CHAPTER XXIV
DRAWN TO THE LOADSTONE ROCK

IN such risings of fire and risings of sea--the firm earth shaken by the rushes of an angry ocean which had now no ebb, but was always on the flow, higher and higher, to the terror and wonder of the beholders on the shore--three years of tempest were consumed. Three more birthdays of little Lucie had been woven by the golden thread into the peaceful tissue of the life of her home.

Many a night and many a day had its inmates listened to the echoes in the corner, with hearts that failed them when they heard the thronging feet. For, the footsteps had become to their minds as the footsteps of a people, tumultuous under a red flag and with their country declared in danger, changed into wild beasts, by terrible enchantment long persisted in.

Monseigneur, as a class, had dissociated himself from the phenomenon of his not being appreciated: of his being so little wanted in France, as to incur considerable danger of receiving his dismissal from it, and this life together. Like the fabled rustic who raised the Devil with infinite pains, and was so terrified at the sight of him that he could ask the Enemy no question, but immediately fled; so, Monseigneur, after boldly reading the Lord's Prayer backwards for a great number of years, and performing many other potent spells for compelling the Evil One, no sooner beheld him in his terrors than he took to his noble heels.

The shining Bull's Eye of the Court was gone, or it would have been the mark for a hurricane of national bullets. It had never been a good eye to see with--had long had the mote in it of Lucifer's pride, Sardanapalus's luxury, and a mole's blindness--but it had dropped out and was gone. The Court, from that exclusive inner circle to its outermost rotten ring of intrigue, corruption, and dissimulation, was all gone together. Royalty was gone; had been besieged in its Palace and 'suspended,' when the last tidings came over.

-230-

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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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