Click here to Download The Moonstone PDF Book by Wilkie Collins Language English having PDF Size 4.9 MB and No of Pages 461.
One of the wildest of these stories related to a Yellow Diamond—a famous gem in the native annals of India. The earliest known traditions describe the stone as having been set in the forehead of the four-handed Indian god who typifies the Moon.
The Moonstone PDF Book by Wilkie Collins
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Partly from its peculiar colour, partly from a superstition which represented it as feeling the influence of the deity whom it adorned, and growing and lessening in lustre with the waxing and waning of the moon, it first gained the name by which it continues to be known in India to this day— the name of THE MOONSTONE.
A similar superstition was once prevalent, as I have heard, in ancient Greece and Rome; not applying, however (as in India), to a diamond devoted to the service of a god, but to a semi-transparent stone of the inferior order of gems, supposed to be affected by the lunar influences—the moon.
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In this latter case also, giving the name by which the stone is still known to collectors in our own time. The adventures of the Yellow Diamond begin with the eleventh century of the Christian era. At that date, the Mohammedan conqueror, Mahmoud of Ghizni, crossed India; seized on the holy city of Somnauth.
And stripped of its treasures the famous temple, which had stood for centuries—the shrine of Hindoo pilgrimage, and the wonder of the Eastern world. Of all the deities worshipped in the temple, the moon-god alone escaped the rapacity of the conquering Mohammedans.
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Preserved by three Brahmins, the inviolate deity, bearing the Yellow Diamond in its forehead, was removed by night, and was transported to the second of the sacred cities of India—the city of Benares. Here, in a new shrine—in a hall inlaid with precious stones, under a roof supported by pillars of gold—the moon-god was set up and worshipped.
Here, on the night when the shrine was completed, Vishnu the Preserver appeared to the three Brahmins in a dream. The deity breathed the breath of his divinity on the Diamond in the forehead of the god. And the Brahmins knelt and hid their faces in their robes.
The deity commanded that the Moonstone should be watched, from that time forth, by three priests in turn, night and day, to the end of the generations of men. And the Brahmins heard, and bowed before his will. The deity predicted certain disaster to the presumptuous mortal who laid hands on the sacred gem. The Moonstone PDF Book
And to all of his house and name who received it after him. And the Brahmins caused the prophecy to be written over the gates of the shrine in letters of gold. One age followed another—and still, generation after generation, the successors of the three Brahmins watched their priceless Moonstone, night and day.
One age followed another until the first years of the eighteenth Christian century saw the reign of Aurungzebe, Emperor of the Moguls. At his command havoc and rapine were let loose once more among the temples of the worship of Brahmah.
The shrine of the fourhanded god was polluted by the slaughter of sacred animals; the images of the deities were broken in pieces; and the Moonstone was seized by an officer of rank in the army of Aurungzebe. Powerless to recover their lost treasure by open force, the three guardian priests followed and watched it in disguise. The Moonstone PDF Book
The generations succeeded each other; the warrior who had committed the sacrilege perished miserably; the Moonstone passed (carrying its curse with it) from one lawless Mohammedan hand to another; and still, through all chances and changes, the successors of the three guardian priests kept their watch.
Waiting the day when the will of Vishnu the Preserver should restore to them their sacred gem. Time rolled on from the first to the last years of the eighteenth Christian century. The Diamond fell into the possession of Tippoo, Sultan of Seringapatam, who caused it to be placed as an ornament in the handle of a dagger.
And who commanded it to be kept among the choicest treasures of his armoury. Even then—in the palace of the Sultan himself—the three guardian priests still kept their watch in secret. There were three officers of Tippoo’s household, strangers to the rest, who had won their master’s confidence by conforming. The Moonstone PDF Book
Or appearing to conform, to the Mussulman faith; and to those three men report pointed as the three priests in disguise. Keeping my private sentiments to myself, I respectfully requested Mr. Franklin to go on. Mr. Franklin replied, “Don’t fidget, Betteredge,” and went on.
Our young gentleman’s first words informed me that his discoveries, concerning the wicked Colonel and the Diamond, had begun with a visit which he had paid (before he came to us) to the family lawyer, at Hampstead. A chance word dropped by Mr. Franklin.
When the two were alone, one day, after dinner, revealed that he had been charged by his father with a birthday present to be taken to Miss Rachel. One thing led to another; and it ended in the lawyer mentioning what the present really was, and how the friendly connexion between the late Colonel and Mr. Blake, senior, had taken its rise. The Moonstone PDF Book
The facts here are really so extraordinary, that I doubt if I can trust my own language to do justice to them. I prefer trying to report Mr. Franklin’s discoveries, as nearly as may be, in Mr. Franklin’s own words. “You remember the time, Betteredge,” he said, “when my father was trying to prove his title to that unlucky Dukedom?
Well! that was also the time when my uncle Herncastle returned from India. My father discovered that his brother-inlaw was in possession of certain papers which were likely to be of service to him in his lawsuit. He called on the Colonel, on pretence of welcoming him back to England.
The Colonel was not to be deluded in that way. ‘You want something,’ he said, ‘or you would never have compromised your reputation by calling on me.’ My father saw that the one chance for him was to show his hand; he admitted, at once, that he wanted the papers. The Moonstone PDF Book
The Colonel asked for a day to consider his answer. His answer came in the shape of a most extraordinary letter, which my friend the lawyer showed me. The Colonel began by saying that he wanted something of my father, and that he begged to propose an exchange of friendly services between them.
The fortune of war (that was the expression he used) had placed him in possession of one of the largest Diamonds in the world; and he had reason to believe that neither he nor his precious jewel was safe in any house, in any quarter of the globe, which they occupied together. Under these alarming circumstances.
He had determined to place his Diamond in the keeping of another person. That person was not expected to run any risk. He might deposit the precious stone in any place especially guarded and set apart—like a banker’s or jeweller’s strongroom—for the safe custody of valuables of high price. The Moonstone PDF Book
His main personal responsibility in the matter was to be of the passive kind. He was to undertake either by himself, or by a trustworthy representative—to receive at a prearranged address, on certain prearranged days in every year, a note from the Colonel, simply stating the fact that he was a living man at that date.
In the event of the date passing over without the note being received, the Colonel’s silence might be taken as a sure token of the Colonel’s death by murder. In that case, and in no other, certain sealed instructions relating to the disposal of the Diamond, and deposited with it, were to be opened, and followed implicitly.
If my father chose to accept this strange charge, the Colonel’s papers were at his disposal in return. That was the letter.” “What did your father do, sir?” I asked. “Do?” says Mr. Franklin. “I’ll tell you what he did. He brought the invaluable faculty, called common sense, to bear on the Colonel’s letter. The Moonstone PDF Book
The whole thing, he declared, was simply absurd. Somewhere in his Indian wanderings, the Colonel had picked up with some wretched crystal which he took for a diamond. As for the danger of his being murdered, and the precautions devised to preserve his life and his piece of crystal.
This was the nineteenth century, and any man in his senses had only to apply to the police. The Colonel had been a notorious opium-eater for years past; and, if the only way of getting at the valuable papers he possessed was by accepting a matter of opium as a matter of fact.
My father was quite willing to take the ridiculous responsibility imposed on him— all the more readily that it involved no trouble to himself. The Diamond and the sealed instructions went into his banker’s strongroom, and the Colonel’s letters, periodically reporting him a living man, were received and opened by our family lawyer. The Moonstone PDF Book Download
Mr. Bruff, as my father’s representative. No sensible person, in a similar position, could have viewed the matter in any other way. Nothing in this world, Betteredge, is probable unless it appeals to our own trumpery experience; and we only believe in a romance when we see it in a newspaper.”
“I made a private inquiry last week, Mr. Superintendent,” he said. “At one end of the inquiry there was a murder, and at the other end there was a spot of ink on a table cloth that nobody could account for. In all my experience along the dirtiest ways of this dirty little world, I have never met with such a thing as a trifle yet.
Before we go a step further in this business we must see the petticoat that made the smear, and we must know for certain when that paint was wet.” Mr. Superintendent—taking his set-down rather sulkily— asked if he should summon the women. Sergeant Cuff, after considering a minute, sighed, and shook his head. The Moonstone PDF Book Download
“No,” he said, “we’ll take the matter of the paint first. It’s a question of Yes or No with the paint—which is short. It’s a question of petticoats with the women—which is long. What o’clock was it when the servants were in this room yesterday morning? Eleven o’clock—eh?
Is there anybody in the house who knows whether that paint was wet or dry, at eleven yesterday morning?” “Her ladyship’s nephew, Mr. Franklin Blake, knows,” I said. “Is the gentleman in the house?” Mr. Franklin was as close at hand as could be—waiting for his first chance of being introduced to the great Cuff.
In half a minute he was in the room, and was giving his evidence as follows: “That door, Sergeant,” he said, “has been painted by Miss Verinder, under my inspection, with my help, and in a vehicle of my own composition. The vehicle dries whatever colours may be used with it, in twelve hours.” The Moonstone PDF Book Download
“Do you remember when the smeared bit was done, sir?” asked the Sergeant. “Perfectly,” answered Mr. Franklin. “That was the last morsel of the door to be finished. We wanted to get it done, on Wednesday last—and I myself completed it by three in the afternoon, or soon after.”
Going down to the front door, I met the Sergeant on the steps. It went against the grain with me, after what had passed between us, to show him that I felt any sort of interest in his proceedings. In spite of myself, however, I felt an interest that there was no resisting.
My sense of dignity sank from under me, and out came the words: “What news from Frizinghall?” “I have seen the Indians,” answered Sergeant Cuff. “And I have found out what Rosanna bought privately in the town, on Thursday last. The Indians will be set free on Wednesday in next week. The Moonstone PDF Book Download
There isn’t a doubt on my mind, and there isn’t a doubt on Mr. Murthwaite’s mind, that they came to this place to steal the Moonstone. Their calculations were all thrown out, of course, by what happened in the house on Wednesday night; and they have no more to do with the actual loss of the jewel than you have.
But I can tell you one thing, Mr. Betteredge—if we don’t find the Moonstone, they will. You have not heard the last of the three jugglers yet.” Mr. Franklin came back from his walk as the Sergeant said those startling words. Governing his curiosity better than I had governed mine, he passed us without a word, and went on into the house.
As for me, having already dropped my dignity, I determined to have the whole benefit of the sacrifice. “So much for the Indians,” I said. “What about Rosanna next?” Sergeant Cuff shook his head. “The mystery in that quarter is thicker than ever,” he said. The Moonstone PDF Book Free
“I have traced her to a shop at Frizinghall, kept by a linen draper named Maltby. She bought nothing whatever at any of the other drapers’ shops, or at any milliners’ or tailors’ shops; and she bought nothing at Maltby’s but a piece of long cloth. She was very particular in choosing a certain quality.
As to quantity, she bought enough to make a nightgown.” “Whose nightgown?” I asked. “Her own, to be sure. Between twelve and three, on the Thursday morning, she must have slipped down to your young lady’s room, to settle the hiding of the Moonstone while all the rest of you were in bed.
In going back to her own room, her nightgown must have brushed the wet paint on the door. She couldn’t wash out the stain; and she couldn’t safely destroy the night-gown without first providing another like it, to make the inventory of her linen complete.” The Moonstone PDF Book Free