Study Guide

The Luminaries Part 4, Chapter 2

By Eleanor Catton

Part 4, Chapter 2

Mercury in Pisces: Saturn Conjunct Moon (27 April 1866)

  • Now we appear to be in 1866, where/when Emery Staines is being held on charges of fraud, embezzlement, and dereliction. He could have bailed himself out, but he opted to stay with Anna to await trial.
  • Apparently Anna has been on the mend since she was reunited with Emery, fattening up nicely and regaining her color.
  • Staines was also getting a lot better. Strangely, he can't account for how he got hooked on opium, but he remains addicted. He and Anna are both on a dose of it but getting progressively weaned off.
  • We then get other news about what has been happening in Hokitika lately, including deets on Lauderback's election (he won) and the jailhouse (which opened). Carver and Lydia have been officially married.
  • We also get Emery's account of what he remembers from when he was missing. It seems he doesn't remember too much—and what he does remember (like the gold in Anna's dresses) doesn't make sense—how would he know about that?
  • Staines claims to have a nest egg buried in the Arahura Valley that he needs to go get …
  • Moody has been engaged as Emery and Anna's lawyer (Fellowes had declined to represent her).
  • It seems Anna is being charged with grievous assault, since the bullet in Emery's shoulder came from Anna's gun.
  • This chapter is set on the day of the trial. When everyone is piled into the courthouse and Justice Kemp gets the party started, the lawyers start making their cases.
  • Anna's case is to be heard in the morning, and Emery's in the afternoon. When Anna's case is called, she pleads not guilty.
  • We hear testimony from a bunch of the characters, including Anna's explanations for some of the strange phenomena that have occurred since January.

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