The evening of the fifth day, the barge approached the landing in San Diego. The old salt, Macias, babbled on, “All ashore who’s going ashore. Check your pockets; the Devil lurks in every port.”
The three shabby buccaneers scrambled overboard, like rats, before the ship dropped anchor. Their pockets bulged with stolen loot, threatening to drag them under.
“Buccaneers, they say. Ha—pirates, all three. Watch them scramble for the secret caves in La Jolla,” Macias said.
Checking his pockets for Jimenez’s papers and military pouch, Sal thought about how to explain his changed identity to Blas, Father Serra and Brother David.
Macias muttered more warnings, “And another thing, watch them natives. Most are kind, but some big ones, Tipai, they call them, can get mean in a moment.”
Sal paid little attention. He was busy scanning the dock where he spied a friar in a grey hooded cassock. The man was too stout for Father Serra, too short for Brother David. The cleric was standing among the few persons waiting on the dock.
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