We get a pretty good description of Rachel's appearance, and except for the fact that her face isn't HIDEOUS and her backside is mentioned not even once (which is probably a good thing since old Betteredge is narrating), she kind of sounds like a Marian clone.
"In a minute more, Miss Rachel came downstairs—very nicely dressed in some soft yellow stuff, that set off her dark complexion, and clipped her tight (in the form of a jacket) round the waist. She had a smart little straw hat on her head, with a white veil twisted round it. She had primrose-coloured gloves that fitted her hands like a second skin. Her beautiful black hair looked as smooth as satin under her hat. Her little ears were like rosy shells—they had a pearl dangling from each of them." (p. 169)But is it weird that Betteredge remembers exactly what Rachel was wearing on this particular day? I mean, the man is 70 . . . and also a man.
And then Rachel took her primrose-coloured hand and "unmanned" Franklin with it. Poooor Franklin. But is he the doomed love she was talking about when she finally agreed to marry Godfrey? I think he is. Which means he did something VERY naughty and made her never want to see him again. What did you DO, Franklin? I don't think even he knows.
I know we have our qualms with Betteredge's old-fashioned ideas, but who didn't love him after his reaction to Rosanna's (alleged until I see a body) death? And then this too:
"I don't think I ever felt what a good dutiful daughter I had, so strongly as I felt it at that moment. I took her and sat her on my knee —and prayed God bless her." (p. 178)
|So you're thinking about taking a woman on your knee . . .|
I think this might be scandalous, but I'm not sure:
"I left him, miserable enough, leaning on the sill of my window, with his face hidden in his hands—and Penelope peeping through the door, longing to comfort him. In Mr. Franklin's place, I should have called her in. When you are ill-used by one woman, there is great comfort in telling it to another—because, nine times out of ten, the other always takes your side. Perhaps, when my back was turned, he did call her in? In that case, it is only doing my daughter justice to declare that she would stick at nothing, in the way of comforting Mr. Franklin Blake." (p. 180)
|She would stick at nothing, you say?|
Lately, I'm suspicious of Lady Verinder (may she rest in peace). She frequently spoke with Rachel behind closed doors during the investigation, when Rachel wouldn't talk to anyone else. And when Cuff wanted to see Rachel's reaction to the news of Rosanna's death, Lady V insisted on going and delivering the news herself, alone. Plus, Rachel IS protecting someone in all this moonstone business. I don't think it's Franklin, because he commissioned all these narratives and because she appears to HATE him at this point. But as close as she is to her mother, she would protect her at all costs, right? I choose you, Lady Verinder! Don't think being dead gets you off the hook, missus.
Are we thinking there's a bit of a Sherlock/Watson dynamic between Cuff and Betteredge? Maybe a smidgen of guy love?
"'I declare to heaven,' says this strange officer solemnly, 'I would take to domestic service tomorrow, Mr. Betteredge, if I had a chance of being employed along with You!" (p. 195)
"I looked with righteous indignation at the Sergeant to see what he thought of such a testimony as that. The Sergeant looked back like a lamb, and seemed to like me better than ever." (p. 186).
|Stop looking at him like that, Cuff. It's weird.|
Three words regarding Limping Lucy's speech after Rosanna's death: UNREQUITED LESBIAN LOVE. Thank you, Wilkie. Just thank you.
And you GUYS . . . Miss Clack's first name is DRUSILLA.
|Miss Rachel speaks out of turn.|
She's a bad example, and will have no cakes today.