The end of the Wheaten Cake

Esmeralda blanched and swayed as she descended the steps of the pillory, the voice of the recluse pursuing her as she went: “Come down! come down! Ah, thou Egyptian thief, thou shalt yet return there again!”

“The sachette is in one of her tantrums,” murmured the people; but they went no further, for these women were feared, which made them sacred. In those days they were shy of attacking a person who prayed day and night.

The hour had now arrived for releasing Quasimodo. They unfastened him from the pillory, and the crowd dispersed.

Near the Grand-Pont, Mahiette, who was going away with her companions, suddenly stopped. “Eustache,” she said, “what hast thou done with the cake?”

“Mother,” answered the child, “while you were talking to the dame in the hole a great dog came and took a bite of my cake, and so then I too had a bite.”

“What, sir,” she cried, “you have eaten it all!”

“Mother, it was the dog. I told him, but he would not listen; then I bit a piece too.”

“ ’Tis a shocking boy!” said the mother, smiling fondly while she scolded. “Look you, Oudarde, already he eats by himself all the cherries in our little orchard at Charlerange. So his grandfather predicts he will be a captain.—Let me catch you at it again, Monsieur Eustache. Go, greedy lion!”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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