Chapter 60: - Page 7 of 11

Maria Clara Weds

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

The lieutenant did not answer.  He stared for a moment at Padre Salvi and then moved away, nervously twisting the sharp point of his gray beard.  The others made their comments.

There is seen the hand of God! remarked one.  Even the women hate him.

He had his house burned down, thinking in that way to save himself, but he didn’t count on the guest, on his querida, his babaye, added another, laughing.  It’s the work of God! Santiago y cierra España! [4]

Meanwhile the old soldier paused in his pacing about and approached Maria Clara, who was listening to the conversation, motionless in her chair, with the flowers scattered at her feet.

You are a very prudent girl, the old officer whispered to her.  You did well to give up the letter. You have thus assured yourself an untroubled future.

With startled eyes she watched him move away from her, and bit her lip.  Fortunately, Aunt Isabel came along, and she had sufficient strength left to catch hold of the old lady’s skirt.

Aunt! she murmured.

What’s the matter? asked the old lady, frightened by the look on the girl’s face.

Take me to my room! she pleaded, grasping her aunt’s arm in order to rise.

Are you sick, daughter? You look as if you’d lost your bones! What’s the matter?

A fainting spell—the people in the room—so many lights—I need to rest.  Tell father that I’m going to sleep.

You’re cold. Do you want some tea?

Maria Clara shook her head, entered and locked the door of her chamber, and then, her strength failing her, she fell sobbing to the floor at the feet of an image.

Mother, mother, mother mine! she sobbed.

[4] The Spanish battle-cry: St. James, and charge, Spain!TR.

Learn this Filipino word:

hindî na makasampá sa pugad