Thursday, January 22, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 15)

—I answered, It's certain that we saw an Angel! —She continued to question me, How did you see him?
—I explained it to her in such a way that she listened very closely.

—And then smiling, she said to me, Since I have a good opinion of you, I believe that you saw the Angel. But the others: No!
—Then I said to her, But all four of us saw him
— Loli, Jacinta, Mari Cruz and I myself!

When I came home with the milk, I said to my mother, Mama, I'm going to pray in the Calleja.
This was heard by a stonemason named Pepe Díez,(9) who was there working to repair our house, and also by my brother Aniceto, who was helping him.
—Then Pepe said laughing: Yes, Yes, let her go. Why not let her go pray?
—My brother objected to this: Conchita, don't let it happen!
The people will laugh at you and at us too. They will say that you are going around saying that you are seeing an Angel. And that you are lying.

But the desire of meeting the marvelous apparition again attracted the girl too much, and she
did not leave her mother in peace until she obtained permission to go to the calleja. Soon she met the other three, and joining arms, they went in the direction of the calleja. They encountered an unbelieving and hostile crowd that questioned them and made jokes about them, since no one believed in the apparition; or rather no one wanted to expose himself to ridicule before the more sophisticated villagers by showing any belief in the strange story of the four little girls.(10)
But people followed them secretly, especially some rude young boys who wanted to show their beginning manhood by vulgarly interfering with the girls. The four girls began to pray in the calleja; but it wasn't possible to concentrate on their prayers because of the little band of ruffians with disheveled hair and dirty faces, who started throwing stones at them, accompanying their missiles with laughs, insults and other words.

9. This man is worked as a stonemason in the village; he is one of the best informed witnesses of the Garabandal events. His wife is Clementina González, from whom he had four children at the time. Conchita wrote these things in her diary more than a year after they happened. And perhaps, as they were side-lights to the really important events, she did not record them accurately. Concerning the conversation with the stonemason Pepe Díez, we have information from his wife Clementina which complements and enlarges on what Conchita gives. Clementina states that on that day Pepe tried to prevent the girls from what could have been a dangerous episode by threatening them . . . He spoke to Conchita in this manner: Listen, child, what kind of tale are you telling about the apparition of an angel? Don’t you know how serious this is? . . . Don’t go on with this foolishness. If you continue with this, I’ll report it to the police, and they’ll come, take statements, and submit you to questioning . . . And you might end up in jail . . . And the trouble might involve your families . . . Embarrassment . . . Shame . . . Disgrace . . . You are not the type of girl that plays around with such things . . . Then in a similar tone, in a way to intimidate them, he spoke to the other three girls when they came looking for Conchita. They listened, a little frightened, but didn’t reply. Finally they said what they were going to do, and that they had not made up anything. And could they be allowed to go in case the Angel came back?

10. The population of La Montaña (Santander) are intelligent by nature and not easily taken in. They are serious people, hardly naïve, and cautious to the extreme in not being taken advantage of in business or in assuming a stance that would have to be abandoned later.

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