the bushes and one on a side of a tree. The whole company's attention was on the thicket. Slowly, Portola could see three people emerge. Then more, ten, twenty, sixty! The fire shone bright and Portola could tell that they were strongly built, dark skinned and beautiful. The Indians stood motionless and his company quieted and for a second Portola believed he could actually hear the wind. Then he understood; this was their land. He was an intruder. If they attacked they would surely win; they had about two hundred people presently armed with fierce looking weapons, but just as dangerous and he had a mere sixty-two and only half could fight. "We come in peace," said Portola looking into the fierce, black eyes of the leader of the Indians. The leader bravely stepped away from the others and picked up a stick. Then he started drawing on the dirt. It took Portola a while to realize that they offered to help them. Portola motioned Father Serra forward and they whispered.
"They offered us help," said Father Serra quite plaintively.
"The question is should we accept it," said Portola.
"What good is it that you found land, but have no knowledge in what it contains?" The crowd watched as the two men whispered and then Portola decided: they are going to accept the help the Indians have offered. The next morning Portola's company and a number of strong Indians rode off to explore land new and unknown to them.