Noli Me Tangere. Chapter LVII Vae Victis !. Jerome Shady Monis. Guards with forbidding men faced back and front, in front of the door of the town hall, threatening with their rifle-butts the bold urchins who rose on tiptoe or climbed up on one another to see through the bars.
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Guards with forbidding men faced back and front, in front of the door of the town hall, threatening with their rifle-butts the bold urchins who rose on tiptoe or climbed up on one another to see through the bars.
The gobernadorcillo was very compunctious. His seat, that large chair placed under his Majesty’s portrait, was vacant, being apparently intended for someone else. About nine o’clock the curate arrived, pale and scowling.
“Well, you haven’t kept yourself waiting!”
“I should prefer not to be present,”
“Let us begin,” she announced.
“Bring out those two who are in the stocks,”
“This is the one who defended himself with the most courage and told his companions to run,” said Padre Salvi.
“What’s your name?”
“What did Don Crisostomo promise you for attacking the barracks?”
“Don Crisostomo never had anything to do with us.”
“Don’t deny it! That’s why you tried to surprise us.”
“You’re mistaken. You beat our father to death and we were avenging him, nothing more. Look for your two associates.”
“Do you know them?”
“Do you know them!"
“Do you know this fellow?”
“This is the first time that I’ve ever seen him,”
The alferez struck him with his fist and kicked him. “Tie him to the bench!”
Without taking off the handcuffs, which were covered with blood, they tied him to a wooden bench. The wretched boy looked about him as if seeking something and noticed Doña Consolacion, at sight of whom he smiled sardonically. In surprise the bystanders followed his glance and saw the señora, who was lightly gnawing at her lips.
“I’ve never seen an uglier woman!"
Meanwhile, the scene in the hall continued. The wretched boy, overcome with pain, silently waited for his executioners to become weary. At last the panting soldier let his arm fall, and the alferez, pale with anger and astonishment, made a sign for them to untie him. Doña Consolacion then arose and murmured a few words into the ear of her husband, who nodded his head in understanding.
“To the well with him!” he ordered.
“They’ll hang you anyhow. You’ll at least die without suffering so much.”
“You’ll come out of this only to die,” added a cuadrillero.
Tarsilo hung with his long hair streaming down and his eyes half closed.
“If you are Christians, if you have any heart,”
“let me down quickly or make my head strike against the sides so that I’ll die.
God will reward you for this good deed—perhaps some day you may be as I am!”
Alferez returned, watch in hand, to superintend the lowering.
“Slowly, slowly!” cried Doña Consolacion, as she kept her gaze fixed on the wretch. “Be careful!”
The well-sweep moved gently downwards. Tarsilo rubbed against the jutting stones and filthy weeds that grew in the crevices. Then the sweep stopped while the alferez counted the seconds.
“Sir, sir,” he groaned, “I’ll tell everything you want me to.”
“Good! Let’s see, what’s your name?”
“Andong, sir!” repeated the imbecile.
“What name have you that is added to the name Andong?”
“Ah, sir! Andong the Witless, sir!”
“Don Crisostomo is to blame for all this,”
At two o’clock in the afternoon an open cart drawn by two oxen stopped in front of the town hall. This was at once set upon by the people, who attempted to unhitch the oxen and destroy it.
“Don’t do that!”
“Do you want to make them walk?”
“He’s the one that’s to blame!”
“He’s to blame and he goes loose!”
“Bind me, and bind me well, elbow to elbow,”
“We haven’t any order.”
“Bind me!” And the soldiers obeyed.
“Look what you’ve done to my husband and my son!”
Mother in law of Andong
“You’re a coward"
“While others were fighting for you, you hid yourself, coward!”
“May you be accursed!”
“Accursed be the gold amassed by your family to disturb our peace! Accursed! Accursed!”
“May they hang you, heretic!”.
The old man followed the cart with his gaze until it disappeared in the distance and then remained for some time afterward with his head bowed, deep in thought. Then he stood up and laboriously made his way toward his house, pausing to rest at every step. On the following day some herdsmen found him dead on the very threshold of his solitary home.
Patriotism and Private Interests
“A Te Deum! A Te Deum!”.
“Amen!” “Viva Salvi!” “Amen!”
In another convent they talked differently.
“You see, now, that fellow is a pupil of the Jesuits. The filibusters come from the Ateneo.”
“And the anti-friars.”
“I told you so. The Jesuits are ruining the country, they’re corrupting the youth, but they are tolerated because they trace a few scrawls on a piece of paper when there is an earthquake.”
“And God knows how they are made!”
“Ay, Virgin of Antipolo!” “Ay,
Virgin of the Rosary and of the Girdle!
Ay, ay! Our Lady of Novaliches!”
“I told you so!”
“I told you so! Ay, Virgin of Carmen,ay!”
To this Capitan Tinong did not know what to reply. CapitanaTinchang, however, was not satisfied with this victory, but wished to silence him completely. So she approached him with clenched fists.
“Is this what I’ve worked for, year after year, toiling and saving, that you by your stupidity may throw away the fruits of my labor?”
“Ay, if I were a man, if I were a man!”
“Well, if you were a man,”
“What would you do?”
“What would I do?
Well—well—well, this very minute I’d go to the Captain-General and offer to fight against the rebels, this very minute!”
’ Don’t you see it? There isn’t any more rebellion.”
“That doesn’t matter! You ought to offer yourself as they did in ' they saved themselves.”
“Yes, that’s what was done by Padre Burg”
But he was unable to finish this name, for his wife ran to him and slapped her hand over his mouth.
“What’s happening? Quare?”
“I’ve sent for you because I don’t know what’s going to become of us.
What do you advise? Speak, you’ve studied Latin and know how to argue.”
“Why do you weep? Ubinam gentium sumus?"
“You’ve already heard of the uprising?”
What! Does Don Crisostomo owe you anything?”
“Cousin, don’t talk to us in Latin now. You know that we’re not philosophers like you. Let’s talk in Spanish or Tagalog. Give us some advice.”
“But it’s said that this filibuster is the descendant of Spaniards,”
“Oh, yes!” unterrified. “It’s always the creoles! No Indian knows anything about revolution! Rear crows, rear crows!”
“Do you know what I’ve heard?”
“The wife of Capitan Tinong, you remember her, the woman in whose house we danced and dined during the fiesta of Tondo”
“The one who has two daughters? What about her?”
“Well, that woman just this afternoon presented the Captain-General with a ring worth a thousand pesos!”
“Is that so? Why?” he asked with shining eyes.
“She said that it was a Christmas gift—”
“But Christmas doesn’t come for a month yet!”
“Perhaps she’s afraid the storm is blowing her way,” observed the fat lady.
“And is getting under cover,” added the thin señora.
Maria Clara Weds
The poor man no longer ventured out of his house for fear of running the risk of saying good-day to a filibuster. Not even Don Primitivo himself, with all the wisdom of the ancients, could draw him out of his silence.
“if I hadn’t got here to burn all your papers, they would have squeezed your neck; and if I had burned the whole house they wouldn’t have touched a hair of your head. But quodeventum, eventum; gratias agamus Domino Deo quia non in Marianis Insulis es, camotes seminando
“Don’t fool yourself—it’s the Virgin of Antipolo! She can do more than all the rest—don’t fool yourself!”
“Let’s not go and spoil it all now.”
“God has protected my father,” replied the girl in a low voice.
“Yes, Clarita, but the time of the miracles is past.
We Spaniards say: ‘Trust in the Virgin and take to your heels.’”
“So you Doña Victorina, think that the Virgin"
“That’s what’s called prudence, having a substitute ready.”
“Well, when she gets to be a widow—”
In the circle of men the conversation was carried on in loud tones and, naturally, turned upon recent events. All were talking, even Don Tiburcio, with the exception of Padre Sibyla, who maintained his usual disdainful silence.
“I’ve heard it said that your Reverence is leaving the town, Padre Salvi?” inquired the new major, whose fresh star had made him more amiable.
“I have nothing more to do there. I’m going to stay permanently in Manila. And you?”
“I’m also leaving the town,” answered the ex-alferez, swelling up. “The government needs me to command a flying column to clean the provinces of filibusters.”
Government Employee 1
“Is it known for certain what will become of the ringleader, the filibuster?”
Government Employee 2
“Do you mean Crisostomo Ibarra?” asked another. “The most likely and most just thing is that he will be hanged, like those of ’72.”
“He’s going to be deported,”
“Deported! Nothing more than deported? But it will be a perpetual deportation!”
"If that young man,”
“had been more cautious, if he had confided less in certain persons with whom he corresponded, if our prosecutors did not know how to interpret so subtly what is written, that young man would surely have been acquitted.”
“You’re speaking of letters, Señor Guevara?”
The lieutenant did not answer. He stared for a moment at Padre Salvi and then moved away, nervously twisting the sharp point of his gray beard. The others made their comments.
“You’re cold. Do you want some tea?”
Maria Clara shook her head, entered and locked the door of her chamber, and then, her strength failing her, she fell sobbing to the floor at the feet of an image.
“Mother, mother, mother mine!” she sobbed. .
“Crisostomo!” she murmured, overcome with fright.
“Yes, I am Crisostomo,” replied the young man gravely. “An enemy, a man who has every reason for hating me, Elias, has rescued me from the prison into which my friends threw me.”
“Yes,” sobbed the girl, “my father demands this sacrifice. He has loved me and cared for me when it was not his duty to do so, and I will pay this debt of gratitude to assure his peace, by means of this new relationship, but—”
“I will never forget the vows of faithfulness that I have made to you.”
“What are you thinking of doing?” asked Ibarra, trying to read the look in her eyes.
“The future is dark and my destiny is wrapped in gloom! I don’t know what I should do. But know, that I have loved but once and that without love I will never belong to any man. And you, what is going to become of you?”
“I am only a fugitive, I am fleeing. In a little while my flight will have been discovered. Maria—”
Maria Clara caught the youth’s head in her hands and kissed him repeatedly on the lips, embraced him, and drew abruptly away. “Go, go!” she cried. “Go, and farewell!”