Kino, who is a pearl diver, lives with his wife, Juana, and their son, Coyotito. They live in a brush house on a beach on the outskirts of a predominantly white town. They are a very poor family that live next to more people like them.
While the family was in the house, there was a scorpion that was above Coyotito. Then Juana and Kino were trying to get the scorpion away from his. But Coyotito shook the rope that the scorpion was on so it fell on him and stung him.
Because of the scorpion bite, they were desperate for help, so they go into town and try to get the selfish doctor to help their baby. They speak to the doctor's servant who then asks them if they have money. When Kino shows him the 8 flattened pearls, the servant tells them the doctor isn't in right now.
Since he was declined by the doctor for not having enough money, Kino goes diving to hopefully get a expensive pearl. And he ends up getting really lucky and finding "The Pearl of the World" and it should be worth a lot he says.
Because of the news of the pearl spread so fast, the doctor heard about it now he wants to help Coyotito again. But it is pretty clear as to why he is trying to help all of the sudden. Kino still allows him to help his son, and get involved with his life.
During the night Kino was attacked by something, and Juana guesses it was because of the pearl. So Juana starts bringing up the thought of just getting rid of the pearl because it will bring a lot of evil to them. But Kino insists that he will sell it and they will be rich.