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

On the morning of January 7, 1482 Messire Robert dEstouteville, provost and viscount of Paris (who was responsible for trying cases that resulted in death penalties), woke in an ill humor. As was customary, court had begun without him and his deputy had been trying cases, to the amusement of the spectators, since eight oclock in the morning. His deputy, Maitre Florian, was and aged man and quite deaf but this did not prevent him from performing his duties. Jehan Frollo was in the audience and was enjoying himself by offering witty deprecations of the deaf deputy. Eventually he sees that Quasimodo has been brought before the judge. Quasimodo is chained and seems gloomy and tranquil. Florian, to hide his deafness, reads the papers concerning the case before he asks questions to which he already has the answers. He does not know, however, that Quasimodo is also deaf and it soon becomes apparent, much to the amusement of the crowd, that Florian is completely deaf and trying to cover it up. Florian becomes exasperated when he perceives the laughter of he crowd and falsely concludes that it is the result of disrespectful utterances by the prisoner. He delivers a lengthy lecture to Quasimodo that ceases when the Provost enters. Florian asks the Provost to levy an additional penalty upon the prisoner for contempt of court and then surrenders the bench to his superior. The Provost engages Quasimodos attention but Quasimodo, not understanding the Provost, answers incongruously. The Provost believes that Quasimodo is being contrary and disrespectful. He orders that the hunchback be taken to the pillory in the Gr?ve to be flogged and turned for an hour. The register, with pity for Quasimodo, tells the deputy that the hunchback is deaf but the deputy, not hearing him, adds another hour to Quasimodos sentence. Jehan Frollo and his friend Robin Poussepain enjoy a great laugh over the whole proceeding.