Chapter 30: - Page 3 of 7


(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

As a result of her father’s crime, her grandfather had been arrested in the hope that by such means the son could be made to appear.  The only one who could get him his liberty was Padre Camorra, and Padre Camorra had shown himself to be poorly satisfied with her words of gratitude, having with his usual frankness asked for some sacrifices—since which time Juli had tried to avoid meeting him.  But the curate made her kiss his hand, he twitched her nose and patted her cheeks, he joked with her, winking and laughing, and laughing he pinched her.  Juli was also the cause of the beating the good curate had administered to some young men who were going about the village serenading the girls.  Malicious ones, seeing her pass sad and dejected, would remark so that she might hear: If she only wished it, Cabesang Tales would be pardoned.

Juli reached her home, gloomy and with wandering looks.  She had changed greatly, having lost her merriment, and no one ever saw her smile again.  She scarcely spoke and seemed to be afraid to look at her own face.  One day she was seen in the town with a big spot of soot on her forehead, she who used to go so trim and neat.  Once she asked Sister Bali if the people who committed suicide went to hell.

Surely! replied that woman, and proceeded to describe the place as though she had been there.

Upon Basilio’s imprisonment, the simple and grateful relatives had planned to make all kinds of sacrifices to save the young man, but as they could collect among themselves no more than thirty pesos, Sister Bali, as usual, thought of a better plan.

What we must do is to get some advice from the town clerk, she said.  To these poor people, the town clerk was what the Delphic oracle was to the ancient Greeks.

By giving him a real and a cigar, she continued, he’ll tell you all the laws so that your head bursts listening to him.  If you have a peso, he’ll save you, even though you may be at the foot of the scaffold.  When my friend Simon was put in jail and flogged for not being able to give evidence about a robbery perpetrated near his house, abá, for two reales and a half and a string of garlics, the town clerk got him out.  And I saw Simon myself when he could scarcely walk and he had to stay in bed at least a month.  Ay, his flesh rotted as a result and he died!

Sister Bali’s advice was accepted and she herself volunteered to interview the town clerk.  Juli gave her four reales and added some strips of jerked venison her grand-father had got, for Tandang Selo had again devoted himself to hunting.

But the town clerk could do nothing—the prisoner was in Manila, and his power did not extend that far.  If at least he were at the capital, then— he ventured, to make a show of his authority, which he knew very well did not extend beyond the boundaries of Tiani, but he had to maintain his prestige and keep the jerked venison.  But I can give you a good piece of advice, and it is that you go with Juli to see the Justice of the Peace.  But it’s very necessary that Juli go.

The Justice of the Peace was a very rough fellow, but if he should see Juli he might conduct himself less rudely—this is wherein lay the wisdom of the advice.

Learn this Filipino word:

ilistá sa tubig