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Summary Chapter 39

Mr. Lorry stares at Jerry in distrust. Jerry fidgets and looks away. Finally, Mr. Lorry beckons him. He asks Jerry what he has been besides a messenger. Jerry replies an agricultural person.

Mr. Lorry is angry that Jerry has used Tellsons as a respectable front for his illegal activities. He refuses to keep his secret or to be his friend once they return to England. Mr. Cruncher protests that it is not fair to condemn him when other people who are respectable, like doctors and undertakers, withdraw their money from Tellsons Bank to pay him. He begs Mr. Lorry to let his son keep his place at Tellsons. Mr. Cruncher vows to become a regular gravedigger and make amends by protecting the dead.

Barsad and Carton come out. Arrangements have been made, and Carton assures Barsad that his secret is safe with him. Carton tells Lorry that if things go badly for Darnay, Barsad will allow him access to Darnay once before his execution. Mr. Lorry is disappointed that not more can be done to save Darnay. He begins to weep.

Carton asks him not to tell Lucy of the interview or arrangement. He didn’t arrange this access so that she could go to see her husband. He also doesn’t want Lorry to mention that he is here either.

Mr. Lorry says he is about to leave Paris. Carton remarks how many people will miss Mr. Lorry when he is gone from this Earth, since he has lived a respectable and useful life. Mr. Lorry says he will be at court tomorrow. Carton says he will also be there. He escorts Lorry to Lucie’s home and disappears.

Carton goes to the place Lucie used to wait. The woodcutter tells him that the barber shaved sixty-three prisoners in the time it took to smoke two pipes. Carton writes some items on a piece of paper and asks a chemist for them. The chemist warns him not to mix them.

Carton wanders the streets, unable to sleep. Nobody is praying at the church, for religion has been cast aside as a former oppressor. For years it taxed the poor. No one rides in carriages, for it makes them suspect.

In the morning, he goes to the court. Darnay is accused of being part of a family of tyrants who oppressed the people. His three accusers are Mr. and Mrs. Defarge and Dr. Manette.

Dr. Manette is horrified to hear his name called as an accuser of his daughter’s husband, who he has tried to save. The Tribunal tells him that nothing is dearer than the Republic. If it demands him to sacrifice his own child, he would do it like a good patriot.

Mr. Defarge relates how he had worked for Dr. Manette when he was a boy. Manette was released into his custody. When Bastille fell, Defarge examined Dr. Manette’s former cell. He found a paper hidden in the chimney. It was written in Dr. Manette’s hand. The tribunal orders the letter to be read.

Charles Dickens