04 April 2011

La leyenda de la garita del diablo

The sentry boxes or "garitas" were used by the Spanish soldiers or guards to protect the city walls night and day. Some of these were located quite near to others but others were more distant and solitary...At night the guards would ocassionally shout a call to other guards in their boxes so as to check on their whereabouts and to keep from falling asleep.

--Guard, be alert! would shout one. And the nearest would answer back:

--Alert, I am !

Among all the boxes there was one, the most distant and lonely above a cliff in Fuerte San Cristóbal. In the silence of the night, the noise of the sea would produce a rumor as if all the bad spirits were talking to each other.

This box was not liked at all as rumors abounded of the strange noises and spirits heard there.

That night it was Sánchez's turn to be guard on duty there. Sánchez was born in Andalucía and was very fair-skinned, rather pale but very handsome. Due to that he was called "Flor de Azahar" since that flower is very white. He was a member of the Cavalry Regiment and was an excellent guitar player.

As always the occasional cries from one guard to another were heard but then nothing was heard fom Sánchez's box...Only the whistling wind and the rumor of the sea... Fear reigned in the other guards during the rest of the night, all trembled thinking in what may have happened to their friend.

At sunrise all went to Sánchez's box to see why it had been mute during the night.

They found his rifle,his uniform...he had vanished without a trace.. The soldiers, all superstitious, started to say that he had been surprised and taken away by a demon. Since that day, the sentry box was called "The Devil's Sentry Box". But...

Few knew that Sánchez had been in love with a beautiful mestizo girl named Diana and that she loved him back...but her stepmother did not approve of the relationship and Sánchez's commander also prohibited his romance due to the dark color of her skin...They had to be content with seeing each other from afar and speak with their eyes.

Flor de Azahar communicated with her through his guitar. At night he would play his guitar and sing; in his songs he would comunicate his messages to Diana..

One night he sent her a message which only she could understand, that said: "Tomorrow at night, go and find your love, because far from your arms, his heart is dying..."

The following night, Diana arose late at night and left her house to find her love. They met at the Sentry box guarded that night by Sánchez and fused themselves in kisses and sweet words of love...they decided to go far away and live together forever.

Diana had brought him civilian clothes. He left his rifle and his uniform and the couple left towards the Sierra and the Rain forest near Luquillo.

There, hidden from the rest of the island they built a house and lived happily ever after.

They say that still in these days, at night, you can hear a guitar playing and a soft laughter mixed with the wind...Diana and Flor de Azahar are mocking those that made up the legend of the Devil's Sentry Box.

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