Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Pearl: Chapter Summary 3

The news of the pearl travels fast through Kino’s small village. Before Kino and Juana return home, the news had already spread that Kino had found “The Pearl of the World,” as it comes to be known. The local priest learns, as well as the doctor who refused to treat Coyotito. When the doctor learns, he tells the patient that he is treating that he must treat Coyotito for a scorpion sting. All manner of people grow interested in Kino, and the news stirs up something infinitely black and evil. The pearl buyers consider how they might deal with Kino and offer him the lowest possible price.

However, Kino and Juana do not know the anger and bitterness they have engendered. Juan Tomas asks Kino what he will do now that he has become rich, and Kino answers that he and Juana will be married in the church. Kino envisions how he will be dressed, and sees Coyotito in a yachting cap and sailor suit from the United States. Kino then imagines buying a rifle. Thinking of the rifle breaks down barriers for Kino, as he imagines the whole lot of things that he might have. He thinks that Coyotito will go to school and learn to read. He claims that “my son will make numbers, and these things will make us free because he will know‹he will know and through him we will know.”

The priest visits Kino and Juana, and tells them that he hopes that they will remember to give thanks and to pray for guidance. The doctor also visits, and although Kino tells him that Coyotito is nearly well, the doctor claims that the scorpion sting has a curious effect that comes later and if he is not treated he may suffer blindness or a withered leg. Not sure whether or not the doctor is telling the truth, Kino nevertheless lets him see the baby. The doctor takes a bottle of white powder and a gelatin capsule, and gives Coyotito a pill. The doctor tells them that the medicine may save the baby from pain, but he will come back in an hour to check on him. After the doctor leaves, Kino wraps the pearl in a rag and digs a hole in the dirt floor where he conceals the pearl.

When the doctor returns, he gives Coyotito water with ammonia and tells Kino that the baby will get well now. Kino tells the doctor that he will pay him once he has sold his pearl. The neighbors tell the doctor that Kino has found the Pearl of the World and will be a rich man. The doctor suggests that Kino keep the pearl in his safe, but Kino says that he has it secure. The doctor realizes that Kino will likely look to the place where it is stored, and sees his eyes move to the corner where he had buried it. After the doctor leaves again, Juana asks Kino whom he fears, and he answers (‘Everyone.’)

That night, Kino thinks that he hears noises in his hut. He grabs his knife and strikes out in the dark. The person scurries out. Juana tells Kino that the pearl is evil and will destroy them. She tells him to throw it away or break it, for it will destroy them. Kino says that the pearl is their one chance, and that the next morning they will sell the pearl.

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