The Moonstone HTML version
Contributed by Sergeant Cuff
Dorking, Surrey, July 30th, 1849. To Franklin Blake, Esq. Sir,-- I beg to apologise
for the delay that has occurred in the production of the Report, with which I
engaged to furnish you. I have waited to make it a complete Report; and I have
been met, here and there, by obstacles which it was only possible to remove by
some little expenditure of patience and time.
The object which I proposed to myself has now, I hope, been attained. You will
find, in these pages, answers to the greater part--if not all-- of the questions,
concerning the late Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite, which occurred to your mind when I
last had the honour of seeing you.
I propose to tell you--in the first place--what is known of the manner in which your
cousin met his death; appending to the statement such inferences and
conclusions as we are justified (according to my opinion) in drawing from the
I shall then endeavour--in the second place--to put you in possession of such
discoveries as I have made, respecting the proceedings of Mr. Godfrey
Ablewhite, before, during, and after the time, when you and he met as guests at
the late Lady Verinder's country-house.
As to your cousin's death, then, first.
It appears to be established, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he was killed
(while he was asleep, or immediately on his waking) by being smothered with a
pillow from his bed-- that the persons guilty of murdering him are the three
Indians-- and that the object contemplated (and achieved) by the crime, was to
obtain possession of the diamond, called the Moonstone.
The facts from which this conclusion is drawn, are derived partly from an
examination of the room at the tavern; and partly from the evidence obtained at
the Coroner's Inquest.
On forcing the door of the room, the deceased gentleman was discovered, dead,
with the pillow of the bed over his face. The medical man who examined him,
being informed of this circumstance, considered the post-mortem appearances
as being perfectly compatible with murder by smothering--that is to say, with
murder committed by some person, or persons, pressing the pillow over the nose
and mouth of the deceased, until death resulted from congestion of the lungs.
Next, as to the motive for the crime.
A small box, with a sealed paper torn off from it (the paper containing an
inscription) was found open, and empty, on a table in the room. Mr. Luker has
himself personally identified the box, the seal, and the inscription. He has
declared that the box did actually contain the diamond, called the Moonstone;
and he has admitted having given the box (thus sealed up) to Mr. Godfrey