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A Tale of Two Cities

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His son obeyed, and the crowd approached; they were bawling and hissing round a dingy hearse and dingy mourning coach, in which mourning coach there was only one mourner, dressed in the dingy trappings that were considered essential to the dignity of the position. The position appeared by no means to please him, however, with an increasing rabble surrounding the coach, deriding him, making grimaces at him, and incessantly groaning and calling out: “Yah! Spies! Tst! Yaha! Spies!” with many compliments too numerous and forcible to repeat. His son obeyed, and the crowd came closer. They were crying and wailing around a dingy hearse and a dingy funeral coach. There was only one mourner in the funeral coach. He was dressed in the dingy mourning clothes considered appropriate for the situation. He didn’t seem happy to be there, though, as the mob was growing larger around the coach. They were making fun of him and making faces at him. They kept yelling out, “Yah! Spies! Tst! Yaha! Spies!” with many other insults too offensive to repeat.
Funerals had at all times a remarkable attraction for Mr. Cruncher; he always pricked up his senses, and became excited, when a funeral passed Tellson’s. Naturally, therefore, a funeral with this uncommon attendance excited him greatly, and he asked of the first man who ran against him: Mr. Cruncher always liked funerals. He always paid close attention to them and got excited when a funeral went past Tellson’s Bank. Naturally, therefore, he was especially excited about a funeral with such an unusual crowd following it. He asked the first man who ran into him:
“What is it, brother? What’s it about?” “What’s happening, my friend? What’s it all about?”
I don’t know,” said the man. “Spies! Yaha! Tst! Spies!” “I don’t know,” said the man. The man went back to yelling at the coach, “Spies! Yaha! Tst! Spies!”
He asked another man. “Who is it?” He asked another man. “Who is it?”
I don’t know,” returned the man, clapping his hands to his mouth nevertheless, and vociferating in a surprising heat and with the greatest ardour, “Spies! Yaha! Tst, tst! Spi—ies!” “I don’t know,” answered the other man. Still, he cupped his hands around his mouth and loudly shouted, “Spies! Yaha! Tst, tst! Spi—ies!”
At length, a person better informed on the merits of the case, tumbled against him, and from this person he learned that the funeral was the funeral of one Roger Cly. After a while, a person with more information ran into him. This person told Mr. Cruncher that the funeral was of a man named Roger Cly.
“Was He a spy?” asked Mr. Cruncher. “Was he a spy?” asked Mr. Cruncher.
“Old Bailey spy,” returned his informant. “Yaha! Tst! Yah! Old Bailey Spi—i—ies!” “He was an Old Bailey spy,” answered the man. He went on yelling at the coach, “Yaha! Tst! Yah! Old Bailey spi—i—ies!”
“Why, to be sure!” exclaimed Jerry, recalling the Trial at which he had assisted. “I’ve seen him. Dead, is he?” “Why, of course!” said Jerry, remembering the trial he had helped with. “I’ve seen him. Is he dead?”
“Dead as mutton,” returned the other, “and can’t be too dead. Have ‘em out, there! Spies! Pull ‘em out, there! Spies!” “Dead as

mutton

meat from a sheep

mutton
,” answered the other man. “And he can’t be too dead. Have ’em out! Spies! Pull them out! Spies!”
The idea was so acceptable in the prevalent absence of any idea, that the crowd caught it up with eagerness, and loudly repeating the suggestion to have ‘em out, and to pull ‘em out, mobbed the two vehicles so closely that they came to a stop. On the crowd’s opening the coach doors, the one mourner scuffled out of himself and was in their hands for a moment; but he was so alert, and made such good use of his time, that in another moment he was scouring away up a bye-street, after shedding his cloak, hat, long hatband, white pocket-handkerchief, and other symbolical tears. The mob thought that this was a good idea, since it was the only idea anyone had suggested. They all started repeating the man’s suggestion to “have ’em out and pull ’em out.” They pushed so close to the two vehicles that they came to a stop. Once the crowd opened the doors of the coach, the one mourner came out by himself and was taken by the crowd for a moment. He was so quick, though, that a moment later he had gotten away from them and was running down a side street after slipping out of his coat, hat, long hat band, white handkerchief, and other symbols of mourning.
These, the people tore to pieces and scattered far and wide with great enjoyment, while the tradesmen hurriedly shut up their shops; for a crowd in those times stopped at nothing, and was a monster much dreaded. They had already got the length of opening the hearse to take the coffin out, when some brighter genius proposed instead, its being escorted to its destination amidst general rejoicing. Practical suggestions being much needed, this suggestion, too, was received with acclamation, and the coach was immediately filled with eight inside and a dozen out, while as many people got on the roof of the hearse as could by any exercise of ingenuity stick upon it. Among the first of these volunteers was Jerry Cruncher himself, who modestly concealed his spiky head from the observation of Tellson’s, in the further corner of the mourning coach. The crowd tore his clothes to pieces and threw them around happily. The shopkeepers nearby quickly closed up their shops, for in those days mobs stopped at nothing and could cause a lot of destruction. They had already gone so far as to open the hearse to take the coffin out when some genius suggested instead that they bring it to its destination while they celebrate the death. Since there weren’t many good ideas being suggested, this too was accepted happily by the mob. Immediately, the coach was filled with eight people inside and twelve outside, while as many people as could fit climbed onto the roof. Among the first to do so was Jerry Cruncher, who covered his spiked head of hair in the far corner of the mourning coach so that no one from Tellson’s Bank would recognize him.

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