Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
“That’s all, messieurs. I left at sunset (as I had been warned to do),
and I walked on, that night and half next day, until I met (as I was
warned I should) this comrade. With him, I came on, now riding
and now walking, through the rest of yesterday and through last
night. And here you see me!” After a gloomy silence, the first
Jacques said, “Good! You have acted and recounted faithfully. Will
you wait for us a little, outside the door?” “Very willingly,” said
the mender of roads. Whom Defarge escorted to the top of the
stairs, and, leaving seated there, returned.
The three had risen, and their heads were together when he came
back to the garret.
“How say you, Jacques?” demanded Number One. “To be
registered?” “To be registered, as doomed to destruction,”
“Magnificent!” croaked the man with the craving.
“The chateau, and all the race?” inquired the first.
“The chateau and all the race,” returned Defarge. “Extermination.”
The hungry man repeated, in a rapturous croak, “Magnificent!”
and began gnawing another finger.
“Are you sure,” asked Jacques Two, of Defarge, “that no
embarrassment can arise from our manner of keeping the register?
Without doubt it is safe, for no one beyond ourselves can decipher
it; but shall we always be able to decipher itor, I ought to say, will
she?” “Jacques,” returned Defarge, drawing himself up, “if
madame my wife undertook to keep the register in her memory
alone, she would not lose a word of itnot a syllable of it. Knitted, in
her own stitches and her own symbols, it will always be as plain to
her as the sun. Confide in Madame Defarge. It would be easier for
the weakest poltroon that lives, to erase himself from existence,
than to erase one letter of his name or crimes from the knitted
register of Madame Defarge.” There was a murmur of confidence
and approval, and then the man who hungered, asked: “Is this
rustic to be sent back soon? I hope so. He is very simple; is he not a
little dangerous?” “He knows nothing,” said Defarge; “at least
nothing more than would easily elevate himself to a gallows of the
same height. I charge myself with him; let him remain with me; I
will take care of him, and set him on his road. He wishes to see the
fine world-the King, the Queen, and Court; let him see them on
Sunday.” “What?” exclaimed the hungry man, staring. “Is it a good
sign, that he wishes to see Royalty and Nobility?” “Jacques,” said
Defarge; “judiciously show a cat milk, if you wish her to thirst for
it. Judiciously show a dog his natural prey, if you wish him to
bring it down one day.” Nothing more was said, and the mender
of roads, being found already dozing on the topmost stair, was