Father Salví rushes to the ensign’s house and tells him that the town is in great danger. Before revealing the nature of this danger, he says, “You’ll again see how important clerics are.” He then says that he has discovered “a major conspiracy.” According to him, a woman came to confession and told him that at eight o’clock a band of rebels will overtake the barracks, attack the parish house, and kill all the town’s Spaniards. Because, he claims, this was told to him in a confession, he can’t tell the ensign the name of his informant or how she knew about the conspiracy. The ensign snaps to attention, asking what he should do. Salví tells him to quietly ready his soldiers so that their enemies don’t think they know about the impending attack.
At this point, it becomes clear that Father Salví is behind the plan to frame Ibarra. This is made apparent by the way he takes advantage of the opportunity to emphasize his own importance, telling the ensign that he will “again see how important clerics [religious officials] are.” The most crucial word in this sentence is the word “again,” for it implies that the church is constantly saving the government and town from disaster. In this way, Salví inflates his own power, framing himself as indispensable.
In exchange for this information, Father Salví requests that the ensign let it be known that he—Salví—was the one to uncover the plot. The ensign assures him he’ll do so, saying, “I’ll let it be known and maybe you’ll end up with a miter,” smiling derisively at his cordial enemy.
A “miter” is the kind of hat Bishops wear. The ensign’s joke, then, indicates that he recognizes that Salví is using his knowledge of the impending attack as a way of rising in power in the church.
Meanwhile, Elías runs to Ibarra’s house and warns him about the coming attack. He tells him that there is a conspiracy against him, urging him to burn all of his papers and correspondences, since they’re liable to contain words that could be used against him in court. Elías starts helping Ibarra collect all of his things so that he can flee San Diego. In doing so, he finds a piece of paper with the name of the Spanish merchant who disgraced Elías’s grandfather. Elías asks why Ibarra has this man’s name written on a piece of paper, and Ibarra says that he was his great-grandfather. Enraged, Elías runs to Ibarra’s weapon collection. About to charge Ibarra with daggers, Elías comes to his senses, saying, “What was I about to do?” before running out of the house.
It’s important to remember in this scene that Elías has previously sworn to do anything he can to help Ibarra. As such, he has devoted himself to the very family that ruined his life. This perfectly mirrors the nature of reform in the Spanish Philippines; in the same way that Elías has sworn himself to his own enemy, true revolution requires a person to attack his own beloved country. In keeping with this idea, Rizal portrays loyalty as deeply complicated.