1. I can't quite remember where we left off (Kindllle!) but I think it was before Rosanna killed herself? My first thought was that maybe someone had engineered this to make it seem like she had killed herself, but in fact she was still alive somewhere. Oh sure, that sounds crazy, but this is a Wilkie Collins novel. I think she's really dead though.
2. Sergeant Cuff describes himself as having spent his career "employed in cases of family scandal, acting in the capacity of confidential man." Confidential man like... con man? (LOL, fun with evolving language.) Remember in Woman in White when Laura gets an anonymous letter warning her about Percy Glyde, and everyone's like, "oh, one of those"? In this novel, having someone in your family run up an enormous secret debt and then engineer an elaborate fraud in order to pay it off is just part of life.
3. I don't buy the brilliant Sergeant Cuff's explanation though. He's being safe and unimaginative with this "debt" nonsense. Think crazier, man!
"I have several worthy ambitions, Betteredge; but what am I to do with them now? I am full of dormant good qualities, if Rachel would only have helped me to bring them out!"AHAHAHAHA! Hilarious.
On Friday, nothing happened -- except that one of the dogs showed signs of a breaking out behind the ears. I gave him a dose of syrup of buckthorn, and put him on a diet of pot-liquor and vegetables till further orders. Excuse my mentioning this. It has slipped in somehow.SURELY THIS WILL BECOME SIGNIFICANT. WILKIE "WILKSTER" COLLINS, IF YOU DO NOT MAKE THIS IMPORTANT, SO HELP ME...
6. Miss Clack, of course, fills us in at length (and, as it turns out, more than once) about the parameters she is supposed to stick to in her account. Does Collins think this is more authentic? Does he generally think we're too stupid to get it? It doesn't bother me, but it bothers me, y'know?
7. Miss Clack lives in "a Patmos amid the howling ocean of popery" of France. Rad.
8. Genuine question here: Miss Clack says "my aunt and her daughter (I really cannot call her my cousin!) had arrived". W-why can't she call her "cousin"? Did I miss something, or is this foreshadowing about the True Character of Rachel?
9. Wilkie "The Wilk Master" Collins is absolutely in his element in coming up with the names of the various "good works" of Miss Clack and her ilk. A tract titled "A Word With You On Your Cap-Ribbons"? The Mothers' Small Clothes Conversion Society? "Satan under the Tea Table"? The British Ladies' Servants' Sunday Sweetheart Supervision Society?
I looked through the window, and saw the World, the Flesh, and the Devil waiting before the house--as typified in a carriage and three horses, a powdered footman, and three of the most audaciously dressed women I ever beheld in my life.I really want an opportunity to say "You look like the World, the Flesh, and the Devil in that dress!"
12. I can't help but be genuinely sad that Miss Clack didn't get anything in Lady Verinder's will, and she missed out on the gift she was promised. Sure, she's maybe not the most lovable character, but gee.
We've been given a lot of information in this section, and yet it is still completely unclear what the heck is going on. Why is Rachel acting so crazy, and what has she done? And what has Godfrey done? What did Lady Verinder know? Why have I totally passed over the weird kidnapping thing? Who can say!