Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
separated him from the rest, and got him between himself and the
“Show me the North Tower!” said Defarge. “Quick!” “I will
faithfully,” replied the man, “if you will come with me. But there is
no one there.” “What is the meaning of One Hundred and Five,
North Tower?” asked Defarge. “Quick!”
“The meaning, monsieur?” “Does it mean a captive, or a place of
captivity? Or do you mean that shall strike you dead?” “Kill him!”
croaked Jacques Three, who had come close up.
“Monsieur, it is a cell.” “Show it me!” “Pass this way, then.”
Jacques Three, with his usual craving on him, and evidently
disappointed by the dialogue taking a turn that did not seem to
promise bloodshed, held by Defarge’s arm as he held by the
turnkey’s. Their three heads had been close together during this
brief discourse, and it had been as much as they could do to hear
one another, even then: so tremendous was the noise of the living
ocean, in its irruption into the Fortress, and its inundation of the
courts and passages and staircases.
All around outside, too, it beat the walls with a deep, hoarse roar,
from which, occasionally, some partial shouts of tumult broke and
leaped into the air like spray.
Through gloomy vaults where the light of day had never shone,
past hideous doors of dark dens and cages, down cavernous flights
of steps, and again up steep rugged ascents of stone and brick,
more like dry waterfalls than staircases, Defarge, the turnkey, and
Jacques Three, linked hand and arm, went with all the speed they
could make. Here and there, especially at first, the inundation
started on them and swept by; but when they had done
descending, and were winding and climbing up a tower, they
were alone. Hemmed in here by the massive thickness of walls and
arches, the storm within the fortress and without was only audible
to them in a dull, subdued way, as if the noise out of which they
had come had almost destroyed their sense of hearing.
The turnkey stopped at a low door, put a key in a clashing lock,
swung the door slowly open, and said, as they all bent their heads
and passed in: “One hundred and five, North Tower!” There was
a small, heavily-grated, unglazed window high in the wall, with a
stone screen before it, so that the sky could be only seen by
stooping low and looking up. There was a small chimney, heavily
barred across, a few feet within.
There was a heap of old feathery wood-ashes on the hearth. There
was a stool, and table, and a straw bed. There were the four
blackened walls, and a rusted iron ring in one of them.