Pirates had been seen off the California coast. The Padres and the Ahachmai Indians at San Juan Capistrano were worried."" So begins one of the less navigable, less persuasive, less effectively plotted of easy readers. The story has little Indian boy Plo stay behind when the Mission is evacuated, and ring the bells to warn of the pirates' coming; but neither Padres nor Indians act upon the warning (and some soldiers have already fled). So Pio's action, rash or brave, is pointless: he's briefly caught by the pirates, escapes, sees some of the houses burn--and the Mission escape harm. But supposedly he's earned the privilege of ringing the Mission bells. This is based on a historical incident, we hear, but it has no more to offer as history than it has as fiction.