Book Six: Chapter IV. A Tear for a Drop of Water
La Esmeralda turned pale and descended from the pillory, staggering as she went. The voice of the recluse still pursued her,--
"Descend! descend! Thief of Egypt! thou shalt ascend it once more!"
"The sacked nun is in one of her tantrums," muttered the populace; and that was the end of it. For that sort of woman was feared; which rendered them sacred. People did not then willingly attack one who prayed day and night.
The hour had arrived for removing Quasimodo. He was unbound, the crowd dispersed.
Near the Grand Pont, Mahiette, who was returning with her two companions, suddenly halted,--
"By the way, Eustache! what did you do with that cake?"
"Mother," said the child, "while you were talking with that lady in the bole, a big dog took a bite of my cake, and then I bit it also."
"What, sir, did you eat the whole of it?" she went on.
"Mother, it was the dog. I told him, but he would not listen to me. Then I bit into it, also."
"'Tis a terrible child!" said the mother, smiling and scolding at one and the same time. "Do you see, Oudarde? He already eats all the fruit from the cherry-tree in our orchard of Charlerange. So his grandfather says that be will be a captain. Just let me catch you at it again, Master Eustache. Come along, you greedy fellow!"Next