Chapter 47: - Page 2 of 5

The Two Señoras

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

He’s the b-boss here!

What do we care for that? We are Indians, perhaps?

You’re right, he assented, not caring to quarrel.  They passed in front of the officer’s dwelling.  Doña Consolacion was at the window, as usual, dressed in flannel and smoking her cigar.  As the house was low, the two señoras measured one another with looks; Doña Victorina stared while the Muse of the Civil Guard examined her from head to foot, and then, sticking out her lower lip, turned her head away and spat on the ground.  This used up the last of Doña Victorina’s patience. Leaving her husband without support, she planted herself in front of the alfereza, trembling with anger from head to foot and unable to speak.  Doña Consolacion slowly turned her head, calmly looked her over again, and once more spat, this time with greater disdain.

What’s the matter with you, Doña? she asked.

Can you tell me, señora, why you look at me so? Are you envious? Doña Victorina was at length able to articulate.

I, envious of you, I, of you? drawled the Muse.  Yes, I envy you those frizzes!

Come, woman! pleaded the doctor.  D-don’t t-take any n-notice!

Let me teach this shameless slattern a lesson, replied his wife, giving him such a shove that he nearly kissed the ground.  Then she again turned to Doña Consolacion.

Remember who you’re dealing with! she exclaimed.  Don’t think that I’m a provincial or a soldier’s querida! In my house in Manila the alfereces don’t eater, they wait at the door.

Oho, Excelentísima Señora! Alfereces don’t enter, but cripples do—like that one—ha, ha, ha!

Had it not been for the rouge, Doña Victorian would have been seen to blush.  She tried to get to her antagonist, but the sentinel stopped her.  In the meantime the street was filling up with a curious crowd.

Listen, I lower myself talking to you—people of quality—Don’t you want to wash my clothes? I’ll pay you well! Do you think that I don’t know that you were a washerwoman?

Learn this Filipino word:

ilistá sa tubig