Chapter 53 :

Il Buon Dí Si Conosce Da Mattina

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Early the next morning the report spread through the town that many lights had been seen in the cemetery on the previous night.  The leader of the Venerable Tertiary Order spoke of lighted candles, of their shape and size, and, although he could not fix the exact number, had counted more than twenty.  Sister Sipa, of the Brotherhood of the Holy Rosary, could not bear the thought that a member of a rival order should alone boast of having seen this divine marvel, so she, even though she did not live near the place, had heard cries and groans, and even thought she recognized by their voices certain persons with whom she, in other times,—but out of Christian charity she not only forgave them but prayed for them and would keep their names secret, for all of which she was declared on the spot to be a saint.  Sister Rufa was not so keen of hearing, but she could not suffer that Sister Sipa had heard so much and she nothing, so she related a dream in which there had appeared before her many souls—not only of the dead but even of the living—souls in torment who begged for a part of those indulgences of hers which were so carefully recorded and treasured.  She could furnish names to the families interested and only asked for a few alms to succor the Pope in his needs.  A little fellow, a herder, who dared to assert that he had seen nothing more than one light and two men in salakots had difficulty in escaping with mere slaps and scoldings.  Vainly he swore to it; there were his carabaos with him and could verify his statement.  Do you pretend to know more than the Warden and the Sisters, paracmason, [1] heretic? he was asked amid angry looks.  The curate went up into the pulpit and preached about purgatory so fervently that the pesos again flowed forth from their hiding-places to pay for masses.

But let us leave the suffering souls and listen to the conversation between Don Filipo and old Tasio in the lonely home of the latter.  The Sage, or Lunatic, was sick, having been for days unable to leave his bed, prostrated by a malady that was rapidly growing worse.

Really, I don’t know whether to congratulate you or not that your resignation has been accepted.  Formerly, when the gobernadorcillo so shamelessly disregarded the will of the majority, it was right for you to tender it, but now that you are engaged in a contest with the Civil Guard it’s not quite proper.  In time of war you ought to remain at your post.

Yes, but not when the general sells himself, answered Don Filipo.  You know that on the following morning the gobernadorcillo liberated the soldiers that I had succeeded in arresting and refused to take any further action.  Without the consent of my superior officer I could do nothing.

Il Buon Dí Si Conosce Da Mattina = The fair day is foretold by the morn.

[1] Paracmason, i.e. freemason.


Learn this Filipino word:

pinitpít na luya