Soon after arriving at the oasis, Santiago and readers are informed by the camel driver that the oasis is a place of peace. Fighting is done in the desert, but the oasis is an off-limits sanctuary. The reason for the oasis's neutrality is because of who populates it. The oasis is more often than not populated by women and children. Nevertheless, danger is coming to the oasis. It happens after Santiago has been there for a month. Santiago is out exploring the nearby desert when he sees two hawks. One hawk attacks the other, and Santiago envisions this to mean that an army is going to attack the oasis.
Santiago returns and tells the oasis leaders what he saw. They are not sure why this vision would have been given to Santiago, but they take his warning seriously and take precautions against a possible attack. The very next day, the oasis is invaded by a force of 500 men. Due to Santiago's warning, the people at the oasis are able to defend themselves and kill off the invading force for violating the sacred traditions of the oasis. The following day has Santiago receiving a reward for his help in saving the oasis. Santiago is given 50 pieces of gold and asked to be the counselor of the oasis.