Disclaimers: The characters from the Queen of Swords are copyright to Fireworks Productions. No infringement of copyright is intended or revenue expected from their use. The story plot and other original characters are copyright to the author, Jim Guy.
Part Two of two
Act Three, Scene 1
Don Dominguez woke up in 'Hotel Montoya' as some people called the jail. Doctor Helm was tending the don's head wound.
"Why am I here? This is an outrage I am a Don. I will have someone's head. I haven't done anything," wailed the don.
"Don Dominguez, perhaps the crack on the head made you forget your behavior."
"Yes. First you ride into town and accost a well-known and well liked Dona in public. Second you curse her and call her vile names that a lady should not be subjected to. Third you rip off her clothes in front of the military commander and most of the local dons. You are lucky you didn't wake up dead. That may still be a possibility."
"Why, when that whore goes free?"
"You still don't get it do you? Here you need a bandage, do it yourself."
"You are a doctor, I demand that you care for me."
"I am also a good friend of Senorita Alvarado's and have known her for the year I have been here. You claim the girl you are looking for is sixteen and ran away a few days ago. You have made a mistake."
"I couldn't have said it any better myself, Doctor." Colonel Montoya stood in the doorway of the jail.
"Don Dominguez, I have had an interesting message from San Diego. The Commandant sent a rider to Santa Helena. The man is exhausted. It seems that your wife is alive and has claimed that you were the one that beat her. Considering your attack on Senorita Alvarado I can believe her. She also says that she had given the girl in question permission to visit the pier and you flew into a fit. The rider, when he has rested will escort you back to San Diego in chains. You are to stand trial for your actions. I have a choice, San Diego or Monterey. In Monterey, you will hang most definitely."
"You can't do this."
"Oh but I can. This is my pueblo, not yours and I am the law. If I let you go, how could I explain to the people that I am protecting them? Besides, you are just liable to attack Senorita Alvarado again."
"What about that whore?"
"Please, your vile language is offending my delicate hearing. If you persist, I will have you gagged. As for the girl, well if she is here, then she is welcome. Slavery is illegal. Your wife said that the girl was hired not bought, therefore she has the right to leave your employ. Attacking free people will not be tolerated."
"I demand to be released."
Colonel Montoya sighed and lowered his shaking head. "Don Dominguez, you still persist in ignoring the obvious. You will remain here until the guard takes you home. When you are ready to leave, I will have you brought to my office. If you attempt to escape or attack any individual in this pueblo, you will not leave Santa Helena alive. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"
Don Dominguez mumbled something.
"I can't hear you."
"Yes I understand."
"Good, thank you for your assistance, Doctor. Shall we retire to the cantina for a drink to wash this unpleasantness away?"
"Colonel, we don't agree on much, but this time we are in agreement."
The two men left, leaving the don to bandage his own head.
Act Three, Scene 2
True to his word, Colonel Montoya had Don Dominguez brought to him a couple of days later. As the guard escorted the prisoner from Montoya's office, Tessa and Marta arrived in town. As the ladies were dismounting from the carriage, Don Dominguez spied his nemesis. He broke away from the guard and grabbed another guard's rifle. He cocked it and aimed it at Tessa.
A shot rang out. The bullet hit its intended target and entered the head and shattered the brain. Women screamed and everyone took cover as Don Dominguez fell to the ground. Captain Grisham holstered his smoking pistol. Tessa and Marta picked themselves up from the ground.
Tessa approached Grisham and Montoya.
"I owe you my life, Captain. You have finally shown that you are protecting this pueblo. Colonel, I was coming to see you and ask that you be kind to Don Dominguez and forgive him as I have. The man proves just what hate will do."
"I am afraid you are correct, Senorita. I give thanks that you were unharmed."
"Colonel, I also came to tell you that the young woman in question is indeed in Santa Helena, a guest on my hacienda."
"My, my. How did she come to your hacienda?" Montoya's pale eyes narrowed suspiciously.
"The Queen of Swords rescued her from the ocean and brought her to my home. She was terrified, tired, hungry and in need of medical assistance. Marta provided that. The girl had been severely whipped and there are at least fifteen whip marks across her back."
"What will you do with her?" the colonel asked.
"For the time being she will be my guest until she is strong enough to decide what she wants. It is like having a younger sister, Colonel. And poor Marta. She thought she had a terror on her hands with me, now there are two of us to torment her." She snickered.
Act Four, Scene 1
Several days later, Tessa, Elena and Marta were relaxing on the patio when a vaquero rode up. "Senorita, Pablo Garcia, a peon from one of the other haciendas has been arrested for stealing."
"What did he steal?" Tessa asked.
"A little food from a storekeeper so he could feed his family. It was a bag of beans."
"Thank you, Juan." The vaquero left.
"Elena, Marta, I am really warm. I think I will take a nap before dinner."
"You are going to sleep while a man may hang? Tessa, how can you do that?" Elena exclaimed.
"Elena, I am a woman, what do I know of the law?"
"You could fight them like the Queen of Swords does."
"She is a vigilante who fights with a sword. What do I know of such things?" Tessa shrugged with a helpless look.
Elena left the patio in a huff.
"Marta, hold my dinner. I think Chico needs to stretch his legs a bit." Tessa rose from her chair and smiled down at Marta.
"Please be careful this time."
"I always am," she answered with a pert smile.
"Right. I guess the bullet holes and swords cuts in your blouse are figments of my imagination."
Act Four, Scene 2
Later in the evening a black dressed figure crept through the shadows of Santa Helena. Entering the jail, she found the keys to the cell and went to release the prisoner. To her surprise, the cell was empty.
"Looking for someone, Reina?" Grisham stood at the doorway. The only way in or out. In his hand, pointed at her, was a cocked pistol.
"It was a setup?"
"Very good, Reina. I see you haven't lost your reasoning power. Now drop your sword and take off your mask."
"Why don't you lower your pistol and take off your pants and jacket, Captain." The point of a sword pressed against his neck. In his peripheral vision, he saw a second Queen of Swords. He slowly unbuttoned his jacket and shirt, tossing them to the imposter Queen. He pulled off his boots and then his pants. The pants followed the shirt and pants. Slowly he started unbuttoning the long johns.
"Leave the long johns on, Captain. This is not a social call," Tessa said with a laugh.
"Maybe not but we could have more fun." Grisham waggled his eyebrows suggestively with a leer.
"In your dreams Captain. You do seem to lose your uniform very easily."
Tessa turned to the second Queen. "Senorita imposter, put the clothes on over your own quickly. Captain, if you please." She urged him into the cell and locked it. She laughed as she placed the keys on the floor, just out of his reach.
"Sweet dreams, Captain."
Behind the jail they found Grisham's horse. Their own horses were across open ground and dawn was fast approaching. The two mounted the white stallion and rode to their own horses where the Queen jumped over to Chico and grabbed the reins on the imposter's horse. They galloped out of town.
As soon as the Queen was sure they were not being followed she pulled up. "Take the Captain's clothes off and give them to me." The imposter did as she was told. The Queen tied the clothes to the Captain's horse and sent it home.
"Now then young lady, we will go to a place where we can have a woman to woman talk. Blindfold yourself with your sash." The Queen the led the imposter's horse to a secluded canyon, where the Queen normally found some solace. She untied the young woman's blindfold. "Get down."
"I don't know how to thank you for saving me."
The Queen whirled on the imposter. "Don't do it again! Do you know what would have happened if I had not come along? Grisham would have captured you and by tomorrow you would be hanging from the town square."
"I could take Grisham."
The Queen laughed. "There are times that I can barely hold my own. He is bigger, stronger, a trained soldier and a man who enjoys using his own men as well as prisoners as punching bags. Don't ever underestimate an enemy. It will be fatal."
"I, I didn't think."
"No you didn't. What I don't understand is why?"
"I wanted to be like you. You fight for the people against a tyrannical government. Not like that spoiled rich Senorita Alvarado. Why, she took a nap when she heard that a peon was arrested. She doesn't have a clue about what real life is about."
"I said don't underestimate your enemies. Don't underestimate your friends either. You do not know anything about the Senorita. She took you, a complete stranger in and gave you a place to live. What would you have done if Don Dominquez had caught you instead of her."
"But you do fight against the government."
"No, I fight against injustice."
"Why don't you just kill Montoya and Grisham?"
"Then what? Who would replace them? Someone worse perhaps? Montoya may be a greedy and treacherous rat, but he is our greedy treacherous rat. He is a known commodity. A replacement would be an unknown adversary."
"Well, I hate them both."
"Hate is an emotion that can ruin you, make you forget caution and get you killed. Look what hate did to Don Dominquez. He was so full of hate that he attacked an innocent woman. He was so blinded by hate that he would not listen to reason."
Elena thought about this and started to speak. The Queen held up her hand.
"Take off that mask. There is only one Queen of Swords. You don't even have a sword and you probably couldn't use one if you had one."
"You could teach me?"
"Elena, you are too young to fight. I just didn't pick up a sword one day and start fighting trained soldiers. It took years of training. I would rather you learn to be a lady like Senorita Alvarado instead trying to be the Queen of Swords. You will live longer."
"I have no where to go. My mother always told me that I was too much of a rebel. When I was little, I would wrestle with the boys my age and beat them. I too can use a whip and a knife. I just haven't learned to use a sword yet. I don't want to become a woman whose only life is to service a man at his pleasure and raise babies."
"Maybe things will change sometime in the future, but you live here and now."
"Alright, I will learn how to be a lady from Senorita Alvarado, but I will not faint at the drop of a hat. I will be strong like you."
"You can be a lady and be strong like me, but sometimes strength comes from making others think you are weak."
A month later Tessa and Marta were in the kitchen.
"Marta, I think Elena has been doing very well. She no longer talks about how fantastic the Queen is and has been learning how to be a lady."
"Si, Tessita, she has also learned to read and write. She has been less trouble than you were at that age."
"Me? I was a perfect angel."
"An angel from hell," snickered Marta.
"Why Marta, whatever did I do?"
"Let's see. Dressed like a boy and learned to sword fight. Dressed like a boy and pretended to be a boy when our home quartered British soldiers. Ran away from home to live with my family. Not once but twice. And those are just some of the things that I know about."
"Marta, I never could hide anything from you. You found it all out."
"I wouldn't put it past you to have smuggled military secrets to the British." Marta turned a penetrating stare in her direction.
Tessa looked away quickly. "Now that would have been something to tell my father, wouldn't it? We were talking about Elena. Where is she?"
"I sent her to get a bottle of wine in the cellar. Uh Oh."
Tessa beat Marta to the cellar. They could see a light coming from the secret room. They found Elena holding a lace mask and the Queen's sword. Elena turned to face them.
"So, Elena, now you know our secret," Tessa said.
"Yes, but don't worry, I won't tell anyone. Now I know why The Queen persuaded me to stay with you." Elena smiled. "You and the Queen of Swords are friends. Why else would she leave her things her with you. She must really trust you with her life? Well, she can trust me also. I just wish she would trust me enough to tell me who she is. Has she told you who she is?"
"There are some secrets that are best left secrets, Elena."
"Perhaps you are right, Tessa."
Marta and Tessa looked at each other, a look that spoke volumes. They each took an arm and led Elena from the room. Tessa blew out the light.
©Infatuation - Jim Guy - October 2001
Please send your comments on this story to the author, Jim Guy