THE STORY OF THE CAKE
LA ESMERALDA went pale, and came down unsteadily from the pillory. The recluse's voice still pursued her. 'Down, down, you go! thief from Egypt, you will be going up there again!'
'The sachette is in one of her crazy moods,' the people murmured; and that was as far as it went. For women of that kind were feared, and that made them sacred. In those days people were not keen to attack someone who prayed night and day.
The time had come to take Quasimodo back. They untied him and the crowd dispersed.
Near the Grand-Pont Mahiette, coming away with her two companions, suddenly stopped: 'That reminds me, Eustache! What have you done with the cake?'
'Mother,' said the boy,' while you were talking to that lady in the hole a big dog came and took a bite of my cake. So I ate some too.'
'What, sir,' she went on, 'you've eaten it all up?'
'Mother, it was the dog. I told him not to, he didn't listen, so then I had a bite too, you see!'
'What a terrible child,' said the mother, smiling and scolding at the same time. 'Do you know, Oudarde, he ate all the cherries off the tree in our orchard at Charlerange, all by himself. So his grandfather says he'll be a captain-- just let me catch you again, Monsieur Eustache. Come on, you big lion!'