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I don't know if I would consider this strange. 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.