"Where is my bench? I have been looking everywhere for my bench, and I can't find it. What have they done with my work? Time presses: I must finish those shoes."
They looked at one another, and their hearts died within them.
"Come, come!"said he, in a whimpering miserable way; "let me get to work. Give me my work."
Receiving no answer, he tore his hair, and beat his feet upon the ground, like a distracted child.
"Don't torture a poor forlorn wretch,"he implored them, with a dreadful cry; "but give me my work! What is to become of us, if those shoes are not done to-night?"
Lost, utterly lost!
It was so clearly beyond hope to reason with him, or try to restore him, that — as if by agreement — they each put a hand upon his shoulder, and soothed him to sit down before the fire, with a promise that he should have his work presently. He sank into the chair, and brooded over the embers, and shed tears. As if all that had happened since the garret time were a momentary fancy, or a dream, Mr. Lorry saw him shrink into the exact figure that Defarge had had in keeping.
Affected, and impressed with terror as they both were, by this spectacle of ruin, it was not a time to yield to such emotions. His lonely daughter, bereft of her final hope and reliance, appealed to them both too strongly. Again, as if by agreement, they looked at one another with one meaning in their faces. Carton was the first to speak:
"The last chance is gone: it was not much. Yes; he had better be taken to her. But, before you go, will you, for a moment, steadily attend to me? Don't ask me why I make the stipulations I am going to make, and exact the promise I am going to exact; I have a reason — a good one."
"I do not doubt it,"answered Mr. Lorry. "Say on."
The figure in the chair between them, was all the time monotonously rocking itself to and fro, and moaning. They spoke in such a tone as they would have used if they had been watching by a sick-bed in the night.
Carton stooped to pick up the coat, which lay almost entangling his feet. As he did so, a small case in which the Doctor was accustomed to carry the lists of his day's duties, fell lightly on the floor. Carton took it up, and there was a folded paper in it. "We should look at this!"he said. Mr. Lorry nodded his consent. He opened it, and exclaimed, "Thank God!"
"What is it?"asked Mr. Lorry, eagerly.
"A moment! Let me speak of it in its place. First,"he put his hand in his coat, and took another paper from it, "that is the certificate which enables me to pass out of this city. Look at it. You see — Sydney Carton, an Englishman?"
Mr. Lorry held it open in his hand, gazing in his earnest face.
"Keep it for me until to-morrow. I shall see him to-morrow, you remember, and I had better not take it into the prison."
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