Father Dámaso goes straight to his goddaughter’s bed and says, “María, my child, you cannot die!” with tearful eyes. Linares then gives Dámaso a letter from his brother-in-law, who Linares says is his godfather. He reads the letter, in which Linares’s godfather asks Dámaso to find the young man a job and wife. Father Dámaso says it will be easy to find him a job, but ponders for a moment about where he might find Linares a wife. As he thinks, Father Salví watches from afar. “I didn’t think it would be so difficult,” Dámaso says to himself, “but it’s the lesser of two evils.” He then embraces Linares, saying, “Come here, kid, we’re going to talk to Santiago.”
When Father Dámaso takes Linares to speak with Captain Tiago, he does so primarily out of self-interest. Given the disputes he’s had with Ibarra—and given his general dislike of Ibarra’s family legacy—he’s motivated to interfere with the young man’s engagement to María Clara. In this moment, readers see how much of an opportunist Dámaso is as he manipulates the volatile circumstances surrounding Ibarra’s reputation in order to ensure that his goddaughter marries Linares instead of the young philanthropist.
Having heard this exchange between Father Dámaso and Linares, Father Salví paces back and forth until a man greets him. It is Lucas, and he tells Salví that he is the brother of the man who died in the school trenches during the town’s fiesta. Father Salví takes one step back, saying, “And?” before Lucas explains that Ibarra has insulted him by neglecting to pay for his brother’s death. He asks for the priest’s advice, but Salví lunges toward him and tells him to get lost. When Captain Tiago, Father Dámaso, and Linares come to see what the commotion is, Salví tells them that he was only setting right a beggar. He then sets off for the parish house.
Father Salví’s harsh reception of Lucas is strange, since there’s no reason he should react so strongly to the young man’s story. This overreaction suggests that there’s perhaps something suspicious going on in Salví’s head, as his outburst seems an overcompensation for something Rizal hasn’t yet revealed. Salví uses his authoritative power to silence the man in such a vehement manner that one can only assume that the scheming priest actually does want to hear what Lucas has to say, but not in Dámaso, María Clara, or Tiago’s earshot.