The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Novel Summary: Book X Chapter 5

That same night King Louis XI was in Paris as well. Though he rarely visited the city, preferring instead his more protected castles, the King was up late in his comfortable apartment in the tower of the Bastille going over the crowns expenditures item by item with his adviser Maitre Oliver. Also in attendance are the Flemish envoys Coppenole and Guillaume Rym. The King is angry about all the expenditures but takes particular interest in the cost of a great cage he directed to be constructed in the Bastille. He invites the Flemish to come with him while he inspects the cage. They descend to the cage and while Oliver reads the description and cost they survey the work – a heavy wooden cage measuring 9 feet by seven feet mortised by iron bolts. The King is happy with the work until he hears the enormous sum that it cost, “three hundred seventeen livres five sols seven deniers!” Amazed and confounded by the staggering amount the King exclaims “Pasque-Dieu!” his favorite oath. Hearing the sound of the Kings voice there is a stirring of chains from within the cage and a feeble voice calls out for mercy. The supplicants voice chills the blood of all present except for the King who continues to inspect the cage. The voice goes on to plead for mercy and insist upon its innocence but the King is not distracted. The group returns to the tower and soon an anxious courier arrives with news that over 6,000 Truands are marching to seize the Bailiff of the Palais. The King announces that he wont have forces available until the morning and observes that it wouldnt be a bad thing if the Bailiff were removed from power. The courier brings in two brigands captured in the street. The first is a man named Gieffroy Pincebourde who confesses to being a Truand but claims to have no knowledge of the groups aim. Princebourde is dragged from the room and the King turns his attention to the second prisoner, Pierre Gringoire. Gringoire pleads that he has nothing to do with the uprising but notices that the King is indifferent so he throws himself upon Louis XIs feet and makes a long passionate speech begging for mercy. The King, who is in a good mood because the Bailiff might be ousted that night, orders that the poet be released after being given a beating and Gringoire offers many thanks as he is clubbed from the room. The King engages the Flemish in a conversation about uprisings and seems to grow gloomy when Monsieur Rhym observes that the peoples hour has not come for him. Coppenole describes how a rebellion begins and in the midst of such thoughts a Oliver returns with news that the people are not rioting against the Bailiff, as first believed, but against the King. Louis is shocked and commands Oliver to his knees and promises to kill him if he is lying. Oliver explains that the Truands are trying to free a witch who has taken sanctuary in Notre Dame. The King concludes that Oliver is right since the church falls under the Kings sphere of protection. Now very angry, the King orders that all the Truands be killed, the churchs sanctuary abrogated and the witch hung.