by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone Second Period, Narrative 1, Chapter 3 Summary
- Lady Verinder tells Miss Clack that she is seriously ill – she has a problem with her heart that could kill her at any time.
- Miss Clack is actually delighted with the news, although she hides it well – she thinks this is a great opportunity to make a good Christian (according to her own notions of Christianity) of her aunt.
- She tells Lady Verinder that she knows dozens of ministers and preachers who will come and help her prepare herself for death.
- Lady Verinder is a little creeped out, and says that she'd rather not meet any strangers, but she agrees to look at Miss Clack's books.
- Miss Clack runs back to her own house to gather up all her Christian tracts and books.
- When she gets back to Lady Verinder's house, Mr. Bruff, the lawyer, is already there.
- Mr. Bruff has been the family's lawyer for years, and is a trusted family friend.
- She says that she's supposed to be a witness, and Mr. Bruff says that's fine – since Miss Clack isn't in the will.
- Miss Clack isn't too happy to hear that, although she pretends that she doesn't mind a bit.
- She and Mr. Bruff get into a discussion about the Moonstone: Mr. Bruff believes that Godfrey Ablewhite must have done it, given the circumstances.
- But Miss Clack surprises him by telling him that Rachel insisted that Godfrey was innocent.
- This surprises Mr. Bruff – he knows Rachel too well to doubt her.
- Miss Clack suggests that it could have been Franklin Blake, since Franklin is in such debt.
- Of course, Mr. Bruff admits this, but reminds Miss Clack that Franklin's debts aren't exactly pressing. Most of his creditors are content to wait for him to pay them after his father dies, since his father is known to be a very rich man.
- Mr. Bruff is at a loss concerning the Moonstone – it doesn't make any sense for Franklin to have stolen it; Rachel is above suspicion, and Rachel swore that Godfrey was innocent.
- Just then, the two of them are called to Lady Verinder's room – she's ready to sign her will.
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