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A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities


by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities Volume III, Chapter Five – The Wood-Sawyer Summary

  • A year passes. Then another three months pass. Nothing’s changed.
  • Lucie, in particular, seems to have weathered the calamity pretty well.
  • She’s not wearing bright, fancy clothes, sure, but otherwise she’s cheerful.
  • Only occasionally does her grief break through. Then she cries on her father’s shoulder all night.
  • He remains confident that he can save Charles and tries to reassure his daughter as much as he can.
  • One day, the doctor comes home with some news: every now and then, Charles can get to a little window that looks out on the street.
  • He usually manages to be there at three in the afternoon. It’s not every day… in fact, it’s only about once a week.
  • Nonetheless, he asked if Lucie would be willing to come stand in front of the window at three o'clock so he could see her.
  • From that time on, Lucie goes to the street next to the window every afternoon.
  • Whatever the weather’s like, she stands outside for two hours.
  • Talk about devotion, huh?
  • We’re not the only ones to notice how devoted Lucie is.
  • A woodcutter happens to realize that she’s standing on his street every day.
  • At first he greets her and she returns the greeting.
  • After a bit, though, he begins to make jokes about the guillotine. Unsurprisingly, Lucie doesn’t find them very funny.
  • He thinks it’s a riot, though. He even makes a miniature version of the guillotine and hangs it outside his window.
  • Honestly, we think the guy needs some hobbies of his own.
  • One day, he’s not in his shop.
  • Lucie’s relieved—until she sees him dancing with The Vengeance and a mob of hundreds of other people.
  • They’re dancing a wild, bloody, violent dance. Apparently, it involves lots of teeth-gnashing. It’s called the Carmagnole.
  • Lucie stares at them, frightened. Her father comes up to lead her away, and she asks him about the horrible dance.
  • He tries to calm her, although he’s seen it several times before.
  • Suddenly, Madame Defarge appears right beside them.
  • She disappears as quickly as she came.
  • As they walk home, Doctor Manette tells Lucie that Charles has been summoned to the Tribunal. He’s supposed to have a trial tomorrow.
  • In the distance, they hear the guillotine chopping off three heads.
  • We sure hope that this isn’t foreshadowing.
  • The doctor leaves Lucie at home and heads off to see Mr. Lorry to make plans for the next day.

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