Chapter 14: - Page 8 of 9

In the House of the Students

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

That’s exactly what they replied to Padre Irene, and he answered that this was a good opportunity to revive it, and availing himself of the presence of Don Custodio, one of its members, he proposed on the spot that a committee should be appointed. Don Custodio’s activity being known and recognized, he was named as arbiter and the petition is now in his hands. He promised that he would settle it this month.

Hurrah for Don Custodio!

But suppose Don Custodio should report unfavorably upon it? inquired the pessimist Pecson.

Upon this they had not reckoned, being intoxicated with the thought that the matter would not be pigeonholed, so they all turned to Makaraig to learn how it could be arranged.

The same objection I presented to Padre Irene, but with his sly smile he said to me: ‘We’ve won a great deal, we have succeeded in getting the matter on the road to a decision, the opposition sees itself forced to join battle.’  If we can bring some influence to bear upon Don Custodio so that he, in accordance with his liberal tendencies, may report favorably, all is won, for the General showed himself to be absolutely neutral.

Makaraig paused, and an impatient listener asked, How can we influence him?

Padre Irene pointed out to me two ways—

Quiroga, some one suggested.

Pshaw, great use Quiroga—

A fine present.

No, that won’t do, for he prides himself upon being incorruptible.

Ah, yes, I know! exclaimed Pecson with a laugh. Pepay the dancing girl.  Ah, yes, Pepay the dancing girl, echoed several.

This Pepay was a showy girl, supposed to be a great friend of Don Custodio.  To her resorted the contractors, the employees, the intriguers, when they wanted to get something from the celebrated councilor.  Juanito Pelaez, who was also a great friend of the dancing girl, offered to look after the matter, but Isagani shook his head, saying that it was sufficient that they had made use of Padre Irene and that it would be going too far to avail themselves of Pepay in such an affair.

Learn this Filipino word:

waláng ulo