A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Book 2: Chapter 16 - Still Knitting

"A bad business this, madame, of Gaspard's execution. Ah! the poor Gaspard!"With a sigh of great compassion.

"My faith!"returned madame, coolly and lightly, "if people use knives for such purposes, they have to pay for it. He knew beforehand what the price of his luxury was; he has paid the price."

"I believe,"said the spy, dropping his soft voice to a tone that invited confidence, and expressing an injured revolutionary susceptibility in every muscle of his wicked face: "I believe there is much compassion and anger in this neighbourhood, touching the poor fellow? Between ourselves."

"Is there?"asked madame, vacantly.

"Is there not?"

"— Here is my husband!"said Madame Defarge.

As the keeper of the wine-shop entered at the door, the spy saluted him by touching his hat, and saying, with an engaging smile, "Good day, Jacques!"Defarge stopped short, and stared at him.

"Good day, Jacques!"the spy repeated; with not quite so much confidence, or quite so easy a smile under the stare.

"You deceive yourself, monsieur,"returned the keeper of the wine-shop. "You mistake me for another. That is not my name. I am Ernest Defarge."

"It is all the same,"said the spy, airily, but discomfited too: "good day!"

"Good day!"answered Defarge, drily.

"I was saying to madame, with whom I had the pleasure of chatting when you entered, that they tell me there is — and no wonder! — much sympathy and anger in Saint Antoine, touching the unhappy fate of poor Gaspard."

"No one has told me so,"said Defarge, shaking his head. "I know nothing of it."

Having said it, he passed behind the little counter, and stood with his hand on the back of his wife's chair, looking over that barrier at the person to whom they were both opposed, and whom either of them would have shot with the greatest satisfaction.

The spy, well used to his business, did not change his unconscious attitude, but drained his little glass of cognac, took a sip of fresh water, and asked for another glass of cognac. Madame Defarge poured it out for him, took to her knitting again, and hummed a little song over it.

"You seem to know this quarter well; that is to say, better than I do?"observed Defarge.

"Not at all, but I hope to know it better. I am so profoundly interested in its miserable inhabitants."

"Hah!"muttered Defarge.

"The pleasure of conversing with you, Monsieur Defarge, recalls to me,"pursued the spy, "that I have the honour of cherishing some interesting associations with your name."

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