As you might be able to tell from the cover, in Johnston McCulley's second serialized Zorro story, Zorro takes to the high seas. Because what could possibly be more exciting than the first Zorro story? Why, Zorro plus pirates, of course!
On the eve of Don Diego Vega's wedding to Senorita Lolita Pulido, a band of pirates attacks Los Angeles, looting and pillaging. The presidio just happens to be empty of soldiers at the moment because Captain Ramon sent them on a fool's errand so the pirates could have free rein. His reward? They kidnap Lolita Pulido for him. Back in the first Zorro story (originally titled The Curse of Capistrano), Captain Ramon had tried unsuccessfully to woo the senorita, but of course lost out to Diego/Zorro. Now Ramon is determined to ruin his rival, claim the girl as his own, and make people think he's a hero. If he has to make -- and break -- a few pacts with some pirates, oh well.
Naturally, Diego dons his Zorro persona once again and sets off to rescue his lady love. If you're not used to reading serialized adventures like this (think the swashbucklers of Alexandre Dumas), then you might get a bit weary of the long string of escapes, captures, failed rescues, and so on. I thought it was a very fun story, and I liked that the damsel in distress did some plotting of her own, involving several bids for freedom and a successful trick to free Zorro.
This is not great literature. However, this is highly entertaining literature, and I'm so glad it's available in e-book form and not lost to the world. I read this with the Kindle app on my phone, and while it had numerous typos, still... I'd rather have to decipher a word here and there than not get to read it at all!
Particularly Good Bits:
"If a thief, be a thief! If a pirate, be a pirate! But do not play at being an honest man and try to be a thief and pirate at the same time."
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for lots of swashbuckling violence and Captain Ramon intending to have his way with Senorita Pulido if she does not consent to marry him.
This is my 34th book read and reviewed for The Classics Club.