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Noli Me Tangere: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 32 (The Derrick)


Summary:
Nol Juan commends the great workmanship done by the yellowish man on the pulley.  When asked where he learned such skills, the youth replies that he was taught by his father who learned it from a Don Saturnino.  He then smiles meaningfully.

Elias, disguised as a local farmer, observes that the yellowish man is seemingly restless and apprehensive as he holds onto the rope of the pulley bearing the cornerstone.  Elias positions himself beside the man in anticipation, and winks at Ibarra to remind the youth of the warning the former gave to him earlier during the mass.  Later when Ibarra descends to the excavation, the beam of the pulley suddenly breaks, letting loose the cornerstone which crushes the yellowish man to death, but leaves Ibarra unharmed.  "An unfortunate beginning..." Tasyo the Philosopher remarks.

Points of Note:
The yellowish man is most likely suffering from malaria, which was a common disease during those days, or a disorder of the liver.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Going back to the statements made by the yellowish man regarding the pulley, Don Saturnino, and Crisostomo Ibarra, what can be deduced?
Answer: He has plotted an evil scheme to harm Ibarra.  The yellowish man's father was a worker of Don Saturnino, Crisostomo's great-grandfather, who might have undergone great torture, suffering, and forced labor while he was in service.

Question: Why does the beam suddenly break?
Answer: This is done on purpose -- a part of the yellowish man's plan to ensure Ibarra's death.

Question: What happens to the yellowish man?
Answer: He dies as the beams crush him.  How this happens is made clear in the next chapter.

Question: According to rumors, how was Ibarra allegedly saved?
Answer: It was a miracle by the town's patron, San Diego.

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