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Free Study Guide-A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens-Free BookNotes
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Chapter Nine: The Game Made

Summary

Mr. Lorry is angry that Jerry Cruncher is using his job at Tellson's Bank as a cover for his body snatching and threatens to have him discharged. Cruncher informs him that a great deal of other respectable clients, like surgeons, undertakers, and sextons, will be implicated too. He also adds that losing his job at Tellson's Bank will only drive him further into body snatching. Mr. Lorry agrees to remain silent about Cruncher's second job when the man promises to permanently give up his shady job.

Carton tells Mr. Lorry that, thanks to Barsad's help, he has access to the prison in case things do not go well at Darnay's trial. Mr. Lorry feels that having the access is not sufficient to save Darnay's life. Carton is moved by his tears and tells Lorry not to despair. He also hints of his own death. Before leaving, Carton makes Mr. Lorry promise not to reveal his presence in Paris to Lucie. When he steps out onto the streets, Carton is mentally reciting the Biblical passage, "I am the resurrection and the light." He stops at a chemist's shop and buys something..

The next day Darnay is brought in front of the same unjust Tribunal. Lucie is also present at the trial. The President announces the names of the three who have denounced him; the Defarges and Dr. Manette. The Doctor looks pale and tries to explain himself, but he is hushed. Defarge is called, and he informs them of the Doctor's imprisonment and how he later went to the very same cell and procured a letter that the Doctor had hidden in a hole in the chimney. He is asked to read the manuscript.


Notes

Carton does not want Lucie to know that he is in Paris and that he has access to Darnay through the prison spy, Barsad, since she may guess his plan and prevent him from carrying it out. The conversation between Mr. Lorry and Carton is tinged with sentimentality and also contains hints of what Carton plans to do. Carton praises Mr. Lorry for his long and useful life and speaks about his own remorse over his wasted life. Lorry sentimentally reminds him that he is a solitary, old bachelor and that there will be no one to mourn him when he dies. Carton reminds him that Lucie will certainly weep. Both the men feel the shadow of death, the old man because of advanced age and the young one because he has already planned his own demise. When he leaves Lorry, he goes to the chemist and buys some drugs. He also mentally quotes from the Bible (John 11: 25-26), verses that reinforce the resurrection theme. The Biblical quotation also foreshadows the fact that Carton will die in order to save Darnay and insure Lucie's happiness.

It seems that Madame Defarge is about to get her final revenge. For years she has harbored an all consuming hatred for the Evremonde family, and now she has the power to destroy the last of them, Darnay. It appears she has real evidence against Darnay to be produced in his second trial; it should ensure his conviction.

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