Study Guide

The Moonstone Second Period, Narrative 2, Chapter 2

By Wilkie Collins

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Second Period, Narrative 2, Chapter 2

  • About a week after Rachel moves out of the Bruffs' house, an Indian gentleman asks to see Mr. Bruff at his office, with a note from Mr. Septimus Luker.
  • Bruff doesn't know Mr. Luker, so it's both strange and kind of impolite for Mr. Luker to presume to introduce a new client to him.
  • The Indian gentleman says that he has come to borrow some money, and offers a beautiful and ornate box as security.
  • The gentleman says that Mr. Luker had refused him on the grounds that he had no money to lend.
  • Mr. Bruff apologizes, but says that he can't do it – he never lends money to strangers.
  • On his way out, the gentleman asks Mr. Bruff a quick question: on the occasions when he does lend money, how long is allowed before the money is paid back?
  • The answer is one year, to the day.
  • And the gentleman leaves.
  • After thinking about it for a while, Mr. Bruff concludes that the whole thing was a set-up. The Indian gentleman just wanted the excuse to ask Mr. Bruff the parting question about how long someone would have to pay back a debt.
  • Then Mr. Bruff gets a letter from Mr. Luker asking for an appointment.
  • Mr. Bruff agrees.
  • The next day, Mr. Luker explains that he had recognized the Indian gentleman as one of the people who had harassed him before.
  • So he was nervous, and insisted that he had no money to lend.
  • When the man asked him where to go instead, Mr. Luker had blurted out Mr. Bruff's name off the top of his head.
  • Mr. Luker wants to apologize for the impoliteness of recommending a client to someone whom he didn't really know.
  • Mr. Luker also mentions that the Indian gentleman had asked him the same question about how long a person would have to pay back a debt from a money lender.

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