فصل 06

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 06

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter six

Kino Tries to Sell the Pearl

In the early morning, everyone knew that Kino was going to sell his pearl. Kino’s neighbours and the fishermen from the little wooden houses knew. The shopkeepers knew about the pearl and people talked about it in church. The beggars knew that Kino was going to sell his pearl. The little boys were excited and the pearl buyers were excited too.

Each pearl buyer sat alone in his office. Each man played with a few pearls and thought about Kino. When someone wanted to sell a pearl, the buyers became very excited. The happiest pearl buyer was the buyer who bought pearls for the lowest prices. And all the buyers knew the price that they were going to offer Kino.

The sun was hot and yellow that morning. The canoes lay in a line on the beach, but the fishermen did not go out diving for pearls. They wanted to see Kino sell his pearl.

In the little wooden house by the sea, Kino’s neighbours sat eating their breakfasts for a long time. They talked about the things they would do if they found the pearl. One man said that he would give all the money to the Church. Another man said that he would give all the money to the poor people in the town.

The neighbours hoped that the money would not change Kino. They hoped that Kino would not become greedy. All the neighbours liked Kino and they did not want the pearl to destroy him.

‘Kino has a good wife,’ said the neighbours, ‘and a beautiful baby. Kino and Juana will have more babies in the future. We hope that the pearl will not destroy them all.’

For Kino and Juana, this morning was the most important morning of their lives. Coyotito was dressed in his best clothes. Juana combed her hair and tied the ends with two little bows of red ribbon. Then Juana put on her marriage skirt. Kino’s clothes were old, but clean. This was the last day that Kino would wear old clothes. Tomorrow, or perhaps this afternoon, Kino would have new clothes.

The neighbours were dressed and ready, too. They were watching Kino’s door. They were waiting for Kino and Juana to leave the house. Kino and Juana wanted the neighbours to come to the town, to watch Kino sell the pearl. Kino and Juana wanted their friends with them on this important day.

Juana put on her shawl carefully. She wrapped Coyotito in one end of the shawl so that the baby hung under her arm. Kino put on his big straw hat. He made sure that the hat was in the right place. Kino did not want the hat on the back or on the side of his head, like an unmarried man. He did not want the hat to be flat on his head, like an old man, either. Kino wanted the hat to be lifted a little at the front, to show that he was young and strong. People can tell many things by the way a man wears his hat.

Then Kino wrapped the great pearl in an old, soft piece of animal skin and put it in a little leather bag. He put the leather bag in his pocket. Kino folded his blanket over his left shoulder, and then he was ready.

Kino stepped out of the house. Juana followed, carrying Coyotito. As Kino and Juana walked up the little street towards the town, the neighbours came out of their houses. Many people and children came out of their houses. But because the day was so important, only one man walked with Kino. That was Kino’s brother, Juan Tomas.

‘You must be careful that the buyers do not cheat you,’ Juan Tomas said.

‘I shall be very careful,’ Kino replied.

‘How can we know what is a fair price?’ asked Juan Tomas. ‘We do not know the price that the buyers give in other towns.’

‘That is true,’ Kino answered, ‘but how can we know? We are here and we are not in the other towns!’

‘Before you were born, Kino,’ he said, ‘the old people thought of a way to get more money for their pearls. The old people thought that if they paid a man to take all the pearls to the capital, he would get a better price.’

‘I know,’ Kino said, nodding his head. ‘The idea was good.’

‘The old people found a man to go to the capital,’ Juan Tomas said. ‘They gave all the pearls to the man and he went to the capital. But he never came back. Then they found another man and he went with the pearls and never came back. In the end, the people returned to the old way of selling pearls.’

‘I know,’ Kino said. ‘I have heard our father talk about it. The idea was good, but it was against the teaching of the church. The priest said that each man and woman has been sent by God to guard some part of the world. We must all stay in our place and must not leave.’

‘I have heard the priest say that,’ Juan Tomas said. ‘The priest says that every year.’

Kino had listened to the priest for many years. But the priest, like the doctor, was a man of a different race to Kino’s people. This race had robbed and cheated Kino’s people for hundreds of years. Kino listened to what the priest said, but in his heart he did not believe him.

The line of people going to the town was quiet. The people knew that the day was very important. The neighbours did not allow their children to run or scream or play about. The day was so important that one old man came riding on his nephew’s shoulders.

The line of people left the little wooden houses and came to the town. In the town, the streets were a little wider and there were narrow pavements beside the houses. As before, the beggars stood up and followed the people past the church. The shopkeepers closed their shops as their customers ran out to follow the crowd. The sun shone down on the streets and even the smallest stones made shadows on the ground.

The news of the crowd came to the pearl buyers in their dark little offices.

The offices had bars over the windows and were dark inside because the windows were very small. The buyers got ready for Kino. They put papers on their desks so that they could be at work when Kino came. The buyers put away their pearls, because a big pearl looked more valuable beside small pearls. The buyers knew that Kino’s pearl was very big.

A fat man sat waiting in an office. The man’s face looked kind and friendly. He was a man that said, ‘Good morning!’ to everyone. He always shook hands and told jokes. He always said nice things to please people, but he was not an honest man. This morning, the man had put a flower in a vase. He had put the vase beside the black cloth on his desk. He had shaved carefully and his hands were clean.

The buyer’s door was open and he sang quietly as he played with a coin. The man played with the coin between his fingers while he looked out of the door. He could hear the sound of feet coming. When Kino came in the door, the buyer quickly put the coin under the desk.

‘Good morning, my friend,’ the fat man said. ‘What can I do for you?’

Kino had just come out of the bright sun and he could not see clearly in the dark office. The buyer still smiled, but his eyes had become hard. Under the desk, the buyer’s left hand still played with the coin.

‘I have a pearl,’ Kino said.

Juan Tomas stood beside Kino and the neighbours were looking through the door. Some little boys were looking through Kino’s legs.

‘You have a pearl,’ the buyer said. ‘Sometimes a man brings me a dozen pearls. Let me see your pearl. I will value the pearl and give you a fair price.’ And the buyer’s fingers played faster and faster with the coin under the desk.

Kino slowly brought out the leather bag. He slowly took the soft piece of animal skin from the bag. Then, Kino put the great pearl onto the buyer’s piece of black cloth. Kino looked at the buyer’s face. The face did not change, but under the desk the buyer’s fingers missed the coin and it dropped silently onto the floor. The buyer’s right hand then touched the pearl on the black cloth. The buyer picked the pearl up between his fingers and looked at it closely.

Kino and his neighbours stopped breathing. The other people spoke very quietly.

‘He’s looking at the pearl,’ they said. ‘He has not said the price yet. They have not spoken about the price.’

The buyer put the pearl back on the black cloth. He pushed the pearl with his finger and smiled sadly.

‘I’m sorry, my friend,’ he said, and he lifted his shoulders a little, to show that he could do nothing.

‘The pearl is very valuable,’ Kino said.

The buyer’s fingers pushed the pearl, so that it went from one side of the cloth to the other side.

‘This pearl is too big,’ the buyer said. ‘Who would buy it? No one would buy such a pearl. I’m sorry.’

Kino did not understand.

‘It is the greatest pearl in the world! Kino said. ‘No one has ever seen such a pearl!’

‘The pearl is big and interesting, but it is not valuable,’ the buyer said. ‘Perhaps I can give you a thousand pesos.’

Kino’s face became dark and dangerous.

‘The pearl is worth fifty thousand pesos,’ he said. ‘You know that is true and you want to cheat me!’

The buyer heard the people talking when they heard his price and the buyer felt a little afraid.

‘I’m only one buyer,’ the fat man said quickly. ‘Go and ask the other buyers. Go to their offices and show your pearl to them. Or let the other buyers come here. Then you can see that we are not working together. Boy!’

The buyer’s servant looked through the back door.

‘Boy,’ the buyer shouted, ‘go to the other buyers. Ask the other buyers to come in here, but do not tell them the reason. Just say that I would be pleased to see them.’

The fat man put his hand under his desk and he began to play with a coin between his fingers again.

Kino’s neighbours talked quietly together. They had been afraid that something was wrong with the pearl. The pearl was big, but it had a strange colour. The neighbours had thought about the colour from the moment that Kino had found the pearl. A thousand pesos was not a bad price. A thousand pesos was a lot of money for a man who had no money at all. If Kino took the thousand, he would have a thousand more than before. Only yesterday Kino had nothing.

But Kino’s face was hard and his lips were tight. Kino felt as if wild animals were all around him. He felt that everything was bad and that he was in danger. The great pearl shone on the black cloth and the buyer could not stop looking at it.

The people in the door stood back to let the three other buyers come in. The crowd was silent because the people wanted to see and hear everything. Kino was silent and careful. He felt someone pulling his shirt and he turned and looked into Juana’s eyes. When Kino looked away, he felt strong again.

The buyers did not look at each other. They did not look at the pearl. The fat man spoke.

‘I have given this man a price for this pearl,’ he said. ‘He does not think that my price is a fair price. I ask you to look at this - this thing - and give a price.

‘Notice,’ the fat man said to Kino. ‘I have not told them my price.’

The first buyer was a thin little man. He looked at the pearl and took it between his fingers. Then he threw the pearl back on the black cloth.

‘I will not give a price for this,’ he said. ‘I do not want it. This is not a real pearl!’

The second buyer was a little man with a soft voice. He took the pearl and looked at it carefully. The man took a glass from his pocket and looked at the pearl again. Then he laughed softly.

‘Better pearls are made of plaster,’ he said. ‘I know these things. This pearl is soft and it will lose its colour in a few months. Look.’

The man gave the glass to Kino. Kino had never seen a pearl through a glass before and he thought that his pearl looked very strange.

The third buyer took the pearl from Kino’s hands.

‘I know a man who likes such things,’ the buyer said. ‘I will give you five hundred pesos. Perhaps I can sell it to that man for six hundred.’

Kino quickly took the pearl from the third buyer. Kino placed the pearl in the piece of animal skin and put it in the little bag. The fat man behind the desk spoke.

‘I’m a fool,’ he said, ‘but I will still give you one thousand pesos.’

Kino put the little bag into his pocket.

‘What are you doing?’ the fat man asked.

‘You are cheating me!’ Kino said angrily. ‘My pearl is not for sale here. I will go to the capital.’

The buyers looked at each other quickly. The buyers knew that their prices were not high enough. They also knew that the rich buyer would be angry if they did not get the pearl. The fat man at the desk spoke again.

‘Perhaps I could give you fifteen hundred pesos,’ he said.

But Kino was pushing his way through the crowd. Kino’s blood was beating in his ears as he pushed through the crowd and walked angrily away.

Juana ran after Kino down the street.

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