Study Guide

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 16

By Wilkie Collins

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First Period, Chapter 16

  • Rachel is going to stay with her aunt and uncle, the Ablewhites, in Frizinghall.
  • She decided to go about an hour earlier – just about when Rosanna got back.
  • After they leave their meeting with Lady Verinder, Betteredge suddenly realizes that Cuff suspects Rachel has stolen her own diamond.
  • He's very angry with Cuff for even suspecting her, and leaves him to eat his dinner with the gardener.
  • The two of them are quickly arguing again about the right way to grow roses.
  • Betteredge comes in again a few minutes later with a message from Lady Verinder – the three Indians are still being held on suspicion, even though they seem to be innocent.
  • They need to be released soon – it's illegal to hold people without charging them with a crime.
  • Cuff asks for Mr. Murthwaite's address, saying that he'll visit Mr. Murthwaite and question the Indians tomorrow, when he goes to town to find out about what kind of fabric Rosanna bought.
  • Just then, Rosanna Spearman runs past, looking very upset.
  • She refuses to answer Betteredge's concerned questions, and runs up to her bedroom.
  • Franklin Blake comes out of the billiard room down the hall, looking embarrassed.
  • He says that he had been playing pool when Rosanna suddenly appeared next to him.
  • She said she had something to tell him, and he was afraid that she was about to confess to having stolen the diamond.
  • He was nervous, so he kept shooting pool while waiting for her to speak.
  • He said that she had been offended that he didn't seem to want to look at her, and that she'd run off.
  • Franklin is sorry that he hurt her feelings, and says that he'll hear whatever she wants to tell him if she comes down to the library.
  • After all, even though he'd be sorry to get Rosanna in trouble, he'd rather find out that Rosanna stole the diamond than have Cuff suspect Rachel.
  • He goes to the library to wait for her, but she says she just needs to go to bed.
  • So much for Rosanna's confession!
  • When Betteredge is going around locking all the doors and windows right before bed, he is surprised to find Sergeant Cuff sleeping, fully clothed, on the floor outside of Rachel's room.
  • He says that he needs to make sure that no one tries to sneak in there during the night, and apologizes for being improper.

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