Chapter 50: - Page 4 of 7

Elias’s Story

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

The girl’s father was rich and succeeded in having him prosecuted.  He did not try to defend himself but admitted everything, and so was sent to prison.  The woman gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, who were nurtured in secret and made to believe that their father was dead no difficult matter, since at a tender age they saw their mother die, and they gave little thought to tracing genealogies.  As our maternal grandfather was rich our childhood passed happily.  My sister and I were brought up together, loving one another as only twins can love when they have no other affections.  When quite young I was sent to study in the Jesuit College, and my sister, in order that we might not be completely separated, entered the Concordia College.[3]  After our brief education was finished, since we desired only to be farmers, we returned to the town to take possession of the inheritance left us by our grandfather.  We lived happily for a time, the future smiled on us, we had many servants, our’ fields produced abundant harvests, and my sister was about to be married to a young man whom she adored and who responded equally to her affection.

But in a dispute over money and by reason of my haughty disposition at that time, I alienated the good will of a distant relative, and one day he east in my face my doubtful birth and shameful descent.  I thought it all a slander and demanded satisfaction.  The tomb which covered so much rottenness was again opened and to my consternation the whole truth came out to overwhelm me.  To add to our sorrow, we had had for many years an old servant who had endured all my whims without ever leaving us, contenting himself merely with weeping and groaning at the rough jests of the other servants.  I don’t know how my relative had found it out, but the fact is that he had this old man summoned into court and made him tell the truth: that old servant, who had clung to his beloved children, and whom I had abused many times, was my father! Our happiness faded away, I gave up our fortune, my sister lost her betrothed, and with our father we left the town to seek refuge elsewhere.  The thought that he had contributed to our misfortunes shortened the old man’s days, but before he died I learned from his lips the whole story of the sorrowful past.

[3] The Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion Concordia, situated near Santa Aria in the suburbs of Manila, was founded in 1868 for the education of native girls, by a pious Spanish-Filipino lady, who donated a building and grounds, besides bearing the expense of bringing out seven Sisters of Charity to take charge of it.—TR.