FIRST PERIOD: THE LOSS OF THE DIAMOND (1848)
22. CHAPTER XXII
My mistress having left us, I had leisure to think of Sergeant Cuff.
I found him sitting in a snug corner of the hall, consulting his
memorandum book, and curling up viciously at the corners of the lips.
"Making notes of the case? " I asked.
"No," said the Sergeant. "Looking to see what my next professional
"Oh!" I said. "You think it's all over then, here?"
"I think," answered Sergeant Cuff, "that Lady Verinder is one
of the cleverest women in England. I also think a rose much
better worth looking at than a diamond. Where is the gardener,
There was no getting a word more out of him on the matter of the Moonstone.
He had lost all interest in his own inquiry; and he would persist in looking
for the gardener. An hour afterwards, I heard them at high words in
the conservatory, with the dog-rose once more at the bottom of the dispute.
In the meantime, it was my business to find out whether Mr. Franklin
persisted in his resolution to leave us by the afternoon train.
After having been informed of the conference in my lady's room,
and of how it had ended, he immediately decided on waiting to hear
the news from Frizinghall. This very natural alteration in his plans--
which, with ordinary people, would have led to nothing in particular--
proved, in Mr. Franklin's case, to have one objectionable result.
It left him unsettled, with a legacy of idle time on his hands, and,
in so doing, it let out all the foreign sides of his character,
one on the top of another, like rats out of a bag.