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Summary Chapter 25

On the tenth morning, Mr. Lorry awakes to find Dr. Manette reading. His manner is different. Seeing him apparently recovered, the last week seems like a dream.

Miss Pross comes to Mr. Lorry. He advises her to act as if nothing unusual has happened and observe the Doctor’s state of mind. They’ll determine their next course of action from their observations.

Dr. Manette comes to breakfast. Aside from losing track of time and believing the wedding was yesterday, he seems to be himself. He becomes uneasy when he is told the date. He notices that his hands are discolored from the shoemaking.

Mr. Lorry asks his medical opinion about a curious case. Dr. Manette realizes that though they are talking in the third person about this patient, Mr. Lorry is actually referring to him. He deduces that there was a mental shock. He asks for the details.

Mr. Lorry tells him that the patient relapsed to the former mental state he had been in when he was first released from prison. He had taken up his former occupation of shoemaking. He was in this state for over a week. His daughter does not know. The matter was kept between Mr. Lorry and someone he trusted.

He asks Dr. Manette how the relapse comes about, and whether there is a possibility the patient will have another. Can it be prevented? How should it be treated? He desires to help his friend, but he doesn’t know how. He begs the Doctor to discuss it with him so he can be more of service.

Dr. Manette says the relapse wasn’t unforeseen to the patient. He had dreaded it would occur. He can’t reveal the secret he keeps. He had tried to prepare himself, knowing a situation would recall the painful memories. He doesn’t have memory of what occurred during the relapse. However, the Doctor is more optimistic about the future. He recovered quickly, and he believes the worst is over.

Mr. Lorry asks if perhaps the patient weakens himself by too much mental activity, making himself vulnerable to the attacks. Dr. Manette doesn’t agree. He thinks the patient’s mind needs to be occupied in healthy occupation to keep it from going in an unhealthy direction. He believes the relapse only occurs when the patient’s memory is jarred.

Mr. Lorry acts more relieved than he actually is. He asks if it is a good idea for the patient to keep the shoemaking bench, as it is a reminder of the past. Dr. Manette becomes agitated and reluctant to discuss this. He says the patient used to yearn for this occupation because it preoccupied him and eased his pain. For that reason, he has been afraid to get rid of it. He is afraid that if he did have a relapse, he would be terrified to be without it. However, he does concede that it might link the patient to the past.

Mr. Lorry gives the opinion that keeping the shoemaking bench does no good. Dr. Manette gives his permission for it to be destroyed, but he requests that it be removed when he is not there.

Dr. Manette is fully restored as the days past. When he goes to join his daughter in Wales, Mr. Lorry destroys the shoemaking bench with Miss Pross’s assistance. They burn it and bury the tools, shoes, and leather in the garden. They both feel like accomplices covering up a murder.

Charles Dickens