The Pearl Against the sky in the cave entrance Juana could see that Kino was taking off his white clothes for dirty and ragged, though, they would show up against the dark night. His own brown skin was a better protection for him.
And then she saw how he hooked his Amulet neck-string about the horn handle of his great knife, so that it hung in front of him, and left both hands free. Juana had given up her prayers of magic and tradition by this time. She felt them to be pointless after all she had been through. However she did whisper her hail Marys, against the black inhuman thing.
She looked down the cliff and could see, only the cigarette of the man with the rifle, and hear only the water, of the little spring. Then she heard something else, something stirring on the ground, near the water. It was one of the men. She knew only because she heard them talking. She could not make out what they were saying, but wondered if they were talking of Kino, who by now, was probably pretty far down the cliff.
Kino was nearly down the cliff now. He had been very quietly, slithering down the cliff, hearing nothing but his own footsteps, and the music of the enemy, which was getting louder as he got closer. He had turned his neck-string so that the great knife hung down from his back and could not clash the rock, because he knew that any sound, alien to nature, would get the watcher’s suspicion up, and he would be on his guard. Once he got to the bottom, it seemed to take forever for him to get close to the men. He stopped about twenty feet away from them when he heard them talking and moving.
One man was still sleeping, but the other was up talking with the watcher. Kino looked over the watcher. He was dressed in brown leather pants, and a nice shirt, all under a large black duster. The long clack coat ran all the way down to his black boots; He wore his cowboy hat low, over his eyes, so Kino couldn’t really see his face, above his big mustache. The man talking to the watcher walked off into the bush, out of sight. With one man still sleeping, the watcher sat, holding his rifle, staring into the horizon, where the moon would soon rise.
Kino knew that this may be his only chance before the moon rose and he would be seen by the man’s watchful eye. Silently, he drew the Amulet string over his shoulder and loosened the loop from the horn handle of his great knife. He was to late, for as he rose from his crouch, the silver edge of the moon slipped above the horizon and Kino knew that if the watcher turned his head at all, he would be seen for sure. Then, from above, came a little cry. The watcher quickly stood and listened. The cry came again; and when it did, the watcher cocked the rifle and fired.
The man the ground jumped up and Kino charged like an animal. Just before he leaped for the dark figure, the watcher heard Kino and swung the gun around and struck Kino. Kino fell to the ground and just as he was getting up, the watcher struck yet again with the butt end of the rifle. Kino motioned to get up again but realized that he was looking down the, long, dark shaft of the watcher’s rifle. A deep voice commanded Kino to hand over the great pearl. As Kino lay there, the music of anger and defeat raged in his head; but just as he motioned to hand over the pearl, the music of the pearl pounded his head and Kino plunged the great knife into the watcher.
As he fell, so did the rifle, which ended up in the hands of one of the trackers; who then fired the gun. Kino felt a very sharp pain before he fell to the ground. Although shot, Kino had not been mortally wounded. And as he stirred on the ground, the tracker took the great knife and the pearl. As he lifted the gun to finish Kino, the second tracker came from the brush, and brought the rifleman to the ground.
They fought hard for the pearl, for half of its value was not good enough for either man. Monuments later, the rifle went off, and one man fell from the cliff’s edge, while the other fell to the ground, and slowly died of a stab wound, from Kino’s great knife, which now lay at the cliff’s bottom. Kino took his pearl and ran up the cliff to the cave. It was a hard climb, for Kino had been shot in the shoulder.
As he climbed into the cave, he found Coyotito, lying in Juana’s dead arms. The baby was now starting to cry, oblivious to the fact that Juana had been wrongfully killed. Raged surged into Kino until his eyes flooded with tears, and grief replaced his anger. He took his son, and started down the cliff where he found his great knife, stained with the blood of many men.
Then he looked at his pearl as he put away his knife, and though about the people whose blood stained the pearl, and the pearl was ugly. Kino eventually made it to the capitol, where he found the people much to his liking. When doctors saw his wound, they healed him, at no charge. And a family who had seen him stumble into town took him in for the night.
The next day, he sold his pearl; and he sold it for fifty thousand. No amount of money would replace his wife or re-pay his hardships, or even replace a quiet morning, in front of his hut, hearing the music of the family, and the smell of corncakes. Kino’s son grew up to be a good, well-educated man. Kino told him many stories of the pearl, and Juana.
As time passed, they grew very close, and often visited the gulf, where Kino once lived.