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that her brother Solomon was a heartless scoundrel
who had stripped her of everything she possessed,
as a stake to speculate with, and had abandoned
her in her poverty for evermore, with no touch
of compunction. Miss Pross's fidelity of belief
in Solomon (deducting a mere trifle for this
slight mistake) was quite a serious matter with
Mr. Lorry, and had its weight in his good
opinion of her.

"As we happen to be alone for the moment,
and are both people of business," he said, when
they had got back to the drawing-room, and had
sat down there in friendly relations, "let me ask
youdoes the Doctor, in talking with Lucie,
never refer to the shoemaking time, yet?"


"And yet keeps that bench and those tools
beside him?"

"Ah!" returned Miss Pross, shaking her
head. "But I don't say he don't refer to it
within himself."

"Do you believe that he thinks of it much?"

"I do," said Miss Pross.

"Do you imagine——" Mr. Lorry had begun,
when Miss Pross took him up short with:

"Never imagine anything. Have no
imagination at all."

"I stand corrected; do you supposeyou
go so far as to suppose, sometimes?"

"Now and then," said Miss Pross.

"Do you suppose," Mr. Lorry went on, with
a laughing twinkle in his bright eye, as it
looked kindly at her, "that Doctor Manette has
any theory of his own, preserved through all
those years, relative to the cause of his being so
oppressed; perhaps, even to the name of his

"I don't suppose anything about it but what
Ladybird tells me."

"And that is——?"

"That she thinks he has."

"Now don't be angry at my asking all these
questions; because I am a mere dull man of
business, and you are a woman of business."

"Dull?" Miss Pross inquired, with placidity.

Rather wishing his modest adjective away,
Mr. Lorry replied, "No, no, no. Surely not.
To return to business:—Is it not remarkable
that Doctor Manette, unquestionably innocent
of any crime as we are well assured he is, should
never touch upon that question? I will not
say with me, though he had business relations
with me many years ago, and we are now
intimate; I will say with the fair daughter to
whom he is so devotedly attached, and who is so
devotedly attached to him? Believe me, Miss
Pross, I don't approach the topic with you, out
of curiosity, but out of zealous interest."

"Well! To the best of my understanding,
and bad's the best you'll tell me," said Miss
Pross, softened by the tone of the apology, "he
is afraid of the whole subject."


"It's plain enough, I should think, why he
may be. It's a dreadful remembrance. Besides
that, his loss of himself grew out of it. Not
knowing how he lost himself, or how he recovered
himself, he may never feel certain of not
losing himself again. That alone wouldn't make
the subject pleasant, I should think."

It was a profounder remark than Mr. Lorry
had looked for. "True," said he, "and fearful
to reflect upon. Yet, a doubt lurks in my mind,
Miss Pross, whether it is good for Doctor
Manette to have that suppression always shut up
within him. Indeed, it is this doubt and the
uneasiness it sometimes causes me that has led me
to our present confidence."

"Can't be helped," said Miss Pross, shaking
her head. "Touch that string, and he
instantly changes for the worse. Better leave it
alone. In short, must leave it alone, like or no
like. Sometimes, he gets up in the dead of
the night, and will be heard, by us overhead
there, walking up and down, walking up and
down, in his room. Ladybird has learnt to know
then, that his mind is walking up and down,
walking up and down, in his old prison. She
hurries to him, and they go on together,
walking up and down, walking up and down,
until he is composed. But he never says a
word of the true reason of his restlessness, to
her, and she finds it best not to hint at it to
him. In silence they go walking up and down
together, walking up and down together, till her
love and company have brought him to himself."

Notwithstanding Miss Pross's denial of her
own imagination, there was a perception of the
pain of being monotonously haunted by one sad
idea, in her repetition of the phrase, walking up
and down, which testified to her possessing such
a thing.

The corner has been mentioned as a wonderful
corner for echoes; it had begun to echo so
re-soundingly to the tread of coming feet, that it
seemed as though the very mention of that
weary pacing to and fro had set it going.

"Here they are!" said Miss Pross, rising to
break up the conference; "and now we shall
have hundreds of people pretty soon!"

It was such a curious corner in its acoustical
properties, such a peculiar Ear of a place, that
as Mr. Lorry stood at the open window, looking
for the father and daughter whose steps he heard,
he fancied they would never approach. Not
only would the echoes die away, as though the
steps had gone; but, echoes of other steps that
never came, would be heard in their stead, and
would die away for good when they seemed close
at hand. However, father and daughter did at
last appear, and Miss Pross was ready at the
street door to receive them.

Miss Pross was a pleasant sight, albeit wild,
and red, and grim, taking off her darling's bonnet
when she came up-stairs, and touching it up
with the ends of her handkerchief, and blowing
the dust off it, and folding her mantle ready for
laying by, and smoothing her rich hair with as
much pride as she could possibly have taken in
her own hair if she had been the vainest and
handsomest of women. Her darling was a
pleasant sight too, embracing her and thanking
her, and protesting against her taking so much
trouble for herwhich last she only dared to do