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Book 1, Chapter 4 Notes from A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 1, Chapter 4

Upon his arrival in Dover, Mr. Lorry checks into a hotel and sits down to breakfast. He informs an employee that he wishes for accommodations to be made for a woman who will be arriving that day and requesting to see him. Later, after a stroll on the beach, he sits down to dinner in front of the fireplace, where his thoughts are wandering, as though searching the coals of the fire.

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After awhile, the waiter tells him that Miss Manette has arrived from London and wishes to see him. He follows the waiter into Miss Manette's apartment. There he sees a pretty and fresh-faced young woman who asks him, in a voice slightly tinged with a foreign accent, to take a seat. She tells him that she received a letter from Tellson's bank about the small property of her father, whom she has never seen, as he has been dead for many years, and that the letter instructed her to travel to Paris to communicate with a gentleman of the bank. Mr. Lorry tells her that he is the gentleman, and she asks if she may travel with him, as she is an orphan and has no one to travel with. He tells her that he would be happy to travel with her. He tells her that he will explain the nature of the business, although it is very difficult for him to begin.

He tells her that he once had a customer, a French doctor of high esteem, whom he knew for many years in Paris as a business colleague. He tells her the man married an English woman and that he, Mr. Lorry, was one of the trustees, as the doctor's affairs were entirely in the hands of Tellson's. He reiterates that he only knew the man on a strictly business level, and that their relations never extended beyond that. Miss Manette says that Mr. Lorry is actually telling her the story of her father, and she asks Mr. Lorry if he was not the man who took her to England when she became an orphan after her mother died only two years after her father. He tells her that he was. He also adds that her mother died after two years of searching for her husband (Miss Manette's father) and left her to grow up without living with the awful uncertainty of whether her father was alive after having wasted away in prison for so many years.

Mr. Lorry tells her that her father has been discovered, alive, and has been taken to the home of an old servant in Paris. He tells her they are going there to identify him and for her to take him home. She tells him that they will only find his ghost, not him, and that she has been happy her whole life without being haunted by his ghost. Just then, a wild-looking woman with red hair bursts into the room and demands that someone fetch smelling salts for Miss Manette. She fawns over the girl and excoriates Mr. Lorry for scaring her so.

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