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The Moonstone

The Moonstone

  

by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 5 Summary

  • Betteredge and Franklin sit down by the ocean to talk.
  • Betteredge is surprised by Franklin's appearance: he's good-looking, but kind of short, and has a kind of foreign look to him.
  • But that's probably because he was educated in Europe and has been living there.
  • He tells Betteredge that he came early because he was trying to shake off an Indian man who has been following him for the last few days.
  • Betteredge wonders if this might somehow be connected to the three Indian jugglers, or entertainers, who were at the house earlier.
  • He tells Franklin all about it, including what Penelope overheard.
  • Franklin takes it more seriously than Betteredge did, because he knows that "It" meant the Indian diamond – the Moonstone.
  • John Herncastle died recently, and left the diamond to his niece, Rachel, in his will.
  • Franklin's father, Mr. Blake, was supposed to pass the diamond on to Rachel since he was the executor of the will, and he asked his son Franklin to do it.
  • Betteredge is surprised by this – he's heard plenty about Colonel Herncastle, his employer's no-good brother, and he's suspicious of the diamond.
  • He tells Franklin about the bad blood between Lady Verinder and her brother, John Herncastle.
  • After Herncastle got back from India, he had a bad reputation, and Lady Verinder refused to see him or talk to him.
  • Herncastle tried a few times to get her to acknowledge him, but she always refused to see him.
  • Even when Herncastle showed up once during Rachel's birthday party, Lady Verinder refused to let him join the family.
  • Herncastle wasn't happy about it, and said that he "would remember his niece's birthday."
  • So now Betteredge is afraid that somehow, the gift of the diamond to Rachel is Herncastle's way of getting revenge on his sister, Lady Verinder, for refusing to see him.
  • After all, maybe a group of Indians was working to get the diamond back, and maybe Herncastle knew about it.

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