Study Guide

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 14

By Wilkie Collins

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First Period, Chapter 14

  • Cuff walks out into the garden with Betteredge to ask him a few questions.
  • He wants to know whether any of the servants acted strangely since the diamond disappeared – unexpectedly got sick, that kind of thing.
  • Betteredge doesn't want to get Rosanna into trouble by telling Cuff that she had, in fact, gone to her room with a headache for the whole afternoon after the diamond disappeared. Betteredge is trying to figure out what to say, when Cuff shushes him.
  • Cuff hears something in the shrubbery at the edge of the garden.
  • He hears footsteps going back up to the house, and they see Rosanna's skirts disappearing in the door.
  • Was she eavesdropping?
  • But Betteredge knows that Rosanna was probably just hoping to catch a glimpse of Franklin Blake, since he likes to walk in this part of the garden.
  • Betteredge tells Cuff that Rosanna has a crush on Franklin Blake.
  • Cuff promises to keep the secret, and then repeats his first question: were any of the servants acting strangely?
  • Betteredge lies, and says "no."
  • Cuff probably realizes that Betteredge is keeping something back, but he seems to like Betteredge even more because of it.
  • Cuff lets the matter lie.
  • Cuff then says that he wants to interview the servants, one at a time, in private.
  • Betteredge agrees, and sets it up so that the interviews can take place in his own private office.
  • Rosanna, Lady Verinder's maid, and one of the housemaids remain longer in their interviews than anyone else.
  • Betteredge knows that Lady Verinder's maid and the housemaid were the two servants who most dislike Rosanna, so he's afraid that they told Cuff something bad about poor Rosanna.
  • Betteredge asks the two servants what they told Cuff, and they were more than happy to tattle to Betteredge, too. They said that they didn't believe that Rosanna was really sick the previous afternoon, so they had each snuck upstairs once or twice to knock on her door and to listen at the keyhole. They didn't believe she was in there! She must have slipped out of the house in secret!
  • Betteredge takes a walk in the garden with Franklin Blake, and tells him that it seems that Cuff now suspects Rosanna Spearman.
  • Franklin suggests that they go tell Lady Verinder.
  • Sergeant Cuff comes up just then, and asks them to keep the information to themselves, because Lady Verinder would probably tell Rachel.
  • Franklin Blake is offended that Cuff thinks Rachel shouldn't be told – they don't say anything more to each other about it, but Franklin Blake stomps off, leaving Betteredge and Cuff together.
  • Cuff asks Betteredge to refrain from doing any more detective work on his own, and asks a few questions about the different country paths around the house.
  • He asks if there's a path that leads down to the shore, and Betteredge tells him about the path to the Shivering Sands.
  • They walk down that way together.

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