FIRST PERIOD: THE LOSS OF THE DIAMOND (1848)
18. CHAPTER XVIII
Going down to the front door, I met the Sergeant on the steps.
It went against the grain with me, after what had passed between us,
to show him that I felt any sort of interest in his proceedings.
In spite of myself, however, I felt an interest that there was no resisting.
My sense of dignity sank from under me, and out came the words: "What news
"I have seen the Indians," answered Sergeant Cuff. "And I have found
out what Rosanna bought privately in the town, on Thursday last.
The Indians will be set free on Wednesday in next week.
There isn't a doubt on my mind, and there isn't a doubt on
Mr. Murthwaite's mind, that they came to this place to steal
the Moonstone. Their calculations were all thrown out,
of course, by what happened in the house on Wednesday night;
and they have no more to do with the actual loss of the jewel
than you have. But I can tell you one thing, Mr. Betteredge--
if WE don't find the Moonstone, THEY will. You have not heard the
last of the three jugglers yet."
Mr. Franklin came back from his walk as the Sergeant said
those startling words. Governing his curiosity better
than I had governed mine, he passed us without a word,
and went on into the house.
As for me, having already dropped my dignity, I determined to have
the whole benefit of the sacrifice. "So much for the Indians," I said.
"What about Rosanna next?"
Sergeant Cuff shook his head.
"The mystery in that quarter is thicker than ever," he said.
"I have traced her to a shop at Frizinghall, kept by a linen
draper named Maltby. She bought nothing whatever at any of
the other drapers' shops, or at any milliners' or tailors' shops;
and she bought nothing at Maltby's but a piece of long cloth.
She was very particular in choosing a certain quality.
As to quantity, she bought enough to make a nightgown."
"Whose nightgown?" I asked.