<div id="d0e1715" class="div1"><span class="pagenum">
</span><h2 class="label">Chapter IV</h2>
<h2>Heretic and Filibuster</h2>
<p>Ibarra stood undecided for a moment. The night breeze, which during those months blows cool enough in Manila, seemed to drive
from his forehead the light cloud that had darkened it. He took off his hat and drew a deep breath. Carriages flashed by,
public rigs moved along at a sleepy pace, pedestrians of many nationalities were passing. He walked along at that irregular
pace which indicates thoughtful abstraction or freedom from care, directing his steps toward Binondo Plaza and looking about
him as if to recall the place. There were the same streets and the identical houses with their white and blue walls, whitewashed,
or frescoed in bad imitation of granite; the church continued to show its illuminated clock face; there were the same Chinese
shops with their soiled curtains and their iron gratings, in one of which was a bar that he, in imitation of the street urchins
of Manila, had twisted one night; it was still unstraightened. “How slowly everything moves,” he murmured as he turned into
Calle Sacristia. The ice-cream venders were repeating the same shrill cry, “<i>Sorbeteee!</i>” while the smoky lamps still lighted the identical Chinese stands and those of the old women who sold candy and fruit.
<p>“Wonderful!” he exclaimed. “There’s the same Chinese who was here seven years ago, and that old woman—the very same! It might
be said that tonight I’ve dreamed of a seven years’ journey in Europe. Good heavens, that pavement is still in the same unrepaired
condition as when I left!” True it was that the stones of the sidewalk on the corner of San Jacinto and Sacristia were still
<p>While he was meditating upon this marvel of the city’s <SPAN id="d0e1729"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1729">26</SPAN>]</span>stability in a country where everything is so unstable, a hand was placed lightly on his shoulder. He raised his head to see
the old lieutenant gazing at him with something like a smile in place of the hard expression and the frown which usually characterized
<p>“Young man, be careful! Learn from your father!” was the abrupt greeting of the old soldier.
<p>“Pardon me, but you seem to have thought a great deal of my father. Can you tell me how he died?” asked Ibarra, staring at
<p>“What! Don’t you know about it?” asked the officer.
<p>“I asked Don Santiago about it, but he wouldn’t promise to tell me until tomorrow. Perhaps you know?”
<p>“I should say I do, as does everybody else. He died in prison!”
<p>The young man stepped backward a pace and gazed searchingly at the lieutenant. “In prison? Who died in prison?”
<p>“Your father, man, since he was in confinement,” was the somewhat surprised answer.
<p>“My father—in prison—confined in a prison? What are you talking about? Do you know who my father was? Are you—?” demanded
the young man, seizing the officer’s arm.
<p>“I rather think that I’m not mistaken. He was Don Rafael Ibarra.”
<p>“Yes, Don Rafael Ibarra,” echoed the youth weakly.
<p>“Well, I thought you knew about it,” muttered the soldier in a tone of compassion as he saw what was passing in Ibarra’s mind.
“I supposed that you—but be brave! Here one cannot be honest and keep out of jail.”
<p>“I must believe that you are not joking with me,” replied Ibarra in a weak voice, after a few moments’ silence. “Can you tell
me why he was in prison?”
<p>The old man seemed to be perplexed. “It’s strange to me that your family affairs were not made known to you.”
<p>“His last letter, a year ago, said that I should not be <SPAN id="d0e1759"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1759">27</SPAN>]</span>uneasy if he did not write, as he was very busy. He charged me to continue my studies and—sent me his blessing.”
<p>“Then he wrote that letter to you just before he died. It will soon be a year since we buried him.”
<p>“But why was my father a prisoner?”
<p>“For a very honorable reason. But come with me to the barracks and I’ll tell you as we go along. Take my arm.”
<p>They moved along for some time in silence. The elder seemed to be in deep thought and to be seeking inspiration from his goatee,
which he stroked continually.
<p>“As you well know,” he began, “your father was the richest man in the province, and while many loved and respected him, there
were also some who envied and hated him. We Spaniards who come to the Philippines are unfortunately not all we ought to be.
I say this as much on account of one of your ancestors as on account of your father’s enemies. The continual changes, the
corruption in the higher circles, the favoritism, the low cost and the shortness of the journey, are to blame for it all.
The worst characters of the Peninsula come here, and even if a good man does come, the country soon ruins him. So it was that
your father had a number of enemies among the curates and other Spaniards.”
<p>Here he hesitated for a while. “Some months after your departure the troubles with Padre Damaso began, but I am unable to
explain the real cause of them. Fray Damaso accused him of not coming to confession, although he had not done so formerly
and they had nevertheless been good friends, as you may still remember. Moreover, Don Rafael was a very upright man, more
so than many of those who regularly attend confession and than the confessors themselves. He had framed for himself a rigid
morality and often said to me, when he talked of these troubles, ‘Señor Guevara, do you believe that God will pardon any crime,
a murder for instance, solely by a man’s telling it to a priest—a man after all and one whose duty it is to keep quiet about
it—by his fearing that he <SPAN id="d0e1773"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1773">28</SPAN>]</span>will roast in hell as a penance—by being cowardly and certainly shameless into the bargain? I have another conception of God,’
he used to say, ‘for in my opinion one evil does not correct another, nor is a crime to be expiated by vain lamentings or
by giving alms to the Church. Take this example: if I have killed the father of a family, if I have made of a woman a sorrowing
widow and destitute orphans of some happy children, have I satisfied eternal Justice by letting myself be hanged, or by entrusting
my secret to one who is obliged to guard it for me, or by giving alms to priests who are least in need of them, or by buying
indulgences and lamenting night and day? What of the widow and the orphans? My conscience tells me that I should try to take
the place of him whom I killed, that I should dedicate my whole life to the welfare of the family whose misfortunes I caused.
But even so, who can replace the love of a husband and a father?’ Thus your father reasoned and by this strict standard of
conduct regulated all his actions, so that it can be said that he never injured anybody. On the contrary, he endeavored by
his good deeds to wipe out some injustices which he said your ancestors had committed. But to get back to his troubles with
the curate—these took on a serious aspect. Padre Damaso denounced him from the pulpit, and that he did not expressly name
him was a miracle, since anything might have been expected of such a character. I foresaw that sooner or later the affair
would have serious results.”
<p>Again the old lieutenant paused. “There happened to be wandering about the province an ex-artilleryman who has been discharged
from the army on account of his stupidity and ignorance. As the man had to live and he was not permitted to engage in manual
labor, which would injure our prestige, he somehow or other obtained a position as collector of the tax on vehicles. The poor
devil had no education at all, a fact of which the natives soon became aware, as it was a marvel for them to see a Spaniard
who didn’t know how to read and write. Every one <SPAN id="d0e1777"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1777">29</SPAN>]</span>ridiculed him and the payment of the tax was the occasion of broad smiles. He knew that he was an object of ridicule and this
tended to sour his disposition even more, rough and bad as it had formerly been. They would purposely hand him the papers
upside down to see his efforts to read them, and wherever he found a blank space he would scribble a lot of pothooks which
rather fitly passed for his signature. The natives mocked while they paid him. He swallowed his pride and made the collections,
but was in such a state of mind that he had no respect for any one. He even came to have some hard words with your father.
<p>“One day it happened that he was in a shop turning a document over and over in the effort to get it straight when a schoolboy
began to make signs to his companions and to point laughingly at the collector with his finger. The fellow heard the laughter
and saw the joke reflected in the solemn faces of the bystanders. He lost his patience and, turning quickly, started to chase
the boys, who ran away shouting <i>ba, be, bi, bo, bu</i>.<SPAN id="d0e1784src" href="#d0e1784" class="noteref">1</SPAN> Blind with rage and unable to catch them, he threw his cane and struck one of the boys on the head, knocking him down. He
ran up and began to kick the fallen boy, and none of those who had been laughing had the courage to interfere. Unfortunately,
your father happened to come along just at that time. He ran forward indignantly, caught the collector by the arm, and reprimanded
him severely. The artilleryman, who was no doubt beside himself with rage, raised his hand, but your father was too quick
for him, and with the strength of a descendant of the Basques—some say that he struck him, others that he merely pushed him,
but at any rate the man staggered and fell a little way off, striking his head against a stone. Don Rafael quietly picked
the wounded boy up and carried him to the town hall. The artilleryman bled freely from the mouth and died a few moments later
without recovering consciousness.
<p><SPAN id="d0e1788"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1788">30</SPAN>]</span>“As was to be expected, the authorities intervened and arrested your father. All his hidden enemies at once rose up and false
accusations came from all sides. He was accused of being a heretic and a filibuster. To be a heretic is a great danger anywhere,
but especially so at that time when the province was governed by an alcalde who made a great show of his piety, who with his
servants used to recite his rosary in the church in a loud voice, perhaps that all might hear and pray with him. But to be
a filibuster is worse than to be a heretic and to kill three or four tax-collectors who know how to read, write, and attend
to business. Every one abandoned him, and his books and papers were seized. He was accused of subscribing to <i>El Correo de Ultramar</i>, and to newspapers from Madrid, of having sent you to Germany, of having in his possession letters and a photograph of a
priest who had been legally executed, and I don’t know what not. Everything served as an accusation, even the fact that he,
a descendant of Peninsulars, wore a camisa. Had it been any one but your father, it is likely that he would soon have been
set free, as there was a physician who ascribed the death of the unfortunate collector to a hemorrhage. But his wealth, his
confidence in the law, and his hatred of everything that was not legal and just, wrought his undoing. In spite of my repugnance
to asking for mercy from any one, I applied personally to the Captain-General—the predecessor of our present one—and urged
upon him that there could not be anything of the filibuster about a man who took up with all the Spaniards, even the poor
emigrants, and gave them food and shelter, and in whose veins yet flowed the generous blood of Spain. It was in vain that
I pledged my life and swore by my poverty and my military honor. I succeeded only in being coldly listened to and roughly
sent away with the epithet of <i>chiflado</i>.”<SPAN id="d0e1796src" href="#d0e1796" class="noteref">2</SPAN>
<p><SPAN id="d0e1800"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1800">31</SPAN>]</span>The old man paused to take a deep breath, and after noticing the silence of his companion, who was listening with averted
face, continued: “At your father’s request I prepared the defense in the case. I went first to the celebrated Filipino lawyer,
young A———, but he refused to take the case. ‘I should lose it,’ he told me, ‘and my defending him would furnish the motive
for another charge against him and perhaps one against me. Go to Señor M———, who is a forceful and fluent speaker and a Peninsular
of great influence.’ I did so, and the noted lawyer took charge of the case, and conducted it with mastery and brilliance.
But your father’s enemies were numerous, some of them hidden and unknown. False witnesses abounded, and their calumnies, which
under other circumstances would have melted away before a sarcastic phrase from the defense, here assumed shape and substance.
If the lawyer succeeded in destroying the force of their testimony by making them contradict each other and even perjure themselves,
new charges were at once preferred. They accused him of having illegally taken possession of a great deal of land and demanded
damages. They said that he maintained relations with the tulisanes in order that his crops and animals might not be molested
by them. At last the case became so confused that at the end of a year no one understood it. The alcalde had to leave and
there came in his place one who had the reputation of being honest, but unfortunately he stayed only a few months, and his
successor was too fond of good horses.
<p>“The sufferings, the worries, the hard life in the prison, or the pain of seeing so much ingratitude, broke your father’s
iron constitution and he fell ill with that malady which only the tomb can cure. When the case was almost finished and he
was about to be acquitted of the charge of being an enemy of the fatherland and of being the murderer of the tax-collector,
he died in the prison with no one at his side. I arrived just in time to see him breathe his last.”
<p><SPAN id="d0e1805"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1805">32</SPAN>]</span>The old lieutenant became silent, but still Ibarra said nothing. They had arrived meanwhile at the door of the barracks, so
the soldier stopped and said, as he grasped the youth’s hand, “Young man, for details ask Capitan Tiago. Now, good night,
as I must return to duty and see that all’s well.”
<p>Silently, but with great feeling, Ibarra shook the lieutenant’s bony hand and followed him with his eyes until he disappeared.
Then he turned slowly and signaled to a passing carriage. “To Lala’s Hotel,” was the direction he gave in a scarcely audible
<p>“This fellow must have just got out of jail,” thought the cochero as he whipped up his horses.
<SPAN id="d0e1811"></SPAN><span class="pagenum">[<SPAN href="#d0e1811">33</SPAN>]</span></p>
<p class="footnote"><span class="label"><SPAN id="d0e1784" href="#d0e1784src" class="noteref">1</SPAN></span> The syllables which constitute the first reading lesson in Spanish primers.—TR.
<p class="footnote"><span class="label"><SPAN id="d0e1796" href="#d0e1796src" class="noteref">2</SPAN></span> A Spanish colloquial term (“cracked”), applied to a native of Spain who was considered to be mentally unbalanced from too
long residence in the islands,—TR.