Chapter 11: - Page 6 of 12

Los Baños

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

That can be arranged, suggested Simoun.

How?

Very simply.  Sporting arms nearly all have a caliber of six millimeters, at least those now in the market. Authorize only the sale of those that haven’t these six millimeters.

All approved this idea of Simoun’s, except the high official, who muttered into Padre Fernandez’s ear that this was not dignified, nor was it the way to govern.

The schoolmaster of Tiani, proceeded the secretary, shuffling some papers about, asks for a better location for—

What better location can he want than the storehouse that he has all to himself? interrupted Padre Camorra, who had returned, having forgotten about the card-game.

He says that it’s roofless, replied the secretary, and that having purchased out of his own pocket some maps and pictures, he doesn’t want to expose them to the weather.

But I haven’t anything to do with that, muttered his Excellency.  He should address the head secretary,[1] the governor of the province, or the nuncio.  

I want to tell you, declared Padre Camorra, that this little schoolmaster is a discontented filibuster.  Just imagine—the heretic teaches that corpses rot just the same, whether buried with great pomp or without any! Some day I’m going to punch him! Here he doubled up his fists.

To tell the truth, observed Padre Sibyla, as if speaking only to Padre Irene, he who wishes to teach, teaches everywhere, in the open air. Socrates taught in the public streets, Plato in the gardens of the Academy, even Christ among the mountains and lakes.

I’ve heard several complaints against this schoolmaster, said his Excellency, exchanging a glance with Simoun.  I think the best thing would be to suspend him.

Suspended! repeated the secretary.

The luck of that unfortunate, who had asked for help and received his dismissal, pained the high official and he tried to do something for him.

[1] Under the Spanish régime the government paid no attention to education, the schools (!) being under the control of the religious orders and the friar-curates of the towns.—Tr.

Learn this Filipino word:

baták ang katawán