فصل 05

مجموعه: کتاب های ساده / کتاب: مروارید / فصل 5

فصل 05

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter five

The Doctor Comes

While Kino was standing at the door, he saw two men coming. One of the men was carrying a light, which shone on the ground and on the man’s legs. The men came through the opening of Kino’s wooden fence and then came to the door. Kino saw that one of the men was the doctor and the other was the doctor’s servant.

‘I wasn’t at home when you came this morning,’ the doctor said. ‘When I heard about your baby, I came as quickly as I could.’

Kino stood in the door, with hate burning in his eyes. He was afraid again. He was afraid because the doctor’s race had beaten and robbed Kino’s race for hundreds of years.

‘The baby is nearly well,’ Kino said quickly.

The doctor smiled, but his eyes did not smile.

‘Sometimes, my friend,’ the doctor said, ‘a baby that has been stung by a scorpion - will begin to get better, then suddenly…’

The doctor made a little noise with his lips, to show how quickly death could come.

‘Sometimes,’ the doctor said again, ‘a sting will leave a thin leg, or a blind eye, or a bent back. Oh, I know about scorpion stings, my friend. I can make your baby better.’

Kino felt even more afraid. He did not know about scorpion stings. The doctor had read many books. Perhaps the doctor was right. Kino was angry at himself and at the doctor. He was angry at himself because he had not learnt to read books. He was angry at the doctor because the doctor knew this.

Kino did not know what to do. He felt sure that the doctor was telling lies. But he could not do anything which might be bad for his son, Coyotito. He stood back and let the doctor and the servant enter the little house.

Juana stood up from the fire as the doctor came in. Juana covered the baby’s face with her shawl. When the doctor went to her and held out his hands, Juana held the baby close to herself. She looked at Kino. The shadows from the fire were moving on his face. Kino nodded and Juana let the doctor take Coyotito.

‘Hold the light,’ the doctor said. The servant held the light high and the doctor looked at the wound in the baby’s shoulder. The doctor thought for a moment, then he pulled back the baby’s eyelid and looked at Coyotito’s eyes. The doctor nodded his head as the baby moved about in his arms.

‘I thought this would happen,’ the doctor said. ‘The poison has gone in and the baby will soon get worse. Come, look!’

The doctor looked into the baby’s eye. Kino looked and saw that the eye was a little blue. Kino did not know whether the eye was always blue or not. He did not know whether to believe the doctor or not. But there was nothing Kino could do.

The doctor took a little bottle of pills from his bag. Then he took Coyotito and pressed the baby’s lips until Coyotito opened his mouth. The doctor’s fat fingers put the pill far back on the baby’s tongue, so that Coyotito could not spit the pill out. Then the doctor took a jug of water and gave Coyotito a drink. The doctor looked again at the baby’s eyes and then gave Coyotito back to Juana.

‘I think that the poison will get worse in about an hour,’ the doctor said. ‘The medicine may save the baby. I will come back in an hour. Perhaps I am in time to save your son.’

The doctor took a deep breath and went out of the house. The servant followed with the light.

Juana held Coyotito under her shawl. She looked at the baby and she was worried and frightened. Kino came to her. He lifted the shawl and looked at his son. Kino moved his hand to look under the eyelid. Then he saw that the pearl was still in his hand. He went to a box by the wall, took a piece of cloth from the box and put the pearl in it. Then Kino went to a corner of the little house and made a little hole in the floor with his fingers. He put the pearl in the hole and covered it with dirt. Then Kino went to the fire where Juana was sitting.

At home, the doctor sat in his chair and looked at his watch. His servant brought him some chocolate and cakes. The doctor looked at the food, but he was not hungry.

In their houses, the neighbours talked about the pearl. They showed each other the size of the pearl. They told each other how beautiful the pearl was. The neighbours were watching to see how the pearl changed Kino and Juana. The neighbours all knew that the doctor had come because of the pearl.

It was a hot night. The thin little dog came to Kino’s door and looked in. The dog shook itself when Kino looked at it. When Kino looked away, the dog lay down. The dog did not enter the house, but it watched as Kino ate some food.

When Kino had finished his meal, Juana suddenly spoke.

‘Kino,’ she said.

Kino looked at Juana and then got up and went to her quickly. Kino could see that Juana was frightened. He stood over her and looked down. He could not see, because there was not enough light. Kino kicked some wood on the fire to make it burn. Soon he could see the baby’s face. Coyotito’s face was red and his lips were red. Suddenly, Coyotito’s throat and stomach moved and he was very sick.

‘So the doctor knew that the baby would be sick,’ Kino said.

Kino remembered the medicine and he was sure that the doctor had made Coyotito sick. Juana moved from side to side and sang a little song. She thought that the song would keep away the danger. Coyotito moved about in Juana’s arms and was suddenly sick again.

The doctor finished his chocolate and ate the little cakes. He brushed some little pieces of cake off his fingers and looked at his watch. Then he got up and took his bag.

The news about the baby’s illness went quickly from house to house. Illness, like hunger, was the enemy of poor people. Some people said softly, ‘Luck brings bad friends.’ They all nodded their heads and got up to go to Kino’s house. The neighbours walked quickly through the dark night until they were all in Kino’s house again. They stood and talked about this illness that had come at a time of happiness. The old women sat down beside Juana to try and comfort her.

‘All things are in God’s hands,’ they said.

The doctor came in, followed by his servant. The old women stood back quickly, as the doctor took the baby. The doctor then looked carefully at Coyotito and felt the baby’s head.

‘The poison is still there,’ the doctor said. ‘I think that I can make it go. I will do my best.’

The doctor asked for some water in a cup. He put some medicine in the cup and poured it into the baby’s mouth. Coyotito coughed and cried and Juana watched with frightened eyes. The doctor spoke a little as he worked.

‘It is lucky that I know about scorpion’s poison,’ he said.

Slowly, the baby stopped moving about in the doctor’s arms. Then Coyotito breathed deeply and went to sleep, because the sickness had made him very tired. The doctor gave the baby back to Juana.

‘He will get well now,’ the doctor said. ‘I have made him better.’

The doctor closed his bag and then spoke again.

‘When do you think that you can pay the bill?’ he asked.

‘I will pay you when I have sold the pearl,’ Kino replied.

‘Have you got a pearl, a good pearl?’ the doctor asked, with interest.

Then all the neighbours spoke together.

‘He has found the greatest pearl in the world,’ they said, and they showed the size of the pearl with their fingers.

‘Kino will be a rich man,’ the neighbours said. ‘No one has ever seen such a pearl.’

‘I had not heard about it,’ said the doctor, looking surprised. ‘Do you keep this pearl in a safe place?’ he asked. ‘Perhaps you would like me to look after it for you?’

Kino looked at the doctor with half-shut eyes.

‘I have put the pearl in a safe place,’ he said. ‘Tomorrow I will sell it, and then I will pay you.’

The doctor looked into Kino’s eyes. He knew that the pearl would be somewhere in the house. He thought that Kino might look towards the place where the pearl was.

‘It would be bad if the pearl was stolen before you could sell it,’ the doctor said. And he saw that Kino’s eyes looked quickly at the floor near the corner of the house.

When the doctor and the neighbours had gone, Kino sat by the fire and listened to the sounds of the night. Kino could hear the little waves on the beach and the barking of the dogs. He could hear the wind blowing through the roof and his neighbours talking in their houses. The fishermen do not sleep all night. They wake up from time to time, talk a little, then go to sleep again.

After a while, Kino got up and went to the door. He smelled the night air and listened for anyone coming. His eyes looked into the darkness because he was afraid. He was afraid that someone might come and steal the pearl. Kino went to the place in the corner where he had hidden the pearl. He took the pearl and brought it to his sleeping-mat. Kino made another little hole in the floor. He put his pearl in the hole and covered it up again.

Juana, who was sitting by the fire, watched Kino carefully.

‘Who are you afraid of?’ she asked.

‘Everyone,’ Kino replied.

After a while, Kino and Juana lay down together on the mat. Juana did not put Coyotito in his box that night. She held him in her arms and covered his face with her shawl. And the light went slowly out of the little fire.

But Kino was thinking while he was sleeping. He dreamt that Coyotito could read. In the dream he saw Coyotito reading from a book as large as a house. The letters in the book were as big as dogs. The dream ended and it was dark. Kino moved about on the mat. When Kino moved, Juana’s eyes opened in the darkness. Then, Kino woke up and lay in the darkness, listening.

From the corner of the house came a soft noise. Kino could hear someone moving. He stopped breathing so that he could listen. He knew that the man in his house had stopped breathing, too. Kino thought that perhaps he had been dreaming. But Juana’s hand touched him and he listened carefully. He heard the sound of breathing again. They could also hear the sound of someone’s fingers in the dry earth.

Kino was suddenly angry. His hand went slowly to his knife. Then he jumped like an angry cat towards the corner of the house, with his knife in his hand. He felt someone’s shirt and struck with his knife. He did not hit anything. Kino struck again and felt his knife going through the shirt. Then something hit Kino on the head. Kino’s head was suddenly full of pain and he heard someone running towards the door. Then there was silence. Kino could feel warm blood running down his face and he could hear Juana calling to him.

‘Kino! Kino!’ she cried.

Juana sounded very frightened.

‘I’m all right,’ Kino said. ‘He’s gone.’

Kino went slowly back to his sleeping-mat. Juana was already working at the fire. She found a piece of burning ash and some little pieces of wood. Juana blew on the fire and made the flames burn. Soon a little light danced through the house. Then Juana took a candle, lit it from the flames and put the candle near the fire. Juana worked quickly, crying a little as she moved about. She put the end of her shawl in some water and washed the blood from Kino’s head.

‘It’s nothing,’ Kino said, but his voice was hard and cold. Suddenly, Juana cried out.

‘The pearl is bad!’ she cried. ‘It will destroy us. Throw it away, Kino! Let’s break the pearl with a big stone. Let’s put the pearl in the ground. Let’s throw the pearl back into the sea!’

In the firelight, Juana’s lips and eyes looked very frightened. But Kino’s face did not look frightened now.

‘This is our one chance,’ he said. ‘Our son must go to school. Coyotito will not be a poor man. He will be free.’

‘The pearl will destroy us,’ Juana cried. The pearl will destroy our son, too.’

‘Be quiet!’ Kino cried. ‘In the morning, we will sell the pearl. Be quiet, wife!’

Kino’s dark eyes were angry as he looked into the little fire. His knife was still in his hands. Kino raised the knife and looked at it. He saw a little line of blood on it. Kino cleaned the knife by pushing it into the earth.

The morning wind blew on the water and through the trees. Little waves washed onto the sandy beach. Kino lifted up his sleeping-mat and found his pearl. He put the pearl in front of him and looked at it for a long time. The beauty of the pearl made Kino dream again. The pearl was so beautiful. The pearl would buy happiness for the future. The shining pearl would keep away illness and danger. Kino and Juana would never be hungry again.

As Kino looked at the pearl, the anger went out of his eyes and his face became softer. Juana looked at Kino and saw him smile. Juana smiled with him. And they began the new day with hope.

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