CHÂTEAUPERS TO THE RESCUE!
THE reader may recall the critical situation in which we left Quasimodo. The worthy deaf man, assailed on every side, had lost, if not all heart, at least all hope of saving, not himself, he had no thought of himself, but the gypsy girl. He was running about on the gallery quite distraught. Notre-Dame was about to be captured by the truands. Suddenly a great galloping of horses filled the neighbouring streets, and with a long line of torches and a dense column of riders, riding with bridles dropped and lances ready, furious sounds swept through the square like a hurricane: ' France! France! Cut the knaves to pieces! Châteaupers to the rescue! Provostry! Provostry!'
The truands turned about in alarm.
Quasimodo, who could not hear, saw the naked swords, the torches, the pikeheads, all this cavalry, at whose head he recognized Captain Phoebus; he saw the truands, thrown into confusion, the terror of some, the agitation of the best of them, and this unhoped-for aid so revived his strength that he hurled off the church the first attackers who were already stepping over the gallery.
It was in fact the King's troops arriving.
The truands put up a brave fight. They defended themselves like desperate men. Caught on the flank by the rue Saint-Pierre-aux-Bœufs, and in the rear by the rue du Parvis, driven back against Notre-Dame, which they were still assaulting and Quasimodo was defending, at once besiegers and besieged, they were in the singular situation in which, at the famous siege of Turin in 1640, comte Henri d'Harcourt found himself, between Prince Thomas of Savoy whom he was besieging and the marquis de Leganez who was blockading him, Taurinum obsessor idem et obsessus⋆ as his epitaph puts it.
It was a fearsome struggle. Wolf's flesh needs dogs' teeth, as P. Matthieu⋆ says. The King's horsemen, in the midst of whom Phoebus de Châteaupers bore himself valiantly,