Book the Third - The Track of a Storm
7. VII. A Knock at the Door
"I have saved him." It was not another of the dreams in which he had
often come back; he was really here. And yet his wife trembled, and
a vague but heavy fear was upon her.
All the air round was so thick and dark, the people were so
passionately revengeful and fitful, the innocent were so constantly
put to death on vague suspicion and black malice, it was so
impossible to forget that many as blameless as her husband and as
dear to others as he was to her, every day shared the fate from which
he had been clutched, that her heart could not be as lightened of its
load as she felt it ought to be. The shadows of the wintry afternoon
were beginning to fall, and even now the dreadful carts were rolling
through the streets. Her mind pursued them, looking for him among
the Condemned; and then she clung closer to his real presence and
Her father, cheering her, showed a compassionate superiority to this
woman's weakness, which was wonderful to see. No garret, no shoemaking,
no One Hundred and Five, North Tower, now! He had accomplished the
task he had set himself, his promise was redeemed, he had saved Charles.
Let them all lean upon him.
Their housekeeping was of a very frugal kind: not only because that
was the safest way of life, involving the least offence to the
people, but because they were not rich, and Charles, throughout his
imprisonment, had had to pay heavily for his bad food, and for his
guard, and towards the living of the poorer prisoners. Partly on
this account, and partly to avoid a domestic spy, they kept no
servant; the citizen and citizeness who acted as porters at the
courtyard gate, rendered them occasional service; and Jerry (almost
wholly transferred to them by Mr. Lorry) had become their daily
retainer, and had his bed there every night.
It was an ordinance of the Republic One and Indivisible of Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity, or Death, that on the door or doorpost of every
house, the name of every inmate must be legibly inscribed in letters
of a certain size, at a certain convenient height from the ground.
Mr. Jerry Cruncher's name, therefore, duly embellished the doorpost
down below; and, as the afternoon shadows deepened, the owner of that
name himself appeared, from overlooking a painter whom Doctor Manette
had employed to add to the list the name of Charles Evremonde, called