Book: the pearl, author: John Steinbeck
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The "prehistoric wonder?" The priest? The priest wondered if he had baptized the baby or married the couple because he had his eye on the worth of the pearl and certain repairs the money might help with.
"It came to the priest walking in his garden, and it put a thoughtful look in his eyes and a memory of certain repairs necessary to the church. He wondered what the pearl would be worth. And he wondered whether he had baptized Kino's baby, or married him for that matter."
The Pearl/ Chapter 3