by Rachel DuBoise
D'artagnan was going through a deep state of depression, don't ask why, and refused to speak to almost anyone. And when he did, he spoke little and softly.
Rochefort was dead, Milady was dead, Buckingham was dead, Constance was dead, the Cardinal was being good, and the Protestants were being good. Nothing was happening. Nothing was exciting. Nothing was new.
Thinking about Basilio's face the night before when Zorro had taken senor Basilio's dare, Diego smiled from where he sat.
"Diego, what is so funny?" asked his father, hoping to be let in on the joke.
"Nothing, Father. I was just thinking about Seņor Basilio's face last night."
Alejandro and Bernardo had to grin. Yes, it had been an unusual (but welcome) sight to see Seņor Basilio hung upside-down in the plaza...even if Alejandro had not been there to see it.
Still chuckling to himself, Diego glanced at the clock (please note that he had been doing this every five minutes for the last hour) and noticed that it was finally time for him to start getting ready to leave. (yes...you guessed it...Basilio was causing trouble AGAIN)
"Bernardo, will you lease get Tornado ready for me?" He asked. Bernardo did not have to respond for he was already heading through the secret door in the highboy. This was one of the many reasons why Alejundro swore that his son and Bernardo could read each other's minds.
Once in the secret room, Diego lost no time in slipping into his black clothes. For some reason, this particular night's ride was giving him chills. It is just your imagination, he scolded himself. Either that or you have not noticed how cold it is because there is nothing new in this ride than there was in the last one.
Still trying to make him belive what he was thinking and shake off the fear, Zorro dashed down the stairs, and nearly ran pell-mell into Bernardo.
Thinking something had gone wrong already, Bernardo managed to stop Zorro from plowing into him and wouldn't let him down the stairs until Zorro explained that nothing had happened and to stop being so nervous.
"That's my job." he told him with a smile and dashed down the rest of the stairs, pell-mell.
The near-disaster with Bernardo just made him even more sure that something was going to happen that night that no one was expecting, and no one could ever believe.
Being a bit more on his guard, but still a bit distracted, in that one night Zorro nearly walked into a pole, got caught from behind by the Seargent, lost his footing on the cuartel roof, and a dozen other things! Fortunatly, everyone got away safe and sound...
Yanking off his mask as he went, Diego slowly made his way up into the secret room and counted off on his fingers to make sure he had not forgotten anything. Zorro's work for the night is done, he thought. Tornado is taken care of, and the lancers will be going on a wild goose chase for a while.
Not at all concentrating on what he was doing physically, (which he should have been doing) Diego suddenly missed a step and fell heels-over-head down the many stairs to the bottom, where he lost consciousness.
Table of Contents
Thanks to Mary Spooner for the special effects picture.