Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Chapters 48 and 49
On returning to his chamber, Claude Frollo finds his brother Jehan waiting for him. Jehan tells the priest that he has turned over a new leaf and wants to clean up his life. He asks for money in order to make this transition. When the priest refuses, Jehan threatens to become a total vagabond and blames his brother. Claude appears unconcerned and even tells his brother that he does not care if he becomes a vagabond. Jehan leaves empty handed and without a struggle; but as he reaches the street, Frollo opens a window and surprisingly throws money to him. He shouts that it will be the last money he gives him.
In the Court of Miracles, the gypsies are excited, arming themselves for the rescue of La Esmeralda that they are about to undertake. The weather cooperates with their plan. The sky is overcast, darkening the moon and helping them to be more secretive as they march towards Notre-Dame.
Claude Frollo devoted much of his early life to the upbringing and moral education of his younger brother; in fact, his care for Jehan was the motivating factor in his existence. Now, in contrast, he no longer cares about Jehan. The priest tells his brother that he does not even care if he becomes a vagabond. His total lack of concern shows how deeply Frollo’s character has sunk into darkness. When the priest throws some money to his brother in the street, it is not viewed as a kind and generous act; instead, it is like Frollo is trying to buy freedom for his own conscience.
It is clear that Gringoire has been successful in rallying the inhabitants of the Court of Miracles. They arm themselves in order to storm Notre-Dame and free La Esmeralda. As they begin their march to the cathedral, they are hidden in the darkness of the night.