Jerry hoarsely professed himself at Miss Pross's service. He had worn all his rust off long ago, but nothing would file his spiky head down.
"There's all manner of things wanted,"said Miss Pross, "and we shall have a precious time of it. We want wine, among the rest. Nice toasts these Redheads will be drinking, wherever we buy it."
"It will be much the same to your knowledge, miss, I should think,"retorted Jerry, "whether they drink your health or the Old Un's."
"Who's he?"said Miss Pross.
Mr. Cruncher, with some diffidence, explained himself as meaning "Old Nick's."
"Ha!"said Miss Pross, "it doesn't need an interpreter to explain the meaning of these creatures. They have but one, and it's Midnight Murder, and Mischief."
"Hush, dear! Pray, pray, be cautious!"cried Lucie.
"Yes, yes, yes, I'll be cautious,"said Miss Pross; "but I may say among ourselves, that I do hope there will be no oniony and tobaccoey smotherings in the form of embracings all round, going on in the streets. Now, Ladybird, never you stir from that fire till I come back! Take care of the dear husband you have recovered, and don't move your pretty head from his shoulder as you have it now, till you see me again! May I ask a question, Doctor Manette, before I go?"
"I think you may take that liberty,"the Doctor answered, smiling.
"For gracious sake, don't talk about Liberty; we have quite enough of that,"said Miss Pross.
"Hush, dear! Again?"Lucie remonstrated.
"Well, my sweet,"said Miss Pross, nodding her head emphatically, "the short and the long of it is, that I am a subject of His Most Gracious Majesty King George the Third;"Miss Pross curtseyed at the name; "and as such, my maxim is, Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks, On him our hopes we fix, God save the King!"
Mr. Cruncher, in an access of loyalty, growlingly repeated the words after Miss Pross, like somebody at church.
"I am glad you have so much of the Englishman in you, though I wish you had never taken that cold in your voice,"said Miss Pross, approvingly. "But the question, Doctor Manette. Is there"— it was the good creature's way to affect to make light of anything that was a great anxiety with them all, and to come at it in this chance manner — "is there any prospect yet, of our getting out of this place?"
"I fear not yet. It would be dangerous for Charles yet."
"Heigh-ho-hum!"said Miss Pross, cheerfully repressing a sigh as she glanced at her darling's golden hair in the light of the fire, "then we must have patience and wait: that's all. We must hold up our heads and fight low, as my brother Solomon used to say. Now, Mr. Cruncher! — Don't you move, Ladybird!"
They went out, leaving Lucie, and her husband, her father, and the child, by a bright fire. Mr. Lorry was expected back presently from the Banking House. Miss Pross had lighted the lamp, but had put it aside in a corner, that they might enjoy the fire-light undisturbed. Little Lucie sat by her grandfather with her hands clasped through his arm: and he, in a tone not rising much above a whisper, began to tell her a story of a great and powerful Fairy who had opened a prison-wall and let out a captive who had once done the Fairy a service. All was subdued and quiet, and Lucie was more at ease than she had been.
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