Study Guide

The Luminaries Part 5, Chapter 2

By Eleanor Catton

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Part 5, Chapter 2

Gold (12 May 1865)

  • Now we pick up with Emery Staines, who apparently had gone on a tear with Francis Carver after his reading with Lydia. The evening had resulted in him going into a decent amount of debt.
  • "Luckily," Carver was there the next morning to offer him sponsorship. Staines quickly realized that Carver had played him by helping to drive him into debt that night and then coming to the "rescue," but he accepted Carver's terms—which demanded that Carver get half-shares of Staines's first claim.
  • We then get some backstory about Emery and details about his family/personality.
  • On the day this chapter is set, Emery and Carver were having breakfast at the Hawthorn. Emery was set to leave the next day for Hokitika.
  • While they were breakfasting, Carver got a message about something. Afterwards, he asked Emery to watch a trunk for a couple of hours. Staines could see on the lid that the crate belonged to a man named Alistair Lauderback.
  • Staines wanted to know what was in it, but Carver wouldn't tell. He gave Emery a pistol to help him guard it.
  • Before he left, he also told Emery that his name was Francis Wells, just for that day.
  • When Carver left, Staines jimmied the lock on the trunk and opened it.

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