Friday, December 2, 2011

Forgotten Books: Zorro Rides Again by Johnston McCulley

I’ve been meaning to post a Forgotten Books piece on the second Zorro novel, “The Further Adventures of Zorro,” but James Reasoner beat me to it. That’s HERE.

So . . . I’ll skip ahead and tell you about the third novel, "Zorro Rides Again." Unlike “The Further Adventures,” which was reprinted in both hardcover and paperback as The Sword of Zorro back in 1928, this one has yet to be collected in book form.

This four-part serial, featured in Argosy from October 3 to October 24, 1931, takes place after the events of “The Further Adventures,” and I’ve long been curious how McCulley went about it.

For those who don’t know, the first novel, The Mark of Zorro (aka “The Curse of Capistrano”) ended with our hero publicly revealing his identity and announcing he planned to marry the senorita of his dreams. In “The Further Adventures,” before the wedding takes place, she’s kidnapped by pirates, and Diego dons the mask to put him in the mood to rescue her. (The curious thing about these early tales is that he truly thinks of himself as having two personalities. Diego is mild-mannered, while Zorro is romantic and adventurous.)

“Zorro Rides Again” picks up three years after “The Further Adventures,” and Diego is still single. Seems his betrothed took ill and returned to Spain for her health. She has recently returned, and wedding plans are once more in the works. Yep, it looks like Zorro’s riding days are over.

Thankfully, an imposter shows up. A new Zorro is terrorizing the countryside, and this one is cruel to both cabelleros and peons alike. Since everyone knows Diego is Zorro, he takes the blame, and everyone’s after his head. His only way out is to dig his costume out of mothballs and ride to restore his name.

As noted in James’ post, “The Further Adventures” will soon be reprinted by both Beb Books and Black Dog Books. Hopefully one or both has plans for “Zorro Rides Again” too. In the meantime, I have it in a Word document, making it friendly for Kindle and other eReaders. If you’d like a copy, zip me an email at delewis1@hotmail.com.

Forgotten Books is a cunning and free presentation of pattinase.

6 comments:

Deka Black said...

And i was thinking marriage is difficult today ;)

George said...

I hope Black Dog or some other small press reprints the whole Zorro series.

Evan Lewis said...

Me too. You reading this, Tom?

Charles Gramlich said...

I like the Zorro character but haven't read many works about him.

Richard R. said...

I'm another who hopes these will al be reprinted, some could easily be combined into 2 or 3 novel omnibus format, as they are not that long.

Richard R. said...

Oh, and I sent Tom Roberts a link to your post.