The Moonstone (Chapter 6, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 6

The question of how I am to start the story properly I have tried to
settle in two ways. First, by scratching my head, which led to nothing.
Second, by consulting my daughter Penelope, which has resulted in an
entirely new idea.

Penelope's notion is that I should set down what happened, regularly day
by day, beginning with the day when we got the news that Mr. Franklin
Blake was expected on a visit to the house. When you come to fix your
memory with a date in this way, it is wonderful what your memory will
pick up for you upon that compulsion. The only difficulty is to fetch
out the dates, in the first place. This Penelope offers to do for me by
looking into her own diary, which she was taught to keep when she was
at school, and which she has gone on keeping ever since. In answer to an
improvement on this notion, devised by myself, namely, that she should
tell the story instead of me, out of her own diary, Penelope observes,
with a fierce look and a red face, that her journal is for her own
private eye, and that no living creature shall ever know what is in
it but herself. When I inquire what this means, Penelope says,
"Fiddlesticks!" I say, Sweethearts.

Beginning, then, on Penelope's plan, I beg to mention that I was
specially called one Wednesday morning into my lady's own sitting-room,
the date being the twenty-fourth of May, Eighteen hundred and
forty-eight.

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