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A Tale of Two Cities

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“Charles is safe, but I cannot safely leave this place yet. I have obtained the favour that the bearer has a short note from Charles to his wife. Let the bearer see his wife.” “Charles is safe, but I cannot leave here safely yet. I have convinced them to let Charles write a short note to Lucie. Let Defarge see Lucie.”
It was dated from La Force, within an hour. It was dated from La Force Prison within the past hour.
“Will you accompany me,” said Mr. Lorry, joyfully relieved after reading this note aloud, “to where his wife resides?” “Will you go with me to see his wife?” said Mr. Lorry, happy and relieved after reading the note out loud.
“Yes,” returned Defarge. “Yes,” answered Defarge.
Scarcely noticing as yet, in what a curiously reserved and mechanical way Defarge spoke, Mr. Lorry put on his hat and they went down into the courtyard. There, they found two women; one, knitting. Mr. Lorry had not yet noticed how strangely reserved and mechanical Defarge was when he spoke. Mr. Lorry put on his hat and they went out into the courtyard. There, they found two women, one of them knitting.
“Madame Defarge, surely!” said Mr. Lorry, who had left her in exactly the same attitude some seventeen years ago. “You are Madame Defarge, of course!” said Mr. Lorry. She had looked exactly the same as she had seventeen years ago.
“It is she,” observed her husband. “It is she,” said Monsieur Defarge.
“Does Madame go with us?” inquired Mr. Lorry, seeing that she moved as they moved. “Is Madame Defarge going with us?” asked Mr. Lorry, noticing that she was moving along with them.
“Yes. That she may be able to recognise the faces and know the persons. It is for their safety.” “Yes. She is going so she can see their faces and recognize them. It is for their safety.”
Beginning to be struck by Defarge’s manner, Mr. Lorry looked dubiously at him, and led the way. Both the women followed; the second woman being The Vengeance. Mr. Lorry was starting to notice the odd way Defarge was behaving. Mr. Lorry looked doubtfully at him and led the way, and both of the women followed them. The second woman was The Vengeance.
They passed through the intervening streets as quickly as they might, ascended the staircase of the new domicile, were admitted by Jerry, and found Lucie weeping, alone. She was thrown into a transport by the tidings Mr. Lorry gave her of her husband, and clasped the hand that delivered his note—little thinking what it had been doing near him in the night, and might, but for a chance, have done to him. They walked through the streets as quickly as they could and climbed the staircase to the new house. Jerry let them in and they found Lucie crying alone. She was overjoyed by the news Mr. Lorry gave her about Charles, and she grasped Defarge’s hand, the one in which he was carrying the note. She didn’t realize that Defarge might have been killing prisoners with those same hands that night, and might have killed Charles if they hadn’t been so lucky.
“DEAREST, —Take courage. I am well, and your father has influence around me. You cannot answer this. Kiss our child for me.” The note said, “My dearest. Be brave. I am doing well, and your father is able to influence the people here. You cannot answer this letter. Kiss Little Lucie for me.”
That was all the writing. It was so much, however, to her who received it, that she turned from Defarge to his wife, and kissed one of the hands that knitted. It was a passionate, loving, thankful, womanly action, but the hand made no response—dropped cold and heavy, and took to its knitting again. That was all he had written, but it meant so much to Lucie that she turned from Defarge to Madame Defarge and kissed one of her hands. It was a passionate, loving, thankful, womanly thing to do. But Madame Defarge didn’t respond at all. She just dropped her hand coldly and went back to knitting.
There was something in its touch that gave Lucie a check. She stopped in the act of putting the note in her bosom, and, with her hands yet at her neck, looked terrified at Madame Defarge. Madame Defarge met the lifted eyebrows and forehead with a cold, impassive stare. There was something about Madame Defarge’s touch that made Lucie freeze. She stopped as she was putting the note in her bosom, and with her hands near her neck, she gave Madame Defarge a terrified look. Madame Defarge looked back at her with a cold, emotionless stare.
“My dear,” said Mr. Lorry, striking in to explain; “there are frequent risings in the streets; and, although it is not likely they will ever trouble you, Madame Defarge wishes to see those whom she has the power to protect at such times, to the end that she may know them—that she may identify them. I believe,” said Mr. Lorry, rather halting in his reassuring words, as the stony manner of all the three impressed itself upon him more and more, “I state the case, Citizen Defarge?” “My dear,” said Mr. Lorry, jumping in to explain. “There are often uprisings in the streets. And, although it is unlikely that they will bother you, Madame Defarge wants to come with us so she can see those she might be able to protect, what they look like, to identify them. I believe I’m correct, yes, Citizen Defarge?” said Mr. Lorry. He said these reassuring words rather tentatively, as he saw the serious manner of Defarge and the women.
Defarge looked gloomily at his wife, and gave no other answer than a gruff sound of acquiescence. Defarge looked gloomily at his wife. His only answer was a grunt of agreement.
“You had better, Lucie,” said Mr. Lorry, doing all he could to propitiate, by tone and manner, “have the dear child here, and our good Pross. Our good Pross, Defarge, is an English lady, and knows no French.” “Lucie, you’d better leave your daughter and Miss Pross here,” said Mr. Lorry, doing all he could to appease them. “Miss Pross is an English lady and doesn’t know any French,” he told Defarge.

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