the pearl

the pearl
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  • "Kino could see these things without looking at them. Juana sang softly an ancient song that had only three notes and yet endless variety of interval. And this was part of the family song too. It was all part. Sometimes it rose to an aching chord that caught the throat, saying this is safety, this is warmth, this is the Whole."
  • "Kino deftly slipped his knife into the edge of the shell. Through the knife he could feel the muscle tighten hard. He worked the blade lever-wise and the closing muscle parted and the shell fell apart. The lip-like flesh writhed up and then subsided. Kino lifted the flesh,and there it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon. It captured the light and refined it and gave it back in silver incandescence.It was as large as a sea-gull's egg. It was the greatest pearl in the world"
  • "In the pearl he saw how they were dressed- Juana in a shawl stiffwith newness and a new skirt, and from under the long skirt Kino couldsee that she wore shoes. It was in the pearl- the picture glowingthere. He himself was dressed in new white clothes, and he carried anew hat- not of straw but of fine black felt- and he too wore shoes-not sandals but shoes that laced. But Coyotitohe was the one- hewore a blue sailor suit from the United States and a little yachtingcap such as Kino had seen once when a pleasure boat put into theestuary. All of these things Kino saw in the lucent pearl and he said,"We will have new clothes."
  • Now Kino's face was perplexed and worried. "It is the Pearl of theWorld," he cried. "No one has ever seen such a pearl." "On the contrary," said the dealer, "it is large and clumsy. As acuriosity it has interest; some museum might perhaps take it toplace in a collection of seashells. I can give you, say, a thousandpesos." Kino's face grew dark and dangerous. "It is worth fifty thousand,"he said. "You know it. You want to cheat me
  • Quietly he tracked her, and his brain was red with anger.She burst clear out of the brush line and stumbled over the little boulders toward the water, and then she heard him coming and she broke into a run. Her arm was up to throw when he leaped at her and caught her arm and wrenched the pearl from her. He struck her in the face with his clenched fist and she fell among the boulders, and kicked her in the side.
  • Kino and Juana watched it go, winking and glimmering under the setting sun. They saw the little splash in the distance , and they stood side by side watching the place for a long time.
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