Chapter 32: - Page 8 of 8

The Derrick

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

There are presentiments, there are presentiments! exclaimed the escribano.  I’ve said so before! Señor Ibarra didn’t go down willingly.  I saw it!

The dead man is only an Indian!

Let the fiesta go on! Music! Sadness will never resuscitate the dead!

An investigation shall be made right here!

Send for the directorcillo!

Arrest the foreman on the work! To the stocks with him!

To the stocks! Music! To the stocks with the foreman!

Señor Alcalde, said Ibarra gravely, if mourning will not resuscitate the dead, much less will arresting this man about whose guilt we know nothing.  I will be security for his person and so I ask his liberty for these days at least.

Very well! But don’t let him do it again!

All kinds of rumors began to circulate.  The idea of a miracle was soon an accepted fact, although Fray Salvi seemed to rejoice but little over a miracle attributed to a saint of his Order and in his parish.  There were not lacking those who added that they had seen descending into the trench, when everything was tumbling down, a figure in a dark robe like that of the Franciscans.  There was no doubt about it; it was San Diego himself! It was also noted that Ibarra had attended mass and that the yellowish individual had not—it was all as clear as the sun!

You see! You didn’t want to go to mass! said a mother to her son.  If I hadn’t whipped you to make you go you would now be on your way to the town hall, like him, in a cart!

The yellowish individual, or rather his corpse, wrapped up in a mat, was in fact being carried to the town hall.  Ibarra hurried home to change his clothes.

A bad beginning, huh! commented old Tasio, as he moved away.

Learn this Filipino word:

hiyás ng táhanan