Max Havelaar (Wikisource)/30
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Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 - Chapter 21 - Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28 - Chapter 29 - Chapter 30 - Chapter 31 - Chapter 32 - Chapter 33 - Chapter 34 - Chapter 35 - Chapter 36 - Chapter 37 - Chapter 38 - Chapter 39
Saïdjah arrived in Batavia. He asked a gentleman to employ him, and the man immediately did so because he did not understand Saïdjah. In Batavia they prefer servants who do not speak Malay yet, so they are not spoiled as they others who have been in touch with the European civilisation. Saïdjah quickly learned Malay, but he was careful, for he thought of the two water buffaloes he wanted to buy and of Adinda. He grew big and strong because he had dinner every day, which wasn't possible in Badoer. The other people in the stables like him, and he would certainly not have been rejected if he had proposed the driver's daughter. His lord liked Saïdjah so much, that he soon made him a house servant. His wages were raised and he frequently obtained gifts, because his lord was so satisfied about his labour. His lady had read the novel about Sue which caused so much rumours and she always thought of prince Djalma when she saw Saïdjah. The young girls also understood better than before how the Javanese painter Radhen Saleh could be so successful in Paris.
But they found that Saïdjah was ungrateful when he, after almost three years, asked to be dismissed. He also asked for a proof of good conduct. It could not be refused, and Saïdjah went home, while his heart rejoiced.
He passed along Pising, where Havelaar used to live, long ago. But Saïdjah did not know that. And even if he had known, he carried something else in his soul that kept him busy. He counted the treasures he took home. In a bamboe cylinder he carried his pass and his testimony of good conduct. In a box, attached to a leather belt, something heavy appeared to swing against his shoulder, but he was glad to feel it – I'm sure. Inside were thirty Spanish mats, sufficient to buy three water buffaloes! What would Adinda say! And this wasn't all. On his back was the silver plated sheath of a kris which he carried in his girdle. The hilt was made of fine carved kamoening, which he had carefully wrapped in a silk envelope. And he had more treasures. In the wreath of the kahin around his loins he carried a belt of wide silver links, with a gold ikat-pendieng. It is true that the belt was short, but she was slender – Adinda!
And on a string on his neck, under his baadjoe there was little silk bag, with a withered melatti.
Was it surprising that he tarried no longer than was needed, when he visited the friend of his father's in Tangerang, who made the fine straw hats? Was it surprising that he said little to the girls he met, when they asked "whither, whence?", which is the common greeting in that area? Was it surprising that he found Serang not as distinguished as he used to do, he, who had been to Batavia? That he did not hide away in the pagger, as he did three years ago, when the Resident passed by, he who had seen the much greater lord, who lives in Buitenzorg and who is the grandfather of the Soesoehoenan of Solo? Was it surprising that he paid little attention to the stories of those who travelled with him for some distance, and who spoke of all the news in Bantan-Kidoel? That he hardly listened when one told him that the coffee culture had been withdrawn after much unrewarded labour? That the district chief of Parang-Koedjang had been sentenced to a fortnight incarceration in the house of his father-in-law, because of robbing on the public road? That the capital had been moved to Rangkas-Betoeng? That a new Assistant-Resident had come, because the previous one had died, a few months ago? How the new clerk had spoken in the first sebah-meeting? How since some time nobody had been punished for complaining, and that the people hoped that all stolen things would be returned or refunded?
No, there were fairer images in front of the eye of his soul. He searched the ketapan tree in the clouds, since it was still too far away to search it in Badoer. He grasped the air around it, as if he wanted to embrace the image that would be waiting under that tree. He imagined Adinda's face, her head, her shoulder, he saw the heavy kondeh, so shining black, caught in its own snare, hanging in her neck. He saw her big eye, shining in dark reflection – the nostrils which she proudly pulled up as a child when he – how was it possible – teased her, and the corner of her lips where the kept a smile. He saw her breast, which would now be grown under her kabaai, he saw the sarong which she had woven herself and which enclosed her hips, and her thigh which followed a curved line, along the knee, which fell down in a delicious wave on her small feet.
No, he heard little of what people said. He heard quite different tones. He heard how Adinda would say: "Be well come, Saïdjah! I thought of you while I was spinning and weaving and while I thrashed rice in the block that now carries thrice twelve stripes of my hand. Here I am under the ketapan, the first day of the new moon. Be well come, Saïdjah: let me be your wife!"
That was the music that sounded in his ears, which prevented him to listen to all things that were told while he was on the way.
At last he saw the ketapan. Or rahther, he saw a dark mass which hid the stars for his eye. That must have been the djati-bush, near the tree where he would see Adinda again, at dawn, after sunrise. He searched in the darkness and felt many trunks. Soon he discovered a familiar spot on the South side of a tree. He put a finger in the slot which Si-Panteh had made with his parang, to exorcise thewhich caused the toothache of Panteh's mother, short before his brother was born. This was the ketapan he looked for.
Yes, this was the place where he had seen Adinda for the first time in a different way from his other play friends, because she had refused to participate in a game that she had been playing a moment ago, with all the children. Here she had given him the melatti.
He sat down at the foot of the tree and looked up to the starts. When he saw a shooting star, he thought it was to greet him at his return to Badoer. And he wondered whether Adinda would be asleep now. Whether she had correctly counted the moons in her rice block? He would be so sorry if she had skipped a moon, as if there weren't sufficient: thirty-six! Would she have batikked fair sarongs and slendangs? And he also wondered who lived in his father's house. And he reminded his childhood, his mother and the water buffalo who had saved his life when a tiger came, and he wondered what Adinda had to do if that water buffalo had not been so faithful.
He watched how the starts in the West lowered, and with each star that disappeared at the horizon, he calculated that the sun was a bit nearer before it would rise, and that he would see Adinda sooner.
For sure she would come at the very first sunbeam, perhaps already at twilight. Oh, why hadn't she come the previous day?
It was sad that she had not come earlier, the wonderful moment that shone upon his soul during three years, with indescribable splendour. And, being unfair in the selfishness of his love, it appeared to him that Adinda had to be there, waiting for him, he who was now complaining – even before the time – that he had to wait for her.
But he was wrong to complain. The sun had not yet risen,had not yet thrown its first beam on the plain. But the stars up there were getting paler, ashamed to see that their supremacy would soon be ended, there were strange colours on the tops of the mountains, which appeared darker now that they contrasted with a bright background, here hand there something glowed in the clouds in the East – arrows of gold and fire which were shot to and fro, parallel to the horizon – but they disappeared again and seemed to fall down behind the opaque curtain which still hid the day for Saïdjah's eyes.
And yet the world became lighter around him,. He already saw the country, and there was the top of the klappa bush where Badoer lay – there slept Adinda.
No, she slept no more. How could she sleep? Did she not know that Saïdjah was waiting for her? Sure, she had not been sleeping all night! The village guard may have knocked on her door to ask why the pelitah was still burning in her house, and with a sweet smile she replied that a promise kept her awake to finish the slendang she was making, and which had to be finished before the first day of the new moon.
Or she had passed the night in the dark, sitting on her rice block, counting with a eager finger that there were truly six and thirty deep stripes in it. And she had enjoyed with artful fright whether she might have made an error, whether a stripe was missing, and she counted again and again so she again enjoy the great security that certainly thrice twelve moons has passed since the day that Saïdjah saw her for the last time.
And now, while it dawned, she would exert her eyes with fruitless tiredness in attempts to look over the horizon, to meet the sun, the slow sun, which stayed away – stayed away.
There was a stripe of blue red which attached itself to the clouds, the edges became light and glowing, there was a flash of lightning, and again arrows of fire shot through the sky, but this time they did not fall down, they attached to the dark soil and imparted their splendour in bigger and bigger circles, which met one another, crossing, swinging, turning, wandering and they united themselves to bundles of fire, and shone back on gold shine on a round of mother of pearl, and there was red, and blue, and yellow, and silver, and purple, and azure in that all – oh, God, this was dawn, this was meeting Adinda!
Saïdjah had not learned to pray, and it would have been a pity to teach him that for holier prayers and greater thank than was found in the speechless joy of his soul, which cannot be described in a human language.
He did not want to go to Badoer. Meeting Adinda herself appeared not so fair as the prospect to see her soon. He sat down at the foot of the ketapan and his eyes wandered over the country. Nature smiled to him and appeared to say that he was welcome, like a mother to her returned child. And she imagines her joy by remembering the sorrows that are over, by showing what she kept as a memory during the separation, and likewise Saïdjah was enjoyed by seeing so many spots which witnessed of his short life. But wherever his eyes and this thought wandered, every time again his glances and his longing went to the path with leads from Badoer to the ketapan. Everything his senses perceived, was called Adinda. He saw the abyss on the left, where the earth is so yellow, where once a young water buffalo sank away in the depth. There the villagers had assembled to save the animal, for it isn't a small matter to lose a young water buffalo – there they were lowered on strong rottan ropes. Adinda's father had been the most courageous. Oh, how she clapped her hands - Adinda!
And yonder, on the other side, where the klappa bush waves over the cabins in the village, there it happened that Si-Oenah fell from a tree, so he died. How wept his mother because Si-Oenah was so little, she wailed, as if she would have been less sad if Si-Oenah had been bigger. But he was little, that was true, even smaller and weaker than Adinda...
There was no-one on the road which led from Badoer to the tree. She would come soon, oh, sure. It was still early!
Saïdjah saw awhich jumped with playful speed to and fro on the trunk of a klappa tree. The little animal – an annoyance for the owner of the tree, but so cute in its posture and movements – climbed up and down, tireless. Saïdjah saw it and forced himself to look, because it gave his mind some rest after the heavy labour since sunrise – rest after tiring waiting. Soon his thoughts changed into words, and he sang what happened in his soul. I wish I could read the song in Malay, the Italian of the East, but here's the translation:
- Behold how the badjing searches his food
- On the klappa tree. He goes up, down, frolics left and right,
- He turns around the tree, jumps, falls, climbs and falls again:
- He has no wings, and yet he is swift as a bird.
- Good luck, my badjing, I wish thee happiness!
- Thou wilt certainly find the food thou searchest.
- But I am here alone at the djati bush,
- Waiting for the food of my heart.
- Long ago the stomach of my badjing was satisfied..
- Long ago he went back to his little nest.
- But still my soul
- And my heart are bitterly sad... Adinda!"
There was still no-one on the road which led from Badoer to the ketapan.
Saïdjah's eye fell on a butterfly which appeared to enjoy that it was getting warm.
- Behold the butterfly fluttering around.
- Its little wings shine like a multicoloured flower.
- Its heart is in love with the blossom of the kenari.
- Surely it searches its fragrant lover.
- Good luck, my butterfly, I wish thee happiness!
- Thou wilt certainly find what thou searchest.
- But I am here alone at the djati bush,
- Waiting for what's loved by my heart.
- Long ago the butterfly kissed
- The kenari blossom it loves so much.
- But still my soul
- And my heart are bitterly sad... Adinda!"
And there was no-one on the road which led from Badoer to the tree.
The sun rose higher – there was heat in the air.
- Behold how the sun shines up there,
- High over the waringi hill!
- She feels too hot and wishes to go down,
- To sleep in the sea, as in the arms of a consort.
- Good luck, o sun, I wish thee happiness!
- What thou searchest, thou wilt certainly find...
- But I am here alone at the djati bush,
- Waiting for rest for my heart.
- Long ago the sun has set,
- She is asleep in the sea, when everyhting is dark.
- And yet my soul
- and my heart will be bitterly sad... Adinda!
Still there was no-one on the road which led from Badoer to the ketapan.
- When butterflies will not flutter around any more,
- When the stars don't shine any more,
- When the melatti is not fragrant any more,
- When there are no more sad hearts,
- Nor wild animals in the forest...
- When the sun runs in the wrong direction,
- When the moon forgets what is East and West
- And Adinda has not yet come,
- An angel with shining wings
- Will come down on the earth, to search what was left.
- My body will be here, under the ketapan...
- My soul is bitterly sad... Adinda!"
Still there was no-one on the road which led from Badoer to the ketapan.
- And then my body will be seen by the angel.
- He will show it, with his finger, to his brethren:
- Behold, a died man has been forgotten,
- His stiff mouth kisses a melatti flower.
- Come, let's take him up and carry him to heaven,
- Him, who waited for Adinda until he died.
- Sure, he may not be left behind,
- Whose heart had the power to love so much!
- Once more my stiff mouth will open
- To call Adinda, whom my hart loves...
- Once more I'll kiss the melatti
- Which she gave me... Adinda... Adinda!
And all the time there was no-one on the road which led from Badoer to the tree.
Oh, certainly she had fallen asleep at dawn, tired of waking all night, waking many nights! Of course she had not slept for weeks, that's how it had to be!
Should he stand up and go to Badoer? No! It would seem that he doubted that she would come!
He might call the man, over there, who drove his water buffalo to the field. The man was too far away. And besides, Saïdjah did not want to speak about Adinda, not ask after Adinda... he wanted to see her, her alone, her first! Oh sure, sure, she would soon come!
He would wait, wait...
But if she were sick, or... dead?
Like a frightened deer Saïdjah flew up the path which leads from the ketapan to the village where Adinda lived. He saw nothing and heard nothing, and yet he could have heard something, for there were people on the road, near the edge of the village, and they shouted: Saïdjah, Saïdjah!
But... was it his hurry, his anger, which prevented him to find Adinda's house? He had flown until the end of the road, where the village ends, and in a crazy mood he turned back, rebuking himself because he had passed her house without seeing it. But he was back where he started, and – my God was it a dream – again he had not found Adinda's house! Once more he flew back, and suddenly he stood still, grasped his head with both hands, as if to push the folly away which appeared to be in there, and he cried aloud: "drunk, drunk, I am drunk!"
And the women of Badoer came from their houses, and with pity they saw the poor Saïdjah, for they recognised him, and they understood that he searched Adinda's house, and they knew that there was no house of Adinda in the village Badoer.
For, when the district chief of Parang-Koedjan had taken the water buffalo of Adinda's father...
I told you, reader, that my story is monotonous.
...Adinda's mother had died of sorrow. And her youngest sister had died because there was no mother to nurse her. And Adinda's father, who feared the punishment if he did not pay his land rent...
I know, I do know, that my story is monotonous!
...Adinda's father had left the country. He had taken Adinda and her brothers. But he had heard that Saïdjah's father had been caned in Buitenzorg for leaving Badoer without a permit. And therefore Adinda's father had not gone to Buitenzorg, nor to Krawang, nor to the Preanger, nor to the region of Batavia. He had gone to Tjilang-kahan, the district of Lebak, which is on the shore. There he had hidden in the forests and waited for the coming of Pa-Ento, Pa-Lontah, Si-Oeniah, Pa-Ansioe, Abdoel-Isma and some others who had been robbed of their water buffaloes by the district chief of Parang-Koedjang, and eho all feared to be punished for not paying the land rent. In the night they had found a fisherman'sand sailed to the sea. They had steered to the West, and held the land on their right until Java-punt. Thence they had gone North until they saw Pana-Itam, which the European sailor call Prinseneiland. They sailed around that island, along the East, and steered towards Keizersbaai, aiming for a high peek in the Lampongs. Thus was the way which as whispered in Lebak, when there was talk about official robbing of water buffaloes and unpaid land rents.
But Saïdjah did not clearly understand what they said. He even did not grasp the report of the death of his father. There was a noise in his ears as if one had hit a gong inside his head. He felt how the blood was forced through the veins in his temples, which appeared to burst under the pressure. He did not speak and stared with a stupefied gaze around, without seeing what was around him, and eventually he burst out in a nasty laughter.
An old woman took her to her little house and cared for the poor fool. He soon stopped laughing, but he did not speak. At night the cabin fellows were waked by his voice, when he sang a monotonous: "I know not where I shall die" and some inhabitants of Badoer collected money for a sacrifice to the boyajas of the Tjioedjoeng to heal Saïdjah, who was thought to be senseless.
But senseless he wasn't.
One night, when the moon was clear, he stood up from the baleh-baleh, and softly left the house, searching for the place where Adinda had lived. It was not easy to find it, since so many houses were decayed. But he thought he recognised the place from the width of an angle which some light lines formed in the trees when they met his eye, like a sailor who fathoms his position with lighthouses and mountain tops.
Yes, there it was – Adinda had lived here!
Tripping over broken bamboe and pieces of the fallen roof, he made himself a way to the sanctuary he searched. And yes, he found a remnant of the pagger where Adinda's baleh-baleh had been, en in the pagger was still the bamboe peg which she used to hang her cloth when she went to sleep...
But the baleh-baleh had collapsed, just like the house, and it was almost decayed to dust. He took a handful of it, pressed it to his opened lips and breathed deep.
On the morrow he asked the old woman who had cared for him where the rice block was that had been near Adinda's house? The woman rejoiced when she heard him speak and searched through the village to find the block. When she could show the new owner to Saïdjah, he followed her silently. On the rice block he counted two and thirty carved stripes.
He gave the woman sufficient Spanish mats as were needed to buy a water buffalo and left Badoer. In Tjilang-Kahan he bought a fisherman's prauw and after some days of sailing he arrived in the Lampongs, where the rebels were fighting the Dutch authorities. He joined a gang of Bantammers, not to fight but to find Adinda. For he was of a meek nature, and more responsive to sadness than to bitterness.
One day that the rebels had been beaten again, he wandered around in a village that had just been conquered by the Dutch army, so it was on fire. Saïdjah knew that the gang, which had been destroyed there, consisted mainly of Bantammers. Like he ghost he haunted through the houses which were not completely burned. He found the body of Adinda's father with the wound of ain his chest. Beside him Saïdjah saw the three murdered brothers of Adinda, young men, actually still children, and a bit further he saw Adinda, naked, terribly crippled.
A narrow strip of blue fabric was in the big wound in her chest which probably finished a long fight.
Saïdjah walked towards some soldiers, who drove the remaining rebels with their rifles into the fire of the burning houses. He fathomed his arms around the wide sword bayonets, fiercely pushed forward, and still he pushed the soldiers back with a last effort when the hilts hit his chest.
And some time later there was great joy in Batavia about the new victory which had added so many laurels to the laurels of the army of the Dutch Indies. And the viceroy wrote to the mother country that peace in the Lampongs had been restored. And the King of the Netherlands, informed by his state servants, rewarded all that courage with may knighthoods.
And probably, in the Sunday church or in a prayer meeting, there were many thankful prayers that rose from the hearts of the believers to heaven, on receiving the message that the Lord of Hosts had participated in the fight under the banner of the Netherlands.
- But God is very sorrowful this day,
- And will not listen when they pray! 
- These lines are from a poem by Tollens