8. CHAPTER VIII
There I interposed. "I don't blame Rachel," I said.
"I only regret that she could not prevail on herself to speak
more plainly to me at the time."
"You might as well regret that Rachel is not somebody else,"
rejoined Mr. Bruff. "And even then, I doubt if a girl
of any delicacy, whose heart had been set on marrying you,
could have brought herself to charge you to your face with being
a thief. Anyhow, it was not in Rachel's nature to do it.
In a very different matter to this matter of yours--
which placed her, however, in a position not altogether
unlike her position towards you--I happen to know that she
was influenced by a similar motive to the motive which actuated
her conduct in your case. Besides, as she told me herself,
on our way to town this evening, if she had spoken plainly,
she would no more have believed your denial then than she
believes it now. What answer can you make to that?
There is no answer to be made to it. Come, come, Mr. Franklin!
my view of the case has been proved to be all wrong,
I admit--but, as things are now, my advice may be worth having
for all that. I tell you plainly, we shall be wasting our time,
and cudgelling our brains to no purpose, if we attempt to try back,
and unravel this frightful complication from the beginning.
Let us close our minds resolutely to all that happened last year
at Lady Verinder's country house; and let us look to what we CAN
discover in the future, instead of to what we can NOT discover in
"Surely you forget," I said, "that the whole thing is essentially
a matter of the past--so far as I am concerned?"
"Answer me this," retorted Mr. Bruff. "Is the Moonstone at the bottom
of all the mischief--or is it not?"
"It is--of course."
"Very good. What do we believe was done with the Moonstone,
when it was taken to London?"
"It was pledged to Mr. Luker."