with his hands--to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.

Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge at the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of the night shadows within. The real Banking- house by Temple Bar, the real business of the past day, the real strong-rooms, the real express sent after him, and the real message returned, would all be there. Out of the midst of them, the ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again.

'Buried how long?' 'Almost eighteen years.' 'I hope you care to live?' 'I can't say.'

Dig--dig--dig--until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leathern strap, and speculate upon the two slumbering forms, until his mind lost its hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave.

'Buried how long?' 'Almost eighteen years.' 'You have abandoned all hope of being dug out?' 'Long ago.'

The words were still in his hearing as just spoken--distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life--when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of the night were gone.

He lowered the window, and looked out at the rising sun. There was a ridge of ploughed land, with a plough upon it where it had been left last night when the horses were unyoked; beyond, a quiet coppice-wood, in which many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still remained upon the trees. Though the earth was cold and wet, the sky was clear, and the sun rose bright, placid, and beautiful.

'Eighteen years!' said the passenger, looking at the sun. 'Gracious Creator of day! To be buried alive for eighteen years!'

-13-

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A Tale of Two Cities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations x
  • Preface xi
  • Book the First - Recalled to Life 1
  • Chapter I - The Period 1
  • Chapter II - The Mail 4
  • Chapter III - The Night Shadows 9
  • Chapter IV - The Preparation 13
  • Chapter V - The Wine-Shop 25
  • Chapter VI - The Shoemaker 37
  • Book the Second - The Golden Thread *
  • Chapter I - Five Years Later 49
  • Chapter II - A Sight 56
  • Chapter III - A Disappointment 62
  • Chapter IV - Congratulatory 76
  • Chapter V - The Jackal 82
  • Chapter VI - Hundreds of People 88
  • Chapter VII - Monseigneur in Town 100
  • Chapter VIII - Monseigneur in the Country 109
  • Chapter IX - The Gorgon''s Head 114
  • Chapter X - Two Promises 125
  • Chapter XI - ACompanion Picture 134
  • Chapter XII - The Fellow of Delicacy 138
  • Chapter XIII - The Fellow of No Delicacy *
  • Chapter XIV - The Honest Tradesman 150
  • Chapter XV - Knitting 160
  • Chapter XVI - Still Knitting 172
  • Chapter XVII - One Night 183
  • Chapter XVIII - Nine Days 188
  • Chapter XIX - An Opinion 194
  • Chapter XX - A Plea 202
  • Chapter XXI - Echoing Footsteps 206
  • Chapter XXII - The Sea Still Rises 217
  • Chapter XXIII - Fire Rises 222
  • Chapter XXIV - Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 230
  • Book the Third - The Track of a Storm *
  • Chapter I - In Secret 243
  • Chapter II - The Grindstone 255
  • Chapter III - The Shadow 261
  • Chapter IV - Calm in Storm 266
  • Chapter V - The Wood-Sawyer 271
  • Chapter VI - Triumph 272
  • Chapter VII - A Knock at the Door 278
  • Chapter VIII - A Hand at Cards 285
  • Chapter IX - Dusk 303
  • Chapter X - The Substance of the Shadow 316
  • Chapter XI - Dusk 331
  • Chapter XII - Darkness 335
  • Chapter XIII - Fifty-Two 344
  • Chapter XIV - The Knitting Done 356
  • Chapter XV - The Footsteps Die out for Ever 369
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