Part 7, Chapter 3 Summary
At four o’clock the miners begin to descend. Dansaert writes each worker’s name down without comment, as the notices promised. He considers rejecting Lantier and Catherine, but he he gloats instead. Chaval is not silent and berates both of them, though it is clearly because he is jealous. No one else even seems to notice them.
Lantier and Catherine squeeze into an already full tub. The cage is released, and two-thirds of the way down there is a terrible scraping noise; everyone is jostled together when the ironwork creaks. Despite the problem, the cage reaches the bottom but the riders are soaked with water from a host of apparent leaks. Not one deputy decides to check on the excessive water.
(The entire section is 772 words.)