Chapter 56: - Page 3 of 7

Rumors and Beliefs

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

The arrival of two cuadrilleros carrying a human form on a covered stretcher and followed by a civil-guard produced a great sensation.  It was conjectured that they came from the convento, and, from the shape of the feet, which were dangling over one end, some guessed who the dead man might be, some one else a little distance away told who it was; further on the corpse was multiplied and the mystery of the Holy Trinity duplicated, later the miracle of the loaves and fishes was repeated—and the dead were then thirty and eight.

By half-past seven, when other guards arrived from neighboring towns, the current version was clear and detailed.  I’ve just come from the town hall, where I’ve seen Don Filipo and Don Crisostomo prisoners, a man told Sister Puté.  I’ve talked with one of the cuadrilleros who are on guard. Well, Bruno, the son of that fellow who was flogged to death, confessed everything last night.  As you know, Capitan Tiago is going to marry his daughter to the young Spaniard, so Don Crisostomo in his rage wanted to get revenge and tried to kill all the Spaniards, even the curate.  Last night they attacked the barracks and the convento, but fortunately, by God’s mercy, the curate was in Capitan Tiago’s house.  They say that a lot of them escaped.  The civil-guards burned Don Crisostomo’s house down, and if they hadn’t arrested him first they would have burned him also.

They burned the house down?

All the servants are under arrest.  Look, you can still see the smoke from here! answered the narrator, approaching the window.  Those who come from there tell of many sad things.

All looked toward the place indicated.  A thin column of smoke was still slowly rising toward the sky. All made comments, more or less pitying, more or less accusing.

Poor youth! exclaimed an old man, Puté’s husband.

Yes, she answered, but look how he didn’t order a mass said for the soul of his father, who undoubtedly needs it more than others.

But, woman, haven’t you any pity?

Pity for the excommunicated? It’s a sin to take pity on the enemies of God, the curates say.  Don’t you remember? In the cemetery he walked about as if he was in a corral.

But a corral and the cemetery are alike, replied the old man, only that into the former only one kind of animal enters.

Learn this Filipino word:

kahiramang-sukláy