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Produced by David A. Schwan

History of California

Helen Elliot Bandini

Illustrated By
Roy J. Warren

B. Cal.
W. P. 16


This book is an attempt to present the history of California in so
simple and interesting a way that children may read it with pleasure. It
does not confine itself to the history of one section or period, but
tells the story of all the principal events from the Indian occupancy
through the Spanish and Mission days, the excitement of the gold
discovery, the birth of the state, down to the latest events of
yesterday and to-day. Several chapters, also, are devoted to the
development of California's great industries. The work is designed not
only for children, but also for older people interested in the story of
California, including the tourists who visit the state by the thousand
every year.

For her information the writer has depended almost entirely upon source
material, seldom making use of a secondary work. Her connection with the
old Spanish families has opened to her unusual advantages for the study
of old manuscripts and for the gathering of recollections of historical
events which she has taken from the lips of aged Spanish residents,
always verifying a statement before using it. She has, also, from long
familiarity with the Spanish-speaking people, been able to interpret
truly the life of the Spanish and Mission period.

The illustrator of the history, Mr. Roy J. Warren, has made a careful
study of the manuscript, chapter by chapter. He has also been a faithful
student of California and her conditions; his illustrations are,
therefore, in perfect touch with the text and are as true to facts as
the history itself.

The thanks of the author are due not only to a host of writers from whom
she has gained valuable assistance, and some of whose names are among
those in the references at the end of the book, but to others to whom
further acknowledgment is due. First of these is Professor H. Morse
Stephens, whose suggestions from the inception of the work until its
completion have been of incalculable advantage, and whose generous offer
to read the proof sheets crowns long months of friendly interest.
Secondly, the author is indebted to the faithful and constant
supervision of her sister, Miss Agnes Elliott of the Los Angeles State
Normal School, without whose wide experience as a teacher of history and
economics the work could never have reached its present plane. The
author also offers her thanks to Mr. Charles F. Lummis, to whom not only
she but all students of California history must ever be indebted; to
Mrs. Mary M. Coman, Miss Isabel Frazee, to the officers of the various
state departments, especially Mr. Lewis E. Aubrey, State Mineralogist,
and Mr. Thomas J. Kirk and his assistant Mr. Job Wood of the educational
department; to Miss Nellie Rust, Librarian of the Pasadena City Library,
and her corps of accommodating and intelligent assistants, and to the
librarians of the Los Angeles City Library and State Normal School.

The passages from the Century Magazine quoted in Chapters V-IX are
inserted by express permission of the publishers, the Century Company.
Acknowledgment is due, also, to the publishers of the Overland Monthly
for courtesy in permitting the use of copyright material; and to D.
Appleton & Co. for permission to insert selections from Sherman's



I. The Land and the Name
II. The Story of the Indians
III. "The Secret of the Strait"
IV. The Cross of Santa Fe
V. Pastoral Days
VI. The Footsteps of the Stranger
VII. At the Touch of King Midas
VIII. The Great Stampede
IX. The Birth of the Golden Baby
X. The Signal Gun and the Steel Trail
XI. That Which Followed After
XII. "The Groves Were God's First Temples"
XIII. To All that Sow the Time of Harvest Should be Given
XIV. The Golden Apples of the Hesperides
XV. California's Other Contributions to the World's Bill of Fare
XVI. The Hidden Treasures of Mother Earth
XVII. From La Escuela of Spanish California to the Schools of the
Twentieth Century
XVIII. Statistics


History of California

Chapter I.

The Land and the Name

Once upon a time, about four hundred years ago, there was published in
old Spain a novel which soon became unusually popular. The successful
story of those days was one which caught the fancy of the men, was read
by them, discussed at their gatherings, and often carried with them when
they went to the wars or in search of adventures. This particular story
would not interest readers of to-day save for this passage: "Know that
on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California,
very near the Terrestrial Paradise, and it is peopled by black women who
live after the fashion of Amazons. This island is the strongest in the
world, with its steep rocks and great cliffs, and there is no metal in
the island but gold."

There is no doubt that some bold explorer, crossing over from Spain to
Mexico and enlisting under the leadership of the gallant Cortez, sailed
the unknown South Sea (the Pacific) and gave to the new land discovered
by one of Cortez's pilots the name of the golden island in this favorite

This land, thought to be an island, is now known to us as the peninsula
of Lower California. The name first appeared in 1542 on the map of
Domingo Castillo, and was soon applied to all the land claimed by Spain
from Cape San Lucas up the coast as far north as 441, which was probably
a little higher than any Spanish explorer had ever sailed.

"Sir Francis Drake," says the old chronicle, "was the first Englishman
to sail on the back side of America," and from that time until now
California has been considered the back door of the country. This was
natural because the first settlements in the United States were along
the Atlantic seacoast. The people who came from England kept their faces
turned eastward, looking to the Mother Country for help, and watching
Europe, and later England herself, as a quarter from which danger might
come, as indeed it did in the war of the Revolution and that of 1812.

During the last few years, however, various events have happened to
change this attitude. Through its success in the late Spanish war the
United States gained confidence in its own powers, while the people of
the old world began to realize that the young republic of the western
hemisphere, since it did not hesitate to make war in the interests of
humanity, would not be apt to allow its own rights to be imposed upon.
The coming of the Philippine and Hawaiian Islands under the protection
of the United States, the Russo-Japanese war, which opened the eyes of
the world to the strength of Japan and the wisdom of securing its trade,
and the action of the United States in undertaking the building of the
Panama Canal, are indications that the Pacific will in the future
support a commerce the greatness of which we of to-day cannot estimate.
With danger from European interference no longer pressing closely upon
the nation, President Roosevelt in 1907 took a decided step in
recognizing the importance of the Pacific when he sent to that coast so
large a number of the most modern vessels of the navy. In fact, the
nation may now be said to have faced about, California becoming the
front door of our country.

It is well, then, to ask ourselves what we know about the state which is
to form part of the reception room of one of the leading nations of the

It is a long strip of territory, bounded on one side by the ocean so
well named Pacific, which gives freshness and moisture to the
ever-blowing westerly winds.

On the other side is a mountain range, one thousand miles long, with
many of its peaks covered with perpetual snow, holding in its lofty arms
hundreds of ice-cold lakes, its sides timbered with the most wonderful
forests of the world.

Few regions of the same size have so great a range of altitude as
California, some portions of its desert lands being below sea level,
while several of its mountains are over ten thousand feet in height. In
its climate, too, there are wide differences as regards heat and cold,
although its coast lands, whether north or south, are much more
temperate than the corresponding latitudes on the Atlantic coast. The
difference in the climate of the northern and southern portions of the
state is more marked in the matter of moisture. Most of the storms of
California have their beginning out in the North Pacific Ocean. They
travel in a southeasterly direction, striking the coast far to the north
in summer, but in winter extending hundreds of miles farther south.
During November, December, January, and February they often reach as far
south as the Mexican line. Then, only, does southern California have
rain. The water necessary for use in the summer time is gained by
irrigation from the mountain streams, which are supplied largely from
the melting snows on the Sierras.

The home lands of the state may be divided into two portions: the
beautiful border country rising from the Pacific in alternate valleys
and low rolling foothills to the edge of the Coast Range; and the great
central valley or basin, which lies like a vast pocket almost entirely
encircled by mountains the high Sierras on the east, on the west the low
Coast Range. Two large rivers with their tributaries drain this valley:
the San Joaquin, flowing from the south; and the Sacramento, flowing
from the north. Joining near the center of the state, they cut their way
through the narrow passage, the Strait of Carquinez, and casting their
waters into the beautiful Bay of San Francisco, finally reach the ocean
through the Golden Gate.

Down from the Sierras, mighty glaciers carried the soil for this central
valley, grinding and pulverizing it as it was rolled slowly along. Many
years this process continued. The rain, washing the mountain sides,
brought its tribute in the rich soil and decayed vegetation of the
higher region, until a natural seed bed was formed, where there can be
raised in abundance a wonderful variety of plants and trees. In the
coast valleys the soil is alluvial, the fine washing of mountain rocks;
this is mixed in some places with a warmer, firmer loam and in others
with a gravelly soil, which is the best known for orange raising.

The state owes much to her mountains, for not only have they contributed
to her fertile soil, but they hold in their rocky slopes the gold and
silver mines which have transformed the whole region from an unknown
wilderness to a land renowned for its riches and beauty. They lift their
lofty peaks high in the air like mighty strongholds, and, shutting out
the desert winds, catch the clouds as they sail in from the ocean,
making them pay heavy tribute in fertilizing rain to the favored land

The climate, which of all the precious possessions of California is the
most valuable, is best described by Bret Harte in the lines, "Half a
year of clouds and flowers; half a year of dust and sky." Either half is
enjoyable, for in the summer, or dry season, fogs or delightful westerly
winds soon moderate a heated spell, and in nearly all parts of the state
the nights are cool; while the rainy, or winter season, changes to balmy
springtime as soon as the storm is over.

In a large portion of the state the climate is such that the inhabitants
may spend much of their time out of doors. As a rule few duties are
attended to in the house which can possibly be performed in the open
air. It is growing to be more and more the custom to have, in connection
with a Californian home, a tent bedroom where the year round one or more
of the members of the family sleep, with only a wall of canvas between
them and nature.

The vacation time is spent largely in summer camps, at either mountain
or seashore, or, quite often, a pleasant party of one or two families
live together, very simply, under the greenwood tree beside some spring
or stream, spending a few weeks in gypsy fashion. While the young folk
grow sturdy and beautiful, the older members of the party become filled
with strength and a joy of living which helps them through the cares and
struggles of the rest of the year. This joy in outdoor life is not,
however, a discovery of to-day. The old Spanish families spent as much
time as possible in the courtyard, the house being deserted save at
night. When upon journeys, men, women, and children slept in the open
air. Even the clothes-washing period was turned into a kind of
merrymaking. Whole families joined together to spend days in the
vicinity of some stream, where they picnicked while the linen was being
cleansed in the running water and dried on the bushes near by.

Once before, when the world was younger, there was a land similar to
this,--sea-kissed, mountain-guarded, with such gentle climate and soft
skies. Its people, who also lived much out of doors at peace with
nature, became almost perfect in health and figure, with mental
qualities which enabled them to give to the world the best it has known
in literature and art. What the ancient Greeks were, the people of
California may become; but with an advancement in knowledge and
loving-kindness of man toward man which heathen Athens never knew.

What will be the result of this outdoor life cannot yet be told; climate
has always had an active influence in shaping the character and type of
a people. With a climate mild and healthful, yet bracing; with a soil so
rich that the touch of irrigation makes even the sandiest places bloom
with the highest beauty of plant, tree, and vine; with an ocean warm and
gentle, and skies the kindliest in the world,--there is, if we judge by
the lesson history teaches, a promise of a future for California greater
and more noble than the world has yet known.

Chapter II.

The Story of the Indians

"Run, Cleeta, run, the waves will catch you." Cleeta scudded away, her
naked little body shining like polished mahogany. She was fleet of foot,
but the incoming breakers from the bosom of the great Pacific ran faster
still; and the little Indian girl was caught in its foaming water,
rolled over and over, and cast upon the sandy beach, half choked, yet
laughing with the fun of it.

"Foolish Cleeta, you might have been drowned; that was a big wave. What
made you go out so far?" said Gesnip, the elder sister.

"I found such a lot of mussels, great big ones, I wish I could go back
and get them," said the little one, looking anxiously at the water.

"The waves are coming in higher and higher and it is growing late," said
Gesnip; "besides, I have more mussels already than you and I can well
carry. The boys have gone toward the river mouth for clams. They will be
sure to go home the other way."

Cleeta ran to the basket and looked in.

"I should think there were too many for us to carry," she said, as she
tried with all her strength to lift it by the carry straps. "What will
you do with them; throw some back into the water?"

"No, I don't like to do that," answered her sister, frowning, "for it
has been so long since we have had any. The wind and the waves have been
too high for us to gather any. Look, Cleeta, look; what are those out on
the water? I do believe they are boats."

"No," said the little girl; "I see what you mean, but boats never go out
so far as that."

"Not tule boats," said Gesnip, "but big thick one made out of trees;
that is the kind they have at Santa Catalina, the island where uncle
lives. It has been a long time since he came to see us, not since you
were four years old, but mother is always looking for him."

The children gazed earnestly seaward at a fleet of canoes which were
making for the shore. "Do you think it is uncle?" asked Cleeta.

"Yes," replied her sister, uncertainly, "I think it may be." Then, as
the sunlight struck full on the boats "Yes, yes, I am sure of it, for
one is red, and no on else has a boat of that color; all others are

"Mother said he would bring abalone when he came," cried Cleeta, dancing
from one foot to the other; "and she said they are better than mussels
or anything else for soup."

"He will bring fish," said Gesnip, "big shining fish with yellow tails."

"Mother said he would bring big blue ones with hard little seams down
their sides," said Cleeta.

Meantime the boats drew nearer. They were of logs hollowed out until
they were fairly light, but still seeming too clumsy for safe seagoing
craft. In each were several men. One sat in the stern and steered, the
others knelt in pairs, each man helping propel the boat by means of a
stick some four feet long, more like a pole than a paddle, which he
worked with great energy over the gunwale.

"I am afraid of them," said Cleeta, drawing close to her sister. "They
do not look like the people I have seen. Their faces are the color of
the kah-hoom mother weaves in her baskets. There are only three like us,
and they all have such strange clothes."

"Do not be afraid," said Gesnip. "I see uncle; he is one of the dark
ones like ourselves. The island people have yellow skins."

The time was the year 1540, and the people, the Californians of that
day. The men in the boat were mostly from the island of Santa Catalina,
and were fairer, with more regular features, than the inhabitants of the
mainland, who in southern California were a short, thick-set race, with
thick lips, dark brown skin, coarse black hair, and eyes small and
shining like jet-black beads. They were poorly clothed in winter; in
summer a loin cloth was often all that the men wore, while the children
went naked a large part of the year.

With wonderful skill the badly shaped boats were guided safely over the
breakers until their bows touched the sand. Then the men leaped out and,
half wading, half swimming, pulled them from the water and ran them up
on the beach.

The little girls drew near and stood quietly by, waiting to be spoken
to. Presently the leading man, who was short, dark, and handsomely
dressed in a suit of sealskin ornamented with abalone shell, turned to

"Who are these little people?" he asked, in a kind voice.

"We are the children of Cuchuma and Macana," replied Gesnip, working her
toes in and out of the soft sand, too shy to look her uncle in the face.

"Children of my sister, Sholoc is glad to see you," said the chief,
laying his hand gently on Cleeta's head. "Your mother, is she well?"

"She is well and looking for you these many moons," said Gesnip.

The men at once began unloading the boats. The children watched the
process with great interest, Abalone in their shells, a dainty prized
then as well as now, fish, yellowtail and bonito, filled to the brim the
large baskets which the men slung to their backs, carrying them by means
of a strap over the forehead. On their heads they placed ollas, or water
jars, of serpentine from quarries which may be seen in Santa Catalina
to-day, the marks of the tools of workmen of, that time still in the

There were also strings of bits of abalone shell which had been
punctured and then polished, and these Sholoc hung around his neck.

"Uncle," exclaimed Gesnip, touching one of these strings, "how much
money! You have grown rich at Santa Catalina. What will you buy?"

"Buy me a wife, perhaps," was the reply. "I will give two strings for a
good wife. Do you know any worth so much?"

"No," said the girl, stoutly. "I don't know any worth two whole strings
of abalone. You can get a good wife for much less."

The men, who had succeeded in loading the contents of the boats on their
heads and backs, now marched away, in single file, crossing the heavy
sand dunes slowly, then mounting the range of foothills beyond. The
children followed. Gesnip had her basket bound to her head by a strap
round her forehead; but, though her uncle had taken out part of the
contents, it was a heavy load for the child.

As they neared the top of the hill, Sholoc, who was ahead, lifted his
hand and motioned them to stop.

"Hush," he said softly, "elk." Swiftly the men slipped off their loads
and with bows in hand each one crept flat on his belly over the hill
crest. Gesnip and Cleeta peeped through the high grass. Below them was a
wide plain, dotted with clumps of bushes, and scattered over it they
could see a great herd of elk, whose broad, shining antlers waved above
the grass and bushes upon which they were feeding.

"Are those elk too?" asked Cleeta, presently, pointing toward the
foothills at their left.

"No," replied her sister, "I think those are antelope. I like to see
them run. How funny their tails shake. But watch the men; they are going
to shoot."

As she spoke, four of the hunters, who had crept well up toward the
game, rose to their feet, holding their bows horizontally, not
perpendicularly. These weapons, which were made of cedar wood, were
about four feet in length, painted at the ends black or dark blue, the
middle, which was almost two inches broad, being wrapped with elk sinew.
The strings also were of sinew. The quiver which each man carried at his
side was made from the skin of a wild cat or of a coyote. A great hunter
like Sholoc might make his quiver from the tails of lions he had killed.
Projecting from the quiver were the bright-feathered ends of the arrows,
which were of reed and were two or three feet long, with points of bone,
flint, or obsidian.

The hunters, knowing how hard it was to kill large game, had chosen
their arrows carefully, taking those that had obsidian points. Almost at
the same moment they let fly their shafts. Three elk leaped into the
air. One tumbled over in a somersault which broke one of its antlers,
and then lay dead, shot through the heart by Sholoc. Another took a few
leaps, but a second arrow brought it to its knees. Then it sank slowly
over upon its side; but it struck so fiercely at the hunter who ran up
to kill it with his horn knife that he drew back and shot it again.

"Where is the third elk?" asked Cleeta, looking around.

"Over there," said Gesnip, pointing across the plain.

"Then they have lost it," said the child, with disappointment.

"No, I think not. It is wounded. I saw the blood on its side," said the
sister. "See, one of the men is following it, and it is half a mile
behind the herd. I am sure he will get it."

"This has been a lucky day," said Gesnip. "So much food. Our stomachs
will not ache with hunger for a long time."

"That is because mother wove a game basket to Chinigchinich so he would
send food," said Cleeta.

By the time the party had traveled two miles, Gesnip, with her load, and
Cleeta, whose bare brown legs were growing very tired, lagged behind.

"O dear," said the elder sister, "we shall surely be too late to go into
camp with uncle." Just then a whoop sounded behind them, and a boy of
thirteen, dressed in a rabbit-skin shirt, carrying a bow in his hand,
came panting up to them.

"Payuchi," said Gesnip, eagerly, "carry my basket for me and I will tell
you some good news."

"No," replied Payuchi, shaking his head, "it is a girl's place to carry
the basket."

"Just this little way, and it is such good news" urged Gesnip. "It will,
make your heart glad."

"Very well, then, tell it quickly," said the boy, changing the basket of
mussels to his own broad back.

"Sholoc has come from Santa Catalina with baskets of abalone and fish,
and with ollas all speckled, and strings of money. He is near the top of
the grade now. Upon hearing the good news the lad darted away at a great
pace, his sisters following as fast as they could. Sholoc and his party
had stopped to rearrange their loads, so the children overtook them at
the head of the trail leading to their home.

"Below them was a valley dotted with live oaks, and along the banks of
the stream that ran through it was a thick growth of alders, sycamores,
and willows. At the foot of the trail, near the water, was a cluster of
what looked like low, round straw stacks. No straw stacks were they,
however, but houses, the only kind of homes known in southern California
at that time.

"It was the Indian settlement where Gesnip, Cleeta, and Payuchi lived,
and of which their father, Cuchuma, was chief. The jacals, or wigwams,
were made of long willow boughs, driven into the ground closely in a
circle, the ends bent over and tied together with deer sinews. They were
covered with a thatching of grass that, when dry, made them look like
straw stacks.

"Sholoc stepped to the-edge of the bluff and gave a long, quavering cry
which could be heard far in the still evening air. Instantly out of the
group of jacals came a crowd of men and boys, who gave answering cries."

"I am glad they have a fire," said Cleeta, as she saw the big blaze in
the middle of the settlement, "I am so cold."

"Take my hand and let's run," said Gesnip, and partly running and partly
sliding, they followed the men of the party, who, notwithstanding their
heavy loads, were trotting down the steep trail.

They were met at the foot of the grade by a crowd which surrounded them,
all chattering at once. Sholoc told of the elk, and a number of men
started off on the run to bring in the big game. As the visitors entered
camp, Macana, a kind-faced woman, better dressed than most of her tribe,
came forward. She placed her hand on Sholoc's shoulder, her face
lighting up with love and happiness.

"You are welcome, brother," she said.

"The sight of you is good to my eyes, sister," an answered Sholoc. That
was all the greeting, although the two loved each other well. Macana
took the basket from Payuchi's back.

"Come," she called to Gesnip, "and help me wash the mussels." Then, as
she saw the younger girl shivering as she crouched over the fire,
"Cleeta, you need not be cold any longer; your rabbit skin dress is
done. Go into the jacal and put it on." Cleeta obeyed with dancing eyes.

Gesnip followed her mother to the stream.

"Take this," said Macana, handing her an openwork net or bag, "and hold
it while I empty in some of the mussels. Now lift them up and down in
the water to wash out the sand. That will do; put them into this basket,
and I will give you some more."

Meantime some of the women had taken a dozen or more fish from Sholoc's
baskets, and removing their entrails with bone knives, wrapped them in
many thicknesses of damp grass and laid them in the hot ashes and coals
to bake.

When the mussels were all cleaned, Macana emptied them into a large
basket half filled with water, and threw in a little acorn meal and a
handful of herbs. Then, using two green sticks for tongs, she drew out
from among the coals some smooth gray stones which had become very hot.
Brushing these off with a bunch of tules, she lifted them by means of a
green stick having a loop in the end which fitted round the stones,
flinging them one by one into the basket in which were the mussels and
water. Immediately the water, heated by the stones, began to boil, and
when the soup was ready, she set the basket down beside her own jacal
and called her children to her. Payuchi, Gesnip, Cleeta, and their
little four-year-old brother, Nakin, gathered about the basket, helping
themselves with abalone shells, the small holes of which their mother
had plugged with wood.

"Isn't father going to have some first?" asked Payuchi, before they
began the meal.

"Not this time; he will eat with Sholoc and the men when the fish are
ready," replied his mother.

"This is good soup," said Gesnip. "I am glad I worked hard before the
water came up. But, Payuchi, didn't you and Nopal get any clams?"

"Yes," said her brother, making a face; he had dipped down where the
stones were hottest and the soup thickest, and had taken a mouthful that
burned him. "Yes, we got some clams, more than I could carry; but Nopal
was running races with the other boys and would not come, so I left him
to bring them. He will lose his fish dinner if he doesn't hurry."

"Mother," said Cleeta, "may we stay up to the fish bake?"

"No," answered her mother. "You and Nakin must go to bed, but I will
save some for your breakfast. You are tired, Cleeta."

"Yes, I am tired," said the little girl, leaning her head against her
mother's shoulder, "but I am warm in my rabbit-skin dress. We all have
warm dresses now. Please tell me a good-night story," she begged. "We
have been good and brought in much food."

"Yes, tell us how the hawk and coyote made the sun," said Gesnip.

"Very well," said the mother, "only you must be quite still."

"It was in the beginning of all things, and a bowl of darkness, blacker
than the pitch lining of our water basket, covered the earth. Man, when
he would go abroad, fell against man, against trees, against wild
animals, even against Lollah, the bear, who would, in turn, hug the
unhappy one to death. Birds flying in the air came together and fell
struggling to the earth. All was confusion."

"Once the hawk, by chance, flew in the face of the coyote. Instead of
fighting about it as naughty children might, they, like people of good
manners, apologized many times. Then they talked over the unhappy state
of things and determined to remedy the evil. The coyote first gathered a
great heap of dried tules, rolled them together into a ball, and gave
them to the hawk, with some pieces of flint. The hawk, taking them in
his talons, flew straight up into the sky, where he struck fire with his
flints, lit the ball of reeds, and left it there whirling along with a
bright yellow light, as it continues to whirl to-day; for it, children,
is our sun, ruler of the day."

"The hawk next flew back for another ball to rule the night, but the
coyote had no tule gathered, and the hawk hurried him so that some damp
stems were mixed in. The hawk flew with this ball into the sky and set
it afire but because of the green tules it burned with only a dim light;
and this, children, is our moon, ruler of the night."

"That is a fine story," said Payuchi. "I am glad I did not live when
there was no light."

"Tell us how the coyote danced with the star," said Gesnip.

"No," replied the mother, "another time we shall see. Now I shall sing
to coax sleep to tired eyes, and the little ones will go to bed." And
this was what she sang: "Pah-high-nui-veve, veve, veve, shumeh, veve,
veve, veve, shumeh, Pah-high-nui-veve," and so on, repeating these words
over and over until Cleeta and Nakin were sound asleep. Then she laid
them on their tule mats, which were spread on the floor of the jacal,
where baby Nahal, close wrapped in his cocoon-shaped cradle, had been a
long time sleeping.

"Mother," said Gesnip, coming into the jacal, "they have brought in the
elk. Don't you want something from them?"

"Yes," replied Macana, "I will go and see about it. I want one of the
skins to make your father a warm hunting dress."

The Indians who had gone after the elk had skinned and cut them up where
they lay, as they were so large that the burden had to be distributed
among a number of carriers. Macana found Sholoc busy portioning out
parts of the elk. As he had a fine seal-skin suit himself, he gladly
gave her the skin of the deer which he had shot.

"Isn't that a big one?" said Payuchi. "It will make father a fine
hunting suit, it is so thick." Gesnip was loaded down with some of the
best cuts of the meat to take to her father's jacal. Cuchuma himself
began removing the tendons from the legs, to cure for bowstrings, and to
wrap a new bow he was going to make.

"Here, Nopal," said Sholoc to his oldest nephew, a lad of fifteen, "I
will give you a piece of the antler and you can grind it down and make
yourself a hunting knife. It is time you ceased to play and became a
hunter. I had killed much game when I was your age."

"Will you give me some of the brains that I may finish tanning a
deerskin? I have been waiting to finish it until I could get some
brains, but it has been a long time since any one has brought in big
game," said Macana.

"Yes," answered Sholoc, "you shall have them. Payuchi, hand me my
elk-horn ax so that I can split open the head, and you can take the
brains to the jacal." Soon not a piece of meat, a bit of skin, tendon,
or bone, was left. All was put to use by these people of the forest. And
now the feast was ready. The women had roasted many pieces of elk's meat
over the coals. The fish had been taken from under the hot ashes, the
half burned grass removed from around them, and the fish broken into
pieces and put in flat baskets shaped like platters. There were also
pieces of elk meat and cakes of acorn meal baked on hot stones.

As was the custom with the Indians, the men were served first. Payuchi
watched anxiously as his father and the other men took large helpings
from the baskets.

"Do you think there will be enough for us to have any?" he asked Gesnip.
"I am so hungry and they are eating so much. If I were a man, I should
remember about the women and children."

"No; you wouldn't if you were a man; men never do," answered Gesnip.
"But you need not worry, there is plenty. Mother said there would be
some left for breakfast."

"Wait for that till I get through," said Payuchi, laughing. After all
had eaten a hearty meal, more than for many weeks they had been able to
have at any one time, the tired women each gathered her children
together and took them to her own jacal, leaving the men sitting around
the camp fire. Payuchi, who tumbled to sleep as soon as his head touched
his sleeping mat, was wakened by some one pulling his rabbit-skin coat,
which he wore nights as well as days.

"Payuchi," said a voice, "wake up."

"I have not been asleep," answered the boy, stoutly, as he rubbed his
eyes to get them open. "What do you want, Nopal?" for he saw his brother
speaking to him.

"Hush, do not waken mother," said Nopal, speaking very softly. "I know
that the men will make an offering to Chinigchinich. I am going to watch
them. We are old enough, at least I am. Do you want to come?"

A star shone in at the top of the jacal, and Payuchi gazed up at it,
blinking, while he pulled his thoughts together.

"They will punish us if they find us out," said he at length.

"But we won't let them find us out, stupid one," replied his brother,

"What if Chinigchinich should be angry with us? He does not like to have
children in the ceremony of the offering," said Payuchi.

"I will give him my humming-bird skin, and you shall give him your
mountain quail head; then he will be pleased with us," answered Nopal.

"All right," said the boy; "I do not like very well to part with that
quail head, but perhaps it is a good thing to do."

Creeping softly from the jacal, the boys crouched in the shade of a
willow bush and watched the men by the camp fire.

"They are standing up. They are just going," said Payuchi, "and every
one has something in his hand. Father has two bows; I wonder why."

"I think he is going to make an offering of the new bow to
Chinigchinich," answered Nopal. "I thought he was going to keep it and
give me his old one," he added, with some disappointment.

"What are they offering for?" asked the young brother.

"For rain," said Nopal. "See, they are going now." In single file the
men walked swiftly away, stepping so softly that not a twig cracked.

After a little the boys followed, slipping from bush to bush that they
might not be discovered. They had walked about a mile, when they came to
thicker woods with bigger trees and saw a light ahead of them. Nopal
laid his hand on his brother to stop him. Peeping through a scrub-oak
bush, they looked down into a little glade arched over with great live
oaks. In the middle of the opening they saw, by the light of a low fire,
a small cone-shaped hut. Beside it stood a gigantic figure painted and
adorned with shells, feathers, rattlesnake skins, and necklaces of bone.

"Come back," whispered Payuchi, his teeth chattering with fear. "It is
Chinigchinich himself; he will see us, and we shall die."

"No," answered Nopal, "it is only Nihie, the medicine man. He looks so
tall because of his headdress. It is made of framework of dried tules
covered with feathers and fish bladders. I saw it one day in his jacal,
and it is as tall as I am. That jacal beside him is the vanquech
[temple], and I think there is something awful there. You see if there
isn't. Hush, now! Squat down. Here they come."

In a procession the men came into the opening, and, stalking solemnly
by, each cast down at the door of the temple an offering of some object
which he prized. Cuchuma gave a bone knife which he greatly valued, and
a handsome new bow. Sholoc gave a speckled green stone olla from Santa
Catalina and a small string of money; but these were chiefs' offerings.
The other gifts were simpler--shells, acorn meal, baskets, birds'
skins, but always something for which the owner cared.

At last the medicine man, satisfied with the things offered which became
his own when the ceremony was over, stooped and drew forth the sacred
emblem from the temple. It was not even an idol, only a fetich composed
of a sack made from the skin of a coyote, the head carefully preserved
and stuffed, while the body was dressed smooth of hair and adorned with
hanging shells and tufts of birds' feathers. A bundle of arrows
protruded from the open mouth, giving it a fierce appearance. While
Nihie held it up, the men circled round once again, this time more
rapidly, and as they passed the medicine man, each gave a spring into
the air, shooting an arrow upward with all his force. When the last man
had disappeared under the trees, Nihie replaced the skin in the temple,
put out the fire, and, singing a kind of chant, he led the men back to
their jacals. The boys stood up. Payuchi shivered and drew a long

"We must get away now; Nihie will be back soon to get the offerings,"
said Nopal.

"But first we must offer our gifts, or Chinigchinich will be angry,"
said Payuchi.

"Come on, then," said the brother; so, stealing softly down the
hillside, the boys cast their offerings on the pile in front of the hut
and ran away, taking a roundabout path home, that they might not meet
the medicine man returning.

"We must hurry to get in the jacal before father," said Nopal, suddenly.
"I didn't think of that. Run, Payuchi, run faster." But they were in
time after all, and were stretched out on their mats some minutes before
their father and Sholoc came in.

Macana's first duty in the morning was to attend to the baby, whose
wide-open black eyes gave the only sign that it was awake. She
unfastened it from the basket and unwrapped it, rubbing the little body
over with its morning bath of grease until the firm skin shone as if
varnished. When it had nursed and was comfortable, she put the little
one back in its cradle basket, which she leaned up against the side of
the hut, where the little prisoner might see all that was going on.

Instead of the usual breakfast of acorn meal mush, the children had a
plentiful meal of fish which their mother had saved from the feast of
the night before.

"I didn't think any one could catch so many fish as uncle brought last
night," said Cleeta, as she helped herself to a piece of yellowtail.

"Yes, they do, though," said Payuchi. "Last night, after supper, uncle
told the men some fine stories. I think he has been in places which none
of our people have ever seen.

"He told us that once he journeyed many moons toward the land of snow
and ice until he came to the country of the Klamath tribe, where he
stayed a long time. He said that when they fish they drive posts made of
young trees into the bottom of the river and then weave willow boughs in
and out until there is a wall of posts and boughs clear across the
stream. Then the big red fish come up from the great water into the
river. They come, uncle said, so many no one can count them, and the
ones behind push against those in front until they are all crowded
against the wall, and then the Klamath men catch them with spears and
nets until there is food enough for all, and many fish to dry."

"I should like to see that. What else did he tell you?" asked Gesnip.

"He said he visited one place where the great salt water comes into the
land and is so big it takes many days to journey round it. Here the
people eat fish, clams, and mussels instead of acorns and roots. On the
shore they have their feasting ground where they go to eat and dance and
tell big stories, and; sometimes to make an offering. So many people go
there, uncle said, that the shells they have left make a hill, a hill
just of shells that is many steps high. From the top of it one may look
over the water, which is so long no eye can see the end of it."

"What else did you hear?" asked Gesnip.

"Nothing more, for mother called me," replied her brother. "I should
like to hear more of those stories, though."

"Mother," asked Gesnip, as she finished her breakfast, "when am I to
begin to braid mats for the new jacal?"

"Soon," replied Macana. "This morning you and Payuchi must gather the
tule. Have a large pile when I come home." So saying, the mother
strapped the baby on her back and, accompanied by the younger children,
went out with other women of the tribe to gather the white acorns from
the oaks on the highlands pear the mountains.

The December wind, from the snow-capped peaks, chilled and cut with its
icy breath their scantily clothed bodies, but for hours they worked
picking up the scattered nuts. The labors of an Indian mother ceased
only while she slept.

"Come, Payuchi," said Gesnip, "let us go down to the river and get

"All right," replied the boy, readily. "Sholoc is going down too. He is
going to show the men how to make log canoes like his instead of the
tule canoes our people use. But I like the tule canoes, because I can
use my feet for paddles." When they reached the river, which was really
a lagoon or arm of the sea, the children stopped to watch the men at
work. A large log, washed down from the mountains by some flood, lay on
the bank. It was good hard wood, and the children saw that it was
smoking in three places.

"This is going to make two canoes, but neither one will be so big, as
uncle's," said Payuchi.

"How can it make two canoes if they burn it up?" asked his sister.

"You are stupid, Gesnip," said her brother. "Don't you see they are
burning it to separate it into two parts? Then they will burn each log
into the shape of a boat, finishing it up with axes of bone or horn.
Uncle told me how they did it."

"Why have they put the green bark on the top of the log?"

"I think it is to keep it from burning along the edge; don't you see?
And then there are wider pieces to protect it at the ends. See how they
watch the fire and beat it out in one place and then in another."

"Why does it burn so fast?" asked Gesnip.

"Because they have daubed it with pitch. Can't you smell it?" said the
boy, sniffing.

"Yes, I can smell it," replied his sister. "But come now and help me
gather tules. Father is going to burn down our house and build a new one
for winter, and I must make a tule rug for each one of you for beds in
the new home. It will take a great many tule stems."

"It is cold to wade," said Payuchi, stepping into the water at the edge
of the river.

"Yes," answered Gesnip, "I don't like to gather tules in winter."

The children pulled up the long rough stems one by one until they had a
large pile.

"I think we have enough," said Payuchi, after they had been working
about two hours.

"Yes, I think so too," said his sister. "My back aches, my hands are
sore, and my feet are so cold." Payuchi brought some wild grapevine with
which he tied the tule into two bundles, fastening the larger upon his
sister's back; for with his people the women and girls were the burden
bearers, and a grown Indian would not do any work that his wife could
possibly do for him.

After they had traveled a little way on the homeward path, Gesnip

"Don't go so fast, Payuchi," she begged. "This bundle is so large it
nearly tumbles me over."

"Just hurry a little until we get to the foot of the hill yonder where
Nopal and the other big boys are playing, and you can rest while I watch
the game," answered her brother. Gesnip struggled on, bending under the
weight and size of her awkward burden until, with a sigh of relief, she
seated herself on a stone to rest while Payuchi, throwing his bundle on
the ground, stood up to watch the boys.

"See, Nopal is It," he said. Nopal, coming forward, stooped low and
rolled a hoop along the ground, which the boys had pounded smooth and
hard for the game.

As the hoop rolled another boy stepped forward and tried to throw a
stick through it, but failed. Then all the players pointed their fingers
at him and grunted in scorn. Again Nopal rolled the hoop, and this time
the boy threw through the ring, and all the boys, and Payuchi too, gave
whoops of delight.

The children watched the game until Gesnip said that they must go on,
for their mother would be home and want them. When they returned, Macana
was warming herself by the fire where the men were sitting.

"See our tule; is it not a great deal?" asked the children, showing
their bundles.

"Yes, but not enough," replied their mother. "You will have to go out
another day."

The women, who had been working all the morning gathering acorns, now
squatted near the fire and began grinding up the nuts which had been
already dried.

"Gesnip," called her mother, "bring me the grinding stones." The girl
went to the jacal and brought two stones, one a heavy bowlder with a
hollow in its top, which had been made partly by stone axes, but more by
use; the other stone fitted into this hollow.

"Now bring me the basket of roasted grasshoppers," said the mother.
Taking a handful of grasshoppers, Macana put them into the hollow in the
larger stone, and with the smaller stone rubbed them to a coarse powder.
This powder she put into a small basket which Gesnip brought her.

"I am glad we caught the grasshoppers. They taste better than acorn meal
mush," said Payuchi.

"How many grasshoppers there are in the fall," said Gesnip, "and so many
rabbits, too."

"We had such a good time at the rabbit drive," said Payuchi.

"And such a big feast afterwards, nearly as good as last night," said

"Tell me about the rabbit drive," said Cleeta, squatting down beside the
children in front of the fire.

"It was in the big wash up the river toward the mountains," began
Payuchi. "You have seen the rabbits running to hide in a bunch of grass
and cactus when you go with mother to the mountains for acorns, haven't

Cleeta nodded. "Not this winter, though. We saw only two to-day," she

"That is because of the drive," said her brother. "It was in the
afternoon, with the wind blowing from the ocean, and all the men who
could shoot best with bow and arrow, or throw the spear well, stood on
the other side of the wash."

"Father was there," said Cleeta.

"Yes, and many others," said Payuchi. "Then some of the men and all of
us boys got green branches of trees and came down on this side of the
wash. Nopal started the fire. It burned along in the grass slowly at
first, and when it came too near the jacals on one side or the woods on
the other, we would beat it out with the branches, but soon it ran
before the wind into the cactus and bunch grass. The rabbits were
frightened out and ran from the fire as fast as they could, and in a few
minutes they were right at the feet of father and the other hunters.
They killed forty before the smoke made them run too."

"My dress was made of their skin," said the little girl, smoothing her
gown lovingly. "It keeps me so warm."

"Did the fire burn long?" asked Gesnip.

"No, we beat it out, or it would have gone up the wash into the live
oaks; then we boys should have been well punished for our carelessness."

Here their mother called to them.

"Payuchi," she said, "put away this basket of grasshopper meal. And,
Gesnip, go to the jacal and find me the coils for basket weaving."

"What shall I bring?" asked Gesnip.

"The large bundle of chippa that is soaking in a basket, and the big
coil of yellow kah-hoom and the little one of black tsuwish which are
hanging up, and bring me my needle and bone awl."

"Do you want the coil of millay?"

"No, I shall need no red to-day."

Squatted on the ground, where she could feel the warmth of the fire on
her back, but where the heat could not dry her basket materials, Macana
began her work. Taking a dripping chippa, or willow bough, from the
basket where it had been soaking, she dried it on leaves and wound it
tightly in a close coil the size of her thumbnail, then spatted it
together until it seemed no longer a cord, but a solid piece of wood.
Thus she made the base of her basket; then, threading her needle, which
was but a horny cactus stem set in a head of hardened pitch, she
stitched in and out over the upper and under the lower layer, drawing
her thread firmly each time. The thread was the creamy, satin-like
kah-hoom. Round and round she coiled the chippa, the butt of one piece
overlapping the tip of another, while with her needle she covered all
with the smoothly drawn kah-hoom. After a time she laid the kah-hoom
aside for a stitch or two of the black root of the tule, called tsuwish.

The children had watched the starting of the basket, then had begun a
game of match, with white and black pebbles. After a time Gesnip,
looking up from her play, exclaimed, as she saw the black diamond
pattern the weaver was making:--

"Mother, why are you weaving a rattlesnake basket?"

"I am making it to please Chinigchinich that he may smile upon me and
guard you, children, and Cuchuma from the bite of the rattlesnake. There
are so many of them here this year, and I fear for you."

"Thank you, mother," said Gesnip. "If Titas's mother had made a black
diamond basket, maybe the snake would not have bitten her."

"I think Chinigchinich does smile upon you," said Payuchi, "for when we
were so hungry in the month of roots [October] you wove him the hunting
basket with the pattern of deer's antlers, trimmed with quail feathers,
and see how much food we have had: first the rabbits, then the
grasshoppers, and now the fish and elk."

"While you work tell us how the first baby basket was made," begged
Cleeta. The mother nodded; and as she wound and pressed closely the
moist chippa, and the cactus needle flew in and out with the creamy
kah-hoom or the black tsuwish, she told the story.

"When the mother of all made the basket for the first man child, she
used a rainbow for the wood of the back of the basket, with stars woven
in each side, and straight lightning down the middle in front. Sunbeams
shining on a far-away rain storm formed the fringe in front, where we
use strips of buckskin, and the carry straps were brightest sunbeams."

"Mother, you left out that the baby was wrapped in a soft purple cloud
from the mountains," said Cleeta.

"Yes, in a purple cloud of evening, wrapped so he could not move leg or
arm, but would grow straight and beautiful," said the mother.

For a long while the children watched in silence the patient fingers at
their work; then Gesnip asked, "Is it true, mother, that when you were a
little child your father and mother and many of your tribe died of

"It is true," replied Macana, sadly, "but who told you?"

"Old Cotopacnic, but I thought it was one of his dreams. Why were you
all so hungry?" asked the girl.

"Because the rain failed for three seasons. After a time there was no
grass, no acorns, the rabbits and deer died or wandered away, the
streams dried up so there were no fish, the ground became so dry that
there were no more grubs or worms of any kind, no grasshoppers. There
was nothing to eat but roots. Nearly all our tribe died, and many other
people, too."

"How did you live?" asked Payuchi.

"My aunt had married a chief whose home was in a rich valley in the
mountains where it is always green. She came down to see my mother, and
when she found how hard it was to get food for us all, she took me by
the hand and tumbled Sholoc who was smaller than little Nakin, into her
great seed basket and took us off to the mountains until times should
grow better; but the rains did not come until it was too late. I stayed
with her until I married your father. Sholoc became a great hunter, then
chief of the people of Santa Catalina, where he became a great fisherman

The children looked grave.

"Do you think such bad seasons can ever come again?" asked Gesnip.

"Who can tell?" replied the mother, with a sigh. "Last year was very bad
and there is little rain yet this year. That is why the men offered
gifts to Chinigchinich last night."

"Nobody must take me away from you to keep me from being hungry," said
gentle Cleeta, hiding her face in her mother's lap.

"If I were Chinigchinich," said Payuchi, "I would not let so many people
die, just because they needed a little more rain. I would not be that
kind of a god."

"Hush, my child," said the mother, sternly. "He will hear and punish
you. If it is our fate, we must bend to it."

Chapter III

"The Secret of the Strait"


One afternoon in September, in the year 1542, two broad, clumsy ships,
each with the flag of Spain flying above her many sails, were beating
their way up the coast of southern California. All day the vessels had
been wallowing in the choppy seas, driven about by contrary winds. At
last the prow of the leading ship was turned toward shore, where there
seemed to be an opening that might lead to a good harbor. At the bow of
the ship stood the master of the expedition, the tanned, keen-faced
captain, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. He was earnestly watching the land
before him, which was still some distance away.

"Come hither, Juan," he called to a sturdy lad, about sixteen, who, with
an Indian boy, brought from Mexico as interpreter, was also eagerly
looking landward. "Your eyes should be better than mine. Think you there
is a harbor beyond that point?"

"It surely seems so to me, sir," answered the boy; "and Pepe, whose
eyes, you know, are keener than ours, says that he can plainly see the

"I trust he is right; for this thickening weather promises a storm, and
a safe harbor would be a gift of God to us weary ones this night," said
the captain, with a sigh.

Since the fair June day when they had sailed out of the harbor on the
west shore of Mexico, they had been following first up the coast line of
the Peninsula, then of Upper California. No maps or charts of the region
showing where lay good harbors or dangerous rocks, could be found in
Cabrillo's cabin. Instead, there were maps of this South Sea which
pictured terrible dangers for mariners--great whirlpools which could
suck down whole fleets of vessels, and immense waterfalls, where it was
thought the whole ocean poured off the end of the land into space. A
brave man was Captain Cabrillo, for, half believing these stories, he
yet sailed steadily on, determined, no matter what happened to himself,
to do his duty to the king under whose flag he sailed, and to the
viceroy of Mexico, whose funds had furnished the expedition.

California has ever been noted for its brave men, but none have been
more courageous than this explorer, who was probably the first white man
to set his foot upon its soil. As the ship approached land the crew
became silent, every eye being turned anxiously to the opening of the
passage which appeared before them. The vessel, driven by the stiff
breeze, rushed on, almost touching the rock at one point. Then, caught
by a favorable current, it swept into mid-channel, where it moved
rapidly forward, until at length it rode safely in the harbor now known
as San Diego Bay.

"It is a good port and well inclosed," said Juan Cabrillo, with great
satisfaction, gazing out upon the broad sheet of quiet water. "We will
name it for our good San Miguel, to whom our prayers for a safe
anchorage were offered this morning." Then, when the two ships were
riding at anchor, the commander ordered out the boats.

"We will see what kind of people these are, dodging behind the bushes
yonder," said he. As the Spaniards drew near shore they could see many
fleeing figures.

"What a pity they are so afraid," said Cabrillo. "If we are to learn
anything of the country, we must teach them that we mean them no harm."

"Master," said Pepe, "there are three of them hiding behind those

"Is it so, lad? Then go you up to them. They will not fear you." So the
Indian boy walked slowly forward, holding out his hands with his palms
upward, which not only let the natives see that he was unarmed, but in
the sign language meant peace and friendship. As he drew near to them an
old man and two younger ones, dressed in scanty shirts of rabbit-skins,
came from their hiding places and began to talk to Pepe, but, though
they also were Indians, they did not speak his language. Some of their
words were evidently similar to his, and by these and the help of signs
he partly understood what they said. Presently he returned to the group
on shore.

"They say there are Spaniards back in the country a few days' journey
from here."

"Spaniards? That is impossible," returned Cabrillo.

"They say that they are bearded, wear clothes like yours, and have white
faces," answered the boy, simply.

"They must be mistaken, or perhaps you did not understand them fully,"
said the master. "At another time we will question them further. Now,
give them this present of beads and hurry back, for it is late."

That night some of the men from the ships went on shore to fish. While
they were drawing their nets, the Indians stole up softly and discharged
their arrows, wounding three. The boy Juan had the most serious injury,
an arrow being so deeply embedded in his shoulder that it could not be
removed until they reached the ship. There the padre, who, like most
priests of that day, knew something of surgery, drew it out, and bound
up the shoulder in soothing balsams.

On the second day of their stay in port the wind began to blow from the
southwest; the waves grew rough, and Cabrillo ordered the ships to be
made ready for the tempest, which soon became violent. Meantime, Juan
lay suffering in his hammock, which swung backward and forward with the
motion of the ship. Suddenly he heard a step beside him and felt a cool
hand on his forehead.

"How goes it, lad?" said Cabrillo, for it was the master himself. "You
are suffering in a good cause. Have courage; you will soon be well.
Remember, you have helped to discover a harbor, the like of which is
seldom found. This storm is a severe one. I can hear the surf booming on
the farther shore, yet our ship shows no strain on the anchor. Good
harbor though it is, I am sorely disappointed, as I had hoped it was the
entrance to the strait, the strait that seems a phantom flying before us
as we go, drawing us onward to we know not what." The sadness of the
captain's voice troubled Juan.

"Master," he asked earnestly, "what is the strait? I hear of it often,
yet no one can tell me what it is, or where it lies."

"Because no one knows," answered the captain, rising. "I am needed on
deck, but I will send old Tomas to tell you its strange story."

"The secret of the strait," said old Tomas, as he seated himself beside
Juan, "has led many men to gallant deeds and also many a man to a
gallant death. Always, since as a lad I first went to sea, the merchants
of many lands have been seeking a safe and speedy way of reaching the
Indies, where are found such foods, spices, and jewels as one sees
nowhere else in the world.

"My father and grandfather used to travel with caravans overland to and
from India. There are several routes, each controlled by some one of the
great Italian cities, but all have somewhere to cross the desert, where
the trains are often robbed by wild tribes. Sometimes, as they come
nearer home, they are held by the Turks for heavy tribute, with such
loss that the merchants have been forced to turn to the sea in hopes
that a better way might be found. It was while searching for this route
that Columbus discovered the new world, and when the news of his success
was brought back to Europe there was great rejoicing, because it was
thought that he had reached some part of India. Magellan's voyage,
however, destroyed these hopes. He sailed for months down the eastern
shore of the new land, and discovered, far away to the south, a strait
through which he reached the great South Sea, but then he still sailed
on for nearly a year before he came to the Spice Islands and Asia.

"Now every one believes that somewhere through this land to the north of
us there is a wide, deep sea passage from the North Sea [Atlantic] to
the South Sea [Pacific], by which ships may speedily reach India. This
passage is called the Strait of Anian.

"The great captain, Hernando Cortez, the conqueror of New Spain [Mexico]
spent many years and a large fortune seeking for this water way. Four
different expeditions he sent out to explore this coast: most of them at
his own cost. In the second one his pilot, Jiminez, led a mutiny,
murdered his captain, and afterward discovered, accidentally, the
southern point of this land we are now exploring. But it was not the
good fortune of the noble Cortez to discover the strait. Our captain is
the next to take up the search, and may God send him success."

After a stay of nearly a week in the bay of San Diego, Cabrillo
continued his voyage up the coast, sailing by day, anchoring at night.
He touched at an island which he named San Salvador, but which we know
as Santa Catalina. Here, by his kind and generous treatment, he won the
friendship of the natives. From this beautiful spot, he sailed, one
Sunday morning, to the mainland. Entering the Bay of San Pedro, he found
it enveloped in smoke.

"It seems a fair port," said the commander, "but go no farther inland.
Drop anchor while we can see our way. We may well call this the Bay of
Smokes." The fires, they found, had been started by the Indians to drive
the rabbits from shelter, so they could be the more easily killed.

Sailing on, the ships anchored off a thickly settled valley, where the
town of Ventura now lies. Here, on October 12, 1542, Cabrillo and his
company went on shore and took solemn possession of the land in the name
of the king of Spain and the viceroy of Mexico. Here, and along the
channel, the people were better-looking, more comfortably lodged and
clothed, than those farther south. They also had good canoes, which the
natives of the lower coast did not possess. Pushing on, the explorer saw
and noted the channel islands and rounded Point Conception. From here he
was driven back by contrary winds, and toward nightfall of a stormy day
found himself near the little island now named San Miguel.

"We will call it La Posesion and take it for our own," said Cabrillo,
"for, if we can but make it, there seems to be a good harbor here." The
storm, however, grew more severe. The sea rose until occasionally the
waves swept over the smaller ship, which was without a deck. Here
occurred a most unhappy accident. Something about the ship, a spar
probably, loosened by the storm, fell and struck the brave commander,
breaking his arm. Although severely injured, he would not have the
wounds dressed until, after a long period of anxiety, the two ships
entered in safety the little harbor of San Miguel.

Here, stormbound, they remained for a week. When they ventured forth,
they again met with high winds and bad weather. Cabrillo, who in spite
of discouragements never forgot his search for the strait, pushed close
inshore and kept much of the time on deck looking for some signs of a
river or passage. One morning at daybreak, after a rough night, they
found themselves drifting in an open bay.

"It is a fine roadstead," said Cabrillo, coming on deck, as the sun rose
over the pine-covered hills. "Were it smaller, it would be a welcome
harbor. We will name it from those majestic trees La Bahia de Pinos, and
yonder long projection we will call the Cabo de Pinos." That bay is now
called Monterey, but the cape still bears the name given it by this
first explorer.

Anchoring in forty-five fathoms of water, they tried to go on shore, in
order to take possession of the land, but the sea was so rough that they
could not launch their boats. The next day they discovered and named
some mountains which they called Sierra Nevada, and, sailing on, went as
far north as about 401. But this winter voyage was made at a great
sacrifice. The exposure and hardships, following the wound he had
received, were too much for even the hardy sailor Juan Rodriguez
Cabrillo. After weeks of struggle with storms, the ships were forced
back to their old shelter at San Miguel. Here Christmas week was spent,
but a sad holiday it was to the explorers, for their brave leader lay
dying. Nobly had he done his duty up to the last.

"Juan," he said, to his young attendant, on Christmas Eve, "how gladly
the bells will be ringing in Lisbon to-night. I seem to hear them now.
They drive out all other sounds. Call Ferrelo and let no one else come
but the padre." Very soon Juan returned with Cabrillo's first assistant,
the pilot, Ferrelo, a brave navigator and a just man.

"Ferrelo," said Cabrillo, faintly, "Death calls me, and the duty I lay
down you must take up. I command you to push the expedition northward at
all hazards, and to keep such records as are necessary in order that
fitting account of our voyage shall be given to the world. Will you
promise me to do this?"

"I will, my master," said Ferrelo, simply. "To the best of my ability
will I take up your work."

"Always looking for the strait, Ferrelo?"

"Always, senor."

On the 3d of January, 1543, the brave man died and was buried in the
sands of Cuyler Harbor on San Miguel Island. His men called the island
Juan Rodriguez. This name was afterwards dropped, but California should
see to it that the island is rechristened in honor of the great sailor
who sleeps there.

Ferrelo later succeeded in sailing as far north as Cape Mendocino and
perhaps as far as 42i, but, though he kept as close to the shore as
possible, he failed to discover the great bay whose waters, spreading
like a sheet of silver over sixty miles of country, lay hidden just
behind the Golden Gate. Near the Oregon line he was driven back by
storms, and returned to Mexico, where he published a full account of the


In the town of Offenburg, Germany, there is a statue of a man standing
on the deck of a ship, leaning against an anchor, his right hand
grasping a map of America, his left, a cluster of bulbous roots. On the
pedestal is the inscription, "Sir Francis Drake, the introducer of
potatoes into Europe in the year of our Lord 1586."

While it is doubtful whether this honor really belongs to Drake, an
Englishman, seeing the statue, would be inclined to say, "Is this all
that Germany has to tell of the great captain who led our navy against
the Spanish Armada; the first Englishman to sail around the world; the
most daring explorer, clever naval commander, expert seaman, brave
soldier, loyal friend, and gallant enemy of his time?" A Spaniard, on
the contrary, might well exclaim, "Why did Germany erect a statue to
this terrible man whom our poets call Dragontea [Dragon], this greatest
of all pirates, this terror of the sea?" All this, and more, might be
said of one man, who began life as a ship's boy.

At the time Drake first went to sea, England and Spain were by no means
friendly. Henry the Eighth of England had ill-treated his wife, who was
a Spanish princess. In addition he had drawn the English people away
from the Church of Rome. These things were most displeasing to Spain,
but there was still another reason for disagreement. The interests of
the two countries were opposed commercially, and this was the most
important cause of contention.

Spain claimed by right of discovery, and gift of the Pope of Rome, all
the land in the new world except Brazil (which belonged to Portugal),
and held that no explorers or tradesmen, other than her own, had any
rights on her waters or in her ports. English seamen denied much of this
claim, and so frequent were the disputes arising upon the subject that
the English sailors adopted as a maxim, "No peace beyond the line,"
meaning the line which was, by the Pope's decree, the eastern boundary
of the Spanish claim.

The favorite prey of the British mariners was the treasure ships
carrying to Spain the precious cargoes of gold and silver from the rich
mines of the new world. With the far richer ships of the Philippine and
Indian trade, sailing on unknown waters, they had not, up to Drake's
time, been able to interfere.

Drake, when a very young man, had joined a trading expedition to Mexico.
While there the English were attacked by the Spanish in what the former
considered a most treacherous manner. Drake's brother and many of his
comrades were killed, and their goods taken. After the battle he
solemnly vowed to be revenged, and so thoroughly did he carry out his
resolution that he was for years the terror of the Spanish seamen, and,
by many of the superstitious common sailors, believed to be Satan
himself come to earth in human form.

Shortly after this unfortunate expedition Drake engaged in a marauding
voyage to Panama, where he captured rich stores of gold and silver and
precious stones. He gained such renown for his bravery and seamanship
that upon coming home he found himself famous.

Queen Elizabeth knew that Spain was opposed to her and her religion, and
was not in her heart displeased when her brave seamen got the better of
their Spanish rivals. She received Drake privately, and help was offered
him secretly from people who stood high in the government. With this
encouragement he resolved to embark on a most hazardous and daring
adventure. While in Panama he had seen, from a "high and goodlie tree"
on a mountain side, the great Pacific, and was immediately filled with a
desire to sail on its waters and explore its shores. He therefore
determined to cross the Atlantic, pass through the Strait of Magellan,
up the Pacific, and to plunder the Spanish towns along the coast of
South and Central America, until he should reach the region traversed by
the richly laden Spanish ships coming from India and the Philippines. It
is said that the queen herself put a thousand crowns into this venture.
One thing is certain, that he received sufficient help to fit out five
small vessels, with one hundred and sixty-four men. With these he sailed
from Falmouth, England, in December of 1577. With the exception of
perhaps one or two of the rich men who had helped him, no one, not even
his men, knew of his plans.

After a long and interesting voyage in which one vessel was lost and the
others, though he did not know it, had deserted him, he found himself
with but one ship beating his way up the coast of Lower California. This
was his flagship Pelican, which he had rechristened the Golden Hind. It
was then so laden with rich booty, that it was like a hawk which had
stolen too heavy a chicken, driven this way and that by the winds,
scarcely able to reach its nest.

In addition to a good store of Chile wines and foods of various kinds,
there were packed away in the hold of the Golden Hind, twenty-five
thousand pesos of gold, eight thousand pounds of English money, and a
great cross of gold with "emeralds near as large as a man's finger."
From one vessel Drake had taken one hundred-weight of silver; from a
messenger of the mines, who was sleeping beside a spring on the Peruvian
coast, thirteen bars of solid silver; off the backs of a train of little
gray llamas, the camels of the Andes, eight hundred pounds of silver;
and besides all these were large quantities of gold and silver that were
not recorded in the ship's list, and stores of pearls, diamonds,
emeralds, silks, and porcelain.

The last prize taken was the Spanish treasure ship Cacafuegos. Drake had
transferred its cargo and crew to his own vessel and, for a time, manned
it with some of his men. Its noble commander, St. John de Anton, who had
been wounded in the attack, received every possible attention on the
English vessel, and in the report which he afterwards made to the
viceroy of Mexico, he told of the perfect order and discipline
maintained on the Golden Hind, and of the luxury which surrounded its
commander, who was treated with great reverence by his men.

Before sailing on to the northward, Drake restored St. John and his crew
to their vessel. Then, because he feared that they might fall into the
hands of his fleet (having no suspicion that the other captains had
returned home), he gave the Spaniards the following letter, which shows
the great Englishman to have been more honorable than he is oftentimes

"To Master Weinter and the Masters of the Other Ships of my Fleet:

"If it pleaseth God that you should chance to meet with this ship of St.
John de Anton, I pray you use him well according to my promise given
him. If you want to use anything that is in the ship, I pray you pay him
double value for it, which I will satisfy again. And command your men
not to do any harm and what agreement we have made, at my return unto
England, I will, by God's help, perform, although I am in doubt that
this letter will ever come to your hand, notwithstanding I am the man I
have promised to be.

"Beseeching God, the Saviour of the world, to have us all in his
keeping, to whom I give all honor, praise, and glory,

"Your sorrowful captain, whose heart is heavy for you,

"Francis Drake."

How to get home was the problem which this daring man had now to solve.
There was no possibility of returning by the way he had come. He well
knew that the news of his departure had reached Spain, and that her war
ships would be waiting for him, not only at the eastern entrance of the
Strait of Magellan, but at the Isthmus and in the Caribbean Sea.

If by sailing northward he could find the Strait of Anian, then his
homeward journey would be safe and short; but if he could not find that
illusive body of water, then there was left to him but the Pacific for a
highway. However, this did not daunt him, as he felt that what the
Portuguese Magellan had done, Drake the Englishman could do.

Keeping well out from shore, the Golden Hind now sailed northward for
nearly two months. Drake passed just west of the Farallon Islands, never
dreaming of the great harbor which lay so short a distance on the other
side. He traveled as far north as latitude 42i or possibly 43i, and
perhaps he even landed at one point, but he failed to find the strait.
According to Fletcher, the priest of the Church of England who kept a
journal of the expedition, they were finally forced by the extreme cold
to turn southward. "Here," says Fletcher, "it pleased God on this 17th
day of June, 1579, to send us, in latitude 38i, a convenient fit
harbor." This is now supposed to be Drakes Bay, which lies thirty miles
northwest of San Francisco, in Marin county.

"In this bay we anchored, and the people of the country having their
houses close to the waterside showed themselves unto us and sent
presents to our general. He, in return, courteously treated them and
liberally bestowed upon them things necessary to cover their nakedness.

"Their houses are digged around about with earth and have for the brim
of that circle, clefts of wood set upon the ground and joined closely
together at the top like the spire of a steeple, which by reason of this
closeness are very warm. The men go naked, but the women make themselves
loose garments knit about the middle, while over their shoulders they
wear the skin of a deer."

These people brought presents and seemed to want to offer sacrifices to
the strangers as gods, but Drake, hastily calling his men together, held
divine services, "To which, especially the prayers and music," says
Fletcher, "they were most attentive and seemed to be greatly affected."
The Bible used by Drake in this service is still to be seen in Nut Hall
House, Devonshire, England.

Presently a messenger came, saying that the king wished to visit them if
they would assure him of their peaceful intentions. Drake sent him
presents, then marched his force into a kind of fort he had had made in
which to place such parts of the cargo as it was necessary to remove in
order to careen the ship for repairing. The coming of the chief is thus

"He came in princely majesty. In the fore-front was a man of goodly
personage who bore the scepter whereon was hung two crowns with chains
of marvelous length. The crowns were made of knit-work wrought with
feathers of divers colors, the chains being made of bony substances.

"Next came the king with his guard, all well clothed in connie skins,
then the naked common people with faces painted, each bearing some
presents. After ceremonies consisting of speeches and dances, they
offered one of the crowns to Drake, who, accepting in the name of
Elizabeth, allowed it to be placed on his head."

While the men were busy cleaning and repairing the ship, the commander
and his officers made excursions into the interior, visiting many Indian
towns and passing through wide plains where vast herds of deer, often
one thousand or more, all large and fat, were feeding on the rich
grasses. They also saw great numbers of what they called connies, which,
from their description, must have been ground squirrels, or else some
variety of animal now extinct. The country Drake named New Albion,
partly from its white cliffs, which resembled those of his native land,
and partly in belief that it would be easier to lay claim to the country
if it bore one of the names applied to England.

"When the time came for our departure," continued Fletcher in his
journal, "our general set up a monument of our being here, so also, of
her majesty's right and title to the land: namely a plate nailed upon a
fair great post, whereon was engraved her majesty's name, the day and
year of our arrival, with the giving up of the province and people into
her majesty's hands, together with her highness' picture and arms in a
sixpence under the plate, whereunder was also written the name of our

Fletcher seemed not to know of Cabrillo's voyage, for he claimed that no
one had ever discovered land in this region, or for many degrees to the
south; while in fact Ferrelo with Cabrillo's ships had sailed as far
north as latitude 42i, although we have no reason to think that he
landed in a higher latitude than that of Point Conception and San Miguel

Once again solemn religious services were held by the Englishmen on the
hospitable soil that had been their home for over a month. Then they
went on board the ship, accompanied to the shore by the grieving
Indians, who would not be comforted when they saw their new friends
forsaking them. It was near the last of July in 1579 that Captain Drake
with his brave men began his wonderful homeward voyage.

It was a triumphant return they made in September, a year later. Crowds
flocked to see the famous ship and its gallant commander.

Some of the queen's statesmen strongly disapproved of Drake's attack
upon Spanish towns and vessels, and felt he should be arrested and tried
for piracy; but the common people cheered him wherever he went, and as a
crowning honor, in the luxurious cabin of his good ship Golden Hind, he
was visited by the great Elizabeth herself. When the banquet was over,
at the queen's command, he bent his knee before her, and this sovereign,
who, though a woman, dearly loved such courage and daring as he had
displayed, tapped him on the shoulder and bade him arise "Sir Francis

Galli and Carmenon

In 1584 Francisco Galli, commanding a Philippine ship, returning to
Mexico by way of Japan, sighted the coast of California in latitude 37i
30'. He saw, as he reported, "a high and fair land with no snow and many
trees, and in the sea, drifts of roots, reeds, and leaves." Some of the
latter he gathered and cooked with meat for his men, who were no doubt
suffering from scurvy.

Galli wrote of the point where he first saw the coast as Cape Mendocino,
which would seem to imply that the point had been discovered and named
at some previous time, of which, however, there is no record.

In 1595 Sebastian Carmenon, commanding the ship San Agustin, coming from
the Philippines, was given royal orders to make some explorations on the
coast of California, probably to find a suitable harbor for Manila
vessels. In doing so he was so unfortunate as to run his vessel ashore
behind Point Reyes, and to lighten her was obliged to leave behind a
portion of his cargo, consisting of wax and silks in boxes. There is
only the briefest record of this voyage, and no report of any


Almost sixty years after the voyage of Cabrillo, came a royal order from
the king of Spain to the viceroy of Mexico which, translated from the
Spanish, ran something like this:--

"Go, search the northern coast of the Californias, until you find a good
and sufficient harbor wherein my Manila galleons may anchor safe and
protected, and where may be founded a town that my scurvy-stricken
sailors may find the fresh food necessary for their relief. Furthermore,
spare no expense."

The destruction of Spanish shipping by Drake and other English seamen
who followed his example, had caused great anxiety to the Spaniards and
was partly the reason for this order.

"Send for Don Sebastian," said the viceroy. "He is a brave gentleman and
good sailor. He shall carry out the order of the king." But it took time
to fit out such an expedition, and it was not until an afternoon in May,
1602, that Don Sebastian Vizcaino, on his flagship, the San Diego,
sailed out of the harbor of Acapulco into the broad Pacific. Closely
following him were his other ships, the San Thomas and Tres Reyes.

There had been solemn services at the cathedral that afternoon. Officers
and men had taken of the holy communion; and now their wives and
children stood on the island at the entrance of the harbor, watching the
white sails as they grew fainter and fainter and at last disappeared in
the haze of the coming night.

Then the watchers returned to their lonely homes with heavy hearts, for
in those days few came back who sailed out on the great South Sea.
Storms, battles with the natives, and scurvy made sad havoc among the

Early in November Vizcaino entered "a famous port," which he named San
Diego, finding it, as Padre Ascension's journal says, "beautiful and
very grand, and all parts of it very convenient shelter from the winds."
After leaving San Diego, the next anchoring place was the island named
by Vizcaino for Santa Catalina, on whose feast day his ships entered the
pretty little harbor of Avalon.

The Spaniards were greatly pleased with the island and also with the
people, whom they described as being a large-figured, light-complexioned
race; all, men, women, and children, being well clothed in sealskins.
They had large dwellings, many towns, and fine canoes. What struck Padre
Ascension most strongly was their temple, of which he says: "There was
in the temple a large level court, and about this a circle surrounded by
feather work of different colors taken from various birds which I
understand had been sacrificed to their idols. Within this circle was
the figure of a demon painted in color after the manner of the Indians
of New Spain. On its sides were figures of the sun and moon.

"It so fell out that when our soldiers came up from the ships to view
the temple, there were in the circle two immense ravens, far larger than
ordinary. When the men arrived, they flew away to some rocks that were
near by, and the soldiers seeing how large they were, raised their
arquebuses and killed them both. Then did the Indians begin to weep and
make great lamentation. I understand that the devil was accustomed to
speak to them, through these birds, for which they showed great

There were in the island quantities of edible roots of a variety of the
yucca called gicamas, and many little bulbs which the Spanish called
"papas pequenos" (little potatoes). These, the padre said, the Indians
took in their canoes over to the mainland, thus making their living by
barter. This certainly must have been the beginning of commerce on the

Vizcaino entered and named the Bay of San Pedro. To the channel islands
he also gave the names which they now bear. Sailing on, he discovered a
river which he named "Carmelo," in honor of the Carmelite friars who
accompanied him. The same day the fleet rounded the long cape called
"Point Pinos" and came to anchor in the bay formed by its projection.
From here the San Tomas was sent to Mexico to carry the sick, of whom
there were many, and to bring back fresh supplies. The men who remained
were at once set to work. Some supplied the two ships with wood and
water; others built a chapel of brush near the beach, under a large oak
at the roots of which flowed a spring of delicious water. In this chapel
mass was said and the Te Deum chanted. For over one hundred and fifty
years this oak was known, both in New Spain and at the court of the
king, as the "Oak of Vizcaino, in the Bay of Monterey." From here
Vizcaino wrote to the king of Spain as follows:--

"Among the ports of greater consideration which I have discovered is one
in 30i north latitude which I called Monterey, as I wrote to your
majesty in December. It is all that can be desired for commodiousness
and as a station for ships making the voyage from the Philippines,
sailing whence they make a landfall on this coast. It is sheltered from
all winds and in the immediate vicinity are pines from which masts of
any desired size could be obtained, as well as live oak, white oak, and
other woods. There is a variety of game, great and small. The land has a
genial climate and the waters are good. It is thickly settled by a
people whom I find to be of gentle disposition, and whom I believe can
be brought within the fold of the Holy Gospel and subjugation to your

This enthusiastic praise of the harbor of Monterey by a man who was
familiar with the port of San Diego, caused much trouble later, as will
be seen in the study of the founding of the missions.

Not waiting for the return of the San Tomas, Vizcaino with his two ships
soon sailed northward, and reached a point in about latitude 42i, which
was probably the northern limit reached by Cabrillo's ships and only a
little lower than the farthest explorations of Drake. Although Vizcaino
was looking for harbors, he yet passed twice outside the Bay of San
Francisco, the finest on the coast, without discovering it. After his
return to Mexico, Vizcaino endeavored to raise an expedition to found a
settlement at Monterey, even going to Spain to press the matter; but
other schemes were demanding the king's attention, and he would give
neither thought nor money to affairs in the new world; and so,
thoroughly disheartened Vizcaino returned to Mexico.

From this time for over one hundred and fifty years there is no record
of explorations along this coast, either by vessels from Mexico or by
those coming from the Philippines. California seemed again forgotten.

This is the story of the few voyages made to the coast of California
previous to its settlement. The first, under Cabrillo, was sent out by
the viceroy Mendoza, who hoped to gain fame and riches by the discovery
of the Strait of Anian, and by finding wealthy countries and cities
which were supposed to exist in the great northwest, about which much
was imagined but nothing known.

Drake planned his voyage largely in pursuit of his revenge upon Spain,
partly for the plunder which he hoped to obtain from the Spanish towns
and vessels along the Pacific coast of America, and partly because of
his desire to explore the Pacific Ocean.

Vizcaino also was expected to search for the strait, but he was
especially sent out to find a good harbor and place for settlement on
the California coast. This was intended in a great measure for the
benefit of the Philippine trade, but also to aid in holding the country
for Spain.

Chapter IV

The Cross of Santa Fe

The kings highway which led up from Vera Cruz, the chief port of the
eastern coast of Mexico, to the capital city of New Spain had in the
eighteenth century more history connected with it than any other road in
the new world. Over it had passed Montezuma with all the splendor of his
pagan court. On it, too, had marched and counter marched his grim
conqueror, the great Cortez. Through its white dust had traveled an
almost endless procession of mules and slaves, carrying the treasures of
the mines of Mexico and the rich imports of Manila and India on toward

Over this road there was journeying, one winter day in the year 1749, a
traveler of more importance to the history of the state of California
than any one who had gone before. He was no great soldier or king, only
a priest in the brownish gray cloak of the order of St. Francis. He was
slight in figure, and limped painfully from a sore on his leg, caused,
it is supposed, by the bite of some poisonous reptile. The chance
companions who traveled with him begged him to stop and rest beside a
stream, but he would not. Then, as he grew more weary, they entreated
him to seek shelter in a ranch house near by and give up his journey.

"Speak not to me thus. I am determined to continue. I seem to hear
voices of unconverted thousands calling me," was all the answer he gave.
So on foot, with no luggage but his prayer book, he limped out of sight
--the humble Spanish priest, Junipero Serra.

While only a schoolboy, young Serra had been more interested in the
Indian inhabitants of the new world than in boyish pleasure. As he grew
older it became his greatest desire to go to them as a missionary. At
eighteen he became a priest; but it was not until his thirty-sixth year
that he gained the opportunity of which he had so long dreamed, when, in
company with a body of missionaries, among whom were his boyhood
friends, Francisco Palou and Juan Crespi, he landed at Vera Cruz.

He was too impatient to begin his new work, to wait for the government
escort which was coming to meet them. So he started out on foot, with
only such companions as he might pick up by the way, to make the long
journey to the city of Mexico.

Sixteen years later, attended by a gay company of gentlemen and ladies,
there traveled over this road one of Spain's wisest statesmen, Jose de
Galvez, whom the king had sent out to look after affairs in the new
world. Flourishing settlements were by this time scattered over a large
portion of Mexico, and even in the peninsula of Lower California there
were a number of missions. It was almost a hundred years before this
time that two Catholic priests of the Society of Jesus had asked
permission to found mission settlements among the Indians of this

"You may found the missions if you like, but do not look to us for money
to help you," was the answer returned by the officers of the government.
So the two Jesuit priests set about collecting funds for the work.

They were eloquent men, and the people who heard them preach became so
interested in the Indians that they were glad to give. And so, little by
little, this fund grew. As the good work went on, greater gifts poured
in. Whole fortunes were left them, and finally they had a very large sum
carefully invested in the city of Mexico. This was known as the Pius
Fund. From it was taken all the money needed for the founding of the
missions of Lower California; and, many years later, the expenses of
founding the twenty-one missions of Upper California came from the same
source. This fund became the subject of a long dispute between Mexico
and the United States, of which an account is given in Chapter XI.

In 1767 all the Jesuit priests in New Spain were called back to Europe,
and a large portion of their wealth and missions on the peninsula were
given over to the order of St. Francis, with Junipero Serra at their
head. It was Galvez's duty to superintend this change, and while he was
on his way to the peninsula for that purpose he was overtaken by an
order from the king of Spain to occupy and fortify the ports of San
Diego and Monterey. The Spanish government had the description of these
ports furnished by Vizcaino in his account of his explorations in Upper
and Lower California over one hundred and sixty years before.

The articles of the king's order were: first, to establish the Catholic
faith; second, to extend Spanish dominion; third, to check the ambitious
schemes of a foreign power; and lastly, to carry out a plan formed by
Philip the Third, as long ago as 1603, for the establishment of a town
on the California coast where there was a harbor suitable for ships of
the Manila trade.

Galvez at once proceeded to organize four expeditions for the settlement
of Upper California, two by land, two by sea. Captain Portola, governor
of the peninsula, was put in command, with good leaders under him.
Still, Galvez was not satisfied.

"This is all very well," he said; "these men will obey my orders, but
they do not care much whether this land is settled or not, and if
discouragements arise, back they will come, and I shall have the whole
thing to do over again. I must find some one who is interested in the
work, some one who will not find anything impossible. I think I shall
send for that lame, pale-faced priest, with the beautiful eyes, who has
taken up the work of these missions so eagerly."

"So you think we can make the venture a success?" asked Galvez, after he
had talked over his plans with Junipero.

"Surely," said Padre Serra, his eyes shining, his whole face glowing
with enthusiasm. "It is God's work to carry the cross of the holy faith
[Santa Fe] into the wilderness, and He will go with us; can you not hear
the heathen calling us to bring them the blessed Gospel? I can see that
I have lived all my life for this glorious day."

Then they went to work, the priest and the king's counselor--down on
the wharf, even working with their own hands, packing away the cargo.

"Hurry! Hurry!" said Galvez. The word was passed along, and in a short
time the four expeditions were ready.

Many were the trials and discouragements of the various parties. Scurvy
was so severe among the sailors that one ship lost all its crew save two
men, and there were a number of deaths on another ship; while a third
vessel which started later was never heard from. Padre Junipero, who
accompanied the second land party, under the charge of Governor Portola,
became so ill from the wound on his leg that the commander urged him to
return; but he would not. Calling a muleteer who was busy after the
day's march, doctoring the sores on his animals, he said:--

"Come, my son, and cure my sores also."

"Padre," exclaimed the man, shocked at the idea, "I am no surgeon; I
doctor only my beasts."

"Think then that I am a beast, my child," said the padre, "and treat me

The man obeyed. Gathering some leaves of the malva, or cheese plant, he
bruised them a little, heated them on the stones of the camp fire, and
spreading them with warm tallow, applied them to the wound. The next
morning the leg was so much better that the cure was thought to be a
miracle. Still the padre was very weak; and there was great rejoicing in
the party when at last they looked down from a height on San Diego Bay,
with the two ships--the San Carlos and the San Antonio--riding at
anchor, white tents on the beach, and soldiers grouped about. Salutes
were fired by the newcomers and returned by the soldiers and ships, and
very soon the four expeditions were reunited.

On the next day, Sunday, solemn thanksgiving services were held. Then
for fourteen days all were busy attending to the sick, making ready for
the departure of the ship San Antonio, which was to be sent back for
supplies, and packing up food and other necessities for the journey to
Monterey. The San Antonio sailed on the 9th of July, 1769, and five days
later Governor Portola and two thirds of the well portion of the company
started overland to Monterey.

Meantime Padre Junipero had been impatiently awaiting an opportunity to
begin his great work--the conversion of the heathen. He had written
back in his own peculiar way to his friend Padre Palou, whom he left in
charge of the missions of Lower California.

"Long Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, This to Fray Francisco Palou.

"My dear friend and Sir:--

"I, thanks be to God, arrived day before yesterday at this, in truth,
beautiful, and with reason famous, port of San Diego. We find Gentiles
[the name given to the wild Indians] here in great numbers. They seem to
lead temperate lives on various seeds and on fish which they catch from
their rafts of tule which are formed like a canoe."

The second day after the departure of Portola and his party, Sunday,
July 16, Padre Serra felt that the glorious moment for which he had so
long prayed had at length arrived. The mission bells were unpacked and
hung on a tree, and a neophyte, or converted Indian, whom he had brought
with him from the peninsula, was appointed to ring them. As the sweet
tones sounded on the clear air, all the party who were able gathered
about the padre, who stood lifting the cross of Christ on high. All
joined in solemnly chanting a hymn, and a sermon was preached. Then with
more chanting, the tolling of, the bells, and the firing of muskets, was
concluded the ceremony of the founding of the first of the California
missions, that of San Diego.

Portola and his men, in spite of many discouragements, traveled steadily
northward for nearly two months until at last, one October morning, they
saw what they thought to be Point Pinos, the name given by Cabrillo to
the pine-covered cape to the south of Monterey Bay. They were right in
thinking this Point Pinos, but the sad part is that when they climbed a
hill and looked down on the bay they had come so far to find, they
failed to recognize it.

They tramped wearily over the sun-dried hills that bordered it, and
walked on its sandy beach, but could not believe the wide, open
roadstead, encircled by bare brown heights, could be the well-inclosed
port lying at the foot of hills richly green, so warmly described by
Vizcaino in his winter voyage. It was a great disappointment, for this
was the latitude in which they had expected to find Monterey. After
talking it over, they decided they must be still too far south, so they
tramped on for many days.

On the last day of October, those of the party who were well enough,
climbed a high hill--(Point San Pedro on the west coast of the
peninsula)--and were rewarded by a glorious view. On their left the
great ocean stretched away to the horizon line, its waves breaking in
high-tossed foam on the rocky shore beneath them. Before them they saw
an open bay, or roadstead, lying between the point on which they stood,
and one extending into the sea far to the northwest. Upon looking at
their map of Vizcaino's voyage, they rightly decided that this farther
projection was Point Reyes; the little bay sheltered by the curve of its
arm was the one named on the map St. Francis, and now known as Drakes
Bay. Well out to sea they discovered a group of rocky islands which they
called Farallones; but not a man who stood on the height dreamed that
only a short distance to the right up the rocky coast there lay a bay so
immense and so perfectly inclosed that it would ever be one of the
wonders of the land they were exploring.

On account of the sick of the party, among whom were the commander and
his lieutenant, it was decided to travel no further, but to camp here
while Sergeant Ortega was dispatched to follow the coast line to Point
Reyes and explore the little bay it inclosed.

With a few men and three days' provisions consisting of small cakes made
of bran and water, which was the only food they had left, this brave
Spanish officer marched away, little imagining the honor which was soon
to be his. Leading this expedition, he was the first white man to
explore the peninsula where now stands the guardian city of the western
coast, and we must wonder what were his thoughts when, pushing his way
up some brush-covered heights, he came out suddenly upon the great bay

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