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Uncaptioned headnote vignette for "First Period: The Loss of the Diamond (1848), The Events related by Gabriel Betteredge, house-steward in the service of Julia, Lady Verinder." Chapter 8 — initial illustration for the fourth instalment in Harper's Weekly (25 January 1868), p. 53. Wood-engraving, 8.6 x 5.5 cm. [The fourth headnote vignette establishes an appropriate atmosphere of watchful suspicion as the appearance of foreign visitors to the neighbourhood of the Yorkshire estate triggers concerns about the safety of the household. In the eighth chapter, the trio of Indian "jugglers" (acrobats) return under cover of darkness to the Verinder estate, or rather, are imagined to be returning to the estate as a fear of "The Other" hangs over the Verinder family and servants.]

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Illustrations courtesy of the E. J. Pratt Fine Arts Library, University of Toronto, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia.

Passage immediately suggested by the Headnote Vignette for the Fourth Instalment

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." — "The Loss of the Diamond (1848)," Chapter 8, p. 53.


The three Brahmins appear to have just surmounted the high wall behind, and their ominous shadows imply both menace and a source of illumination (presumably the after-dinner party on the veranda). Although Franklin Blake describes them as hiding in the shrubbery, the illustrator has placed them beside a stout, English oak, so that the image implies an invasion of the Eastern conceptions that threaten the English home and the core values of English society. The illustration's juxtaposition with the heading "Chapter VIII" implies that this alien invasion is imminent when in fact it exists at this point only in Franklin Blake's imagination. Its function in Part Four, therefore, is to create suspense through foreshadowing and through manifesting an apprehension as if it is actually about to occur.

In the Chapter 8 headnote vignette, the three Indians reappear at the Verinder house; such an event actually occurs after the dinner party celebrating Rachel’s eighteenth birthday (the night of 21 June 1848) — this scene happens in Part Five, at the end of Chapter 10, and is visualised in the third illustration for the fifth weekly part, "I can't tell you what tricks they performed, or how they did it" (1 February 1868, p. 69):

I had just ranged the decanters in a row before old Mr. Ablewhite (who represented the master of the house), when there came a sound from the terrace which, startled me out of my company manners on the instant. Mr. Franklin and I looked at each other; it was the sound of the Indian drum. As I live by bread, here were the jugglers returning to us with the return of the Moonstone to the house!— "First Period: The Loss of the Diamond (1848)," Chapter 10, p. 70.

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Last updated 22 November 2016