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Sgt. Jaíme Mendoza

In the beginning, Sergeant Mendoza is shown to be quite inept and cowardly and is not on close terms with Victoria and the de la Vegas.  On several occasions, Victoria directs vaguely insulting comments at him.  Diego prepares some food for Mendoza which gives him indigestion.  As time passes, Victoria, Diego, and Don Alejandro become closer friends with Sgt. Mendoza.  Victoria stops making insulting comments, and Diego even tries to help Sgt. Mendoza become an officer in the military.  Allusions are often made towards Sgt. Mendoza's tremendous appetite, but the comments are no longer insulting and are more like friendly banter.
James Victor as Sgt. Mendoza #1

Sgt. Mendoza is proud to serve in the military.  His inspiration for becoming a Sergeant in the

Sgt. Mendoza

Royal Lancers came when he was twelve years old and lived in an orphanage.

James Victor as Sgt. Mendoza #2

From the episode "Miracle of the Pueblo". . .
Dear Santa Claus,

My name is Jaíme Mendoza.  I am twelve years old, and I am writing to thank you for the toy soldier you left on my pillow.  When I grow up, I am going to be a soldier, and I hope that you will be proud of me.  It was such a lovely gift.  You needn't bother to bring me anything next year.  Instead, would you please make sure that all of the poor people in the pueblo have enough to eat on Christmas day.  At Christmas, plum pudding would be nice for each of them.  I will say a novena for you and Mrs. Claus.  Feliz Navidad.

Your amigo,

Jaíme Mendoza

"See, I never had a Feliz Navidad.  All the other children at the orphanage. . .they got presents but not me.  I wasn't very well liked.  Then, one Christmas morning, I woke up and lying next to me on my pillow was this little wooden soldier.  It was beautiful.  He was carved so beautifully, and he wore the uniform of a Sergeant in the Royal Lancers." Miracle - Felipe, Sgt. Mendoza, Diego, Victoria, and Don Alejandro
Sgt. Mendoza's attitude towards Zorro changes over time.  At first Sgt. Mendoza is simply trying to capture Zorro and fails due to his incompetence.  Later, Sgt. Mendoza realizes that Zorro is doing nothing wrong, and Mendoza likes and admires Zorro for his actions.  Sgt. Mendoza no longer tries very hard to capture Zorro.
James Victor as Sgt. Mendoza #3 Sgt. Mendoza now knows that the Alcalde's behavior is unjust rather than Zorro's.  Now, Sgt. Mendoza fails

Zorro and Sgt. Mendoza

to capture Zorro because he isn't really trying to capture Zorro.  Sgt. Mendoza considers Zorro his friend.

Don Diego and Sgt. Mendoza

From the episode "Balancing the Books". . .
Sgt. Mendoza's future home is set on fire, and Sgt. Mendoza is trapped inside the burning building.  Zorro saves him. Balancing the Books - Zorro and Sgt. Mendoza #1
Balancing the Books - Zorro and Sgt. Mendoza #2 "Zorro!  You saved my life!"

"It's the least I could do. . .for a friend.  Although, I don't like losing a good hat!"

"A friend. . .he called me his friend!"

Balancing the Books - Sgt. Mendoza
Later, Sgt. Mendoza reflects on the loss of his dream house.

"Sometimes, it's better to have our dreams than to have our dreams come true.  As a matter of fact, I have something better, something money can't buy.  I have a friend, and such a friend is worth more weight than gold."

Balancing the Books - Don Alejandro, Sgt. Mendoza, and Don Diego.

As time passes, it becomes apparent that Sgt. Mendoza has courage.   A person with courage is most often considered to be a person without fear, but a person with courage can also be a person who struggles to overcome fear and succeeds.  The latter person has more courage than the former since it is usually very difficult to overcome one's fears.  Sgt. Mendoza is an example of one who struggles to overcome his fears.  Sgt. Mendoza's courage is also based on doing the right thing and standing up for his beliefs, regardless of the consequences.

From the episode "Rush to Judgement". . .
Sgt. Mendoza plays a major role in deceiving the Alcalde so that an innocent man is not hanged.  He risks his military position to save this man;  in doing so, the Sergeant shows great courage since his military position is extremely important to him.

Diego comes up with a plan to make the Alcalde think that a week has passed so that the Alcalde will think that the execution took place as scheduled.  Following Diego's plan, the Sergeant drugs the Alcalde.

Rush to Judgement - Mendoza drugs De Soto

Rush to Judgement - Mendoza confesses to the deception.

Rush to Judgement - De Soto prepares to hang Mendoza

Rush to Judgement - Mendoza is relieved to be out of trouble.

Diego states, "You were very brave Sergeant."

"I have never been so scared in all my life," replies Sgt. Mendoza, courageously admitting to his fears.

When the Alcalde discovers the deception, Sgt. Mendoza confesses, "I did it all because José Rivas, he is innocent.  I am ready to face the consequences."

"I see.  So Rivas escaped and you came up with this plan all by yourself?" asks De Soto.

"Sí, mi alcalde."

The Alcalde takes away Sgt. Mendoza's military rank and decides to hang him as well.  Fortunately, Zorro rescues Sgt. Mendoza, and it is discovered that José Rivas is innocent.

Diego asks, "So since José is not guilty, how can you punish Sgt. Mendoza for helping him escape and doing the right thing?  My hat goes off to you Sergeant!"

Rush to Judgement - Victoria, Mendoza, and Diego plan what to do next.

Rush to Judgement - De Soto decides to hang Mendoza.

Rush to Judgement - Zorro rescues Sgt. Mendoza.

Rush to Judgement - Don Alejandro and Diego compliment Mendoza on a job well done.

Most interesting is the fact that it was Diego's plan that Sgt. Mendoza was following and that everyone else was involved as well.  Sgt. Mendoza showed tremendous courage when he took all of the blame and did not let on that the others helped him.

From the episode "The Arrival". . .
The Arrival - Resendo #1 Emissary Resendo has ordered the execution of Alcalde De Soto.  He orders Sgt. Mendoza to begin the execution.
The Arrival - Sgt. Mendoza #1 "No!" responds Sgt. Mendoza.

"What did you say?" asks Resendo.

"He said no," replies De Soto slowly.

The Arrival - Resendo #2
The Arrival - De Soto "Proceed with the execution, now!" orders Resendo.

"No, it's not right!"

The Arrival - Resendo #3
The Arrival - Sgt. Mendoza #3 Sgt. Mendoza's refusal to start the execution is another example of his courage, and as a result, he too faces death.

A final example shows both Sergeant Mendoza's courage and his willingness to help Zorro.

From the episode "As Ye Sow". . .
Sgt. Mendoza shows Zorro where Alcalde Ramone had him bury the lead sulfate several years previous.  Zorro is planning to dynamite the area to prevent further contamination of the water supply.
As Ye Sow - Sgt. Mendoza and Zorro #1 "Zorro!  Zorro, wait please.   I'm part of the one who caused the problem around here.  I should be the one to eliminate that problem!"

Unfortunately, Alcalde DeSoto shows up and orders them to stop.

As Ye Sow - Sgt. Mendoza and Zorro #2
As Ye Sow - De Soto #1 "Oh, Alcalde, not now, not now!"

The Alcalde is going to shoot Zorro, but Sgt. Mendoza grabs Zorro and gets in front of him.

As Ye Sow - Sgt. Mendoza and Zorro #3
As Ye Sow - De Soto #2 "Get out of the way Sergeant!"

"No, I can't do that!"

As Ye Sow - De Soto #3
As Ye Sow - Sgt. Mendoza and De Soto #1 The Alcalde orders the lancers to shoot them both.   Zorro fights off the Alcalde long enough to allow Sgt. Mendoza to light the fuse. As Ye Sow - De Soto and Zorro
As Ye Sow - Sgt. Mendoza and De Soto #2 The Alcalde plans to court-marshall Sgt. Mendoza until Zorro explains that thanks to the Alcalde's astute leadership, Sgt. Mendoza has just eliminated a deadly poison. As Ye Sow - Zorro
Once again, Sgt. Mendoza has risked not only his life but his military position in order to do the right thing.

More Character Biographies

Diego Victoria Alcalde Ramón Alcalde De Soto
Felipe Don Alejandro (Efrem) Don Alejandro (Henry) Toronado
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