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Mr. Lorry moved in his chair, and cast a
troubled look towards the hospital procession
of negro cupids. As if they had any help for
anybody in their absurd baskets!

''rendered it necessary that I should go
to Paris, there to communicate with a gentleman
of the Bank, so good as to be despatched to
Paris for the purpose."

"Myself."

"As I was prepared to hear, sir."

She curtseyed to him (young ladies made
curtseys in those days), with a pretty desire to
convey to him that she felt how much older and
wiser he was than she. He made her another
bow.

"I replied to the Bank, sir, that as it was
considered necessary, by those who know, and
who are so kind as to advise me, that I should
go to France, and that as I am an orphan and
have no friend who could go with me, I should
esteem it highly if I might be permitted to place
myself, during the journey, under that worthy
gentleman's protection. The gentleman had left
London, but I think a messenger was sent after
him to beg the favour of his waiting for me
here."

"I was happy," said Mr. Lorry, "to be
entrusted with the charge. I shall be more happy
to execute it."

"Sir, I thank you indeed. I thank you very
gratefully. It was told me by the Bank that
the gentleman would explain to me the details of
the business, and that I must prepare myself to
find them of a surprising nature. I have done
my best to prepare myself, and I naturally have
a strong and eager interest to know what they
are."

"Naturally," said Mr, Lorry. "Yes
I——"

After a pause, he added, again settling the
crisp flaxen wig at the ears:

"It is very difficult to begin."

He did not begin, but, in his indecision, met
her glance. The young forehead lifted itself
into that singular expressionbut it was pretty
and characteristic, besides being singularand
she raised her hand, as if with an involuntary
action she caught at, or stayed, some passing
shadow.

"Are you quite a stranger to me, sir?"

"Am I not?" Mr. Lorry opened his hands,
and extended them outward with an argumentative
smile.

Between the eyebrows and just over the little
feminine nose, the line of which was as
delicate and fine as it was possible to be, the
expression deepened itself as she took her seat
thoughtfully in the chair by which she had
hitherto remained standing. He watched her as
she mused, and, the moment she raised her eyes
again, went on:

"In your adopted country, I presume, I cannot
do better than address you as a young
English lady, Miss Manette?"

"If you please, sir."

"Miss Manette, I am a man of business. I
have a business charge to acquit myself of. In
your reception of it, don't heed me any more
than if I was a speaking machinetruly, I am
not much else. I will, with your leave, relate
to you, miss, the story of one of our customers."

"Story!"

He seemed wilfully to mistake the word she
had repeated, when he added, in a hurry, "Yes,
customers; in the banking business we usually
call our connexion our customers. He was a
French gentleman; a scientific gentleman; a
man of great acquirementsa Doctor."

"Not of Beauvais?"

"Why, yes, of Beauvais. Like Monsieur
Manette, your father, the gentleman was of
Beauvais. Like Monsieur Manette, your father,
the gentleman was of repute in Paris. I had
the honour of knowing him there. Our
relations were business relations, but confidential.
I was at that time in our French House, and, had
beenoh! twenty years."

"At that timeI may ask, at what time,
sir?"

"I speak, miss, of twenty years ago. He
marriedan English ladyand I was one of the
trustees. His affairs, like the affairs of many
other French gentlemen and French families,
were entirely in Tellson's hands. In a similar
way, I am, or I have been, trustee of one kind or
other for scores of our customers. These are
mere business relations, miss; there is no
friendship in them, no particular interest,
nothing like sentiment. I have passed from one
to another, in the course of my business life,
just as I pass from one of our customers to
another in the course of my business day; in
short, I have no feelings; I am a mere
machine. To go on——"

"But this is my father's story, sir; and I
begin to think"—the curiously roughened
forehead was very intent upon him—"that when I
was left an orphan, through my mother's
surviving my father only two years, it was you who
brought me to England. I am almost sure it was
you."

Mr. Lorry took the hesitating little hand that
confidingly advanced to take his, and he put it
with some ceremony to his lips. He then
conducted the young lady straightway to her chair
again, and, holding the chair-back with his left
hand, and using his right by turns to rub his chin,
pull his wig at the ears, or point what he said,
stood looking down into her face while she sat
looking up into his.

"Miss Manette, it was I. And you will see
how truly I spoke of myself just now, in saying
I had no feelings, and that all the relations I
hold with my fellow-creatures are mere business
relations, when you reflect that I have never
seen you since. No; you have been the ward
of Tellson's House since, and I have been busy
with the other business of Tellson's House since.
Feelings! I have no time for them, no chance
of them. I pass my whole life, miss, in turning
an immense pecuniary Mangle."

After this odd description of his daily routine
of employment, Mr. Lorry flattened his flaxen
wig upon his head with both hands (which was

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