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The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins

First Period, Chapters VII–IX

First Period, Chapters IV–VI

First Period, Chapters VII–IX, page 2

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First Period, Chapter VII

Betteredge arrives back at the house, and Penelope reports to him that Rosanna has acted strangely happy and sad since returning from the Shivering Sands. Penelope guesses that she has fallen in love with Franklin Blake at first sight.

Franklin returns from Frizinghall and reports that nothing unusual has happened to him. Since Betteredge does not serve at dinner in the household, he hears only reports from lower servants that Rachel and Franklin were charmed by each other.

Betteredge begins to lock up for the night. Standing outside, he sees a man's shadow in the moonlight from the side of the house. Betteredge hears several pairs of feet running away before he can surprise them. He patrols the grounds and finds no one, but a small bottle of black, "thick sweet-smelling liquor." Remembering Penelope's report of the Indians putting black liquid into the English boy's hand, Betteredge assumes the intruders were the Indians.

First Period, Chapter VIII

The next morning, Betteredge shows the vial of black liquid to Franklin, who agrees it belonged to the Indians and suggests that they use it for clairvoyance.

In the next several days, Rachel and Franklin amuse themselves by decoratively painting the door to Rachel's room with a smelly paint substance that Franklin had invented.

By the first week in June, the servants wonder to themselves if Franklin and Rachel will become engaged. Betteredge narrates a description of Rachel as small, dark-haired, stubborn, and independent. Even as a child, she never lied and never told on a friend. Betteredge disagrees with the other servants and thinks that Rachel will marry her cousin Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey is rich, respectable, tall, and good-looking. He is an "accomplished philanthropist" and public speaker, who leads many Ladies' Charities.

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