Let me know how you're liking these, folks! You can help determine what, if anything, I liveblog next.
Chapter Eight: Flowing Death
Quick recap—no new info.
Flashback to Zorro chasing the stagecoach with the fleeing Commandante Manuel. This time we see that the coach wheels barely miss Zorro, who manages to catch the back of the coach and pull himself up. (This was a difficult and extremely dangerous stunt, so directors loved it. Some stuntmen made their careers doing this gag.)
Zorro sneaks up behind the driver who is distracted by being wounded and trying to control the galloping horses. They engage in a coach top battle.
Ramon is seen riding swiftly along the road.
Zorro throws the driver from the coach, but the traces have come loose from the coach! Zorro opts to stay with the horses while the coach veers wildly and crashes down a steep hill.
By the time Zorro has calmed the horses and pulled the battered Manuel from the coach, Ramon arrives to help. He suggests taking Manuel back to jail, but Zorro thinks Don del Oro's men are too likely to break him out. Instead, they will take this prisoner to Jose's cabin.
Jose turns out to be a Legion member who assists Zorro in switching Manuel and Ramon's clothing. Manuel, not looking healthy at all, is tied to a chair. Ramon's face is heavily bandaged to disguise his face. The plan is to place him in the cell to lure in Don el Oro's confederates. Jose is left to watch the real prisoner.
At "la Carcel de San Mendolito" which immediately fades to read "San Mendolito Jail", Diego and the peg-legged Jailerbring "Manuel" into a cell. Diego leaves to report to the Council.
Since "Manuel" is suffering a severe concussion, Governor Felipe adjourns the Council until the following day, in hope that the prisoner will be well enough to talk.
The remaining conspirators create a document and hand it to the mariachi.
At the Cantina del Camino (not seen since Chapter One), a couple of toughs are handed the message by the mariachi. They object that "Manuel is—" but they have their orders.
At the jail, a guard is told to open the gate for a load of straw for the horses. (Those of you who've raised or worked with horses know how quickly they go through clean straw!) But instgead of taking the ox-cart to the stables, the toughs park by the cellblock, and start throwing straw against the door of "Manuel's" cell.
They then set the straw ablaze and vamoose.
Ramon attempts to call the jailer. Too bad ol' Pegleg is also a member of the gang. He taunts "Manuel" with the keys, then tosses them aside. "Don del Oro has decided you're no longer any use to him!"
Diego and Juan arrive to check on Ramon, and see the smoke. Pegleg dishevels himself and stumbles out claiming he couldn't reach Manuel.
Diego attempts to reach the cell, but now the fire really is too bad to get through. Ramon searches frantically for a way out. At the barred window, Diego spots the abandoned ox-cart and uses it to pull the bars right out of the adobe wall.
When the jailer shows up, Diego and Ramon stage a fight that makes it look like "Manuel" got away of his own volition. Afterwards, Diego tells Juan that Ramon his a bit too hard. "I don't think he liked our plan."
The arsonist toughs were lingering nearby to get further news, and spot "Manuel" escaping. They pursue the bandaged man.
Zorro and Juan suit up. They have the advantage of knowing where Ramon is going.
The toughs catch up to Ramon and dehorse him. For reasons to be disclosed in a moment, they don't Just Shoot Him, but take him captive. Zorro decides to trail them to see where they take their prisoner.
Back at Jose's cabin, Manuel has come to. He tricks the soft-hearted Jose into loosening the ropes around his wrists, then knocks the guard out. Manuel finds Jose's horse and rides off.
Once the toughs meet others of their kind, Zorro sends Juan to summon the Legion.
Inside the ceremonial cave, we see a weirdly-lapping pool. Don del Oro and more toughs meet the two bringing "Manuel." They didn't kill him as ordered because he told them (truthfully) he knows Zorro's Secret Identity.
Zorro slugs the sentry and drags him into hiding. Meanwhile, Manuel rides swiftly. He arrives at the cave just after Zorro has entered. Manuel knows the layout of the cave better and gets to Don del Oro first.
The golden god is naturally startled to see his ally up and walking, when he's also lying on the floor. "We've been tricked!"He calls for Ramon's unmasking and "a double execution."
Cue Zorro! He's able to disarm one opponenht, and he and Ramon swordfight with the toughs. Manuel starts edging away, as he's figured out Don del Oro isn't his friend anymore.
Zoirro and Ramon are backed into a narrow passage. The golden god orders his men to tear down the dike. Turns out the pool was created by damming an underground stream.
Done del Oro calls back his men just before the stream bursts looks down the passage. Ramon and Zorro run, but are soon cornered and the water comes crashing toward them, bringing certain doom!
Tune in next week for Chapter Nine: The Golden Arrow!