The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Novel Summary: Book VI Chapter 2

At the western corner of the Place de Greve is the ancient house of the Tour-Roland. At the front of this house is a public breviary and next to that is a small window-hole secured by two iron bars with a cross. This window is the only opening into a small cold cell closed off from the rest of the house that was the dwelling place of Madame Rolande three centuries prior whose father was killed in the crusades. Out of grief for her father Madame Rolande had this cell constructed where she spent the rest of her days in extreme mourning and prayer, sleeping on the cold floor and depending upon small gifts of bread and water from the public for her sustenance. These sort of tombs were common in the Middle Ages and after Madame Rolandes death (some twenty years after she had sequestered herself in the cell) other women, whose mourning either for child, husband or father was extreme, occupied the place. The inhabitant of these cells was devoted to prayer and mourning and they occupied an interstitial place between the world and the tomb. Over the cell of Tour-Roland, which was occupied at the time of the story, there was the motto Tu, Ora that had been vulgarized by the peasants into meaning Trouaux-Rats or The Rat Hole.