FIRST PERIOD: THE LOSS OF THE DIAMOND (1848)
22. CHAPTER XXII
"Your sherry is waiting for you, sir," I said to him.
I might as well have addressed myself to one of the four
walls of the room; he was down in the bottomless deep of his
own meditations, past all pulling up. "How do YOU explain
Rachel's conduct, Betteredge?" was the only answer I received.
Not being ready with the needful reply, I produced ROBINSON CRUSOE,
in which I am firmly persuaded some explanation might have
been found, if we had only searched long enough for it.
Mr. Franklin shut up ROBINSON CRUSOE, and floundered into his
German-English gibberish on the spot. "Why not look into it?"
he said, as if I had personally objected to looking into it.
"Why the devil lose your patience, Betteredge, when patience is
all that's wanted to arrive at the truth? Don't interrupt me.
Rachel's conduct is perfectly intelligible, if you will only
do her the common justice to take the Objective view first.
and the Subjective view next, and the Objective-Subjective
view to wind up with. What do we know? We know that the loss
of the Moonstone, on Thursday morning last, threw her into a state
of nervous excitement, from which she has not recovered yet.
Do you mean to deny the Objective view, so far? Very well, then--
don't interrupt me. Now, being in a state of nervous excitement,
how are we to expect that she should behave as she might
otherwise have behaved to any of the people about her?
Arguing in this way, from within-outwards, what do we reach?
We reach the Subjective view. I defy you to controvert
the Subjective view. Very well then--what follows?
Good Heavens! the Objective-Subjective explanation follows,
of course! Rachel, properly speaking, is not Rachel,
but Somebody Else. Do I mind being cruelly treated by Somebody Else?
You are unreasonable enough, Betteredge; but you can
hardly accuse me of that. Then how does it end? It ends,
in spite of your confounded English narrowness and prejudice,
in my being perfectly happy and comfortable. Where's the
My head was by this time in such a condition, that I was not quite sure
whether it was my own head, or Mr. Franklin's. In this deplorable state,
I contrived to do, what I take to have been, three Objective things.
I got Mr. Franklin his sherry; I retired to my own room; and I solaced
myself with the most composing pipe of tobacco I ever remember to have
smoked in my life.