Chapter 10, Book the Third - "The Substance of the Shadow": Describe the contents of the journal of Dr. Manette.A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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This chapter reveals much of the mystery about the Marquis and his brother, the father of Charles Darnay.  The contents of Dr. Manette's "melancholy page" is written in 1767 while he is imprisoned in the Bastille; he writes with the soot and charcoal from scrapings of the chimney mixed with his blood as he uses a rusty nail.  Dr. Manette writes of how he was stopped and taken by the Evremonde brothers to attend some peasants, one of whom is a young man wounded by the one twin.  The other is a young woman, who cries out about her father, dead of a heart attack, and her brother, stricken by the sword, saying the number 12 which signifies how her husband died at the twelfth hour after sobbing once for every hour.

When Dr. Manette picks the young woman up, he realizes that she is pregnant and will not survive.  After a week, she dies without revealing her name, just as the brother dies in silence.  After the brother and sister are dead, the elder brother hands Dr. Manette a rouleau, coins wrapped, of gold.  However, Manette places it upon the table, refusing the payment. But, the next day, the rouleau is placed at his door; so, the physician decides to report what has happened.  Having been occupied this day, Manette does not complete his letter and before he can do so, a woman, the wife of the "elder" twin, appears at his door, asking him to extend sympathy to the young woman who was in distress,

Her hope had been to avert the wrath of Heaven from a House that had long been hateful to the suffering many. 

However, she does not know that the young woman has died, and Manette notices that there is a boy in the carriage, also. whom she calls "Charles" before she departs.  Then, on the night after Manette delivers his letter to the authorities, there is a knock on his door; his servant Ernest Defarge answers and leads a man who calls for the doctor to accompany him on a medical case.  The doctor never returns as he is taken to the Bastille after the two brothers identify him.  Ending his writing with the denouncement of these Evremonde brothers, Dr. Manette remains in prison for fourteen years. 

 

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