“but sometimes a little confidence makes things happen more
smoothly, Señora Reyes,” Diego replied.
The newly married businesswoman nodded and soon joined her
husband in another dance, while Sergeant Garcia sat glumly in a chair