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made the round of their changed life many weeks, when her father
said to her, on coming home one evening:
“My dear, there is an upper window in the prison, to which
Charles can sometimes gain access at three in the afternoon. When
he can get to it-which depends on many uncertainties and
incidents-he might see you in the street, he thinks, if you stood in a
certain place that I can show you. But you will not be able to see
him, my poor child, and even if you could, it would be unsafe for
you to make a sign of recognition.” “O show me the place, my
father, and I will go there every day.” From that time, in all
weathers, she waited there two hours. As the clock struck two, she
was there, and at four she turned resignedly away. When it was
not too wet or inclement for her child to be with her, they went
together; at other times she was alone; but, she never missed a
It was the dark and dirty corner of a small winding street. The
hovel of a cutter of wood into lengths for burning, was the only
house at that end; all else was wall. On the third day of her being
there, he noticed her.
“Good day, citizeness.” “Good day, citizen.” This mode of address
was now prescribed by decree. It had been established voluntarily
some time ago, among the more thorough patriots; but, was now
law for everybody.
“Walking here again, citizeness?” “You see me, citizen!” The
wood-sawyer, who was a little man with a redundancy of gesture
(he had once been a mender of roads), cast a glance at the prison,
pointed at the prison, and putting his ten fingers before his face to
represent bars, peeped through them jocosely.
“But it’s not my business,” said he. And went on sawing his wood.
Next day he was looking out for her, and accosted her the moment
“What? Walking here again, citizeness?” “Yes, citizen.” “Ah! A
child too! Your mother, is it not, my little citizeness?” “Do I say yes,
mamma?” whispered little Lucie, drawing close to her.
“Yes, dearest.” “Yes, citizen.” “Ah! But it’s not my business. My
work is my business. See my saw! I call it my Little Guillotine. La,
la, la; La, la, la! And off his head comes!” The billet fell as he spoke,
and he threw it into a basket.
“I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. See here
again! Loo, loo, loo; Loo, loo, loo! And off her head comes! Now, a
child. Tickle, tickle; Pickle, pickle! And off its head comes. All the
family!” Lucie shuddered as he threw two more billets into his
basket, but it was impossible to be there while the wood-sawyer
was at work, and not be in his sight.