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dark, repressed, and revengeful, as they listened to the
countryman’s story; the manner of all of them, while it was secret,
was authoritative too. They had the air of a rough tribunal; Jacques
One and Two sitting on the old pallet-bed, each with his chin
resting on his hand, and his eyes intent on the road-mender;
Jacques Three, equally intent, on one knee behind them, with his
agitated hand always gliding over the network of fine nerves about
his mouth and nose; Defarge standing between them and the
narrator, whom he had stationed in the light of the window, by
turns looking from him to them, and from them to him.

“Go on, Jacques,” said Defarge.
“He remains up there in his iron cage some days. The village looks
at him by stealth, for it is afraid. But it always looks up, from a
distance, at the prison on the crag; and in the evening, when the
work of the day is achieved and it assembles to gossip at the
fountain, all faces are turned towards the prison. Formerly, they
were turned towards the posting-house; now, they are turned
towards the prison. They whisper at the fountain, that although
condemned to death he will not be executed; they say that petitions
have been presented in Paris, showing that he was enraged and
made mad by the death of his child; they say that a petition has
been presented to the King himself. What do I know? It is possible.
Perhaps yes, perhaps no.” “Listen then, Jacques,” Number One of
that name sternly interposed. “Know that a petition was presented
to the King and Queen. All here, yourself excepted, saw the King
take it, in his carriage in the street, sitting beside the Queen. It is
Defarge whom you see here, who, at the hazard of his life, darted
out before the horses, with the petition in his hand.” “And once
again listen, Jacques!” said the kneeling Number Three: his fingers
ever wandering over and over those fine nerves, with a strikingly
greedy air, as if he hungered for something-that was neither food
nor drink; “the guard, horse and foot, surrounded the petitioner,
and struck him blows. You hear?” “I hear, messieurs.” “Go on
then,” said Defarge.

“Again; on the other hand, they whisper at the fountain,” resumed
the countryman, “that he is brought down into our country to be
executed on the spot, and that he will very certainly be executed.
They even whisper that because he has slain Monseigneur, and
because Monseigneur was the father of his tenants-serfs-what you
will-he will be executed as a parricide. One old man says at the
fountain, that his right hand, armed with the knife, will be burnt
off before his face; that, into wounds which will be made in his
arms, his breast, and his legs, there will be poured boiling oil,
melted lead, hot resin, wax, and sulphur; finally, that he will be
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