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Charles Dickens

“Buried how long?”
The answer was always the same: “Almost eighteen years.”
You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?”
Long ago.”
You know that you are recalled to life?”
They tell me so.”
I hope that you care to live?”
I can’t say.”
Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?”
The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was, “Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon.” Sometimes it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, “Take me to her.” Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, “I don’t know her. I don’t understand.”
After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig – to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.
Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge of the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of night shadows within. Out of the midst in them, a ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again.
Buried how long?”
Almost eighteen years.”
I hope you care to live?”
I can’t say.”
Dig – dig – dig – until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leather strap, and speculate on the two slumbering life forms, until his mind lost hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave.
Buried how long?”
Almost eighteen years.”
You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?”
Long ago.”
The words were still in his hearing just as spoken – distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life – when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of night were gone.”


Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
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A Tale of Two Cities A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
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