Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Portola and the Indians - Christina Tran

The sun was setting and wind blew a soft breeze over the fertile soil. Gaspar de Portola a stranger to the land sat on his black mare and looked over the plains from above the hill. He sighed and nudged his horse forward, down the hill and his companions followed. They got halfway past the plains when an arrow flew right before Portola's eyes and hit a tree. Portola recovered quickly and jumped off his horse. He walked over to the tree with the arrow and yanked the arrow out. He examined it carefully testing its tip and stroking the colorful feather at the end of the arrow. Indians. The attack did not frighten Portola only fueled his excitement; the land had inhabitants. He wanted to meet these people, despite the fact that they tried to kill him. One of the officers jumped off his horse and whispered something in Portola's ear. Portola placed the arrow in his saddle bag and got on his horse. It was soon dark and Portola and his companions settled on a patch of rough land. The men built a fire and started preparing the meal. Portola took the arrow out of his bag and examined it again, fascinated. He was surprised something so simply made could have killed him. He was soon distracted by the smell of meat. He took his portion, supped then stared at the fire. Suddenly, three arrows flew out of a thicket, two hitting
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.

Christina Tran


  1. i love the story. The pictures are hot. LOVE IT

  2. i love your story!!!!!!! and your pictures are awesome

  3. Wow! I really like the orange map xD And the ship looks really detailed! O: Father Serra (spelling?) and umm that group of villagers (?) looks really cool too! For some reason my eyes seem to relax when I look at that scene :D Excellent work!

  4. Good mural, but the story stood out more.

  5. Sorry, that was me, Vivian Ly.

  6. Hey Portolians! Some really impressive work here, too bad past Portolians did not get this opportunity, well for three years. Three years ago, there was one, but all taught was Art history, and who wants to learn about that? Hah, well at least not now, you should really get to know your artists! All I have to say is, you guys might want to try some Perspective drawing, in your drawings, with a clear vantage point. I also have to say, you might want to show the contrast between the lighter areas and the darker ones, using colors that, not only include gray and the side of your pencil, but those that would in a way neutralize them, I'm sure you, Mr. Blake, would know of the color wheel! As for Christina's writing, I'd have to say that, even if you were the most fearless man on the face of this planet, I'm sure you would take at least, the least cover behind an object to prevent further injuries if an arrow was shot at you, and perhaps even consider yourself being lucky! Or if Portola was as excited as he was, he could have made a sign to the indians to prevent further damage to himself or his men. And why did the Indians shoot one arrow and then just watched? And, if they were shot an arrow, portola's men, wouldn't they be on guard during the campfire?
    Well that's all I have to say, keep up the good work, class of 09!


    -fRiDa =)

  8. waaa!!!!!!!! GREAT STORY Christinie!!!! I love the mural too!!!!
    ~ Cindy >.<

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