CHAPTER 7. CHATEAUPERS TO THE RESCUE.
The reader will, perhaps, recall the critical situation in
which we left Quasimodo. The brave deaf man, assailed on
all sides, had lost, if not all courage, at least all hope
of saving, not himself (he was not thinking of himself), but
the gypsy. He ran distractedly along the gallery. Notre-Dame
was on the point of being taken by storm by the outcasts.
All at once, a great galloping of horses filled the neighboring
streets, and, with a long file of torches and a thick column of
cavaliers, with free reins and lances in rest, these furious
sounds debouched on the Place like a hurricane,--
"France! France! cut down the louts! Châteaupers to
the rescue! Provostship! Provostship!"
The frightened vagabonds wheeled round.
Quasimodo who did not hear, saw the naked swords, the
torches, the irons of the pikes, all that cavalry, at the head
of which he recognized Captain Phoebus; he beheld the confusion
of the outcasts, the terror of some, the disturbance among the
bravest of them, and from this unexpected succor he recovered
so much strength, that he hurled from the church the first
assailants who were already climbing into the gallery.
It was, in fact, the king's troops who had arrived.
The vagabonds behaved bravely. They defended themselves
like desperate men. Caught on the flank, by the Rue Saint-
Pierre-aux-Boeufs, and in the rear through the Rue du Parvis,
driven to bay against Notre-Dame, which they still assailed
and Quasimodo defended, at the same time besiegers and
besieged, they were in the singular situation in which Comte
Henri Harcourt, Taurinum obsessor idem et obsessus, as his
epitaph says, found himself later on, at the famous siege of
Turin, in 1640, between Prince Thomas of Savoy, whom he
was besieging, and the Marquis de Leganez, who was blockading
The battle was frightful. There was a dog's tooth for wolf's
flesh, as P. Mathieu says. The king's cavaliers, in whose
midst Phoebus de Châteaupers bore himself valiantly, gave no
quarter, and the slash of the sword disposed of those who
escaped the thrust of the lance. The outcasts, badly armed
foamed and bit with rage. Men, women, children, hurled
themselves on the cruppers and the breasts of the horses, and
hung there like cats, with teeth, finger nails and toe nails.
Others struck the archers' in the face with their torches.
Others thrust iron hooks into the necks of the cavaliers and
dragged them down. They slashed in pieces those who fell.