Chapter 37: - Page 5 of 5

His Excellency

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

The alcalde understood the reprimand and bowed to conceal his confusion.

Have the same order communicated to the alferez who commands in the district here. Also, investigate whether that gentleman has affairs of his own that are not sanctioned by the regulations. I’ve heard more than one complaint in regard to that.

Capitan Tiago presented himself stiff and formal. Don Santiago, said his Excellency in an affable tone, a little while ago I felicitated you on the happiness of having a daughter such as the Señorita de los Santos; now let me congratulate you on your future son-in-law. The most virtuous of daughters is certainly worthy of the best citizen of the Philippines. Is it permitted to know when the wedding will occur?

Sir! stammered Capitan Tiago, wiping the perspiration from his forehead.

Come now, I see that there is nothing definitely arranged. If persons are lacking to stand up with them, I shall take the greatest pleasure in being one of them. That’s for the purpose of ridding myself of the feeling of disgust which the many weddings I’ve heretofore taken part in have given me, he added, turning to the alcalde.

Yes, sir, answered Capitan Tiago with a smile that would move to pity.

Ibarra almost ran in search of Maria Clara—he had so many things to tell her. Hearing merry voices in one of the rooms, he knocked lightly on the door.

Who’s there? asked the voice of Maria Clara.

I!

The voices became hushed and the door—did not open.

It’s I, may I come in? called the young man, his heart beating violently.

The silence continued. Then light footsteps approached the door and the merry voice of Sinang murmured through the keyhole, Crisostomo, we’re going to the theater tonight. Write what you have to say to Maria.

The footsteps retreated again as rapidly as they approached.

What does this mean? murmured Ibarra thoughtfully as he retired slowly from the door.

Learn this Filipino word:

maiklî ang paá