Chapter 54: - Page 3 of 7


(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Be calm!

Then why did you come in such a hurry?

The curate drew nearer to him and asked mysteriously, Haven’t—you—heard—anything?

The alferez shrugged his shoulders.

You admit that you know absolutely nothing?

Do you want to talk about Elias, who put away your senior sacristan last night? was the retort.

No, I’m not talking about those matters, answered the curate ill-naturedly.  I’m talking about a great danger.

Well, damn it, out with it!

Come, said the friar slowly and disdainfully, you see once more how important we ecclesiastics are.  The meanest lay brother is worth as much as a regiment, while a curate—

Then he added in a low and mysterious tone, I’ve discovered a big conspiracy!

The alferez started up and gazed in astonishment at the friar.

A terrible and well-organized plot, which will be carried out this very night.

This very night! exclaimed the alferez, pushing the curate aside and running to his revolver and sword hanging on the wall.

Who’ll I arrest? Who’ll I arrest? he cried.

Calm yourself! There is still time, thanks to the promptness with which I have acted.  We have till eight o’clock.

I’ll shoot all of them!

Listen! This afternoon a woman whose name I can’t reveal (it’s a secret of the confessional) came to me and told everything.  At eight o’clock they will seize the barracks by surprise, plunder the convento, capture the police boat, and murder all of us Spaniards.

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