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away beyond the heaving water and the long, long, dusty roads-
the solid stone chateau which had itself become the mere mist of a
dream-had been done a year, and he had never yet, by so much as
a single spoken word, disclosed to her the state of his heart.
That he had his reasons for this, he knew full well. It was again a
summer day when, lately arrived in London from his college
occupation, he turned into the quiet corner in Soho, bent on
seeking an opportunity of opening his mind to Doctor Manette. It
was the close of the summer day, and he knew Lucie to be out with
He found the Doctor reading in his arm-chair at a window. The
energy which had at once supported him under his old sufferings
and aggravated their sharpness, had been gradually restored to
him. He was now a very energetic man indeed, with great firmness
of purpose, strength of resolution, and vigour of action.
In his recovered energy he was sometimes a little fitful and
sudden, as he had at first been in the exercise of his other
recovered faculties; but, this had never been frequently observable,
and had grown more and more rare.
He studied much, slept little, sustained a great deal of fatigue with
ease, and was equably cheerful. To him, now entered Charles
Darnay, at sight of whom he laid aside his book and held out his
“Charles Darnay! I rejoice to see you. We have been counting on
your return these three or four days past. Mr. Stryver and Sydney
Carton were both here yesterday, and both made you out to be
more than due.” “I am obliged to them for their interest in the
matter,” he answered, a little coldly as to them, though very
warmly as to the Doctor. “Miss Manette--” “Is well,” said the
Doctor, as he stopped short, “and your return will delight us all.
She has gone out on some household matters, but will soon be
home.” “Doctor Manette, I knew she was from home. I took the
opportunity of her being from home, to beg to speak to you.” There
was a blank silence.
“Yes?” said the Doctor, with evident constraint. “Bring your chair
here, and speak on.” He complied as to the chair, but appeared to
find the speaking on less easy.
“I have had the happiness, Doctor Manette, of being so intimate
here,” so he at length began, “for some year and a half, that I hope
the topic on which I am about to touch may not--” He was stayed
by the Doctor’s putting out his hand to stop him. When he had
kept it so a little while, he said, drawing it back: “Is Lucie the
topic?” “She is.” “It is hard for me to speak of her at any time. It is
very hard for me to hear her spoken of in that tone of yours,