Gold means everything to Silas Marner. He loves acquiring it, touching it, and hoarding it. It has become a substitute for the meaningful human relationships his life so patently lacks. So we can imagine just how heartbroken he is when one night Dunstan Cass steals two bags of gold from him. In the long run, this shameless act of theft is a blessing in disguise as it causes Silas to take stock of his life and realize just how wrong his priorities have been. But in the immediate aftermath, he's absolutely crestfallen by what has happened. Deeply traumatized, it's almost as if Silas has suffered a bereavement.
Silas goes out in the rain and heads to the local tavern. There he tells everyone about his theft. It says a lot about how much Silas values his lost gold that he's prepared to take the unprecedented step of asking his neighbors for help. Initially, Silas suspects Jem Rodney, but the pub landlord and the other men soon convince him otherwise.
One of the men, a farrier by the name of Dowlas, suggests that a couple of them go with Silas to Master Kench, the village constable. Kench is ill in bed, so he will have to appoint a constable to go in his place as well as a deputy. Duly empowered by the law, they'll return to Silas's cottage to conduct a thorough search of the premises. After a brief squabble among the men, it's decided that Mr. Macey will be the constable and Dowlas his deputy.