The Moonstone (Chapter 8, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 8

The first thing I did, after we were left together alone, was to make a
third attempt to get up from my seat on the sand. Mr. Franklin stopped
me.

"There is one advantage about this horrid place," he said; "we have got
it all to ourselves. Stay where you are, Betteredge; I have something to
say to you."

While he was speaking, I was looking at him, and trying to see something
of the boy I remembered, in the man before me. The man put me out. Look
as I might, I could see no more of his boy's rosy cheeks than of his
boy's trim little jacket. His complexion had got pale: his face, at the
lower part was covered, to my great surprise and disappointment, with a
curly brown beard and mustachios. He had a lively touch-and-go way with
him, very pleasant and engaging, I admit; but nothing to compare with
his free-and-easy manners of other times. To make matters worse, he
had promised to be tall, and had not kept his promise. He was neat, and
slim, and well made; but he wasn't by an inch or two up to the middle
height. In short, he baffled me altogether. The years that had passed
had left nothing of his old self, except the bright, straightforward
look in his eyes. There I found our nice boy again, and there I
concluded to stop in my investigation.

"Welcome back to the old place, Mr. Franklin," I said. "All the more
welcome, sir, that you have come some hours before we expected you."

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