Chapter 27: - Page 3 of 5

In the Twilight

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

After drinking the chocolate our young people had to listen to piano-playing by the town organist.  When I listen to him in the church, exclaimed Sinang, pointing to the organist, I want to dance, and now that he’s playing here I feel like praying, so I’m going out with you.

Don’t you want to join us tonight? whispered Capitan Basilio into Ibarra’s ear as they were leaving.  Padre Damaso is going to set up a little bank.  Ibarra smiled and answered with an equivocal shake of his head.

Who’s that? asked Maria Clara of Victoria, indicating with a rapid glance a youth who was following them.

He’s—he’s a cousin of mine, she answered with some agitation.

And the other?

He’s no cousin of mine, put in Sinang merrily. He’s my uncle’s son.

They passed in front of the parish rectory, which was not one of the least animated buildings. Sinang was unable to repress an exclamation of surprise on seeing the lamps burning, those lamps of antique pattern which Padre Salvi had never allowed to be lighted, in order not to waste kerosene.  Loud talk and resounding bursts of laughter might be heard as the friars moved slowly about, nodding their heads in unison with the big cigars that adorned their lips.  The laymen with them, who from their European garments appeared to be officials and employees of the province, were endeavoring to imitate whatever the good priests did.  Maria Clara made out the rotund figure of Padre Damaso at the side of the trim silhouette of Padre Sibyla.  Motionless in his place stood the silent and mysterious Fray Salvi.

He’s sad, observed Sinang, for he’s thinking about how much so many visitors are going to cost.  But you’ll see how he’ll not pay it himself, but the sacristans will.  His visitors always eat at other places.

Sinang! scolded Victoria.

I haven’t been able to endure him since he tore up the Wheel of Fortune.  I don’t go to confession to him any more.

Of all the houses one only was to be noticed without lights and with all the windows closed—that of the alferez.  Maria Clara expressed surprise at this.

The witch! The Muse of the Civil Guard, as the old man says, exclaimed the irrepressible Sinang.  What has she to do with our merrymakings? I imagine she’s raging! But just let the cholera come and you’d see her give a banquet.

But, Sinang! again her cousin scolded.

I never was able to endure her and especially since she disturbed our picnic with her civil-guards.  If I were the Archbishop I’d marry Her to Padre Salvi—then think what children! Look how she tried to arrest the poor pilot, who threw himself into the water simply to please—

Learn this Filipino word:

kapús-palad