The Moonstone
The Moonstone
by Wilkie Collins
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The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 8 Summary

  • Using Penelope's journal to check on exact dates, Betteredge says that most of the month between Franklin Blake's arrival and Rachel's birthday can be skipped over.
  • The next day (May 26), Betteredge shows the ink bottle to Franklin.
  • Franklin says that the Indians probably tried to use the ink to see where the diamond was.
  • They expect the Indians to try to find a way into the house again, but they never do.
  • But they do hear of the group of Indians doing magic tricks in Frizinghall.
  • Meanwhile, Franklin and Rachel start an art project together.
  • Franklin is good at all kinds of things, and he knows something about decorative painting.
  • So he helps Rachel decorate the inside of the door of her boudoir (the little sitting room between her bedroom and the hallway).
  • Betteredge doesn't think much of their "art," particularly because the paint stinks.
  • It is pretty obvious to everyone that Franklin Blake is in love with Rachel, but it's harder to tell about her.
  • She's very beautiful, but she's also stubborn. Though she's incredibly honest, she is also secretive.
  • But there's a complication: Rachel has another cousin, Godfrey Ablewhite, who is the son of Lady Verinder's second sister.
  • Godfrey's father isn't as rich or important as Franklin Blake's father, but he's fairly well-to-do. He's the banker at Frizinghall.
  • Godfrey is also better looking than Franklin (at least in Betteredge's opinion).
  • Godfrey is tall and athletic and blond, and he's very religious and runs all kinds of ladies' charities in London.
  • Godfrey is also invited to Rachel's birthday party.
  • Franklin knows that he has competition, so he does everything he can to win Rachel over.
  • He gives up smoking for her, even though he's been a heavy smoker for years.
  • Of course, giving it up cold turkey makes him pretty miserable – he has trouble sleeping at night.
  • One point against Franklin is pointed out when someone arrives at the house looking for some money. Apparently Franklin ran up some debts when he was living in Europe, and his aunt, Lady Verinder, agrees to pay them.
  • Rachel gives him a hard time about it.
  • The other notable thing that happens between the time of Franklin's arrival and Rachel's birthday party is that Rosanna Spearman, the housemaid, continues to act strangely.
  • She subtly tries to put herself in the same room as Franklin Blake so that he'll notice her, but he is so used to having servants around that he doesn't pay any attention to her at all.
  • Godfrey Ablewhite sends a note the day before the birthday party to say that he would come on horseback with his sisters in time for the party.
  • He also sends a very expensive birthday gift – a fancy little box from China.
  • Franklin had only given Rachel a plain old locket necklace.
  • Betteredge is convinced that Rachel will marry Godfrey, while Penelope still says that Franklin will win.

Next Page: First Period, Chapter 9
Previous Page: First Period, Chapter 7

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