The marriage-day was shining brightly, and they were ready outside the
closed door of the Doctor's room, where he was speaking with Charles
Darnay. They were ready to go to church; the beautiful bride, Mr. Lorry,
and Miss Pross—to whom the event, through a gradual process of
reconcilement to the inevitable, would have been one of absolute bliss,
but for the yet lingering consideration that her brother Solomon should
have been the bridegroom.
"And so," said Mr. Lorry, who could not sufficiently admire the bride, and
who had been moving round her to take in every point of her quiet, pretty
dress; "and so it was for this, my sweet Lucie, that I brought you across
the Channel, such a baby! Lord bless me! How little I thought what I was
doing! How lightly I valued the obligation I was conferring on my friend
"You didn't mean it," remarked the matter-of-fact Miss Pross, "and
therefore how could you know it? Nonsense!"
"Really? Well; but don't cry," said the gentle Mr. Lorry.
"I am not crying," said Miss Pross; "you are."
"I, my Pross?" (By this time, Mr. Lorry dared to be pleasant with her, on
"You were, just now; I saw you do it, and I don't wonder at it. Such a
present of plate as you have made 'em, is enough to bring tears into
anybody's eyes. There's not a fork or a spoon in the collection," said
Miss Pross, "that I didn't cry over, last night after the box came, till I
couldn't see it."
"I am highly gratified," said Mr. Lorry, "though, upon my honour, I had no
intention of rendering those trifling articles of remembrance invisible to
any one. Dear me! This is an occasion that makes a man speculate on all he
has lost. Dear, dear, dear! To think that there might have been a Mrs.
Lorry, any time these fifty years almost!"
"Not at all!" From Miss Pross.
"You think there never might have been a Mrs. Lorry?" asked the gentleman
of that name.
"Pooh!" rejoined Miss Pross; "you were a bachelor in your cradle."
"Well!" observed Mr. Lorry, beamingly adjusting his little wig, "that
seems probable, too."
"And you were cut out for a bachelor," pursued Miss Pross, "before you
were put in your cradle."
"Then, I think," said Mr. Lorry, "that I was very unhandsomely dealt with,
and that I ought to have had a voice in the selection of my pattern.
Enough! Now, my dear Lucie," drawing his arm soothingly round her waist,
"I hear them moving in the next room, and Miss Pross and I, as two formal
folks of business, are anxious not to lose the final opportunity of saying
something to you that you wish to hear. You leave your good father, my
dear, in hands as earnest and as loving as your own; he shall be taken
every conceivable care of; during the next fortnight, while you are in
Warwickshire and thereabouts, even Tellson's shall go to the wall
(comparatively speaking) before him. And when, at the fortnight's end, he
comes to join you and your beloved husband, on your other fortnight's trip
in Wales, you shall say that we have sent him to you in the best health
and in the happiest frame. Now, I hear Somebody's step coming to the door.
Let me kiss my dear girl with an old-fashioned bachelor blessing, before
Somebody comes to claim his own."
For a moment, he held the fair face from him to look at the
well-remembered expression on the forehead, and then laid the bright
golden hair against his little brown wig, with a genuine tenderness and
delicacy which, if such things be old-fashioned, were as old as Adam.
The door of the Doctor's room opened, and he came out with Charles Darnay.
He was so deadly pale—which had not been the case when they went in
together—that no vestige of colour was to be seen in his face. But,
in the composure of his manner he was unaltered, except that to the shrewd
glance of Mr. Lorry it disclosed some shadowy indication that the old air
of avoidance and dread had lately passed over him, like a cold wind.
He gave his arm to his daughter, and took her down-stairs to the chariot
which Mr. Lorry had hired in honour of the day. The rest followed in
another carriage, and soon, in a neighbouring church, where no strange
eyes looked on, Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette were happily married.
Besides the glancing tears that shone among the smiles of the little group
when it was done, some diamonds, very bright and sparkling, glanced on the
bride's hand, which were newly released from the dark obscurity of one of
Mr. Lorry's pockets. They returned home to breakfast, and all went well,
and in due course the golden hair that had mingled with the poor
shoemaker's white locks in the Paris garret, were mingled with them again
in the morning sunlight, on the threshold of the door at parting.
It was a hard parting, though it was not for long. But her father cheered
her, and said at last, gently disengaging himself from her enfolding arms,
"Take her, Charles! She is yours!"
And her agitated hand waved to them from a chaise window, and she was
The corner being out of the way of the idle and curious, and the
preparations having been very simple and few, the Doctor, Mr. Lorry, and
Miss Pross, were left quite alone. It was when they turned into the
welcome shade of the cool old hall, that Mr. Lorry observed a great change
to have come over the Doctor; as if the golden arm uplifted there, had
struck him a poisoned blow.
He had naturally repressed much, and some revulsion might have been
expected in him when the occasion for repression was gone. But, it was the
old scared lost look that troubled Mr. Lorry; and through his absent
manner of clasping his head and drearily wandering away into his own room
when they got up-stairs, Mr. Lorry was reminded of Defarge the wine-shop
keeper, and the starlight ride.
"I think," he whispered to Miss Pross, after anxious consideration, "I
think we had best not speak to him just now, or at all disturb him. I must
look in at Tellson's; so I will go there at once and come back presently.
Then, we will take him a ride into the country, and dine there, and all
will be well."
It was easier for Mr. Lorry to look in at Tellson's, than to look out of
Tellson's. He was detained two hours. When he came back, he ascended the
old staircase alone, having asked no question of the servant; going thus
into the Doctor's rooms, he was stopped by a low sound of knocking.
"Good God!" he said, with a start. "What's that?"
Miss Pross, with a terrified face, was at his ear. "O me, O me! All is
lost!" cried she, wringing her hands. "What is to be told to Ladybird? He
doesn't know me, and is making shoes!"
Mr. Lorry said what he could to calm her, and went himself into the
Doctor's room. The bench was turned towards the light, as it had been when
he had seen the shoemaker at his work before, and his head was bent down,
and he was very busy.
"Doctor Manette. My dear friend, Doctor Manette!"
The Doctor looked at him for a moment—half inquiringly, half as if
he were angry at being spoken to—and bent over his work again.
He had laid aside his coat and waistcoat; his shirt was open at the
throat, as it used to be when he did that work; and even the old haggard,
faded surface of face had come back to him. He worked hard—impatiently—as
if in some sense of having been interrupted.
Mr. Lorry glanced at the work in his hand, and observed that it was a shoe
of the old size and shape. He took up another that was lying by him, and
asked what it was.
"A young lady's walking shoe," he muttered, without looking up. "It ought
to have been finished long ago. Let it be."
"But, Doctor Manette. Look at me!"
He obeyed, in the old mechanically submissive manner, without pausing in
"You know me, my dear friend? Think again. This is not your proper
occupation. Think, dear friend!"
Nothing would induce him to speak more. He looked up, for an instant at a
time, when he was requested to do so; but, no persuasion would extract a
word from him. He worked, and worked, and worked, in silence, and words
fell on him as they would have fallen on an echoless wall, or on the air.
The only ray of hope that Mr. Lorry could discover, was, that he sometimes
furtively looked up without being asked. In that, there seemed a faint
expression of curiosity or perplexity—as though he were trying to
reconcile some doubts in his mind.
Two things at once impressed themselves on Mr. Lorry, as important above
all others; the first, that this must be kept secret from Lucie; the
second, that it must be kept secret from all who knew him. In conjunction
with Miss Pross, he took immediate steps towards the latter precaution, by
giving out that the Doctor was not well, and required a few days of
complete rest. In aid of the kind deception to be practised on his
daughter, Miss Pross was to write, describing his having been called away
professionally, and referring to an imaginary letter of two or three
hurried lines in his own hand, represented to have been addressed to her
by the same post.
These measures, advisable to be taken in any case, Mr. Lorry took in the
hope of his coming to himself. If that should happen soon, he kept another
course in reserve; which was, to have a certain opinion that he thought
the best, on the Doctor's case.
In the hope of his recovery, and of resort to this third course being
thereby rendered practicable, Mr. Lorry resolved to watch him attentively,
with as little appearance as possible of doing so. He therefore made
arrangements to absent himself from Tellson's for the first time in his
life, and took his post by the window in the same room.
He was not long in discovering that it was worse than useless to speak to
him, since, on being pressed, he became worried. He abandoned that attempt
on the first day, and resolved merely to keep himself always before him,
as a silent protest against the delusion into which he had fallen, or was
falling. He remained, therefore, in his seat near the window, reading and
writing, and expressing in as many pleasant and natural ways as he could
think of, that it was a free place.
Doctor Manette took what was given him to eat and drink, and worked on,
that first day, until it was too dark to see—worked on, half an hour
after Mr. Lorry could not have seen, for his life, to read or write. When
he put his tools aside as useless, until morning, Mr. Lorry rose and said
"Will you go out?"
He looked down at the floor on either side of him in the old manner,
looked up in the old manner, and repeated in the old low voice:
"Yes; for a walk with me. Why not?"
He made no effort to say why not, and said not a word more. But, Mr. Lorry
thought he saw, as he leaned forward on his bench in the dusk, with his
elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, that he was in some misty
way asking himself, "Why not?" The sagacity of the man of business
perceived an advantage here, and determined to hold it.
Miss Pross and he divided the night into two watches, and observed him at
intervals from the adjoining room. He paced up and down for a long time
before he lay down; but, when he did finally lay himself down, he fell
asleep. In the morning, he was up betimes, and went straight to his bench
and to work.
On this second day, Mr. Lorry saluted him cheerfully by his name, and
spoke to him on topics that had been of late familiar to them. He returned
no reply, but it was evident that he heard what was said, and that he
thought about it, however confusedly. This encouraged Mr. Lorry to have
Miss Pross in with her work, several times during the day; at those times,
they quietly spoke of Lucie, and of her father then present, precisely in
the usual manner, and as if there were nothing amiss. This was done
without any demonstrative accompaniment, not long enough, or often enough
to harass him; and it lightened Mr. Lorry's friendly heart to believe that
he looked up oftener, and that he appeared to be stirred by some
perception of inconsistencies surrounding him.
When it fell dark again, Mr. Lorry asked him as before:
"Dear Doctor, will you go out?"
As before, he repeated, "Out?"
"Yes; for a walk with me. Why not?"
This time, Mr. Lorry feigned to go out when he could extract no answer
from him, and, after remaining absent for an hour, returned. In the
meanwhile, the Doctor had removed to the seat in the window, and had sat
there looking down at the plane-tree; but, on Mr. Lorry's return, he
slipped away to his bench.
The time went very slowly on, and Mr. Lorry's hope darkened, and his heart
grew heavier again, and grew yet heavier and heavier every day. The third
day came and went, the fourth, the fifth. Five days, six days, seven days,
eight days, nine days.
With a hope ever darkening, and with a heart always growing heavier and
heavier, Mr. Lorry passed through this anxious time. The secret was well
kept, and Lucie was unconscious and happy; but he could not fail to
observe that the shoemaker, whose hand had been a little out at first, was
growing dreadfully skilful, and that he had never been so intent on his
work, and that his hands had never been so nimble and expert, as in the
dusk of the ninth evening.