The new converts loaded them with offerings. Sal figured out how to pile the baskets, blankets, and stone carvings into the overcrowded wagon. The load proved too much for the wagon. It wobbled for a few feet, then made a loud cracking sound and the wheel gave way. The cart tilted to one side and spilled over on the ground.
“What in the name of God did you do now?” Father Serra said. His temper spilled over, too. “Hay Dios, you know I’m faithful, why do you test my limits?” He shook his fist toward the sky then turned his angry mood on the men. There was no way for Sal to cast blame on the gifts loaded on them by the new converts. He stood back to see what would happen next.
Serra spun around to face them, his face red with fury. “You men fix this.” He grabbed a blanket, dried meat and a water jug from the broken cart. “Get out of the way.” He pushed Sal back. Sal stumbled backward, amazed by the temper wrapped within Serra’s holy robes. “The work of the Lord cannot wait.” Loaded like a pack mule, Father Serra told Blas to do the same. “Get what you’ll need to make camp, Brother Bonilla, it’s a long walk.”
Blas’s hands shook as he pulled a canteen from the heap of supplies, a small spade and a length of rope.
“Coraje, courage,” Sal helped tie the load of supplies on his back.
“You stay safe, Sal. Meet us as soon as you can,” Blas said. He did not want to go on alone with Father Serra. He worried, was this God’s punishment for imitating a holy man?
Sal was having the opposite thought. He could see that the robe suited Blas, who had always wanted to be a cleric. “You have my promise—I will find you.” Sal tried to encourage Blas.
“We’ll go ahead. You two stay, repair this wagon,” Father Serra said. “Whatever happens, guard the rest of the supplies and meet us at the coast.”
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