That night, Kino is attacked by more thieves, and Juana once again reminds Kino that the pearl is evil.However, Kino vows that he will not be cheated, for he is a man.Kino dives for oysters from his canoe, attempting to find pearls.
It is the story of the Mexican Indian pearl diver Kino and his family who live a primitive lifestyle in a brush house in a village in La Paz, Mexico.
Although poor, the family live a content and peaceful life up until their son is poisoned by a scorpion and needs medical attention that only people of great means can afford.
Juana and Kino, accompanied by their neighbors, go to see the local doctor, who refuses to treat Coyotito because Kino cannot pay.
Kino and Juana leave the doctors and take Coyotito down near the sea, where Juana uses a seaweed poultice on Coyotito's shoulder, which is now swollen.
Later that night, Juana attempts to take the pearl and throw it into the ocean, but Kino finds her and beats her for doing so.
While outside, a group of men accost Kino and knock the pearl from his hand.
Kino tells the doctor that he will pay him once he sells his pearl, and the doctor attempts to discern where the pearl is located (Kino has buried it in the corner of his hut).
That night, a thief attempts to break into Kino's hut, but Kino drives him away.
The doctor who refused to treat Coyotito decides to visit Kino.
Kino's neighbors begin to feel bitter toward him for his good fortune, but neither Kino nor Juana realize this feeling they have engendered.