“What does that matter to us?” rejoined Isagani. “We don’t have to find out, let them find out! Before we know how they are drawn up, we have no need to make any show of agreement at a time like this. There where the danger is, there must we hasten, because honor is there! If what the pasquinades say is compatible with our dignity and our feelings, be he who he may that wrote them, he has done well, and we ought to be grateful to him and hasten to add our signatures to his! If they are unworthy of us, our conduct and our consciences will in themselves protest and defend us from every accusation!”
Upon hearing such talk, Basilio, although he liked Isagani very much, turned and left. He had to go to Makaraig’s house to see about the loan.
Near the house of the wealthy student he observed whisperings and mysterious signals among the neighbors, but not comprehending what they meant, continued serenely on his way and entered the doorway. Two guards advanced and asked him what he wanted. Basilio realized that he had made a bad move, but he could not now retreat.
“I’ve come to see my friend Makaraig,” he replied calmly.
The guards looked at each other. “Wait here,” one of them said to him. “Wait till the corporal comes down.”
Basilio bit his lips and Simoun’s words again recurred to him. Had they come to arrest Makaraig?—was his thought, but he dared not give it utterance. He did not have to wait long, for in a few moments Makaraig came down, talking pleasantly with the corporal. The two were preceded by a warrant officer.
“What, you too, Basilio?” he asked.
“I came to see you—”
“Noble conduct!” exclaimed Makaraig laughing. “In time of calm, you avoid us.”
The corporal asked Basilio his name, then scanned a list. “Medical student, Calle Anloague?” he asked.
Basilio bit his lip.
“You’ve saved us a trip,” added the corporal, placing his hand on the youth’s shoulder. “You’re under arrest!”
“What, I also?”
Makaraig burst out into laughter.
“Don’t worry, friend. Let’s get into the carriage, while I tell you about the supper last night.”
With a graceful gesture, as though he were in his own house, he invited the warrant officer and the corporal to enter the carriage that waited at the door.
“To the Civil Government!” he ordered the cochero.
Now that Basilio had again regained his composure, he told Makaraig the object of his visit. The rich student did not wait for him to finish, but seized his hand. “Count on me, count on me, and to the festivities celebrating our graduation we’ll invite these gentlemen,” he said, indicating the corporal and the warrant officer.
THE FRIAR AND THE FILIPINO
Vox populi, vox Dei
We left Isagani haranguing his friends. In the midst of his enthusiasm an usher approached him to say that Padre Fernandez, one of the higher professors, wished to talk with him.