Chapter 10: - Page 7 of 8

Wealth and Want

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

He stopped, rubbed his hand over his forehead, and shut his eyes.  When he again opened them, he saw that the man had turned to laugh and that the friar had caught his sides as though to save himself from bursting with merriment, then he saw them point toward his house and laugh again.

A buzz sounded in his ears, he felt the crack of a whip around his chest, the red mist reappeared before his eyes, he again saw the corpses of his wife and daughter, and beside them the usurper with the friar laughing and holding his sides.  Forgetting everything else, he turned aside into the path they had taken, the one leading to his fields.

Simoun waited in vain for Cabesang Tales to return that night.  But the next morning when he arose he noticed that the leather holster of his revolver was empty.  Opening it he found inside a scrap of paper wrapped around the locket set with emeralds and diamonds, with these few lines written on it in Tagalog:

Pardon, sir, that in my own house I relieve you of what belongs to you, but necessity drives me to it.  In exchange for your revolver I leave the locket you desired so much.  I need the weapon, for I am going out to join the tulisanes.

I advise you not to keep on your present road, because if you fall into our power, not then being my guest, we will require of you a large ransom.

Telesforo Juan de Dios.

At last I’ve found my man! muttered Simoun with a deep breath.  He’s somewhat scrupulous, but so much the better—he’ll keep his promises.

He then ordered a servant to go by boat over the lake to Los Baños with the larger chest and await him there.  He would go on overland, taking the smaller chest, the one containing his famous jewels.  The arrival of four civil-guards completed his good humor.  They came to arrest Cabesang Tales and not finding him took Tandang Selo away instead.

Three murders had been committed during the night.  The friar-administrator and the new tenant of Cabesang Tales’ land had been found dead, with their heads split open and their mouths full of earth, on the border of the fields.  In the town the wife of the usurper was found dead at dawn, her mouth also filled with earth and her throat cut, with a fragment of paper beside her, on which was the name Tales, written in blood as though traced by a finger.

Learn this Filipino word:

bumanggá sa padér