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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 Nine – The Game Made Summary

  • While Sydney and Barsad are talking in the next room, Mr. Lorry sits in silence.
  • He’s staring at Mr. Cruncher. Hard.
  • Finally, he asks what Mr. Cruncher does besides working at Tellson’s.
  • Mr. Cruncher says that his work is "agricultural" in nature.
  • We’re guessing that’s because it involves dirt. Oh, and bodies. Lots of dead bodies.
  • Mr. Lorry isn’t fooled.
  • In fact, he’s angry. If Jerry’s been using the respectable name of Tellson’s as a front for illegal activities, then Mr. Lorry will terminate his position as soon as they all get back to London.
  • Mr. Cruncher takes deep offense to this.
  • He’s got an amazing speech about moral relativism that he gives here. It’s so good that we suggest you read it yourselves.
  • Basically, he says that what he does isn’t so bad… if only because everyone else does bad things, as well.
  • Sydney and Barsad come into the room, and Cruncher and Barsad leave.
  • Left alone with Sydney, Mr. Lorry asks what sort of deal Barsad made.
  • Sydney says that he’s managed to make sure that someone can get in to see Charles, just once, if things go very poorly at trial.
  • He didn’t want to ask for anything more: it’s a bit perilous in the prison these days.
  • Mr. Lorry starts to tear up a bit at the thought of the danger ahead.
  • Sydney says that Mr. Lorry is a good man and a true friend.
  • Abruptly, he asks if Mr. Lorry is heading over to see Lucie.
  • Sydney doesn’t want her to know that he’s here. Mr. Lorry agrees to keep it a secret.
  • Staring into the fire, Sydney asks Mr. Lorry if he has led a good life.
  • Mr. Lorry says that he’s an old bachelor—no one would weep if he died.
  • Sydney scoffs at that. She would weep for him!
  • As they get up to go, Mr. Lorry says that he’s an old man… but Sydney is still very young.
  • Sydney smiles sadly. He’s young, sure, but he’s not made for the age that he lives in.
  • They each go their separate ways. Mr. Lorry heads to the Manettes’s. Sydney goes to a small woodworking shop in Saint Antoine.
  • He stands outside it, and the wood sawyer comes out to see him.
  • The wood sawyer seems astonished at the resemblance between Sydney and the prisoner.
  • He also comments on Sydney’s perfect French.
  • Next, Sydney heads to a chemist. He buys two different drugs.
  • The pharmacist warns him that combining the two would be fatal.
  • We’re beginning to suspect that Sydney has some sort of plan here…
  • It’s already midnight. Sydney walks through the streets of Paris all night, thinking of his childhood.
  • He was orphaned at an early age. He’s never felt at home anywhere.
  • By morning, he’s back at Mr. Lorry’s door.
  • Together, they head to the Tribunal.
  • Today, one of the judges is Jacques Three, the most bloodthirsty of all the Jacques.
  • There’s a huge audience in the court as the judges call Charles Evrémonde to the stand.
  • He’s been denounced by three people: M. and Mme. Defarge, and Doctor Manette.
  • Wait… what? Doctor Manette?
  • The doctor seems as shocked as the rest of the court.
  • He cries out that the accusation is a mistake.
  • The judges, however, rebuke him. Nothing could be dearer to him than the fate of the Republic, right?
  • He doesn’t seem to agree. Then again, they don’t seem to care what he thinks.
  • The court calls Defarge to the stand. They ask him if he was one of the patriots who stormed the Bastille.
  • The Vengeance, who’s sitting in the front row, shrieks that he’s a French hero.
  • Honestly, the woman is beginning to irritate us a little bit.
  • Defarge, however, agrees. He says that he found a letter hidden in the walls of the Bastille… a letter written by Alexandre Manette during his imprisonment.
  • The courtroom gasps.
  • The judges order that the letter be read aloud.

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