فصل 03

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 03

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter three

Kino Finds a Pearl

The little wooden houses of the fishing people were built near the beach, on the right of the town. There were canoes in front of the houses. Kino and Juana came slowly down the beach to Kino’s canoe. Kino’s canoe was the most valuable thing he owned. The canoe was very old. It had belonged to Kino’s father and grandfather in the old days. Now it belonged to Kino.

A canoe was valuable because a man could get food with it. If a man had a canoe, he could always give a woman something to eat. If a man had a canoe he did not need to fear hunger. Every year, Kino covered his canoe with plaster which his father had taught him to make. The plaster hardened on the outside of the canoe and made it strong and safe.

Now Kino came to the canoe. He laid his diving stone, his basket and ropes in the bottom of the canoe. Then he folded his blanket and laid it in the boat.

Juana laid Coyotito on the blanket. She put her shawl over him, so that the hot sun could not shine on him. Coyotito was quiet now. But the wound made by the scorpion’s sting was getting worse. Juana could see that the poison had gone up to his neck and under his ear. Coyotito’s face was red and hot.

Juana collected some brown seaweed and put it on the baby’s shoulder. Seaweed was as good a medicine as the doctor could have given to Coyotito. But because this medicine was simple and didn’t cost anything, people didn’t think it was much good.

The dangerous stomach pains had not come to Coyotito. Perhaps Juana had sucked out the poison in time, but she still worried about her first-born child. Juana had not prayed directly to God for Coyotito to get better. Instead, she had prayed that Kino might find a pearl. Then they would have money to pay the doctor.

Kino and Juana pushed the canoe down the beach, into the water. Juana climbed in and Kino pushed the back of the boat. Kino walked in the water beside the canoe until it floated on the little waves. Then Kino and Juana paddled the canoe forward. It moved quickly through the water. The other pearl fishermen had gone out to sea before Kino and Juana. In a few moments, Kino could see the fishermen in their boats above the oyster beds.

The oyster beds were very valuable because any oyster might have a pearl in it. Pearls are made by accident. A small piece of sand hurts the flesh of the oyster. The oyster then covers the piece of sand with smooth plaster. This plaster becomes hard like rock and turns into a pearl. If the oyster covers it again and again, the pearl becomes bigger and more valuable.

In the past, these oyster beds had made the King of Spain very rich. And because he was rich, he had become very powerful. The pearls from these oyster beds had helped the King of Spain to pay for his wars. Men have dived for oysters for centuries. They collect the oysters from the bottom of the sea and open them to look for pearls.

Kino had two ropes. One was tied to a heavy stone and the other was tied to a basket. Kino took off his shirt and trousers and put his hat in the bottom of the canoe. The water was as smooth as oil. Kino took his stone in one hand and his basket in the other. He put his feet over the side of the canoe and the stone pulled him down to the bottom of the sea. Bubbles came up behind Kino until the water cleared and he could see clearly. He looked up. The surface of the water was like a bright mirror and he could see the bottom of the canoe.

Kino moved carefully so that he did not fill the water with mud and sand. He put his foot on his stone. He worked quickly as he pulled the oysters away from the bottom of the sea.

Kino’s people sang songs about everything that had ever existed or happened. They sang songs about the fishes, about the angry sea and about the calm sea. They sang songs about the light and the darkness, and about the sun and the moon. Everyone knew these songs. As Kino filled his basket, he could hear the songs of the sea in his head. Kino was holding his breath and he could also hear his heart beating.

Little fish swam by and Kino thought of another song. This song was ‘The Song of the Pearl that Might Be’, because every shell he threw into his basket might contain a pearl. It was not easy to find a pearl, but Kino might find one with luck and the help of God. Kino knew that Juana was praying in the canoe above him. Juana was praying very hard for Kino to be lucky. She wanted a large pearl because it would buy medicine for Coyotito.

Kino was young and strong. He was very proud that he could stay under the water for more than two minutes and collect the largest shells. The oyster shells were shut tight because Kino was moving them. A little to Kino’s right, there was a rocky little hill covered with young oysters that were not yet ready to be collected. Then, just near a little rock, Kino saw a very large oyster lying by itself.

The shell was partly open. Inside, Kino saw something shining, and then the shell shut quickly. Kino felt excited.

He pulled the oyster loose and held it tightly. He kicked his foot free from the stone. His body rose to the surface and his black hair shone in the sunlight. Kino put his arm over the side of the canoe and laid the oyster in the bottom.

Juana held the boat still as Kino climbed in. Kino’s eyes were shining with excitement as he slowly pulled up his stone. Then he pulled up his basket of oysters and lifted it in. Juana could see that Kino was excited. She pretended not to look at the large oyster. Juana always thought that if she wanted something too much, the luck might go away. Juana stopped breathing as Kino slowly opened his short, strong knife. He looked thoughtfully at the basket. Perhaps he should open the big oyster last. Kino took a small oyster from the basket, cut the flesh and searched inside. Then he threw the oyster back into the sea.

Then Kino looked at the big oyster. He sat in the bottom of the canoe, picked up the shell and looked at it for a long time. The oyster was shining black and brown. Now Kino felt that he did not want to open the oyster. The shine that he had seen inside might only be a little piece of shell. Under the water, a man could see many things that were not real.

Juana’s eyes were looking at Kino and she could not wait. She put her hand on top of Coyotito’s covered head.

‘Open it,’ she said softly.

Kino quickly pushed his knife into the shell. The shell tried to close, but Kino pushed hard and the shell fell open. The flesh of the oyster moved, then was still. Kino lifted the flesh and there lay a great pearl. The sunlight fell on the pearl and made it shine like silver. It was the largest pearl in the world.

Juana held her breath and made a little noise. ‘The Song of the Pearl’ was loud in Kino’s head. This shiny pearl would make all of Kino’s dreams come true. Kino picked the pearl out of the oyster and held it in his open hand. He turned the pearl over and saw that it was very beautiful. Juana looked at the pearl in Kino’s hand. That hand had hit the doctor’s gate. The broken flesh had turned grey and white in the sea water.

Without thinking, Juana went to Coyotito, who was lying on his father’s blanket. Juana lifted the seaweed and looked at Coyotito’s shoulder.

‘Kino,’ she cried suddenly.

Kino looked up and saw that the poison was going out of the baby’s shoulder. He saw that the poison was going out of Coyotito’s body. Then Kino’s hand closed over the pearl and he put back his head and cried out loudly. His eyes rolled and his body was stiff as he screamed towards the sky. The men in the other canoes looked up, surprised. Then they paddled quickly towards Kino’s canoe.

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