– Alert I am!
The Spanish soldiers that stood guard at the different posts of the forts of San Juan, made sure that their companions were awake, alert and out of danger in their respective sentry boxes, or watchtowers by shouting out this call sign and response.
However, for one of these sentry boxes the sentries had to shout very loudly, it was the “Espigón”* Fort. This sentry box was built in 1634 and is one of the oldest defensive structures in the Fortress of San Cristóbal. It is located in a deep cliff on the ocean front and very distant from the rest.
One moonless night with very few stars, soldier Sanchez, who was popularly known as “Flor de Azahar”** because of the color of his skin stood guard at this post. The companion of the nearest booth shouted the signal of “Sentry Alert?”, but Sanchez would not reply at any time. Hence, he thought his partner was dead.
Fearing the worst, at day break the soldiers approached the sentry box only to find the soldier’s rifle, cartridge belt and uniform. Scared to death, they attributed to the devil himself the mysterious disappearance of soldier Sanchez.
“Flor de Azahar” was never heard from again and from that time on, the “Espigón” Fort is known as the “Garita del Diablo” or the Devil’s Sentry Post.
Those that did not blame the devil for Sanchez disappearance, say that the handsome Spaniard, secretly captivated by a beautiful Puerto Rican “mestiza” named Diana, had planned with her his desertion and his nocturnal flight to a privileged and beautiful place in the mountains of Luquillo.