Chapter 56: - Page 2 of 7

Rumors and Beliefs

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

And I—but really, can it be you don’t know what it was? asked a sly-featured individual.

Oh, the cuadrilleros!

No, sir, it was a mutiny in the barracks!

What kind of mutiny? The curate against the alferez?

No, it was nothing of the kind, answered the man who had asked the first question. It was the Chinamen who have rebelled.  With this he shut his window.

The Chinamen! echoed all in great astonishment.  That’s why not one of them is to be seen! They’ve probably killed them all!

I thought they were going to do something bad. Yesterday—

I saw it myself.  Last night—

What a pity! exclaimed Sister Rufa.  To get killed just before Christmas when they bring around their presents! They should have waited until New Year’s.

Little by little the street awoke to life.  Dogs, chickens, pigs, and doves began the movement, and these animals were soon followed by some ragged urchins who held fast to each other’s arms as they timidly approached the barracks.  Then a few old women with handkerchiefs tied about their heads and fastened under their chins appeared with thick rosaries in their hands, pretending to be at their prayers so that the soldiers would let them pass.  When it was seen that one might walk about without being shot at, the men began to come out with assumed airs of indifference.  First they limited their steps to the neighborhood of their houses, caressing their game-cocks, then they extended their stroll, stopping from time to time, until at last they stood in front of the town hall.

In a quarter of an hour other versions of the affair were in circulation.  Ibarra with his servants had tried to kidnap Maria Clara, and Capitan Tiago had defended her, aided by the Civil Guard.  The number of killed was now not fourteen but thirty.  Capitan Tiago was wounded and would leave that very day with his family for Manila.

Learn this Filipino word:

kapilas ng kaniláng buhay