The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Novel Summary: Book IX Chapter 4
Many days pass and Esmeralda gradually regains a sense of tranquility. She convinces herself that she is to blame for losing Phoebus' love and wishes for the chance to communicate with him. She ponders Quasimodo and wishes that she could reconcile herself to his visage. One morning she sees Phoebus in the square conversing with a young lady on her balcony and Esmeralda reaches out her arms and cries for him but he does not hear. Quasimodo understands and though he laments that a man need only be beautiful on the outside to win her affection he promises to fetch the young soldier. By the time he reaches the square Phoebus has entered the house for a pre-wedding party so Quasimodo, with Esmeralda watching from the church window, sits to wait. He waits all day and into the night. At one in the morning the guests begin to leave and Quasimodo sees the captain and a young woman engaged in a romantic embrace on the balcony. He knows that in the darkness Esmeralda cannot see them. Soon the captain emerges and Quasimodo stops him and explains to the soldier that the gypsy girl wants him. Phoebus, who believes that Esmeralda is dead, thinks that Quasimodo has come to take him to his grave. He strikes the poor hunchback and Quasidmodo lets him leave, in disbelief that anyone would refuse Esmeralda. He lies to her and says that he could not find the captain. She is angry with him but he holds his tongue. For a time Quasimodo does not have any contact with Esmeralda though he continues to do favors for her and replenish her food and water. One morning she finds two pitchers with flowers left for her. One of the pitchers is cracked and the water has run out and the flowers have faded. She wore one of the faded flowers all that day. One night, after the hunchback had been absent many days, she awoke to find him sleeping on the stones at the entrance to her cell.