Santiago comes with the caravan to a huge oasis that is as large as a city. Multitudes of tents are spread among the fifty thousand date trees and three hundred wells.
After the caravan has been at the oasis for about a month, Santiago goes into the desert and is able to read the omen of the hawks. The omen says that the oasis is going to be attacked by fighting men. This doesn't make sense to Santiago, as oases are neutral places of peace, but the hawks' message is clear to him.
Santiago goes and warns the leaders of the oasis about the attack. They decide to listen to him when an old man counsels them to do so, but warn Santiago that if no attack comes, they will kill him.
Santiago is at peace about this. In fact, an attack does come, and because they are prepared, armed, and waiting, the men of the oasis are able to win the battle. As a reward for saving the oasis, Santiago is given fifty pieces of gold and invited to be a counselor for the oasis.
More important to Santiago than the reward of the gold is meeting the Alchemist. The Alchemist advises him not to stay at the oasis but to continue on his quest.