The Reign of Greed eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 335 pages of information about The Reign of Greed.

The good captain winked several times, an indication that he was annoyed, but reading the request in the eyes of all, took a few steps toward the bow and scanned the shore.

“Look over there,” he said in a scarcely audible voice, after making sure that no strangers were near.  “According to the officer who conducted the pursuit, Ibarra, upon finding himself surrounded, jumped out of his banka there near the Kinabutasan [11] and, swimming under water, covered all that distance of more than two miles, saluted by bullets every time that he raised his head to breathe.  Over yonder is where they lost track of him, and a little farther on near the shore they discovered something like the color of blood.  And now I think of it, it’s just thirteen years, day for day, since this happened.”

“So that his corpse—­” began Ben-Zayb.

“Went to join his father’s,” replied Padre Sibyla.  “Wasn’t he also another filibuster, Padre Salvi?”

“That’s what might be called cheap funerals, Padre Camorra, eh?” remarked Ben-Zayb.

“I’ve always said that those who won’t pay for expensive funerals are filibusters,” rejoined the person addressed, with a merry laugh.

“But what’s the matter with you, Senor Simoun?” inquired Ben-Zayb, seeing that the jeweler was motionless and thoughtful.  “Are you seasick—­an old traveler like you?  On such a drop of water as this!”

“I want to tell you,” broke in the captain, who had come to hold all those places in great affection, “that you can’t call this a drop of water.  It’s larger than any lake in Switzerland and all those in Spain put together.  I’ve seen old sailors who got seasick here.”

CHAPTER IV

CABESANG TALES

Those who have read the first part of this story will perhaps remember an old wood-cutter who lived in the depths of the forest. [12] Tandang Selo is still alive, and though his hair has turned completely white, he yet preserves his good health.  He no longer hunts or cuts firewood, for his fortunes have improved and he works only at making brooms.

His son Tales (abbreviation of Telesforo) had worked at first on shares on the lands of a capitalist, but later, having become the owner of two carabaos and several hundred pesos, determined to work on his own account, aided by his father, his wife, and his three children.  So they cut down and cleared away some thick woods which were situated on the borders of the town and which they believed belonged to no one.  During the labors of cleaning and cultivating the new land, the whole family fell ill with malaria and the mother died, along with the eldest daughter, Lucia, in the flower of her age.  This, which was the natural consequence of breaking up new soil infested with various kinds of bacteria, they attributed to the anger of the woodland spirit, so they were resigned and went on with their labor, believing him pacified.

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The Reign of Greed from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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