It was a long, grieving sound, like a sigh--almost like a sob. It attracted Mr. Lorry's eyes to Cartons face, which was turned to the fire. A light, or a shade (the old gentleman could not have said which), passed from it as swiftly as a change will sweep over a hill-side on a wild bright day, and he lifted his foot to put back one of the little flaming logs, which was tumbling forward. He wore the white riding-coat and topboots, then in vogue, and the light of the fire touching their light surfaces made him look very pale, with his long brown hair, all untrimmed, hanging loose about him. His indifference to fire was sufficiently remarkable to elicit a word of remonstrance from Mr. Lorry; his boot was still upon the hot embers of the flaming log, when it had broken under the weight of his foot.
Mr. Lorry's eyes were again attracted to his face. Taking note of the wasted air which clouded the naturally handsome features, and having the expression of prisoners' faces fresh in his mind, he was strongly reminded of that expression.
`And your duties here have drawn to an end, sir?' said Carton, turning to him.
`Yes. As I was telling you last night when Lucie came in so unexpectedly, I have at length done all that I can do here. I hoped to have left them in perfect safety, and then to have quitted Pass. I have my Leave to Pass. I was ready to go.'
`Yours is a long life to look back upon, sir?' said Carton, wistfully.
`I am in my seventy-eighth year.'
`You have been useful all your life; steadily and constantly occupied; trusted, respected, and looked up to?'
`I have been a man of business, ever since I have been a man. Indeed, I may say that I was a man of business when a boy.'