Chapter 32: - Page 7 of 8

The Derrick

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

A miracle! A miracle! shouted some.

Come and extricate the body of this poor devil! exclaimed Ibarra like one arousing himself from sleep.

On hearing his voice Maria Clara felt her strength leave her and fell half-fainting into the arms of her friends.

Great confusion prevailed.  All were talking, gesticulating, running about, descending into the trench, coming up again, all amazed and terrified.

Who is the dead man? Is he still alive? asked the alferez.

The corpse was identified as that of the yellowish individual who had been operating the windlass.

Arrest the foreman on the work! was the first thing that the alcalde was able to say.

They examined the corpse, placing their hands on the chest, but the heart had ceased to beat.  The blow had struck him on the head, and blood was flowing from his nose, mouth, and ears.  On his neck were to be noticed some peculiar marks, four deep depressions toward the back and one more somewhat larger on the other side, which induced the belief that a hand of steel had caught him as in a pair of pincers.

The priests felicitated the youth warmly and shook his hand.  The Franciscan of humble aspect who had served as holy ghost for Padre Damaso exclaimed with tearful eyes, God is just, God is good!

When I think that a few moments before I was down there! said one of the employees to Ibarra.  What if I had happened to be the last!

It makes my hair stand on end! remarked another partly bald individual.

I’m glad that it happened to you and not to me, murmured an old man tremblingly.

Don Pascual! exclaimed some of the Spaniards.

I say that because the young man is not dead.  If I had not been crushed, I should have died afterwards merely from thinking about it.

But Ibarra was already at a distance informing himself as to Maria Clara’s condition.

Don’t let this stop the fiesta, Señor Ibarra, said the alcalde.  Praise God, the dead man is neither a priest nor a Spaniard! We must rejoice over your escape! Think if the stone had caught you!

Learn this Filipino word:

hanap sa tubig