Chapter 14: - Page 3 of 8

Tasio: Lunatic or Sage

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Tasio then left the church, not without first bestowing a look of pity on the two boys, who were climbing the stairway into the organ-loft.  He passed his hand over his eyes, looked at the sky again, and murmured, Now I should be sorry if thunderbolts should fall.  With his head bowed in thought he started toward the outskirts of the town.

Won’t you come in? invited a voice in Spanish from a window.

The Sage raised his head and saw a man of thirty or thirty-five years of age smiling at him.

What are you reading there? asked Tasio, pointing to a book the man held in his hand.

A work just published: ‘The Torments Suffered by the Blessed Souls in Purgatory,’ the other answered with a smile.

Man, man, man! exclaimed the Sage in an altered tone as he entered the house.  The author must be a very clever person.

Upon reaching the top of the stairway, he was cordially received by the master of the house, Don Filipo Lino, and his young wife, Doña Teodora Viña. Don Filipo was the teniente-mayor of the town and leader of one of the parties—the liberal faction, if it be possible to speak so, and if there exist parties in the towns of the Philippines.

Did you meet in the cemetery the son of the deceased Don Rafael, who has just returned from Europe?

Yes, I saw him as he alighted from his carriage.

They say that he went to look for his father’s grave.  It must have been a terrible blow.

The Sage shrugged his shoulders.

Doesn’t such a misfortune affect you? asked the young wife.

Learn this Filipino word:

litáw na tao