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by Wilkie Collins
Events / First Period, Chapter 23
The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 23 Summary
Franklin Blake is still resolved to leave by the night train, particularly because of a letter he got from Lady Verinder. She told him that Rachel is in a pathetic state of nervousness, and that she starts crying every time her mother mentions the Moonstone. Lady Verinder is sure her daughter didn't steal it, but is equally sure that Rachel knows something about it, and is under some strange obligation not to talk about it. She trusts Rachel enough not to press her until she's calmer. She thinks that Rachel is mad at Franklin for helping to solve the mystery, when for whatever reason she was trying to keep it a secret. Of course, Franklin couldn't have known that, but Rachel's mad, anyway. Lady Verinder asks Franklin to be patient, but concludes that it's better, for the time being, that he not see her. She says that she's planning on taking Rachel to their house in London for a while, until things have calmed down. And so Franklin Blake leaves the house, too. Penelope is supposed to pack Rachel's things for her, and meet Lady Verinder and Rachel in London. The next day, after Penelope has left, Betteredge is surprised to see that the first of Cuff's prophecies has come true: Lucy Yolland is coming towards him, limping on her crutch. Lucy was Rosanna's best friend, and it's clear that she knew Rosanna was in love with Franklin Blake. She blames Franklin for Rosanna's death. She says that she has a letter for Franklin from Rosanna, and that she won't give it to anyone but Franklin himself. Of course, Franklin has already left. And a day or two later, Gabriel Betteredge hears that Franklin has left the country altogether. So much for getting him Rosanna's letter anytime soon! Franklin is notoriously bad about keeping in touch with his family when he's traveling, so who knows when they'll be able to get a letter to him. A few days later, Betteredge receives a note from Sergeant Cuff – it's a London newspaper, with an article circled. The article describes how a money lender and art dealer named Septimus Luker had complained of being harassed by three Indians in the street. So the second and third of Cuff's three prophecies came true at the same time! And that's it for Gabriel Betteredge's narrative – he's handing over the reins to people who saw what happened in London.
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