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A Tale of Two Cities

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“Judged!” repeated the farrier, swinging his hammer. “Ay! and condemned as a traitor.” At this the crowd roared approval. “Judged!” repeated the farrier, swinging his hammer. “Yes, and he’ll be condemned as a traitor.” At this the crowd roared in approval.
Checking the postmaster, who was for turning his horse’s head to the yard (the drunken patriot sat composedly in his saddle looking on, with the line round his wrist), Darnay said, as soon as he could make his voice heard: The drunken escort sat calmly in his saddle watching with the rope around his wrist. Darnay looked at the postmaster, who was trying to turn the horse’s head toward the yard. As soon as he could make himself heard, he said:
“Friends, you deceive yourselves, or you are deceived. I am not a traitor.” “Friends, you are mistaken. Or you have been misinformed. I am not a traitor.”
“He lies!” cried the smith. “He is a traitor since the decree. His life is forfeit to the people. His cursed life is not his own!” “He lies!” yelled the farrier. “He is a traitor since they made the decree. His cursed life doesn’t belong to him anymore. His life belongs to the people of France!”
At the instant when Darnay saw a rush in the eyes of the crowd, which another instant would have brought upon him, the postmaster turned his horse into the yard, the escort rode in close upon his horse’s flanks, and the postmaster shut and barred the crazy double gates. The farrier struck a blow upon them with his hammer, and the crowd groaned; but, no more was done. Darnay saw hatred in the eyes of the crowd. In another moment they would have charged at him. The postmaster turned his horse into the yard. The escort rode close beside him, and the postmaster shut and barred the double gates. The farrier hit the gates with his hammer and the crowd groaned but did nothing else.
“What is this decree that the smith spoke of?” Darnay asked the postmaster, when he had thanked him, and stood beside him in the yard. “What decree was the smith talking about?” Darnay asked the postmaster after he had thanked him and stood next to him in the yard.
“Truly, a decree for selling the property of emigrants.” “It’s a decree for selling property of emigrants.”
“When passed?” “When was it passed?”
“On the fourteenth.” “On the fourteenth.”
“The day I left England!” “That’s the day I left England!”
“Everybody says it is but one of several, and that there will be others—if there are not already—banishing all emigrants, and condemning all to death who return. That is what he meant when he said your life was not your own.” “Everybody says it is just one of many, and that there will be more decrees, if there aren’t already, that will banish all emigrants and condemn them to death if they return. That’s what he meant when he said your life is no longer your own.”
“But there are no such decrees yet?” “But there are no decrees like that yet?”
“What do I know!” said the postmaster, shrugging his shoulders; “there may be, or there will be. It is all the same. What would you have?” “I don’t know,” said the postmaster, shrugging his shoulders. “There might be, or there will be. What difference does it make?”
They rested on some straw in a loft until the middle of the night, and then rode forward again when all the town was asleep. Among the many wild changes observable on familiar things which made this wild ride unreal, not the least was the seeming rarity of sleep. After long and lonely spurring over dreary roads, they would come to a cluster of poor cottages, not steeped in darkness, but all glittering with lights, and would find the people, in a ghostly manner in the dead of the night, circling hand in hand round a shrivelled tree of Liberty, or all drawn up together singing a Liberty song. Happily, however, there was sleep in Beauvais that night to help them out of it and they passed on once more into solitude and loneliness: jingling through the untimely cold and wet, among impoverished fields that had yielded no fruits of the earth that year, diversified by the blackened remains of burnt houses, and by the sudden emergence from ambuscade, and sharp reining up across their way, of patriot patrols on the watch on all the roads. They rested on some straw in a loft until the middle of the night, and then they continued riding on while all the townspeople were asleep. Darnay saw many changes in his former country that made his journey feel unreal, and one of the biggest was how little people slept. After riding for long, lonely periods of time over dreary roads, they would see a group of poor cottages that weren’t dark like the others but were all lit up. They would find people gathered together like ghosts in the middle of the night. They would be in a circle, holding hands around a shriveled tree of liberty, or all gathered together singing a liberty song. Luckily, though, everyone was sleeping in Beauvais that night, so they were able to leave and continue on their lonely journey. Their horses jingled as they traveled through the unusually cold, wet night and among the poor fields that had given no crops that year. They saw blackened remains of houses that had been burned down. Sometimes they would suddenly be ambushed and have galloping toward them the patriot patrols that were watching all the roads.
Daylight at last found them before the wall of Paris. The barrier was closed and strongly guarded when they rode up to it. At daylight they were finally at the walls of Paris. The barrier was closed and guarded by many men when they rode up to it.
“Where are the papers of this prisoner?” demanded a resolute-looking man in authority, who was summoned out by the guard. “Where are the prisoner’s papers?” asked a resolute-looking man in charge, who was called out by the guard.

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