Edwin's Watch and Shirtpin
On the day he disappeared Edwin visited a jeweller to have his watch fixed. The jeweller, knowing of Edwin’s betrothal to Rosa (but not knowing it has been called off), tried unsuccessfully to sell some jewellery to Edwin, but the fair youth refused it as ‘he wears no jewellery but his watch and chain, which were his father’s, and his shirt-pin.’ The jeweller admitted to knowing this already:
for Mr Jasper dropped in for a watch-glass the other day, and in fact I showed these articles to him, remarking that if he should wish to make a present to a gentleman relative, on any particular occasion – But he said with a smile that he had an inventory in his mind of all the jewellery his gentleman relative ever wore; namely his watch and chain, and shirt-pin.
Edwin was said to see this as a sign of Jasper’s care and affection for him, adding that ‘If I were to make an extra crease in my neck-cloth, he would think it worth noticing!’ However, the attention which Jasper pays to Edwin’s possessions takes a sinister turn in the light of Edwin’s disappearance when those very objects by which he could be identified, and to which the jeweller would no doubt readily testify, are found by Septimus Crisparkle in Cloisterham Weir. These items confirmed the guilt of Neville Landless in the minds of many Cloisterham residents, and yet despite diving to the depths of the weir repeatedly, Crisparkle was unable to find a body - only these items which Edwin was known to carry. Are they then confirmation of Edwin’s death in the river, or are they red herrings planted to lead us astray?