The seamstress continued to look steadily at Sydney's face just as he had told her to do. Suddenly, with no warning, he grabbed her hand and began to run with her. They ran until they were far away from the execution site and the guillotine. It was only when the seamstress had to pause to catch her breath that they finally slowed. She looked at Sydney questioningly.
"The guillotine has been dismantled. If we can make it out of France before the authorities have the chance to put it back together, we may have a chance to survive."
Just then, a carriage slowed to allow them to climb on board.
"Lie flat on the bottom of the carriage, and don't move or say a word," ordered the man who was driving the carriage. They did as he told them to and soon felt a blanket being thrown over their bodies. In the cramped space at the bottom of the carriage, Sydney felt the seamstress' back pressed up against his chest and his arms tightly around her middle. As they hadn't even yet been properly introduced, they both felt terribly awkward in this pose. In a little while they were very hot and were having trouble breathing. The man adjusted the blanket so that they could breathe more easily.
Finally the carriage had stopped and they were getting onto a boat with a group of fellow former prisoners. To his surprise, Sydney found that the seamstress had actually fallen asleep and he had to rouse her. "Am I that comfortable a pillow?" he asked her jokingly. She blushed and smiled, and he felt a certain fondness that he had previously only felt in the presence of Lucie Manette Darnay.
"Why was the guillotine dismantled?" asked the seamstress.
"I truly do not understand it," Sydney told her. "The man operating the machine looked at us and then began to take it apart and motioned for us to run. I got you away from there just as quickly as I could."
"Where are we going?"
"England. I have dear friends in London who will be able to help me. I'm sure they wouldn't mind helping you as well since you are with me."
"I'm sorry. You don't even know my name yet. It's Gabrielle."
Sydney smiled. "My name is Sydney. I'm very pleased to meet you, Gabrielle. I only wish that it could have happened under better circumstances."
Gabrielle looked confused. "Sydney sounds more like an English name than a French one."
"It is. I'm English."
"What were you doing in France then? And how did you come to be a prisoner condemned to die?"
"I came to Paris to help a friend of mine who had been unjustly condemned. It's a long story."
"Well, I would love to hear it, if you don't mind sharing it with me."
"I don't mind at all. And seeing that it will be a while before we reach England, I think that I shall have plenty of time."
Gabrielle listened with rapt attention as Sydney told her the entire story from the beginning: how he had met the Darnays and come to be their friend, why Charles had returned to Paris, and his own daring plan to save Charles' life.
"You are a very brave man, and the best friend anyone could ever hope to have," she told him when he had finished. "I feel deeply honored to have met you."
"It is a far, far better thing that I have just done than I have ever done before," Sydney said. "And now that I have been given a second chance at life, I hope that I can prove myself deserving of it."