`Thérèse!' she cries, in her shrill tones. `Who has seen her? Thérèse Defarge!'
`She never missed before,' says a knitting-woman of the sisterhood.
`No; nor will site miss now,' cries The Vengeance, petulantly. `Thérèse!'
`Louder,' the woman recommends.
Ay! Louder, Vengeance, much louder, and still site will scarcely hear thee. Louder yet, Vengeance, with a little oath or so added, and yet it will hardly bring her. Send other women up and down to seek her, lingering somewhere; and yet, although the messengers have done dread deeds, it is questionable whether of their own wills they will go far enough to find her!
`Bad Fortune!' cries The Vengeance, stamping her foot in the chair, `and here are the tumbrils! And Evrémonde will be despatched in a wink, and she not here! See her knitting in my hand, and her empty chair ready for her. I cry with `vexation and disappointment!'
As The Vengeance descends from her elevation to do it, the tumbrils begin to discharge their loads. The ministers of Sainte Guillotine are robed and ready. Crash!--A head is held up, and the knitting-women who scarcely lifted their eyes to look at it a moment ago when it could think and speak, count One.
The second tumbril empties and moves on; the third comes up. Crash--And the knitting-women, never faltering or pausing in their work, count Two.