Where does Monsieur Defarge ask a guard

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Chapter Twelve. Darkness.

Sydney Carton stopped in the street because he was not quite sure where to go. "At nine o'clock at Tellson's bank," he said, his face thoughtful. “Wouldn't it be good if I showed up in the meantime? I think so. These people need to know that someone like me is here; caution warrants it, and it may even be necessary as a preparatory measure. But carefully, carefully. I want to think about it. "

He had already started to direct his steps towards some goal when he paused again and paced the already darkening street to see the possible consequences. But the first impression soon solidified in him. "It is best," he said at last, resolutely, "that these people hear of the presence of someone like me!" Then he turned to Saint Antoine.

On that day Defarge had described himself as a wine host in the suburb of St. Antoine. For a man who knew the city as well as he did, it was easy to find the house without asking. Carton left the narrow streets, took a refreshment in a restaurant and strengthened himself with some sleep after a meal. For the first time in many years he avoided strong drinks. Since last night he had had nothing but a little light wine, and the day before he had poured the last drop of brandy onto Mr. Lorry's stove like a man who doesn't want anything more to do with it.

It was seven o'clock in the evening when he woke up refreshed and went out into the streets again. On the way to St. Antoine he stopped in front of a mirror shop and straightened his loose necktie, his coat collar and his tangled hair. After this had happened, he decided to go straight to Defarge and went into his wine room.

There happened to be no other guest in the room than Jacques Drei with the restless fingers and the croaking voice. This person, in whom he immediately recognized one of the jury members of the morning, was standing by his glass at the little bar and was talking to the Defarz couple. Revenge mingled in the conversation, as it were, as a regular member of the household.

Carton took a seat and ordered half a bottle of wine in bad French. At first Madame Defarge cast an indifferent, but then increasingly sharper, look at him and finally stepped up to him herself to ask him what he liked.

He repeated the previous order.

"An Englishman?" Asked Madame Defarge, raising her dark eyebrows searchingly.

After looking at them as if even the sound of a single French word was incomprehensible to him, he replied in the earlier foreign accent:

“Yes, madame, yes. I am an Englishman. "

Madame Defarge returned to the bar to measure the wine while he picked up a Jacobin newspaper and pretended to be trying to understand its contents. Then he heard her say:

"By my soul, it looks like Evrémonde!"

Defarge brought him the wine and offered him a good evening.

"How?"

"Good evening."

"Oh, good evening, citizen." He filled his glass. “Ah, a good wine. I drink to the good of the Republic. "

Defarge returned to the counter and said:

"Some resemblance, though."

"I tell you, a very big one," replied Madame Defarge.

"You only see him everywhere, Madame," said Jacques Drei soothingly.

"Yes, my loyalty," added the amiable vengeance with a laugh; "And it makes you want to see him again tomorrow."

Carton slowly followed the words and lines of his newspaper with his index finger and with an expression completely absorbed in the reading. They stood very close together, arms propped on the counter, and spoke softly. He did not allow himself to be disturbed by the fact that they often looked at him; at last they continued their conversation a little louder.

"It is just as Madame says," remarked Jacques Drei. “Why stop? The matter is mighty under way. Why stop? "

"Well, it has to happen sometime," said Defarge; "The only question is when."

"Only with the extermination," said Madame.

"Great!" Croaked Jacques Drei.

Vengeance also applauded.

“Eradication is a good principle, woman,” Defarge said, somewhat alarmed, “and I generally have no objection to it. But this doctor suffered a lot. You saw him today and noticed his face when the writing was read out. "

"I noticed his face," replied Madame angrily and with a tone of contempt. “Yes, I must have noticed it and read in it that it is not the face of a real friend of the Republic. Let him be careful with his face! "

"And you also perceived his daughter's pain, woman," he added appropriately; "He must have been terrible for him."

"I also saw his daughter," replied Madame. “I've seen her more than once - not just today, but at other times as well. I watched them in the courtroom and on the street outside the prison. I only have to lift my finger -! "

She really seemed to pick it up (the listener's eyes did not turn from his newspaper) and drop it on the ledge in front of her with a rattle, as if a hatchet was falling.

"The citizen is splendid!" Croaked the jury.

"She's an angel!" Cried Vengeance and embraced her.

"As for you," Madame went on implacably towards her husband, "if it depended on you - fortunately it is not - you would save this person even now."

"No," said Defarge. “I don't want to keep this glass for his sake. But it must have remained there. I say it cannot go on like this. "

'You see for yourself, Jacques,' said Madame Defarge angrily, 'and you see it too, my little vengeance - you both see it. But listen to me! For crimes other than tyranny and oppression, I have long since decided to persecute this family and their downfall. Ask my husband if that's not the case. "

"It is so," said Defarge, even before he was questioned.

'At the beginning of the great days, when the Bastille fell, he came into possession of that memorandum, brought it home, and we read it in the middle of the night, as soon as the room was empty and closed, here in this place and by the light this lamp. Ask him if that's not the case. "

"It is so," said Defarge.

“The night we read the writing, when the lamp had already gone out and day was already flashing through these shutters and the iron bars, I told him that I had a secret to tell him. Ask him if it's not true. "

"It's true," agreed Defarge.

“I shared this secret with him. I hit my breast with those two hands, as I do now, and said to him: 'Defarge, I was brought up among the fishermen on the seashore, and that peasant family who suffered the disgraceful treatment of the Evrémonde brothers from who speaks the Bastille scripture is my family. Defarge, that sister of the boy who was lying on the ground, was mortally wounded, that man was my sister's husband, that unborn child her child, that brother my brother, that father my father - all those dead are my dead, and the summons To demand accountability for those deeds applies to me! 'Ask him if it is so. "

"Yes, she's telling the truth," Defarge confirmed again.

"Then hold the wind and fire, but not me," said Madame.

The deadly hatred of this woman filled her two listeners with a terrible pleasure, and they praised her highly. The eavesdropper could feel that the speaker was pale as a sheet without opening an eye to her. Defarge, a weak minority, recalled the marquis's compassionate wife in a few words, but only elicited a repetition of her last declaration from his wife: "Stop the wind and the fire, but not me!"

Guests came and the group broke up. The English guest paid for what he had enjoyed, miscalculated in counting the money issued and, as a stranger, asked for information on the way to the National Palace. Madame accompanied him to the door and held out her arm to correct him. It occurred to the stranger whether it would not be a good deed to take hold of this arm, to pull it up, and to drill a sharp weapon under it.

But he went his way and soon disappeared into the shadow of the prison wall. At the appointed time he found himself in Mr. Lorry's room, where he found the old gentleman pacing up and down in restless fear. He said he had been with Lucie so far and had only left her for a few minutes to come here as ordered. Her father had not shown up since he left the bank at four o'clock. She had a few, albeit very faint hope, that he might be able to save her Charles. He had been gone more than five hours; where could he stay?

Mr. Lorry waited until ten o'clock; but as Doctor Manette did not return and he did not want to leave Lucie alone any longer, they agreed that he should go to her and come back to the bank about midnight. Meanwhile, Carton thought to sit by the fire and wait for the doctor.

He waited and waited, and when it struck twelve there was still no Doctor Manette there. Mr. Lorry came back, but hit everything as he had left it without bringing any news of his own. Where was he?

They discussed this question with each other and built almost a weak building of hope for his delayed return when they finally heard him on the stairs. But as he entered the room, the first glance showed that all was lost.

Whether he really was with someone or whether he had roamed the streets all evening has never been determined. While he stood there and stared at them with wide eyes, they dared not ask him a question; because his face told them everything.

“I can't find her,” he said, “and I must have her. Where is she?"

His head and neck were bare, and his words sounded like those of a man at the end of his wisdom. He took off his skirt and dropped it on the floor.

“Where's my workbench? I've looked everywhere for my workbench and can't find it. What did you do with my work? Time is running out; I have to get the shoes ready. "

They looked at each other bleakly.

"Oh, oh!" He cried in a pitiful whimper. "Let me do my work - give me my work!"

Receiving no answer, he tore his hair and stamped his feet on the ground like a stubborn child.

“Don't torture a poor abandoned unfortunate man,” he pleaded with a screeching scream, “but give me my work! What will become of me if I don't finish my shoes tonight? "

Confused again, completely confused!

It was evidently so hopeless as to try to bring him back to his senses through ideas that both of them put a hand on his shoulders and asked him to sit down in front of the fire; they want to get his tools for him as soon as possible. He sank into the chair, stared into the ashes, and shed tears. Mr. Lorry saw in him exactly the same man he had met in the attic under Defarge's care, and the time between then and now seemed like a dream to him.

Incidentally, however much this spectacle of decay filled their souls with feelings of shock and terror, the time was not suitable for indulging in such excitement. His orphaned daughter, deprived of her last hope and support, took too much of her participation. They looked at each other meaningfully. Carton was the first to speak.

“The last prospect, small as it was, is gone. Yes, it will be best to bring him to her. But won't you pay me a moment more serious attention before you go? Do not ask why I am making you certain conditions and ask me to adhere to them exactly; I have a reason - a good reason to do so. "

"I have no doubt about it," said Mr. Lorry. "Speak."

The figure in the chair between them swayed back and forth in monotonous groans. They spoke to each other in a tone that is used to wake up in a sick room at night.

Carton bent to pick up the skirt that almost entangled his feet. While he was doing this, a small paperback, in which the doctor used to write down his daily duties, fell on the floor. He picked it up; there was a folded piece of paper inside.

"We should look at this," he remarked.

Mr. Lorry nodded in agreement. Carton opened it and called:

"Thank God!"

"What is it?" Asked Lorry hastily.

"A moment. I will come back to this in due time. First of all, "he put his hand in his coat and pulled out a similar piece of paper," I have a certificate here that I can leave Paris at will. Look at them. Do you think - Sydney Carton, an Englishman? "

Mr. Lorry held the certificate unfolded in his hand and looked seriously at the other's face.

“Take it into safekeeping for me until tomorrow. I want to visit him tomorrow, as you know, and it's better if I don't have it with me in prison. "

"Why?"

"I dont know; but I prefer you to keep it here. Also take the paper that Doctor Manette had with him. It is also a passport that allows him to leave Paris and France with his daughter and her child at any time. Do you see?"

"Yes."

“Perhaps he had it issued yesterday as the last and utmost precaution for a bad outcome. What date is it from? But all the same; let us not dwell on it, but place it with mine and yours. Pay attention now! I have always believed, and only in the last two hours have I become doubtful that he has or could have such a paper. It is in effect until revoked. But the revocation can come soon, and I have reason to believe that it will not hesitate. "

"You are in no danger, are you?"

“In great danger. It is to be feared that Madame Defarge will report them all. I know it from their own mouth. I heard this woman make speeches tonight that promised the worst. Since then, I've used my time to see the spy and get confirmation from him. He knows that a log splitter who lives by the prison wall is under the management of the Defarges and was heard by Madame Defarge about how he had witnessed that you"- he never mentioned Lucie's name -" gave signs and signals to the prisoners. It is easy to foresee that the usual prison plot will be built on this, and then not only will her life be forfeited, but perhaps that of her child and father, who were seen with her in the square. Don't look so horrified; You will save them all. "

“May there be Heaven, Carton! But how?"

“I will tell you now. Everything depends on you, and no better man could have been found for it. This new charge is unlikely to take place until the day after tomorrow: maybe two or three days, maybe a week. You know it is a death crime to feel sorry for or mourn a guillotine victim. She and her father will undoubtedly be guilty of this crime, and that woman, whose deep-rooted hatred defies description, may be just waiting to reinforce her accusation with this new circumstance and thus double her prey. You notice, don't you? "

"So attentive and with such confidence in your words that for the moment," he touched the arm of the doctor's chair, "I even lose this misery from my face."

“You have money, so you can speed up the trip to the coast in any way you can. You have been armed for a few days to leave for England. Order your horses tomorrow morning so that you can leave at two o'clock in the afternoon. "

"Let it happen."

Carton spoke with such zeal and ardor that Mr. Lorry, too, became warm and showed the liveliness of a youth.

“You are a noble heart.Didn't I say that the matter could not be left in the hands of a brave man? Tonight, share with her everything you know of the danger that threatens her child and her father. You must emphasize this with particular emphasis; for she would willingly lay her beautiful head down next to her husband's. 'He stuttered for a moment and then went on again as before. “For the sake of her child, for her father's sake, make them aware of the need to leave Paris with you and them as quickly as possible. Tell her it was her husband's last order; and it means to her still further that more depends on it than she dares to believe or hope. You do believe that her father will obey her regardless of his sad state; what do you all mean?"

"I am convinced of it."

"I thought so. Let all the necessary preparations be made in silence in the courtyard below and get in yourself right away. As soon as I come, you will pick me up and drive away. "

"If I understand you correctly, should I wait for you under any circumstances?"

“You know that you have mine in your hands as well as the other passports and that you will reserve my place for me. Just wait for it to be occupied, and then head for England! "

"And then," said Mr. Lorry, grasping the other's hasty but firm hand, "everything will no longer depend on a single old man, but I will find support in youthful energy."

“Yes, if Heaven's will! Solemnly promise me that, with our present agreement, it will remain unbreakable. "

"I promise, Carton."

“You remember that promise tomorrow. A move away from it or a hesitation - for whatever reason - could not only no longer save lives, but would inevitably sacrifice many. "

"I don't want to forget it and I hope to do my part in the affair faithfully."

“And I mine. Farewell now! "

Although he spoke these words with a serious smile and even pressed the old man's hand to his lips, he did not leave for the moment. He helped him straighten the swaying figure sitting in front of the dying ashes, put his hat on her, put her coat on her and pretended to be looking for the workbench and the tools for which she was always lamenting. Then he went to her other side and accompanied her protectively into the courtyard of the house, where a deeply troubled heart, which was so happy in the memorable time when he revealed to her the desolation of his own, watched through the horrible night. After Mr. Lorry and the doctor left him, he remained alone in the courtyard for a while, looking up at the light in the window of their room. Before he left, he breathed a blessing and a farewell to her.

*


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