A motley and bloodthirsty crowd assembles at the trial of Charles Darnay. When Doctor Manette is announced as Darnay’s father-in-law, a happy cry goes up among the audience. The court hears testimony from Darnay, Manette, and Gabelle, establishing that Darnay long ago had renounced his title out of disapproval of the aristocracy’s treatment of peasants. These factors, in addition to Darnay’s status as the son-in-law of the much-loved martyr Manette, persuade the jury to acquit him. The crowd carries Darnay home in a chair on their shoulders.Read a translation of Chapter 6: Triumph →
The next day, although Manette rejoices in having saved Darnay’s life, Lucie remains terrified for her husband. Later that afternoon, she reports hearing footsteps on the stairs, and soon a knock comes at the door. Four soldiers enter and re-arrest Darnay. Manette protests, but one of the soldiers reminds him that if the Republic demands a sacrifice from him, he must make that sacrifice. Manette asks one of the soldiers to give the name of Darnay’s accuser. Though it is against the law to divulge such information, the soldier replies that he is carrying out the arrest according to statements made by Defarge, Madame Defarge, and one other individual. When Manette asks for the identity of this third person, the soldier replies that Manette will receive his answer the next day.Read a translation of Chapter 7: A Knock at the Door →
Meanwhile, Jerry Cruncher and Miss Pross discover Miss Pross’s long-lost brother, Solomon, in a wine shop. Solomon scolds his sister for making a scene over their reunion. He cannot afford to be identified because he is working as a spy for the Republic. Meanwhile, Cruncher recognizes Solomon as the witness who accused Darnay of treason during his trial in England thirteen years earlier. He struggles to remember the man’s name until Sydney Carton, who suddenly appears behind them, provides it: Barsad. Carton states that he has been in Paris for a day and has been lying low until he could be useful. He threatens to reveal Barsad’s true identity to the revolutionaries unless the spy accompanies him to Tellson’s.
Upon arriving at Tellson’s, Carton informs Mr. Lorry and Jerry Cruncher that Darnay has been arrested again; he overheard Barsad discussing the news in a bar. Carton has a plan to help Darnay, should he be convicted, and he threatens to expose Barsad as an English spy should Barsad fail to cooperate. Carton reveals that he has seen Barsad conversing with Roger Cly, a known English spy. When Barsad counters that Cly is dead and presents the certificate of burial, Cruncher disproves the story by asserting that Cly’s coffin contained only stones and dirt. Though Cruncher is unwilling to explain how he knows these details, Carton takes him at his word and again threatens to expose Barsad as an enemy of the Republic. Barsad finally gives in and agrees to help Carton with his secret plan.Read a translation of Chapter 8: A Hand at Cards →
Lorry scolds Cruncher for leading a secret life (grave-robbing) outside his job at Tellson’s. Cruncher hints that there may be many doctors involved in grave-robbing who bank at Tellson’s. Cruncher then makes amends, saying that if Lorry will let young Jerry Cruncher inherit his own duties at the bank, he himself will become a gravedigger to make up for all the graves that he has “un-dug.” After Barsad leaves, Carton tells Lorry and Cruncher that he has arranged a time to visit Darnay before his imminent execution. Carton reflects that a human being who has not secured the love of another has wasted his life, and Lorry agrees.
That night, as he wanders the streets of Paris, Carton thinks of Lucie. He enters a chemist’s shop and buys a mysterious substance. The words spoken by the priest at his father’s funeral echo through his mind: “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.” Carton helps a small girl across the muddy street, and she gives him a kiss. The priest’s words echo again in his mind. He wanders until sunrise, then makes his way to the courthouse for Darnay’s trial. The judge names Darnay’s accusers: the Defarges and Doctor Manette. Manette reacts with shock and denies having ever denounced Darnay. Defarge then takes the stand and speaks of a letter that he found, hidden in 105 North Tower of the Bastille.