Chapter 47: - Page 5 of 5

The Two Señoras

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

The three girls exchanged glances.

You’ll see! The alferez has insulted us and said that you are what you are! His old hag came down with a whip and he, this thing here, permitted the insult—a man!

Abá! exclaimed Sinang, they’re had a fight and we didn’t see it!

The alferez smashed the doctor’s teeth, observed Victoria.

This very day we go to Manila. You, you stay here to challenge him or else I’ll tell Don Santiago that all we’re told him is a lie, I’ll tell him—

But, Doña Victorina, Doña Victorina, interrupted the now pallid Linares, going up to her, be calm, don’t call up— Then he added in a whisper, Don’t be imprudent, especially just now.

At that moment Capitan Tiago came in from the cockpit, sad and sighing; he had lost his lásak.  But Doña Victorina left him no time to grieve.  In a few words but with no lack of strong language she related what had happened, trying of course to put herself in the best light possible.

Linares is going to challenge him, do you hear? If he doesn’t, don’t let him marry your daughter, don’t you permit it! If he hasn’t any courage, he doesn’t deserve Clarita!

So you’re going to marry this gentleman? asked Sinang, but her merry eyes filled with tears.  I knew that you were prudent but not that you were fickle.

Pale as wax, Maria Clara partly rose and stared with frightened eyes at her father, at Doña Victorina, at Linares.  The latter blushed, Capitan Tiago dropped his eyes, while the señora went on:

Clarita, bear this in mind: never marry a man that doesn’t wear trousers.  You expose yourself to insults, even from the dogs!

The girl did not answer her, but turned to her friends and said, Help me to my room, I can’t walk alone.

By their aid she rose, and with her waist encircled by the round arms of her friends, resting her marble-like head on the shoulder of the beautiful Victoria, she went to her chamber.

That same night the married couple gathered their effects together and presented Capitan Tiago with a bill which amounted to several thousand pesos.  Very early the following day they left for Manila in his carriage, committing to the bashful Linares the office of avenger.

Learn this Filipino word:

pinilakang tabing