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been oiled and oiled, until the two tall candles on the table in the
middle of the room were gloomily reflected on every leaf; as if they
were buried, in deep graves of black mahogany, and no light to
speak of could be expected from them until they were dug out.

The obscurity was so difficult to penetrate that Mr. Lorry, picking
his way over the well-worn Turkey carpet, supposed Miss Manette
to be, for the moment, in some adjacent room, until, having got
past the two tall candles, he saw standing to receive him by the
table between them and the fire, a young lady of not more than
seventeen in a riding-cloak, and still holding her straw travelling-
hat by its ribbon in her band. As his eyes rested on a short, slight,
pretty figure, a quantity of golden hair, a pair of blue eyes that met
his own with an inquiring look, and a forehead with a singular
capacity (remembering how young and smooth it was), of lifting
and knitting itself into an expression that was not quite one of
perplexity, or wonder, or alarm, or merely of a bright fixed
attention, though it included all the four expressions-as his eyes
rested on these things, a sudden vivid likeness passed before him,
of a child whom he had held in his arms on the passage across that
very Channel, one cold time, when the hail drifted heavily and the
sea ran high. The likeness passed away, like a breath along the
surface of the gaunt pier-glass behind her, on the frame of which, a
hospital procession of negro cupids, several headless and all
cripples, were offering black baskets of Dead Sea fruit to black
divinities of the feminine gender-and he made his formal bow to
Miss Manette.

“Pray take a seat, sir.” In a very clear and pleasant young voice; a
little foreign in its accent, but a very little indeed.

“I kiss your hand, miss,” said Mr. Lorry, with the manners of an
earlier date, as he made his formal bow again, and took his seat.

“I received a letter from the Bank, sir, yesterday, informing me that
some intelligence-or discovery--” “The word is not material, miss;
either word will do.” “-respecting the small property of my poor
father, whom I never saw-so long dead-” Mr. Lorry moved in his
chair, and cast a troubled look towards the hospital procession of
negro cupids. As if they had any help for anybody in their absurd
baskets! “-rendered it necessary that I should go to Paris, there to
communicate with a gentleman of the Bank, so good as to be
despatched to Paris for the purpose.” “Myself.” “As I was prepared
to hear, sir.” She curtseyed to him (young ladies made curtseys in
those days), with a pretty desire to convey to him that she felt how
much older and wiser he was than she. He made her another bow.
“I replied to the Bank, sir, that as it was considered necessary, by
those who know, and who are so kind as to advise me, that I
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