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Book 3, Chapter 1 Notes from A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 3, Chapter 1

When Darnay arrives in France, he is awakened one night at an inn where he is sleeping by a local functionary, who tells him that he has been assigned a guard to travel with him to Paris. Darnay protests but is not allowed to travel without the escort. When he arrives in Beauvais, he is taunted by an ominous crowd of villagers chanting "Down with the emigrant!" The postmaster plants himself between a particularly agitated man and Darnay, telling the man that Darnay will be judged at Paris. Darnay tells the crowd that they have been deceived and that he is not a traitor. When they arrive at Paris, the barrier is closed and a guard stands in front of it, demanding to know where the papers for "this prisoner" are, referring to Darnay. Darnay is startled and points out that he is a French citizen and a free traveler. The guard simply asks for the prisoner's papers again. The escort shows the guard Gabelle's letter. A man accompanies him into a guardroom, where an officer is presiding over some registers. Monsieur Defarge, who is in the guardroom, asks if Darnay is emigrant Evrémonde, and the guard says yes. He adds at their prompting that he is 37, married, and lives with his wife in England. Defarge tells Darnay he will be confined to the prison La Force. Darnay exclaims aloud and demands to know for what offense. The officer says that France has passed new laws and new offenses since Darnay left. He writes on a sheet of paper and signs in "in secret," then hands the paper to Defarge. Two armed guards and Defarge accompany Darnay. Defarge asks him if he is married to Dr. Manette's daughter. Darnay replies yes. Defarge tells Darnay that he keeps a wine shop in St. Antoine and that perhaps he has heard of him. Darnay says excitedly that his wife accompanied Defarge to reclaim her father. Defarge solemnly asks Darnay "in the name of that sharp female newly-born, and called La Guillotine," why he returned to France. Darnay tells him that he has already told him why, and that he did not know how different things would be.

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He asks Defarge for help. Defarge refuses and will not answer Darnay's questions about prison--whether he will have communication with the outside world and whether he will be executed with no trial. Darnay asks if he will be able to communicate with a Mr. Lorry of Tellson's Bank, and Defarge tells him he with do nothing for him, as he is the sworn servant of his country and that it is his duty to act against Darnay. Darnay is taken to a solitary cell. He asks to know why he is confined alone, and the guard says he doesn't know. Darnay paces to and fro in his cell, which contains only a chair, a table, and a small mattress. He becomes consumed with thoughts as he measures by paces the size of his cell:

"'Five paces by four and a half, five paces by four and a half, five paces by four and a half. He made shoes, he made shoes, he made shoes. The ghosts that vanished when the wicket closed. There was one among them, the appearance of a lady dressed in black, who was leaning in the embrasure of a window, and she had a light shining upon her golden hair, and she looked like... Let us ride on again, for God's sake, through the illuminated villages with the people all awake!...He made shoes, he made shoes, he made shoes..... Five paces by four and a half.'" Book 3, Chapter 1, pg. 254

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