The Moonstone

The Moonstone

The Moonstone The Loss of the Diamond: 17 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, after a quiet night, Cuff meets Betteredge and Franklin in the garden to remind them that, although he has incurred the family’s anger by suspecting Rachel of stealing the Diamond, he is still “an officer of the law” and therefore everyone is required “to assist [him] with any special information” they know. Betteredge realizes that Cuff knows that Franklin was speaking to Rosanna, but Franklin loudly insists that he “take[s] no interest whatever in” her, as he knows she is listening. Cuff leaves for Frizinghall, and Franklin asks Betteredge to help him “mak[e] it right with Rosanna.” Rachel stays locked in her room and, after breakfast, Franklin goes for a walk by the windy seashore. Afterward, Penelope tells Betteredge that Franklin’s loud commentary in the garden might have hurt Rosanna, who continues to grow more and more distraught about Franklin.
When he starts to lose the family’s loyalty, Cuff invokes his official status in order to reassert his control over the situation. He slips between the roles of friendly collaborator and authoritative “officer of the law” with a comfort that unsettles the rest of the characters. While Franklin thinks he is defending Rosanna by distancing himself from her, he does not recognize her feelings for him and how she will be likely to interpret his statement. The sensitive and astute Penelope serves as a foil to her father in this sense, relaying the emotions of other characters back and forth in the same way as Betteredge relays factual information and orders.
Themes
Detective Methods and Genre Standards Theme Icon
Intention, Identity, and Personality Theme Icon
Gender and Victorian Morality Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Nobility Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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Betteredge decides to fulfill Franklin’s request and talk with the dazed and solemn Rosanna, whom he tells to “cheer up” and offers “comforting words.” Her only response is to tell Betteredge to thank Franklin, whom she promises to talk to, despite Betteredge’s attempts to send her to Julia instead. Betteredge thinks about calling Mr. Candy’s assistant, Mr. Ezra Jennings, to take a look at Rosanna—but nobody “liked him or trusted him.” He decides to go to Julia, but she remains occupied with Rachel until after Sergeant Cuff returns from Frizinghall.
Rosanna’s apparent spiral into despair again confounds Betteredge, who interprets it as a medical condition requiring a doctor’s intervention, rather than a rational response to events. Like in Cuff’s investigation, his inability to do anything undermines his genuine concern. He does have one real option: he can go to Penelope, but strangely he does not appear to trust her competence to address the situation.
Themes
Intention, Identity, and Personality Theme Icon
Gender and Victorian Morality Theme Icon