Chapter 40: - Page 4 of 6

Right and Might

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Yeyeng appeared fancifully dressed, with the Da usté su permiso? and Carvajal was answering her, Pase usté adelante, when two soldiers of the Civil Guard went up to Don Filipo and ordered him to stop the performance.

Why? asked the teniente-mayor in surprise.

Because the alferez and his wife have been fighting and can’t sleep.

Tell the alferez that we have permission from the alcalde and that against such permission no one in the town has any authority, not even the gobernadorcillo himself, and he is my only superior.

Well, the show must stop! repeated the soldiers. Don Filipo turned his back and they went away. In order not to disturb the merriment he told no one about the incident.

After the selection of vaudeville, which was loudly applauded, the Prince Villardo presented himself, challenging to mortal combat the Moros who held his father prisoner. The hero threatened to cut off all their heads at a single stroke and send them to the moon, but fortunately for the Moros, who were disposing themselves for the combat, a tumult arose. The orchestra suddenly ceased playing, threw their instruments away, and jumped up on the stage. The valiant Villardo, not expecting them and taking them for allies of the Moros, dropped his sword and shield, and started to run. The Moros, seeing that such a doughty Christian was fleeing, did not consider it improper to imitate him. Cries, groans, prayers, oaths were heard, while the people ran and pushed one another about. The lights were extinguished, blazing lamps were thrown into the air. Tulisanes! Tulisanes! cried someFire, fire! Robbers! shouted others. Women and children wept, benches and spectators were rolled together on the ground amid the general pandemonium.

The cause of all this uproar was two civil-guards, clubs in hand, chasing the musicians in order to break up the performance. The teniente-mayor, with the aid of the cuadrilleros, who were armed with old sabers, managed at length to arrest them, in spite of their resistance.

Take them to the town hall! cried Don FilipoTake care that they don’t get away!

Ibarra had returned to look for Maria Clara. The frightened girls clung to him pale and trembling while Aunt Isabel recited the Latin litany.

When the people were somewhat calmed down from their fright and had learned the cause of the disturbance, they were beside themselves with indignation. Stones rained on the squad of cuadrilleros who were conducting the two offenders from the scene, and there were even those who proposed to set fire to the barracks of the Civil Guard so as to roast Doña Consolacion along with the alferez.

That’s what they’re good for! cried a woman, doubling up her fists and stretching out her arms. To disturb the town! They don’t chase any but honest folks! Out yonder are the tulisanes and the gamblers. Let’s set fire to the barracks!

Learn this Filipino word:

lakás-loób