Study Guide

The Moonstone First Period, Chapter 23

By Wilkie Collins

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First Period, Chapter 23

  • Franklin Blake is still resolved to leave by the night train, particularly because of a letter he got from Lady Verinder.
  • She told him that Rachel is in a pathetic state of nervousness, and that she starts crying every time her mother mentions the Moonstone.
  • Lady Verinder is sure her daughter didn't steal it, but is equally sure that Rachel knows something about it, and is under some strange obligation not to talk about it.
  • She trusts Rachel enough not to press her until she's calmer.
  • She thinks that Rachel is mad at Franklin for helping to solve the mystery, when for whatever reason she was trying to keep it a secret.
  • Of course, Franklin couldn't have known that, but Rachel's mad, anyway.
  • Lady Verinder asks Franklin to be patient, but concludes that it's better, for the time being, that he not see her.
  • She says that she's planning on taking Rachel to their house in London for a while, until things have calmed down.
  • And so Franklin Blake leaves the house, too.
  • Penelope is supposed to pack Rachel's things for her, and meet Lady Verinder and Rachel in London.
  • The next day, after Penelope has left, Betteredge is surprised to see that the first of Cuff's prophecies has come true: Lucy Yolland is coming towards him, limping on her crutch.
  • Lucy was Rosanna's best friend, and it's clear that she knew Rosanna was in love with Franklin Blake.
  • She blames Franklin for Rosanna's death.
  • She says that she has a letter for Franklin from Rosanna, and that she won't give it to anyone but Franklin himself.
  • Of course, Franklin has already left.
  • And a day or two later, Gabriel Betteredge hears that Franklin has left the country altogether.
  • So much for getting him Rosanna's letter anytime soon!
  • Franklin is notoriously bad about keeping in touch with his family when he's traveling, so who knows when they'll be able to get a letter to him.
  • A few days later, Betteredge receives a note from Sergeant Cuff – it's a London newspaper, with an article circled.
  • The article describes how a money lender and art dealer named Septimus Luker had complained of being harassed by three Indians in the street.
  • So the second and third of Cuff's three prophecies came true at the same time!
  • And that's it for Gabriel Betteredge's narrative – he's handing over the reins to people who saw what happened in London.

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