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“There never was, nor will be, but one man worthy of Ladybird,” said Miss Pross; “and that was my brother Solomon, if he hadn’t made a mistake in life.” “There has only ever been one man worthy of Miss Manette,” said Miss Pross. “That was my brother, Solomon, if he hadn’t made a mistake in life.”
Here again: Mr. Lorry’s inquiries into Miss Pross’s personal history had established the fact that her brother Solomon was a heartless scoundrel who had stripped her of everything she possessed, as a stake to speculate with, and had abandoned her in her poverty for evermore, with no touch of compunction. Miss Pross’s fidelity of belief in Solomon (deducting a mere trifle for this slight mistake) was quite a serious matter with Mr. Lorry, and had its weight in his good opinion of her. Mr. Lorry’s questions about Miss Pross’s personal life had taught him that Solomon was a heartless crook who had taken everything she owned and had lost it in bad investments. He had abandoned her and had left her destitute forever, and had never felt the slightest guilt about it. Mr. Lorry took very seriously Miss Pross’s faith in Solomon and the fact that she only blamed him a little bit for this huge betrayal. It had an effect on his good opinion of her.
“As we happen to be alone for the moment, and are both people of business,” he said, when they had got back to the drawing-room and had sat down there in friendly relations, “let me ask you—does the Doctor, in talking with Lucie, never refer to the shoemaking time, yet?” “As we happen to be alone here together and are both businesspeople,” he said when they had gone back into the drawing room and had sat down together, “let me ask you a question. Does Dr. Manette ever speak to Lucie about his time making shoes in prison?”
“Never.” “Never.”
“And yet keeps that bench and those tools beside him?” “And yet he keeps his bench and tools near him?”
“Ah!” returned Miss Pross, shaking her head. “But I don’t say he don’t refer to it within himself.” “Ah! I didn’t say he never thinks of it himself,” answered Miss Pross, shaking her head.
“Do you believe that he thinks of it much?” “Do you believe he thinks of it often?”
“I do,” said Miss Pross. “I do,” said Miss Pross.
“Do you imagine—” Mr. Lorry had begun, when Miss Pross took him up short with: “Do you imagine—” Mr. Lorry started, but Miss Pross cut him off with:
“Never imagine anything. Have no imagination at all.” “Never imagine anything. It’s better to have no imagination at all.”
“I stand corrected; do you suppose—you go so far as to suppose, sometimes?” “I stand corrected. Do you suppose—you do suppose still, don’t you?”
“Now and then,” said Miss Pross. “Now and then,” said Miss Pross.
“Do you suppose,” Mr. Lorry went on, with a laughing twinkle in his bright eye, as it looked kindly at her, “that Doctor Manette has any theory of his own, preserved through all those years, relative to the cause of his being so oppressed; perhaps, even to the name of his oppressor?” “Do you suppose,” continued Mr. Lorry with a twinkle in his eye as he looked at her kindly, “that Dr. Manette has any idea as to why he was imprisoned? Or that he perhaps even knows who sent him to prison?”
“I don’t suppose anything about it but what Ladybird tells me.” “I don’t suppose anything but what Miss Manette tells me.”
“And that is—?” “And that is…?”
“That she thinks he has.” “She thinks that he does.”
“Now don’t be angry at my asking all these questions; because I am a mere dull man of business, and you are a woman of business.” “Now don’t get mad at me for asking all of these questions. I am only a dull businessman. You are a businesswoman.”
“Dull?” Miss Pross inquired, with placidity. “Dull?” asked Miss Pross calmly.
Rather wishing his modest adjective away, Mr. Lorry replied, “No, no, no. Surely not. To return to business:—Is it not remarkable that Doctor Manette, unquestionably innocent of any crime as we are all well assured he is, should never touch upon that question? I will not say with me, though he had business relations with me many years ago, and we are now intimate; I will say with the fair daughter to whom he is so devotedly attached, and who is so devotedly attached to him? Believe me, Miss Pross, I don’t approach the topic with you, out of curiosity, but out of zealous interest.” Wishing he hadn’t used that adjective to describe himself, he answered, “No, no. Surely not. But to get back to business. Isn’t it remarkable that Dr. Manette, since he is definitely innocent of any crime, doesn’t talk about that question? Not that he should talk about it with me, although we had a business relationship long ago and now we are friends. But with his daughter, whom he is so devoted to and who is devoted to him? Believe me, Miss Pross, I don’t bring it up out of mere curiosity, but because I am deeply interested in the matter.”
“Well! To the best of my understanding, and bad’s the best, you’ll tell me,” said Miss Pross, softened by the tone of the apology, “he is afraid of the whole subject.” “Well! As well as I understand it, which is not well at all, he is afraid of the whole topic,” said Miss Pross.