?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

KABANATA XII: Ang Gawain ng Obispo

Kinaumagahan, nagpasyal si Ginoong Bienvenu sa kanyang hardin. Mabilis siyang nilapitan ni Ginang Magloire na ubod natataranta.

“Ginoo, ginoo!” bulalas niya, “alam po ba ng inyong Grasya kung saan nalagay ang basket ng pilak?”

“Oo,” aniya ng Obispo.

“Salamat kay Jesus na Maykapal!” patuloy ng babae. “Hindi ko alam kung saan siya napadpad.”

Kapupulot lang ng Obispo ang basket na nasa taniman ng mga bulaklak. Ipinakita niya ito kay Ginang Magloire.

“Ito, narito.”

“Aba!” sabi niya. “Walang laman! At ang pilak?”

“Ah,” tumugon ang Obispo, “ang pilak naman ang inyong pinoproblema. Hindi ko alam kung saan na yon”

“Diyos na mahabagin! Ninakaw na! Ang lalaki na nandito kagabi ang nagnakaw.”

Sa isang iglap, gamit lang ng tanging lakas ng mga matandang ale, tumakbo si Ginang Magloire sa oratorio, punasok sa sulok at bumalik sa Obispo. Nakayuko naman yung Obispo at nagbubuntong-hininga habang tumitingin sa isang halaman ng cochleria des Guillons na nadaganan ng basket na nahulog. Tumayo siya sa sigaw ni Ginang Magloire.

“Ginoo, umalis na ang lalaki! Ninakaw niya ang pilak!”

Nang nabulalas niya ito, nakatingin siya sa isang sulok ng hardin, kung saan makikita ang tanda na may umakyat sa bakod. Nanlagas ang takip ng dingding.

“Dito! Diyan sa napunta! Tumalon siya sa Cochefilet Lane. Ang halimaw! Ninakaw niya ang pilak!”

Tahmik ng sandali ang Obispo, at saka niya itinaas ang kanyang seryosong mata, sabay sabi ng mahinhin kay Ginang Magloire:

“Ngunit sa una pa lang, sa atin ba talaga dapat yung pilak?”

Hindi makapagsalita si Ginang Magloire. Matagal silang nanahimik, at tumuloy ang Obispo:


“Ginang Magloire, matagal ko inangkin yung pilak nay un. Dapat yan ay ibinigay sa mga mahihirap. Sino ba yung lalaking yun? Halatang mahirap siya.”

“Ay Jesus!” tugon ni Ginang Magloire. “Hindi naman para sa akin o para sa kapatid mo. Ano naman yan para sa amin? Pero para sa inyo po, Ginoo? Ano ang gagamitin ni Ginoo para kumain?”

Napatingin ang Obispo sa kanya na parang nagtataka.

“Ikaw naman! Wala bang mga tinidor at kutsara na pewter?”

Nagkibit-balikat si Ginang Magloire. “Nangangamoy ang pewter.”

“Yung gawa naman sa bakal.”

Matindi napasimangot si Ginang Magloire.

“May lasa ang bakal.:

“Kung ganon,” sabi ng Obispo, “yung gawa sa kahoy.”

Ilang sandali, nagaalmusal siya sa mismong lamesa kung saan nakaupo si Jean Valjean noong nakaraang gabi. Habang siya ay kumakain, ikinekwento ni Ginoong Mapagtanggap sa kanyang kapatid, na walang sinasabi, at kay Ginang Magloire na nagtatampo na patahimik, na wala naman nangangailangan ng tinidor or kutsara, pati yung yari sa kahoy, para isawsaw ang tinapay sa gatas.

“Magandang isipan yan,” bulong ni Ginang Magloire sa kanyang sarili habang siya ay labas-pasok, “na magtanggap ng ganong klaseng tao, at bigyan siya ng tulugan malapit sa sarili mo! Mabuti na lang na wala siyang tinangka kung di magnakaw. Diyos ko, nakakakaba na isipin yun!”

Tatayo na ang magkapatid mula sa kanilang kinainan nang may kumatok sa pintuan.

“Pasok kayo,” sabi ng Obispo.

Bumukas ang pintuan at doon sa labas may nakatayo na isang maingay at nakakakabang grupo. May tatlong lalaki na hawak ng isa pang lalaki sa kanyang leeg. Ang tatlo ay ang mga gendarmes, ang isa naman si Jean Valjean.

Ang isang comandante ng mga gendarmes na siyang namuno sa pangkat na ito, ay ang nakatayo malapit sa pintuan. Pumasok siya at pumunta sa Obispo at nagpugay.

“Ginoo---“ sabi niya.

Sa salita na ito, sa Jean Valjean na lupaypay na at parang ginapi, ay nagtaas noo na parang nabibigla.

“Ginoo!” bulong niya. “Hindi ba siya ang cura?”

“Tahimik ka diyan!” sabi ng gendarme. “Siya ay ang Ginoo ang Obispo!”

Habang ito nangyayari, lumapit si Ginoong Bienvenu sa bilis na nakayanan ng kanyang edad.

“Ah, andito ka!” bati niya na nakatingin kay Jean Valjean. “Masaya ako na makita ka. Pero paano nga ba ito? Ibingay ko sa yo ang hawakan ng mga kandila, na gawa din sa pilak, at sigurado maibebenta mo ng dalawang daan na franc. Bakit di mo isinama sa mga tinidor at kutsara?”

Napatulala si Jean Valjean at nakatitig siya sa kagalang-galang na Obispo na may mukha na hindi maiilalarawan ng anumang wika ng tao.

“Ginoo,” sabi ng brigadier ng mga gendarme, “ang sinabi ba nitong lalaki ay totoo? Nadatnan naming siya. Siya ay naglalakad parang isang tao na may tinakasan. Pinahinto naming para lang magtanong at nasa kanya itong pilak---“

“At ang sabi niya,” patuloy na Obispo na nakangiti, “na binigay sa kanya ito ng isang mabait na matandang pari kung saan siya nakitulog. Nakikita ko kung ano ang nangyari. At dinala mo siya pabalik rito? Pagkakamali yan.”

“Kung ganon,” sabi ng brigadier, “maari naming siyang pakawalan?”

“Siyempre,” tugon ng Obispo.

Pinakawalan ng mga gendarme si Jean Valjean na parang gusto na maglaho.

“Tama ba ako’y ilalaya?” tanong niya na halos di mainitidihan, parang siya ay nagsasalita sa kanyang tulog.

“Oo, ikaw na ay malaya, di mo na iintindihan?” sagot ng isang gendarme.

“Kaibigan,” patuloy ng Obispo, “Bago ka umalis, ito ang mga hawakan ng kandila. Kunin mo na.”

Pumunta siya sa piyesa ng tsimenea, kinuha ang dalawang pilak na hawakan, at dinala niya kay Jean Valjean. Nanoood lamang ang dalawang ale na walang masabi, di man lang makagalaw, pero may mukha na makakakaba sa Obispo.

Nangangatog si Jean Valjean. Tinanggap niya ang dalawang hawakan ng kandila na halos di makapaniwala sa nangyayari,

“Ngayon,” sabi ng Obispo, “lumakad ka na at mamayapa. Kung babalik ka, kaibigan, di naman kailangan dumaan sa hardin. Ikaw ay pwede pumasok at lumabas sa pintuan. Wala naman siyang kandado araw at gabi.”

At, tugon naman sa mga gendarme—

“Umuwi na kayo, mga ginoo.”

Umalis ang mga gendarme.

Parang mahihimatay na rin si Jean Valjean.

Lumapit ang Obispo sa kanya at nagsabi sa isang mababang tono,
“Wag na wag mo kalimutan na nangako ka na gamitin ang pera upang maging isang matapat na tao.”

Si Jean Valjean, na di naman nagaalala kung nangako siya ng ganito, ay di nagsalita. Binigyan-diin ng Obispo ang mga salita na binigkas niya. Taimtim siya na nagsabi:

“Jean Valjean, aking kapatid, hindi ka na bahagi sa kasamaan pero ngayon na sa kabutihan. Ang kaluluwa mo ang nabili ko mula sa iyo. Inaalis ko ito mula sa mga maitim na pagnanasa at sa espirito ng karimlan, at inaalay ko na sa Panginoon.”

CHAPTER XII--THE BISHOP WORKS

The next morning at sunrise Monseigneur Bienvenu was strolling in his
garden. Madame Magloire ran up to him in utter consternation.

"Monseigneur, Monseigneur!" she exclaimed, "does your Grace know where
the basket of silver is?"

"Yes," replied the Bishop.

"Jesus the Lord be blessed!" she resumed; "I did not know what had
become of it."

The Bishop had just picked up the basket in a flower-bed. He presented
it to Madame Magloire.

The Bishop had just picked up the basket in a flower-bed. He presented
it to Madame Magloire.

"Here it is."

"Well!" said she. "Nothing in it! And the silver?"

"Ah," returned the Bishop, "so it is the silver which troubles you? I
don't know where it is."

"Great, good God! It is stolen! That man who was here last night has
stolen it."

In a twinkling, with all the vivacity of an alert old woman, Madame
Magloire had rushed to the oratory, entered the alcove, and returned
to the Bishop. The Bishop had just bent down, and was sighing as he
examined a plant of cochlearia des Guillons, which the basket had broken
as it fell across the bed. He rose up at Madame Magloire's cry.

"Monseigneur, the man is gone! The silver has been stolen!"

As she uttered this exclamation, her eyes fell upon a corner of the
garden, where traces of the wall having been scaled were visible. The
coping of the wall had been torn away.

"Stay! yonder is the way he went. He jumped over into Cochefilet Lane.
Ah, the abomination! He has stolen our silver!"

The Bishop remained silent for a moment; then he raised his grave eyes,
and said gently to Madame Magloire:--

"And, in the first place, was that silver ours?"

Madame Magloire was speechless. Another silence ensued; then the Bishop
went on:--

"Madame Magloire, I have for a long time detained that silver
wrongfully. It belonged to the poor. Who was that man? A poor man,
evidently."

"Alas! Jesus!" returned Madame Magloire. "It is not for my sake, nor for
Mademoiselle's. It makes no difference to us. But it is for the sake of
Monseigneur. What is Monseigneur to eat with now?"

The Bishop gazed at her with an air of amazement.

"Ah, come! Are there no such things as pewter forks and spoons?"

Madame Magloire shrugged her shoulders. "Pewter has an odor."

"Iron forks and spoons, then."

Madame Magloire made an expressive grimace. "Iron has a taste."

"Very well," said the Bishop; "wooden ones then."

A few moments later he was breakfasting at the very table at which
Jean Valjean had sat on the previous evening. As he ate his breakfast,
Monseigneur Welcome remarked gayly to his sister, who said nothing, and
to Madame Magloire, who was grumbling under her breath, that one really
does not need either fork or spoon, even of wood, in order to dip a bit
of bread in a cup of milk.

"A pretty idea, truly," said Madame Magloire to herself, as she went and
came, "to take in a man like that! and to lodge him close to one's self!
And how fortunate that he did nothing but steal! Ah, mon Dieu! it makes
one shudder to think of it!"

As the brother and sister were about to rise from the table, there came
a knock at the door. "Come in," said the Bishop.

The door opened. A singular and violent group made its appearance on the
threshold. Three men were holding a fourth man by the collar. The three
men were gendarmes; the other was Jean Valjean.

A brigadier of gendarmes, who seemed to be in command of the group, was
standing near the door. He entered and advanced to the Bishop, making a
military salute.

"Monseigneur--" said he.

At this word, Jean Valjean, who was dejected and seemed overwhelmed,
raised his head with an air of stupefaction.

"Monseigneur!" he murmured. "So he is not the cure?"

"Silence!" said the gendarme. "He is Monseigneur the Bishop."

In the meantime, Monseigneur Bienvenu had advanced as quickly as his
great age permitted.

"Ah! here you are!" he exclaimed, looking at Jean Valjean. "I am glad to
see you. Well, but how is this? I gave you the candlesticks too, which
are of silver like the rest, and for which you can certainly get two
hundred francs. Why did you not carry them away with your forks and
spoons?"

Jean Valjean opened his eyes wide, and stared at the venerable Bishop
with an expression which no human tongue can render any account of.

"Monseigneur," said the brigadier of gendarmes, "so what this man said
is true, then? We came across him. He was walking like a man who is
running away. We stopped him to look into the matter. He had this
silver--"

"And he told you," interposed the Bishop with a smile, "that it had been
given to him by a kind old fellow of a priest with whom he had passed
the night? I see how the matter stands. And you have brought him back
here? It is a mistake."

"In that case," replied the brigadier, "we can let him go?"

"Certainly," replied the Bishop.

The gendarmes released Jean Valjean, who recoiled. "Is it true that I am to be released?" he said, in an almost inarticulate voice, and as though he were talking in his sleep.

"Yes, thou art released; dost thou not understand?" said one of the
gendarmes.

"My friend," resumed the Bishop, "before you go, here are your
candlesticks. Take them."

Jean Valjean was trembling in every limb. He took the two candlesticks
mechanically, and with a bewildered air.

He stepped to the chimney-piece, took the two silver candlesticks, and
brought them to Jean Valjean. The two women looked on without uttering
a word, without a gesture, without a look which could disconcert the
Bishop.

"Now," said the Bishop, "go in peace. By the way, when you return, my
friend, it is not necessary to pass through the garden. You can always
enter and depart through the street door. It is never fastened with
anything but a latch, either by day or by night."

Then, turning to the gendarmes, "You may retire, gentlemen."

The gendarmes retired.

Jean Valjean was like a man on the point of fainting.

The Bishop drew near to him, and said in a low voice: "Do not forget, never forget, that you have promised to use this money in becoming an honest man."

Jean Valjean, who had no recollection of ever having promised anything,
remained speechless. The Bishop had emphasized the words when he uttered
them. He resumed with solemnity:

"Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It
is your soul that I buy from you; I withdraw it from black thoughts and
the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God."