Chapter 11: - Page 5 of 12

Los Baños

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Yes, like myself, like all of us! Let’s be frank, for no Indian is listening to us here, continued the jeweler. The evil is that we’re not all openly declared tulisanes.  When that happens and we all take to the woods, on that day the country will be saved, on that day will rise a new social order which will take care of itself, and his Excellency will be able to play his game in peace, without the necessity of having his attention diverted by his secretary.

The person mentioned at that moment yawned, extending his folded arms above his head and stretching his crossed legs under the table as far as possible, upon noticing which all laughed.  His Excellency wished to change the course of the conversation, so, throwing down the cards he had been shuffling, he said half seriously: Come, come, enough of jokes and cards! Let’s get to work, to work in earnest, since we still have a half-hour before breakfast.  Are there many matters to be got through with?

All now gave their attention.  That was the day for joining battle over the question of instruction in Castilian, for which purpose Padre Sibyla and Padre Irene had been there several days.  It was known that the former, as Vice-Rector, was opposed to the project and that the latter supported it, and his activity was in turn supported by the Countess.

What is there, what is there? asked his Excellency impatiently.

The petition about sporting arms, replied the secretary with a stifled yawn.

Forbidden!

Pardon, General, said the high official gravely, your Excellency will permit me to invite your attention to the fact that the use of sporting arms is permitted in all the countries of the world.

The General shrugged his shoulders and remarked dryly, We are not imitating any nation in the world.

Between his Excellency and the high official there was always a difference of opinion, so it was sufficient that the latter offer any suggestion whatsoever to have the former remain stubborn.

The high official tried another tack.  Sporting arms can harm only rats and chickens. They’ll say—

But are we chickens? interrupted the General, again shrugging his shoulders.  Am I? I’ve demonstrated that I’m not.

But there’s another thing, observed the secretary.  Four months ago, when the possession of arms was prohibited, the foreign importers were assured that sporting arms would be admitted.

His Excellency knitted his brows.

Learn this Filipino word:

pangamóy