From all this saddening data
Brother Juniper contrived an index for each peasant.
He added up the total for victims
and compared it with the total for survivors,
to discover that the dead were five times more worth saving.
It looked almost as though the pestilence had been directed
against the really valuable people in the village of Puerto.
And on that afternoon
Brother Juniper took a walk along the edge of the Pacific.
He tore up his findings and cast them into the waves;
he gazed for an hour upon the great clouds of pearl
that hang forever upon the horizon of that sea,
and extracted from their beauty a resignation
that he did not permit his reason to examine.
The discrepancy between faith and the facts
is greater than is generally assumed.