Chapter 55: - Page 3 of 5

The Catastrophe

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Ibarra hastened his steps toward home, where his servants were anxiously awaiting him.  Saddle the best horse and go to bed! he ordered them.

Going into his study, he hastily packed a traveling-bag, opened an iron safe, took out what money he found there and put it into some sacks.  Then he collected his jewels, took clown a portrait of Maria Clara, armed himself with a dagger and two revolvers, and turned toward a closet where he kept his instruments.

At that moment three heavy knocks sounded on the door.  Who’s there? asked Ibarra in a gloomy tone.

Open, in the King’s name, open at once, or we’ll break the door down, answered an imperious voice in Spanish.

Ibarra looked toward the window, his eyes gleamed, and he cocked his revolver.  Then changing his mind, he put the weapons down and went to open the door just as the servant appeared.  Three guards instantly seized him.

Consider yourself a prisoner in the King’s name, said the sergeant.

For what?

They’ll tell you over there. We’re forbidden to say.  The youth reflected a moment and then, perhaps not wishing that the soldiers should discover his preparations for flight, picked up his hat, saying, I’m at your service.  I suppose that it will only be for a few hours.

If you promise not to try to escape, we won’t tie you the alferez grants this favor—but if you run—

Ibarra went with them, leaving his servants in consternation.

Learn this Filipino word:

mabigát panimbangán