FIRST PERIOD: THE LOSS OF THE DIAMOND (1848)
12. CHAPTER XII
"There is also such a thing as making nothing out of a molehill,
in consequence of your head being too high to see it."
Having returned his brother-officer's compliments in those terms,
Sergeant Cuff wheeled about, and walked away to the window
Mr. Franklin and I waited to see what was coming next.
The Sergeant stood at the window with his hands in his pockets,
looking out, and whistling the tune of "The Last Rose of Summer"
softly to himself. Later in the proceedings, I discovered
that he only forgot his manners so far as to whistle, when his
mind was hard at work, seeing its way inch by inch to its own
private ends, on which occasions "The Last Rose of Summer"
evidently helped and encouraged him. I suppose it fitted
in somehow with his character. It reminded him, you see, of his
favourite roses, and, as HE whistled it, it was the most melancholy
Turning from the window, after a minute or two, the Sergeant
walked into the middle of the room, and stopped there,
deep in thought, with his eyes on Miss Rachel's bed-room door.
After a little he roused himself, nodded his head, as much
as to say, "That will do," and, addressing me, asked for
ten minutes' conversation with my mistress, at her ladyship's
Leaving the room with this message, I heard Mr. Franklin ask the Sergeant
a question, and stopped to hear the answer also at the threshold of the door.
"Can you guess yet," inquired Mr. Franklin, "who has stolen the Diamond?"
"NOBODY HAS STOLEN THE DIAMOND," answered Sergeant Cuff.
We both started at that extraordinary view of the case,
and both earnestly begged him to tell us what he meant.
"Wait a little," said the Sergeant. "The pieces of the puzzle
are not all put together yet."