Chapter 60: - Page 5 of 11

Maria Clara Weds

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

In the group of women Maria Clara was the subject of a murmured conversation.  The maiden had welcomed them all ceremoniously, without losing her air of sadness.

Pish! remarked one young woman.  The proud little thing!

Pretty little thing! responded another.  But he might have picked out some other girl with a less foolish face.

The gold, child! The good youth is selling himself.

In another part the comments ran thus:

To get married when her first fiancé is about to be hanged!

That’s what’s called prudence, having a substitute ready.

Well, when she gets to be a widow—

Maria Clara was seated in a chair arranging a salver of flowers and doubtless heard all these remarks, for her hand trembled, she turned pale, and several times bit her lips.

In the circle of men the conversation was carried on in loud tones and, naturally, turned upon recent events.  All were talking, even Don Tiburcio, with the exception of Padre Sibyla, who maintained his usual disdainful silence.

I’ve heard it said that your Reverence is leaving the town, Padre Salvi? inquired the new major, whose fresh star had made him more amiable.

I have nothing more to do there.  I’m going to stay permanently in Manila.  And you?

I’m also leaving the town, answered the ex-alferez, swelling up.  The government needs me to command a flying column to clean the provinces of filibusters.

Fray Sibyla looked him over rapidly from head to foot and then turned his back completely.

Is it known for certain what will become of the ringleader, the filibuster? inquired a government employee.

Do you mean Crisostomo Ibarra? asked another.  The most likely and most just thing is that he will be hanged, like those of ’72.

Learn this Filipino word:

sumunód sa bakás ng amá