Exit Capitan Tiago
(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)
Talis vita, finis ita
Capitan Tiago had a good end—that is, a quite exceptional funeral. True it is that the curate of the parish had ventured the observation to Padre Irene that Capitan Tiago had died without confession, but the good priest, smiling sardonically, had rubbed the tip of his nose and answered:
Why say that to me? If we had to deny the obsequies to all who die without confession, we should forget the De profundis! These restrictions, as you well know, are enforced when the impenitent is also insolvent. But Capitan Tiago—out on you! You’ve buried infidel Chinamen, and with a requiem mass!
Capitan Tiago had named Padre Irene as his executor and willed his property in part to St. Clara, part to the Pope, to the Archbishop, the religious corporations, leaving twenty pesos for the matriculation of poor students. This last clause had been dictated at the suggestion of Padre Irene, in his capacity as protector of studious youths. Capitan Tiago had annulled a legacy of twenty-five pesos that he had left to Basilio, in view of the ungrateful conduct of the boy during the last few days, but Padre Irene had restored it and announced that he would take it upon his own purse and conscience.
In the dead man’s house, where were assembled on the following day many old friends and acquaintances, considerable comment was indulged in over a miracle. It was reported that, at the very moment when he was dying, the soul of Capitan Tiago had appeared to the nuns surrounded by a brilliant light. God had saved him, thanks to the pious legacies, and to the numerous masses he had paid for. The story was commented upon, it was recounted vividly, it took on particulars, and was doubted by no one. The appearance of Capitan Tiago was minutely described—of course the frock coat, the cheek bulged out by the quid of buyo, without omitting the game-cock and the opium-pipe. The senior sacristan, who was present, gravely affirmed these facts with his head and reflected that, after death, he would appear with his cup of white tajú, for without that refreshing breakfast he could not comprehend happiness either on earth or in heaven.
On this subject, because of their inability to discuss the events of the preceding day and because there were gamblers present, many strange speculations were developed. They made conjectures as to whether Capitan Tiago would invite St. Peter to a soltada, whether they would place bets, whether the game-cocks were immortal, whether invulnerable, and in this case who would be the referee, who would win, and so on: discussions quite to the taste of those who found sciences, theories, and systems, based on a text which they esteem infallible, revealed or dogmatic. Moreover, there were cited passages from novenas, books of miracles, sayings of the curates, descriptions of heaven, and other embroidery. Don Primitivo, the philosopher, was in his glory quoting opinions of the theologians.