“God is good!” Brother Pieras proclaimed and the eating began. The men began to talk. They motioned to one another and tried to include Paciano in their conversation though he did not understand their language. When Paciano could not respond, Pieras motioned the other native men to move away from him.
“Who is this servant you brought with you? He is not like the men here. Can he be trusted?” Brother Pieras said.
“Paciano is no servant. He is my friend and an excellent hunter.” Sal was surprised by these suspicious words from the Brother. “If it were not for Paciano we would not have this bear meat to share.”
“In any case, my men will watch him closely.” Brother Pieras’s head bobbed as he chewed the tough jerky meat. He glared up at Paciano from time to time. “You must have come from Rancho Duran in the north. ¿Que no?”
“No, we come from the south, near the place of the bears, Los Osos." Sal repeated, "Brother David sent us to share these supplies.” He tried to hold his temper and speak politely to the rude Brother. He wanted to remind him that the food in his mouth was a gift and he should be thanking Paciano, and himself, rather than acting so suspicious. But Sal turned his thoughts to Brother David. “He sends you greetings and his prayers for your…” Given the desperate look of these men, Sal was about to say ‘survival’. But he stopped in time to say, “He sends you his prayers for your success.”
“Ah si, Brother David, el herrero, who stutters, haha. I remember him well from our time in M-México together.” Brother Pieras mocked Brother David openly. Hearing this, Sal was ready to grab the bear meat from his mouth and walk away.
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