Paso Robles: Pain in Central CaliforniaCarlos III of Spain devised the master plan: military posts on the coast missions for Indian control (and saving souls) civil communities (these last were mostly riffraff from New Spain). The Indians of central California (Salinan, Chumash, Chane, Tachi, Tulareľo) were too simple to be aggressive or hunt big game. They lived off fish, mollusks, lizards, insects, wild plants. The civil communities treated them uncivily: flogging first offender runaways with rawhide marking chronic cases with knives and red-hot branding irons. At law Indians were gente sin razon subhumans. A hundred years later Pio Linares and other bandidos on El Camino Real between San Luis Obispo and Monterey waylayed gringo and Californio travelers whom they stripped naked and whipped gouged with splintered sticks skinned or burned alive left to stumble, blinded, through rocks and brush allowed to escape for the sport of recapture dragged naked slowly at the end of a reata till wild flailing and agonizing shrieks died out ending the game. A hundred years later we middle-class, small-town white kids squeezed green guts slowly from live fuzzy caterpillars used magnifying glasses to burn beetles or make ants explode chased frightened lizards with willow whips poured salt to make slugs and snails bubble cut the legs from sow bugs which walked a circle to their death and I dont know why.