The Moonstone

The Moonstone Summary and Analysis of Second Period: The Discovery of the Truth (Second Narrative, Chapters 1-3)


Mr. Bruff tells of the reasons behind the breaking off of the engagement. He was the Verinders’ lawyer even before Sir John’s death. Sir John left everything to his wife, and Rachel only had “life interest” in his property, meaning that she and her future husband would receive regular income and houses to live in, but she had been saved the possibility of being taken advantage of by a greedy man marrying her for money. Soon after Lady Verinder’s death, the Will was placed in Bruff’s proctor’s hands to be “proved,” when someone asked to examine the document. This someone was Godfrey’s lawyer. When Bruff tells Rachel of Godfrey’s pecuniary intentions, she resolves to break off the engagement. Godfrey accepts it easily the same day she tells him.

One day, a dark-skinned gentleman comes to Bruff saying that he was recommended by Septimus Luker, saying that he wishes to pawn a pretty little box, and that Luker told him that he had no money to lend. Bruff says that he does not lend to strangers. The gentleman respectfully leaves, after asking how long it is customary to return lent money in England (Bruff tells him it is 1 year).

Septimus Luker then asks to see Bruff. He tells Bruff that the same gentleman with the box came to him in a European disguise—this gentleman was the leader of the three loitering Indians—and out of terror, Luker had turned him away saying he had no money. He came to Bruff to explain why the Indian gentleman had come. Bruff finds out that the Indian gentleman asked Luker the same question about duration for lending.

At a dinner engagement, Bruff runs into Mr. Murthwaite. Murthwaite explains to him the current state of the conspiracy of the Moonstone, and how the Indians are waiting for a year to expire to collect the Diamond from its pledge (most likely pledged at Mr. Luker’s). Murthwaite also explains that the clairvoyance act with the little boy seen by Penelope at the beginning of the story is only that—an act.


Mr. Bruff is the family lawyer. His narrative possesses a straightforward and direct style hitherto unseen in the writings of Betteredge or Clack. He organizes his narrative clearly—he begins at what he deems a logical beginning, concerning the marriage engagement between Rachel and Godfrey—Rachel’s father’s death.

Given that Sir John Verinder leaves his entire livelihood and property to Lady Verinder, Mr. Bruff then launches into a discussion of Lady Verinder, and his stance on male versus female qualities. Like Betteredge and Cuff before him, he has very period-based views on females, deeming them unworthy of properly administering trusts, in general. Like Betteredge and Cuff before him, he believes Lady Verinder to be an exception to such generalizations.

Mr. Bruff also receives visits from both a mysterious Indian gentleman and the pawnbroker Septimus Luker. He draws interesting comparisons and contrasts between these two visitors. He is surprised that the Indian gentleman can be as civilized and high-class as this visitor was. An interesting observation about appearances is also to be made here—Mr. Bruff says that the man was dressed in European costume, but his complexion, body figure, and “grave and graceful politeness” (324) gave away his Oriental origin. Many Europeans back then were used to seeing people with Eastern origins still appear rather Caucasian. Bruff describes the second visitor as “so vulgar, so ugly, so cringing, and so prosy” that he was a far “inferior creature to the Indian" (327). This reversal of roles is remarkable, given the sentiments of the English towards Indians. As implied by Mr. Murthwaite in the First Period narrative, Indians were thought to have the same scruples as animals, like dogs. Bruff here realizes that civilization and politeness come from the individual, and not the individual’s origins.