At dawn, Sal, Blas and Jimenez loaded cargo for Father Serra in preparation for the expedition. Blas, was still dressed in the Brother’s grey robe, Jimenez wobbled, barely awake and Sal was rethinking his hasty decision.
“Lord, give me patience.” Father Serra looked toward the clouds. “You men must follow my instructions,” he said. “Everything’s wrong. Listen, when I tell you the corn gets packed dry—the oil, well-sealed.” Father Serra acted more demanding than any officer in the military. “And another thing, we’ll need twice as many chickens. You, go collect them at once.” Father Serra shoved Sal’s shoulder. He kept rechecking his inventory list of supplies.
“We’re ready now. Let’s get moving,” Sal said. He wanted to begin the search for Brother David. He counted and recounted all the food, the tools, timbers—everything.
“Who’s in charge here?” Father Serra said. He scribbled in his books. “We’re ready when I say we’re ready. ¿Sabes, hermano, you understand?”
Father Serra turned to Blas. “What’s your name?” “Brother Bonilla, Father. That man means no harm,” Blas covered for Sal. He looked like a real friar in his borrowed cassock. “Here are, Coronel Jimenez, also Salvador Tenorio, at your service,” Blas said. Father Serra added the names to his official ledger.
Now their lives were in his hands.
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