This is a great story and an easy read!
The Pearl tells the story of a poor Mexican pearl diver named Keno, his wife, Juana, and the couple's infant son, Coyotito. The family lives in a poor fishing village, and has very little money. As the story begins, a scorpion sneaks into the crib of Coyotito and stings him. The family kills the intruder and immediately rushes the infant to see the town doctor, but the doctor turns them away because they are poor and of native descent.
Juana does what little she can to provide a makeshift home remedy and keep the child's infection from spreading, and Keno goes diving for pearls in hopes to find one that he can use to pay for the necessary treatment. While diving, Keno discovers a giant pearl -- "The Pearl of the World" -- and he is eager to sell it at the market the following day.
News of Keno's newfound fortune spreads all over the towns, and even though Keno refuses to sell the pearl at the markets (the pearl-buyers call his prize "a monstrosity" and offer him far less than what he perceives its value to be), Keno becomes the talk of his village. The once-dismissive doctor returns to check on the ailing Coyotito, and the money-hungry medic applies some sort of "treatment" that only serves to worsen the child's condition (and thus necessitate further treatment and guarantee future payment from the family's newfound fortune). That same night, an intruder breaks into Keno's home and attempts to steal the pearl.
Desperate to save their son but blinded by the perceived value of their pearl, Keno and Juana flee the town and head for the city under the cover of nightfall. As they attempt to flee, they find that their canoe has been destroyed. Keno becomes increasingly paranoid after killing a would-be robber; he physically assaults his wife when she suggests that the pearl is the cause of their plight, yet he forces the family to press onward as they are pursued by a posse of armed men as they make their journey high into the mountains.
Realizing that the posse will capture them and the pearl once their escape has proven fruitless, Keno stashes Juana and Coyotito in a nearby cave and ambushes the three armed men in the story's climax. While grappling with his pursuers, Keno triggers one of the men's rifles, and when the smoke clears, Keno realizes that he has inadvertantly killed his own child.
Heartbroken, Keno and Juana carry the bloody lump of their child's remains back into the fishing village before throwing the cursed pearl back into the waters from whence it came.