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goes first? And regarding that name of Pross, likewise. That
warn’t your name over the water.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t know all I mean, for I can’t call to mind what your
name was, over the water.”

“No?”

“No. But I’ll swear it was a name of two syllables.”

“Indeed?”

“Yes. T’other one’s was one syllable. I know you. You was a spy-
witness at the Bailey. What, in the name of the Father of Lies, own
father to yourself, was you called at that time?”

“Barsad,” said another voice, striking in.

“That’s the name for a thousand pound!” cried Jerry. The
speaker who struck in, was Sydney Carton. He had his hands
behind him under the skirts of his riding-coat, and he stood at Mr.
Cruncher’s elbow as negligently as he might have stood at the Old

Charles Dickens ElecBook Classics


A Tale of Two Cities

Bailey itself.

“Don’t be alarmed, my dear Miss Pross. I arrived at Mr. Lorry’s,
to his surprise, yesterday evening; we agreed that I would not
present myself elsewhere until all was well, or unless I could be
useful; I present myself here, to beg a little talk with your brother.
I wish you had a better employed brother than Mr. Barsad. I wish
for your sake Mr. Barsad was not a Sheep of the Prisons.”

Sheep was a cant word of the time for a spy, under the gaolers.
The spy, who was pale, turned paler, and asked him how he
dared— “I’ll tell you,” said Sydney. “I lighted on you, Mr. Barsad,
coming out of the prison of the Conciergerie while I was
contemplating the walls, an hour or more ago. You have a face to
be remembered, and I remember faces well. Made curious by
seeing you in that connection, and having a reason, to which you
are no stranger, for associating you with the misfortunes of a
friend now very unfortunate, I walked in your direction. I walked
into the wine-shop here, close after you, and sat near you. I had no
difficulty in deducing from your unreserved conversation, and the
rumour openly going about among your admirers, the nature of
your calling. And gradually, what I had done at random, seemed to
shape itself into a purpose, Mr. Barsad.”

“What purpose?” the spy asked.

“It would be troublesome, and might be dangerous, to explain
in the street. Could you favour me, in confidence, with some
minutes of your company—at the office of Tellson’s Bank, for
instance?”

“Under a threat?”

“Oh! Did I say that?”

“Then, why should I go there?”

Charles Dickens ElecBook Classics


A Tale of Two Cities

“Really, Mr. Barsad, I can’t say, if you can’t.”

“Do you mean that you won’t say, sir?” the spy irresolutely
asked.

“You apprehend me very clearly, Mr. Barsad. I won’t.”

Carton’s negligent recklessness of manner came powerfully in
aid of his quickness and skill, in such a business as he had in his
secret mind, and with such a man as he had to do with. His
practised eye saw it, and made the most of it.

“Now, I told you so,” said the spy, casting a reproachful look at
his sister; “if any trouble comes of this, it’s your doing.”

“Come, come, Mr. Barsad!” exclaimed Sydney. “Don’t be
ungrateful. But for my great respect for your sister, I might not
have led up so pleasantly to a little proposal that I wish to make for
our mutual satisfaction. Do you go with me to the Bank?”

“I’ll hear what you have got to say. Yes, I’ll go with you.”

“I propose that we first conduct your sister safely to the corner
of her own street. Let me take your arm, Miss Pross. This is not a
good city, at this time, for you to be out in, unprotected; and, as
your escort knows Mr. Barsad, I will invite him to Mr. Lorry’s with
us. Are we ready? Come then!”

Miss Pross recalled soon afterwards, and to the end of her life
remembered, that as she pressed her hands on Sydney’s arm and
looked up in his face, imploring him to do no

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