Salamander: Originally a reptile inhabiting fire; later, an anthropomorphous immortal, but still a pyrophile. Salamanders are now believed to be extinct, the last one of which we have an account having been seen in Carcassonne by the Abbe Belloc, who exorcised it with a bucket of holy water.
The Abbe Paul looked at Agnes rather as Alain had, with respect. 'How sensible. People are desperate to probe mysteries which for the most part are best left unprobed. It is the modern curse: this demented drive to explain every blessed thing. Not everything can be explained. Nor should be, I think.
There are magic moments, involving great physical fatigue and intense motor excitement, that produce visions of people known in the past ("en me retrae§ant ces details, j'en suis e me demander s'ils sont reels, ou bien si je les ai reªves"). As I learned later from the delightful little book of the Abbe de Bucquoy, there are also visions of books as yet unwritten.
Starvation!" exclaimed the abbe, springing from his seat. "Why, the vilest animals are not suffered to die by such a death as that. The very dogs that wander houseless and homeless in the streets find some pitying hand to cast them a mouthful of bread; and that a man, a Christian, should be allowed to perish of hunger in the midst of other men who call themselves Christians, is too horrible for belief. Oh, it is impossible - utterly impossible!
These men are in prison: that is the Outsider's verdict. They are quite contented in prison-caged animals who have never known freedom; but it is prison all the same. And the Outsider? He is in prison too: nearly every Outsider in this book has told us so in a different language; but he knows it. His desire is to escape. But a prison-break is not an easy matter; you must know all about your prison, otherwise you might spend years in tunnelling, like the Abbe in The Count of Monte Cristo, and only find yourself in the next cell.