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By this point in the story things are looking pretty grim for our heroes: not only does Frollo claim to know exactly where Esmeralda and the rest of the gypsies are hiding, he also plans to “attack at dawn with a thousand men.” After Frollo leaves with a knowing smile on his face, Phoebus (who has heard everything), comes out of hiding and tells Quasimodo that they need to find the Court of Miracles and Esmeralda before Frollo does.
And as it turns out, Quasimodo has a way of finding the hidden refuge in the talisman that Esmeralda gave him. It turns out it’s actually a map of Paris and a certain symbol leads them to the entrance of an old catacomb. As the pair make their way, it quickly becomes obvious that they’re being followed, though Phoebus and Quismodo don’t notice. Phoebus, who has been trying (and failing) to make light of the situation, notes that:
“speaking of trouble we should’ve run into some by now.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, you know, a guard…a booby trap…” *the torch is snuffed out* “Or an ambush…”
Torches blaze up and the pair are surrounded by gypsies, exactly who they were hoping to find! Unfortunately for our heroes, Clopin, their leader, isn’t interested in anything they have to say since Phoebus is still recognized as Frollo’s captain of the guard and Quasimodo is mistakenly believed to be a loyal henchman, so they must be spies! This is the start of the all too short “Court of Miracles” where Clopin and the rest of the gypsies taunt their captives with how they keep themselves safe by killing any and all intruders.
You were very clever to have found our hideaway,
unfortunately…you won’t live to tell the tale!
Maybe you’ve heard of a terrible place where the scoundrels of Paris collect in a lair,
Maybe you’ve heard of that mythical place called the Court of Miracles…
Hello! You’re There!
In a bit of a twist, it’s revealed that many of the gypsies are only pretending to be disabled. The disguises come off when they return home, hence the seeming reason why it’s call the court of “miracles” because everyone suddenly becomes normal:
The lame can walk! And the blind can see!
But the dead don’t talk! So you won’t be around to reveal what you’ve found!
We have our methods for spies and intruders, rather like hornets protecting their hive.
Here in the Court of Miracles where it’s a miracle if you get out alive!
With a loud laugh, Phoebus and Quasimodo are dragged into the Court of Miracles where they’re led to a large scaffold, to be mocked and jeered at by the rest of the gypsies before they’re executed (Djali the goat recognizes the pair and runs to get Esmeralda). Clopin is now dressed as a judge and prepares to hold a “trial” for the pair.
Justice is swift in the Court of Miracles,
I am the lawyer and judge all in one!
We like to get the trial over with quickly because it’s the sentence that’s really the fun!
Any last words? *Phoebus and Quasimodo shout through their gags* That’s what they ALL say…
Now that we’ve seen all the evidence *Puppet “Wait, I object!* Overruled! *”I object!!”*
We find you totally innocent…which is the worst crime of all…SO YOU’RE GOING TO HANG!!
“STOP!!” And just in the nick of time, here comes Esmeralda to save our heroes’ skins! She informs the incredulous Clopin that Phoebus and Quasimodo aren’t spies, they’re friends.
“Why didn’t they say so?” Clopin sputters, not quite believing what he’s hearing.
“We DID say so!” the disgruntled pair spit back, annoyed at having come all this way only to be nearly executed for trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, the right thing turned out to be exactly what Frollo wanted them to do…which is lead him directly to the Court of Miracles…
And that’s “The Court of Miracles” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame! It’s a short song, but one of my favorites 🙂 I always thought it was funny that Clopin was so caught up in the moment of catching more spies that he completely missed the pair telling him they weren’t spying at all but were trying to warn them! Let me know what you think of this song in the comments below.
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