We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities


by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities Volume III, Chapter Fourteen – The Knitting Done Summary

  • Back at the wine shop, Madame Defarge is holding a council—without her husband.
  • She’s decided that he’s too soft.
  • He doesn’t understand what it takes for a revolution to succeed.
  • The Vengeance and Jacques Three, bloodthirsty as ever, agree.
  • Madame Defarge admits that she cares nothing about Doctor Manette. He can live or die… she doesn’t mind either way.
  • Lucie and her child, however, must be exterminated.
  • All of the Evrémonde race must die.
  • Jacques Three thinks gleefully about how pretty Lucie’s golden hair will look at the base of La Guillotine.
  • Madame Defarge swears her two companions to secrecy. Her husband can’t know about their plans.
  • Now Madame Defarge calls over the wood-sawyer and makes him promise that he’ll testify that Lucie was exchanging traitorous signals with the prisoner Evrémonde.
  • Happy to help the revolution, the guy agrees.
  • We’re sensing that this isn’t exactly the best display of justice in action.
  • Perhaps that’s what Dickens intended us to think.
  • At any rate, Madame Defarge is pretty happy with the way that things are shaping up.
  • Confident that Lucie will be pretty angry at the Republic right now (after all, her husband’s being executed), Madame Defarge decides to pay her a visit.
  • Perhaps she can get Lucie to say something that will damn her whole family to death.
  • The Vengeance can’t get enough of how marvelous Madame Defarge’s plans and revolutionary fervor are.
  • Madame Defarge stalks through the streets.
  • She’s a cold, cold woman.
  • She cares nothing about love—only about vengeance. Sort of like her friend, The Vengeance.
  • As she walks toward the Manette household, Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher are well on their way toward leaving it forever.
  • They’ve been left behind to pack all the Manettes’s things.
  • They’re almost ready to leave. Miss Pross sends Jerry out to get the carriage.
  • She plans to meet him by the cathedral door.
  • That way, they won’t excite any suspicions about the family leaving.
  • Frantic to keep her darlings safe, Miss Pross sends Jerry on his way.
  • Once she’s left alone, Miss Pross washes her face. She hasn’t slept all night.
  • Opening her eyes, she sees a figure standing in the doorway.
  • It’s Madame Defarge.
  • She demands to know where the wife of Evrémonde is at the moment.
  • Miss Pross, of course, doesn’t speak any French.
  • She has a pretty good hunch that Madame Defarge is asking for her darlings, however.
  • And she’s determined not to give that evil Frenchwoman any hints about where her darlings have gone.
  • Quickly, Miss Pross slams all the doors in the room shut.
  • If Madame Defarge looked through them, she’d see the havoc of a family that left their house quickly.
  • Miss Pross and Madame Defarge say some nasty things to each other. Neither can understand the other, but they seem to communicate pretty well just the same.
  • At the very least, they each hate the other.
  • Madame Defarge throws open all the doors in the house but one: Miss Pross guards the last door herself.
  • Realizing that Miss Pross isn’t planning to move anytime soon, Madame Defarge lunges at the door.
  • Miss Pross grabs Madame Defarge around the waist and hangs on for dear life.
  • They claw at each other; Madame Defarge lunges for the keys at Miss Pross’s waist.
  • All of a sudden, Miss Pross sees Madame Defarge draw something out of her dress.
  • She grasps Madame Defarge’s hand.
  • A loud blast goes off.
  • As the smoke clears, she sees Madame Defarge lying on the ground.
  • She’s dead.
  • Miss Pross collects her things, puts on her bonnet, and rushes to the cathedral.
  • Jerry’s waiting for her.
  • He calls out to her, but she can’t hear him.
  • In fact, she never hears anything again.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...