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by Wilkie Collins
Events / First Period, Chapter 5
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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