Monday, December 11, 2006

The Skeleton Of A Man

About a year and a half or two years after the events with which this history concludes, when search was made in the vault of Montfaucon for the body of Olivier le Daim, who had been hung two days previously, and to whom Charles VIII had granted the favour to be interred in better company at Saint-Laurent, among these hideous carcasses were found two skeletons in a singular posture. One of these skeletons, which was that of a woman, had still upon it some fragments of a dress that had once been white; and about the neck was a necklace of seeds of adrezarach, and a little silk bag braided with green beads, which was open and empty. These things were of so little value that the hangman no doubt had not thought it worth his while to take them. The other, by which this first was closely embraced, was the skeleton of a man. It was remarked that the spine was crooked, the head depressed between the shoulders, and one leg shorter than the other. There was however no rupture of the vertebrae of the neck, and it was evident that the person to whom it belonged had not been hanged. He must have come hither and died in the place. When those who found this skeleton attempted to disengage it from that which it held in its grasp it crumbled to dust.

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Victor Hugo

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