Then came Rivera and Crespi, with Lieutenant Fages and twenty-five soldiers.
Immediately a permanent camp was sought and found at what is now known as Old San Diego, where the two old palms still remain, with the ruins of the presidio on the hill behind. Six weeks were busily occupied in caring for the sick and in unloading the “San Antonio.” Then the fourth and last party of the explorers arrived,—Governor Portola on June 29, and Serra on July 1. What a journey that had been for Serra! He had walked all the way, and, after two days out, a badly ulcerated leg began to trouble him. Portola wished to send him back, but Serra would not consent. He called to one of the muleteers and asked him to make just such a salve for his wound as he would put upon the saddle galls of one of his animals. It was done, and in a single night the ointment and the Father’s prayers worked the miracle of healing.
After a general thanksgiving, in which exploding gunpowder was used to give effect, a consultation was held, at which it was decided to send back the “San Antonio” to San Blas for supplies, and for new crews for herself and the “San Carlos.” A land expedition under Portola was to go to Monterey, while Serra and others remained at San Diego to found the Mission. The vessel sailed, Portola and his band started north, and on July 16, 1769, Serra raised the cross, blessed it, said mass, preached, and formally established the Mission of San Diego de Alcala.
It mattered not that the Indians held aloof; that only the people who came on the expedition were present to hear. From the hills beyond, doubtless, peered and peeped the curious natives. All was mysterious to them. Later, however, they became troublesome, stealing from the sick and pillaging from the “San Carlos.” At last, they made a determined raid for plunder, which the Spanish soldiers resisted. A flight of arrows was the result. A boy was killed and three of the new-comers wounded. A volley of musket-balls killed three Indians, wounded several more, and cleared the settlement. After such an introduction, there is no wonder that conversions were slow. Not a neophyte gladdened the Father’s heart for more than a year.
THE MISSIONS FOUNDED BY PADRE JUNIPERO SERRA
San Diego Mission founded, Serra was impatient to have work begun elsewhere. Urging the governor to go north immediately, he rejoiced when Portola, Crespi, Rivera, and Pages started, with a band of soldiers and natives. They set out gaily, gladly. They were sure of a speedy journey to the Bay of Monterey, discovered by Cabrillo, and seen again and charted by Vizcaino, where they were to establish the second Mission.
[Illustration: EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE, 1913, UNDER SERRA CROSS, MT. RUBIDOUX, RIVERSIDE, CALIF.]
[Illustration: MEMORIAL TABLET AND GRAVES OF PADRES SERRA, CRESPI, AND LASUEN, IN MISSION SAN CARLOS BORROMEO, CARMEL VALLEY, MONTEREY.]