A tale of two cities (9. the spy)

While this was happening, Miss Pross was out shopping for the family. Jerry Cruncher was with her, and they had just gone into a wine-shop when Miss Pross suddenly stopped, looked at one of the customers, and cried out in a loud voice,
‘Oh Solomon, dear Solomon! I’ve found you at last, dear brother! But whatever are you doing here in Paris?’
‘Don’t call me Solomon. You’ll get me killed. Pay for your wine, and come outside,’ said the man in a low, frightened voice.
They went outside. ‘You mustn’t recognize me here,’ said the man. ‘It’s not safe. Go your way, and let me go mine.’ Miss Pross began to cry at these unbrotherly words, and Jerry Cruncher stepped forward to stare in the man’s face.
‘Wait a minute,’ said Jerry. ‘Is your name John Solomon, or Solomon John? Your sister calls you Solomon. I know that your name’s John; I remember that. But your other name wasn’t Pross at that Old Bailey trial. What was your name then?’
‘Barsad!’ said another voice.
‘Yes, Barsad, that’s it,’ cried Jerry. He turned round and saw Sydney Carton standing behind him.
‘Don’t be alarmed, my dear Miss Pross,’ said Carton, smiling at her. ‘But I’m afraid I have to tell you that your brother is a spy, a spy for the French prisons.’
Solomon Pross, also Barsad, went pale. ‘That’s not true!’
‘I saw you come out of the Conciergerie today. I followed you,’ said Carton, ‘and I found out what you do. And I’ve decided that you may be able to help me. Come with me to the office of Mr Lorry.’
After a short argument, which Carton won, Barsad followed him to Mr Lorry’s office.
‘I bring bad news,’ Carton said to Mr Lorry. ‘Darnay has been arrested again.’
‘But

I was with him only two hours ago,’ cried Mr Lorry. ‘He was safe and free!’
‘Even so, he has been arrested and taken to the Conciergerie. And I’m not sure that Dr Manette’s good name can save him this time. So we must have Mr Barsad’s help.’
‘I will not help you,’ said Solomon Pross, called John Barsad.
‘Oh, I think you will,’ said Sydney Carton, ‘when you hear what I could say about you. Let’s think. Mr Barsad is a spy, and a prison guard, but he used to be a spy in England. Is he still paid by the English?’
‘No one will listen to you,’ said Barsad.
‘But I can say more, Mr Barsad,’ replied Carton.
Barsad had more problems than Carton knew. He could not return to England because he was wanted by the police there. And in France, before he became a prison guard for the citizens’ revolution, he had been a spy for the King’s officers. He knew that Madame Defarge, that terrible woman, had knitted his name into her list of enemies of the people. Most of those on her list had already been killed by the Guillotine, and Barsad did not want to be next.
‘You seem worried, Mr Barsad,’ said Carton calmly.
The spy turned to Mr Lorry. ‘Miss Pross is my sister, sir. Would you send her brother to his death, sir?’
‘The best thing for your sister, Mr Barsad,’ said Carton smoothly, ‘is not to have a brother like you. I think I will inform the Tribunal that I suspect you of spying for England. You will be condemned at once, I am sure.’
‘All right,’ Barsad said slowly, ‘I’ll help you. But don’t ask me to do anything that will put my life in danger, because I won’t do it.’
‘You’re a guard at the Conciergerie prison, where Darnay is, aren’t you?’ said Carton. ‘Come, let us talk privately in the next room.’
When Mr Carton returned alone, Mr Lorry asked what he had done.
‘Not much,’ replied Carton, ‘but if it goes badly for Darnay tomorrow, I can visit him once. It’s all I could do.’



A tale of two cities (9. the spy)