In the last year of the 18th century, Colonel John Herncastle plundered from India a priceless and most sacred yellow diamond.
Vishnu, the preserver, laid his curse on the thief, commanding three priests to search forever for his moonstone.
But the wicked colonel smuggled the stone to England.
In his will, he bequeathed the diamond to his beautiful young niece, Miss Rachel Verinder.
Rachel's gallant cousin, Mr Franklin Blake, was charged with the gem's delivery.
The theft of the diamond that very night split the happy couple asunder.
One year later, Franklin set out to win back Rachel's heart by unmasking the thief once and for all, only to learn from Rachel's own lips that the thief was he himself.
[KNOCK AT DOOR]
Good God, sir!
Look at the state that you are in!
I tell you plainly, if I could've foreseen the price to be paid for telling the truth, I would have willingly kept you in the dark.
You have seen Rachel?
She's in the care of my wife and my daughters.
She was in no fit state to return home last night alone.
But is she...? She is now preparing to go to the continent within the next fortnight in an attempt to put all this business behind her.
Oh, no, Franklin... please, don't despair.
I am accused of theft by the woman I love.
And though I know myself to be innocent, all the evidence points against me.
How can I not despair?
We cannot blame Rachel for thinking you to be guilty.
She has the evidence of her own senses, backed by circumstances that appear to tell d*ad against you.
I know I slept through the night, Rachel knows I took the diamond.
The two things cannot both have happened.
Well, maybe they can.
I mean, is it possible that you drank more than usual that night?
Is it a possibility that you took the moonstone when you were drunk, and forgotten you'd done so?
No, none whatsoever.
I can prove beyond doubt I was out cold the whole night.
You have had something else besides an excellent night's rest, sir.
You had a sleeping draught before you went to bed.
Well, why did you not tell me this before?!
This changes everything!
How? The stain on my nightgown still speaks against me.
Rachel said she saw me, and Rachel would not lie.
Yes, but she may have been mistaken.
Well, who's to say that the nightgown wore that night was not worn by someone else?
Someone whom Rachel thought was you!
If you were asleep all night, you could not possibly have done it.
We need a statement from this doctor, confessing that he gave you a sleeping draught.
This will preserve your character in Rachel's mind and prove that you have been wronged.
I have telegraphed ahead to Betteredge to ensure the doctor will be waiting for us in the house.
Answer me this, Mr Franklin, do you believe the moonstone to be the bottom of all this mischief, or is it not?
It is, of course. And what do you think happened to the moonstone when it went to London?
It was pledged to Mr Luker.
Yes. And we know that it was not you who pledged it.
Do we know who did? No.
Where do you think the moonstone is now?
It is deposited in the keeping of Mr Luker's bankers.
And for how long a term do you think such a loan is usually pledged?
And when will that year be up?
In only a few weeks' time. Exactly!
I propose setting a watch on the bank to see to whom Mr Luker restores that jewel.
Because that person, you may be sure of it, is the person entirely responsible for the position you now find yourself in!
Welcome, sirs. Who is ill? Betteredge, is the doctor here?
Straight through. But I should inform you...
After, Betteredge. All in good time.
Thank you, Betteredge.
Good evening, sir. Dr Ezra Jennings.
I asked for Dr Candy.
Now what? We are back to the beginning.
Your Dr Candy has twice been my undoing.
First in him slipping me the sleeping draught, secondly in his untimely passing.
I would that you could forgive him.
Dr Candy, may he rest in peace, is beyond reach of my resentment, but I can neither forgive nor forget.
He was trying to help you.
He had no cause to know how events turned out.
Why do you defend his folly?
Dr Candy took me into his employment under circumstances which made me his debtor for life.
He was a good man!
This was a rare error of judgment.
I will not have it stain his reputation!
Gentlemen, good day.
Put your signature to this document with a declaration saying you were in Candy's confidence.
This is false statement and misrepresentation.
I cannot allow it! And that the sleeping draught he gave me kept me unconscious the night of the theft.
But the draught he gave you would not have had that effect, sir.
Laudanum does not work in that manner.
Laudanum? He gave me Laudanum?
Opiates do not guarantee sleep or rest.
And, in fact, the opposite. Explain.
Well, there is often a period of agitation and activity, later forgotten once the sedative effect of the drug takes hold.
I could not put my name to a document stating that you were unconscious all night, sir. I-I'm sorry, sir.
Wait! So if I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that I... I may not have fallen straight asleep.
Is it beyond the realm of possibility that in this early state of agitation, I might've taken the diamond, disposed of it somewhere and forgotten I'd done so by the time I woke?
Er... it is possible.
Then I-I need to retrieve my memory of what happened that night!
How can I stimulate it?
I need to remember what I did, if indeed I did wake!
Is there a way?
You know one. I see you do. Tell me!
The only method I know would put your physical and mental health at risk, and possibly your life.
My life is of no worth to me. What must I do?
You must needs take laudanum again.
Perchance, like the inebriate who cannot remember his route home till next he takes a drink, you may find yourself reliving your last experience of opium and retrieve the memory that you have lost.
Now, wait, sir. This is dangerous nonsense!
Dangerous, sir, yes. Nonsense, no.
I'll try this experiment. Well, it's not that simple.
You would have to almost exactly produce the physiological conditions as they were in you last year, and the external stimuli.
You will help me.
I will engage your services to see me through this re-enactment.
Dr Candy did me harm. He broke his Hippocratic oath!
I'm giving you the chance to right his wrong!
I will both forgive and forget what he did if you help me.
I will need you to sign a statement.
Sir, a word with you in private!
Franklin, this is mischief!
This is a piece of trickery akin to mesmerism and clairvoyance and the like.
It raises hopes which may never be realised.
It is the only hope I have left.
What about the alternative that I proposed to you on the train?
No. No, it obliges us to wait.
A fortnight? Is that really so long?
It is too late.
In a fortnight, Rachel will have left the country.
What do you hope to prove with this re-enactment? Nothing!
Except that perhaps you really are the thief of the diamond.
It will prove, I hope, that if I was the thief, I took it unknowingly.
Or better yet, it may show what I did with the diamond next.
What if the diamond is not in London?
What if... what if it is here, under this very roof, and has been all along?
Sir, this is dangerous and ill-advised.
I forbid it.
Well, you have neither the power nor the right to do so.
We shall see.
You can clear the glasses, Betteredge.
We won't be needing any more.
Now that we are free of naysayers, what do you say to my proposition?
I would need you to sign a statement saying you're fully aware of the risks involved in such an act.
Before you entrust yourself in me, I owe you a confession.
We have more in common than you know, you and I.
At the outset of my career in this country, vile slander struck me down and I was incapable, perfectly incapable of proving my innocence.
How do you live under the shadow of such false accusation?
It has taken its toll on my health, as I dare to hope you may understand.
I now suffer from an incurable internal complaint.
I'm forced to medicate myself, and in doing so, I...
..I have become addicted to that which will be my undoing.
What is it?
It is the one effective palliative for my condition.
To its own... own potent mercy, I have become indebted and enslaved.
I need to make sure you fully understand the risks of the experiment before we proceed.
Is the diamond worth the price of your health and sanity?
Miss Rachel's bedroom is to be restored, and also the landing.
I wish to know whether or not I may wash my hands of...
I will call the scullery maid to bring some water.
..of certain responsibilities.
As to Miss Verinder's bedroom, to begin with.
When we took up the carpet last year, Mr Blake, we found a surprising quantity of pins.
Am I responsible for putting back the pins?
As to your bedroom, sir...
..I want to know who is responsible for keeping it in a perpetual state of litter, no matter how often it may be set right?
Your trousers here, your towels there.
Your French novels everywhere.
I say, who is responsible for untidying the tidiness of your room, sir?
Yourself, or me?
I will take that responsibility entirely upon myself, Betteredge.
You have done a number of foolish things in your life, Mr Franklin.
But this tops them all.
We need to ascertain your psychologica state this time last year if we're to recreate it as precisely as we can.
Absolutely. I believe this time last year, you were suffering from nervous irritation and sleeping wretchedly.
Can you assign any cause for that?
Indeed I can.
At least for now, it overwhelms the tobacco.
My smoking offends you?
Then I will stop.
I would not make you.
You do not like it, I cast it out.
I gave up that very day.
Put that out, sir. You must cast out the habit with the suddenness that you did last year.
Did you have any special reason for feeling anxiety about the diamond this time last year?
I had the strongest feelings of anxiety about it.
I knew it to be the object of a conspiracy.
And was the safety of the diamond the subject of conversation between you and any other person immediately before you returned to rest on the birthday night?
It was the only subject of conversation.
From what you've told me of the moonstone tonight, Mr Blake, I judge that you have had more narrow escapes of your life than I've had of mine, and that is saying a very great deal.
It is possible that in the experiment, we may prove not just your innocence, but recover the diamond, as well.
How can he still insist on his innocence?
How can he persist with such ludicrous denials?!
He's like a man possessed!
He's driven by a laudanum addict whose reputation's besmirched with scandal.
Surely it is dangerous to experiment with the subconscious mind in this way.
He's risking his life.
Why would he do that?
He must indeed be convinced of his own innocence.
Madam, one word from you can put a stop to this dangerous experiment and save Franklin Blake from himself.
I am due to travel within days. When does he intend to carry this out?
Tomorrow night, I believe.
[DR JENNINGS GASPS FOR BREATH]
It shatters the nervous system! It... it seduces the mind!
It destroys even the strongest with its embrace!
Are you sure you wish to proceed?!
Mr Blake. I hope you have not come to stop me, because I will not listen.
Well, against my better judgment and that of Sergeant Cuff, Rachel has consented to go through with this charade, on one condition.
That I remain present throughout the re-enactment as a witness.
Be my guest.
If I can convince you, who is so strongly against the experiment, it places its result beyond the possibility of dispute.
Then we can proceed tonight.
Tonight? Tonight is Miss Verinder's birthday and the very night to the year that the diamond was stolen.
My luggage is at the back door, Betteredge. Would you mind?
She will not regret this. Hm.
Sir, a word in private.
The devil be damned, it can't be!
May I introduce you to Dr Jennings, the assistant to the late Dr Candy, who Mr Blake has enlisted for this...
I was afraid I might not bear the sight of the house, after what happened last year. And without my dearest mother by my side.
Now, we can stop this dangerous and foolish experiment of Mr Blake's.
Not at all.
I'm here to witness what happens here this evening, not to stop it.
If Franklin is mad enough to take such a risk to clear his name, then I am mad enough to hope...
I wish my presence here to be kept a secret until the experiment has been tried.
Dr Jennings, how afraid I am of what your re-enactment may reveal.
Where is he now? What is he doing?
Preparing for this evening.
Everything has been recreated down to the last detail.
He will dine at the same table, on the same menu as you did on your birthday last year.
Echoes: How strange. The place will be full of ghosts.
£20,000?! It is indeed exquisite.
By the light of the harvest moon!
Donate me your diamond. To do what with?!
To burn it, of course.
I'm no clairvoyant, Mr Blake, but your future will be short, as long as you hold on to this gem.
The moonstone is of an estimable value in India.
Its appointed guardians would move heaven and earth to reclaim it.
Resisting the draw of the tobacco, Mr Franklin?
I have nursed him to a state of sensitiveness, produced by deprivation of sleep and a sudden cessation in the habit of smoking.
Now, what we hope is that the diamond will inv*de his subconscious as fiercely as it did last year.
Oh, what devil...! High-cast... That heathen parade!
Are there thieves in the house?
The moonstone, it's gone!
We must prepare the dose.
I must have a hand in it.
Not that I mistrust you.
I-I shall risk increasing the dose of 25 minims to 40.
On this occasion, Mr Blake is aware that he is taking laudanum.
It is the equivalent, physiologically-speaking, to his having a certain capacity in him to resist the effects.
Are you sure it will do no harm?
Franklin is well aware of the risks involved.
You... you must place this where you put the moonstone last year, and then wait.
It all happened that way on my birthday night.
It must all happen again in the same way, mustn't it?
It is time.
If we do succeed tonight... and retrieve the diamond, but we send it to Amsterdam to have it cut up and destroyed...
..and if it is cut up, well...
..will the curse be...?
[FRANKLIN GASPS FOR BREATH]
That cursed jewel!
I should never have let her have it!
The doubt about the safety of the diamond is the dominant impression in... in the brain!
See... see how the pupils contract!
The opium has taken hold.
The sedative influence has taken hold.
The experiment is at an end.
He can sleep here.
He will probably remain unconscious for the next six or seven hours.
Dr Jennings, I must beg your pardon for doubting you.
Having proved that Franklin Blake did take the diamond, unwittingly and under the influence of opium, you have nonetheless done him an inestimable service.
The first object of your experiment has indeed been successful, Dr Jennings, and, for that, I thank you.
..had Franklin led us to the moonstone, had he insensible hidden it somewhere in the house, I would've known he did not take the diamond for mercenary gain.
But the sedative influence took hold too soon and we have proved nothing.
Did he hide it? Did he drop it?
Was it found? And if so, who found it?
Until we know who took the diamond to London, the sergeant's allegations still hang over me.
The trust that Franklin and I once shared remains... irreparably... broken until we know what really happened.
Goodbye, sir. I shall head to the continent on Monday as planned.
I beg you, do not tell Franklin I was here.
I thought I dreamed.
Was Rachel here?
We... we... we have reason both to rejoice over success and to lament over failure.
You took the diamond, just as Rachel said she saw you do.
Unfortunately, the sedative effect took hold sooner than we'd hoped.
You dropped the diamond on the floor.
No. No, I didn't.
I'm afraid you did, sir.
I... I left Rachel's room and I met someone in the corridor.
That is not what happened.
You dropped the jewel, sir.
Three of us witnessed it.
No, no. No, last year, man. I'm talking about last year, not last night.
The experiment must've awoken the memory, as you predicted.
I gave the diamond to someone in the corridor.
They... they offered to help me.
They said they would take the diamond to the bank to keep it safe for me.
Who... who was it?
It must've been somebody in the house this time last year.
Then we're back where we started!
I... I remember Rachel.
Why do I remember Rachel being here?
Can it be I gave her the diamond?
No, no. That cannot be.
The laudanum lies.
Your theory, Dr Jennings, is that Franklin hid the moonstone somewhere.
Franklin now believes that he gave the moonstone to someone.
We also have the theory that the moonstone is, in fact, in possession of Mr Luker's bankers in London.
Now, we won't contest which of those theories is correct.
The only which one is in the right place to be put to the test.
In a few days' time, Luker must claim that jewel from his bank as himself, as it was deposited in his name.
Now, as we speak, I've asked Sergeant Cuff to prepare to set a watch on him at the bank.
But in a few days, Miss Rachel will be gone.
Then I prove my innocence and I follow her.
I would travel further than the continent to win back Rachel's heart, but to do so, I must do more than just retrieve the diamond.
Trust between us can only grow again if I find out who took the diamond to London and pledged it to Mr Luker, thus... thus proving both my innocence and hers.
Patience, Franklin, patience.
I am aware that you are in pursuit of something far more precious than a jewel, but hear me out.
Luker will not dare to leave the bank with the jewel.
Remember, the guardians also wait to redeem their gem, and he has suffered at their hands already.
No. I'm acting on the chance that the person who pledged that jewel to Luker must now await for him into the bank in order to redeem it.
That being the case, we may lay our hands on him!
If we succeed, we clear up the mystery exactly the point where it baffles us now.
Sir, a message for you.
Just in time, sirs.
Mr Luker was seen two hours ago leaving his house in Lambeth in a cab.
He was accompanied by two men who my men say were police officers in plain clothes.
Now, if Mr Luker's dread of the guardians is at the bottom of this precaution, the inference is plain enough.
He's going to take the diamond out of the bank.
Have you seen Luker?
I saw him an hour since, going to an office down there.
Well, has he come out again yet? No, but we must on our mettle.
The stout man, the man in the grey hat and the sailor.
Any one of these has the potential to receive the diamond.
We must be ready to follow any of them.
Whoever takes the jewel from Mr Luker is likely to be an intermediary and will pass it on to our thief.
Now, the guardians have their spies somewhere and I think it is that sailor.
Here he is now! If he passes the jewel to anyone, he will do it now.
We... we can't degrade ourselves by following them.
I shall take the stout man, you take the man in the grey hat.
Ezra can take the sailor.
Keep an eye on Septimus Luker.
We may have made a mistake and the diamond is still in his possession.
Rachel! It... it... it cannot be.
She left the country yesterday.
So she gave us to believe.
You are to follow the sailor.
Then you must follow her.
The man in the grey hat has spent 30 years in service to the chemist.
He was here at the bank to deposit money into his master's account.
He knows no more about the moonstone than the babe unborn!
The gentleman I pursued turned out to be a respectable master ironmonger in Eastcheap.
I have failed you all and I have failed myself.
I believe we should pursue the case no further. Why? What on earth's the matter, sir?
There was a... a young lady.
Luker spoke to her, something was passed between them.
I could not see her face, but she had unmistakably the poise of...
Are you saying you suspect Miss Rachel after all?
But that is not possible, sir!
She left for the continent yesterday on the Aurora!
No, sir. The departure has been delayed because of an incident.
The docks are in chaos.
The Aurora will not set sail till tomorrow afternoon.
Where did the young lady you followed go?
I am the worst amateur detective that ever tried hands at the trade.
I'm afraid I lost sight of her.
I'm ending the inquiry.
Thank you for your services, sir, you are dismissed.
No, no, no, no, no, wait!
What of Dr Jennings and the sailor?
Let us wait until we have news from him before we take any action.
I will make a surprise visit to Miss Verinder.
It may be we can clear her name immediately.
[KNOCK AT DOOR]
Have you found her?
She has not been seen since she left home this afternoon on charity work.
Her maid was unable, or perhaps unwilling, to let me know where she is.
Well, perhaps you and Miss Clack have been right all along, Sergeant.
I do not think that way any more.
I wrongly suspected Rachel last year.
I may be suspecting the wrong person now.
But wait to open this, Mr Blake, till you are at the truth, and compare the name of the guilty person with the name I've written on this note.
[KNOCK AT DOOR]
This is Ezra's hand.
Reads: I think I have tracked down the diamond.
I am sure that also in pursuit are the guardians.
They followed the same Hackney carriage I did down to the docks from Lombard Street to Tower Wharf, only to discover that the departure of the Aurora was delayed until tomorrow afternoon and that her destination had changed to Holland.
Amsterdam is where Murthwaite advised us to get the diamond cut!
Ezra: I am now at the Wheel of Fortune lodging house.
Our thief and the diamond are safe, awaiting to sail tomorrow.
Sirs, I am happy to see you. I kept close watch.
Our thief is safe upstairs in Room 10.
With the diamond!
Sir! Stand back, sir!
Together now. One, two, three!
He's d*ad. We need to get the police.
I shall go. Look!
Reads: Deposited with Messrs Bush by Septimus Luker, a valuable of great price.
To be only given up on the personal application of Mr Luker.
[GUST OF WIND]
There's a passage. It's a priest's hole.
Seems the guardians have finally recovered their jewel.
Look at the paper. The paper I wrote on earlier.
That cannot be. It is.
Godfrey! Good God!
Dr Jennings is with the coroner now.
He... he believes Godfrey was smothered.
It is little comfort, but he will not have felt pain.
I know his crime does not warrant such a shocking and m*rder end, but the truth remains, Rachel, Godfrey was the thief.
It was Godfrey who stole your diamond.
There is some mistake!
This makes no sense!
If he had the diamond, why would he seek to marry me for my money?
[KNOCK AT DOOR]
Madam, your carriage awaits.
How do we know Godfrey was not framed?
Where is the proof? Where is the witness?
There is no question but Luker was involved.
This being now a m*rder case, if he wishes to escape prosecution, he must needs explain himself.
Madam, if we are to catch our boat, we must away.
Rachel! Penelope, tell the driver there has been a change of plan.
Come, we shall go together to this moneylender... now.
I was more than surprised when Mr Godfrey Ablewhite produced the moonstone.
In my experience, no such diamond was in the possession of any private person in Europe.
Well, Mr Luker?
I have a debt to pay to a gentleman for who I'm a trustee tomorrow.
Can you help or not? I need to know!
'My estimate, allowing for the flaw in the stone, was £20,000.'
How did you come by this?
'Tis a family heirloom.
Come, Mr Ablewhite, that won't do.
My cousin inherited it.
But is too afraid to have it in the house.
We concocted a little plan to pretend it stolen to keep it safe.
Please...! I cannot do business involving such large sums.
And risks to myself.
If I cannot trust my client...
'And then, in his desperation, he came out with a new and amended version of the affair.'
Take it to the bank.
It is safe there.
It is not safe here.
I cannot take it.
My... my head is like lead and I cannot feel my feet beneath me.
When morning came, your language and conduct showed that you were absolutely ignorant of what you had said and done overnight.
And yours, you were resolved to say nothing on your side.
The moonstone belonged to Godfrey Ablewhite, for him to do with as he pleased.
Thus I persuaded him to pawn the diamond for well below its value by threatening to tell of its theft if he took it elsewhere.
Good business thrives on the back of crooked men.
The money from Mr Luker here serviced Godfrey's immediate debts, but, of course, the moonstone was worth so much more.
That is why he had to continue fortune-hunting in order to redeem the diamond and realise its full value.
Which is why he sought out your poor late mother's will and proposed to you with mercenary alacrity.
How did he eventually raise the money to redeem the pledge?
I had word today of the unexpected death of a lady whose estate listed a certain Mr Ablewhite as the principal beneficiary.
You... you cannot mean...
If he wasn't already m*rder, we'd be hanging him for this.
Rachel, I am so sorry you've been dragged back into this.
No, Franklin, it is I who owe you an apology.
You have been most unfairly wronged. Please forgive me.
I fear I can never make amends for what I have caused you to suffer.
Oh, but you can.
One word will release me from the agony of last year.
Rachel Verinder, will you do me the honour of being my wife?
Well, if it isn't Mr and Mrs Franklin Blake!
And what became of the moonstone?
The three guardians carried it back to India on a ship.
At the ceremony that followed their arrival, a curtain was drawn aside and the Shrine of Vishnu was disclosed to view...
Child: And the Shrine of Vishnu was disclosed to view.
There in the forehead of the deity gleams the yellow diamond, whose splendour had last shone in England.
Finally, the moonstone looked forth once more over the walls of the sacred city in which its story first began.
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01x05 - Episode 5
Episode transcripts for the 2016 TV show "The Moonstone". Aired 31 October - 4 November 2016.
"The Moonstone" revolves around a large Indian diamond, which goes missing after a party at an English country house, and a period of turmoil, unhappiness, misunderstandings and ill-luck ensues in a complex plot to explain the theft, identify the thief, trace the stone and recover it.
1 post • Page 1 of 1
1 post • Page 1 of 1