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A Tale of Two Cities

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“How, then?” said one of them, contemplating the fallen figure. “So afflicted to find that his friend has drawn a prize in the lottery of Sainte Guillotine?” “What happened?” asked one of them, looking at the man who had fallen down. “He’s troubled to find out that his friend is being sent to the guillotine?”
“A good patriot,” said the other, “could hardly have been more afflicted if the Aristocrat had drawn a blank.” “A good patriot could hardly have been more upset if this nobleman had been released.”
They raised the unconscious figure, placed it on a litter they had brought to the door, and bent to carry it away. They picked up the unconscious man and put him on the stretcher they had brought to the door. They bent down to carry it away.
“The time is short, Evremonde,” said the Spy, in a warning voice. “We’re running out of time, Evremonde,” Barsad said to Carton in a warning voice.
“I know it well,” answered Carton. “Be careful of my friend, I entreat you, and leave me.” “I know,” answered Carton. “Please take care of my friend and leave me alone.”
“Come, then, my children,” said Barsad. “Lift him, and come away!” “Come on, boys,” said Barsad. “Lift him up and come this way.”
The door closed, and Carton was left alone. Straining his powers of listening to the utmost, he listened for any sound that might denote suspicion or alarm. There was none. Keys turned, doors clashed, footsteps passed along distant passages: no cry was raised, or hurry made, that seemed unusual. Breathing more freely in a little while, he sat down at the table, and listened again until the clock struck Two. The door closed, and Carton was left alone. He strained to hear any sounds that might show that they were suspicious. There were none. He heard keys turning, doors slamming shut, and footsteps walking along hallways in the distance. He didn’t hear anything unusual, like people yelling or rushing around. He breathed easier for a little while. He sat down at the table and listened again until the clock struck two.
Sounds that he was not afraid of, for he divined their meaning, then began to be audible. Several doors were opened in succession, and finally his own. A gaoler, with a list in his hand, looked in, merely saying, “Follow me, Evremonde!” and he followed into a large dark room, at a distance. It was a dark winter day, and what with the shadows within, and what with the shadows without, he could but dimly discern the others who were brought there to have their arms bound. Some were standing; some seated. Some were lamenting, and in restless motion; but, these were few. The great majority were silent and still, looking fixedly at the ground. Then he heard sounds, but he wasn’t afraid of them because he knew what they meant. Several doors opened one after another, and finally his own door opened. A jailer with a list in his hand looked inside. All he said was, “Follow me, Evremonde!” Carton followed him into a large, dark room that was far away. It was a dark winter day. The shadows inside and outside made it difficult to see the other people who were brought there to have their arms tied. Some were standing up and some were seated. A few of them were crying and some were moving around nervously. But most of them were silent and still, staring at the ground.
As he stood by the wall in a dim corner, while some of the fifty-two were brought in after him, one man stopped in passing, to embrace him, as having a knowledge of him. It thrilled him with a great dread of discovery; but the man went on. A very few moments after that, a young woman, with a slight girlish form, a sweet spare face in which there was no vestige of colour, and large widely opened patient eyes, rose from the seat where he had observed her sitting, and came to speak to him. He stood by the wall in a dark corner while some of the fifty-two others were brought in after him. One man stopped to embrace him as he passed by as if he knew him. Carton felt terrified he would be found out, but the man continued on. A few moments later a young woman got up from where he had seen her sitting and came over to speak to him. She had a small, girlish figure, a beautiful pale face, and large, widely opened patient eyes.
“Citizen Evremonde,” she said, touching him with her cold hand. “I am a poor little seamstress, who was with you in La Force.” “Citizen Evremonde,” she said, touching him with her cold hand. “I am a poor seamstress. I was with you in La Force Prison.”
He murmured for answer: “True. I forget what you were accused of?” He murmured, “That’s right. I forget—what were you accused of?”
“Plots. Though the just Heaven knows that I am innocent of any. Is it likely? Who would think of plotting with a poor little weak creature like me?” “Plots. Though Heaven knows that I am innocent. Is it likely? Who would think of plotting with a poor, little weak creature like me?”
The forlorn smile with which she said it, so touched him, that tears started from his eyes. She smiled sadly when she said it, and he was so touched that he started to tear up.
“I am not afraid to die, Citizen Evremonde, but I have done nothing. I am not unwilling to die, if the Republic which is to do so much good to us poor, will profit by my death; but I do not know how that can be, Citizen Evremonde. Such a poor weak little creature!” “I am not afraid to die, Citizen Evremonde. But I haven’t done anything wrong. I am not unwilling to die if the Republic, which will do so much good for poor people like me, will benefit from my death. But I don’t know how that can be, Citizen Evremonde. I’m such a poor, weak, little creature!”

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