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Free Study Guide-A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens-Free BookNotes
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Chapter Eight: A Hand At Cards

Summary

Unconscious of the new developments that have taken place at the lodge, Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher wind their way through narrow streets in search of food. They make a few purchases and turn into a wine shop. Miss Pross is startled to see her brother Solomon. Jerry Cruncher recognizes him as John Barsad, the police spy. Sydney Carton arrives in the shop and tells Miss Pross that John Barsad is now a spy among the prisoners. When Carton suggests that Barsad should accompany him to Mr. Lorry's house, the spy, knowing that Carton has too much information against him, relents.

Carton informs Mr. Lorry of the re-arrest of Darnay and states that the Doctor's influence is not likely to save Darnay again. Carton, however, says he has made plans, which he refuses to divulge to anyone. He gives strict instructions that Dr. Manette, by using his influence, should procure papers for himself, Lucie, and the child. Barsad is at first unwilling to aid Darnay's friends, but he is reminded that Carton has a great deal of information against him which could have him denounced as an enemy of the Republic and send him straight to the guillotine. As a result, Barsad agrees to help.


Notes

Miss Pross recognizes her long lost brother Solomon, who has become the police spy John Barsad; he had been the sole mourner at Roger Cly's mock funeral twelve years ago. Cruncher knows that Cly is alive, for he had opened the coffin and found it empty. There was a fake death and false rebirth, obviously for evil purposes. Both Barsad and Cly are typical spies, loyal to no one.

When Sydney Carton comes to know the identity of Barsad, he realizes that this man, being a prison spy, can help him in his plans. He blackmails Barsad in to helping him. Again, the chapter ends in suspense, for the reader is given no clues as to the plans of Sydney Carton.

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