After walking with great ceremony to the office of the pearl dealer, followed by a procession of other peasants, Kino steps into the dimly-lit office of the pearl dealer. When Kino pulls out his pearl, the dealer "poked and insulted it" and then sadly tells Kino that the pearl has little value as it is so large that it can only be a curiosity. However, Kino's instincts tell him that there is something sinister transpiring:
....He felt the creeping of fate, the circling of wolves, the hover of vultures. He felt the evil coagulating about him, and he was helpless to protect himself. He heard in his ears the evil music. And on the black velvet the great pearl glistened, so that the dealer could not keep his eyes from it.
Even when other dealers are summoned, they, too, disparage the pearl; in fact, one dealer says that the pearl is soft and chalky. As he offers Kino the magnifying glass and demonstrates how to use it, Kino, who has no experience with looking at a pearl's surface so magnified, is "shocked at the strange-looking surface." Nevertheless, he snatches back the pearl from the dealer's hand, thrusting it inside his shirt. A dealer offers him fifty more pecos than the first price, but Kino cries, "I am cheated....My pearl is not for sale here. I will go; perhaps even to the capital."
Kino realizes that he is against the wealthy dealers, "the wolves" who refuse to acknowledge the pearl'sl beauty so that they may cheat him. Still, when he looks at the "strange-looking surface of the pearl," Kino fears that the pearl may be flawed, not understanding at what he looks. For, real pearls under magnification possess this scaly, maze-like surface. Poor Kino's ignorance works against him, along with the "vultures" and "wolves" who would prey upon him, the pearl dealers.