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Summary Chapter 12

Four months later, Mr. Lorry is on his way to dine with Doctor Manette in his quiet lodgings in Soho. They had become friends, and Mr. Lorry frequently visits the Manettes on Sundays. Being around the Manettes often helps Mr. Lorry solve a problem. Doctor Manette has a practice that brings him a sufficient income. His old reputation and story drew patients to him.

Mr. Lorry wonders why the doctor keeps the shoemaking bench and tools, for he no longer uses them. Miss Pross enters, put out that so many unworthy people seek an audience with Miss Lucie. She doesn’t think that Mr. Manette is worthy of such a daughter, though she can’t blame him after what he has been through. Miss Pross is very jealous of anyone who takes Lucie Manette’s affections away from her, but she is devoted to Miss Lucie.

Mr. Lorry asks Miss Pross if the doctor ever refers to the shoemaking time. She says he never does to others, but she believes he thinks about it frequently. He asks if Mr. Manette might remember his oppressor during his years of captivity. Miss Pross comments that Miss Lucie thinks so. Mr. Manette often wakes at night and paces in agitation until his daughter wakes up. He never reveals what he is thinking.

Mr. Lorry is surpised that Mr. Manette never mentions that period. Miss Pross believes that Mr. Manette is afraid to bring up those memories. They were probably horrible, and they caused him to forget himself. She believes he fears that he might forget himself again. Mr. Lorry doubts it is good for him to suppress the memories, but Miss Pross doesn’t think it is a good idea to broach the subject.

The Manettes enter. They dine with Mr. Lorry. Mr. Darnay arrives, and Miss Pross excuses herself—apparently out of dislike for the new company. Mr. Darnay relates how workman at the Tower in London found an old dungeon that had been walled up. Inside, the walls had been covered in inscriptions from many prisoners. One prisoner had written DIG. At first, they thought they were initials. They then realized that the prisoner had meant to dig in that spot. They found the burnt remains of paper and a leather bag.

Mr. Manette starts to collapse. They bring him inside. Mr. Carton comes for tea. They watch a storm brew and hear a huge crowd of people pass by. Later, Jerry Cruncher arrives to escort Mr. Lorry home.

Charles Dickens