Literature Study GuidesThe MoonstoneSecond Period Fifth Narrative Summary

The Moonstone | Study Guide

Wilkie Collins

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The Moonstone | Second Period, Fifth Narrative : The Discovery of the Truth (1848–1849) | Summary

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Summary

The Fifth Narrative is subtitled "The Story Resumed by Franklin Blake." Blake and Mr. Mathew Bruff return to London and meet with Gooseberry, Bruff's young spy who has been watching Septimus Luker. The three of them go to the bank—they see no signs of the Indians, but they spot a suspicious sailor hanging about.

Luker emerges from the bank and seems to hand something to a man in a suit. Bruff's spies follow Luker, Blake and Bruff follow the man in the suit, and Gooseberry takes off on his own pursuit. The man in the suit turns out to be a chemist with no interest or knowledge of the Moonstone.

Blake and Bruff return to Bruff's office. There is no word from Gooseberry, so Blake returns home. Gooseberry attempted to contact him there and will call on him again in the morning.

Sergeant Cuff arrives at Blake's house in the morning. After Blake tells Cuff of the recent developments in the case of the Moonstone, Cuff hands him an envelope containing the name of the thief and tells him not to open it until the culprit is caught. Gooseberry arrives shortly after. He said he followed the sailor that was seen at the bank. Gooseberry noticed the sailor was also being followed by a man dressed as a mechanic whom he recognized as working for the Indians. Gooseberry then followed the two of them to an inn called The Wheel of Fortune. The three take a cab to the inn where the sailor is staying.

When Blake, Cuff, and Gooseberry arrive at The Wheel of Fortune, they discover the sailor has not come down from his room. When the landlord opens the door, they find the sailor dead. Cuff pulls off the sailor's disguise, then asks Blake to open the letter and "read the name, Mr. Blake, that I have written inside." Blake opens the envelope Cuff gave him and sees Godfrey Ablewhite's name written. Gooseberry discovers an empty box and the receipt for the Moonstone. The Diamond is gone.

Analysis

This section wraps up the main mystery of who took the Moonstone from the Verinder estate. Sergeant Cuff returns to see the mystery to its conclusion, although his help in resolving it is relatively minor. This represents a departure from most detective fiction. The infallible detective trope common to the genre indicates Cuff should have been the one to follow the case and solve it; instead, he is dismissed from the narrative halfway through. Cuff is merely a bystander for the conclusion.

Despite this, Cuff is still a fine detective. He discerns the ruse of the drunken mechanic, and he correctly identifies Godfrey Ablewhite as the thief, even before it is proven. While he may have pursued the wrong line of inquiry at the Verinder estate, he is still a formidable detective.

With his death, Godfrey Ablewhite's character is displayed for all to see. This time, his false face is an actual disguise, which Cuff removes to reveal Ablewhite's true face. His duplicitous nature is, at last, unmasked. The curse of the Moonstone is complete.

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