FIRST PERIOD: THE LOSS OF THE DIAMOND (1848)
8. CHAPTER VIII
Here, for one moment, I find it necessary to call a halt.
On summoning up my own recollections--and on getting Penelope to help me,
by consulting her journal--I find that we may pass pretty rapidly over
the interval between Mr. Franklin Blake's arrival and Miss Rachel's birthday.
For the greater part of that time the days passed, and brought nothing with
them worth recording. With your good leave, then, and with Penelope's help,
I shall notice certain dates only in this place; reserving to myself
to tell the story day by day, once more, as soon as we get to the time
when the business of the Moonstone became the chief business of everybody
in our house.
This said, we may now go on again--beginning, of course,
with the bottle of sweet-smelling ink which I found on the gravel
walk at night.
On the next morning (the morning of the twenty-sixth) I showed Mr. Franklin
this article of jugglery, and told him what I have already told you.
His opinion was, not only that the Indians had been lurking about after
the Diamond, but also that they were actually foolish enough to believe
in their own magic--meaning thereby the making of signs on a boy's head,
and the pouring of ink into a boy's hand, and then expecting him to see
persons and things beyond the reach of human vision. In our country,
as well as in the East, Mr. Franklin informed me, there are people who
practise this curious hocus-pocus (without the ink, however); and who call
it by a French name, signifying something like brightness of sight.
"Depend upon it," says Mr. Franklin, "the Indians took it for granted
that we should keep the Diamond here; and they brought their clairvoyant
boy to show them the way to it, if they succeeded in getting into the house
"Do you think they'll try again, sir?" I asked.
"It depends," says Mr. Franklin, "on what the boy can really do.
If he can see the Diamond through the iron safe of the bank at Frizinghall,
we shall be troubled with no more visits from the Indians for the present.
If he can't, we shall have another chance of catching them in the shrubbery,
before many more nights are over our heads."