“We are here, the next Mission site is here, thirty miles north,” Brother David said. He pointed to a faint line on a map of all the Alta California Missions. His marks between the sites showed the travel time needed to move on foot from one site to another.
Everyone knelt to study the map. Even Paciano appeared to understand the writing and symbols. Sal tried to negotiate an agreement. He spoke to Capitan Portola.
“Brother David asked Paciano and I to make these deliveries to the Missions. After that, we can meet your men here, and join your hunt.” Sal looked from Brother David to Paciano then to Portola. “You will not find a better guide than this man.” Sal put his hand on Paciano’s shoulder.
“Let me see this,” Capitan Portola said. “Can I count on your word and the loyalty of this native man?” He reached for the map and gave Paciano a wary glance.
“Hunt,” Paciano said. He knew one word. He jerked his shoulder away from Sal’s hand, stood, and stomped his foot. That stomp sealed the deal.
Then, Capitan Portola did a strange thing. He shook hands with Brother David and Sal, but instead of reaching out toward Paciano, he removed one of his battle ribbons and held it out as a gift. The rest of the tribe was looking on with great interest. Paciano held Portola’s gift high above his head as the onlookers cheered.
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