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Summary Chapter 28

Madame Defarge sits in the wine shop, observing the customers. There is no need to wear roses now, for the spies have fled. Though the people are still miserable and ragged, they have altered in their demeanor by feelings of empowerment. They have a hard time maintaining their lives, but they have discovered how easily they can end the life of others. Madame Defarge approves of this attitude.

The grocer’s plump wife has earned the nickname The Vengeance and is Madame Defarge’s lieutenant of the women’s army. She hears footsteps approach. Defarge enters, out of breath. He asks if they remembered Foulon, who told them all that they could eat grass. They believed he died and went to Hell. However, this was not the case. He faked his death and has been living in the country. However, he has been found and captured alive.

The Vengeance summons the other women. The people take to the streets. As horrible as the men are in their anger, the women are chilling. They are like furies, remembering the deaths of loved ones and children who had perished of want.

They come to the Hotel de Ville, where Foulon is tied up. Grass has been tied to his back. The entire mob cannot fit into the building, but everyone is kept informed by information being passed from mouth to mouth.

When the sun rises, the prisoner is roughly dragged out to a tree. He begs for mercy, but the crowd throws grass in his face. They try to hang him twice, and the rope breaks. The third time the rope holds. His head is put on a pike.

The son-in-law of Foulon comes to Paris with 500 cavalry men when he learns of Foulon’s execution. The people seize him, and his fate is the same as his father-in-law’s.

Afterwards, the women congratulate each other while waiting in line to buy bad bread. The meals still are not substantial or nourishing, but the victory has made everyone cheerful. The village falls asleep, the bloodlust silent for the moment.

Charles Dickens