Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Pearl: Chapter Summary 6

As Kino and Juana travel northward, Kino feels a sense of exhilaration along with his fear. They walk all night and rest during the day so that they may not be found, and attempt to cover their tracks so that they cannot be followed easily. Kino warns Juana that “whoever finds us will take the pearl,” but Juana wonders whether the dealers were right and the pearl has no value. Kino says that they would not have tried to steal it if it were not valuable. Kino repeats what they will have once they sell the pearl: the church wedding, the rifle and education for Coyotito.

When they stop to rest during the day, Juana does not sleep and Kino stirs as he dreams. When they hear noises from the distance, Kino orders Juana to keep Coyotito quiet. While Juana hides, Kino moves through the brush to see what he heard, and notices in the distance three bighorn sheep trackers, one of whom is on horseback. Kino realizes that if the trackers find them, he must leap for the horseman, kill him and take his rifle. As the horseman passes by Kino, he does not notice him. Kino and Juana both realize that if the trackers find them, they will kill them to get the pearl.

Kino and Juana escape into the mountains, not bothering to cover their tracks. Kino orders Juana and Coyotito to leave him, for he can go faster alone, but she staunchly refuses. Kino and Juana take a zigzag path in order to thwart the trackers, and eventually find a small stream and the entrance to a cave. Kino tells Juana to hide in the cave, and he fears that Coyotito will cry, alerting the trackers.

While hiding in the cave, Kino finds that the trackers are by the stream. So that he will not be seen, Kino takes off his white clothing and stealthily creeps near them as they rest. The trackers can hear Coyotito, but think that it is merely a coyote pup. As the tracker prepares to shoot what he thinks is a coyote, Kino approaches the trackers and pounces on them. He grabs one of the trackers’ rifle and shoots him between the eyes, and stabs another with his knife. The third tracker escapes up the cliff toward the cave, but Kino shoots him. Kino stands silently and hears nothing but the cry of death. Coyotito has been shot.

Kino and Juana arrive back in La Paz; he carries a gun while she carries her shawl with a limp, heavy bundle. Their return to La Paz becomes a notable event: “there may be some old ones who saw it, but those whose fathers and whose grandfathers told it to them remember it nevertheless. It is an event that happened to everyone.” Juana appears hardened and tight with fatigue. Kino thinks of the Song of the Family, which has become his battle cry. As they return to La Paz, nobody speaks to them and even Juan Tomas cannot bear to say a word. Kino and Juana approach the gulf, and in the surface of the pearl Kino remembers seeing Coyotito lying in the cave with his head shot away. Kino throws the pearl into the ocean.

1 comment:

Nur Arifah Mohd Nazrin said...

What a sad ending!