The Pearl

What happens in the mountains, and how does it change Kino's attitude toward the pearl? Why does he finally throw it back in the ocean?

Ch.6 The Pearl

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While hiding in the cave, Kino finds that the trackers are by the stream. So that he will not be seen, Kino takes off his white clothing and stealthily creeps near them as they rest. The trackers can hear Coyotito, but think that it is merely a coyote pup. As the tracker prepares to shoot what he thinks is a coyote, Kino approaches the trackers and pounces on them. He grabs one of the trackers' rifle and shoots him between the eyes, and stabs another with his knife. The third tracker escapes up the cliff toward the cave, but Kino shoots him. Kino stands silently and hears nothing but the cry of death. Coyotito has been shot.

Kino and Juana arrive back in La Paz; he carries a gun while she carries her shawl with a limp, heavy bundle. Their return to La Paz becomes a notable event: "there may e some old ones who saw it, but those whose fathers and whose grandfathers told it to them remember it nevertheless. It is an event that happened to everyone." Juana appears hardened and tight with fatigue. Kino thinks of the Song of the Family, which has become his battle cry. As they return to La Paz, nobody speaks to them and even Juan Tomas cannot bear to say a word. Kino and Juana approach the gulf, and in the surface of the pearl Kino remembers seeing Coyotito lying in the cave with his head shot away. Kino throws the pearl into the ocean.