Study Guide

The Luminaries Part 1, Chapter 12

By Eleanor Catton

Part 1, Chapter 12

Mercury in Sagittarius (27 January 1866)

  • Now we're back in the present in the Crown Hotel smoking room, where the twelve men have finished telling Moody their stories.
  • Moody then tries to piece together everything he has just heard into a coherent sequential narrative in his mind.
  • Eventually, the men interrupt his thoughts to ask for his feedback on what he just heard. Moody then tells a strange tale.
  • It seems that he believes the strange apparition he saw aboard the Godspeed was Emery Staines. He describes hearing a noise from within a crate and opening it to find a man who suddenly started bleeding profusely from the chest—after he was out of the crate and sitting up. The man was saying "Magdalena," which the other men interpret as Anna. Moody confides that he's not entirely sure that what he saw was "natural"—that is, he seems somewhat convinced that it was a supernatural phenomenon/apparition.
  • Moody had then grabbed his suitcase and gone back on deck, leaving the figure there bleeding.
  • Moody's revelation sparked a lot of discussion, which was ultimately interrupted when the boy guarding the council burst into the room. He announced that the Godspeed had run aground and was wrecked.

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