Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers

Help / FAQ

<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


“The patient was a woman of great beauty, and young; assuredly
not much past twenty. Her hair was torn and ragged, and her arms
were bound to her sides with sashes and handkerchiefs. I noticed
that these bonds were all portions of a gentleman’s dress. On one
of them, which was a fringed scarf for a dress of ceremony, I saw
the armorial bearings of a Noble, and the letter E.

“I saw this, within the first minute of my contemplation of the
patient; for, in her restless strivings she had turned over on her face
on the edge of the bed, had drawn the end of the scarf into her
mouth, and was in danger of suffocation. My first act was to put
out my hand to relieve her breathing; and in moving the scarf
aside, the embroidery in the corner caught my sight.

“I turned her gently over, placed my hands upon her breast to calm
her and keep her down, and looked into her face. Her eyes were
dilated and wild, and she constantly uttered piercing shrieks, and
repeated the words, ‘My husband, my father, and my brother!’ and
then counted up to twelve, and said, ‘Hush!’ For an instant, and no
more, she would pause to listen, and then the piercing shrieks
would begin again, and she would repeat the cry, ‘My husband,
my father, and my brother!’ and would count up to twelve, and
say, ‘Hush!’ There was no variation in the order, or the manner.
There was no cessation, but the regular moment’s pause, in the
utterance of these sounds.

“’How long,’ I asked, ‘has this lasted?’ “To distinguish the
brothers, I will call them the elder and the younger; by the elder, I
mean him who exercised the most authority. It was the elder who
replied, ‘Since about this hour last night.’ “’She has a husband, a
father, and a brother?’ “’A brother.’ “’I do not address her brother?’
“He answered with great contempt, ‘No.’ “’She has some recent
association with the number twelve?’ “The younger brother
impatiently rejoined, ‘With twelve o’clock?’ “’See, gentlemen,’ said
I, still keeping my hands upon her breast, ‘how useless I am, as you
have brought me! If I had known what I was coming to see, I could
have come provided. As it is, time must be lost. There are no
medicines to be obtained in this lonely place.’ “The elder brother
looked to the younger, who said haughtily, ‘There is a case of
medicines here;’ and brought it from a closet, and put it on the
table. * * * * “I opened some of the bottles, smelt them, and put the
stoppers to my lips. If I had wanted to use anything save narcotic
medicines that were poisons in themselves, I would not have
administered any of those.

“’Do you doubt them?’ asked the younger brother.
“’You see, monsieur, I am going to use them,’ I replied, and said no
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next ->

All Contents Copyright © All rights reserved.
Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.

About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page

In Association with