Literature Study GuidesThe MoonstoneSecond Period Third Narrative Chapters 7 8 Summary

The Moonstone | Study Guide

Wilkie Collins

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The Moonstone | Second Period, Third Narrative, Chapters 7–8 : The Discovery of the Truth (1848–1849) | Summary

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Summary

Third Narrative, Chapter 7

Franklin Blake meets with Rachel Verinder. She calls him a coward and berates him for his faked innocence. She shouts, "I SAW YOU TAKE THE DIAMOND WITH MY OWN EYES!"

Blake asks Rachel to tell him everything she witnessed that night. Rachel says she'd gotten up to get a book from her sitting room when she saw Blake enter. He headed to the cabinet, took the Diamond, stood thinking for a few minutes, and then left. She wrote him a letter, intending to deliver it in the morning, but then the theft was discovered and Blake led the search to find the Diamond. She deemed him a liar and says she still feels that way.

Blake is nearly beside himself. He promises, "You shall know you wronged me yet or you shall never see me again." He is determined to prove his innocence. Rachel chases after him, begging for his forgiveness and saying she forgives him. He leaves.

Third Narrative, Chapter 8

Mr. Mathew Bruff visits Blake at his home, and they discuss how best to proceed with the investigation. Bruff posits that the year is almost up, so the Diamond will be taken from the bank soon. He proposes they set a watch on the bank to discover who meets Septimus Luker to get the Moonstone from him.

Blake journeys to Dorking to see Sergeant Cuff, only to find the man has gone to Ireland. Blake leaves a card behind with a note to contact him. He then remembers Gabriel Betteredge's letter and reads it. Ezra Jennings sent Betteredge word that Mr. Candy wishes to speak to Blake. Before seeing Mr. Candy, Blake returns to London to speak with Godfrey Ablewhite.

At Ablewhite's club in London, Blake learns Ablewhite had another broken engagement to another heiress. Ablewhite had received a £5,000 inheritance from one of his wealthy charity ladies and set out for Europe.

Blake travels to Yorkshire to speak to Betteredge and meet with Mr. Candy. During their meeting, Blake reminds Mr. Candy he had something to tell him. Even with Blake's promptings, Mr. Candy can't remember what it is he wants to tell him. Ezra Jennings stops Blake before he leaves.

Analysis

Finally, in Chapter 7 readers hear Rachel Verinder's side of the story. Her actions make sense now that readers know she saw Franklin Blake take the Moonstone and then had to listen to him deny his knowledge of its whereabouts. He even organized the searches and was instrumental in bringing in Sergeant Cuff. She thought him a thief and a liar, a man who showed the world a false face while hiding his true one.

Still, Rachel loves him. Her silence during the investigation and after was her way of protecting him. Gabriel Betteredge's story about her refusing to tattle on a school friend was a character clue: she's shielded Blake from suspicion with her own reputation.

She handles Godfrey Ablewhite in much the same way. She never gives him or his father the true reason for jilting him. Ablewhite is another instance of someone wearing a false face while hiding his true motivations. Once Mr. Mathew Bruff informs her of Ablewhite's fortune hunting, Rachel ends things but never tells anyone the real reason behind it.

Despite Rachel's witnessing of Blake taking the Diamond, it is Ablewhite who continues to loom in readers' suspicions. Blake may have taken the stone, but what did he do with it? How did it get to London? When Blake goes to Ablewhite's club in Chapter 8, he learns the man has been jilted again by yet another heiress. Ablewhite hasn't suffered, though, because of his legacy from a wealthy charity woman. Ablewhite's false face of a Christian hero has paid off handsomely for him.

When Blake finally returns to Yorkshire, he meets with Mr. Candy. His illness could be another instance of the curse of the Moonstone, as Candy was present at Rachel's dinner and came into contact with the Diamond. Certainly, bad luck seems to follow the stone.

In a novel with so many narrators, readers now meet one who cannot tell his own story. Mr. Candy has sent word that he has something important to speak to Blake about, but he cannot get it out. Blake's frustration is understandable as he tries to get the man to tell him. The answers are there, just beneath the surface but aren't accessible. Candy is not unreliable; he is broken. Unfortunately, he holds one of the key pieces to solving the mystery.

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