Three years past.
In France, the resistors have united under a red flag. Monseigneur, in danger of being dismissed from France and life, flees. The Court has been abolished. The monarchy was seized, “suspended”, and is no more.
It is 1792. Monseigneur frequents Tellsons Bank, which is liberal to its old customers who have fallen on hard times. Also, it is a good place to receive reliable French intelligence. Nobles who had foreseen the fall sent their money abroad. Tellsons starts putting notices about the situation in France in their windows since they are so frequently asked these questions by customers.
Darnay is trying to persuade Mr. Lorry not to go to France. Mr. Lorry doubts he’ll be in danger. There is better prey than him. The fact that the city is disorganized is the very reason why he has to go to Tellsons’ other branch. Mr. Lorry tells Darnay that Tellsons is in possession of some documents that others would want to possess and destroy. He is going to claim them so they can be hidden. Papers are being entrusted to the strangest of people so they can be smuggled out, which is very difficult and risks beheading if caught. He intends to take Jerry with him.
Monseigneur is heard boasting how he plans to get his revenge on the rabble that forced him out of the country. People find it hard to keep quiet, for they know Monseigneur brought this on himself by misusing resources that impoverished his people.
A letter is given to Mr. Lorry that is addressed to the Marquis St. Evrémonde. Mr. Lorry is asked if he knows the identity of this person, but he says no. Charles Darnay recognizes the name as his own, the one he had given up. He had promised Dr. Manette to never tell anyone his true name.
Some of the French aristocrats are asked about the addressee. They state that it is the murdered Marquis’ nephew, who had gotten infected with the new doctrine. He had abandoned his post and his inheritance, which has now fallen into the hands of the vile scum that goes around murdering people.
Darnay is stung by the words. He tells Stryver that he doesn’t understand the gentleman he speaks against. Stryver admits this, and is glad he doesn’t understand. As far as he is concerned, the man is probably the leader of the murderous mob.
Mr. Lorry asks Darnay if he will deliver the letter to the addressee. Darnay agrees. He tells Lorry he’ll return to see him off. He then goes somewhere quiet to read the letter.
The letter is from Monsieur Gabelle. He tells Darnay that he has been captured and brought to Paris. His house has been destroyed. He says that his charge—which will result in his execution—is acting against the people on behalf of an emigrant. They will not listen to him when he says he acted for them under Darnay’s commands. He had collected no rent. However, all they want to know is where Darnay is. He begs Darnay to help him after serving him faithfully.
Darnay feels guilty for his abandonment. He had not handled things well, particularly since he had rushed away in his desire for Lucie. When he had abandoned his property, he had instructed Gabelle not to collect rent and to allow the people to use the resources on the property.
He decides to go to Paris. He blames himself for not being there to help the people. If he had been, he might have been able to avert the bloodshed. He believes he will be in no danger because he personally has not committed any wrong against anyone. He expects that the people will receive him gratefully. He envisions himself doing good deeds and calming the bloodthirsty Revolution.
He decides not to tell Lucie or her father until he has left. He goes to Mr. Lorry and asks him to deliver a verbal message to Monsieur Gabelle. He wants the prisoner to know his letter was received, and that the recipient is starting his journey tonight to go there. Later that night, he entrusts his letters to Lucie and Dr. Manette to a porter, and he leaves for France.