The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Novel Summary: Book VI Chapter 4

Meanwhile in the Place de Greve a crowd had gathered about the pillory to witness the punishment. The prisoner arrives upon a cart bound in ropes and the crowd recognizes the deformed figure of Quasimodo who is stripped to his waist and put upon his knees on the circular plank. Jehan Frollo and Robin Pousepain, who are in attendance, remark that the hunchback behaves like a “cockchafer shut in a box.” The torturer, Maitre Pierrat Torterue, places an hourglass upon the pillory and as the pillory turns he begins to lash the back of the unhappy hunchback. Quasimodo, at last understanding his predicament, struggles against his bonds but to no avail and soon blood begins to flow from his flesh. Finally, Quasimodo relaxes against his bonds and sorrowfully accepts the lashes. At the appointed time the flagellation ceases. Assistants apply an ungent to Quasimodos wounds and then the hourglass is turned again so that Quasimodo might serve out his additional hour on the pillory. Immediately the crowd, especially the women, began to insult the prisoner and throw stones at his wounded body. Quasimodo struggles again but finding no weakness in his bonds he subsides. A mule carrying Claude Frollo passes and Quasimodo looks to him for help but the archdeacon continues without paying attention to his suffering disciple. After awhile Quasimodo calls out for some water but he receives only mocking derision from the crowd which includes a good number of the Truands. He calls out three times for water but the crowd only increases its insults and injuries. Suddenly Esmeralda emerges from the crowd and approaches the pillory. Quasimodo recognizes her as the girl he had attempted to kidnap the night before and imagines that she has come to seek her revenge. He fixes a hateful stare upon her but his hate turns to a tear of gratitude when she produces a leather flask and puts it to his lips for a drink. He attempts to kiss her hand but she draws it back fearing a bite and his gaze is very sad. The people are moved by the spectacle and cry out their approval but the voice of the recluse sounds from across the square crying out “Cursed be thou daughter of Egypt!”