Chapter 32: - Page 2 of 3

Effect of the Pasquinades

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Meanwhile, Simoun had recovered his health, or so at least the newspapers said.  Ben-Zayb rendered thanks to the Omnipotent who watches over such a precious life, and manifested the hope that the Highest would some day reveal the malefactor, whose crime remained unpunished, thanks to the charity of the victim, who was too closely following the words of the Great Martyr: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.  These and other things Ben-Zayb said in print, while by mouth he was inquiring whether there was any truth in the rumor that the opulent jeweler was going to give a grand fiesta, a banquet such as had never before been seen, in part to celebrate his recovery and in part as a farewell to the country in which he had increased his fortune.  It was whispered as certain that Simoun, who would have to leave with the Captain-General, whose command expired in May, was making every effort to secure from Madrid an extension, and that he was advising his Excellency to start a campaign in order to have an excuse for remaining, but it was further reported that for the first time his Excellency had disregarded the advice of his favorite, making it a point of honor not to retain for a single additional day the power that had been conferred upon him, a rumor which encouraged belief that the fiesta announced would take place; very soon.  For the rest, Simoun remained unfathomable, since he had become very uncommunicative, showed himself seldom, and smiled mysteriously when the rumored fiesta was mentioned.

Come, Señor Sindbad, Ben-Zayb had once rallied him, dazzle us with something Yankee! You owe something to this country.

Doubtless! was Simoun’s response, with a dry smile.

You’ll throw the house wide open, eh?

Maybe, but as I have no house—

You ought to have secured Capitan Tiago’s, which Señor Pelaez got for nothing.

Simoun became silent, and from that time on he was often seen in the store of Don Timoteo Pelaez, with whom it was said he had entered into partnership.  Some weeks afterward, in the month of April, it was rumored that Juanito Pelaez, Don Timoteo’s son, was going to marry Paulita Gomez, the girl coveted by Spaniards and foreigners.

Some men are lucky! exclaimed other envious merchants.  To buy a house for nothing, sell his consignment of galvanized iron well, get into partnership with a Simoun, and marry his son to a rich heiress—just say if those aren’t strokes of luck that all honorable men don’t have!

If you only knew whence came that luck of Señor Pelaez’s! another responded, in a tone which indicated that the speaker did know.  It’s also assured that there’ll be a fiesta and on a grand scale, was added with mystery.

Learn this Filipino word:

hindî masarhán ang bibíg