On Quasimodo Sunday, five hundred or so years ago, Claude Frollo, an archdeacon of Notre-Dame de Paris found a little misshapen bundle of humanity within the precincts of the cathedral. He named it Quasimodo, and took it into his care. Quasimodo grew up hunch-backed and bow-legged, as ugly as the gargoyles that leer from the parapets of Notre-Dame, with a mind as twisted and warped as his poor frame. He did learn, however, to ring the great bells of Notre-Dame, and the belfry chamber was his favourite lair, whither he would retire from the cruel world that mocked him whenever he showed his face. - The only person who ever showed kindness to the wretched creature was a beautiful dancing girl, Esmeralda. Her sweetness engendered in him a wild devotion that never wavered, and when she was condemned to death as a witch, he rescued her and hid her in the winding galleries of the cathedral. Claude Frollo discovered her and made dishonourable advances which were repulsed. In revenge, the archdeacon betrayed her to the law. Esmeralda was hanged in the square on the west side of the cathedral, but as Frollo stood on the parapets gloating over her agony, he was hurled to his death by a gigantic hand, the hand of the hunch-back.

After Esmeralda's death, Quasimodo disappeared and was never seen or heard of alive again. But, years after, grave-diggers, searching among the bodies of condemned criminals in the pit at Montfarcon, found two skeletons whose bones were inextricably entwined. From the skull of one grew long bright hair, while the other was so twisted that it was difficult to believe that it was the frame of a human being. The title of the story in which Quasimodo and his luckless Esmeralda appear is " Notre-Dame de Paris," by Victor Hugo.