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Steinbeck begins the chapter with the reactions of the people of La Paz, who propose what they might do if they were to find a pearl of such great value. Their reactions reveal a sense of animosity toward Kino, for the great plans for charity that these people suggest contrast with the seemingly self-interested ideas that Kino proposed in the previous chapter. This is important to show the undercurrent of criticism for Kino. Steinbeck suggests the jealousy that people have for his good fortune. Additionally, the idealistic and charitable ideas that people propose reveal a simplistic attitude toward receiving such a great fortune; as Steinbeck has shown and will continue to show, Kino and Juana do not face easy decisions with regard to their newfound fortune, and in fact may be in serious danger.
That night, the townspeople argue whether Kino should have accepted the money, which was still more than he would have ever seen. Kino buries the pearl again that night, and remains terrified at the world around him. Juan Tomas tell Kino that he has defied not only the pearl buyers, but the whole structure of life, and he fears for his brother. Juan Tomas warns him that he treads on new ground. Juan Tomas reminds Kino that his friends will protect him only if they are not in danger, and tells him "Go with God" before he departs.