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felt, and almost looked, like accomplices in a
horrible crime.


WHEN the newly-married pair came home,
the first person who appeared, to offer his
congratulations, was Sydney Carton. They had not
been at home many hours, when he presented
himself. He was not improved in habits, or in
looks, or in manner; but, there was a certain
rugged air of fidelity about him, which was new
to the observation of Charles Darnay.

He watched his opportunity of taking Darnay
aside into a window, and of speaking to him
when no one overheard.

"Mr. Darnay," said Carton, "I wish we
might be friends."

"We are already friends, I hope."

"You are good enough to say so, as a fashion
of speech; but, I don't mean any fashion of
speech. Indeed, when I say I wish we might
be friends, I scarcely mean quite that, either."

Charles Darnayas was naturalasked him,
in all good-humour and good-fellowship, what he
did mean?

"Upon my life," said Carton, smiling, "I
find that easier to comprehend in my own
mind, than to convey to yours. However, let
me try. You remember a certain famous occasion
when I was more drunk thanthan usual?"

"I remember a certain famous occasion when
you forced me to confess that you had been

"I remember it too. The curse of those
occasions is heavy upon me, for I always
remember them. I hope it may be taken into
account one day, when all days are at an end for
me!—Don't be alarmed; I am not going to

"I am not at all alarmed. Earnestness in
you, is anything but alarming to me."

"Ah!" said Carton, with a careless wave of
his hand, as if he waved that away. "On the
drunken occasion in question (one of a large
number, as you know), I was insufferable about
liking you, and not liking you. I wish you
would forget it."

"I forgot it long ago."

"Fashion of speech again! But, Mr. Darnay,
oblivion is not so easy to me, as you
represent it to be to you. I have by no means
forgotten it, and a light answer does not help me
to forget it."

"If it was a light answer," returned Darnay,
"I beg your forgiveness for it. I had
no other object than to turn a slight thing,
which, to my surprise, seems to trouble you too
much, aside. I declare to you, on the faith of
a gentleman, that I have long dismissed it from
my mind. Good Heaven, what was there to
dismiss! Have I had nothing more important to
remember, in the great service you rendered me
that day?"

"As to the great service," said Carton, "I
am bound to avow to you, when you speak of it
in that way, that it was mere professional claptrap.
I don't know that I cared what became
of you, when I rendered it.—Mind! I say when
I rendered it; I am speaking of the past."

"You make light of the obligation," returned
Darnay, "but I will not quarrel with your light

"Genuine truth, Mr. Darnay, trust me!  I
have gone aside from my purpose; I was speaking
about our being friends. Now, you know
me; you know I am incapable of all the higher
and better flights of men. If you doubt it, ask
Stryver, and he'll tell you so."

"I prefer to form my own opinion, without
the aid of his."

"Well! At any rate you know me as a
dissolute dog, who has never done any good, and
never will."

"I don't know that you 'never will.'"

"But I do, and you must take my word for
it. Well!  If you could endure to have such a
worthless fellow, and a fellow of such indifferent
reputation, coming and going at odd times, I
should ask that I might be permitted to come
and go as a privileged person here; that I
might be regarded as an useless (and I would
add, if it were not for the resemblance I detected
between you and me, an unornamental) piece of
furniture, tolerated for its old service and taken
no notice of. I doubt if I should abuse the
permission. It is a hundred to one if I should
avail myself of it four times in a year. It
would satisfy me, I dare say, to know that I
had it."

"Will you try?"

"That is another way of saying that I am
placed on the footing I have indicated. I
thank you, Darnay.  I may use that freedom
with your name?"

"I think so, Carton, by this time."

They shook hands upon it, and Sydney turned
away.  Within a minute afterwards, he was, to
all outward appearance, as unsubstantial as ever.

When he was gone, and in the course of an
evening passed with Miss Pross, the Doctor,
and Mr. Lorry, Charles Darnay made some
mention of this conversation in general terms,
and spoke of Sydney Carton as a problem of
carelessness and recklessness. He spoke of him,
in short, not bitterly or meaning to bear hard
upon him, but as anybody might who saw him
as he showed himself.

He had no idea that this could dwell in the
thoughts of his fair young wife; but, when he
afterwards joined her in their own rooms, he
found her waiting for him with the old pretty
lifting of the forehead strongly marked.

"We are thoughtful to-night!" said Darnay,
drawing his arm about her.

"Yes, dearest Charles," with her hands on his
breast, and the inquiring and attentive expression
fixed upon him; "we are rather thoughtful
to-night, for we have something on our mind

"What is it, my Lucie?"

"Will you promise not to press one question
on me, if I beg you not to ask it?"

"Will I promise? What will I not promise
to my Love?"