“What did the policeman tell you?”
“There is a new spy for our town. There may be more than one, but the new recruit is the only one he knows for sure.”
“Give me his name. I will document it in my shroud.”
“He is English, about forty years old, five foot nine inches, black hair, nose points to left, dark skinned, and rather handsome. His name is Barsad, B – A – R - S – A – D.”
“What is his first name? I will get knitted tomorrow.” asked Mrs. Defarge.
“John” Mr. Defarge answered, but was concentrating on the flies, the heat, and the smell. He was aimlessly pacing, while his wife attended to counting the money, taking inventory of liquor, and recording the sums in the book. This represents their marriage, and Mr. Defarge's personality.
“It is taking so many men, and such a long time. What if we never see it during our lifetime?” worried Mr. Defarge.
“Don't get impatient, revenge takes a long time.”
“It doesn't take long for a man to be struck down with lightning, or to be swallowed up with an earthquake.”
“How long does it take for the lightning to store enough energy to strike, how long does it take for the earth to settle before it quakes? Everything takes time, and we must prepare quietly, no matter how long it takes.” answered Theresa Defarge.
“People have been discontent for a long time. You know that we may never live to see true change.”
Mrs. Defarge answered, “Nothing will be in vain. We will be helping the cause, and I believe it will be in our lifetime. I would gladly help string up an aristocrat.”
“I know, I am not giving up.”
“Yes, but you set your revenge on an incident or a person, when the revenge should be to exterminate all aristocrats.” With that final statement, she locked the bar and headed for bed.
The next day about noon, Mrs. Defarge sat behind the counter knitting. A rose was laying in front of her on the counter, flies everywhere, and mostly the same daily customers. A stranger walked to the counter, but Mrs. Defarge made the time to put the rose in her hair before acknowledging him.
“How can I help you?” Is what Mrs. Defarge asked out loud, but she was thinking 'he is about forty, about five feet nine, nose points to the left, and has black hair.' As if reading her mind, the regulars in the wine shop began making their way to the exit.
“I'll have cognac, and a glass of water, Please.”
Mrs. Defarge obliged with complete politeness.
“Delicious cognac, Madame!”
Mrs. Defarge knew better, but she commented, “The cognac is flattered.” And returned to her knitting.
“What a pretty pattern” observed the stranger. “What are you making?”
“I am just passing time. It is not for any particular use.”
“Are you married?”
Looking around and not seeing any other customers, the stranger replied. “Business must be slow!”
“The people are poor, therefore the business is slow.”
“Oh, you feel they are oppressed?”
“I stated poor, you said oppressed.” corrected Mrs. Defarge. “My husband and I spend our time here trying to make a living. How are we to know if the people are oppressed?”
Unaffected, John Barsad tried another topic. “The hanging, wasn't that terrible? Poor man.”
“My goodness, if one uses a knife to kill another human, one must pay the ultimate price.”
“I believe many in this community felt he deserved compassion.”
“Really? Oh, here is my husband.”
“Hello, Jacque!” The spy greeted Mr. Defarge as if they were old friends.
Mr. Defarge looked from the rose in his wife's hair, to the man at the counter and replied, “You must mistake me for someone else; my name is Ernest Defarge.”
“Well, hello, I was just talking with your wife, and I heard there is much anger in Saint Antoine regarding the hanging of poor Gaspard.”
“I know nothing about it.”
The spy, not easily discouraged, asked for another glass of cognac. Mrs. Defarge poured, then went back to her knitting and began humming to herself.
“You seem to know a lot about the local people, and what they are talking about.” observed Mr. Defarge.
“I hope to get to know them better. I do have information of some people we know in common.”
“Who would that be?” asked Mr. Defarge.
“You had been a servant to Dr. Manette, and when he was released from prison, he came here. Isn't that correct?”
“Yes.” answered Mr. Defarge as brief as possible.
“And the Doctor's daughter came here to pick her father up, accompanied with Mr. Lorry from Tellson's Bank. They now reside in England.”
“Do you still correspond with them?”
Mrs. Defarge answered. “We got a letter about their safe trip, then one follow up letter. There has been no recent correspondence.”
“Ms. Manette is to be married.”
“Why that doesn't surprise me, I would have expected her to have gotten married before now. You English are so reserved.” expressed Mrs. Defarge.
“How can you tell I am English?” asked the spy.
“Your accent is English.”
John Barsad finished his cognac and paid his tab. Then, watching the couple intently, announced, “She is to marry the nephew of Monseigneur. The only heir of the man poor, poor Gaspard was hung for. In England he goes by Charles Darnay, after his mother's name D'Aulnais.”
Mrs. Defarge never looked up, just kept on knitting. Mr. Defarge's face showed the surprise. Mr. Barsad recognized the reaction, and as he was leaving remarked, “I look forward to us becoming friends.”