Lantern Yard is Silas Marner's hometown. There, he was considered a fine, upstanding member of the local community. A devout, regular churchgoer, Silas is believed by the local people to be filled with the Holy Spirit on account of his frequent fits. But Silas's happy life in Lantern Yard is changed forever when his supposed friend William Danes falsely accuses him of theft.
Silas has been keeping a vigil by the Deacon's bedside. The churchman is seriously ill, and his parishioners took turns sitting with him throughout the day and night. During one of Silas's shifts, the Deacon passes away. Later that morning, William Dane arrives in the company of a minister, who summons Silas to a meeting of the church members. At the meeting, the minister brandishes Silas's pocketknife, which he claims to have found in the Deacon's desk drawer, where the church money was kept. The money is missing, and the presence of Silas's pocketknife in the drawer seems to indicate that he dropped it there when he stole the money.
Silas vehemently protests his innocence, but it is all to no avail. The church members draw lots to determine his fate, and the majority find him guilty. Silas is furious; he knows that he is completely innocent. He now remembers that he lent his pocketknife to William Danes. He must have put the pocketknife in the Deacon's drawer and then hidden the money in Silas's chamber to make it look like he stole the money. But no one is prepared to listen to Silas; as far as the congregation is concerned, he is guilty as sin.
Silas is sure that God will clear his name. But after the guilty verdict of the congregation is passed, Silas vents his anger at the Almighty and turns his back on both the town of Lantern Yard and God himself.