setting for The Black Pearl is described in chapter one. The setting
was in the town of La Paz, Mexico that is on the Baja Peninsula. It
is near the town of Baja California. They mysterious creature, the
Manta Diablo, is a frightening creature that the mothers in La Paz
use to threaten their children so that they will behave. Ramon, the
main character, has a birthday and becomes interested in diving for
pearls. He especially wants to find a black one that he can use to
show one of his father's divers that he is brave and useful.
Ramon turned 16 years old his father made him part of his pearling
business. His father doesn't think that Ramon is strong or big enough
to go diving for pearls on the pearling ships, so he has to work in
his father's office. In chapter 2 Ramon's father teaches him how to
care for, weigh, and look for flaws in the pearls that the divers
this chapter Ramon is sailing with the fleet. An Indian man, called
The Sevillano, works for Ramon's father and is sailing on the same
boat as Ramon. The Sevillano brags about the places that he has been
and the adventures he has had. Most of the things that he brags on
are lies. The Indian boy picks on Ramon because he is small and weaker
than the rest of the divers. Ramon's father tells him to ignore the
Sevillano who calls Ramon names and embarasses him. Ramon and his
father are annoyed with the Sevillano.
birthday was four days ago. He was sitting in his father's pearl shop
when he noticed that a red canoe was coming toward the beach. The
canoe belonged to an Indian named Soto Luzon who often sold pearls
to Ramon's father. Soto Luzon always brought high quality pearls to
sell. On this trip he brought a special pearl. Ramon questioned Luzon
about the pearl that he had brought in and was curious about where
it came from. Ramon begins to form a plan in his mind and he convinces
Soto Luzon to teach him how to dive for pearls in the lagoon near
his village. Ramon dreamed about making the Sevillano sorry that he
had ever teased him.
and Soto Luzon climbed into the boat and paddled all night to Luzon's
home. They had to work hard to paddle against the ocean's strong current.
Ramon felt a little uneasy as they paddled past the spooky hills that
surrounded the lagoon where Soto Luzon lived. The lagoon made Ramon
afraid especially when he found out that the Manta Diablo lived in
a cave at the mouth of the lagoon. Ramon wondered if Soto Luzon was
afraid too and found out that he was not afraid of El Diablo. Soto
Luzon was not afraid of the Manta Diablo because of the pact that
his father had made with the creature. Soto Luzon kept the same pact
and the Manta Diablo left him alone. Soto Luzon began teaching Ramon
how to dive.
four days of teaching by Soto Luzon, Ramon went diving by himself.
He had trouble finding the cave because a creepy thick red haze hung
over the lagoon. Soto Luzon told Ramon that if he fished for pearls
in the cave he would have to do it alone. Soto Luzon was afraid to
go into the cave since it was guarded by a friend of the Manta Diablo
who would tell if anyone went in the cave and dove for pearls. Ramon
took one giant oyster and laughed when Soto Luzon said that the Manta
Diablo probably wouldn't be angry for him taking just one. Ramon pried
open the giant oyster and found a huge black pearl. Soto Luzon was
excited and afraid. He was sure that the Manta Diablo would find out
that Ramon had taken the pearl from his cave. Luzon refused to even
touch the black pearl, the Pearl of Heaven. It was so large that it
filled Ramon's cupped hand.