There are only vague hints about Rosamond's reaction to the loss of her unborn child. The poignant description of the task of putting away the baby clothes indicates that it deeply affects her: "All the embroidered robes and caps had to be laid by in darkness." The miscarriage represents a disappointed hope that takes more solid form when she learns of Lydgate's debt. Lydgate married her with the expectation that she would be an ornament to his life. He married her thinking he wanted to be the authoritative husband. His debt brings him to desire a partner, not an ornament. Rosamond's upbringing did not prepare her to deal with finances. She was educated to expect that all the finances would be taken care of by her father or her husband. Lydgate's request that she take part in the financial management of the household comes as a rude surprise, especially after her miscarriage. Lydgate berates her for secretly going out on horseback, but he himself keeps secrets from her. He doesn't reveal their financial troubles until they become serious.

Bulstrode continues using tainted money to cover the trail leading back to its tainted origins. Had he been wise, he would never have paid Raffles a dime. By trying to bribe him anew, however, Bulstrode has left a ready trail for suspicion and gossip to follow. Had he refused to bribe Raffles, he might have been able to explain Raffles's accusations in another, less implicating light. He could have told people that Raffles is an old business partner gone to seed with alcoholism. He could have said that Raffles used the threat of false slander as a means to extort money. But Bulstrode is too insecure about the capacity of his public moralizing to cover his private sinning, so he dirties his painstakingly cleansed money out of fear. Ironically, Bulstrode's one inability to contradict his outward presentation of himself as an eminent Christian is probably the strongest reason that he fails to save his reputation. He can't lie.

Mary refused to accept bribe money because she knew the trail it would leave behind. Her choice likely saved her reputation. Moreover, Will refuses to accept Bulstrode's barely veiled attempt to bribe him. Bulstrode quickly learns that the power he gained through his tainted money is also the heaviest stone that weighs him down. He compromises himself more and more the longer he tries to bribe Raffles. He widens the trail by including Will. Ill-gotten money spreads the original sin around.