Part One, Section 1

A shepherd named Santiago traveled with his sheep a year prior to sell wool to a merchant, whose daughter Santiago found entrancing. Now, Santiago daydreams about her and recalls the day he told his father he wanted to travel instead of becoming a priest. Suddenly, Santiago remembers that an old woman in the nearby village interprets dreams, so he decides to visit her.

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Section 2

The dream interpreter explains Santiago’s dream of a child transporting him to Egypt where he is destined to find a treasure near the pyramids. She says she will not charge Santiago for her service, so long as he shares some of the treasure with her when he finds it. Santiago leaves and is approached by an old man named Melchizedek. Melchizedek says he will tell him how to find the treasure.

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Section 3

Melchizedek tells Santiago about the Personal Legend, which represents what a person most desires to accomplish in their lifetime. After Santiago hands over some of his sheep, Melchizedek tells him that he will find his treasure.

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Section 4

When Santiago arrives in Africa, a young man robs him. The next day Santiago meets a crystal merchant who offers Santiago a job.

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Part Two, Section 5

Santiago offers to build the crystal merchant a display case to increase customer traffic, as well as suggesting that he sell tea, which brings the shop success. The merchant convinces Santiago to pursue his Personal Legend and make the trip through the desert to the pyramids.

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Section 6

On the caravan, Santiago meets an Englishman who hopes to learn from an alchemist resident in the desert. He tells Santiago about the governing prince of alchemy called the Soul of the World. Though Egypt remains far away, Santiago feels pleased not to travel in fear any longer, as the caravan reaches the oasis safely.

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Section 7

Santiago and the Englishman search for the alchemist’s tent without luck. Santiago falls in love with a woman named Fatima who tells them that the alchemist communicates with desert spirits and lives south of there. Santiago tells her about his Personal Legend. Fatima insists that he go to Egypt, and if they are truly meant to be together, they will meet again.

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Section 8

Santiago tells the tribal chieftains about his vision of the armies in the oasis. The tribe interprets dreams as signs of the future, so they lift the ban on carrying weapons and tell everyone to look out for enemies. If Santiago is wrong, they will kill him.

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Section 9

A horseman, who we learn is the alchemist, barrages Santiago with questions. The alchemist tells Santiago to find him the next night if he survives the ensuing battle. A battle takes place between the tribesmen and the attackers, and the tribesmen eventually kill everyone, and Santiago is rewarded. Santiago meets with the alchemist who says he needs to direct Santiago to the treasure.

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Section 10

The alchemist tasks Santiago to lead him to where there is life in the desert, and after accomplishing this feat, the alchemist prepares to move on with Santiago to the pyramids. Santiago complains that he doesn’t want to leave Fatima. The alchemist reassures Santiago that he must follow his Personal Legend. The alchemist encourages Santiago to immerse himself in the desert and listen to his heart so he can also gain an understanding of the Soul of the World. 

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Section 11

Hundreds of Arab tribesmen take Santiago and the alchemist to a military camp and question them. The alchemist offers Santiago’s money to the chief and tells them that Santiago will transform himself into the wind, which confuses Santiago. The alchemist says he was only trying to avoid getting killed. He tells Santiago that only fear prevents someone from living out their Personal Legend.

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Section 12

The wind tells Santiago to talk to the Hand That Wrote All, and Santiago speaks to the sun about love and the nature of one’s Personal Legend. The sun decides to shine more brightly, and the wind blows harder. When Santiago prays and experiences a rush of love, he realizes that the Soul of God is his own soul, and that he can perform miracles. The chief lets Santiago and the alchemist continue on their journey.

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Section 13

The alchemist tells Santiago that he must finish the trip alone. Two refugees approach Santiago and beat him after he does not dig up treasure. When one of the men tells Santiago he had a dream of treasure in Spain and describes the church and tree from Santiago’s days as a shepherd, Santiago realizes where to find his treasure and returns back home, finding a chest of gold and jewels.

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