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"Hush, hush!" the Spy entreats him, timidly.

"And why not, citizen?"

"He is going to pay the forfeit; it will be
paid in five minutes more. Let him be at
peace."

But, the man continuing to exclaim, "Down,
Evrémonde!" the face of Evrémonde is for a
moment turned towards him. Evrémonde then
sees the Spy, and looks attentively at him, and
goes his way.

The clocks are on the stroke of three, and
the furrow ploughed among the populace is
turning round, to come on into the place of
execution, and end. The ridges thrown to this
side and to that, now crumble in and close
behind the last plough as it passes on, for all are
following to the Guillotine. In front of it,
seated in chairs as in a garden of public diversion,
are a number of women, busily knitting.
On one of the foremost chairs, stands The
Vengeance, looking about for her friend.

"Thérèse!" she cries, in her shrill tones.
"Who has seen her? Thérèse Defarge!"

"She never missed before," says a knitting-
woman of the sisterhood.

"No; nor will she miss now," cries The
Vengeance, petulantly. "Thérèse."

"Louder," the woman recommends.

Ay! Louder, Vengeance, much louder, and
still she will scarcely hear thee. Louder yet,
Vengeance, with a little oath or so added, and
yet it will hardly bring her. Send other women
up and down to seek her, lingering
somewhere; and yet, although the messengers have
done dread deeds, it is questionable whether of
their own wills they will go far enough to find
her!

"Bad Fortune!" cries The Vengeance, stamping
her foot in the chair, "and here are the
tumbrils! And Evrémonde will be despatched
in a wink, and she not here! See her knitting
in my hand, and her empty chair ready
for her. I cry with vexation and disappointment!"

As The Vengeance descends from her elevation
to do it, the tumbrils begin to discharge
their loads. The ministers of Sainte Guillotine
are robed and ready. Crash!—A head is held
up, and the knitting-women who scarcely lifted
their eyes to look at it a moment ago when it
could think and speak, count One.

The second tumbril empties and moves on;
the third comes up. Crash!—And the knitting-
women, never faltering or pausing in their work,
count Two.

The supposed Evrémonde descends, and the
seamstress is lifted out next after him. He has
not relinquished her patient hand in getting out,
but still holds it as he promised. He gently
places her with her back to the crashing engine
that constantly whirrs up and falls, and she
looks into his face and thanks him.

"But for you, dear stranger, I should not be
so composed, for I am naturally a poor little
thing, faint of heart; nor should I have been
able to raise my thoughts to Him who was put
to death, that we might have hope and comfort
here to-day. I think you were sent to me by
Heaven."

"Or you to me," says Sydney Carton. "Keep
your eyes upon me, dear child, and mind no
other object."

"I mind nothing while I hold your hand. I
shall mind nothing when I let it go, if they are
rapid."

"They will be rapid. Fear not!"

The two stand in the fast-thinning throng of
victims, but they speak as if they were alone.
Eye to eye, voice to voice, hand to hand, heart
to heart, these two children of the Universal
Mother, else so wide apart and differing, have
come together on the dark highway, to repair
home together and to rest in her bosom.

"Brave and generous friend, will you let me
ask you one last question? I am very ignorant,
and it troubles mejust a little."

"Tell me what it is."

"I have a cousin, an only relative and an
orphan, like myself, whom I love very dearly.
She is five years younger than I, and she lives in
a farmer's house in the south country. Poverty
parted us, and she knows nothing of my fate
for I cannot writeand if I could, how should
I tell her! It is better as it is."

"Yes, yes: better as it is."

"What I have been thinking as we came
along, and what I am still thinking now, as I
look into your kind strong face which gives
me so much support, is this:—If the Republic
really does good to the poor, and they come to be
less hungry, and in all ways to suffer less, she
may live a long time; she may even live to be
old."

"What then, my gentle sister?"

"Do you think:" the uncomplaining eyes in
which there is so much endurance, fill with tears,
and the lips part a little more and tremble:
"that it will seem long to me, while I wait for
her in the better land where I trust both you
and I will be mercifully sheltered?"

"It cannot be, my child; there is no Time
there, and no trouble there."

"You comfort me so much! I am so ignorant.
Am I to kiss you now? Is the moment
come?"

"Yes."

She kisses his lips; he kisses hers; they
solemnly bless each other. The spare hand does
not tremble as he releases it; nothing worse than
a sweet, bright constancy is in the patient face.
She goes next before himis gone; the knitting
women count Twenty-Two.

"I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the
Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were
dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth
and believeth in me, shall never die."

The murmuring of many voices, the upturning
of many faces, the pressing on of many
footsteps in the outskirts of the crowd, so that
it swells forward in a mass, like one great heave
of water, all flashes away. Twenty-Three.

They said of him, about the city that night,

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