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 last night."
"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."
I waited pretty confidently for that latter chance; but, strange to relate, it never
Whether the jugglers heard, in the town, of Mr. Franklin having been seen at the
bank, and drew their conclusions accordingly; or whether the boy really did see
the Diamond where the Diamond was now lodged (which I, for one, flatly
disbelieve); or whether, after all, it was a mere effect of chance, this at any rate is
the plain truth--not the ghost of an Indian came near the house again, through
the weeks that passed before Miss Rachel's birthday. The jugglers remained in
and about the town plying their trade; and Mr. Franklin and I remained waiting to
see what might happen, and resolute not to put the rogues on their guard by
showing our suspicions of them too soon. With this report of the proceedings on
either side, ends all that I have to say about the Indians for the present.