The Dover mail coach arrives at the Royal George Hotel. The head drawer congratulates the passenger—Mr. Lorry—on a safe arrival, which is a blessing in these times. Mr. Lorry asks if there is a packet to Calais tomorrow, and the head drawer tells him there will be if the weather permits it.
Jarvis Lorry has breakfast. He orders a room prepared for a lady who will arrive later. He tells the waiter he has not traveled from France in fifteen years. After breakfast, Jarvis takes a walk on the beach, his thoughts becoming cloudy. At dinner, the waiter announces that Miss Manette from London has arrived. The waiter escorts Mr. Lorry to Miss Manette’s apartment. When he sees her, he remembers a child he once held crossing the channel.
Miss Manette has received a letter from the bank about some discovery about her father, whom she never saw alive. She had to go to Paris and meet with Mr. Lorry. She was responsible for sending the dispatch. She is an orphan, and she requested that Mr. Lorry be good enough to escort her to France, as she has no friends to do it. Lorry says he is happy to assist.
She asks him to explain the business. He tells her there was a doctor of Beauvais who had a known reputation in Paris. Mr. Lorry had known him in Paris on confidential business matters. This was twenty years ago. The doctor married an English lady. Lorry was one of the trustees of his affairs at Tellson’s Bank.
Miss Manette realizes he is familiar because he was the man that took her to England after her mother died. He confirms it was him. He tells her he has no feelings about his customers. It is merely business. She is a ward of Tellson’s Bank.
He tells her if her father had not died and had instead gone to prison, his history would have been the same as the Doctor of Beauvais. The doctor’s wife was pregnant. She did not want her daughter to know the pain of her father’s lost. She reared the little girl to believe that her father was dead. The mother continued to search for the father, but she died when the little girl was two years old. Her only inheritance came from her mother, though it wasn’t a great one.
Her father, though, has been found alive. He is greatly changed. He is living in the house of an old servant. Lorry is going to see him so he can verify his identity. He wants Miss Manette to go so she can be restored to him, and perhaps she can restore him to the man he used to be.
Her father had been found under another name. She should not make inquiries under his old name, for it is still dangerous. She should remove him out of France as soon as possible. This is secret business. He doesn’t even carry documents that refer to it.
Miss Manette has become unresponsive. He calls for help. The servant who attends to her yells at him for frightening the girl. He asks if the servant will accompany them to France. The woman tells him that isn’t going to happen.