Chapter 30:


(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

The death of Capitan Tiago and Basilio’s imprisonment were soon reported in the province, and to the honor of the simple inhabitants of San Diego, let it be recorded that the latter was the incident more regretted and almost the only one discussed.  As was to be expected, the report took on different forms, sad and startling details were given, what could not be understood was explained, the gaps being filled by conjectures, which soon passed for accomplished facts, and the phantoms thus created terrified their own creators.

In the town of Tiani it was reported that at least, at the very least, the young man was going to be deported and would very probably be murdered on the journey.  The timorous and pessimistic were not satisfied with this but even talked about executions and courts-martial—January was a fatal month; in January the Cavite affair had occurred, and they [1] even though curates, had been garroted, so a poor Basilio without protectors or friends—

I told him so! sighed the Justice of the Peace, as if he had at some time given advice to Basilio.  I told him so.

It was to be expected, commented Sister Penchang.  He would go into the church and when he saw that the holy water was somewhat dirty he wouldn’t cross himself with it.  He talked about germs and disease, abá, it’s the chastisement of God! He deserved it, and he got it! As though the holy water could transmit diseases!  Quite the contrary, abá!

She then related how she had cured herself of indigestion by moistening her stomach with holy water, at the same time reciting the Sanctus Deus, and she recommended the remedy to those present when they should suffer from dysentery, or an epidemic occurred, only that then they must pray in Spanish:

Santo Diós,

Santo fuerte,

Santo inmortal,

¡Libranos, Señor, de la peste

Y de todo mal! [2]

[1] The native priests Burgos, Gomez, and Zamora, charged with complicity in the uprising of 1872, and executed.—Tr.

[2] This versicle, found in the booklets of prayer, is common on the scapularies, which, during the late insurrection, were easily converted into the anting-anting, or amulets, worn by the fanatics.—Tr.


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