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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 10 — initial illustration for the fifth instalment in Harper's Weekly (1 February 1868), p. 69. Wood-engraving, 8.5 x 5.4 cm. [The fifth headnote vignette signals an event that does not actually occur in this instalment. In his capacity as guardian of the estate (Sir John Verinder no longer alive and able to protect his property and family), Gabriel Betteredge is patrolling the grounds with a bloodhound later on the night of Rachel Verinder's birthday, although his doing so does not actually occur until ch. 11.]

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 suggested by the Headnote Vignette for the Fifth Instalment

As soon as Miss Rachel left him eyes to see with, Mr. Franklin noticed me. His variable humour, shifting about everything, had shifted about the Indians already.

"Betteredge," he said, "I'm half inclined to think I took Mr. Murthwaite too seriously, when we had that talk in the shrubbery. I wonder whether he has been trying any of his traveller's tales on us? Do you really mean to let the dogs loose?"

"I'll relieve them of their collars, sir," I answered, "and leave them free to take a turn in the night, if they smell a reason for it."

"All right," says Mr. Franklin. "We'll see what is to be done to-morrow. I am not at all disposed to alarm my aunt, Betteredge, without a very pressing reason for it. Good-night."

He looked so worn and pale as he nodded to me, and took his candle to go up-stairs, that I ventured to advise his having a drop of brandy-and-water, by way of night-cap. Mr. Godfrey, walking towards us from the other end of the hall, backed me. He pressed Mr. Franklin, in the friendliest manner, to take something, before he went to bed.

I only note these trifling circumstances, because, after all I had seen and heard, that day, it pleased me to observe that our two gentlemen were on just as good terms as ever. Their warfare of words (heard by Penelope in the drawing-room), and their rivalry for the best place in Miss Rachel's good graces, seemed to have set no serious difference between them. But there! they were both good-tempered, and both men of the world. And there is certainly this merit in people of station, that they are not nearly so quarrelsome among each other as people of no station at all.

Mr. Franklin declined the brandy-and-water, and went up-stairs with Mr. Godfrey, their rooms being next door to each other. On the landing, however, either his cousin persuaded him, or he veered about and changed his mind as usual. "Perhaps I may want it in the night," he called down to me. "Send up some brandy-and-water into my room."

I sent up Samuel with the brandy-and-water; and then went out and unbuckled the dogs' collars. They both lost their heads with astonishment on being set loose at that time of night, and jumped upon me like a couple of puppies! — Harper's Weekly, vol. XII. — No. 577. "First Period: The Loss of the Diamond (1848)," 8 February 1868, Chapter 11, p. 85.


The re-appearance of three Brahmins just outside the great house after dinner and Betteredge's using the hounds to make sure that no housebreakers have an opportunity to ply their trade, whether Indfians or not, should arouse the suspicions of the reader that some significant action is about to occur, despite Betteredge's best attempts to forestall it. However, since the passage realised by the headnote vignette does not actually occur until Chapter 11 in the sixth instalment, one must assume that the illustrators have taken liberties with the concept underlying the headnote vignette (alerting the reader to a situation about to occur in the present instalment) in order to heighten suspense. By the time that readers encounter this passage in the sixth instalment, this headnote vignette would excite far less suspense as the picture of Betteredge's inspecting an empty cabinet immediately telegraphs the fact that the diamond has been stolen overnight.

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Last updated 22 November 2016