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Summary Chapter 29

The prison no longer is a looming threat over the village of San Antoine. There are not many soldiers to guard it, and the few that remain plan to scurry at the first signs of trouble rather than lose their lives defending it. Everywhere, the vegetation has withered. Monseigneur brought the nation to this. He squeezed the people until there was nothing left.

The mender of roads meets one of the Jacques’s. The man asks to be woken up at sunset. The mender of roads is fascinated by this man. He wakes the man up at sunset. Jacques confirms that his destination is two leagues beyond the summit of the hill.

The villagers don’t go to bed after supper but come outside. They whisper, looking in one direction. Monsieur Gabelle becomes uneasy by their behavior.

Four figures move about the chateau of the murdered Marquis. They set the building on fire. The few people who maintained the place flee to Gabelle. The church bell is rung in alarm, but no one answers. The soldiers refuse to save the chateau’s valuable objects.

The people loot from Gabelle’s home. They destroy the carriages and kill the horses for food. Then they remember how Gabelle had collected the taxes from them, and they surround his home. Gabelle survives the night by bolting his door and fleeing to the roof. Many of his contemporaries are not so lucky. When the sun rises, many are hanging from the trees. In other villages, the soldiers successfully subdue the resistors, and the resistors are the ones seen hanging in the morning.

Charles Dickens