Chapter 11: - Page 4 of 12

Los Baños

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

What a peculiar man this Simoun is, what notions he has! exclaimed Padre Irene with a smile.

And he, continued Simoun, slapping his Excellency familiarly on the shoulder, he will pay me with an order for five days in prison, or five months, or an order of deportation made out in blank, or let us say a summary execution by the Civil Guard while my man is being conducted from one town to another.

This was a strange proposition, so the three who had been pacing about gathered around.

But, Señor Simoun, asked the high official, what good will you get out of winning promises of virtues, or lives and deportations and summary executions?

A great deal! I’m tired of hearing virtues talked about and would like to have the whole of them, all there are in the world, tied up in a sack, in order to throw them into the sea, even though I had to use my diamonds for sinkers.  

What an idea! exclaimed Padre Irene with another smile.  And the deportations and executions, what of them?

Well, to clean the country and destroy every evil seed.

Get out! You’re still sore at the tulisanes.  But you were lucky that they didn’t demand a larger ransom or keep all your jewels.  Man, don’t be ungrateful!

Simoun proceeded to relate how he had been intercepted by a band of tulisanes, who, after entertaining him for a day, had let him go on his way without exacting other ransom than his two fine revolvers and the two boxes of cartridges he carried with him.  He added that the tulisanes had charged him with many kind regards for his Excellency, the Captain-General.

As a result of this, and as Simoun reported that the tulisanes were well provided with shotguns, rifles, and revolvers, and against such persons one man alone, no matter how well armed, could not defend himself, his Excellency, to prevent the tulisanes from getting weapons in the future, was about to dictate a new decree forbidding the introduction of sporting arms.

On the contrary, on the contrary! protested Simoun, for me the tulisanes are the most respectable men in the country, they’re the only ones who earn their living honestly.  Suppose I had fallen into the hands—well, of you yourselves, for example, would you have let me escape without taking half of my jewels, at least?

Don Custodio was on the point of protesting; that Simoun was really a rude American mulatto taking advantage of his friendship with the Captain-General to insult Padre Irene, although it may be true also that Padre Irene would hardly have set him free for so little.

The evil is not, went on Simoun, in that there are tulisanes in the mountains and uninhabited parts—the evil lies in the tulisanes in the towns and cities.

Like yourself, put in the Canon with a smile.

Learn this Filipino word:

nahíhigâ sa salapî