The night was so very sultry, that although they sat with doors and windows open, they were overpowered by heat. When the tea-table was done with, they all moved to one of the windows, and looked out into the heavy twilight. Lucie sat by her father; Darnay sat beside her; Carton leaned against a window. The curtains were long and white, and some of the thunder-gusts that whirled into the corner, caught them up to the ceiling, and waved them like spectral wings.
`The rain-drops are still falling, large, heavy, and few,' said Doctor Manette. `It comes slowly.
`It comes surely,' said Carton.
They spoke low, as people watching and waiting mostly do; as people in a dark room, watching and waiting for Lightning, always do.
There was a great hurry in the streets, of people speeding away to get shelter before the storm broke; the wonderful corner for echoes resounded with the echoes of footsteps coming and going, yet not a footstep was there.
`A multitude of people, and yet a solitude!' said Darnay, when they had listened for a while.
`Is it not impressive, Mr. Darnay?' asked Lucie. `Sometimes, I have sat here of an evening, until I have fancied--but even the shade of a foolish fancy makes me shudder to-night, when all is so black and solemn---'
`Let us shudder too. We may know what it is.'