Study Guide

Silas Marner Chapter 8

By George Eliot

Chapter 8

  • Meanwhile, Godfrey has been at Mrs. Osgood's party mooning over Nancy Lammeter and definitely not thinking about his brother, who doesn't show all night.
  • The next morning, the robbery is on everyone's mind. The whole village checks out Silas's cottage, but rain (plus maybe a village full of visitors?) has washed away any footprints.
  • They did find a tinderbox (like a matchbook) nearby, and a lot of them figure that the tinderbox is somehow connected to the robbery.
  • While the villagers argue about the tinderbox outside the Rainbow, the more important residents discuss it inside. The rector, Mr. Crackenthorp, as well as Squire Cass, grill the landlord about a peddler who had been hanging around about a month ago. They try to figure out whether or not he was wearing earrings, and, since no one can remember that he wasn't wearing earrings, the villagers pretty soon conclude that he was.
  • This is the kind of logic that makes English professors weep.
  • Silas likes the idea of the peddler being the robber, since it gives him closure. But others aren't so sure.
  • Godfrey, of course, thinks the whole thing is ridiculous. Peasants, amirite? He sets off to a nearby village to find the still-missing Dunstan.
  • On his way, he meets up with Bryce, the guy who was going to buy the horse before Dustan killed it. Bryce clues him into the horse's tragic demise, and Godfrey rides off, figuring that he's got to confess his marriage to his father so Dunstan won't.
  • On second thought—nah.
  • The next morning, he thinks that it'd be better to try to keep things as they are for a few more days. No wonder Nancy doesn't respect him.