"You don't understand your business!" said Albino to him as he stepped up on the rack and took the net from the hands of the youngster. "Now you will see! Andeng, open up the kettle!" But Albino did not understand his business, either. The net came up empty as before. All began to laugh. "Don't make any noise," he said, "or the fish will hear it and will keep from being caught.
A few moments later the youth descended the stairway accompanied by Capitan Tiago and Aunt Isabel, while Maria Clara shut herself up in the oratory. "Please tell Andeng to get the house ready, as Maria and Isabel are coming. A pleasant journey!" said Capitan Tiago as Ibarra stepped into the carriage, which at once started in the direction of the plaza of San Gabriel.
Andeng, the pretty foster sister of Maria Clara, despite her clear complexion and laughing face, had the reputation of being a good cook. She prepared the rice, tomatoes, and camias, while some of the young men tried to aid or bother her, perhaps in order to win her good will.
More shooting and more noise was heard in the direction of the convent, followed by cries and the sound of people running. Captain Tiago, Aunt Isabel and Linares entered the room, hurriedly crying "tulisan! tulisan!" Andeng followed them, brandishing a spit and ran toward her foster sister. Aunt Isabel fell on her knees and prayed the Kyrie eleison.
Your friend, Ibarra had received a perfumed note which Andeng, Maria Clara's foster-sister, delivered to him on the evening of the first day of the fiesta. This note said: "CRISOSTOMO, It has been over a day since you have shown yourself. I have heard that you are ill and have prayed for you and lighted two candles, although papa says that you are not seriously ill.
When he fixes them upon me, they frighten me. He speaks to me of extraordinary things, so incomprehensible, so strange. He asked me once if I had not dreamed about my mother's letters. I believe he is half crazy. My friend Sinang, and Andeng, my foster sister, say that he is a little out of his head, for he neither eats nor bathes, and he lives entirely in the darkness. Don't have him come!"
It is necessary that nothing be lacking." The two cousins, Sinang and Victoria, were at the other end of the dining-room. They had come to keep company with the sick Maria. Andeng was helping them clean up a tea service in order to serve tea. "Do you know Doctor Espadaña?" asked Maria Clara's foster sister, directing her question to Victoria. "No!" replied the latter.
"But what misfortune have we had, señoras?" asked Ibarra. "The alligator was the unfortunate one." "That goes to show," concluded Albino, "that, in all his fishing life, this reptile has never heard mass. I never saw him, I am sure, among the other reptiles who frequent the church." The bancas were turned toward the other fish rack, and it was necessary for Andeng to get the water boiling again.
Andeng at length announced that the soup was ready to receive its guests, so the young fisherman climbed up into the pen placed at the narrower end of the corral, over which might be written for the fishes, were they able to read and understand Italian, "Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch' entrante," for no fish that gets in there is ever released except by death.
"Kind Aunt Isabel!" exclaimed the ex-theological student. "She doesn't want the fish to miss the water for an instant!" Andeng, Maria Clara's foster-sister, in spite of her carefree and happy face, enjoyed the reputation of being an excellent cook, so she set about preparing a soup of rice and vegetables, helped and hindered by some of the young men, eager perhaps to win her favor.
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