The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Novel Summary: Book IX Chapter 1

Claude Frollo did not see Quasimodo save Esmeralda. As soon as he had returned to the church he had torn off his vestments, escaped through a side door, hired a ferry across the river and fled into the countryside beyond the University. He paused and looked deep into the abyss of his soul and reflected that all his love had been transmuted into hate and that passion in a priest soon turned to evil. He also realized, with a demonic laugh, that Phoebus (the only person he meant to kill) was alive and prospering with a new mistress. Then he wept at the thought that he had been the means by which Esmeraldas virginal beauty was sullied by public display. Still, he did not regret his actions though he suffered from them. He spent the rest of the day fleeing further into the country but could not escape his thoughts. Toward sunset he took stock of himself and realized that the whole day had been consumed with two thoughts: La Esmeralda and the gibbet. He made his way back to the city before nightfall. He wandered through the streets, feeling that he was a spectre among the dead and convinced of his own damnation. He saw his brother entertaining a prostitute in the room where he ambushed Esmeralda and Phoebus. He returned to the church but found no solace. He climbed the stairs to his chamber and paused at the upper gallery to look at the night sky. He heard the bells strike twelve and thought of the hanging which must have occurred at noon. At that moment, a breath of wind extinguished his lamp and to his horror he perceived Esmeralda clad in a white gown approaching with her little goat at her side. He slowly retreated from what he imagined to be her ghost and she passed him by.