The Pearl Chapter 2
Kino and Juana return home and go out to gather pearls in Kino's canoe, the one valuable thing he owns. Kino's father and grandfather had handed that canoe down to him along with the secret way to refinish the plaster so that it remained sea worthy over the years. The canoe is his legacy, along with the ancient songs, and he is proud of it. He uses the canoe to hunt for pearls and provide for his family. When they go out onto the sea, Juana puts a seaweed poultice on Coyotito's shoulder.
Kino slips over the side of the canoe with the rope tied to a rock, which he will wrap around his ankle so that he doesn't float to the surface while he looks for pearls. There is another rope tied to a basket so that he can put the oysters in the basket and pull them up to the boat when he's finished diving. Under the water, he can hear the Song of the Pearl that Might Be as he gathers oyster shells and puts them into the basket. For centuries men had dived to the depths of the sea hoping that one of the shells will have gathered a grain of sand and coated it smooth with its cement secretions to make a valuable pearl. "But the pearls were accidents, and the finding of one was luck, a little pat on the back by God or the gods both." Chapter 2, pg. 22 While Kino dives, Juana prays that he will find a great pearl so that they can afford the doctor's treatment for Coyotito. Kino knows that above him, in the canoe, Juana is praying, trying to force the luck he needs to find the pearl.
In the shadowy water he sees a large shell sitting alone and as he approaches it; the shell closes, but not before he catches a glimmer within it. He goes to the surface with the shell in his hand. He brings the basket up behind him and begins opening the smaller shells. He isn't certain of what he saw within the oyster -- it could have been little more than a reflection of light. He is wary of getting his hopes up because "[i]n this Gulf of uncertain light, there were more illusions than realities." Chapter 2, pg. 25 He doesn't want to tempt Fate by being too eager because wanting something too much pushes the luck away. Kino knows that a certain amount of tact is required with God or the gods, but he can't wait anymore. He opens the shell and in it is the Pearl of the World. It is a round, perfect pearl like a gull's egg, and in it Kino can see dream forms hovering. Juana looks at Coyotito and sees that the swelling in his shoulder has gone down, and when she shows Kino, he howls out his emotion on the sea. The sound startles the other fishermen, and they speed toward Kino's canoe.