It was a dream so wild that only a very young man and a stupid one could dream it. And yet, as happens sometimes, the dream came true." With pride Ramon wrests the great black pearl from the cave of the Manta Diable, presents it to his father and hears it proclaimed the Pearl of Heaven; with pride he sees his father best the other local traders and give the pearl to the Madonna, our Lady of the Sea. But always there is the doubt implanted by the Indian fisherman: does the pearl belong to the manta, will he reclaim it? And then the fear...Ramon's father's fleet is lost in a storm no worse than many others with all hands save the boastful, greedy Sovillano. To propitiate the manta, Ramon steals the pearl from the madonna but the Sevillano intercepts him as he is returning it to the sea. During their flight--Ramon at knifepoint--the manta appears, and claims the Sevillano with his own death. At last, with love, Ramon replaces the pearl in the Madonna's outstretched hand. "...this new day was the beginning of manhood. It was not the day I became a partner in the House of Salazar nor the day I found the Pearl of Heaven. It was this day." A short novel with the aura of a legend, the intensity of a vision, the headlong force of stripped-down, Keyed-up fiction.