I read this story a long time ago in one of our class readings. It keeps coming back to my mind but none of my Internet searches return a story except for news articles. I do not know even if this is a fiction or a true story. It goes like this:

Set during some period of unrest, the readers are told about a young male who with his group of friends played an active role in revolution against the government.

The guy and a few others are imprisoned and are sentenced to death. A lawyer pays a visit who is ultimately revealed to be the revolutionary's best friend.

The lawyer tries to talk the revolutionary into taking actions that could cancel his sentencing but the man doesn't give in. When no one is watching, the best friend physically approaches when the man gets a clue and tries to warn him off but in vain. He goes unconscious.

In the next scene, the man wakes up next to his girlfriend shocked to realize that he is crossing the city borders in some vehicle. On the other end, the fellow prisoners recognize (or may be it's revealed just to the readers) that the person next to them is not the one who was originally captured.

  1. Any clue about when or where it is set? - revolution in France/Italy/somewhere else. Not sure about the geography at all
  2. How long ago did you read it? - I read it during the year 2005/2006 in an English textbook. Our curriculum was SSC in India
  3. How old was the story? - Definitely before the 2000s
  4. How long was it? - As I read it in a classroom reading, it could have been an abridged version of the original. I estimate 4-5 pages which is typical in our textbooks
  5. Was it in a collection of short stories or some other medium? - As presented to us in a textbook in classroom, this was a standalone story

Does this ring any bells?


1 Answer 1


Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities is what I thought of, too. From Wikipedia:

...just hours before Darnay's scheduled execution by guillotine Carton smuggles himself into Darnay's prison cell, renders Darnay unconscious, and trades places with him, both for the sake of their friendship and for Lucie. Then he arranges to have Darnay carried to Lucie's waiting carriage while he stoically prepares to face the guillotine.

  • Wow! Thanks for responding Ayshe. Your excerpt exactly matched what I have been carrying in mind all these days. 'A Tale of Two Cities' is a very well known name but I didn't think the story I presented came from this widely popular work. Thank you! I read your linked page on 'Sydney Carton' and am sadder than what I generally am when I think of the story Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 17:45

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