Chapter 64:


(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Since some of our characters are still living and others have been lost sight of, a real epilogue is impossible.  For the satisfaction of the groundlings we should gladly kill off all of them, beginning with Padre Salvi and ending with Doña Victorina, but this is not possible.  Let them live! Anyhow, the country, not ourselves, has to support them.

After Maria Clara entered the nunnery, Padre Damaso left his town to live in Manila, as did also Padre Salvi, who, while he awaits a vacant miter, preaches sometimes in the church of St. Clara, in whose nunnery he discharges the duties of an important office.  Not many months had passed when Padre Damaso received an order from the Very Reverend Father Provincial to occupy a curacy in a remote province. It is related that he was so grievously affected by this that on the following day he was found dead in his bedchamber.  Some said that he had died of an apoplectic stroke, others of a nightmare, but his physician dissipated all doubts by declaring that he had died suddenly.

None of our readers would now recognize Capitan Tiago.  Weeks before Maria Clara took the vows he fell into a state of depression so great that he grew sad and thin, and became pensive and distrustful, like his former friend, Capitan Tinong.  As soon as the doors of the nunnery closed he ordered his disconsolate cousin, Aunt Isabel, to collect whatever had belonged to his daughter and his dead wife and to go to make her home in Malabon or San Diego, since he wished to live alone thenceforward, tie then devoted himself passionately to liam-pó and the cockpit, and began to smoke opium.  He no longer goes to Antipolo nor does he order any more masses, so Doña Patrocinia, his old rival, celebrates her triumph piously by snoring during the sermons.   If at any time during the late afternoon you should walk along Calle Santo Cristo, you would see seated in a Chinese shop a small man, yellow, thin, and bent, with stained and dirty finger nails, gazing through dreamy, sunken eyes at the passers-by as if he did not see them.  At nightfall you would see him rise with difficulty and, supporting himself on his cane, make his way to a narrow little by-street to enter a grimy building over the door of which may be seen in large red letters: FUMADERO PUBLICO DE ANFION. [1]  This is that Capitan Tiago who was so celebrated, but who is now completely forgotten, even by the very senior sacristan himself.

Doña Victorina has added to her false frizzes and to her Andalusization, if we may be permitted the term, the new custom of driving the carriage horses herself, obliging Don Tiburcio to remain quiet.  Since many unfortunate accidents occurred on account of the weakness of her eyes, she has taken to wearing spectacles, which give her a marvelous appearance.  The doctor has never been called upon again to attend any one and the servants see him many days in the week without teeth, which, as our readers know, is a very bad sign. Linares, the only defender of the hapless doctor, has long been at rest in Paco cemetery, the victim of dysentery and the harsh treatment of his cousin-in-law.

[1] Public Opium-Smoking Room.


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