If Joseph Smith was trying to hide the plates for fear of being exposed, he certainly did not try to hide them from his wife.
Emma Smith said:
[The plates] lay in a box under our bed for months but I never felt at liberty to look at them– Nels Madsen and Parley P. Pratt, interview of Emma Smith Bidamon , 1877, Secure Stacks manuscript, MS 852, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
the plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment,” wrapped in this cloth.– Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, October 1, 1879, 290.
I once felt of the plates, as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metalic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book.– Last Testimony of Sister Emma, 290.
Joseph and Emma’s son Joseph III recalled
My mother told me that she . . . would lift and move [the plates] when she swept and dusted the room and furniture.– Joseph Smith III to Mrs. E. Horton, March 7, 1900, Community of Christ Library–Archives, as cited in Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, 1:546–47.
Why would Joseph risk his wife Emma finding out about his fraud if he needed her onside throughout the rest of his life?