Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
shall not know that, if I can prevent your knowing it; and know
that, or not know that, you shall not leave here while I can hold
you.” “I have been in the streets from the first, nothing has stopped
me, I will tear you to pieces, but I will have you from that door,”
said Madame Defarge.
“We are alone at the top of a high house in a solitary courtyard, we
are not likely to be heard, and I pray for bodily strength to keep
you here, while every minute you are here is worth a hundred
thousand guineas to my darling,” said Miss Pross.
Madame Defarge made at the door. Miss Pross, on the instinct of
the moment, seized her round the waist in both her arms, and held
her tight. It was in vain for Madame Defarge to struggle and to
strike; Miss Pross, with the vigorous tenacity of love, always so
much stronger than hate, clasped her tight, and even lifted her
from the floor in the struggle that they had. The two hands of
Madame Defarge buffeted and tore her face; but, Miss Pross, with
her head down, held her round the waist, and clung to her with
more than the hold of a drowning woman.
Soon, Madame Defarge’s hands ceased to strike, and felt at her
encircled waist. “It is under my arm,” said Miss Pross, in
smothered tones, “you shall not draw it. I am stronger than you, I
bless Heaven for it. I hold you till one or other of us faints or dies!”
Madame Defarge’s hands were at her bosom. Miss Pross looked
up, saw what it was, struck at it, struck out a flash and a crash, and
stood alone-blinded with smoke.
All this was in a second. As the smoke cleared, leaving an awful
stillness, it passed out on the air, like the soul of the furious woman
whose body lay lifeless on the ground.
In the first fright and horror of her situation, Miss Pross passed the
body as far from it as she could, and ran down the stairs to call for
fruitless help. Happily, she bethought herself of the consequences
of what she did, in time to check herself and go back. It was
dreadful to go in at the door again; but, she did go in, and even
went near it, to get the bonnet and other things that she must wear.
These she put on, out on the staircase, first shutting and locking the
door and taking away the key. She then sat down on the stairs a
few moments to breathe and to cry, and then got up and hurried
By good fortune she had a veil on her bonnet, or she could hardly
have gone along the streets without being stopped. By good
fortune, too, she was naturally so peculiar in appearance as not to
show disfigurement like any other woman.
She needed both advantages, for the marks of griping fingers were
deep in her face, and her hair was torn, and her dress (hastily