FIRST PERIOD: THE LOSS OF THE DIAMOND (1848)
12. CHAPTER XII
The Thursday night passed, and nothing happened. With the Friday
morning came two pieces of news.
Item the first: the baker's man declared he had met Rosanna
Spearman, on the previous afternoon, with a thick veil on,
walking towards Frizinghall by the foot-path way over the moor.
It seemed strange that anybody should be mistaken about Rosanna,
whose shoulder marked her out pretty plainly, poor thing--
but mistaken the man must have been; for Rosanna, as you know,
had been all the Thursday afternoon ill up-stairs in her room.
Item the second came through the postman. Worthy Mr. Candy
had said one more of his many unlucky things, when he drove off
in the rain on the birthday night, and told me that a doctor's skin
was waterproof. In spite of his skin, the wet had got through him.
He had caught a chill that night, and was now down with a fever.
The last accounts, brought by the postman, represented him
to be light-headed--talking nonsense as glibly, poor man,
in his delirium as he often talked it in his sober senses.
We were all sorry for the little doctor; but Mr. Franklin appeared
to regret his illness, chiefly on Miss Rachel's account.
From what he said to my lady, while I was in the room
at breakfast-time, he appeared to think that Miss Rachel--
if the suspense about the Moonstone was not soon set at rest--
might stand in urgent need of the best medical advice at
Breakfast had not been over long, when a telegram from Mr. Blake,
the elder, arrived, in answer to his son. It informed us
that he had laid hands (by help of his friend, the Commissioner)
on the right man to help us. The name of him was Sergeant Cuff;
and the arrival of him from London might be expected by the
At reading the name of the new police-officer, Mr. Franklin gave a start.
It seems that he had heard some curious anecdotes about Sergeant Cuff,
from his father's lawyer, during his stay in London.
"I begin to hope we are seeing the end of our anxieties already," he said.
"If half the stories I have heard are true, when it comes to unravelling
a mystery, there isn't the equal in England of Sergeant Cuff!"