Alejandro De la Vega (also spelled de la Vega) is a 'don', a respectable member of the community, indeed a gentleman rancher whose hacienda is a major estate in the still rather insignificant pueblo (village) of Los Angeles in California, then a Spanish colonial province, part of Mexico. Although himself an upright honest man and brave army veteran, it's not his age but his own safety which bars his son don Diego from telling even him (unlike his servant, Bernardo or Felipe depending on the version) his heir is actually the dazzling swordsman Zorro, however proud that would make the old man. Don Alejandro is therefore disappointed and embarrassed when Diego returns from Spain acting like a lazy, spoiled fop because it was his dream that Diego would become a great soldier and leader. In some versions of the story, Don Alejandro eventually learns that Diego is Zorro and is a great help to him.