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“Do you know me?” “I have seen you somewhere.” “Perhaps at
my wine-shop?” Much interested and agitated, Mr. Lorry said:
“You come from Doctor Manette?”
“Yes. I come from Doctor Manette.” “And what says he? What does
he send me?” Defarge gave into his anxious hand, an open scrap of
paper. It bore the words in the Doctor’s writing: “Charles is safe,
but I cannot safely leave this place yet. I have obtained the favour
that the bearer has a short note from Charles to his wife. Let the
bearer see his wife.” It was dated from La Force, within an hour.
“Will you accompany me,” said Mr. Lorry, joyfully relieved after
reading this note aloud, “to where his wife resides?” “Yes,”
Scarcely noticing as yet, in what a curiously reserved and
mechanical way Defarge spoke, Mr. Lorry put on his hat and they
went down into the courtyard.
There, they found two women; one, knitting.
“Madame Defarge, surely!” said Mr. Lorry, who had left her in
exactly the same attitude some seventeen years ago.
“It is she,” observed her husband.
“Does Madame go with us?” inquired Mr. Lorry, seeing that she
moved as they moved.
“Yes. That she may be able to recognise the faces and know the
persons. It is for their safety.” Beginning to be strack by Defarge’s
manner, Mr. Lorry looked dubiously at him, and led the way. Both
the women followed; the second woman being The Vengeance.
They passed through the intervening streets as quickly as they
might, ascended the staircase of the new domicile, were admitted
by Jerry, and found Lucie weeping, alone. She was thrown into a
transport by the tidings Mr. Lorry gave her of her husband, and
clasped the hand that delivered his note-little thinking what it had
been doing near him in the night, and might, but for a chance, have
done to him. “DEAREST,- Take courage. I am well, and your father
has influence around me. You cannot answer this. Kiss our child
for me.” That was all the writing. It was so much, however, to her
who received it, that she turned from Defarge to his wife, and
kissed one of the hands that knitted. It was a passionate, loving,
thankful, womanly action, but the hand made no response-
dropped cold and heavy, and took to its knitting again.
There was something in its touch that gave Lucie a check. She
stopped in the act of putting the note in her bosom, and, with her
hands yet at her neck, looked terrified at Madame Defarge.
Madame Defarge met the lifted eyebrows and forehead with a
cold, impassive stare.