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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 21 (continued) — initial illustration for the thirteenth instalment in Harper's Weekly (28 March 1868), p. 197. Wood-engraving, 8.6 x 5.5 cm. [In the thirteenth headnote vignette, the Harper & Bros. house illustrators "C. B." and "W. J." (William Jewett) present the scene in which Sergeant Cuff engages the Verinders' gardener one final time on subject of raising roses. The vignette shows the tall, lean detective standing beside the stout gardener as both contemplate the rose garden.]

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 Thirteenth Instalment

"Oh!" I said. "You think it's all over then, here?"

"I think," answered Sergeant Cuff, "that Lady Verinder is one of the cleverest women in England. I also think a rose much better worth looking at than a diamond. Where is the gardener, Mr. Betteredge?"

There was no getting a word more out of him on the matter of the Moonstone. He had lost all interest in his own inquiry; and he would persist in looking for the gardener. An hour afterwards, I heard them at high words in the conservatory, with the dog-rose once more at the bottom of the dispute. — "First Period: The Loss of the Diamond (1848), The Events related by Gabriel Betteredge, house-steward in the service of Julia, Lady Verinder," ch. 21 (continued), p. 197.


The headnote vignette contains yet another reference to Sergeant Cuff's fondness for roses, an eccentricity that Wilkie Collins may have based on the family background of the "real life" Sergeant Cuff, Detective Inspector Jonathan 'Jack' Whicher (1 October 1814–29 June 1881), one of the original eight members of the newly formed Detective Branch, founded at Scotland Yard in 1842. Whicher, the son of a Camberwell gardener, would logically have considerable expertise in horticulture, which may explain Cuff's persistent interest in the raising of roses. Although the text specifies that Cuff discusses the dog rose in the conservatory of the manor house, the artist, shows the pair side by side, outside.

The celebrated Scotland Yard detective, having been given his dismissal by Lady Julia Verinder because his "theory of the crime" focusses on her daughter as the thief, now contemplates retiring to Dorking (then a village south of London), where we shall find him several hundred pages later, cultivating roses. Like Whicher with the Constance Kent trial, he reappears at the resolution of the crime when Godfrey Ablewhite is found dead, disguised as a merchant sailor.

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Last updated 27 November 2016