Chapter 50: - Page 7 of 7

Elias’s Story

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Elias was the first to break the silence.  What shall I tell those who sent me? he asked with a change from his former tone.

I’ve already told you: I greatly deplore their condition, but they should wait.  Evils are not remedied by other evils, and in our misfortunes each of us has his share of blame.

Elias did not again reply, but dropped his head and rowed along until they reached the shore, where he took leave of Ibarra: I thank you, sir, for the condescension you have shown me.  Now, for your own good, I beg of you that in the future you forget me and that you do not recognize me again, no matter in what situation you may find me.

So saying, he drew away in the banka, rowing toward a thicket on the shore.  As he covered the long distance he remained silent, apparently intent upon nothing but the thousands of phosphorescent diamonds that the oar caught up and dropped back into the lake, where they disappeared mysteriously into the blue waves.

When he had reached the shadow of the thicket a man came out of it and approached the banka.  What shall I tell the capitan? he asked.

Tell him that Elias, if he lives, will keep his word, was the sad answer.

When will you join us, then?

When your capitan thinks that the hour of danger has come.

Very well.  Good-bye!

If I don’t die first, added Elias in a low voice.

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