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The Widow Velarde's Husband


Source: Myths & Legends Of Our New Possessions & Protectorate

Enchanted Lake, near Los Banos, on the Pasig, fills an ancient crater
and is an object of natural interest. Its enchantment, so far as is
generally known, consists in the visits of Widow Velarde's husband to
its shores, and his occasional moonlight excursions over its waters
in a boat that has the same pale green shine as himself. This Velarde
was a fisherman and being somewhat of a gallant he had roused the
mortal jealousy of his wife. In revenge for his supposed slights she
engaged two of his friends to confer on her the joys of widowhood,
which they agreed to do for a consideration. The amount promised was
six dollars, but the preliminary negotiations appear to have been
hasty, for when these worthies had earned the money, having held the
unfortunate Velarde under the water until he ceased to bubble, the
thrifty woman wanted them to accept three dollars apiece. They held
stoutly for six dollars apiece. The widow would not pay it. There
was a long and undignified wrangle,--disputes over funeral bills
are often warranted, but are seldom seemly,--and it ended in the
angry departure of the fishermen, without even their three dollars,
to lodge a complaint against the Widow Velarde for cheating.

Now, would you suppose that two men, having just murdered a
fellow-creature, would go to a magistrate to complain about the
payment? These Filipinos did it. They went to a judge at Los Banos and
tried to get an order for the woman's arrest. The judge, fancying this
must be a kind of joke peculiar to Luzon, said he would think over the
matter, and he resumed his slumbers. In a day or two he learned that
the men had really killed their companion, and had fallen out with the
widow on the matter of terms. They meanwhile had learned that their
act was contrary to white man's law and had escaped, though it is said
they were afterward caught and put to death. Perhaps it is the disquiet
caused by the reflection that he was worth no more than six dollars
that leads the extinguished husband to vex the scene of his demise.

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