Study Guide

The Luminaries Part 4, Chapter 4

By Eleanor Catton

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Part 4, Chapter 4

Exalted in Aries (27 April 1866)

  • Back in 1866, Emery Staines is testifying. He pleads guilty to all charges.
  • He testifies about the gold and what happened when he was missing. He claims that he went missing because he was on opium and spent most of his time in Ah Sook's opium den (however, we already know that's not true, since Sook had been overjoyed to hear Staines would be "attending" the séance—so, yeah, he hadn't seen the guy in a while).
  • After trying the drug for the first time in Anna's room on the night of January 14th, he claims he went off to Ah Sook's to get more, and that's where he had been holed up.
  • He claims he ended up back in Anna's rooms one day when Ah Sook had left the den with all his opium, and Staines wanted to find more. When he got to Anna's, he ended up hiding behind the curtain when he heard people approaching, and then he was accidentally shot during a gun tussle that happened there on that day (remember that from Part I?).
  • He also discusses the day Anna was beaten and mentions that he was the one who told Crosbie that his baby had been killed. On that day (October 11th of the previous year), they made out that deed leaving half of Staines's fortune to Anna.
  • The court then hears testimony from an assortment of other people, including Lydia and Francis Carver.
  • Then we get Balfour's testimony, in which he explains (finally) how Lauderback's crate got lost, a story that brings a lot of Carver's bad behavior to light.
  • The Lauderback testifies and provides proof of Crosbie's handwriting that does not match the paperwork on file that Carver (as Crosbie) signed.
  • Naturally, with all these revelations, the courtroom goes a little nuts …

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