(Mary Sheeran found this note - which she had translated from its original Spanish - in an old French copy of Tristan which sold in the Alta Bookstore in San Francisco.)
"I thought I would lose my mind when he was in Monterey. All I kept hearing from the people who came from the Governor was how much time he was spending with Señorita Verdugo. Why her? Why? How – how could such a sensitive and noble person with such broad vision and ideals, how can he be so devoted to that selfish, self-centered, vain and possessive woman? She cares nothing for anyone or anything outside of herself, and if something or someone is notable or valuable, she wants it..
Oh, she is not that bad. I am - awful. Demented. Yes, I am! If a man loves a woman, then - that is it. It is what he wants. Then, I should want it but I do not. He is stupid!! He is a man! What is wrong with him? He is a man! Infuriating!
I could not believe that people actually thought he would accept amnesty. Were they fools? I am not even sure how that offer came about. What could the motive have been? I couldn't believe he would actually accept the offer. Then I thought, oh, why wouldn't he? How long can he keep this charade going? How long can he do with so little help, and everyone more and more depending on him and telling stories about him, until he has become - practically a legend. Did he think this would happen? I can imagine how it came about - a mischievous and yet quick decision on his way home. How will it end? Will he be caught and unmasked or trapped and killed? I fear it will end with him being alone.
But if he should stop - How alone we shall all feel here. How stupid! He is but one man. One lone fox. Yet, we are all linked together. She doesn't know. She is so vain, so self-centered -
Why do I dwell on her so much? I am so stupid. There are more important things to think about and to do, and I have so much work here.
I wish I were prettier. She is lovely. She can wear any color. She is gracious and charming and always says the right thing. I say whatever I think. That is not helpful. I have a stupid nose, dull and mousy hair, and I am too thin. He thinks of me as some nice sister. Well, of course - we grew up together. We played robber and soldier, and English against Spanish all those many years ago, leaping from rocks and over streams - racing our horses - dueling with sticks! He never cared that I was a girl until - when - he was in school, with his friends, and he and I went through those awkward years - those gawky bows of his. Gawky? I must be remembering someone else! And when his other died, it was so sad - But he was always charming. Then he went away, and my life changed. California changed.
Of course, when he returned, I knew from all those years we played together - to me, it was obvious, but to no one else, it would seem. How could I believe in his arts and flowers disguise? His father - devastated. How could he do that to his father? Why didn't his father see? At least, I thought he didn't -
Now, I don't know. At our last visit, I saw their eyes - I saw - I felt something different between them now, and this father walks - lightly now. He is the way he used to be, years ago.
It seems that D came away from her, but I do not think he has forgotten her. Is he sorry? He did not yield to the offer of amnesty. Why? I feel guilty for being grateful. We are so unprotected. The military does not care about us. Who does? Spain cannot help us. Only a legend. He is trapped.
I realize now why Señorita Verdugo appealed so to him. With her, he could forget all those responsibilities and all the large questions about liberty and justice and simply lead a normal life, with her.
Or could he? My poor D - what if I simply went up to him, or said quietly, today, when I see him, "I know what you do-" No, I would say, "I love you, El Zorro." No, not aloud! I cannot only think of myself, but of California. Of the future.
I think he must enjoy this game. Perhaps he thinks it will end soon, but how can it? And when it does, how will he live without it? How can he feel alive without Zorro? I can see him plotting this game as we used to plot our escapades so long ago. They had no price then. He was such a rogue then, and now. A rogue with a price, paying the cost.
When he visits, we play chess and discuss politics with my father, and he is not the least bit romantic with me. He does not serenade me, or want to go on rides and picnics as he did with her and with others. Never with me. I am torn between wishing he had been able to marry Señorita Verdugo - if he loves her, I should want that - and thinking that - he is still a dull man where women are concerned. Infuriating! She had no clue! She never knew she held his heart - she did not love him! She loved how she felt when she was with him! Stupid girl! But - he loved her. And perhaps he still does.
What do I do? Luis is coming back. His letters are eloquent, especially his last one. I feel numb about him. I believe he expects that things are the same between us and that we will marry and I will go to San Francisco with him.
Oh, Diego, Zorro, my friend, how I wish you who can see everything saw how your friend Moneta loves you. How can you not see? I am right here.
But I cannot do that to him. Not now. Now - Now I must dress for Sgt Garcia's birthday party. And meet him. And never show any sign. I leave no sign. I make no mark: Burn this - Later.
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