A Tale of two cities
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The villagers are intent upon watching the chateau go up in flames; it is a symbol of deliverance and freedom. The rider was a worker from the chateau, “Help, gentlemen—officers! The chateau is on fire; valuable objects may be saved from the flames by timely aid! Help, help!” The officers looked towards the soldiers who looked at the fire; gave no orders; and answered, with shrugs and biting of lips, “It must burn.” No one cared; they were happy to see it burn.