Chapter 17: - Page 3 of 4

Basilio

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Sisa’s voice brought him back to reality.  What’s the matter? Why are you crying?

I dreamed—O God! exclaimed Basilio, sitting up, covered with perspiration.  It was a dream! Tell me, mother, that it was only a dream! Only a dream!

What did you dream?

The boy did not answer, but sat drying his tears and wiping away the perspiration.  The hut was in total darkness.

A dream, a dream! repeated Basilio in subdued tones.

Tell me what you dreamed.  I can’t sleep, said his mother when he lay down again.

Well, he said in a low voice, I dreamed that we had gone to glean the rice-stalks—in a field where there were many flowers—the women had baskets full of rice-stalks the men too had baskets full of rice-stalks—and the children too—I don’t remember any more, mother, I don’t remember the rest.

Sisa had no faith in dreams, so she did not insist.

Mother, I’ve thought of a plan tonight, said Basilio after a few moments’ silence.

What is your plan? she asked.  Sisa was humble in everything, even with her own sons, trusting their judgment more than her own.

I don’t want to be a sacristan any longer.

What?

Learn this Filipino word:

ipinagtátanóng ng barbero