Before Kino and Juana return to their brush house, the entire community has heard news of The Pearl of the World. The news travels to the priest who immediately thinks of the repairs of the church the pearl could fix. Shopkeepers in town hear of the pearl, and they wait to serve Kino and his newfound fortune. When the news reaches the doctor, he is treating an old woman who is succumbing to age, though he attempts to treat her in order to extract money. The doctor, too, pictures the wealth that the pearl will bring him as he tells the woman that he is treating Kino's baby for a scorpion bite.
The men who sit in offices and buy pearls from local divers learn of the special pearl, too. They each haggle individually to con the seller into a very low price, but they must be careful that they do not offer a price so low that the disappointed seller donates the pearls to charity. In fact, the buyers do not work independantly. They collude on a price and then use it to the sellers disadvantage. The village's greed is black and evil. Unbeknownst to Kino and Juana, it has swollen just like the poisonous venom that came from the scorpion.
To Kino, the pearl was warm and alive, accompanying the comforting family song in beautiful harmony. Squatting in the brush hut with Kino's family and many neighbors, Juan Tomas asks his brother what he will do now that he is a rich man. Kino responds that he and Juana will be married properly, in a church. They will buy new clothes, and he pictures Coyotito in a fresh blue sailor suit from the United States. In his daydreaming, Kino also lists a new iron harpoon with a rifle. But most importantly, Kino says with conviction, "My son will go to school. My son will read and open books, and my son will write and will know writing. He will know and through him we will know." This speech is the most Kino has ever spoken at one time, emphasizing the importance of the matter. All of the neighbors remark this emotional transformation of Kino's into nearly a state of madness. He is determined to make a better life for Coyotito.
The priest approaches as the sun has set. The graying, aging man who treats the poor like children, speaks to Kino, reminding him to remember the church and give thanks when he is a rich man. Kino can sense evil in the priest as he walks away toward the village. The neighbors retire to their own brush houses and Juana begins dinner by preparing beans over the fire. Kino senses danger; he suddenly feels unprotected under an intangible attack.
The rich doctor and the servant from the gate are at the door. The doctor offers to see the child now. Kino points out that the baby appears better now, but the doctor warns that a scorpion bite may appear benign right before it becomes fatal. Unwilling to take a chance with the child's life, Kino brings the doctor inside the hut. The doctor examines the baby and determines that the poison is festering inside because the child's eyeball appears a bluish color. He gives Coyotito medicine in order to catch the poison in time before it strikes. The doctor says he will return in an houe to check on the baby. In the meantime, Kino wraps the pearl in a rag and buries it in the dirt floor of the hut.
Kino and Juana eat dinner while the other families talk about the wondrous event over their own dinners. Suddenly, Juana calls out to Kino. The baby's face has become red and swollen with saliva dribbling out of his little mouth. His stomach muscles spasmed; indeed the child became very sick. The news spread throughout the brush houses, and went to support the couple. The doctor adds three drops of ammonia into a cup of water and pours it down the baby's throat. The baby eventually relaxes and falls asleep in Juana's arms, exhausted from the vomiting. The doctor announces his victory over the poison and then quickly asks Kino for payment. Kino tells him that he has a good pearl that he will sell tomorrow so he will receive payment then. The sneaky doctor offers to hold the pearl for Kino in his personal safe, but Kino declines the offer. After everyone returns home and they are alone again, Kino recovers the pearl and buries it again underneath his sleeping mat. Kino abruptly fears everybody and grows hard in protection of the pearl.
That night, in a dream, Kino pictures Coyotito reading a book, but he bolts awake overcome by fear. Kino senses evil in their presence and Juana wakes up, too. He hears footsteps outside the hut and fingertips scratching at the dirt. Rage overtakes Kino as he reaches for the knife hanging on a string around his neck. Kino plunges forward with the weapon and felt it penetrate cloth before he feels a smash on his own head. Blood runs down Kino's forehead as the stranger runs away. Juana cries out in terror, but Kino is alright. Juana tends lights a candle and tends to his wounds. She wants to get rid of the pearl. It will only cause them pain and suffering. Kino will not have it. He will see his son go to school. Juana warns that it will destroy them all, but Kino hushes her. In the distance, the roosters crow to signify the dawn. Kino digs up the pearl smiles. The day begins full of hope for the family.
Browse all Studyworld Studynotes|
Chapter 4 - 1
Chapter 4 - 2