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caused by a sudden extraordinary rising and stiffening of all the
risen and stiff hair on Mr. Cruncher’s head.

“Let us be reasonable,” said the spy, “and let us be fair. To show
you how mistaken you are, and what an unfounded assumption
yours is, I will lay before you a certificate of Cly’s burial, which I
happened to have carried in my pocketbook,” with a hurried hand
he produced and opened it, “ever since. There it is.

Oh, look at it, look at it! You may take it in your hand; it’s no
forgery.” Here, Mr. Lorry perceived the reflection on the wall to
elongate, and Mr. Cruncher rose and stepped forward. His hair
could not have been more violently on end, if it had been that
moment dressed by the Cow with the crumpled horn in the house
that Jack built.

Unseen by the spy, Mr. Cruncher stood at his side, and touched
him on the shoulder like a ghostly bailiff.

“That there Roger Cly, master,” said Mr. Cruncher, with a taciturn
and ironbound visage. “So you put him in his coffin?”

“I did.” “Who took him out of it?” Barsad leaned back in his chair,
and stammered, “What do you mean?” “I mean,” said Mr.
Cruncher, “that he warn’t never in it. No! Not he! I’ll have my head
took off, if he was ever in it.” The spy looked round at the two
gentlemen; they both looked in unspeakable astonishment at Jerry.
“I tell you,” said Jerry, “that you buried paving-stones and earth in
that there coffin. Don’t go and tell me that you buried Cly. It was a
take in. Me and two more knows it.” “How do you know it?”
“What’s that to you? Ecod!” growled Mr. Cruncher, “it’s you I have
got a old grudge again, is it, with your shameful impositions upon
tradesmen! I’d catch hold of your throat and choke you for half a
guinea.” Sydney Carton, who, with Mr. Lorry, had been lost in
amazement at this turn of the business, here requested Mr.
Cruncher to moderate and explain himself.

“At another time, sir,” he returned, evasively, “the present time is
illconwenient for explainin’. What I stand to, is, that he knows well
wot that there Cly was never in that there coffin. Let him say he
was, in so much as a word of one sylla-ble, and I’ll either catch
hold of his throat and choke him for half a guinea;” Mr. Cruncher
dwelt upon this as quite a liberal offer; “or I’ll out and announce
him.” “Humph! I see one thing,” said Carton. “I hold another card,
Mr. Barsad. Impossible, here in raging Paris, with Suspicion filling
the air, for you to outlive denunciation, when you are in
communication with another aristocratic spy of the same
antecedents as yourself, who, moreover, has the mystery about him
of having feigned death and come to life again! A plot in the
prisons, of the foreigner against the Republic. A strong card-a
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