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Summary Chapter 34

Dr. Manette returns on the fourth day. He keeps much from Lucie, and it is only long after she left France that she learned of the events that transpired.

Lucy had heard there had been an attack on the prisons. She knew that political prisoners had been targeted and a few had been murdered. What she didn’t know was that eleven hundred defenseless prisoners of both sexes, adults and children, were slaughtered by the mob of citizens.

A tribunal had quickly determined which prisoners were to be executed, released, or sent back to their cells. Manette had given his identification and history in the Bastille, which Defarge was able to confirm. Dr. Manette had pleaded for his son-in-law’s release. Darnay had almost been freed when something caused the tribunal to have a secret conference. They told Manette that Darnay would remain in custody, but he would be safe from the mob. Dr. Manette had remained until he was certain that Darnay would not be handed over to the mob.

Dr. Manette had seen a group of Samaritans tend to the wounded and then ferociously butcher others. Though sickened by what he had witness, Dr. Manette finds strength in his past suffering. He realizes that those years were not wasted and benefited him by making him strong enough to come to his son-in-law’s aide.

Mr. Lorry has never seen this side of Dr. Manette. He has misgivings over the things Dr. Manette tells him of the events that had occurred.

Dr. Manette uses his influence to become the physician for the prisoners. Darnay is now mixing with the other prisoners. Dr. Manette sees him weekly and is able to give his verbal messages to Lucie.

The king and queen of France have been executed. The new Republic, though, is bloodthirsty and just as tyrannical of the system of old. Prisons fill with innocent people who cannot get a hearing and so often wind up executed. The Guillotine is a new invention. There are jokes about how it cures headaches and prevents gray hair. People start wearing guillotines around their neck instead of crosses.

Dr. Manette is confident that he can save Darnay, though a year passes without any progress. The river is polluted with bodies.

Charles Dickens