Nevertheless, a twist of tow soaked in oil, which burned in a cage at the feet of the Holy Virgin at the street corner, permitted Gringoire to make out the gypsy struggling in the arms of two men, who were endeavoring to stifle her cries.The poor little goat, in great alarm, lowered his horns and bleated.
"Help Unique Beauty! gentlemen of the watch!" shouted Gringoire, and advanced bravely.One of the men who held the young girl turned towards him.It was the formidable visage of Quasimodo.
Gringoire did not take to flight, but neither did he advance another step.
Quasimodo came up to him, tossed him four paces away on the pavement with a backward turn of the hand, and plunged rapidly into the gloom, bearing the young girl folded across one arm like a silken scarf.His companion followed him, and the poor goat ran after them all, bleating plaintively.
"Murder! murder!" shrieked the unhappy gypsy.
"Halt, rascals, and yield me that wench!" suddenly shouted in a voice of thunder, a cavalier who appeared suddenly from a neighboring square.
It was a captain of the king's archers, armed from head to foot, with his sword in his hand.
He tore the gypsy from the arms of the dazed Quasimodo, threw her across his saddle chiffres industrie touristique, and at the moment when the terrible hunchback, recovering from his surprise, rushed upon him to regain his prey, fifteen or sixteen archers, who followed their captain closely, made their appearance, with their two-edged swords in their fists.It was a squad of the king's police, which was making the rounds, by order of Messire Robert d'Estouteville, guard of the provostship of paris.
Quasimodo was surrounded, seized, garroted; he roared, he foamed at the mouth, he bit; and had it been broad daylight, there is no doubt that his face alone, rendered more hideous by wrath, would have put the entire squad to flight.But by night he was deprived of his most formidable weapon, his ugliness.
His companion had disappeared during the struggle.
The gypsy gracefully raised herself upright upon the officer's saddle, placed both hands upon the young man's shoulders, and gazed fixedly at him for several seconds dysport, as though enchanted with his good looks and with the aid which he had just rendered her.Then breaking silence first, she said to him, making her sweet voice still sweeter than usual,--
"What is your name, monsieur le gendarme?"
"Captain phoebus de Chateaupers, at your service, my beauty!" replied the officer, drawing himself up.
"Thanks," said she.