Synopsis of the Noli Me Tangere
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Chapter 46: The FugitivesJust as he told Ibarra, Elias goes to Tanauan Batangas to search for Capitan Pablo. He finds Pablo deep in the forest. Pablo has a head wound. Elias invites him to live with him as father and son up in the north, but Pablo declines. Pablo cannot turn his away from the life of a fugitive. Elias asks Pablo not to commit violent acts against the government before they first get the help of Ibarra. If after four days and the complaints of the people are brought to the Capitan Heneral and still nothing happens, then Elias promised to join the rebel forces of Capitan Pablo.
- The term "Pablo" used by those who have taken to the mountains and who are fighting the Spanish government is an allusion to Capitan Pablo.
- Capitan Pablo and Elias have the same belief when it comes to exacting revenge -- do not involve the innocent.
Questions and Answers
- How did Elias and Pablo meet? Pablo took care of Elias when he was in a state of shock six months ago. Elias was aimlessly wandering here and there, not knowing how to seek vengeance for his twins, parents and ancestors.
- Why did Pablo become a bandit? A priest raped his daughter. Although his two sons searched for the priest, Pablo did not think of seeking revenge. Fearing a violent reaction from the two sons, the priest framed one of the boys and falsely accused him of theft in the convent. The young boy was tortured and hung by his hair (I don't know exactly what this means; go use your imagination). The theft was not proven and the priest was transferred to another province. The torturer got scared of the other boy because the accused died. The torturer then got the guardia civil to beat up the surviving boy on the basis of a missing cedula or residence certificate. The resulting injuries drove the boy to suicide. (Makes you wonder what kind of injuries were inflicted, right?)
- Why didn't Pablo exact revenge immediately? He was a coward of a father, a sorry fact he proved to himself later on.
- Why did Pablo call himself a tree without branches? He no longer had any children left.
- What happened to Pablo's daughter after she was raped by the priest? It is not clear in the chapter although one can guess that she might have committed suicide because of the humiliation (remember, this was in the 1800s). Besides, Pablo mentioned that he lost all his children because he was a worthless father.
- Who punished the two boys of Pablo (and ulimately led them to their deaths)? Again, it was not clearly pointed out. It could have been the alferez or the head of the guardia civil. This was the target of Pablo. He didn't want to harm the guardia civil because they were just following orders. This lack of animosity towards the soldiers earned Pablo a head wound. Or at least that's how he explained his injury to Elias.
- What criticism against Ibarra did Pablo use to defend his belief that Ibarra would not be able to help them? Pablo reasoned that Ibarra is a rich man who stands to lose much. He is about to get married and faces a bright and happy future and would not likely risk all that just for a handful of fugitives. Pablo said that he clearly understands this because he, too, was once a rich young man.
- How did Elias react to this? He said that Ibarra was different (based on his dealings with Ibarra).
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