Chapter 8: A hand of cards
Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher are on a shopping expedition and they enter a
wine shop where she discovers her brother Solomon Pross and she lets out a scream.
Jerry Cruncher recognizes the man, but he can’t quite place him.
Solomon tells her to be quiet and they all leave the shop.
They meet up with Sidney Carton who has recently arrived in Paris and he
identifies Solomon as John Barsad, the spy from Darnay’s trial in England.
Carton threatens Barsad because he knows that he is a prison informer. Carton says that the will denounce him to the French authorities as an English spy unless he co-operates with them. Carton also reveals that Roger Cly is not dead, his coffin was empty and that he too is in Paris working as a spy. Barsad gives in and agrees to give Carton what he wants, and that is access to the prison.
Throughout the novel, Dickens has provided seemingly unrelated pieces of
information and these pieces now start to fit together to provide a full picture of the plot and web of intrigue.
The important factor is Carton’s power over Barsad, without which the tale could not be convincingly concluded. This is why this book is so successful and stands the test of being read over and over again and also stands the test of time.