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The Moonstone

The Moonstone


by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone Second Period, Narrative 3, Chapter 9 Summary

  • Franklin is still interested in Ezra Jennings, so he asks if they're walking the same way.
  • As they walk together, Franklin asks about Mr. Candy's illness.
  • Ezra Jennings says that Mr. Candy only has scraps of memories from that time.
  • When Jennings realizes that Franklin is very interested in Mr. Candy's memories from a particular period (the night of the birthday party), he says that there might be a way of digging out the memory.
  • Jennings says that while Mr. Candy had a fever, he had recorded everything that he'd said.
  • Most of it was just fragments – words and phrases that didn't seem to be connected.
  • But when he copied it out, it was possible to guess what was missing and to fill in the blanks.
  • Franklin is eager to see this, of course – some of Mr. Candy's ravings on the night of the birthday might have something to do with the Moonstone.
  • But Jennings is reluctant to show him, because of doctor/patient confidentiality.
  • Franklin Blake is about to explain the whole story to him, but Jennings tells him to wait – first, he wants to tell Franklin his own story, and afterward, Franklin can decide whether or not to trust him.
  • Jennings was falsely accused of a crime when he was younger, and although the court declared him innocent, the bad reputation stuck with him.
  • Everywhere he goes, the bad reputation follows him.
  • That, combined with his foreign appearance, is what makes him so unpopular.
  • Finally, he explains that he's dying of a fatal disease (probably some form of cancer), so he has to take opium for the pain.
  • Then Franklin tells Jennings about Rachel and the night of the birthday party.
  • He says that Rachel saw him take the diamond, but that he has absolutely no recollection of having done it.
  • Jennings asks whether he's ever taken opium.
  • Franklin says no, never.
  • Jennings then asks about how his sleep had been before the birthday party.
  • Franklin remembers that he was sleeping terribly in the weeks before the birthday party, because he'd just quit smoking cold turkey.
  • But the night of the birthday party he slept like a baby.
  • Jennings says it sounds like someone dosed him with opium – he'll look into his records of what Mr. Candy said during his illness.
  • He asks Franklin to come to Mr. Candy's office the next day.

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