Study Guide

The Moonstone Second Period, Narrative 1, Chapter 2

By Wilkie Collins

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Second Period, Narrative 1, Chapter 2

  • Of course, they ask how he's doing after his bizarre adventure.
  • He says he's fine, and is sick of hearing about it in all the newspapers.
  • Then he asks Miss Clack about all the charities, and apologizes for missing the meeting the night before.
  • Before she can answer him, though, Rachel comes in, full of questions about his adventure.
  • Miss Clack doesn't approve of her way of addressing him – too forward and familiar!
  • But she keeps all that to herself.
  • Rachel asks if he thinks that the Indians were the same as the three who came to their house in the country.
  • He reminds her that he was blindfolded, and has no way of knowing.
  • She asks whether anything was taken from Mr. Luker.
  • Yes, a receipt for a valuable gem that he had deposited at the bank for safekeeping.
  • He also admits that some of the affair of the Moonstone has made its way into the investigation.
  • She finally pries it out of him that some people suspect that the Moonstone was the gem that Mr. Luker had deposited at the bank (even though Mr. Luker has sworn that it wasn't), and that Godfrey Ablewhite was the man who pawned it.
  • Rachel is shocked – she says that she had a right to sacrifice herself, but that she won't see an innocent man's reputation be ruined.
  • While Godfrey is comforting her, Lady Verinder asks Miss Clack to help and get some medicine – Lady Verinder is looking suddenly sickly herself.
  • Miss Clack gives her the medicine, and she starts to look better.
  • Meanwhile, Rachel is insisting that she knows that Godfrey is innocent.
  • Of course, she won't say who did steal the Moonstone.
  • She writes a formal note saying that Godfrey Ablewhite is innocent of the theft of the Moonstone, signs it, and gives it to Godfrey.
  • Just then, some of her friends arrive in a carriage – she's supposed to go to a flower show with them.
  • She tells Godfrey to come back and see her often, and then leaves.
  • Godfrey waits until Rachel has left, and then burns the declaration of his innocence in front of Miss Clack and Lady Verinder – he says that he doesn't want Rachel's reputation to be damaged.
  • Besides, he says, the whole thing will have been forgotten in a week.
  • After Godfrey leaves, Miss Clack asks Lady Verinder about her health. What was up with that sickly spell, and the medicine, and her obvious desire to keep it a secret from Rachel?
  • Lady Verinder asks Miss Clack to come back that evening at five o'clock – when the lawyer, Mr. Bruff, arrives – and be a witness for her will.

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