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“Pass that torch slowly along these walls, that I may see them,”
said Defarge to the turnkey.
The man obeyed, and Defarge followed the light closely with his
“Stop!- Look here, Jacques!” “A. M.!” croaked Jacques Three, as he
“Alexandre Manette,” said Defarge in his ear, following the letters
with his swart forefinger, deeply engrained with gunpowder.
“And here he wrote ‘a poor physician.’ And it was he, without
doubt, who scratched a calendar on this stone.
What is that in your hand? A crowbar? Give it me!” He had still the
linstock of his gun in his own hand. He made a sudden exchange
of the two instruments, and turning on the worm-eaten stool and
table, beat them to pieces in a few blows.
“Hold the light higher!” he said, wrathfully, to the turnkey. “Look
among those fragments with care, Jacques. And see! Here is my
knife,” throwing it to him; “rip open that bed, and search the
straw. Hold the light higher, you!” With a menacing look at the
turnkey he crawled upon the hearth, and, peering up the chimney,
struck and prised at its sides with the crowbar, and worked at the
iron grating across it. In a few minutes, some mortar and dust came
dropping down, which he averted his face to avoid; and in it, and
in the old wood-ashes, and in a crevice in the chimney into which
his weapon had slipped or wrought itself, he groped with a
“Nothing in the wood, and nothing in the straw, Jacques?”
“Nothing.” Let us collect them together, in the middle of the cell.
So! Light them, you!
The turnkey fired the little pile, which blazed high and hot.
Stooping again to come out at the low-arched door, they left it
burning, and retraced their way to the courtyard; seeming to
recover their sense of hearing as they came down, until they were
in the raging flood once more.
They found it surging and tossing, in quest of Defarge himself.
Saint Antoine was clamorous to have its wine-shop keeper
foremost in the guard upon the governor who had defended the
Bastille and shot the people. Otherwise, the governor would not be
marched to the Hotel de Ville for judgment. Otherwise, the
governor would escape, and the people’s blood (suddenly of some
value, after many years of worthlessness) be unavenged.
In the howling universe of passion and contention that seemed to
encompass this grim old officer conspicuous in his grey coat and
red decoration, there was but one quite steady figure, and that was
a woman’s. “See, there is my husband!” she cried, pointing him