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The Moonstone

17
Nothing happened in the night; and (I am happy to add) no attempt at
communication between Miss Rachel and Rosanna rewarded the vigilance of
Sergeant Cuff.
I had expected the Sergeant to set off for Frizinghall the first thing in the morning.
He waited about, however, as if he had something else to do first. I left him to his
own devices; and going into the grounds shortly after, met Mr. Franklin on his
favourite walk by the shrubbery side.
Before we had exchanged two words, the Sergeant unexpectedly joined us. He
made up to Mr. Franklin, who received him, I must own, haughtily enough. "Have
you anything to say to me?" was all the return he got for politely wishing Mr.
Franklin good morning.
"I have something to say to you, sir," answered the Sergeant, "on the subject of
the inquiry I am conducting here. You detected the turn that inquiry was really
taking, yesterday. Naturally enough, in your position, you are shocked and
distressed. Naturally enough, also, you visit your own angry sense of your own
family scandal upon Me."
"What do you want?" Mr. Franklin broke in, sharply enough.
"I want to remind you, sir, that I have at any rate, thus far, not been PROVED to
be wrong. Bearing that in mind, be pleased to remember, at the same time, that I
am an officer of the law acting here under the sanction of the mistress of the
house. Under these circumstances, is it, or is it not, your duty as a good citizen,
to assist me with any special information which you may happen to possess?"
"I possess no special information," says Mr. Franklin.
Sergeant Cuff put that answer by him, as if no answer had been made.
"You may save my time, sir, from being wasted on an inquiry at a distance," he
went on, "if you choose to understand me and speak out."
"I don't understand you," answered Mr. Franklin; "and I have nothing to say."
"One of the female servants (I won't mention names) spoke to you privately, sir,
last night."
Once more Mr. Franklin cut him short; once more Mr. Franklin answered, "I have
nothing to say."
Standing by in silence, I thought of the movement in the swing-door on the
previous evening, and of the coat-tails which I had seen disappearing down the
passage. Sergeant Cuff had, no doubt, just heard enough, before I interrupted
him, to make him suspect that Rosanna had relieved her mind by confessing
something to Mr. Franklin Blake.
This notion had barely struck me--when who should appear at the end of the
shrubbery walk but Rosanna Spearman in her own proper person! She was
followed by Penelope, who was evidently trying to make her retrace her steps to
the house. Seeing that Mr. Franklin was not alone, Rosanna came to a standstill,
evidently in great perplexity what to do next. Penelope waited behind her. Mr.
 
 
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