OF THE USEFULNESS OF WINDOWS LOOKING
OUT ON TO THE RIVER
CLAUDE FROLLO (for we presume that the reader, more intelligent than Phoebus, has seen in all this adventure no other bogeyman-monk than the archdeacon), Claude Frollo groped about for a moment or two in the dark recess where the captain had bolted him in. It was one of those nooks and crannies which architects sometimes provide where the roof and the supporting wall meet. The vertical section of this kennel, as Phoebus had so aptly described it, would have made a triangle. For the rest it had no windows or skylight, and the sloping angle of the roof made it impossible to stand up inside. So Claude crouched down in the dust and lumps of plaster which crumbled beneath him. His head was on fire. Rummaging around with his hands he found on the floor a piece of broken window-glass which he pressed to his forehead and whose coldness provided some relief.
What was going on at that moment in the archdeacon's dar soul? Only God and he could know.
In what fatal order had he ranged in his mind la Esmeralda, Phoebus, Jacques Charmolue, his beloved young brother, whom he had abandoned in the mire, his archdeacon's cassock, perhaps his reputation, dragged along to la Falourdel's, all these images, all these adventures? I could not say. But it is certain that these ideas composed a dreadful pattern in his mind.
He had been waiting for a quarter of an hour; he felt as though he had aged by a hundred years. Suddenly he heard the boards of the wooden staircase creaking. Someone was coming up. The trapdoor opened, a light reappeared. There was quite a wide crack in the worm-eaten door to his hole. He pressed his face to it. In this way he could see everything that was going on in the next room. The cat-faced old woman came up from the trapdoor first, then Phoebus,