What happened to Kino up the beach through the brushline on the path in The Pearl?

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kino had decided to go into the big city to sell his pearl because he felt the local merchants were cheating him --- which they were.  He brings the pearl back to his home, but there are greedy men all around him.  He is attacked that night outside of their home before they go to sleep.  Juana begs him to throw the pearl back into the sea.  He tells her that he is the man of the household, and he will decide what to do with the pearl.  That night, Juana gets up and sneaks out of the house.  Her intent is to throw the pearl back into the sea.  Kino sees her and follows her.  Just as she is about ready to throw the pearl into the sea, he stops her and beats her.

"He struck her in the face with his clenched fist and she fell among the boulders, and he kicked her in the side." (pg 59)

He takes the pearl and this is where he goes through the brush line.  He hears someone in the brush, pulls out his knife, and feels his knife go home.  That means that he knifed whoever was out there. He felt it enter the body.  They knocked him to the ground and went through his clothes looking for the pearl.  However, the pearl had been knocked out of his hand and was laying behind a stone in the pathway. 

In the meantime, Juana gets up and heads toward the house.  Steinbeck spends some time explaining the relationship between a man and woman in this culture of theirs.  As she walks, she finds the pearl in the pathway and picks it up.  Then she sees two dark figures lying in the path. 

"......one was Kino, and the other a stranger with dark shiny fluid leaking from his throat." (pg 60) 

Juana realizes what has happened.  Kino has killed this man. It was a turning point in their lives. 

"All of the time, Juana had been trying to rescue something of the old peace, of the time before the pearl.  But now it was gone, and there was no retrieving it.  And knowing this, she abandoned the past instantly.  There was nothing to do but save themselves." (pg 61)

They decide they have to leave.  Kino knows that his explanation of being attacked will not be believed by the men in the town.  They must flee.  He tells Juana to go back to the house, pack up what they may need, get Coyotito, and meet him at the canoe.  However, when Kino gets to the canoe, he sees that his enemies have punched a big hole in it.