The Pulido Hacienda

The next day is warm and sunny. Don Diego gets on his beautiful horse. He rides to Don Carlos Pulido’s big hacienda.

Don Carlos is a good friend of Don Diego’s family. Both families are rich and important. But the Governor does not like Don Carlos. He creates problems for him. He wants to take Don Carlos’ land.

Don Carlos is happy to see his friend. «Good morning, Don Diego. What a nice surprise! Come and sit in the patio.»

«Thank you. I am here to say something very important,» says Don Diego. «I am almost 25 years old. My father wants me to get married and start a family. I am not interested in marriage. I think love and marriage are boring but I must obey my father. How old is your daughter Lolita?» asks Don Diego.

«Lolita is 18 years old and she is very beautiful,» answers Don Carlos.

«You have a fine family. With your permission ‘, I want to marry your daughter,» says Don Diego.

Don Carlos smiles and is happy. «This is an honour for our family. You have my permission! Do you want to see Lolita?»

«I think I must!» answers Don Diego.

Don Carlos calls her and she comes to the patio. Lolita is a lovely girl with long black hair and dark eyes.

«Good morning, senorita. There is something I must tell you,» says Don Diego smiling. «I want to marry you and your father approves.»

«Oh, senor!» exclaims Lolita. «You want to marry me!» She is surprised and her face is red.

«Think about it today. One of my servants can bring me your answer tomorrow.»

«But why can’t you come tomorrow?» asks Lolita.

«Oh, your hacienda is far. I get tired when I ride my horse. I prefer to stay at home and rest.»

«What! You want to marry me and you don’t want to visit me! Is this your idea of love? I want to marry a strong, romantic man. You are young and rich, but you are not strong or romantic! Do you have a heart?» says Lolita. She is angry. She runs away and tells her mother.

Doha Catalina says, «You are lucky, Lolita. Don Diego is very rich. He comes from a noble family. The Governor likes his family. This is a big opportunity for our family.»

In the afternoon Lolita is alone in the patio. She is thinking about Don Diego. Suddenly she hears a noise and turns around. She sees standing in front of her. «Zorro!» she whispers.

«Don’t be afraid, senorita. I only punish corrupt people. I like your father because he is honest. I am here to admire your beauty.»

«What! You must go away. You are in great danger,» says Lolita.

«You are beautiful and kind, Lolita,» says Zorro. «Let me kiss your hand.» Zorro takes her small hand and kisses it. Lolita looks into his eyes and smiles. Then she runs into the house. «What a courageous man! He is a bandit but I like him,» Lolita thinks.


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