Book: the pearl, author: John Steinbeck
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The author compares the news traveling through town to a scorpion.
"The news stirred up something infinitely black and evil in the town; the black
distillate was like the scorpion, or like hunger in the smell of food, or like loneliness when love is withheld. The poison sacs of the town began to manufacture venom, and the town swelled and puffed with the
pressure of it."
The Pearl/ Chapter 3