Study Guide

The Luminaries Part 5, Chapter 1

By Eleanor Catton

Part 5, Chapter 1

Silver (12 May 1865)

  • Still back in 1865 (and FYI, the rest of the book continues in flashback), Crosbie Wells was still in Dunedin at the House of Many Wishes. Apparently, Anna was being groomed for "going to market," as Crosbie so crudely put it. Lydia denied that this was her plan.
  • That evening, the House of Many Wishes was to host a party for naval officers and other maritime-types. In preparation, Lydia had Anna making wreathes out of rope to use as centerpieces.
  • While they were working, Crosbie asked to see the paper. Lydia said she had already burned it.
  • Crosbie got suspicious, but he let it go for the moment. Then he wanted to get into the safe.
  • Lydia resisted giving him the key, trying to put him off, but he didn't drop it this time. He ended up ripping the key to the safe off her necklace when she tried to lie and say she didn't have it.
  • When he got into the safe, he found it was empty—the gold from his big strike and some other important stuff (like his miner's right and birth certificate) were gone. A scene ensued …
  • He then ordered the maid to go down and pick up the paper …

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