The story starts off with Kino waking in the dark of very early morning. There are roosters and pigs outside, and he lives in a brush house, so we know we're dealing with someplace rural. Kino looks over at Juana, his wife, and his son Coyotito who is sleeping in a hanging box.
The scorpion stings coyotito.
Kino and Juana walk slowly down the beach to Kino's canoe, the one thing of value that he owns. ... Kino and Juana get into the canoe so that Kino can find pearl oysters that may pay for the treatment for Coyotito.
Kino is about to go into the sea to get the pearl.
A thief comes in the night to steal the pearl and Kino confronts him.
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