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A Tale of Two Cities

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“O show me the place, my father, and I will go there every day.” “Oh, show me the place, Father, and I will go there every day.”
From that time, in all weathers, she waited there two hours. As the clock struck two, she was there, and at four she turned resignedly away. When it was not too wet or inclement for her child to be with her, they went together; at other times she was alone; but, she never missed a single day. From that point on she waited there for two hours every day, no matter what the weather was. When the clock struck two she would be there, and at four o’clock she would walk away resignedly. When the weather allowed she would bring Lucie with her, and at other times she would go alone. But she never missed a single day.
It was the dark and dirty corner of a small winding street. The hovel of a cutter of wood into lengths for burning, was the only house at that end; all else was wall. On the third day of her being there, he noticed her. The place where she would stand was a dark and dirty corner of a small, winding street. The small hut of a

wood sawyer

a person who saws wood for a living

wood sawyer
, who sawed logs into pieces for firewood, was the only house at that end of the street. The rest of the street was enclosed by walls. On the third day Lucie was there, the wood sawyer noticed her.
“Good day, citizeness.” “Good day, citizeness.”
“Good day, citizen.” “Good day, citizen.”
This mode of address was now prescribed by decree. It had been established voluntarily some time ago, among the more thorough patriots; but, was now law for everybody. This way of addressing people was now required by law. It had started as something the more passionate patriots did by choice some time ago, but now everyone was required to do it.
“Walking here again, citizeness?” “I see you’re walking here again, citizeness?”
“You see me, citizen!” “You see that I am, citizen!”
The wood-sawyer, who was a little man with a redundancy of gesture (he had once been a mender of roads), cast a glance at the prison, pointed at the prison, and putting his ten fingers before his face to represent bars, peeped through them jocosely. The wood sawyer was a little man who gestured too much. He had once been a repairer of roads. He looked at the prison and pointed to it. He put his ten fingers in front of his face to represent prison bars and peeked through them playfully.
“But it’s not my business,” said he. And went on sawing his wood. “But it’s none of my business,” he said, going back to sawing wood.
Next day he was looking out for her, and accosted her the moment she appeared. The next day he was waiting for her and approached her as soon as she appeared.
“What? Walking here again, citizeness?” “What? You’re walking here again, citizeness?”
“Yes, citizen.” “Yes, citizen.”
“Ah! A child too! Your mother, is it not, my little citizeness?” “Ah! And you brought a child too! This is your mother, isn’t it, my little citizeness?”
“Do I say yes, mamma?” whispered little Lucie, drawing close to her. “Should I say yes, Mamma?” little Lucie whispered to her mother, pulling close to her.
“Yes, dearest.” “Yes, dearest,” said Lucie.
“Yes, citizen.” “Yes, citizen,” little Lucie said to the wood sawyer.
“Ah! But it’s not my business. My work is my business. See my saw! I call it my Little Guillotine. La, la, la; La, la, la! And off his head comes!” “Ah! But it’s none of my business. My work is my business. Look at my saw! I call it my little guillotine. La la la, la la la! And off goes his head!”
The billet fell as he spoke, and he threw it into a basket. Part of the piece of the wood fell off as he spoke, and he threw it into a basket.
“I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. See here again! Loo, loo, loo; Loo, loo, loo! And off HER head comes! Now, a child. Tickle, tickle; Pickle, pickle! And off ITS head comes. All the family!” “I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. Look again!” He sang as he cut another piece of wood. “Loo loo loo, loo loo loo! And off goes her head! Now I’ll do a child. Tickle, tickle, pickle, pickle! And off goes the child’s head. A whole family!”
Lucie shuddered as he threw two more billets into his basket, but it was impossible to be there while the wood-sawyer was at work, and not be in his sight. Thenceforth, to secure his good will, she always spoke to him first, and often gave him drink-money, which he readily received. Lucie shuddered as he threw two more pieces of wood into his basket, but it was impossible to be there while the wood sawyer was working nearby without him seeing her. Therefore, to keep him happy, she always spoke to him first. Often she would give him money for drinks, which he took happily.
He was an inquisitive fellow, and sometimes when she had quite forgotten him in gazing at the prison roof and grates, and in lifting her heart up to her husband, she would come to herself to find him looking at her, with his knee on his bench and his saw stopped in its work. “But it’s not my business!” he would generally say at those times, and would briskly fall to his sawing again. He was a curious man. Sometimes when she had completely forgotten about him and was looking at the prison roof and grates thinking of her husband, she would realize that the wood sawyer was looking at her. His knee would be on his bench and his saw would have stopped moving. “But it’s none of my business!” he would usually say when this happened, and then he would quickly go back to work again.
In all weathers, in the snow and frost of winter, in the bitter winds of spring, in the hot sunshine of summer, in the rains of autumn, and again in the snow and frost of winter, Lucie passed two hours of every day at this place; and every day on leaving it, she kissed the prison wall. Her husband saw her (so she learned from her father) it might be once in five or six times: it might be twice or thrice running: it might be, not for a week or a fortnight together. It was enough that he could and did see her when the chances served, and on that possibility she would have waited out the day, seven days a week. No matter what the weather was, Lucie spent two hours of every day at this place. In the snow and frost during winter, the strong winds during spring, the hot sunshine of summer, or the rains of autumn, Lucie would be there. Then she would be back again in the snow and frost of winter. Every day when she left she would kiss the prison wall. Her father told her that her husband only saw her once every five or six times she went. Sometimes it was two or three times in a row. Sometimes it wasn’t for a week or two. It was enough that he saw her when he got the chance. If there were even a chance of him seeing her, she would have spent the whole day there seven days a week.

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