Woman in White was all about the ladies . . . and sure, there's a little of that in The Moonstone (Lucy + Rosanna
We have the sweetly sentimental relationship between Betteredge and Franklin.
"There he was—the dear old friend of the happy days that were never to come again—there he was in the old corner, on the old beehive chair, with his pipe in his mouth, and his Robinson Crusoe on his lap, and his two friends, the dogs, dozing on either side of him! . . . My own eyes were full of tears. I was obliged to wait for a moment before I could trust myself to speak to him." (p. 309)
Then there's the father/son dynamic between Sergeant Cuff and Gooseberry (aka Octavius Guy).
"In our modern system of civilisation, celebrity (no matter of what kind) is the lever that will move anything. The fame of the great Cuff had even reached the ears of the small Gooseberry. The boy's ill-fixed eyes rolled, when I mentioned the illustrious name, till I thought they really must have dropped on the carpet." (p. 448)
"'One of these days,' said the Sergeant, pointing through the front window of the cab, 'that boy will do great things in my late profession. He is the brightest and cleverest little chap I have met with, for many a long year past.'" (p. 449)And let's not forget Godfrey's undying love for . . . Godfrey.
"What is the secret of the attraction that there is for me in this man? Does it only mean that I feel the contrast between the frankly kind manner in which he has allowed me to become acquainted with him, and the merciless dislike and distrust with which I am met by other people? Or is there really something in him which answers to the yearning that I have for a little human sympathy—the yearning, which has survived the solitude and persecution of many years; which seems to grow keener and keener, as the time comes nearer and nearer when I shall endure and feel no more? How useless to ask these questions! Mr. Blake has given me a new interest in life. Let that be enough, without seeking to know what the new interest is." (p. 407)Yowza.
And a more beautifully tragic character than Ezra has never been written (by Wilkie) (I don't think). Falsely accused of . . . something really quite bad (WHAT WAS IT, WILKIE?). Forced to give up the love of his life to spare her the infamy of his name. Overcome by a deadly illness. Dependent on opium (500 drops!) just to function from one day to the next. Wracked by nightmares (again, the opium). Grateful to be instrumental in the reunion of Rachel and Franklin (or so he SAYS). Buried in an unmarked grave, the only way to be free of the rumors that follow his name.
"God be praised for His mercy! I have seen a little sunshine—I have had a happy time." (p. 439)
And now, I'm gonna pull a Julie and hit some numbered points to close out this magical Moonstone journey we've been traveling together.
1. IT WAS GODFREY ALL ALONG (and also drugged Franklin, of course). And he wore an elaborate DISGUISE. (Alley wasn't far off with her Mission: Impossible guess.)
2. Is anyone at all concerned about that poor boy NEVER getting the money from his trust now that Godfrey spent it all and then conveniently died?
3. Was it just me or did Betteredge sound far less educated when he was being quoted by Ezra? He used the word wrostled. I just don't know.
4. "You have caught a Tartar, Mr. Jennings—and the name of him is Bruff" (p. 423). I had lofty plans to look this up, but now I'm tired. What is a Tartar in this context, readalong hive mind?
5. Of COURSE Franklin has Pamela and Man of Feeling in his room. Of course he does.
6. The Indians were finally rewarded for all their lurking about in obscurity. They may or may not have killed Godfrey (they definitely did), but the important thing is that the Moonstone has been restored to its rightful place in a lifeless deity's forehead.
And now The Moonstone readalong is over, and life is meaningless.