CHAPTER 4. THE MARRIAGE OF QUASIMODO.
We have just said that Quasimodo disappeared from Notre-
Dame on the day of the gypsy's and of the archdeacon's death.
He was not seen again, in fact; no one knew what had become
During the night which followed the execution of la
Esmeralda, the night men had detached her body from the
gibbet, and had carried it, according to custom, to the
cellar of Montfaušon.
Montfaušon was, as Sauval says, "the most ancient and the
most superb gibbet in the kingdom." Between the faubourgs
of the Temple and Saint Martin, about a hundred and sixty
toises from the walls of Paris, a few bow shots from La
Courtille, there was to be seen on the crest of a gentle,
almost imperceptible eminence, but sufficiently elevated to
be seen for several leagues round about, an edifice of strange
form, bearing considerable resemblance to a Celtic cromlech, and
where also human sacrifices were offered.
Let the reader picture to himself, crowning a limestone hillock,
an oblong mass of masonry fifteen feet in height, thirty wide,
forty long, with a gate, an external railing and a platform;
on this platform sixteen enormous pillars of rough hewn stone,
thirty feet in height, arranged in a colonnade round three of
the four sides of the mass which support them, bound together
at their summits by heavy beams, whence hung chains at intervals;
on all these chains, skeletons; in the vicinity, on the plain,
a stone cross and two gibbets of secondary importance, which
seemed to have sprung up as shoots around the central gallows;
above all this, in the sky, a perpetual flock of crows; that
At the end of the fifteenth century, the formidable gibbet
which dated from 1328, was already very much dilapidated;
the beams were wormeaten, the chains rusted, the pillars
green with mould; the layers of hewn stone were all cracked
at their joints, and grass was growing on that platform which
no feet touched. The monument made a horrible profile
against the sky; especially at night when there was a little
moonlight on those white skulls, or when the breeze of evening
brushed the chains and the skeletons, and swayed all these
in the darkness. The presence of this gibbet sufficed to
render gloomy all the surrounding places.