Le 12 octobre 2016, 09:33 dans Humeurs • 0
he fancied that he might, perhaps, find her there.When, at the turn of the gallery which opens on the roof of the side aisles, he perceived the tiny cell with its little window and its little door crouching beneath a great flying buttress like a bird's nest under a branch, the poor man's heart failed him, and he leaned against a pillar to keep from falling.He imagined that she might have returned thither, that some good genius had, no doubt, brought her back, that this chamber was too tranquil, too safe, too charming for her not to be there, and he dared not take another step for fear of destroying his illusion Jingling the change in his hand he shook his head."Yes," he said to himself, "perchance she is sleeping, or praying.I must not disturb her."
At length he summoned up courage, advanced on tiptoe, looked, entered.Empty.The cell was still empty.The unhappy deaf man walked slowly round it, lifted the bed and looked beneath it, as though she might be concealed between the pavement and the mattress, then he shook his head and remained stupefied.All at once, he crushed his torch under his foot, and, without uttering a word, without giving vent to a sigh, he flung himself at full speed, head foremost against the wall, and fell fainting on the floor.
When he recovered his senses, he threw himself on the bed and rolling about, he kissed frantically the place where the young girl had slept and which was still warm; he remained there for several moments as motionless as though he were about to expire; then he rose, dripping with perspiration, panting, mad, and began to beat his head against the wall with the frightful regularity of the clapper of his bells, and the resolution of a man determined to kill himself.At length he fell a second time, exhausted; he dragged himself on his knees outside the cell, and crouched down facing the door, in an attitude of astonishment.
He remained thus for more than an hour without making a movement, with his eye fixed on the deserted cell, more gloomy, and more pensive than a mother seated between an empty cradle and a full coffin.He uttered not a word; only at long intervals, a sob heaved his body violently, but it was a tearless sob, like summer lightning which makes no noise.
It appears to have been then, that, seeking at the bottom of his lonely thoughts for the unexpected abductor of the gypsy, he thought of the archdeacon.He remembered that Dom Claude alone possessed a key to the staircase leading to the cell; he recalled his nocturnal attempts on the young girl, in the first of which he, Quasimodo, had assisted, the second of which he had prevented.He recalled a thousand details, and soon he no longer doubted that the archdeacon had taken the gypsy.Nevertheless, such was his respect for the priest, such his gratitude, his devotion, his love for this man had taken such deep root in his heart, that they resisted, even at this moment, the talons of jealousy and despair.