Chapter 42: - Page 10 of 11

The Espadañas

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

I tell you that he sat right there. If you had only come two days ago—

Ah, what a pity that Clarita did not get sick sooner! she exclaimed with real feeling. Then turning to Linares, Do you hear, cousin? His Excellency was here! Don’t you see now that De Espadaña was right when he told you that you weren’t going to the house of a miserable Indian? Because, you know, Don Santiago, in Madrid our cousin was the friend of ministers and dukes and dined in the house of Count El Campanario.

The Duke of La Torte, Victorina, corrected her husband. [8]

It’s the same thing. If you will tell me—

Shall I find Padre Damaso in his town? interrupted Linares, addressing Padre Salvi. I’ve been told that it’s near here.

He’s right here and will be over in a little while, replied the curate.

How glad I am of that! I have a letter to him, exclaimed the youth, and if it were not for the happy chance that brings me here, I would have come expressly to visit him.

In the meantime the happy chance had awakened.

De Espadaña, said Doña Victorina, when the meal was over, shall we go in to see Clarita? Then to Capitan Tiago, Only for you, Don Santiago, only for you! My husband only attends persons of quality, and yet, and yet—! He’s not like those here. In Madrid he only visited persons of quality.

They adjourned to the sick girl’s chamber. The windows were closed from fear of a draught, so the room was almost dark, being only dimly illuminated by two tapers which burned before an image of the Virgin of Antipolo. Her head covered with a handkerchief saturated in cologne, her body wrapped carefully in white sheets which swathed her youthful form with many folds, under curtains of jusi and piña, the girl lay on her kamagon bed. Her hair formed a frame around her oval countenance and accentuated her transparent paleness, which was enlivened only by her large, sad eyes. At her side were her two friends and Andeng with a bouquet of tuberoses.

[8] There is a play on words here, Campanario meaning belfry and Torre tower.—TR.

Learn this Filipino word:

nakuha sa bibíg