In due course Lucie receives a short note from Darnay saying that he is well, but the Defarges (who deliver it) make her very uneasy.

Manette returns having failed to secure Darnay's release. Time passes and he becomes doctor to three prisons, including Darnay's. The king and queen have been executed and it is a year and three months since Darnay's imprisonment. When he is tried at long last, he defends himself spiritedly and is released to great cheers. That evening as the reunited family sit in front of the fire, Darnay is rearrested and told that he has to appear before the tribunal again the next day. The arresting party explain that new evidence is to be presented by three people- the Defarges and another whose identity is to remain secret until the trial. Meanwhile, out shopping and unaware of the drama at home, Cruncher and Miss Pross enter a wine-shop where she recognises her brother Solomon, whom she has not seen for years. He is not pleased at this, and Jerry recognises him as one of the Old Bailey spies. They are joined by Carton, who reveals that Solomon is in fact John Barsad. Solomon is marched to Lorry's rooms and Carton accuses him of having been plotting the day before (when he overheard them) with a man who looks oddly similar to Roger Cly, a fellow Old Bailey spy who is supposed to be dead and buried. He denies this but Jerry pipes up to contradict him, to general amazement. He refuses to say how he knows this to be the case - it is in fact because Jerry has already attempted to rob Cly's coffin and found it empty.

Sidney attempts to comfort Lorry, who is sure that all is lost, and buys some small packets from a chemist. The following morning he goes to the trial where he sees Darnay charged with being an aristocrat on the evidence of the Defarges and Dr. Manette, who tries to protest but is silenced. Monsieur Defarge tells how when he searched Manette's cell in the Bastille he found a paper written by him, which is read to the court. It describes the misdeeds of the previous Marquis (including killing Madame Defarge's older sister) and names Darnay as his successor. To great approval, Darnay is sentenced to death. The family is devastated. He asks Manette to exert himself on Darnay's behalf and idly goes to the Defarges' wine-shop, where his close resemblance to Darnay is noticed. That evening Dr. Manette suffers a relapse and becomes insensible. Carton realises that it is up to him to save Darnay, and gives Lorry his certificate for safe conduct from France, to put with those of Manette, Lucie and her daughter. He instructs Lorry to organise a carriage for them for the next day, without fail.

At about 1 a.m. Carton visits him. He prevails upon Darnay to swap clothes and to write a letter that he dictates. It is to Lucie and states the fulfilment of his earlier promise of sacrifice for her. As Charles writes, Carton drugs him and he collapses. Barsad enters the cell and Carton promises not to betray him. Darnay is carried away, supposedly prostrated with grief, and Carton joins the line of condemned prisoners. Meanwhile, Manette, Lorry, Lucie, her daughter and Darnay (thought to be Carton) are leaving France as quickly as they can. Mme. Defarge determines to kill Lucie and her daughter, and rushes to their lodgings, where she finds only Miss Pross, who is to follow Lorry and the others with Cruncher. In the ensuing struggle Mme. Defarge's gun goes off, deafening Miss Pross and killing her. As she leaves the city with Cruncher she hears the rumbling carts bound for the guillotine and the novel ends with Carton reflecting that 'it is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done'.

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