Across the horizon: the rising sun and endless possibilities
 
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Studyworld Studynotes
\Studyworld\ Studyworld Studynotes \ Pearl, The (preview):
Chapter 4 - 2

The crowd whispers in fear. The pearl is large in size, but it has a strange color about which everyone worried. After all, a thousand pesos was quite a lot of money to a poor family. That's a thousand pesos Kino would not have had otherwise. Kino had grown hard. He could tell that buyers were trying to cheat him, and he could see their predetory nature. An evil tune played in Kino's head, and he does not take his eyes off of the great pearl on the velvet tray.


Three pearl dealers walk through the door, and the crowd again quiets down. The first dealer picks the pearl up once, and then casts it right back down. He does not want a pearl of such monstrous size. He will make no offer. The second dealer, with a shy voice examines the pearl and laughs to himself. He claims that he has seen better pearls made out of paste. He believes that the color will die quickly. The third dealer offers only five hundred pesos. Kino quickly grabs the pearl, wraps it back up in the deerskin and puts it back in his shirt pocket. The original dealer reiterates his original offer of one thousand, but Kino lashes out. He will not be cheated. He will not sell his pearl here. The buyers glance quickly to each other, and they realize their mistake. The buyer yells that he will go to fifteen hundred, but it is too little, too late. Kino pushes his way through the crowd as Juana follows.


In the evening, the neighbors all discuss the day in their own huts. Perhaps the dealers were right. After all, all four of them said independently that the pearl was of little value. They had not conferred with one another. Didn't the dealers know more about pearls than Kino? Perhaps he should have taken the offer of fifteen hundred. That was a large sum of money, more than Kino had ever seen. Maybe he has angered the buyers and they will not want to deal with Kino ever again. Others said that Kino was brave to stand up for his rights.


Kino broods in the family brush hut. He buries the pearl in the ground again and covers it with his sleeping mat. He is afraid to go to the capital to sell the pearl. Kino has never been outside of La Paz. The capital is a thousand miles away over mountain and water. But he is determined. He will sell the pearl, even if he has to travel to a far off city unknown to him.


Juana's evening routine is unchanged. She watches Kino carefully as she bathes and nurses Coyotito then makes the supper corncakes. Juan Tomas gravely enters the hut. Kino turns to his older brother for advice, but he does not know what to say. He is afraid for Kino. Not only has he angered the local pearl buyers, but even if he sells the pearl for a large sum, he has never been a rich man. Juan Tomas fears that his brother does not know this new road to riches. Kino must leave the town. He is determined to give Coyotito a better life.


Juan Tomas leaves the hut, and Kino is instantly overcome by sleep after the long, emotional day. The evil song continues to play in his head. Kino can hear the birds and cats outside, the waves crashing on the beach. Juana worries about her husband. She, too, can hear the Song of Evil. She tries to fight it off by humming a soothing song to herself and to Coyotito.


Kino does not ask for dinner. He is entranced in the evil song. Kino reaches into his shirt and grabs his knife. Eyes wide, he walks to the door of the hut. Juana moves to stop him, but she is frozen in fear. She hears a struggle outside and puts Coyotito down. She runs out toward the commotion, but it is too late. Kino lies on the ground, rising only with Juana's assistance. The evil is all around them. Blood pours down from Kino's head and face. Juana wipes the blood away with her skirt and washes the cut on his face with water. She tries to convince Kino that the pearl is evil. She wants to destroy it before it destroys their family. She wants to throw it back into the ocean. Kino insists that they fight. He will give his son a chance at a better life. The evil will not steal their good fortune. In the morning, they will begin their journey to the capital. Juana protests, but Kino's commanding voice silences her. The two go back into the hut to get a few hours of sleep before their long expedition.

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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4 - 1
Chapter 4 - 2


 

 



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