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Title: Picturesque Pala - The Story of the Mission Chapel of San Antonio de Padua Connected with Mission San Luis Rey
Author: James, George Wharton, 1858-1923
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [Illustration: George Wharton James]

  [Illustration: Rev. G. D. Doyle]


The Story of the Mission Chapel of San Antonio de Padua
Connected with Mission San Luis Rey

Fully Illustrated



Author of
In and Out of the Old Missions of California; The Franciscan
Missions of California; Indian Basketry; Indian Blankets and
Their Makers; The Indian's Secret of Health; Etc., Etc.

The Radiant Life Press
Pasadena, California

List of Chapters


     Foreword                                              5

        I. San Luis Rey Mission and Its Founder            7

       II. The Founding of Pala                           14

      III. Who Were the Ancestors of the Palas            18

       IV. The Pala Campanile                             23

        V. The Decline of San Luis Rey and Pala           31

       VI. The Author of Ramona at Pala                   34

      VII. Further Desolation                             37

     VIII. The Restoration of the Pala Chapel             41

       IX. The Palatingua Exiles                          44

        X. The Old and New Acqueducts                     55

       XI. The Palas As Farmers                           60

      XII. With the Pala Basket Makers                    63

     XIII. Lace and Pottery Makers                        68

      XIV. The Religious and Social Life of
           the Palas                                      72

       XV. The Collapse and Rebuilding of
           The Campanile                                  81

Copyright, 1916
Edith E. Farnsworth


There were twenty-one _Missions_ established by the Franciscan Fathers
in California, during the Spanish rule. In connection with these
Missions, certain _Asistencias_, or chapels, were also founded.

The difference between a mission and a chapel is oftentimes not
understood, even by writers well informed upon other subjects. A
_Mission_ was what might be termed the parent church, while the
_Chapel_ was an auxiliary or branch establishment.

The little mission chapel, or _asistencia_, of San Antonio de Padua de
Pala, has been an increasing object of interest ever since the
Palatingua, or Warner's Ranch, Indians, came and settled here, when
they were removed from their time-immemorial home, by order of the
Supreme Court of California, affirmed by the Supreme Court of the
United States. A century ago the beautiful and picturesque Pala Valley
was inhabited by Indians. To give them the privileges of the Catholic
Church and of the arts and crafts of civilization, the padres of San
Luis Rey Mission, twenty miles to the west, established this
_asistencia_, and caused the little chapel to be built. The quaint and
individualistic bell-tower always was an object of interest to
Californians and tourists alike, and thousands visited it. But
additional interest was aroused and keenly directed towards Pala, when
it was known that the severe storm of January, 1916, which caused
considerable damage throughout the whole state--had undermined the
Pala Campanile and it had tumbled over, breaking into fragments, but,
fortunately, doing no injury to the bells.

With characteristic energy and determination Father George D. Doyle,
the pastor, set to work to clear away the ruins, secure the bells from
possible injury, and interest the friends of the Chapel to secure
funds enough for its re-erection. Citizens of Los Angeles, Pasadena,
San Diego, etc., readily and cheerfully responded. The tower was
rebuilt, in exactly the same location, and as absolutely a replica of
the original as was possible, except that the base was made of
reinforced and solid concrete, covered with adobe, and the
well-remembered cobble-stones of the original tower-base, with the
original building materials, bells, timbers, and rawhide. Even the
cactus was replaced. So perfectly was this rebuilding done that I
question whether Padre Peyri, its original builder, would realize that
it was not his own tower.

Sunday, June 4, 1916, was selected for the dedication ceremony of the
new Campanile, and to give friends of the mission chapel a reasonably
full and accurate account of its appearance and history this brochure
has been prepared, with the full approbation and assistance of Father
Doyle, to whom my sincere thanks are hereby earnestly tendered for his
cordial co-operation.

     George Wharton James.

     Pasadena, California,
     May, 1916.

  [Illustration: Padre Antonio Peyri, Founder of San Luis Rey and Pala]

Picturesque Pala


San Luis Rey Mission and its Founder.

What a wonderful movement was that wave of religious zeal, of
proselyting fervor, that accompanied the great colonizing efforts of
Spain in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
_Conquistadores and friars_--one as earnest as the other--swept over
the New World. Cortés was no more bent upon his conquests than Ugarte,
Kino and Escalante were upon theirs; Coronado had his counterpart in
Marcos de Nizza, and Cabrillo in Junipero Serra. The one class sought
material conquest, the other spiritual; the one, to amass countries
for their sovereign, fame and power for themselves, wealth for their
followers; the other, to amass souls, to gain virtue in the sight of
God, to build churches and crowd them with aborigines they had "caught
in the gospel net." Both were full of indomitable energy and
unquenchable zeal, and few epochs in history stand out more
wonderfully than this for their great achievements in their respective

Mexico and practically the whole of North and South America were
brought under Spanish rule, and the various Catholic orders--Jesuits,
Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites--dotted the countries over with
churches, monasteries and convents that are today the marvel and joy
of the architect, antiquarian and historian.

Alta California felt the power of these movements in three distinct
waves. The two first were somewhat feeble,--the discovery by Cabrillo,
and rediscovery sixty years later by Vizcaino,--the third powerful and
convincing. During this epoch was started and carried on the
colonization of California by the bringing in of families from Mexico,
and its Christianization by the baptizing of the aborigines of the new
land into the Church, the making of them real or nominal Christians,
and the teaching of them the arts and crafts of civilization.

Twenty-one missions were established, reaching from San Diego on the
south, to Sonoma on the north, and great mission churches and
establishments rose up in the land, of which the padres, in the main,
were the architects and the Indians the builders.

Second in this chain--the next mission establishment north of the
parent mission of San Diego--was San Luis Rey, dedicated to St. Louis
IX, the king of France, who reigned from 1226 to 1270, renowned for
his piety at home and abroad, and who was especially active in the
Crusades. He was canonized by Pope Boniface VIII, in 1297, in the
reign of his grandson, Phillip the Fair, and his _day_ is observed on
the 25th of August.

The Mission of San Luis Rey was the eighteenth to be founded and
Junipero Serra, the venerable leader of the zealous band of
Franciscans, had passed to his reward fourteen years before, his
mantle descending in turn to Francisco Palou, and then to Fermin
Francisco de Lasuen, under whose regime as _Padre Presidente_ it was
established. The friar put in charge of the work was one of the most
energetic, capable, competent and lovable geniuses the remarkable
system of the Franciscan Order ever produced in California. He was
zealous but practical, dominating but kindly, a wonderful organizer
yet great in attending to detail, gifted with tremendous energy, a
master as an architect, and withal so lovable in his nature as to win
all with whom he came in contact, Indians as well as Spaniards and
Mexicans. The Mission was founded on the 13th of June, 1798, and yet
so willingly did the Indians work for him, that on the 18th of July
six thousand adobes were already made for the new church. It was
completed in 1802. For over a century it has stood, the wonder,
amazement and delight of all who have seen it.

Alfred Robinson, the Boston merchant, who came to California in 1828
and settled here, engaging in business for many years, visited San
Luis Rey in 1829, and has left us a graphic picture of the buildings
of San Luis Rey and the life of its Indians. Riding over the barren
and hilly back country from San Diego he discants upon the weariness
of the forty-mile journey until the Mission is perceived from the top
of an eminence in the center of a rich and cultivated valley. He

      It was yet early in the afternoon when we rode up to the
      establishment, at the entrance of which many Indians had
      congregated to behold us, and as we dismounted, some stood
      ready to take off our spurs, whilst others unsaddled the
      horses. The Reverend Father was at prayers, and some time
      elapsed ere he came, giving us a most cordial reception.
      Chocolate and refreshments were at once ordered for us, and
      rooms where we might arrange our dress, which had become
      somewhat soiled by the dust.

      This Mission was founded in the year 1798, by its present
      minister, Father Antonio Peyri, who had been for many years a
      reformer and director among the Indians. At this time (1829)
      its population was about three thousand Indians, who were all
      employed in various occupations. Some were engaged in
      agriculture, while others attended to the management of over
      sixty thousand head of cattle. Many were carpenters, masons,
      coopers, saddlers, shoemakers, weavers, etc., while the
      females were employed in spinning and preparing wool for
      their looms, which produced a sufficiency of blankets for
      their yearly consumption. Thus every one had his particular
      vocation, and each department its official superintendent, or
      alcalde; these were subject to the supervision of one or more
      Spanish _mayordomos_, who were appointed by the missionary
      father, and consequently under his immediate direction.

      The building occupies a large square, of at least eighty or
      ninety yards each side; forming an extensive area, in the
      center of which a fountain constantly supplies the
      establishment with pure water.

      The front is protected by a long corridor, supported by
      thirty-two arches, ornamented with latticed railings, which,
      together with the fine appearance of the church on the right,
      presents an attractive view to the traveller; the interior is
      divided into apartments for the missionary and mayordomos,
      store-rooms, workshops, hospitals, rooms for unmarried males
      and females, while near at hand is a range of buildings
      tenanted by the families of the superintendents. There is
      also a guard-house, where were stationed some ten or a dozen
      soldiers, and in the rear spacious granaries stored with an
      abundance of wheat, corn, beans, peas, etc., also large
      enclosures for wagons, carts, and the implements of
      agriculture. In the interior of the square might be seen the
      various trades at work, presenting a scene not dissimilar to
      some of the working departments of our state prisons.
      Adjoining are two large gardens, which supply the table with
      fruit and vegetables, and two or three large "_ranchos_" or
      farms are situated from five to eight leagues distant,
      where the Indians are employed in cultivating and
      domesticating cattle.

      The church is a large, stone edifice, whose exterior is not
      without some considerable ornament and tasteful finish; but
      the interior is richer, and the walls are adorned with a
      variety of pictures of saints and Scripture subjects,
      glaringly colored, and attractive to the eye. Around the
      altar are many images of the saints, and the tall and massive
      candelabra, lighted during mass, throw an imposing light upon
      the whole.

      Mass is offered daily, and the greater portion of the Indians
      attend; but it is not unusual to see numbers of them driven
      along by alcaldes, and under the whip's lash forced to the
      very doors of the sanctuary. The men are placed generally
      upon the left, and the females occupy the right of the
      church, so that a passage way or aisle is formed between them
      from the principal entrance to the altar, where zealous
      officials are stationed to enforce silence and attention. At
      evening again, "_El Rosario_" is prayed, and a second time
      all assemble to participate in supplication to the Virgin.

  [Illustration: The Pala Campanile, Showing the Cactus Growing by
   the Side of the Cross.]

  [Illustration: The Pala Chapel and Campanile Before the Restoration.]

In this earlier account he adds comment upon the treatment some of the
Indians received at the hands of their superiors which would lead one
to infer that the rule of the padres was one of harsh severity rather
than of affection and wise discipline. Later, however, he writes more
moderately, as follows:

      On the inside of the main building it formed a large square,
      where he found at least one or two hundred young Indian girls
      busily employed spinning, each one with her spinning wheel,
      and the different apartments around were occupied with the
      different trades, such as carpenters, blacksmiths,
      shoemakers, tailors, most useful for the establishment. There
      were also weavers, busily at work weaving blankets, all
      apparently contented and happy in their vocation. Passing out
      of the square, he strolled towards the garden, where he
      entered and found, much to his surprise, a great variety of
      fruit trees--pears, apples, peaches, plums, figs, oranges and
      lemons, besides a large vineyard, bearing the choicest

While it is very possible the Mission of San Juan Capistrano--the next
one further north--was the most imposing, architecturally, of all the
California Missions in its prime, it was not allowed to stand long
enough for us to know its glory, the earthquake of 1812 destroying its
tower, after which time it remained in ruins. San Luis Rey suffered
materially from the hands of the spoilers during the sad epoch of
_Secularization_ and when I first saw it, some thirty years ago,
nearly all its outbuildings were destroyed. Yet even in its ruined
condition it exercised great fascination over all who viewed it, and
careful study revealed that, architecturally, it was the most perfect
Mission of the whole chain. While not as solidly built as either Santa
Barbara, San Carlos at Monterey or San Carlos in the Carmelo Valley,
it was architecturally more perfect. Indeed it was the only Mission
that combined within itself all the elements of the so-called Mission
Style of architecture.

To those unfamiliar with the history of California and the Missions
the question naturally arises, when they find the buildings in ruins,
the Indians scattered, and all traces of the establishments' former
glory gone, "Whence and Why this ruin?" [A]

To answer fully would require more space than this brochure affords,
and for further information those interested are referred to my larger
work.[A] In brief it may be stated that the decline of the Missions
came about through the cupidity of Mexican politicians, who deprived
the padres of their temporal control, released the Indians from their
parental care, committed the property of the Missions into the
latter's hands and then deliberately and ruthlessly robbed them on
every hand. The work of demoralizing the Indians was followed by the
Americans who took possession of California soon after the Mexican act
of _secularization_ of the Missions was passed, and the days of the
gold excitement which came soon after pretty nearly completed the sad

Hence it is only since the later growth of population in California
that a desire to preserve these old Missions has arisen. Under the
energetic direction of Dr. Charles F. Lummis, the Landmarks Club has
done much needed work in preserving them from further ruin, and at San
Luis Rey the Franciscans themselves have systematically carried on the
work of restoration until, save that the Indians are gone and the
outbuildings are less extensive, one might deem himself at the Mission
soon after its original erection.


[A] _In and Out of the Old Missions_, Little, Brown & Co., Boston.


The Founding of Pala.

Many a time when I have been journeying between Pala and San Luis Rey,
pictures have arisen in my mind of the energetic Peyri. I imagined him
at his multifarious duties as architect, master builder, director,
priest officiating at the mass, preacher, teacher of Indians, settler
of disputes between them, administrator of justice, etc., etc. But no
picture has been more persistent and pleasing than when I imagined him
reaching out after more heathen souls to be garnered for God and
Mother Church. I have pictured him inquiring of his faithful Indians
as to the whereabouts and number of other and _heathen_ Indians, in
outlying districts. He soon learned of Pala, but his great organizing
and building work at San Luis Rey prevented for some time his going to
see for himself. Then I pictured him walking down the quiet valley of
the San Luis Rey River, talking to himself of his plans, listening to
the singing of the birds which ever cheerily caroled in that
picturesque vale, sometimes questioning the Indian who accompanied him
as guide and interpreter.

Then I saw him on his arrival at Pala. His meeting with the chiefs,
his forceful, pleasing and dominating personality at once taking hold
of the aboriginal mind. Then I heard--in imagination--the herald give
notice of the meeting to be held next day, perhaps, and the rapid
gathering of the interested Indians. Then I felt the urge of this
devoted man's soul as he spoke, through his interpreter, to the dusky
crowd of men, women, and children as he bade them sit upon the ground,
while he unfolded his plan to them. He had come from the God of the
white men, the God who loved all men and wished to save them from the
inevitable consequences of their natural wickedness. With deep fervor
he expounded the merciless theology of his Church and the time,
tempered, however, with the redeeming love of the Christ, and the fact
that through and by his ministrations they could be eternally saved.

Then, possibly, with the touch of the practical politician, he showed
how, under the hands of the Spaniards, they would be trained in many
ways and become superior to their hereditary enemies, the Cahuillas,
and the Indians of the desert and of the far-away river that flowed
from the heart of the Great Canyon down to the wonderful Great Sea
(the Gulf of California). After this he expounded his plan of building
a mission chapel and then--

And here I have often wondered. Did he ask for co-operation, gladly,
willingly, freely accorded, or did he authoritatively announce that,
on such a day work would begin in which they were expected, and would
absolutely be required, to take a part? Diplomacy, persuasion, zealous
love that was so urgent and insistent as to be irresistible, or
manifested power, command and rude control?

Testimonies differ, some saying one thing, some another. Personally I
believe the former was the chief and prevailing spirit. I hope it
was. I freely confess I desire to believe it was.

Anyhow, whichever way the influence or power was exercised, the end
was gained, and in 1816, the Indians were set to work, bricks and
tiles were made, lime burned, cement and plaster prepared, bands of
stalwarts sent to the Palomar mountains to cut down logs for beams,
which patient oxen slowly dragged down the mountain sides, through the
canyons and valleys to the spot, and maidens and women, doubtless,
were sent to pick up boulders out of the rocky stream bed for the
covering of the base of the Campanile. In the meantime a _ramada_ was
erected (a shelter made of poles and boughs) in which morning mass was
regularly held. Trained Christian Indians came over from San Luis Rey
to assist in the work, and also to guide the Palas in the Christian
life and the ceremonies of the Church.

What an active bustling little valley it suddenly became. Like magic
the chapel was built, then the bell-tower sprang into existence, and
finally, one bright morning, possibly with a thousand or more gathered
from San Luis Rey to add to the thousand of Palas already assembled,
the dedication of the chapel took place, named after Peyri's beloved
Saint, Anthony, the miracle worker of Padua.

It was a populous valley, and the Indians were soon absorbed in the
life taught them by the brown and long-gowned Franciscans. Mass every
morning. Then, after breakfast, dispersion, each to his allotted toil.
Year after year this continued until the Mexican _diputacion_, or
house of legislature, passed the infamous decree of _Secularization_,
which spelled speedy ruin to every Mission of California.

Some writers, with more imagination than desire for ascertaining the
facts, have asserted that the name Pala, comes from _pala_, Spanish
for shovel, owing to the shovel or spade-like shape of the valley. The
explanation is purely fanciful. It has no foundation in fact. _Pala_
is Indian of this region for _water_. These were the _water_ Indians,
to differentiate them from the Indians who lived on the other side of
the mountains in the desert. The Indians of Warner's Ranch, speaking
practically the same language, and, therefore, evidently the same
people, called themselves Palatinguas,--the _hot-water Indians_,--from
the fact that their home was closely contiguous to some of the most
remarkable hot springs of Southern California.


Who Were the Ancestors of the Palas?

The study of the ancestors of our present-day Amerind has occupied the
time and attention of many scholars with small results. Only when the
ethnologist and antiquarian began to take due cognizance of language,
tradition, and the physical configuration of skull and body did he
begin to make due progress.

Dr. A. L. Kroeber, of the University of California, affirms that the
Palas belong to what is now generally called the Uto-Aztecan stock.
Distant relatives of theirs are the Shoshones, of Idaho and Wyoming;
so the general name "Shoshonean" was long since applied to them. But
more recent investigations have shown that the great group of
Shoshonean tribes are only a part of a still larger family, all
related among each other, as shown by their speech. In this grand
assemblage belong the Utes of Utah, the famous snake-dancing Hopi, and
the pastoral Pimas, of Arizona, the Yaki of Sonora, and, most
important of all, the Aztecs of Mexico. The name Uto-Aztecan,
therefore, is rapidly coming into use as the most appropriate for this
family, which was and still is numerically the largest and
historically the most important on the American continent. Whether the
Aztecs are an offshoot from the less civilized tribes in the United
States, or the reverse, is not yet determined.

  [Illustration: Interior of Pala Chapel Before the Restoration, Showing
   the Old Indian Mural Decorations.]

  [Illustration: An Old San Luis Rey Mission Indian.]

  [Illustration: Statue of San Luis Rey Which Stands at the Right of the
   Altar in Pala Chapel.]

The most conspicuous of the Uto-Aztecan tribes in San Diego County are
the Indians formerly connected with the Mission of San Luis Rey, and
who are called, therefore _Luiseños_. They know nothing of their
kinship with the Aztecs but believe that they originated in Southern
California. They tell a migration legend, however, of how their
ancestors, led by the Eagle and their great hero, Uuyot, sometimes
spelled Wiyot, journeyed by slow stages from near Mt. San Bernardino
to their present homes. Uuyot was subsequently poisoned by the
witchcraft of his enemies and passed away, but not until he had
ordained the law and customs which the older Indians used to follow.

Old Pedro Lucero, at Saboba, years before his death told me of the
earlier history of his people, and of their coming to this land. I
transcribe it here exactly as I wrote it at his dictation:

      Before my people came here they lived far, far away in the
      land that is in the heart of the setting sun. But Siwash, our
      great god, told Uuyot, the warrior captain of my people, that
      we must come away from this land and sail away and away in a
      direction that he would give us. Under Uuyot's orders my
      people built big boats and then, with Siwash himself leading
      them, and with Uuyot as captain, they launched them into the
      ocean and rowed away from the shore. There was no light on
      the ocean. Everything was covered with a dark fog and it was
      only by singing, as they rowed, that the boats were enabled
      to keep together.

      It was still dark and foggy when the boats landed on the
      shores of this land, and my ancestors groped about in the
      darkness, wondering why they had been brought hither. Then,
      suddenly, the heavens opened, and lightnings flashed and
      thunders roared and the rains fell, and a great earthquake
      shook all the earth. Indeed, all the elements of earth, ocean
      and heaven seemed to be mixed up together, and with terror
      in their hearts, and silence on their tongues my people stood
      still awaiting what would happen further. Though no one had
      spoken they knew something was going to happen, and they were
      breathless in their anxiety to know what it was. Then they
      turned to Uuyot and asked him what the raging of the elements
      meant. Gently he calmed their fear and bade them be silent
      and wait. As they waited, a terrible clap of thunder rent the
      very heavens and the vivid lightning revealed the frightened
      people huddling together as a pack of sheep. But Uuyot stood
      alone, brave and fearless, and daring the anger of 'Those
      Above.' With a loud voice he cried out: 'Wit-i-a-ko!' which
      signified 'Who's there;' 'What do you want?' There was no
      response. The heavens were silent! The earth was silent! The
      ocean was silent! All nature was silent! Then with a voice
      full of tremulous sadness and loving yearning for his people
      Uuyot said: 'My children, my own sons and daughters,
      something is wanted of us by Those Above. What it is I do not
      know. Let us gather together and bring pivat, and with it
      make the big smoke and then dance and dance until we are told
      what is required of us.'

      So the people brought pivat--a native tobacco that grows in
      Southern California--and Uuyot brought the big ceremonial
      pipe which he had made out of rock, and he soon made the big
      smoke and blew the smoke up into the heavens while he urged
      the people to dance. They danced hour after hour, until they
      grew tired, and Uuyot smoked all the time, but still he urged
      them to dance.

      Then he called out again to 'Those Above:' 'Witiako!' but
      could obtain no response. This made him sad and disconsolate,
      and when the people saw Uuyot sad and disconsolate they
      became panic-stricken, ceased to dance and clung around him
      for comfort and protection. But poor Uuyot had none to give.
      He himself was the saddest and most forsaken of all, and he
      got up and bade the people leave him alone, as he wished to
      walk to and fro by himself. Then he made the people smoke and
      dance, and when they rested they knelt in a circle and
      prayed. But he walked away by himself, feeling keenly the
      refusal of 'Those Above' to speak to him. His heart was
      deeply wounded.

      But, as the people prayed and danced and sang, a gentle light
      came stealing into the sky from the far, far east. Little by
      little the darkness was driven away. First the light was
      grey, then yellow, then white, and at last the glittering
      brilliancy of the sun filled all the land and covered the sky
      with glory. The sun had arisen for the first time, and in its
      light and warmth my people knew they had the favor of 'Those
      Above,' and they were contented and happy.

      But when Siwash, the god of earth, looked around and saw
      everything revealed by the sun, he was discontented, for the
      earth was bare and level and monotonous and there was nothing
      to cheer the sight. So he took some of the people and of them
      he made high mountains, and of some smaller mountains. Of
      some he made rivers and creeks and lakes and waterfalls, and
      of others, coyotes, foxes, deer, antelope, bear, squirrel,
      porcupines and all the other animals. Then he made out of
      other people all the different kinds of snakes and reptiles
      and insects and birds and fishes. Then he wanted trees and
      plants and flowers, and he turned some of the people into
      these things. Of every man or woman that he seized he made
      something according to its value. When he had done he had
      used up so many people he was scared. So he set to work and
      made a new lot of people, some to live here and some to live
      everywhere. And he gave to each family its own language and
      tongue and its own place to live, and he told them where to
      live and the sad distress that would come upon them if they
      mixed up their tongues by intermarriage. Each family was to
      live in its own place and while all the different families
      were to be friends and live as brothers, tied together by
      kinship, amity and concord, there was to be no mixing of

      Thus were settled the original inhabitants on the coast of
      Southern California by Siwash, the god of the earth, and
      under the captaincy of Uuyot.

The language of the Palas is simple, easy to pronounce, regular in its
grammar, and much richer in the number of its words than is usually
believed of Indian idioms. It comprises nearly 5,000 different words,
or more than the ordinary vocabulary of the average educated white man
or newspaper writer. The gathering of these words was done by the late
P. S. Spariman, for years Indian trader and storekeeper, at Rincon,
who was an indefatigable student of both words and grammar. His
manuscript is now in the keeping of Professor Kroeber, and will
shortly be published by the University of California. Dr. Kroeber
claims that it is one of the most important records ever compiled of
the thought and mental life of the native races of California.


The Pala Campanile

Every lover of the artistic and the picturesque on first seeing the
bell-tower of Pala stands enraptured before its unique personality.
And this word "personality" does not seem at all misapplied in this
connection. Just as in human beings we find a peculiar charm in
certain personalities that it is impossible to explain, so is it with
buildings. They possess an individuality, quality, all their own,
which, sometimes, eludes the most subtle analysis. Pala is of this
character. One feels its charm, longs to stand or sit in contemplation
of it. There is a joy in being near to it. Its very proximity speaks
peace, contentment, repose, while it breathes out the air of the
romance of the past, the devoted love of its great founder, Peyri, the
pathos of the struggles it has seen, the loss of its original Indians,
its long desertion, and now, its rehabilitation and reuse in the
service of Almighty God by a band of Indians, ruthlessly driven from
their own home by the stern hand of a wicked and cruel law to find a
new home in this gentle and secluded vale.

As far as I know or can learn, the Pala Campanile, from the
architectural standpoint, is unique. Not only does it, in itself,
stand alone, but in all architecture it stands alone. It is a free
building, unattached to any other. The more one studies the Missions
from the professional standpoint of the architect the more wonderful
they become. They were designed by laymen--using the word as a
professed architect would use it. For the padres were the architects
of the Missions, and when and where and how could they have been
trained technically in the great art, and the practical craftsmanship
of architecture? Laymen, indeed, they were, but masters all the same.
In harmonious arrangement, in bold daring, in originality, in power,
in pleasing variety, in that general gratification of the senses that
we feel when a building attracts and satisfies, the priestly
architects rank high. And, as I look at the Pala Campanile, my mind
seeks to penetrate the mind of its originator. Whence conceived he the
idea of this unique construction? Was it a deliberate conception,
viewed by a poetic imagination, projected into mental cognizance
before erection, and seen in its distinctive beauty as an original and
artistic creation before it was actually visualized? Or was it mere
accident, mere utilitarianism, without any thought of artistic effect?
We must remember that, to the missionary padres, a bell-tower was not
a luxury of architecture, but an essential. The bells must be hung up
high, in order that their calling tones could penetrate to the
farthest recesses of the valley, the canyons, the ravines, the
foothills, wherever an Indian ear could hear, an Indian soul be
reached. Indians were their one thought--to convert them and bring
them into the fold of Mother Church their sole occupation. Hence with
the chapel erected, the bell-tower was a necessary accompaniment, to
warn the Indian of services, to attract, allure and draw the
stranger, the outsider, as well as to remind those who had already
entered the fold. In addition its elevation was required for the
uplifting of the cross--the Emblem of Salvation.

It is evident, from the nature of the case, that here was no great and
studious architectural planning, as at San Luis Rey. This was merely
an _asistencia_, an offshoot of the parent Mission, for the benefit of
the Indians of this secluded valley, hence not demanding a building of
the size and dignity required at San Luis. But though _less_
important, can we conceive of it as being _un_important to such a
devoted adherent to his calling as Padre Peyri? Is it not possible he
gave as much thought to the appearance of this little chapel as he did
to the massive and kingly structure his genius created at the Mission
proper? I see no reason to question it. Hence, though it does
sometimes occur to me that perhaps there was no such planning, no
deliberate intent, and, therefore, no creative genius of artistic
intuition involved in its erection, I have come to the conclusion
otherwise. So I regard Pala and its free-standing Campanile as another
evidence of devoted genius; another revelation of what the complete
absorption of a man's nature to a lofty ideal--such, for instance, as
the salvation of the souls of a race of Indians--can enable him to
accomplish. One part of his nature uplifted and inspired by his
passionate longings to accomplish great things for God and humanity,
_all_ parts of his nature necessarily become uplifted. And I can
imagine that the good Peyri awoke one morning, or during the quiet
hours of the night, perhaps after a wearisome day with his somewhat
wayward charges, or after a sleep induced by the hot walk from San
Luis Rey, with the picture of this completed chapel and campanile in
his mind. With joy it was committed to paper--perhaps--and then,
hastily was constructed, to give joy to the generations of a later and
alien race who were ultimately to possess the land.

On the other hand may it not be possible that the Pala Campanile was
the result of no great mental effort, merely the doing of the most
natural and simple thing?

Many a man builds, constructs, better than he knows. It has long been
a favorite axiom of my own life that the simple and natural are more
beautiful than the complex and artificial. Just as a beautiful
woman, clothed in dignified simplicity, in the plainest and most
unpretentious dress, will far outshine her sisters upon whose costumes
hours of thought in design and labor, and vast sums for gorgeous
material and ornamentation have been expended, so will the simply
natural in furniture, in pottery, in architecture make its appeal to
the keenly critical, the really discerning.

Was Peyri, here, the inspired genius, fired with the sublime audacity
that creates new and startling revelations of beauty for the delight
and elevation of the world, or was he but the humble, though
discerning, man of simple naturalness who did not know enough to
realize he was doing what had never been done before, and thus,
through his very simplicity and naturalness, stumbling upon the
daring, the unique, the individualistic and at the same time, the
beautiful, the artistic, the competent?

  [Illustration: The Store and Ranch-House at Pala.]

  [Illustration: A Suquin, or Acorn Granary, Used by the Pala Indians.]

  [Illustration: The Old Altar at Pala Chapel, Before the Restoration.]

In either case the effect is the same, and, whether built by accident
or design, the result of mere utilitarianism or creative genius, the
world of the discerning, the critical, and the lovers of the
beautifully unique, the daringly original, or the simply natural, owe
Padre Peyri a debt of gratitude for the Pala Campanile.

The height of the tower above the base was about 35 feet, the whole
height being 50 feet. The wall of the tower was three feet thick.

A flight of steps from the rear built into the base, led up to the
bells. They swung one above another, and when I first saw them were
undoubtedly as their original hangers had placed them. Suspended from
worm-eaten, roughly-hewn beams set into the adobe walls, with thongs
of rawhide, one learned to have a keener appreciation of leather than
ever before. Exposed to the weather for a century sustaining the heavy
weight of the bells, these thongs still do service.

One side of the larger bell bears an inscription in Latin, very much
abbreviated, as follows:

      Stus Ds Stus Ftis Stus Immortlis Micerere Nobis. An. De 1816
      I. R.

which being interpreted means, "Holy Lord, Holy Most Mighty One, Holy
Immortal One, Pity us. Year of 1816. Jesus Redemptor."

The other side contains these names in Spanish: "Our Seraphic Father,
Francis of Asissi. Saint Louis, King. Saint Clare, Saint Eulalia. Our
Light. Cervantes fecit nos--Cervantes made us."

The smaller bell, in the upper embrasure, bears the inscription:
"Sancta Maria ora pro nobis"--Holy Mary, pray for us.

The Campanile stands just within the cemetery wall. Originally it
appeared to rest upon a base of well-worn granite boulders, brought up
from the river bed, and cemented together. The revealing and
destroying storm of 1916 showed that these boulders were but a
covering for a mere adobe base, which--as evidenced by its standing
for practically a whole century--its builders deemed secure enough
against all storms and strong enough to sustain the weight of the
superstructure. Resting upon this base which was 15 feet high, was the
two-storied tower, the upper story terraced, as it were, upon the
lower, and smaller in size, as are or were the domes of the Campaniles
of Santa Barbara, San Luis Rey, San Buenaventura and Santa Cruz. But
at Pala there were no domes. The wall was pierced and each story
arched, and below each arch hung a bell. The apex of the tower was in
the curved pediment style so familiar to all students of Mission
architecture, and was crowned with a cross. By the side of this cross
there grew a cactus, or prickly pear. Though suspended in mid-air
where it could receive no care, it has flourished ever since the
American visitor has known it, and my ancient Indian friends tell me
it has been there ever since the tower was built. This assertion may
be the only authority for the statement made by one writer that:

      One morning just about a century ago, a monk fastened a cross
      in the still soft adobe on the top of the bell tower and at
      the foot of the cross he planted a cactus as a token that the
      cross would conquer the wilderness. From that day to this
      this cactus has rested its spiny side against that cross, and
      together--the one the hope and the inspiration of the ages,
      and the other a savage among the scant bloom of the
      desert--they have calmly surveyed the labor, the opulence,
      the decline, and the ruin of a hundred years.

One writer sweetly says of it:

      It is rooted in a crack of the adobe tower, close to the spot
      where the Christian symbol is fixed, and seemed, I thought,
      to typify how little of material substance is needed by the
      soul that dwells always at the foot of the cross.

Another story has it that when Padre Peyri ordered the cross placed,
it was of green oak from the Palomar mountains. Naturally, the birds
came and perched on it, and probably nested at its foot, using mud for
that purpose. In this soft mud a chance seed took lodgment and grew.

Be this as it may the birds have always frequented it since I have
known it, some of them even nesting in the thorny cactus slabs. On one
visit I found a tiny cactus wren bringing up its brood there, while on
another occasion I could have sworn it was a mocking-bird, for it
poured out such a flood of melody as only a mocking-bird could, but
whether the nest there belonged to the glorious songster, or to some
other feathered creature, I could not watch long enough to tell.

Other birds too, have utilized this tower from which to launch forth
their symphonies and concertos. In the early mornings of several of my
visits, I have gone out and sat, perfectly entranced, at the rich
torrents of exquisite and independent melody each bird poured forth in
prodigal exuberance, and yet which all combined in one chorus of
sweetness and joy as must have thrilled the priestly builder, if,
today, from his heavenly home he be able to look down upon the work of
his hands.

It must not be forgotten, in our admiration for the separate-standing
Campanile of Pala, and the general belief that it is the only example
in the world, that others of the Franciscan Missions of California
practically have the same architectural feature. While the well-known
campanile of the Mission San Gabriel is not, in strict fact, a
separate standing one, the bell-tower itself is merely an extension of
the mission wall and practically stands alone. The same method of
construction is followed at Mission Santa Inés. The fachada of the
church is extended, to the right, as a wall, which is simply a
detached belfry. And, as is well known, the campanile of San Juan
Capistrano, erected after the fall of the bell-tower of the grand
church in the earthquake of 1812, is a mere wall, closing up a passage
between two buildings, with pierced apertures in which the bells are


The Decline of San Luis Rey and Pala.

The original purpose of the Spanish Council, as well as of the Church,
in founding the Missions of California, was to train the Indians in
the ways of Christianity and civilization, and, ultimately, to make
citizens of them when it was deemed they had progressed far enough and
were stable enough in character to justify such a step.

How long this training period would require none ventured to assert,
but whether fifty years, a hundred, or five hundred, the Church
undertook the task and was prepared to carry it out.

When, however, the republic of Mexico fell upon evil days and such
self-seekers as Santa Anna became president, the greedy politicians of
Mexico and the province of California saw an opportunity to feather
their own nests at the expense of the Indians. Let the reader for a
few moments picture the general situation. Here, in California, there
were twenty-one Missions and quite a number of branches, or
_asistencias_. In each Mission from one to three thousand Indians were
assembled, under competent direction and business management. It can
readily be seen that fields grew fertile, flocks and herds increased,
and possessions of a variety of kinds multiplied under such
conditions. All these accumulations, however, it must not be
forgotten, were not regarded by the padres as their own property, or
that of the Church. They were merely held in trust for the benefit of
the Indians, and, when the time eventually arrived, were to be
distributed as the sole and individual property of the Indians.

Had that time arrived? There is but one opinion in the minds of the
authorities, even those who do not in all things approve of the
missionaries and their work. For instance, Hittell says:

      In other cases it has required hundreds of years to educate
      savages up to the point of making citizens, and many hundreds
      to make good citizens. The idea of at once transforming the
      idle, improvident and brutish natives of California into
      industrious, law-abiding and self-governing town people was

Yet this--the making of citizens of the Indians--was the plea under
which the Missions were secularized. The plea was a paltry falsehood.
The Missions were the plum for which the politicians strove. Here is
what Clinch writes of San Luis Rey:

      Under Peyri's administration, despite its disadvantages of
      soil, San Luis Rey grew steadily in population and material
      prosperity. In 1800 cattle and horses were six hundred and
      sheep sixteen hundred. The wheat harvest gave two thousand
      bushels, but corn and beans were failures and barley only
      gave a hundred and twenty fanegas. Ten years later 11,000
      fanegas of all kinds of grain were gathered as a crop. Cattle
      had grown to ten thousand five hundred and sheep and hogs
      nearly ten thousand. The Indians had increased to fifteen
      hundred. Fourteen hundred and fifty had been baptized while
      there had been only four hundred deaths recorded. By 1826 the
      parent mission counted nearly three thousand Christian
      Indians and nearly a thousand gathered at Pala, six leagues
      from the central establishment. A church was built there and
      a priest usually resided at it. At its best time San Luis Rey
      counted nearly thirty thousand cattle, as many sheep and over
      two thousand horses as the property of its three thousand
      Indians. Its average grain crop was about thirteen thousand
      bushels. San Gabriel surpassed it in farming prosperity with
      a crop which reached thirty thousand bushels in a year, but
      in population, in live stock, in the low death rate among its
      Indians and in the character of its church and buildings, San
      Luis Rey continued to the end first among the Franciscan

It can well be imagined, therefore, that when the Mexican politicians
decided that the time had arrived to secularize the Missions, San Luis
Rey would be one of the first to be laid hold of. Pablo de la Portilla
and later, Pio Pico, were appointed the commissioners, and it seems to
be the general opinion that they were no better than those who
operated at the other Missions, and of whom Hittell writes:

      The great mass of the commissioners and their officials,
      whose duty it became to administer the properties of the
      missions, and especially their great numbers of horses,
      cattle, sheep and other animals, thought of little else and
      accomplished little else than enriching themselves. It cannot
      be said that the spoliation was immediate; but it was
      certainly very rapid. A few years sufficed to strip the
      establishments of everything of value and leave the Indians,
      who were in contemplation of law the beneficiaries of
      secularization, a shivering crowd of naked, and, so to speak,
      homeless wanderers upon the face of the earth.

It is almost impossible for one who has not given the matter due study
to realize the demoralizing effect upon the Indians and the Mission
buildings of this infamous course of procedure. The Indians speedily
became the prey of the vicious, the abandoned, the hyenas and vultures
of so-called civilization. Deprived of the parental care of the
fathers, and led astray on every hand, their corruption spelt speedy
extinction, and two or three generations saw this largely
accomplished. Only those Indians who were too far away to be easily
reached escaped, or partially escaped, the general destruction. The
processes were swift, the results lamentably certain.


The Author of Ramona at Pala.

When Helen Hunt Jackson, the gifted author of the romance
_Ramona_--over which hundreds of thousands of Americans have shed
bitter tears in deep sympathy with the wrongs perpetrated upon the
Indians--was visiting the Mission Indians of California, in 1883, she
wrote the following sketch of Pala. This is copied from her
_California and the Missions_, by kind permission of the publishers,
Little, Brown & Co., of Boston:

      One of the most beautiful appanages of the San Luis Rey
      Mission, in the time of its prosperity, was the Pala Valley.
      It lies about twenty-five miles east (twenty miles, Ed.) of
      San Luis, among broken spurs of the Coast Range, watered by
      the San Luis River, and also by its own little stream, the
      Pala Creek. It was always a favorite home of the Indians; and
      at the time of the secularization, over a thousand of them
      used to gather at the weekly mass in its chapel. Now, on the
      occasional visits of the San Juan Capistrano priest, to hold
      service there, the dilapidated little church is not half
      filled, and the numbers are growing smaller each year. The
      buildings are all in decay; the stone steps leading to the
      belfry have crumbled; the walls of the little graveyard are
      broken in many places, the paling and the graves are thrown
      down. On the day we were there, a memorial service for the
      dead was going on in the chapel; a great square altar was
      draped with black, decorated with silver lace and ghostly
      funereal emblems; candles were burning; a row of kneeling
      black-shawled women were holding lighted candles in their
      hands; two old Indians were chanting a Latin hymn from a
      tattered missal bound in rawhide; the whole place was full of
      chilly gloom, in sharp contrast to the bright valley
      outside, with its sunlight and silence. This mass was for the
      soul of an old Indian woman named Margarita, sister of
      Manuelito, a somewhat famous chief of several bands of the
      San Luiseños. Her home was at the Potrero,--a mountain
      meadow, or pasture, as the word signifies,--about ten miles
      from Pala, high up the mountainside, and reached by an almost
      impassable road. This farm--or "saeter" it would be called in
      Norway--was given to Margarita by the friars; and by some
      exceptional good fortune she had a title which, it is said,
      can be maintained by her heirs. In 1871, in a revolt of some
      of Manuelito's bands, Margarita was hung up by her wrists
      till she was near dying, but was cut down at the last minute
      and saved.

      One of her daughters speaks a little English; and finding
      that we had visited Pala solely on account of our interest in
      the Indians, she asked us to come up to the Potrero and pass
      the night. She said timidly that they had plenty of beds, and
      would do all that they knew how to do to make us comfortable.
      One might be in many a dear-priced hotel less comfortably
      lodged and served than we were by these hospitable Indians in
      their mud house, floored with earth. In my bedroom were three
      beds, all neatly made, with lace-trimmed sheets and
      pillow-cases and patchwork coverlids. One small square window
      with a wooden shutter was the only aperture for air, and
      there was no furniture except one chair and a half-dozen
      trunks. The Indians, like the Norwegian peasants, keep their
      clothes and various properties all neatly packed away in
      boxes or trunks. As I fell asleep, I wondered if in the
      morning I should see Indian heads on the pillows opposite me;
      the whole place was swarming with men, women, and babies, and
      it seemed impossible for them to spare so many beds; but, no,
      when I waked, there were the beds still undisturbed; a
      soft-eyed Indian girl was on her knees rummaging in one of
      the trunks; seeing me awake, she murmured a few words in
      Indian, which conveyed her apology as well as if I had
      understood them. From the very bottom of the trunk she drew
      out a gilt-edged china mug, darted out of the room, and came
      back bringing it filled with fresh water. As she set it in
      the chair, in which she had already put a tin pan of water
      and a clean coarse towel, she smiled, and made a sign that it
      was for my teeth. There was a thoughtfulness and delicacy in
      the attention which lifted it far beyond the level of its
      literal value. The gilt-edged mug was her most precious
      possession; and, in remembering water for the teeth, she had
      provided me with the last superfluity in the way of white
      man's comfort of which she could think.

      The food which they gave us was a surprise; it was far better
      than we had found the night before in the house of an
      Austrian colonel's son, at Pala. Chicken, deliciously cooked,
      with rice and chile; soda-biscuits delicately made; good milk
      and butter, all laid in orderly fashion, with a clean
      tablecloth, and clean, white stone china. When I said to our
      hostess that I regretted very much that they had given up
      their beds in my room, that they ought not to have done it,
      she answered me with a wave of her hand that "It was nothing;
      they hoped I had slept well; that they had plenty of other
      beds." The hospitable lie did not deceive me, for by
      examination I had convinced myself that the greater part of
      the family must have slept on the bare earth in the kitchen.
      They would not have taken pay for our lodging, except that
      they had had heavy expenses connected with Margarita's
      funeral.... We left at six o'clock in the morning;
      Margarita's husband, the "captain," riding off with us to see
      us safe on our way. When we had passed the worst gullies and
      boulders, he whirled his horse, lifted his ragged old
      sombrero with the grace of a cavalier, smiled, wished us
      good-day and good luck, and was out of sight in a second, his
      little wild pony galloping up the rough trail as if it were
      as smooth as a race-course.

      Between the Potrero and Pala are two Indian villages, the
      Rincon and Pauma. The Rincon is at the head of the valley,
      snugged up against the mountains, as its name signifies, in a
      "corner." Here were fences, irrigating ditches, fields of
      barley, wheat, hay and peas; a little herd of horses and cows
      grazing, and several flocks of sheep. The men were all away
      sheep-shearing; the women were at work in the fields, some
      hoeing, some clearing out the irrigating ditches, and all the
      old women plaiting baskets. These Rincon Indians, we were
      told, had refused a school offered them by the Government;
      they said they would accept nothing at the hands of the
      Government until it gave them a title to their lands.

  [Illustration: An Old San Luis Rey Mission Indian.]

  [Illustration: The Pala Campanile from the Graveyard.]

  [Illustration: Just Entering Pala Valley on the Road from Oceanside.]

  [Illustration: An Ancient Pala Indian.]


Further Desolation

Cursed by the common fate of the Missions Pala suffered severely. In
thirty years all its glory had departed as Mrs. Jackson graphically
pictures in the preceding chapter. But Pala was destined to receive
another blow. This is explained by Professor Frank J. Polley, formerly
President of the Southern California Historical Society. In the early
'nineties he visited Pala and from an article published by him in 1893
the following accompanying extracts are quoted:

      Mr. Viele, the present owner of most of the old Mission
      property, is the only white man residing nearby. His store
      and dwelling is a long, low adobe, opposite the church.
      Nearby is his blacksmith shop, and in the open space between
      the church ruins and the river are the remains of the brush
      booths used by the people at the yearly festival, and these,
      with the remnants of the mission buildings, corral walls, and
      the quaint Indian church with its beautiful bell tower,
      constitute the Pala of today.

The question naturally arises: How did Mr. Viele gain possession and
ownership of the Mission property? In the course of his narrative
Professor Polley gives the answer:

      Trading with the Indians is a slow but simple process. An
      uncouth Indian figure in strange garb will silently enter the
      store, and, with hat in hand, stand motionless in the center
      of the room until Mrs. Viele chooses to recognize him. Then
      follow rapid sentences in the guttural tone, she executes
      her judgment in supplying his wants and hands out the parcel,
      but the figure stands silently and motionless as before. Time
      passes, and soon the Indian is leaning against the center
      post. A little later the position is swiftly changed, and
      next when one thinks of him the figure has vanished and
      rejoined the group who are smoking their cigarettes by the
      fence. Money is seldom paid until after their crops are sold.
      With the squaw the transaction is different in this respect.
      Like her European sister, every piece of cloth has to be
      unrolled before purchasing; otherwise it is much the same as
      with the men. Both men and women are very coarse, education
      and morality are on a very low plane, the marital vow seems
      to be but little regarded, and it is no uncommon thing to
      see, within the shadow of the mission walls, five or six
      couples living in common in one room. The race is fast dying
      out from disease, for which the white people are largely
      responsible. Unable to cope with these new ills, suspicious
      of the government doctor, and treated like common property by
      the lower white element in the mountain regions, the Indians
      are jealous and distrustful of all; even the sick, instead of
      being brought to the settlement for treatment, are secreted
      in the hills. One old squaw of uncertain age came each day in
      a clumsy shuffle to the gate, and there sank her fat body
      into an almost indistinguishable heap of rags and flesh. The
      gift of a cigarette would temporarily arouse her to
      animation; otherwise she would sit there for hours,
      apparently oblivious to all that was passing, and certainly
      ignored by all in the house except myself. The education of
      the Indian here is a serious problem. They do not attend the
      county school, nor are they encouraged to come, as their
      morals are demoralizing to the rest of the class. The chief,
      or captain, is elected by the tribe, and, though only about
      30 years of age, the present one has had his position a long
      time. His duties are light, and he is careful in executing
      his authority. He is a reasonably bright fellow, speaks
      English fairly well and often succeeds in securing justice
      for his tribe in the way of government supplies. The balance
      of his time he cultivates a little patch of garden, and seems
      to enjoy life after the Indian fashion.

      Procuring the church keys was not so simple a matter, as the
      building is now closed and services are held at very rare
      intervals. This is the result of litigation. The law has
      invaded this sheltered haven. Years ago, when times were
      different and the mission was making some pretense to be a
      living church, in the course of their duties a party of
      government surveyors came here. As a result of their surveys
      one of them told Mr. Viele in confidence that the entire
      mission holdings, olive orchards and lands were all on
      government property. Mr. Viele at once took steps to claim
      all, and did so. The secret leaked out, and others came in
      and attempted to settle on parts of the property under
      various claims of title, and soon the Catholic church and the
      claimants were engaged in a long lawsuit, which proved the
      death struggle of the church's interests. Mr. Viele emerged
      victorious, sole owner of the church, the orchard, the bells,
      and even the graveyard. Afterward, by deed of gift, he gave
      the church authorities the tumble-down ruin of the church,
      the dark adobe robing room, the bells and the graveyard, but,
      because Mr. Viele still withheld the valuable lands from the
      church, no services are held there, and the quarrel has gone
      on year by year. Mr. Viele clings to what he terms his legal
      rights, and the church is locked up and the Indian left
      largely to his own devices. Once in possession of the keys,
      we found them immense pieces of iron, and it took some time
      to unlock the door. The services of one of the Indian pupils
      materially assisted us in our investigations. The church is a
      veritable curiosity, narrow, long, low and dark, with adobe
      walls and heavy beams roughly set in the sides to furnish
      support for the roof. Canes and tules constitute this part of
      the structure. The earthen walls are covered with rude
      paintings of Indian design and of strange coloring that have
      preserved their tone very well indeed. Great square bricks
      badly worn pave the floor, and, set in deep niches along the
      walls at intervals, are various utensils of battered copper
      and brass that would arouse the cupidity of a collector of
      bric-a-brac. The door is strongly barred and has iron plates
      set with large rivets. The strange light that comes through
      the narrow windows and broken roof sheds an unnatural glow on
      the paintings upon the walls and puts into strange relief the
      ruined altar far distant in the church. Three wooden images
      yet remain upon the altar, but they are sadly broken and
      their vestments are gone. One is a statue of St. Louis, and
      is held in great veneration by the Indians. They say it was
      secretly brought from the San Luis Rey Mission and placed
      here for safe keeping. When the annual reunion of the Indians
      takes place this image is decorated in cheap trappings and
      occupies the post of honor in the procession. The robing
      room is a small, dark apartment behind the altar, where not a
      ray of light could enter. We dragged a trunkful of altar
      trappings and saints' vestments out into the light. The dust
      lay thickly upon the garments in these old chests, and it is
      to be hoped that no one with a shade less of morality than we
      had will ever explore their treasures, or the church may be
      robbed and the images suffer much loss of their decorative
      attire. Undoubtedly everything of value has long since been
      removed, but what remains is very quaint and odd, being
      largely of Indian workmanship. Everything about this simple
      structure spoke of slow and patient work by the native
      workmen, and it needed but little imaginative power to
      conjure up the scene when men were hauling trees from the
      mountains, making the shallow, square bricks, preparing the
      adobe, and later painting these walls as earnestly perhaps as
      did some of the greater artists in the gorgeous chapels of
      cultivated Rome. The hinges creaked loudly and the great key
      grated harshly in the rusty lock as we spent some time in
      securing the fastenings at our departure. The beauty of the
      valley and the bright sunlight were in great contrast to the
      cool shadows of the dimly-lighted church. Once outside, we
      again made the circuit of the outlying walls, where birds
      sing and grasses grow from the ruined walls of the adobes.
      Through gaps in them we passed from one enclosure to another,
      this one roofless, that one nearly so, and a third so patched
      up as to hold a few Indians who make it their home, and in
      tiny gardens cultivate a few flowers or vegetables and
      prepare their food in basins sunken in the firm earth. A few
      baskets are yet left in this community, but of poor quality,
      the more valuable ones having been long since gathered by
      collectors, or sold and gambled by the Indians themselves.
      Many curious relics still exist, however, for those who are
      willing to pay several times the value of each article.

Pala remained in much the same condition described above, its Indians
slowly decreasing in numbers, until the events occurred described in
the following chapters.


The Restoration of the Pala Chapel.

In the restoration of Pala chapel the Landmarks Club of Los Angeles,
incorporated "to conserve the Missions and other historic landmarks of
Southern California," under the energetic presidency of Charles F.
Lummis, did excellent work. November 20 to 21, 1901, the supervising
committee, consisting of architects Hunt and Benton and the president,
visited Pala to arrange for its immediate repair. The following is a
report of its condition at the time:

      The old chapel was found in much better condition for salvage
      than had been feared. The earthquake of two years ago--which
      was particularly severe at this point--ruined the roof and
      cracked the characteristic belfry, which stands apart. But
      thanks to repairs to the roof made five or six years ago by
      the unassisted people, the adobe walls of the chapel are in
      excellent preservation. Even the quaint old Indian
      decorations have suffered almost nothing. The tile floor is
      in better condition than at any of the other Missions, but
      hardly a vestige of the adobe-pillared cloister remains.
      Tiles are falling into the chapel through yawning gaps, and
      it is really dangerous to enter. It will be necessary to
      re-roof the entire structure. The sound tiles will be
      carefully stacked on the ground, the timbers removed, and a
      solid roof-structure built, upon which the original tiles
      will be replaced. The original construction will be followed;
      and round pine logs will be procured from Mt. Palomar to
      replace those no longer dependable. The cloisters will be
      rebuilt precisely as they were, and invisible iron bands will
      be used to strengthen the campanile against possible later

Then follows an interesting account of a small gathering, after the
committee had formulated its plans, which took place in the little
store. Here is Mr. Lummis's account of it:

      The immediate valley contains about a dozen "American"
      families, and about as many more Mexicans and Indians, and
      about 15 heads of these families were present. After a brief
      statement of the situation, the Paleños were asked if they
      would help. "I will give 10 days' work," said John A.
      Giddens, the first to respond. "Another ten," said Luis
      Carillo. And so it went. There was not a man present who did
      not promise assistance. The following additional
      subscriptions were taken in ten minutes: Ami V. Golsh, 25
      days' work; Luis Soberano, 15 days; Isidoro Garcia, 10 days;
      Teofilo Peters and Louis Salmons, 5 days each with team
      (equivalent to 10 days for a man); Dolores Salazar, Eustaquio
      Lugo, Tomas Salazar, Ignacio Valenzuela, 6 days each; Geo.
      Steiger and Francisco Ardillo, 5 days each. These
      subscriptions amount to at least $1.75 a day each, so the
      Pala contribution in work is full $217. Besides this Mr.
      Frank A. Salmons subscribed $10; and other contributions are
      expected. It is also fitting that the Club acknowledge
      gratefully the courtesies which gave two days of Mr. Golsh's
      time to bringing the committee from and back to Fallbrook,
      and the charming entertainment provided by Mr. and Mrs.
      Salmons. The entire trip was heart-warming; and the liberal
      spirit of this little settlement of American ranchers and
      Indians and Mexicans surpasses all records in the Club's
      history. For that matter, while Mr. Carnegie is better known,
      he has never yet done anything so large in proportion.

In July, 1903, _Out West_, an account was given of the repairs
accomplished. The chapel, a building 144×27 feet, and rooms to its
right, 47×27 feet, were reroofed with brick tiles; the broken walls of
the entire front built up solidly and substantially to the roof level,
the ugly posts from the center of the chapel taken out and the trusses
strengthened by the addition of the tension members which the
original builders had failed to supply. This greatly improved the
appearance of the chapel.

  [Illustration: A Pala Pottery Maker.]

  [Illustration: Two Palatingua Exiles, Father and Son.]

  [Illustration: The Lower Bell in the Pala Campanile.]

Another beneficial service rendered was the securing of a deed from
the squatter, whose story is told in another chapter, to the
picturesque ruins and thus transfering them back to their rightful
owners--the Catholic church, in trust for the Indians.

Unfortunately, soon after the Palatinguas came here, the resident
priest, whom Bishop Conaty appointed to minister to them, did not
understand Indians, their childlike devotion to the things hallowed by
association with the past, and their desire to be consulted about
everything that concerned their interests. Therefore, being
suspicious, too, on account of their recent eviction, they were
outraged to find the chapel interior freshly whitewashed so that all
its ancient decorations were covered. This was another white man's
affront which caused irritation and bitterness that it required months
to assuage.


The Palatingua Exiles.

States and nations, even as individuals, are often tempted in diverse
ways to forsake the path of rectitude, and, for material gain,
territorial acquisition, or other supposed good, to do dishonorable
things. To my mind one of the chief blots on the escutcheon of the
United States is its treatment of the Indians, and California, as a
sovereign state, cannot escape its individual responsibility for its
utterly reprehensible treatment of its dusky "original inhabitants."

When the Spaniards seized the land their laws were clean-cut and clear
in regard to the confiscation of the lands of the Indians. It was made
the duty of certain officials, under direct penalties, to see that
they were never, under any excuse, pretense, or even legal process,
deprived of the lands they had held from time immemorial. The
Mexicans, in the main, effectually carried out the same just and
equitable laws. But when the United States took possession of
California and the new state government was formally organized, a new
idea was interjected. The California law proclaimed its intention to
protect the rights of the Indians, but it made it the duty of the
Indians, within a certain specified time, to come before a duly
authorized officer and declare what lands were theirs and that they
intended to claim and use. Now while on the face of it this law seems
reasonable and just, in actual practice it is as cruel, wicked, and
surely confiscating as is the "stand and deliver!" of the highwayman.
How were the Indians to know what was required of them? What did they
know of the white man and his laws? As well pass a law that all the
birds who do not declare their intention of using the branches of
certain trees will be shot if they appear there, as pass laws
requiring Indians, ignorant of our language, our methods of procedure,
to appear and declare that they intend to continue to use lands they
had had uninterrupted possession of for unknown centuries. In other
words, the law fiction was a deliberate and definite scheme of
dishonest men to make legal the dispossession of the Indians, whenever
it was found desirable. Such a case in due time arose at Warner's
Ranch. Other cases innumerable might be cited, but this is the one
that particularly concerns Pala.

Warner's Ranch was named after Jonathan Trumbull Warner, popularly
known to the Mexicans as Juan José Warner, who came from Lyme, Conn.,
by way of St. Louis, Santa Fe and the Gila River, to California, in
1831. In 1834 he settled down in Los Angeles, marrying, in 1837, at
San Luis Rey Mission, Anita Gale, the daughter of Capt. W. A. Gale, of
Boston. The maiden, however, had been in California ever since she was
five years old, her father having placed her in the home of Doña
Eustaquia Pico, the widowed mother of Pio Pico, the last Mexican
Governor of California. In due time he (Warner) was naturalized as a
Mexican citizen and received from the Mexican Governor in 1844 the
grant of an immense tract of land in San Diego County, long known as
El Valle de San José. It was fine pasture land, but it was especially
noted for its hot springs--Agua Caliente--near which the Indians had
had their village from time immemorial. According to Spanish and
Mexican law, it must be remembered, their right to their homes and
adjacent pasture lands was inalienable _without their own consent_.
Hence under Warner's regime they lived content and happy, uninterfered
with, and never worried that a grant--of which they knew nothing--had
been made of their lands without any clause of exemption preserving to
them their time-honored rights.

Then came Fremont, Sloat and Kearny. California became a state of the
United States and among other laws passed the one referring to the
lands of the Indians noted above. As he passed by Palatingua, Genl.
Kearny, according to the oldest man of the village, Owlinguwush, who
acted as his guide, solemnly pledged his government not to remove the
Indians from their lands, provided they would be friends of the new

This the Indians were. The white people soon learned the value of the
hot springs, and flocked thither in great numbers to drink and bathe
in the waters. The Indians charged them a small fee for the use of the
bath-houses and tubs they had prepared. This added to their modest
income, gained from their industries as cattle-men, hunters, farmers,
basket and pottery-makers. They were happy, healthy, fairly prosperous
and contented.

But in time Warner died. His grant was duly confirmed by the United
States Land Courts, _but no one cared enough to see that the rights of
the Indians were guarded_, hence the confirmation and deed of grant
contained no exemption of the Indians' lands.

The ownership changed until it came into the hands of a well-known
California capitalist. He was not interested in Indians, had no
particular sympathy with or for them, and did not see why they should
remain on _his_ land. Several times he vigorously intimated that he
wanted them to "clear off," he needed the land, and especially he
needed the hot springs. There was a strongly expressed desire that a
health and pleasure resort be established at this charming place, but,
of course, it was impossible so long as the Indians were there. Each
time removal was intimated to the Indians they laughed--as children
laugh if you tell them you are going to buy them from their parents.
Had they not lived here long before a white man had ever set foot on
the continent? Were they not born here, raised, married, had their
children, died and were buried here for centuries? Had not Spaniards,
Mexicans, and even General Kearny assured them they were secure in
their possession? Of course they laughed! Who wouldn't?

But the _owner_ of the land grew tired of their smiles. He wanted the
place, so his lawyers ordered the Indians to vacate, and the papers
were served in such manner that even the childlike aborigines were
compelled to realize that something serious was going to happen. But
that they should be compelled to leave! Ah, impossible! No one
possibly could be so cruel and wicked as that.

The courts were appealed to, and finally the State Supreme Court
decided against the Indians, by a vote of four to three--a decision so
contrary to the spirit of honor and justice that it aids in making
anarchists and revolutionists of good and law-abiding men. Confident
in the right of the Indians' cause their faithful friends took the
case up to the United States Supreme Court, and again, this time
purely on the plea of precedent--that it was contrary to rule for the
United States Supreme Court to interfere in any case that was purely
domestic to one State--the judgment ousting the Indians was confirmed.

Things now began to look serious. Some of the Indians were crushed by
the decision, others were ugly and wanted to fight. Various people of
various temperaments interfered, and each one denounced the others as
trouble-makers and brewers of mischief. Council after council was
held, and at each one the Indians stedfastly refused to leave their

In the meantime, realizing that the suit for eviction most probably
would go against the Indians, certain societies and individuals,
prompted by their interest in them and by their inherent sense of
justice, appealed to Congress to find a new home for these people if
they were dispossessed.

For the first time in its history, Congress voted $100,000 to give to
these Indians a better home than the one they were to be evicted from.
A special inspector was sent out to determine where this new home
should be. He reported favorably upon a site, which, however, better
informed people in the state, considered altogether unsuitable.
Protests immediately were lodged with the Indian Department and as the
result a Commission was appointed to investigate conditions, and find
the most suitable place to which the Palatinguas could be transferred.
This Commission was composed of Charles F. Lummis, Russell C. Allen,
and Chas. L. Partridge.

After weeks of careful and patient investigation, criticized on every
hand by those who were anxious to sell any kind of an acreage to the
Indians, it was finally decided to recommend the purchase of the Pala
Valley. Few seemed to see the irony of this decision. The land once
had belonged to the Pala Indians. Less than a century before a
thousand of them were regular attendants at the little Mission Chapel
and devoted friends of Padre Antonio Peyri. Whence had these and their
descendants gone? How had they been deprived of their lands? In
another chapter I have quoted from Frank J. Polley, how our California
laws aided and abetted the spoliators and how Pala unjustly came into
the possession of a white man.

Now it must be bought back again. There were 3,500 acres, with a large
amount of hilly government land that would be of use for pasturage and
that could be added to the full purchased land as a reservation. The
Commission claimed, and doubtless believed, there was plenty of water,
but it was not long before the supply was found to be so inadequate
that something had to be done to add to it. This has been done, as is
elsewhere related.

Congress passed the appropriation bill, made the purchase, May 27,
1902, setting the land aside as a permanent reservation. The Indian
Department, therefore, ordered the immediate transfer of the Indians
from Palatingua, as well as small bands from Puerta de la Cruz, Puerta
Chiquita, San José, San Felipe and Mataguaya--tiny settlements on the
fringe of Warner's Ranch and who were made parties to the ejectment
suit--to Pala.

Serious trouble was feared. Mr. Lummis wired for troops to aid in the
removal, although his duties as head of the Commission to choose a
home for the Indians gave him no authority to act in the matter. He
was thereupon ordered from the ranch, and the work of removal
committed to the care of a special agent, as Dr. L. A. Wright, the
regular Indian Agent, confessed his inability to cope with the
situation. Mrs. Babbitt, for many years the teacher at Warner's Ranch,
and other friends of the Indians counselled acquiescence to the law's
demand. I was invited both by the Indians and the Indian Commissioner
to be present at the removal, but I knew that it would be too much for
my equanimity, so I kept away. My friend Grant Wallace, however, was
present, and in _Out West_ magazine, for July, 1903, gave the
following pathetic account:

      Night after night, sounds of wailing came from the adobe
      homes of the Indians. When Tuesday (May 12) came, many of
      them went to the little adobe chapel to pray, and then
      gathered for the last time among the unpainted wooden crosses
      within the rude stockade of their ancient burying ground, a
      pathetic and forlorn group, to wail out their grief over the
      graves of their fathers. Then hastily loading a little food
      and a few valuables into such light wagons and surreys as
      they owned, about twenty-five families drove away for Pala,
      ahead of the wagon-train. The great four and six-horse wagons
      were quickly loaded with the home-made furniture, bedding and
      clothing, spotlessly clean from recent washing in the boiling
      springs; stoves, ollas, stone mortars, window sashes, boxes,
      baskets, bags of dried fruit and acorns, and coops of
      chickens and ducks.

      While I helped Lay-reader Ambrosio's mother to round up and
      encoop a wary brood of chickens, I observed the wife of her
      other son, Jesus, throwing an armful of books--spellers,
      arithmetics, poems--into the bonfire, along with bows and
      arrows, and superannuated aboriginal bric-a-brac. In reply to
      a surprised query, she explained that now they hated the
      white people and their religion and their books. Dogged and
      dejected, Captain Cibemoat, with his wife Ramona, and little
      girl, was the last to go. While I helped him hitch a bony
      mustang to his top buggy, a tear or two coursed down his
      knife-scarred face; and as the teamsters tore down his little
      board cabin wherein he had kept a restaurant, he muttered,
      "May they eat sand!"...

      At their first stop for dinner they lingered long on the last
      acre of Warner's Ranch, as though loath to go through the
      gates. At night, at Oak Grove, they drew the first rations
      ever issued to the Cupenos by the government--some at first
      refused to accept them, saying they were not objects of

      Although devout church members--scarcely a name among them
      being unwashed by baptism--they refused the first Sunday to
      hold services in the restored Pala Mission, or anywhere else,
      asking surlily of the visiting priest, "What kind of a God is
      this you ask us to worship, who deserts us when we need him
      most?" Instead, thirty of them joined some swart friends from
      Pauma in a "sooish amokat" or rabbit hunt, killing their game
      with peeled clubs thrown unerringly while galloping at full

      Monday, however, the principal men, better pleased after an
      inspection of the fertile and beautiful valley of Pala, had a
      flag-raising at the little school-house--the only building
      now on the site of the projected village. An Indian girl
      played the organ, and a score of dusky children--who will
      compare favorably in intelligence with average white
      youngsters--joined in singing the praises of "America--sweet
      land of liberty." School was opened, and later a
      policeman--young Antonio Chaves--was elected by popular vote.

  [Illustration: The Pala Chapel and Campanile After Restoration by
   the Landmarks Club.]

  [Illustration: The Interior of Pala Chapel as it Appears Today.]

  [Illustration: The Pala Bell Tower After Rebuilding.]

Thus came about the transfer of the Palatinguas to Pala. Though they
often longed for their old home it could not be denied, even by them,
that the location of Pala is ideal. It is literally surrounded by
mountains that seem to rise in huge overlapping rings, each circling
the diminutive valley. The Pala River flows through the settlement.
Almost every available foot of space is now under cultivation in that
part of the valley near by, and further down, along the river, where
the fields broaden out, many acres are yielding their rich and
valuable crops.

To the south may be seen the hospitable ranch-house--Agua Tibia--of
Lewis Utt, an attorney of San Diego, who divides his time between his
city office and his farm. Five thousand feet above cluster the pine
trees, the live oaks and other rich arboreal growths of Palomar, the
Mountain of the Dove. Nearby the rich olive orchards of John Fry
stretch out like silken flags of green. To the north, on the top of
the Pala grade, the Happy Valley ranch of A. M. Lobaugh is a
stopping-place for camper and tourist. To the west is the extensive
ranch of Monserrate.

There are few more beautiful inland locations in the world, and
climatically it is as perfect as it is scenically. For from the one
side come the breezes of the warm South Pacific ocean, laden with the
ozone and bromine of kelp-beds and with the refreshing tang of the
salt air, while from the other come the aseptic breezes of the desert,
God's great purifying laboratory, where, after being completely
purified, they are sent over the mountains, there to gather their
unseen but never-the-less beneficent and healthful burden of sweet
balsams and odors from the trees, shrubs and blossoms that glorify
their slopes and summits.

For awhile after their arrival at Pala they dwelt in tents, and then
occurred one of those inexplainable and inexcusable pieces of folly
that fills the heart of an intelligent man with contempt and almost
with despair. Cold weather was coming on. The Indians must be housed
erelong. One would have thought the sensible and obvious thing to do
would have been to engage the unoccupied Indians--for, of course, none
of them as yet had a thing to do--either to make adobe brick and build
their houses of them, or to buy lumber for the purpose from the
nearest place of supply. Instead of that what was done by the
dunder-headed officials at Washington? Even as I write it seems so
incredible that I can scarce believe it. These incompetent men
purchased, in New York, fifty flimsy, rickety, insecure, wretched
"portable" houses, sent them by freight, and ordered them put up as
the permanent homes of these unfortunate exiles. The amount of money
expended in these contemptible pretences for houses, and the freight
paid on them from the East, would have erected permanent buildings and
at the same time have provided paying occupation for the Indians
during their erection. Official stupidity seldom manifested itself
more clearly than in this instance.

Commenting upon the matter the government's own special agent

      It was nearly six months before the Indians got into the
      houses. The expense was double what wooden cabins built on
      the spot would have been, and about four times the cost of
      adobes.... The houses are neither dust-proof, wind-proof, nor
      water-proof, and are far inferior to the despised adobes.

But the Indians made the best of them, and have gradually improved, or
replaced them with something better. Then the water question arose.
There was not enough for their needs. Eighteen thousand dollars was
first expended, and then more was called for. At last, in May, 1913,
the new irrigation system was completed, and a grand fiesta was held
to celebrate the opening.

The first teacher of the Palatinguas when they were removed to Pala
was Mrs. Josephine H. Babbitt, who for many years had been their
trusted friend at Warner's Ranch. But in those trying early days when
nerves were frayed, dispositions frazzled, and passions easily
aroused, her earnest and determined efforts to secure for her wards as
great a meed of justice as possible rendered her _persona non grata_
to some whose influence was powerful enough to secure her removal.

But it was not long before even this misfortune was made to work out
for the good of the Indians. Miss Ora Salmons, who was a teacher of
one of the near-by Indian schools, was appointed, and this year of our
Lord, sees her close her twenty-eighth year of faithful and happy
service among her dusky wards, many of which have been spent here at
Pala. With heart, mind and body attuned to her work she has truthfully
and poetically been termed "the little mother of the Indians."
Radiating brightness, sunshine, sympathy and love for her pupils, old
and young, she is strengthened in her daily task by the assurance that
she is making their life easier and happier, removing some of the
obstacles to their progress, and adding factors of strength and
self-reliance to their characters.


The Old and New Acqueducts.

In Southern California water is an essential element in nearly all
agricultural and horticultural development. In their own primitive
fashion the Indians irrigated the lands long prior to the coming of
the Spaniards. When Padre Peyri, however, came to Pala, his far-seeing
eye at once noted its possibilities, and he set about bringing water
from the headwaters of the river. He laid a line for a ditch from the
mountains to the mission lands so accurately and with such consummate
skill that it is as much the marvel of modern irrigation engineers as
is the architecture of the Missions of the modern architect.

Where necessary a ditch was built, and on the other hand where the
natural course was in the proper line this was followed, to be
replaced again with ditches when necessary. So long as Peyri remained
the ditch was in constant use, but after he left in 1832 it began to
decline, and when his successor, Zalvidea, died, in 1846, it fell into
disuse and soon became choked up, ruined, and useless.

When the Palatinguas came, some work in the bringing of water was done
on their behalf, but it was not adequate. While it supplied the
necessary water for their lands on the south side of the river, they
also needed it on the north side. So the Indian Department was again
appealed to, the appropriation made, and, in due time, the work begun.
The government engineers found that the line of old ditch could not be
improved upon, so the Indians were engaged to do the major part of the
work, as they had been in the days of Peyri, and on the occasion of
its completion the event was deemed of such importance that the
Indians decided to hold a great fiesta.

After the decline of the Mission establishments the annual fiestas of
the Indians became mere pretexts for debauchery, gambling, and the
performance of their ancient dances. But of late years strenuous
efforts have been made to prohibit the sale of liquor to the Indians,
and the government also has abolished gambling. The influence of
Father Doyle and Agent Runke have been great in changing the character
of the fiesta, and on this occasion the event was one of decorum,
dignity, and reverent worship, as well as dancing, playing of games,
and pleasure.

Not only was the securing of a permanent supply of water a cause of
rejoicing. The Indians were made happy by the announcement that, at
last, the government had recognized their claims to the land which
they had been tilling the past ten years and granted them their
patent. The announcement was made by Walter Runke, superintendent of
the reservation, just after the water was turned into the new ditch.

Granting them their patent means that each Indian, whether babe,
child, man or woman is given title to one and three-quarters acres of
irrigated land and six acres of dry land. Much of this dry land has
been put under irrigation since the first allotment. In addition, the
head of each family is given two lots, one for his house and one for
his stable. There is, however, a stipulation in the grant which
forbids an Indian's deeding his newly acquired property away for the
next twenty-five years.

I have explained already how bitter the Palatinguas were when removed
from Warner's Ranch. They felt that, as they had had no security in
the possession of their homes and lands at Warner's Ranch, so would it
be at Pala. They could be moved about, they said, at the whim of
Washington, without a guarantee of a final competency for themselves
or their children. But now they have been rewarded for their labor and
patience with land in one of the most fertile and beautiful valleys of
Southern California and under the shadow of the cross their beloved
padre raised one hundred years ago.

The fiesta was held in due time. Eight members of the Franciscan Order
from San Luis Rey were invited to take an important part in the

A writer in the _San Diego Union_ shows how tenaciously the Indians
cling to the ceremonies of the past. He says:

      The opening of the government's new irrigation ditch was
      preceded the night before by the same ceremony of praise and
      thanksgiving that the Indians used to hold before ever a
      padre raised a cross among them. In a rectangular enclosure
      made of green willows they assembled about a log fire. They
      seated themselves in a circle just beyond the line of fading
      light, their swarthy faces being discernible only as a dim
      streak in the dark; but before the fire, his rough and seamed
      face illuminated by the unsteady flames which leaped, as now
      and then he picked at a brand, and revealed his audience as
      motionless as though chiseled out of lava, stood the aged
      Cecelio Chuprosa. His hands were clasped behind his back and
      his head bowed. At long intervals, he spoke briefly in his
      native tongue, his soft gutterals coming so slowly that one
      could count the vowels. A drawn-out low, weird monotone was
      the only response from that rock-like circle just beyond the
      light. Now and then some old woman emerged from the darkness
      and danced beside the burning logs while she chanted some
      wild incantation and was lost again in that stoic, stolid,
      silent circle.

      Finally two padres appeared on the scene. They said nothing,
      but the Indians soon slunk away. The padres do not approve of
      the rites of pagan days, and they love their padres.

      Still amid the weird savagery of that scene, there were many
      evidences of civilization. The old men and women wore cowhide
      boots and shoes which covered their feet with corns. Instead
      of the peace-pipe, the glow of the cigarette dawned and died
      everywhere through the stoic night. Oil-filled lanterns took
      the place of the starlight the Indians formerly used to find
      their way home by, and one old wabbling woman wheeled her
      grand-papoose to the meeting in the latest style of

      Chuprosa is 96 years old and has not a gray hair on his head.
      He has worn his war paint, been on the warpath, and fought in
      all the tribe's battles from his youth up. He is particularly
      proud of the valor he displayed in the battle of Alamitos,
      which occurred sixty-six years ago.

      Now Chuprosa is a baseball fan. He roots at all the games
      between the teams of his and neighboring reservations.
      Recently he rode forty miles on horseback to Warner's Ranch
      to see a game and when he returned he was so stiff that he
      had to be lifted out of the saddle, but he rubbed his aching
      legs a little and laughed, for he had rooted his favorite
      team to victory.

      Among the Franciscan monks who came from San Luis Rey to
      attend the Pala fiesta was another old battler who had fought
      through two wars and won two medals for valor from his
      country. One of them is the far-famed and much coveted
      iron-cross which German royalty and the Kaiser himself salute
      whenever it is seen on the breast of a veteran. But Father
      Damian,--and that is his only name in the cloister where he
      has lived now for thirty-eight years,--threw these honors
      into the sea and with head bowed he appeared one day at the
      door of a monastery and asked that he might henceforth follow
      only the standard of the cross.

      He was given a brown robe with a cowl and a pair of sandals
      for his feet, and the hero of wars which Germany waged
      against Austria and France, lost even his name and, becoming
      a carpenter, gave his life in building schools and churches.

      Father Damian and Chuprosa met for the first time at the Pala
      fiesta. The monk could speak no Spanish and the Indian no
      German, but they soon became interested in each other when,
      through an interpreter, each told of the battles the other
      had fought. Although seventy-two years old, the father is
      still rugged except that he feels the effect of cholera which
      attacked his regiment in the war with Austria. "One morning,"
      he said, "one hundred in my regiment alone remained on the
      ground when the bugle called us. They had died overnight of

  [Illustration: A Pala Indian Washing Clothes in the Creek.]

  [Illustration: Bell Tower and Entrance to the Garden at Pala.]

  [Illustration: In the Pala Graveyard.]

  [Illustration: Pala Basket Makers at Work.]

The morning of the fiesta dawned bright and clear. Every member of the
tribe was there in his or her best. The ceremonies opened by a solemn
high mass conducted by Father Doyle, and assisted by the Franciscan
Fathers from San Luis Rey.

Then a grand parade was held, everyone marching happily to the head of
the ditch. There Father Peter Wallischeck, Superior of the San Luis
Rey house, blessed the water which poured itself for the first time
over the Indians' lands since the old ditch crumbled away, and as he
did so he stood on the very spot where Padre Peyri stood when, with
his Indians, they said a prayer of thanksgiving over the successful
completion of their labors, a century previously.

The rest of the day was then spent in the pleasures of the table
mainly provided by an old-fashioned barbecue, a baseball game and the
inevitable game of peon.


The Palas as Farmers.

To many white people an Indian is always what they conceive all
Indians ever have been--wild, uncultivated, useless savages. Never was
idea more mistaken and cruelly ignorant. At Pala there is not an
Indian on the free ration list. The putting of water upon their lands
has transformed them from the crushed, disheartened, half-starved and
almost despondent people they were thirteen years ago, after their
removal from their beloved Palatingua, into an industrious, energetic,
independent, self-supporting and self-respecting tribe.

The olive trees planted by Padre Peyri are tenderly cared for and are
again in full bearing. As one now approaches Pala from either
Oceanside or Agua Tibia he gazes upon a valley smiling in its dress of
living green. Fields of alfalfa, corn, wheat, barley, beans, and
chilis stretch out on every hand, relieved by fine orchards of
apricots, peaches and olives.

For years the Indians did not take kindly to government farmers. Most
of these men were too theoretical. For the past two years, however,
Mr. A. T. Hammock, government farmer at Pala, has shown by example and
sympathetic work the benefits of intensive farming. His practical
lessons have brought many dollars into the pockets not only of the
Palatinguas, but also of the other Mission Indians close to the border
of the Pala reservation.

Recently the raising of late tomatoes for the Eastern market was tried
with much success.

Added production enables the Indians to build better homes. Some of
them have done this, as is shown in one of the illustrations, and by
the time the drainage system contemplated by the government is in
place many of the forlorn gift houses, erected when they first came to
Pala, will be replaced by small but neat cottages.

The Palas are also successful stock raisers and have many head of
cattle grazing on the wild lands of their reservation. They are also
proud of their horses.

As a further evidence of progress they have now substituted for their
old fiesta a modern agricultural fair.

In October, of 1915, they held their annual gathering and, after they
had erected their square of ramadas, or houses of tree branches, they
built one of finished lumber to contain an agricultural exhibit which
consisted not only of farm products, but also preserved fruit, pastry,
basketry, art lace and pottery.

Over a thousand dollars' worth of baskets and nearly a thousand
dollars' worth of fine hand lace were on exhibition. Farmers from a
distant county were chosen as judges and with pleased astonishment
remarked that the exhibition as a whole would have taken a prize at
any county fair.

Thus living with congenial administrators in a climate softer even
than the city of San Diego, for the breezes of the Palomar mountains
mingle with those of the Pacific in the trees which shade their
humble homes; having at the end of the principal street of the village
a hedged plaza, filled with blooming flowers all the year, making a
frame for the old Mission chapel, which stands restored as the best
preserved of the Mission chapels, a picture place of San Diego county
and their place of worship; not wealthy, but having sufficient for the
necessities and some of the comforts of life; it is little wonder that
the Indian of Pala pursues the even tenor of his way, happy and
without a care for the future.


With the Pala Basket Makers.

The art instincts of primitive people naturally were exceedingly
limited in expression. Their ignorance of tools not only restricted
their opportunities for the development of handicraft ability, but
also deprived them of many materials they otherwise might have used.
Hence whenever an outlet was discovered for their artistic tendencies
they were impelled to focus upon it in a remarkable degree. With few
tools, limited scope of materials, and next to no incitement to higher
endeavor as the result of contact with other peoples, they yet
developed several arts to a higher degree than has ever yet been
attained by the white race. One of the chief of these artistic
industries was the making of baskets.

Look at one of these exquisite pieces of aboriginal workmanship and
you will be astonished at the perfection of its form, its marvelous
symmetry, the evenness of its weave, the suitability of the material
of which it is made, its remarkable adaptability to the use for which
it is intended, the rare and delicate harmoniousness of its colors,
and the artistic conception of its design. These qualities all
presuppose pure aboriginal work, for directly the Indian begins to
yield to the dictation of the superior (!) race, she proceeds to make
baskets of hideous and inartistic shape, abominable combinations of
color, and generally senseless designs.

Let us watch these basket-makers at work, as we find them at Pala
today. The weaver must first secure the materials. For the filling of
the inner coil she gathers a quantity of a wild grass, or broom corn,
the stems of which perfectly fulfil the purpose. The wrapping splints
are made of three or four products of the vegetable kingdom. The white
splints are secured from willows which are peeled and then split and
torn apart so as to make the desired size. The thinness and pliability
of the splint is determined by scraping off as much as is needed of
the inside. A black splint is found in the cuticle of the martynia, or
cat's claw, which grows profusely on the hill-sides. Sometimes,
however, the white willow splints are soaked in hot sulphur water for
several days, and this blackens them. This water is secured from one
of the hot springs which are found all over Southern California. The
rare and delicate shades of brown in the splints used by the Pala
Indians are gained from the root of the tule. These roots are dug out
of the mud of marshy places and vary in shade, from the most delicate
creamy-brown to the deepest chestnut. Carefully introduced into a
basket they make harmonies in color that fairly thrill the senses with
delight. Now and again an added note of color is found in the red of
the red-bud, which, when gathered at the proper time, gives a sturdy
red, not too vivid or brilliant, but that harmonizes perfectly with
the white, black and brown. As a rule these are the only colors used
by the older and more artistic of the Pala weavers. Now and again, a
smart youngster, trained at the white man's school, will come back
with corrupted ideas of color value, and will flippantly make
gorgeously colored splints with a few packages of the aniline dyes
that, to the older weavers, are simply accursed. But even the most
foolish and least discerning of the white purchasers of baskets made
of these degraded colors cannot fail, in time, to learn how hideous
they are when compared with the natural, normal and artistic work of
the more conservative of the weavers.

With her materials duly prepared the weaver is now ready to go to
work. What drawing has she to represent the shape of her basket; what
complicated plan of the design she intends to incorporate in it? How
much thought has she given to these two important details? Where does
she get them from? What art books does she consult? She cannot go down
to the art or department store and purchase Design No. 48b, or 219f,
and her religion, if she be a _good_ woman (that is, good from the
Indian, not the white man or Christian standpoint), will not allow her
to copy either one of her own or another weaver's form or design. She,
therefore, is left to the one resort of the true artist. She must
create her work from Nature, out of her own observations and
reflections. Thus patterning after Nature the shapes of her baskets
are always perfect, always uncriticizable. There is nothing fantastic,
wild, or crazy about them, as we often find in the _original
creations_ of the white race. They are patterned after the Master
Artist's work, and therefore are beyond criticism.

But who can tell the hours of patient and careful observation, the
thought, the reflection, put upon these shapes and designs. The busy
little brain behind those dark-brown eyes; the creative imagination
that sees, that vizualizes _in the mind_ and can judge of its
appearance when objectified, must be developed to a high degree to
permit the use of such intricate, complicated and complex designs as
are often found. There are no drawings made, no pencil and paper used,
not even a sketch in the sand as some guessers would have the
credulous believe. Everything is seen and worked out _mentally_, and
with nothing but the mental image before her, the artist goes to work.

Seated in as easy a posture as she can find out-of-doors or in, her
splints around her in vessels of water (the water for keeping them
pliant), and an adequate supply of the broom-corn, or grass-stem,
filling at hand, she rapidly makes the coiled button that is the
center, the starting point of her basket. Her awl is the thigh-bone of
a rabbit, unless she has yielded so far to the pressure of
civilization as to use a steel awl secured at the trader's store for
the purpose. Stitch by stitch the coil grows, each one sewed, by
making a hole with the awl through the coil already made, to that
coil. When the time comes for the introduction of the colored splint,
she works on as certainly, surely and deftly as before. There is no
hesitation. All is mapped out, the stitches counted, long before, and
though to the outsider there is no possible resemblance discernible
between what she is doing with anything known in the heavens above,
the earth beneath, or the waters under the earth, the aboriginal
weaver goes on with perfect confidence, seeing clearly the completed
and artistic product of her brain and fingers.

  [Illustration: One of the Portable Houses bought by the U. S. Indian
   Department. The rear house was erected by the Indians themselves,
   and is the home of Senora Salvadora Valenzuela and her daughters.]

  [Illustration: Two Pala Indian Maidens.]

  [Illustration: Pala Boys at Work on the Farm.]

And how wonderfully those fingers handle the splints. No white woman
has ever surpassed, in digital dexterity, these native Indians. Do you
wonder? Watch this weaver day after day as her basket grows. A week,
two, three, a month, two, three months pass by, and the basket is not
yet finished. Time as well as creative skill and digital dexterity are
required to make a basket, and it is no uncommon thing to find three,
four and even five or six months consumed before the basket is done,
and the weaver's heart is secretly rejoiced by the beauty of the work.

Is it surprising that the Indian often refuses to show, even when she
knows she can make a sale, the latest product of her skill? The work
is the joy of her heart; she has met the true test of the artist--she
loves her work and, therefore, joys in it--how can she sell it? So
when you ask her if she has a basket to sell she shakes her head, and
when, days or weeks later, pressed by a real or fancied necessity, she
brings it out and offers it for sale, you inwardly comment--perhaps
openly--upon the untruthfulness of the Indian, when, in reality, she
meant to the full her negative as to whether she had a basket to

There are many skilful and accomplished basket weavers at Pala, who
genuinely love their work. They are preserving for a prejudiced
portion of the white race, proofs of an artistic skill possessed for
centuries by this despised aboriginal race, and, at the same time,
give delight, pleasure, joy and kindlier feelings to those of the
white race who feel there is a fundamental truth enunciated in the
doctrines of the universal Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of


Lace and Pottery Makers.

In the preceding chapter I have presented, in a broad and casual
manner, the work of the Pala basket-makers. They are not confined,
however, to this as their only artistic industry. They engage in other
work that is both beautiful and useful. For centuries they have been
pottery makers, though, as far as I can learn, they have never learned
to decorate their ware with the artistic, quaint, and symbolic designs
used by the Zunis, Acomese, Hopis and other Pueblo Indians of Arizona
and New Mexico, or that might have been suggested by the designs on
their own basketry.

The shapes of their pottery in the main are simple and few, but, when
made by skilful hands, are beautiful and pleasing. They make saucers,
bowls, jars and ollas. Clay is handled practically in the same way as
the materials of basketry. After the clay is well washed, _puddled_,
and softened, it is rolled into a rope-like length. After the center
is moulded by the thumbs and fingers of the potter, on a small basket
base which she holds in her lap, the clay rope is coiled so as to
build up the pot to the desired size. As each coil is added, it is
smoothed down with the fingers and a small _spatula_ of bone, pottery
or dried gourd skin, the shape being made and maintained by constant
manipulation. When completed it is either dried in the sun, or baked
over a fire made of dried cow or burro dung, which does not get so hot
as to crack the ware, or give out a smoke to blacken it.

In the dressing of skins, and making of rabbit-skin blankets, the
older Indians used to be great adepts, but modern materials have taken
away the necessity for these things.

Before the Palatinguas were removed from Warner's Ranch to Pala, one
of them, gifted with the white man's business sense, and with the
creative or inventive faculty, started an industry which he soon made
very profitable. Every traveler over the uncultivated and desert area
of Southern California has been struck with the immense number of
yuccas, Spanish daggers, that seemed to spring up spontaneously on
every hand. This keen-brained Indian, José Juan Owlinguwush, saw
these, and wiser than some of his smart white brothers, determined to
put them to practical and profitable use. He had the bayonets gathered
by the hundreds, the thousands. Then he had them beaten, flailed,
until the fibres were all separated one from another. The outer skins
were thrown away, but the inner fibres were taken and cured. Then, on
one of the most primitive spinning-wheels ever designed, and worked by
a smiling school-girl, who passed a strap over a square portion of a
spindle, at the end of which was a hook, so as to make it revolve at a
high degree of speed, the fiber was spun into rope. To the hook the
yucca fibre was attached, and as the spindle revolved the hook twisted
the fibre into cord. The spinner, with an apron full of the fibre,
walked backwards, away from the revolving hook, feeding out the fibre
as required and seeing it was of the needed thickness. Some of the
rope or cord thus made was dyed a pleasing brown color, and then was
woven on a loom, as primitive as was the spinning-wheel, into
doormats, which I used, with great satisfaction, for several years.

Soon after the Palatinguas were settled at Pala, the Sybil Carter
Association of New York introduced to them, with the full consent of
the government officials, the art of Spanish lace-making. In a recent
newspaper article it is thus lauded: "Ancient craft [Basket-making] of
Pala Indians Gives Place to More Artistic Handiwork." This is a very
absurd statement, for wherein is the work of lace-making more
_artistic_ than basket-making. In the article that follows our
newspaper friend tells us candidly that the creative spirit is still
alive in the manufacture of basketry:

      They use the natural grasses and no artificial coloring. _No
      two baskets are alike_, though the mountain, lightning flash,
      star, tree, oak-leaf, and snake designs are most common.

The italics are mine. Our writer then goes on to say of the

      The little ten-year old school-child and the grandmother now
      sit side by side weaving the intricate figures with deft
      hands and each receives fair compensation for the finished
      product. It takes sharp eyes and supple fingers to produce
      this lace, _but no originality_, for the Venetian point,
      Honiton, Torchon, Brussels, Cluny, Milano, Roman Cut-Work and
      Fillet patterns are supplied by the government teacher, Mrs.
      Edla Osterberg.

  [Illustration: The Fiesta Procession, Leaving the Chapel for the
   Headgate of the Irrigation Ditch.]

  [Illustration: Pala Indian Women Dancing at the Fiesta.]

Again the italics are mine. There is no comparison in the art work of
basketry and that of lace-making, yet it is a good thing the latter
has been introduced. It brings these poor people money easier and
quicker than basket-making, and, as they must earn to live, it aids
them in the struggle for existence.

In the lace work-room, the last time I was there, thirty-nine weavers
in all, varying from bright-eyed children of seven years, to aged
grandmothers, were intently engaged upon the delicate work. The
bobbins were being twisted and whirled with incredible rapidity and
sureness, in the cases of the most expert, and all were as interested
as could possibly be.


The Religious and Social Life of the Palas.

It would require many pages of this little book even to suggest the
various rites, ceremonies and ideas connected with the ancient
religion of the Palas. It was a strange mixture of Nature worship,
superstition, and apparently meaningless rites, all of which, however,
clearly revealed the childlike worship of their minds. In the earliest
days their religious leaders gained their power by fasting and
solitude. Away in the desert, or on the mountain heights, resolutely
abstaining from all food, they awaited the coming of their spirit
guides, and then, armed with the assurance of direct supernatural
control, they assumed the healing of the sick and the general
direction of the affairs of the tribe.

Then, later, this simple method was changed. The neophytes sought
visions by drinking a decoction made from the jimpson weed--_toloache_
--and though the older and purer-minded men condemned this method it
was gaining great hold upon them when the Franciscan Missionaries came
a century or so ago.

Even now some of their ceremonies at the period of adolescence,
especially of girls, are still carried on. One of these consists of
digging a pit, making it hot with burning wood coals, and then
"roasting" the maiden therein, supposedly for her physical good.

I have also been present at some of their ancient dances which are
still performed by the older men and women. These are petitions to the
Powers that control nature to make the wild berries, seeds and roots
grow that they may have an abundance of food, and many white men have
seen portions of the eagle and other dances, the significance of which
they had no conception of. Yet all of these dances had their origin in
some simple, childlike idea such as that the eagle, flying upwards
into the very eye of the sun, must dwell in or near the abode of the
gods, and could therefore convey messages to them from the dwellers
upon Earth. This is the secret of all the whisperings and tender words
addressed to the eagle before it is either sent on its flight or
slain--for in either case it soars to the empyrean. These words are
messages to be delivered to the gods above, and are petitions for
favors desired, blessings they long for, or punishments they wish to
see bestowed upon their enemies.

But when the padres came the major part of the ancestors of the
present-day Palas came under their influence. They were soon baptized
into the fold of the Catholic Church. The fathers were wise in their
tolerance of the old dances. Wherein there was nothing that savored of
bestiality, sensuality, or direct demoralization, they raised no
objection, hence the survival of these ceremonies to the present day.
But, otherwise, the Indians became, as far as they were mentally and
spiritually able, good sons and daughters of the church.

Of the good influence these good men had over their Indian wards there
can be no question.

A true shepherd of his heathen flock was Padre Peyri. When the order
of secularization reached San Luis Rey and every priest was compelled
to take the oath of allegiance to the republic of Mexico, Peyri
refused to obey. He was ordered out of the country. At first he paid
no attention to the command, but when, finally, his superiors in
Mexico authorized his obedience, he stole away during the dead of
night in January, 1832, in order to save himself and his beloved
though dusky wards the pain of parting. It is said that when the
Indians discovered that he had left them and was on his way to San
Diego in order to take ship for Spain, five hundred of them followed
him with the avowed intention of trying to persuade him to return. But
they reached the bay at La Playa just as his ship was spreading sail
and putting out to sea. A plaintive cry rose heavenward while they
stood, their arms outstretched in agonized pleading, as their beloved
padre gave them a farewell blessing and his vessel faded away in the
blue haze off Point Loma.

The last resident missionary at San Luis Rey was Padre Zalvidea, who
died early in 1846.

From this date the decline of the Mission was very rapid. In 1826, the
Indian population was 2,869 and in 1846 it scarcely numbered 400.
After the death of Padre Zalvidea the poor Indians were like a flock
of sheep without a shepherd. They dispersed in every direction, a prey
of poverty, disease, and death.

  [Illustration: The Pala Campanile After Rebuilding in 1916.]

  [Illustration: A Pala Basket-Maker at Work.]

  [Illustration: The Interior of Pala Chapel After the Restoration.]

  [Illustration: The Ruins of the Pala Campanile, After Its Fall in
   January, 1916.]

The Pala outpost shared the fate of the mother mission, San Luis Rey.
It became a prey to the elements and to vandalism. It was soon a
ruin, uninhabited and unhabitable. Even the water ditch, not being
kept in repair, soon became useless. Thus matters stood until the
United States decided to remove the Indians living on Warner's Ranch
to Pala.

Longevity used to be quite common among the Pala and other Indians. To
attain the age of a hundred years was nothing uncommon, and some lived
to be a hundred and fifty and even more years old. A short time ago
Leona Ardilla died at Temecula, which, like Pala, used to be a part of
the Mission of San Luis Rey. Leona was computed to be fully 113 years
old. She well remembered Padre Peyri,--_el buena padre_, she called
him,--and could tell definitely of his going away, of the Indians
following him to San Diego, and their grief that they could not bring
him back. Often have I heard her tell the story of the eviction of the
Indians from San Pasqual, as described in _Ramona_, and the struggle
her people had for the necessities of life after that disastrous

Of gentle disposition, uncomplaining regarding the many and great
wrongs done her people by the white man, she lived a simple Indian
life, eating her porridge of _weewish_, the _bellota_ of the Spanish,
that is, acorn. This was for years her staple food. She ate it as she
worked on her baskets, with the prayers on her lips which were taught
her by Padre Peyri.

Though deaf and nearly blind for over 20 years, Leona sat daily in the
open with some boughs at her back, the primitive, unroofed break-wind
described as the only habitation of many of the Indians at the advent
of the spiritual _conquistadores_ of California. There, in the shade
of her kish, she sat and wove baskets. A few days before she died she
tried to finish a basket which had been begun over a month before, but
her death intervened and it remains unfinished.

A year hence, when the Indians hold their memorial dance of the dead,
this basket will be burned, together with whatever articles of
clothing she may have left.

The old basket maker's only living child was Michaela. She is 80 years
of age, and was at her mother's death-bed.

After their removal to Pala the Indians were too stunned to pay much
attention to anything except their own troubles, and the priest that
was sent to them neither knew or understood them. But a few years ago
the Reverend George D. Doyle was appointed as their pastor. He entered
into the work with zeal, sympathy and love, and in a short time he had
won their fullest confidence by his tender care of their best
interests. He deems no sacrifice too great where his services are
needed. He says, however, that beneficial service would have been
rendered impossible save for the justice, tolerance and helpfulness on
the part of the Indian service both at Washington and in the field.

In their school life Miss Salmons has their confidence equally with
their pastor. The growing generation is bright and learns things just
as quickly as white children of the same age.

The older Indians never seem to be able to count. Their difficulty in
understanding figures is shown when they make purchases at the
reservation store. An old Indian will buy a pound of sugar, for
instance, and lay down a dollar. After he is given his change he may
buy a pound of bacon and again wait for his change before he makes the
next purchase. He simply cannot understand that 100 minus 5 minus 18
leaves 77.

But the younger generation will have no such trouble. They are fairly
quick at figures, and a class in mental arithmetic under Miss Salmons'
direction would not appear poorly in competition with any white class
in any other California school.

The women spend much time in their gardens and in basket- and
lace-making. Their houses, gates, and fences are covered with a wealth
of roses and other flowers and vines and their little gardens are laid
out and cultivated with great skill. The men have a club-house, in
which is a billiard-table, where they play pool and other games. There
is also a piano, and several of the Indians are able to play
creditably at their community dances.

The games most popular among the Palas, in fact among all the Mission
Indians, are Gome, Pelota, Peon and Monte. _Gome_ is a test of speed,
endurance, and accuracy. As many contestants as wish enter, each
barefooted and holding a small wooden ball. A course from one to five
miles is designated. When the signal is given each player places his
ball upon the toes of his right foot and casts it. The ball must not
be touched by the hand again but scooped up by the toes and cast
forward. The runner whose ball first passes the line at the end of the
course is the winner. The good gome player is expert at scooping the
ball whilst running at full speed and casting the same without losing
his stride. Casts of 40 to 50 yards are not unusual.

_Pelota_ is a mixture of old time shinny or hocky, la-crosse and
foot-ball. It is played by two teams generally twelve on a side, on a
field about twice the size of the regulation football gridiron, with
two goal posts at each end. Each player is armed with an oak stick
about three feet in length. The teams, facing each other, stand in
mid-field. The referee holds a wooden ball two inches in diameter
which he places in a hole in the ground between the players. He then
fills the hole with sand, signals, by a call, and immediately the
sticks of the players dig the ball from the sand and endeavor to force
it towards and through their opponents' goal. There are no regulations
as to interference. Any player may hold, throw or block his opponent.
He may snap his opponent's stick from him and hurl it yards away. He
may hide the ball momentarily, to pass it to one of his team-mates,
always striving for a clean smash at the ball. He may not run with the
ball but is allowed three steps in any direction for batting
clearance--if he can get it. When one team succeeds in placing the
ball between its opponents' goal-posts one point is scored. The first
team to score two points wins the contest.

  [Illustration: The Opening of the Fiesta. Father G. D. Doyle Reciting
   the Mass.]

  [Illustration: On the Morning of the Fiesta at Pala.]

  [Illustration: The Women in the Ramada at the Pala Fiesta.]

_Peon_, without doubt, is the favorite diversion of the Southern
California Indian. It is played at night. A small fire is lighted and
four players squat on one side of it and four on the other. The
players of one set hold in their hand two sticks or bones, one black,
the other white, connected by a thong about fourteen inches long. Two
blankets, dirty or clean, it matters little, are spread, one in
front of each set. Back of the players are grouped the Indian women,
and when the players holding the peon sticks bend forward to grasp the
blanket between their teeth the women begin a chant or song. The
players, with hands hidden beneath the blanket, suddenly rise to their
knees drop the blanket from their teeth and are seen to have their
arms folded so closely that it is impossible to tell which hand holds
the black stick and which the white one. Their bodies move from side
to side, or up and down, keeping perfect time with the song, whilst
one of the opponents tries to tell, by false motions or by watching
the eyes across the fire, which hands hold the white stick. By a
movement of the hand he calls his guess and silence follows the
opening of the hand which reveals whether he has been successful in
his guess. The players who have been guessed throw their peon sticks
across to their opponents. For the ones not guessed a chip or short
stick is laid in front of the player. The opponent must continue until
he guesses all the hands, when his side goes through the same
performance. There are fourteen chips and one set or side must be in
possession of all of them before the game is concluded; so it may be
seen that it can last many hours. Sometimes the early morning finds
the singers and players weary but undaunted, as the game is
unfinished, and each side is reluctant to give up without scoring.

As poker is called the American's gambling game so peon might be named
the Indian's gambling game. Large sums are said to have been wagered
on this game prior to February of 1915, when the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs placed the ban upon gambling of any description on the
reservations. The game is now played only for a prize or small purse
which is offered by the Fiesta Committee.

_Monte_ is a card game played by the older people and is much like
faro excepting that Mexican cards are used.

Taking their lives all in all they are today very much like those of
their white neighbors. The warriors of the passing generation and
their squaws have thrown aside buckskin for gingham and shawls of
cotton and wool. The thick-soled shoe has taken the place of the
sandal or soft moccassin, but the springy tread of the foot is the
same as it was when it traversed a pathless wilderness. The stoicism
and the majestic mien, the indifference to results, and the absolute
fearlessness which are expressed in every movement, are still
essential influences in the life and government of the little band.

The younger men and women, while they tolerate with filial respect the
superstitions of their fathers, are eager to adjust themselves to the
ways and to be taught the arts and wisdom of their pale-faced


The Collapse and Rebuilding of the Campanile.

In January of 1916 a storm swept over the whole of the Coast Country
of California from north to south, doing considerable damage on every
hand. In the Pala Valley the rain fell in volumes. For twenty-four
hours it never ceased, it being estimated that twelve inches fell
during that time. The pouring floods swept over the valley, and soon
began to undermine the adobe foundations of the tower. The base was
simply a piled-up mass of adobe, covered with cobble-stones, which,
however, had withstood the storms and the earthquakes of a hundred
years. As soon as a few of these cobble-stones were removed by the
flood, the clay beneath began to wash away with startling rapidity.
Nothing, however, could be done to prevent the rushing torrent that
eagerly ate away the ever-softening clay, and at three o'clock in the
afternoon of January 27th, those who watched with bated breath,
anxious hearts, and prayerful longings, were saddened by seeing the
more solid part of the base drop apart, thus removing all support to
the tower. The next moment it toppled forward and fell with a splash
into the muddy water surging at its feet. As it fell it broke into
several pieces, but, fortunately, the bells sank into soft mud, and
were afterwards found uninjured, to the delight of pastor, Indians,
and all the inhabitants of the country around about.

What now should be done? Had the Indians been alone there is little
doubt but that their love for the interesting and historic tower would
have led them, unaided and alone, to reconstruct it. But in their
pastor, the Rev. George D. Doyle, they had one upon whom they have
long learned to rely as a real leader, in all things pertaining to
their welfare. Father Doyle at once put himself in communication with
friends throughout the country. In San Diego he appealed to Mr. George
W. Marston and Mr. Thomas Getz, the former one of the most public
spirited benefactors of that city, the latter being well known for his
interest in the Missions, from his exhibit at the Panama-California
Exposition and his lectures on the same subject at "Ramona's
Marriage-Place," at Old San Diego. These gentlemen immediately
undertook to raise at least one-fifth of the amount estimated for the
Campanile's repair. Other friends responded nobly, and the work of
rebuilding was immediately begun.

It was the substantial gift, however, of Mrs. George I. Kyte, of Santa
Monica, Calif., that made it possible to complete the work in so short
a time.

A solid and substantial concrete base twelve feet long, twelve feet
deep, and five feet wide, was first erected, so that no storm of the
future could undermine it. Then carefully following the plan of the
old tower, using the old material as far as possible, and not
neglecting a single detail, the new tower slowly arose to its
completion. The old cross-timbers for the bells, were again given
their sweet burden, the original cactus saved from the ruins was
planted again at the foot of the cross, the cobble-stones of the base,
also, were put back into place and neatly white-washed. Hence, except
that it looks so new, Padre Peyri himself would not know it from the
tower of his own erection.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Picturesque Pala - The Story of the Mission Chapel of San Antonio de Padua Connected with Mission San Luis Rey" ***

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