Charles Dickens

Retold by Ralph Mowat

1. 01.mp3

A wine-shop in Paris

In the part of Paris called Saint Antoine everyone was poor. The streets were narrow and dirty, the food-shops were almost empty. The faces of the children looked old already, because they were so hungry. In the wine-shop of Monsieur Defarge there were not many customers and Defarge was outside, talking to a man in the street. His wife, Madame Defarge, sat inside the shop, knitting and watching. Defarge came in and his wife looked at him, then turned her eyes to look at two new customers, a man of about sixty and a young lady. Defarge went over to speak to them, suddenly kissed the young lady's hand, and led them out of the back of the shop. They followed him upstairs, many stairs, until they reached the top. Defarge took a key out of his pocket.
2. 02.mp3

'Why is the door locked?' asked Mr Lorry in surprise. 'He is a free man now.'
'Because he has lived too long behind a locked door,' replied Defarge angrily. 'He is afraid if the door is not locked! That is one of the things they have done to him.'
'I'm afraid, too,' whispered Miss Manette. Her blue eyes looked worriedly at Mr Lorry. 'I am afraid of him - of my father.'
3. 03.mp3

Defarge made a lot of noise as he opened the door. Mr Lorry and Lucie went into the room behind him. A thin, white-haired man was sitting on a wooden seat. He was very busy, making shoes.
'Good day,' said Defarge. 'You are still working hard, I see.' After a while they heard a whisper. 'Yes, I am still working.' 'Come,' said Defarge. 'You have a visitor. Tell him your name.'
4. 04.mp3

'My name?' came the whisper. 'One Hundred and Five, North Tower.'
Mr Lorry moved closer to the old man. 'Dr Manette, don't you remember me, Jarvis Lorry?' he asked gently.
The old prisoner looked up at Mr Lorry, but there was no surprise, no understanding in his tired face, and he went back to work making shoes.
Slowly Lucie came near to the old man. After a while he noticed her.
'Who are you?' he asked.
5. 05.mp3

Lucie put her arms around the old man and held him, tears of happiness and sadness running down her face. From a little bag the old man took some golden hair. He looked at it, and then he looked at Lucie's hair. 'It is the same. How can it be?' He stared into Lucie's face. 'No, no, you are too young, too young. 'Through her tears Lucie tried to explain that she was the daughter he had never seen. The old man still did not understand, but he seemed to like the sound of Lucie's voice and the touch of her warm young hand on his.
6. 06.mp3

Then Lucie said to Mr Lorry, 'I think we should leave Paris at once. Can you arrange it?'
'Yes, of course,' said Mr Lorry. 'But do you think he is able to travel?'
'He will be better far away from this city where he has lost so much of his life,' said Lucie.
'You are right,' said Defarge. 'And there are many other reasons why Dr Manette should leave France now.'
7. 07.mp3

While Mr Lorry and Defarge went to arrange for a coach to take them out of Paris, Lucie sat with her father. Exhausted by the meeting, he fell asleep on the floor, and his daughter watched him quietly and patiently until it was time to go.
When Mr Lorry returned, he and Defarge brought food and clothes for Dr Manette. The Doctor did everything they told him to do; he had been used to obeying orders for so many years.
8.   08.mp3

As he came down the stairs, Mr Lorry heard him say again and again, 'One Hundred and Five, North Tower.'
When they went to the coach, only one person saw them go: Madame Defarge. She stood in the doorway, and knitted and watched, seeing everything ... and seeing nothing.


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