Study Guide

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 18

By Wilkie Collins

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First Period, Chapter 18

  • Sergeant Cuff tells Betteredge that he and Mr. Murthwaite agree that the Indians came to the house to steal the Moonstone, but that they had nothing to do with its disappearance on Wednesday night after the party.
  • But if Cuff and the family don't find the diamond, the Indians will.
  • And Cuff also found out what kind of fabric Rosanna bought – she bought plain, good-quality fabric, and enough to make a nightgown. No frills.
  • Cuff thinks that's proof that it was her own nightgown she was replacing – if it were for Rachel, she'd have gotten lace and stuff.
  • The question is, why did she hide the stained nightgown instead of destroying it?
  • Everyone is waiting outside the front door for Rachel to come down and get in her carriage, which is waiting for her.
  • As she comes out, she looks very pretty, but tense.
  • She kisses her mother abruptly, with a quick apology.
  • Then Cuff approaches her, and says that leaving the house will make it difficult for him to find her diamond, but that it was her decision whether to stay or go. She says she's going.
  • Franklin comes up to say goodbye, but Rachel drives off without even looking at him.
  • This is just rude, and everyone saw it.
  • Lady Verinder is embarrassed by her daughter's rudeness.
  • Sergeant Cuff wants to talk to Joyce, the police officer who was supposed to be following Rosanna around.
  • When they find Joyce, he admits that Rosanna gave him the slip an hour earlier. He has no idea where she is.
  • Cuff dismisses him.
  • Cuff is convinced that Rachel took the diamond with her when she left the house.
  • Cuff asks the servants who saw Rosanna last.
  • Nancy, the kitchen maid, said that Rosanna had given her a letter to mail.
  • Of course, it's Saturday, so the letter won't get to its destination until Monday, but Rosanna said that didn't matter.
  • Cuff says that he suspects the letter is going to the Yollands, so he'll visit them on Monday.

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