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The Moonstone

The Moonstone

  

by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone Second Period, Narrative 3, Chapter 4 Summary

  • Franklin feels like he's going crazy – how could his nightshirt have the stain on it?
  • Betteredge comes up to him to see what's going on, and is just as dumbfounded.
  • Betteredge recommends that Franklin read the letter.
  • In the first line of the letter, Rosanna confesses that she was in love with Franklin.
  • He's shocked – he had no idea.
  • Rosanna's letter tells him that when she was making his bed the morning after the Moonstone disappeared, she saw the smear of paint on his nightgown!
  • She was shocked, but not unhappy.
  • She felt that if Franklin was a thief, he wasn't all that different from her, after all.
  • So she decided to help cover for him, and so she took the nightgown away to hide it, snuck to Frizinghall to buy the fabric to buy a new one, and pretended to have a headache to give herself enough time to make the new one.
  • After finishing the letter, Betteredge and Franklin go back to the house to discuss it.
  • They have no idea what to do next.
  • Just then, there's a knock at the door – it's Ezra Jennings, Mr. Candy's assistant.
  • Mr. Candy never recovered from the bad fever he got the night of Rachel's birthday party (remember, he drove home in an open carriage through a rainstorm), so Ezra Jennings has taken over most of his practice.
  • Franklin has never seen Jennings before, and is startled by his odd appearance.
  • Ezra Jennings' hair is black on the top, but white around the sides, with just a stark line dividing the two – no shades of gray.
  • He also has a fairly dark complexion.
  • He's just dropping off a list of sick people in the neighborhood, since Rachel likes for Gabriel Betteredge to send medicine and food to their poorer neighbors when they're sick.
  • After he leaves, Betteredge tells Franklin that Jennings is unpopular in the neighborhood because he's a stranger and seems foreign.

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