Study Guide

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 13

By Wilkie Collins

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First Period, Chapter 13

  • But Lady Verinder doesn't really want to speak with Sergeant Cuff – she's afraid she won't like what he says.
  • She agrees to see him anyway, of course, but only with Gabriel Betteredge, her trusted servant, in the room with her for moral support.
  • Cuff wants to search the wardrobes of the servants to check for the paint-stained clothing, but of course they've already had their rooms checked for the diamond.
  • Superintendent Seegrave made the servants angry by letting them see that he suspected them, so now Lady Verinder doesn't want them to be insulted again.
  • Cuff suggests that they search the wardrobes of everyone who slept in the house the night of the birthday party – including Lady Verinder and everybody – because then the servants won't feel suspected. It'll just be a formality, and so they'll cooperate.
  • Lady Verinder agrees, and tells Godfrey (who is about to leave, but agrees to stay long enough to have his suitcases checked) and Franklin.
  • She says she'll check with Rachel after the meeting has concluded.
  • The last thing Sergeant Cuff requests is a copy of the laundry records (apparently all big houses kept track of the linens to make sure that everyone's sheets, towels, and nightclothes were washed and returned on a schedule).
  • Rosanna Spearman brings in the book, and then leaves.
  • Sergeant Cuff recognizes her – he'd seen her when she was in prison for theft, long before she became a servant in Lady Verinder's house.
  • He asks Lady Verinder about Rosanna after the girl has left the room.
  • Lady Verinder tells him that they wanted to give Rosanna a chance, since she sincerely wanted to give up crime and lead a better life.
  • Then a note comes from Rachel – she flatly refuses to allow anyone to search her wardrobe.
  • Betteredge is confused: why would Rachel not want to help Sergeant Cuff?
  • Sergeant Cuff doesn't seem confused. He seems to have expected this, but he doesn't explain it to Betteredge.

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