Didn't It Blow Your Mind, Claude Frollo?

part 6 (II)

"A Function at the Junction"

It is early that evening, and the Minister of Justice has arrived at his 14th lady's Paris home. But she's not home! Read on . . .
The Minister of Justice strode up to the door and knocked. No answer.
Hmm . . . She's busy preparing supper. I'll just let myself in . . .
Taking a key from his pocket, he smiled, then unlocked the door and entered.

My love, I hope you like this outfit . . . Tight black jeans, this slim-fitting black jacquard doublet, the boots, the purple shirt -- I believe I bought this shirt during one of my last 20th Century visits . . .
Darling Nisha, I have a very sweet treat for you. And it's NOT what's in this basket!

"Danisha! My love, I'm here, and I've brought a little treat!", called out Claude Frollo as he entered the modest house. However, no one responded when he called out again, "Nisha, darling, did you hear me?" There was still no response.
Claude set the basket of treats on the table then began to search the house. He went upstairs but found no one. Claude Frollo returned downstairs; he was quite puzzled that his 14th lady wasn't home.

Danisha, where are you? The table is set but dinner has not been prepared . . .

Suddenly, Claude snapped his fingers.
Notre Dame! She may still be with Quasimodo, enjoying her visit, perhaps stayed for evening Mass. Ah well, no matter, I'll fetch her myself. Sweet Nisha . . . You are a good woman. And I am not angry, for I know you'll . . . ahem . . . make up for lost time.

Claude Frollo exited the house, mounted Snowball, then headed for the cathedral. Little did he know that Nisha, along with Quasimodo was elsewhere . . .


Meanwhile, at La Belle d'Avignon, Victor Jouet's tavern, a bell-ringer, an ex-soldier, an overgrown flower child, and Minister Frollo's 14th lady are enjoying good drink, and good company . . .
"So let me get this straight," said Quasi between sips of beer, "Woodstock was like our Feast of Fools, but bigger . . . " The bell-ringer tried to visualize the 1969 rock festival and compare it with the 1480's Feast of Fools.
"And wilder, with lots more people and music . . . "
That comment came from Phoebus as Iggy filled them in on the whole 1960's counterculture.

Even though I was only in grade school, I offered a few of my memories of the 1960's -- All that "flower power," psychedelics, free love, cool clothes, cool music, Motown, Phil Spector, the British Invasion.
But there was also the dark side to this turbulent decade: freedom riders, Dr. King, the Kennedys, the riots, Vietnam. So I was glad that Iggy and I agreed that we would only talk about the happy times.

When Phoebus asked about the Summer of Love, he couldn't believe this. "Uh, you mean hundreds of people went to this 'San Francisco', and all they did was wear flowers, sing songs, talk about peace and harmony?"
Iggy smiled, just from the reminiscence and said, "Yeah man, that was a blast!" He drained his beer then pulled something from his pocket. Iggy whispered to us, "Hey, wanna see what Fern looked like when she was twenty?"
He chuckled as he handed over a photo of a much younger Fern McMullen. Quasi and Phoebus laughed at the image of the not-quite overweight, bright-eyed young lady; even I laughed. But there she was, standing out amongst the crowd, and clad in a long wildy-hued tie-dyed dress. From her neck hung strands of beads; her wrist sported several rawhide bracelets. Her golden auburn hair streamed down her back and was adorned with many colorful flowers. She wore these pink-colored 'granny glasses', and carried what I could tell was an oversized hand-crocheted bag of the wildest color combination. On her feet were --- You know, I don't think Fern was wearing shoes!
And did I see a small, smoking object in her hand? It wasn't a cigarette!

Young Fern is a dead ringer for Mama Cass . . . Well. I think Cass was about fifty pounds heavier!

Quasi looked at the picture then asked Iggy more about Woodstock.
"It was something else, Quasi. 'Course I was only sixteen at the time. You see; I got skipped a couple of grades and graduated early. Fern took me to 'Frisco in '67, then Woodstock in '69."
He smiled again when he said, "It was at Woodstock that Fern met Dwayne, and I met . . . "

Something strange came over Iggy as he gathered his thoughts and sipped his second beer. Then he called over to Victor, "Hey, barkeep! Wanna make some real money tonight?"
Victor replied that ANYTHING that would attract customers would be most welcomed.

So Iggy took his guitar, got up before the small -- and it wasn't small for long -- crowd, and began to play:

I was feelin' so bad
I ask my family doctor just what I had...
Good Lovin'!
Gimme that good, good lovin'!
Good Lovin'!

The few patrons dropped whatever they were doing and turned to look and listen to this strange man. I guess it was when Victor announced, "This is Mlle. Nisha's New World friend! 'Iggy' has been kind enough to treat us to his country's wonderful music."

Soon, Iggy had the crowd's attention; he even established a lively rapport with these folks. Quasi was grateful that he was able to rush to Notre Dame, ring bells for evening Mass, then rush back to the tavern for Iggy's performance. I assured him that as long as he returned to the cathedral at a decent hour, then what can Claude say?
Deep in my heart, I knew that Claude would LOVE this performance, but only in private.
Come on, Claude, don't decide to take off early. For once, I want you so swamped with work...Hey! He won't come here anyway! It's not his scene...

"Hey Nisha! Why don't you and Quasi and ol' Nub come up here and help me out?!"
Iggy stood upon a makeshift platform after his first song. Many people had already heard the funky sounds emanating from the tavern, so they came in to get a closer listen. In a flash, the tavern was filling quickly as Iggy, Quasi, Phoebus, and I began a set of Jackson Five covers. It was an evening to remember.

easy as 1-2-3
simple as Do-re-mi

I even dedicated a line to a certain city magistrate, although he wasn't present and no one in that tavern knew to WHOM I was singing. Later though, I'd reprise the number not knowing that a certain someone was watching our 'Function at the Junction' through the window.

After our set, Iggy whispered something in Quasi's ear. I had to ask Quasi, "What's that all about?" Then Quasi looked at Iggy, then at me, and said, "Well, let's just say that Iggy taught me a couple of new songs." So I thought, what could it hurt? Quasi had finished his chores at Notre Dame, few people gave my buddy any grief, and Claude wasn't here -- Yet!

In a flash, Quasi donned a pair of shades then began to do a knockdown cover of 'Fingertips'. Phoebus and Iggy stood back while Quasimodo blasted that harmonica -- He even sounded like Stevie Wonder! The crowd had never seen anything like this before, and the tavern became even MORE crowded as word on the street spread about, "There's a party over at Old Victor's place!"

Iggy attacked his guitar as Quasi performed.

Clap your hands
Just a little but louder
Clap your hands
Just a little but louder

"What'd ya know! Little Quasi Wonder!" Those words came from Iggy as the whole tavern resounded with the raucous music of the 60's and 70's. Yep, talk about 'throw downs'! And the party was just beginning.
Little did we know that 'the word on the street' would soon reach Claude Frollo's ears. When he showed up...well...Let's say dear Claude wasn't too pleased.


Meanwhile, at Notre Dame:
Claude Frollo descended the belltower steps; he was quite puzzled, and a little angry. Quasimodo's not in the belltower, neither is Danisha...Perhaps they're elsewhere...It's not like her to forget a dinner date...
And although Quasimodo's finished with his duties, he mustn't be out and about the streets all night. I've told him again and again, even though he's now a part of the outside world, he must not neglect his responsibilities.

The Minister of Justice frowned and scowled; he had never tolerated anyone gumming up his schedule. Not even his 14th FSM, who he thoroughly treasured, would dare to break a dinner date. Damn it, Nisha! Where are you?
Claude Frollo wandered up and down Notre Dame's corridors, searched its chapels, its sanctuary. Neither the bell-ringer nor his 14th lady could be found.

At that moment, one of the priests spotted Frollo and addressed His Grace. "Minister Frollo, if you are looking for the bell-ringer, he is not here. For I saw him leave right after he finished his evening chores."
Frollo kept his anger under control, but he was clearly perturbed that Quasimodo had hastily left the cathedral. He then asked the priest of the whereabouts of Danisha. The priest replied, "Oh yes, Mlle. Nisha was here. She left much earlier with Phoebus and that funny-looking little man..."

The Minister of Justice interrupted. "What 'funny-looking little man'? And Phoebus was in their company?" The priest nodded then continued to tell Frollo all about Quasimodo and Phoebus' companion.
Frollo paused, stroked his chin, then snapped his fingers.
Yes! It can only be! But how did he manage to return to...PHOEBUS! That half-witted...Oh!
No. let them down gently...I'll save my full fury for Jehan. If it wasn't for him, Daniel wouldn't be here...And Nisha wouldn't be compelled to play sentinel to two overgrown...Damn!

After Claude Frollo got a description of Quasimodo and Phoebus' 'funny-looking' companion, he asked the priest of their whereabouts.

"I heard Phoebus say they were heading to old Victor Jouet's tavern."
"La Belle d'Avignon?"
"Yes, Your Grace."

Claude Frollo smiled, thanked the priest, then quickly exited the cathedral. As he mounted Snowball, he heard snickering behind him. Claude turned to look at these fellows only to hear them repeat what was said much earlier.

"Sorry, Your Grace," said the first man, "but we're glad you didn't see that funny little man and what he did outside Chantelle's sweet shop."
Frollo glared hard at the man, then asked, "And exactly what did this man do?"

The second man replied, "Oh, he put on the funniest performance -- He stood beside Snowball and began saying things like, 'Hello there, Wilbur!' Why, he even whinnied like a horse, sir! It was so funny!"

But Claude Frollo wasn't laughing as thanked the men for this information and rode briskly toward that tavern.


Back at La Belle d'Avignon, there's a party going on -- This joint is rockin'!
Hey, honey!
I think I love you!
Get up, sugarbritches!
Show me what you can do!
Shake it Shake it, baby!
Come on!
Shake it Shake it, baby!
Ooh! ooh!

Party Time!

I launched into another encore of "ABC", this time dedicating a few lines to my 'sugarbritches'. Now I knew perfectly well that Claude Frollo would never set foot in a place like this, let alone "shake it, shake it, baby" in public.
All right, Claude, maybe you can 'shake it, shake it, baby' when we're behind closed doors!

The place was packed! It was toe to toe, nose to nose, standing room only! The beer, ale, and wine flowed like water. Victor even got in on the act when Iggy and I showed him how to do the Funky Chicken. Oh yeah! That was a sight I'd never forget!
Little did we know that someone was watching through the window. But with every eye on us, not one person noticed the tall slender black-clad man still astride his black stallion. Nor did they notice his cold-as-steel glare.


It was getting late, and Quasi had to return to Notre Dame. "Iggy," I said, "we have to wrap this up 'cause Quasi needs to get his rest; he's got bells to ring at dawn."
Iggy understood this and decided to wrap this impromptu performance with a blow-off-the-roof version of "All Night Long".

The only instruments were Quasi's harmonica, Iggy's guitar, and a few flutes and drums that someone had brought in. It didn't take long for those guys to match Iggy riff for riff. You know, it really amazed me, but with just those few acoustic instruments, the sound was WONDERFUL! MTV Unplugged never sounded so good.

Iggy barely launched into the song when the crowd joined in. Then I thought, whether it's 15th or 20th Century, music brings people closer together.
These people will never hear stuff like this, and it's just like Fern said, "Why not give these guys a sample of what their descendants'll listen to -- In about five centuries!"

You know, Fern, I think you were right. And I wish you could be here now, watching your brother bring all this joy to medieval Parisians. This IS kind of funny, listening to all these French accents trying to sound like good ol' boys!

Keep a grinnin'
'til the weekend comes
just a pinch between
your cheek and gum
All Night Long!
All Night Long!

Bodies swayed, hands clapped, and voices blended into the oddest choir as everyone screamed for encore after encore.

I think it was when a young Parisian began to dance with me -- I thought it was all in fun; the guy never made any undue advances. Besides, the fool was too drunk to care. Heck, even I had a few Rosés too many.

Suddenly, we heard someone shout, "Good Evening, Your Grace! Your lady and her friend have put on quite the performance! This is old Victor's first good night in ages!"
That came from Francois Patou who had arrived after completing his study sessions. This was his usual routine: Go to La Belle d'Avignon, have a couple of beers, chat with Victor and the customers, then go home. This was his sole vice, and Claude didn't seem to mind. But on this particular evening...

Everything came to a standstill as Claude Frollo strode forth. Quasimodo stood very close to me as Claude glared down at him. Now I was more than ticked that Claude may chastise Quasi in public.
If he does that, I'll jump on him like a hawk on a snake! So what if he doesn't speak to me again! I can always head back to my time, have Jacki reprogram the time traveler...Claude would regret...He has to learn that this is one lady he cannot walk all over!

"Claude," I sweetly but warily began, "I had no idea Iggy was here. I had to follow them, make sure they stayed out of trouble...But I guess..."

Claude Frollo looked at me with fiery eyes, but he knew that he could push me so far. He then said, "Danisha, you've forgotten our dinner date." Oh no! I was too busy watching these fools...Oh God, Claude will lay into me good! Then I'll be ready for him.
He then addressed Quasimodo, "Dear boy, you should know better than to run off and not inform me of your whereabouts."

"I'm sorry, Master." Quasi looked at me while I gave him some silent encouragement. It'll be all right, Quasi...
Armed with that ounce of courage, Quasimodo headed back for the cathedral.

Claude then looked at Phoebus and I could tell he was not very pleased to see his former Captain in Iggy's company. Well, after what he said to Phoebus, I supposed Claude laid much of the blame on the ex-soldier.

"Phoebus, I presume you are returning to Chateau d'Arcy this very evening?"
"Yes, sir", came the swift response.
"Then I suggest you leave now, and take Daniel McMullen with you....Oh yes."
Claude extended his hand and said to Phoebus, "May I have it?"
"Have what, sir?"
"The device of which my brother so carelessly entrusted you." The former soldier reached in his pocket and removed that wondrous device and handed it Claude Frollo.

Then Claude approached Iggy, but his expression softened a bit. I thought he was going to verbally rip Iggy apart, but he didn't. Instead, Claude addressed Iggy as such, "So, I finally meet the brilliant Daniel. Your sister has told me much about you, and it's a shame that you haven't put your talents to more constructive, more lucrative, uses...Well, no matter."

Did I detect a slight smile spreading across Claude's face? Yeah, almost like the time I went off on him in the cathedral. Claude Frollo, is that you?

Claude then said to Iggy, "Phoebus is to take you back to the d'Arcy estate where you will remain until your sister can be contacted. Do you understand?"

Iggy shuffled his feet, fidgeted with the frets on his guitar and said, "I'm sorry if I caused any trouble, sir. It's just that I was missing my new friends, and Victor over here needed a little business thrown his way, and...Hey, man, no hard feelin's, OK?"
I looked at Claude with pained eyes; he picked up on this and said to Iggy, "My dear Daniel, you've lied to Fern; you've misused a highly delicate instrument. Now, because I hold your sister in such high esteem, consider yourself fortunate to have NOT spent a night in my dungeons."

That said, Iggy said nothing as Phoebus escorted him out of the tavern. Quasimodo had already gone back to the cathedral.
Claude turned to Francois Patou and shot the poor kid a look that could melt steel bars. Francois looked at me as if to say, "I've lost it! All that confidence Minister Frollo had in me, gone!" The poor boy said nothing as he left the tavern.
It was old Victor who finally said to Claude, Your Grace, this man, this 'Iggy', meant no harm. Why, look!" Victor showed Claude a chest overflowing with gold coins. "Never had I had a more successful night! That New World friend of Mlle. Nisha's was a Godsend."

To this, Claude's eyes fell upon the portrait of Sarah Jouet, then he said to Victor, "I'm sure your mother would be pleased that you've carried on the family tradition. But, M. Jouet, surely you understand that something may have gone wrong. Why, there may have been a fight, a robbery. While I don't mind a businessman finding ways to increase his profits, the safety of his customers must be put above all other needs. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Your Excellency."

Claude Frollo smiled broadly when he said, "Good! Now," he continued while pulling a few coins from his own pocket, "I do believe I espied a few customers sneaking off without paying. Do not worry; my men shall catch with them. This should cover any losses."
Victor's eyes lit up, and so did the other customers' Never had Claude Frollo done anything like this! Even I was shocked! Uh, Claude? Are you feeling all right? Giving money to a lowly tavern keeper? And after you made us prematurely end our 'Function at the Junction'? I don't get it.

Without saying a word, Claude escorted me outside and boosted me up into the saddle. Then, after settling himself behind me, whispered into my ear as we headed toward my Paris home, "Danisha, I'm highly disappointed in you, and I believe it's time for a little talk."

It wasn't pleasant chitchat, that's for sure.

The Minister of Justice forgives Nisha, then finds out more about Iggy...Phoebus get a 'special' treat...A theft...An arrest...Joe Wood sends an important message...

To Part 7!

©Copyright FrolloFreak FSM #14, 1998.

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