Study Guide

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 17

By Wilkie Collins

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First Period, Chapter 17

  • First thing in the morning, Sergeant Cuff heads off to Frizinghall to continue his investigations there.
  • When he gets back, he approaches Franklin Blake in the garden to ask what Rosanna had said to him the night before.
  • Franklin doesn't want to help Cuff, because he's angry that Cuff suspects Rachel.
  • So he stonewalls him and refuses to answer.
  • Just then, Rosanna appears, coming out of the house, with Penelope alongside her.
  • Cuff pretends not to notice the two servants, and tells Franklin, in a loud voice, that he isn't doing Rosanna Spearman any favors by hiding information, and that if he feels any friendly interest in her, he should speak out.
  • Cuff clearly wants Rosanna to overhear.
  • Franklin catches on, but he doesn't want to get Rosanna in trouble, so he just responds, "I don't feel any interest in Rosanna Spearman."
  • Rosanna hears this, and then turns around and runs into the house.
  • Franklin had been afraid that Rosanna was about to come out and confess, and he didn't want her to, but of course now he's really hurt her feelings.
  • He asks Betteredge to explain things to her.
  • A little later, Penelope tells her father that she's worried about Rosanna.
  • She says that Rosanna had been set on talking to Franklin Blake in the garden, even though Penelope tried to convince her not to.
  • And then, when Rosanna had overheard what Franklin said, she had gone back into the house, and back to work, without saying anything to anyone – she just looks really depressed.
  • Betteredge agrees to try and talk with her.
  • Rosanna won't tell her anything, though.
  • So they call for the doctor, but Mr. Candy is still sick – it would be his assistant, Ezra Jennings, who would come, and they don't really trust Ezra Jennings because he's a stranger.
  • A little bit before 2 o'clock, the time Rachel is supposed to leave the house, Sergeant Cuff gets back from Frizinghall.

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