The Story Line
Don Alejandro and Torres have surrendered to Monastario on advice from the governor, who has promised them a fair trial. The governor has sent Judge Vasca, known for his honesty, to Los Angeles to conduct the trial, but the capitan has other plans. He sends Garcia and a party of lancers northward to meet the Judge and delay him. This will allow the capitan's henchman, Licenciado Piña, to conduct the trial in his absence and sentence the prisoners to death.
Diego worries that Monastario may attempt such a plan so he shadows Garcia to the inn where Vasca is spending the night. The sergeant challenges the portly jurist to an eating contest but discovers he is not able to keep up with his opponent. Zorro then sees the sergeant drug the judge in an attempt to keep him from reaching the trial. Zorro, in turn, drugs Garcia's wine and sends the sleepy judge off to Los Angeles. Zorro rushes to the pueblo, where he finds that Monastario has already started the trial and Piña is conducting a mockery of justice. Monastario is amazed, however, when Piña suddenly announces a verdict of "not guilty", for Zorro has snuck up behind Piña and is holding a sword against his back.
To further complicate matters, the missing judge arrives, and Monastario realizes he cannot win this battle. The scheming commandante turns the misfortune to his advantage by smilingly telling the judge he had ordered the "not guilty" plea to prove his fairness.