The Moonstone (Chapter 3, page 1 of 2)


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Chapter 3

I beg it to be understood that what I write here about my cousin (unless
some necessity should arise for making it public) is for the information
of the family only. Herncastle has said nothing that can justify me in
speaking to our commanding officer. He has been taunted more than once
about the Diamond, by those who recollect his angry outbreak before
the assault; but, as may easily be imagined, his own remembrance of the
circumstances under which I surprised him in the armoury has been
enough to keep him silent. It is reported that he means to exchange into
another regiment, avowedly for the purpose of separating himself from
ME.

Whether this be true or not, I cannot prevail upon myself to become his
accuser--and I think with good reason. If I made the matter public, I
have no evidence but moral evidence to bring forward. I have not only no
proof that he killed the two men at the door; I cannot even declare that
he killed the third man inside--for I cannot say that my own eyes saw
the deed committed. It is true that I heard the dying Indian's words;
but if those words were pronounced to be the ravings of delirium,
how could I contradict the assertion from my own knowledge? Let our
relatives, on either side, form their own opinion on what I have
written, and decide for themselves whether the aversion I now feel
towards this man is well or ill founded.

Although I attach no sort of credit to the fantastic Indian legend of
the gem, I must acknowledge, before I conclude, that I am influenced by
a certain superstition of my own in this matter. It is my conviction,
or my delusion, no matter which, that crime brings its own fatality with
it. I am not only persuaded of Herncastle's guilt; I am even fanciful
enough to believe that he will live to regret it, if he keeps the
Diamond; and that others will live to regret taking it from him, if he
gives the Diamond away.

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