CHAPTER 5. RESULT OF THE DANGERS.
Gringoire, thoroughly stunned by his fall, remained on
the pavement in front of the Holy Virgin at the street corner.
Little by little, he regained his senses; at first, for several
minutes, he was floating in a sort of half-somnolent revery,
which was not without its charm, in which aeriel figures of
the gypsy and her goat were coupled with Quasimodo's heavy
fist. This state lasted but a short time. A decidedly vivid
sensation of cold in the part of his body which was in contact
with the pavement, suddenly aroused him and caused his spirit
to return to the surface.
"Whence comes this chill?" he said abruptly, to himself.
He then perceived that he was lying half in the middle of the
"That devil of a hunchbacked cyclops!" he muttered between
his teeth; and he tried to rise. But he was too much
dazed and bruised; he was forced to remain where he was.
Moreover, his hand was tolerably free; he stopped up his nose
and resigned himself.
"The mud of Paris," he said to himself--for decidedly he
thought that he was sure that the gutter would prove his
refuge for the night; and what can one do in a refuge, except
dream?--"the mud of Paris is particularly stinking; it must
contain a great deal of volatile and nitric salts. That,
moreover, is the opinion of Master Nicholas Flamel, and of the
The word "alchemists" suddenly suggested to his mind the
idea of Archdeacon Claude Frollo. He recalled the violent
scene which he had just witnessed in part; that the gypsy was
struggling with two men, that Quasimodo had a companion;
and the morose and haughty face of the archdeacon passed
confusedly through his memory. "That would be strange!"
he said to himself. And on that fact and that basis he began
to construct a fantastic edifice of hypothesis, that card-castle
of philosophers; then, suddenly returning once more to
reality, "Come! I'm freezing!" he ejaculated.
The place was, in fact, becoming less and less tenable.
Each molecule of the gutter bore away a molecule of heat
radiating from Gringoire's loins, and the equilibrium between
the temperature of his body and the temperature of the brook,
began to be established in rough fashion.