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A Tale of Two Cities

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One of the first considerations which arose in the business mind of Mr. Lorry when business hours came round, was this: —that he had no right to imperil Tellson’s by sheltering the wife of an emigrant prisoner under the Bank roof. His own possessions, safety, life, he would have hazarded for Lucie and her child, without a moment’s demur; but the great trust he held was not his own, and as to that business charge he was a strict man of business. The next day, when business hours came around, one of the first things that occurred to the business-minded Mr. Lorry was that he had no right to endanger Tellson’s Bank by protecting the wife of an emigrant prisoner inside the bank. He would have risked his own belongings, safety, or life for Lucie without a second thought. But he was putting the bank at risk, not just himself, and as far as the bank was concerned, he was a strict businessman.
At first, his mind reverted to Defarge, and he thought of finding out the wine-shop again and taking counsel with its master in reference to the safest dwelling-place in the distracted state of the city. But, the same consideration that suggested him, repudiated him; he lived in the most violent Quarter, and doubtless was influential there, and deep in its dangerous workings. First, he thought about Defarge. He considered finding the wine shop again and getting Defarge’s advice on the safest place to live in the chaotic city. But the same reason that made him want to ask Defarge also made him reject the idea. Defarge lived in the most violent quarter and was certainly deeply involved in what was happening there.
Noon coming, and the Doctor not returning, and every minute’s delay tending to compromise Tellson’s, Mr. Lorry advised with Lucie. She said that her father had spoken of hiring a lodging for a short term, in that Quarter, near the Banking-house. As there was no business objection to this, and as he foresaw that even if it were all well with Charles, and he were to be released, he could not hope to leave the city, Mr. Lorry went out in quest of such a lodging, and found a suitable one, high up in a removed by-street where the closed blinds in all the other windows of a high melancholy square of buildings marked deserted homes. It was almost noon. Since the doctor hadn’t returned yet, and since every minute he was missing was a threat to Tellson’s Bank, Mr. Lorry worked out a plan with Lucie. She said that her father had talked about renting a place to live for a short period of time in that quarter near the bank. As renting a place didn’t threaten Tellson’s at all—and as they would certainly have to stay some time, since even if Charles were released he wouldn’t be allowed to leave—Mr. Lorry went out to look for such a place. He found an acceptable one high up in a removed side street, where the closed blinds in all the other windows marked the homes as deserted.
To this lodging he at once removed Lucie and her child, and Miss Pross: giving them what comfort he could, and much more than he had himself. He left Jerry with them, as a figure to fill a doorway that would bear considerable knocking on the head, and retained to his own occupations. A disturbed and doleful mind he brought to bear upon them, and slowly and heavily the day lagged on with him. He immediately brought Lucie, her child, and Miss Pross to this apartment. He gave them as much comfort as he could, and more comfort than he allowed himself. He left Jerry with them to guard the doorway and went back to his own business. He continued to worry about them as the day dragged on.
It wore itself out, and wore him out with it, until the Bank closed. He was again alone in his room of the previous night, considering what to do next, when he heard a foot upon the stair. In a few moments, a man stood in his presence, who, with a keenly observant look at him, addressed him by his name. The day passed slowly, and tired him out, until the bank finally closed. Once again he was alone in his room from the night before. He was thinking about what to do next when he heard footsteps on the stairs. In a few moments, a man stood in front of him. The man looked at Mr. Lorry closely and called him by name:
“Your servant,” said Mr. Lorry. “Do you know me?” “I am your servant,” said Mr. Lorry. “Do you know me?”
He was a strongly made man with dark curling hair, from forty-five to fifty years of age. For answer he repeated, without any change of emphasis, the words: The man was strong and had dark, curly hair. He was between forty-five and fifty years old. He answered by repeating the words exactly the same way:
“Do you know me?” “Do you know me?”
“I have seen you somewhere.” “I have seen you somewhere.”
“Perhaps at my wine-shop?” “Maybe at my wine shop?”
Much interested and agitated, Mr. Lorry said: “You come from Doctor Manette?” Very interested and excited, Mr. Lorry said, “You were sent by Dr. Manette?”
“Yes. I come from Doctor Manette.” “Yes. I was sent by Dr. Manette.”
“And what says he? What does he send me?” “And what does he say? What information did he send me?”
Defarge gave into his anxious hand, an open scrap of paper. It bore the words in the Doctor’s writing: Defarge handed him a scrap of paper. It was written in the doctor’s handwriting:

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