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Summary Chapter 14

The Marquis drives by fields where corn is not abundant. Other crops are being grown as a substitute for wheat. He comes to a poor village where people are eating any vegetation that is not poisonous. Their poverty is due to the many taxes they are forced to pay. They can choose between a barely-sustained life or prison.

The Marquis comes to a posting house gate. He calls out to a courier that he had passed on the road. He asks the man what he had been looking at. The courier tells him that he saw a man chained to the underside of the Marquis’ carriage. People look under the carriage and see the chains. The Marquis asks the identity of the man, but the courier does not know him. The courier says the man was white as a ghost.

The Marquis tells Monsieur Gabelle to arrest the stranger if he comes into the village and to interrogate him on his business. He assumes the man was a thief. The courier tells the direction the man ran off in after he detached himself from the coach. The Marquis orders Monsieur Gabelle to pursue the stranger.

The Marquis continues his trip to his chateau. On the way, he encounters a kneeling woman at a grave. She tells him that many have died from want, just like her husband had. They are buried in the ground. She asks the Marquis for a gravestone to mark her husband’s grave so it is not lost. There are so many graves, and they keep increasing in number. The valet pulls her away from the carriage door.

The Marquis finally arrives home and asks if Monsieur Charles has arrived yet from England, who he is expecting. He is told that the gentleman has not arrived yet.

Charles Dickens