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El Filibusterismo: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 18 (Legerdemain)

Mr. Leeds warmly welcomes the group.  He allows them time to survey the room as well as the tools he will use to showcase the sphinx.  An alcohol lamp lights the tent, which is dark and gloomy.  Mr. Leeds begins by presenting to them a box with ashes that he claimed to have been taken from the Egyptian pyramids.  He shouts a magic word, and the ashes form the image of the sphinx, whose name is Imuthis.  Imuthis narrates to the group the sad story of his life, which is curiously parallel to the story of Crisostomo Ibarra.  After the tale is told, Imuthis begins accusing Padre Salvi of being a murderer and a hypocrite, and the young friar faints in his seat.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Name some similarities between the story of Imuthis and that of Ibarra.
1.      Both men studied in foreign lands.
2.      Both men were against a league of friars.
3.      Both men had a young pretentious priest as a rival in love and politics.
4.      Both were pursued in the lake and died there. (Ibarra was believed to have died in the water.)
5.      The priest in Imuthis's story violated and abused the woman they both loved (who was also the child born of another priest's wrongdoing) in a temple -- just like what Salvi did to Maria Clara.
6.      Both returned after their death to exact vengeance on the men responsible for their dark fate -- Imuthis as a sphinx, and Ibarra as Simoun.

Question: Where does Mr. Leeds go after the show?
Answer: He goes to Hongkong, which, during that time, is part of English colony.  He is fearful that Padre Salvi would start a riot among the priests and go after him.  Hongkong during those days was the land of refuge for abused Filipinos who had enough money to flee from the country.  The first Philippine flag was made in Hongkong.

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