Stapleton and his beautiful sister and even Dr. Mortimer, remain suspects. Watson is told to send Holmes regular reports detailing any facts that he finds out about Sir Charles' death and anything significant concerning Sir Henry's interaction with his neighbors. Holmes also advises Sir Henry not to go onto the moor at night. Barrymore welcome Sir Henry and Dr. Watson to Baskerville Hall. On arrival in Dartmoor, Watson, Sir Henry and Mortimer notice several soldiers who are looking for Selden the Notting Hill murderer, a convict who has recently escaped from Princetown Prison.
At Baskerville Hall, the butler Barrymore suggests that he and his wife will soon be leaving Sir Henry's service and using the money that they inherited from Sir Charles to start their own business. Watson is awoken during the night by the sound of a woman crying. The following morning, he finds out that Sir Henry heard the sound too. When Barrymore is asked about it, he denies that his wife was the one who was crying.
However, when Watson sees Mrs. Barrymore, it is obvious from her face that her husband was lying. At the post office in Grimpen, Watson finds out that the telegram for Barrymore was not in fact given to him but to his wife. He therefore cannot be certain that Barrymore was not the one following Sir Henry in London. After Watson leaves the post office, Jack Stapleton, a naturalist who is particularly interested in insects, approaches him and introduces himself. He knows that Watson is a friend of Sherlock Holmes and wants to know what the famous detective thinks about the death of Sir Charles Baskerville.
Stapleton expresses his opinion that Sir Charles was so frightened by the legend of the hound that he could have died of fright while running away from any dog. Stapleton invites Watson to come to his house. On the way, Stapleton points out stone huts which were the homes of prehistoric people and the boggy Grimpen Mire. The mire is a dangerous place. Watson and Stapleton see a pony get caught in a bog and get slowly dragged down to its death.
Watson and Stapleton hear a strange howling sound. Stapleton says that it could be the sound of mud settling or water rising in a bog or the cry of a rare bird. Beryl Stapleton tells Dr. Watson to forget the warning she gave earlier. Shortly before they reach Stapleton's home, the naturalist goes off in pursuit of a butterfly which he has just seen. At that point, his sister Beryl approaches Dr. She tells him to go straight back to London and not tell her brother about the words she has spoken to him.
When Jack Stapleton returns, it is revealed that Beryl believed that she was talking to Sir Henry Baskerville when she gave the warning. During dinner, Stapleton tells Watson that he moved to Dartmoor after the school which he ran in the north of England closed following an epidemic in which three boys died. After Watson leaves Stapleton's house, Beryl catches up with him. She tells Watson to forget the warning which she gave him. When Watson tells her that he cannot forget it and presses her on the issue, she says that she was only referring to the legendary hound.
She says that she asked Watson not to say anything about the warning to her brother because he wants a Baskerville in the area to continue the charity work which Sir Charles started. Sir Henry speaks to Barrymore about the telegram which was delivered into his wife's hands instead of into his. Barrymore takes offense at this and Sir Henry has to give him several of his old clothes in order to make him feel better.
Watson makes the acquaintance of Mr. Frankland, an amateur astronomer who also enjoys bringing lawsuits against people and putting himself into positions which lead to other people prosecuting him. Frankland's lawsuits sometimes bring about results which are of benefit to local people, who then hail him as a hero, and sometimes lead to the local people becoming extremely angry with him and burning dummies of him.
Sir Henry meets and falls in love with Beryl Stapleton. Her brother, however, does not appear to approve of the relationship. Jack Stapleton suddenly appears and angrily confronts Sir Henry and his sister. Stapleton goes to Baskerville Hall later to apologize for his behavior and to invite Sir Henry and Watson to dinner the following Friday.
Late at night, Watson is awoken by the sound of footsteps. He sees Barrymore go to a window with a candle in his hand. He later notices that the window has the best view of the moor of all the windows in Baskerville Hall. Watson tells Sir Henry about this and they decide to investigate. When they see Barrymore go to the window at night with a candle in his hand again, they confront him. Barrymore refuses to tell them what he was doing. His wife, however, reveals the truth. The escaped convict Selden, who is hiding on the moor, is her brother.
They signal to him every few days to see if he is still alive. He signals back to them to show them where they can leave food for him. Watson and Sir Henry go onto the moor in pursuit of the convict. They see him but are unable to catch him.
While they are on the moor, they hear the strange howling sound. Watson tells Sir Henry the explanations for the sound that Stapleton gave him but Sir Henry is certain that it is a hound. Fearing for his safety, Sir Henry decides to go home. Before they leave the moor, Watson sees the silhouette of another man, who is not the convict Selden, on a distant hill. Barrymore later confirms that there is another man living on the moor in one of the prehistoric stone huts.
He says that Selden has seen a boy bringing food to the man. Barrymore plead with Watson and Sir Henry not to tell the police about the location of Selden or the help which they have been giving him. Out of gratitude, Barrymore gives some further information which he had previously withheld about the death of Sir Charles. Barrymore knows that Sir Charles was waiting to see a woman whose initials were L. On the morning of that day, a letter in a woman's handwriting arrived for Sir Charles. Barrymore later found the charred remains of the letter in the fireplace and was able to see the signature L.
From Dr. Mortimer, Watson finds out that L. Her father decided to have nothing more to do with her after she married without his approval. Her husband went on to mistreat her and later abandon her. Mortimer adds that he and several other people have helped Laura Lyons by giving her money. Watson travels to Coombe Tracey and meets Laura Lyons. She says that she did not know Sir Charles very well and that she was introduced to him by their mutual friend Stapleton. She reluctantly admits that she had arranged to meet him on the night that he died to ask for money for a divorce. She says that the meeting was arranged for such a late hour because she would not have another opportunity to see Sir Charles, who was leaving for a long stay in London the next day.
She says that she asked to see him outside rather than go into his house because it would seem improper for a woman to enter a single man's house at night. She also adds that she did not keep her arranged meeting with Sir Charles because she got financial help from someone else. Watson in the hut of the mysterious man on the moor.
On the way back to Baskerville Hall, Watson sees Mr. Through one of his lawsuits, Frankland has angered some of the local people who have burnt a dummy of him. He feels that the local police are not taking the situation seriously enough. Consequently, Frankland has decided not to tell the police what he believes he knows about the whereabouts of Selden.
Through his telescope, Frankland has seen a boy bringing food to one of the prehistoric huts on the moor. He and Watson observe the boy going to the hut, which Watson knows is not inhabited by Selden but by the other mysterious man. Watson makes his way to the hut. He sees signs that somebody has been living there for some time and is shocked to find a note which says, "Dr. Watson has gone to Coombe Tracey". He waits inside the hut for its occupant to return.
To his great surprise, the occupant is revealed to be Sherlock Holmes. Holmes tells Watson that he has been in the area secretly for some time. He later reveals that he spent most of that time in Coombe Tracey and only came to the hut on the moor when he considered it necessary. Holmes claims to have found out more that way than he could if his presence was known. He brought the messenger boy Cartwright from London with him and it is Cartwright who has been bringing him food. All of Watson's reports were forwarded to Holmes and he found them very helpful. Although he has no solid evidence for it, Holmes is certain that Stapleton was the one responsible for Sir Charles' death, is the hound's master and is planning to kill Sir Henry.
He has found out that Stapleton's comment about a running a school in the north which had to close after an epidemic was true. Holmes has been able to find out more about the man by finding records of that incident. Stapleton was using a different name at that time but he is identifiable by his physical description and his interest in insects.
One fact which Holmes has discovered is that Beryl Stapleton is not really Jack Stapleton's sister but his wife. Holmes also suspects that there was a "close intimacy" between Stapleton and Laura Lyons and feels the need to question her again. Seeing no further need to conceal his presence, Holmes decides to accompany Watson back to Baskerville Hall. On the way, they hear the howling of the hound and another terrible sound, which they soon discover was that of a dying man. They find the body of a man who died after falling from some rocks while running away from the hound.
From his clothes, they take him at first to be Sir Henry. On closer inspection, they find that the body is that of Selden, wearing some of Sir Henry's old clothes that he gave to Barrymore. Holmes knows that the old clothes, carrying Sir Henry's scent, were the cause of Selden's death. Watson, come round and lunch with us at two. We heard the steps of our visitors descend the stair and the bang of the front door.
In an instant Holmes had changed from the languid dreamer to the man of action. Not a moment to lose! We hurried together down the stairs and into the street. Mortimer and Baskerville were still visible about two hundred yards ahead of us in the direction of Oxford Street. I am perfectly satisfied with your company if you will tolerate mine. Our friends are wise, for it is certainly a very fine morning for a walk. He quickened his pace until we had decreased the distance which divided us by about half.
Then, still keeping a hundred yards behind, we followed into Oxford Street and so down Regent Street. Once our friends stopped and stared into a shop window, upon which Holmes did the same. An instant afterwards he gave a little cry of satisfaction, and, following the direction of his eager eyes, I saw that a hansom cab with a man inside which had halted on the other side of the street was now proceeding slowly onward again.
Come along! At that instant I was aware of a bushy black beard and a pair of piercing eyes turned upon us through the side window of the cab. Instantly the trapdoor at the top flew up, something was screamed to the driver, and the cab flew madly off down Regent Street. Holmes looked eagerly round for another, but no empty one was in sight.
Then he dashed in wild pursuit amid the stream of the traffic, but the start was too great, and already the cab was out of sight. Watson, Watson, if you are an honest man you will record this also and set it against my successes! How else could it be known so quickly that it was the Northumberland Hotel which he had chosen?
If they had followed him the first day I argued that they would follow him also the second. You may have observed that I twice strolled over to the window while Dr. Mortimer was reading his legend. We are dealing with a clever man, Watson. This matter cuts very deep, and though I have not finally made up my mind whether it is a benevolent or a malevolent agency which is in touch with us, I am conscious always of power and design.
When our friends left I at once followed them in the hopes of marking down their invisible attendant. So wily was he that he had not trusted himself upon foot, but he had availed himself of a cab so that he could loiter behind or dash past them and so escape their notice. His method had the additional advantage that if they were to take a cab he was all ready to follow them.
It has, however, one obvious disadvantage. But that is no use to us for the moment. I should then at my leisure have hired a second cab and followed the first at a respectful distance, or, better still, have driven to the Northumberland Hotel and waited there. When our unknown had followed Baskerville home we should have had the opportunity of playing his own game upon himself and seeing where he made for. As it is, by an indiscreet eagerness, which was taken advantage of with extraordinary quickness and energy by our opponent, we have betrayed ourselves and lost our man. We had been sauntering slowly down Regent Street during this conversation, and Dr.
Mortimer, with his companion, had long vanished in front of us. We must see what further cards we have in our hands and play them with decision. A clever man upon so delicate an errand has no use for a beard save to conceal his features. Come in here, Watson! He turned into one of the district messenger offices, where he was warmly greeted by the manager. I have some recollection, Wilson, that you had among your boys a lad named Cartwright, who showed some ability during the investigation.
And I should be glad to have change of this five-pound note. A lad of fourteen, with a bright, keen face, had obeyed the summons of the manager. He stood now gazing with great reverence at the famous detective. Now, Cartwright, there are the names of twenty-three hotels here, all in the immediate neighbourhood of Charing Cross. Do you see? Here are twenty-three shillings. You will say that an important telegram has miscarried and that you are looking for it.
You understand? Here is a copy of the Times. It is this page. You could easily recognize it, could you not? You will then learn in possibly twenty cases out of the twenty-three that the waste of the day before has been burned or removed. In the three other cases you will be shown a heap of paper and you will look for this page of the Times among it. The odds are enormously against your finding it. There are ten shillings over in case of emergencies. Let me have a report by wire at Baker Street before evening. And now, Watson, it only remains for us to find out by wire the identity of the cabman, No.
Sherlock Holmes had, in a very remarkable degree, the power of detaching his mind at will. For two hours the strange business in which we had been involved appeared to be forgotten, and he was entirely absorbed in the pictures of the modern Belgian masters. He would talk of nothing but art, of which he had the crudest ideas, from our leaving the gallery until we found ourselves at the Northumberland Hotel. The book showed that two names had been added after that of Baskerville. One was Theophilus Johnson and family, of Newcastle; the other Mrs.
Oldmore and maid, of High Lodge, Alton. Johnson, the coal-owner, a very active gentleman, not older than yourself. Oldmore, too; I seem to remember the name. Excuse my curiosity, but often in calling upon one friend one finds another. Her husband was once mayor of Gloucester. She always comes to us when she is in town. That means that while they are, as we have seen, very anxious to watch him, they are equally anxious that he should not see them. Now, this is a most suggestive fact. As we came round the top of the stairs we had run up against Sir Henry Baskerville himself.
His face was flushed with anger, and he held an old and dusty boot in one of his hands. So furious was he that he was hardly articulate, and when he did speak it was in a much broader and more Western dialect than any which we had heard from him in the morning. I can take a joke with the best, Mr. I only had three pairs in the world—the new brown, the old black, and the patent leathers, which I am wearing. Last night they took one of my brown ones, and today they have sneaked one of the black. Well, have you got it? Well, well, Mr. It seems the very maddest, queerest thing that ever happened to me.
This case of yours is very complex, Sir Henry. But we hold several threads in our hands, and the odds are that one or other of them guides us to the truth. We may waste time in following the wrong one, but sooner or later we must come upon the right. We had a pleasant luncheon in which little was said of the business which had brought us together.
It was in the private sitting-room to which we afterwards repaired that Holmes asked Baskerville what were his intentions. I have ample evidence that you are being dogged in London, and amid the millions of this great city it is difficult to discover who these people are or what their object can be. If their intentions are evil they might do you a mischief, and we should be powerless to prevent it. You did not know, Dr. Mortimer, that you were followed this morning from my house?
Have you among your neighbours or acquaintances on Dartmoor any man with a black, full beard?
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Address to Mr. Barrymore, Baskerville Hall. What is the nearest telegraph-office? Barrymore to be delivered into his own hand.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
- You recently viewed!
- A Study in Scarlet.
Mortimer, who is this Barrymore, anyhow? They have looked after the Hall for four generations now. So far as I know, he and his wife are as respectable a couple as any in the county. The residue all went to Sir Henry. Holmes raised his eyebrows in surprise. The total value of the estate was close on to a million. It is a stake for which a man might well play a desperate game. And one more question, Dr. Supposing that anything happened to our young friend here—you will forgive the unpleasant hypothesis!
James Desmond is an elderly clergyman in Westmoreland. These details are all of great interest. Have you met Mr. James Desmond? He is a man of venerable appearance and of saintly life. I remember that he refused to accept any settlement from Sir Charles, though he pressed it upon him. He would also be the heir to the money unless it were willed otherwise by the present owner, who can, of course, do what he likes with it.
Holmes, I have not. But in any case I feel that the money should go with the title and estate. How is the owner going to restore the glories of the Baskervilles if he has not money enough to keep up the property? House, land, and dollars must go together. Well, Sir Henry, I am of one mind with you as to the advisability of your going down to Devonshire without delay. There is only one provision which I must make. You certainly must not go alone. Mortimer has his practice to attend to, and his house is miles away from yours.
With all the goodwill in the world he may be unable to help you. No, Sir Henry, you must take with you someone, a trusty man, who will be always by your side. At the present instant one of the most revered names in England is being besmirched by a blackmailer, and only I can stop a disastrous scandal. You will see how impossible it is for me to go to Dartmoor. Holmes laid his hand upon my arm. No one can say so more confidently than I. The proposition took me completely by surprise, but before I had time to answer, Baskerville seized me by the hand and wrung it heartily.
The promise of adventure had always a fascination for me, and I was complimented by the words of Holmes and by the eagerness with which the baronet hailed me as a companion. I suppose that by Saturday all might be ready? We had risen to depart when Baskerville gave a cry of triumph, and diving into one of the corners of the room he drew a brown boot from under a cabinet. Mortimer remarked. The German was sent for but professed to know nothing of the matter, nor could any inquiry clear it up. Another item had been added to that constant and apparently purposeless series of small mysteries which had succeeded each other so rapidly.
Holmes sat in silence in the cab as we drove back to Baker Street, and I knew from his drawn brows and keen face that his mind, like my own, was busy in endeavouring to frame some scheme into which all these strange and apparently disconnected episodes could be fitted. All afternoon and late into the evening he sat lost in tobacco and thought. Visited twenty-three hotels as directed, but sorry to report unable to trace cut sheet of Times. There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.
We must cast round for another scent. I have wired to get his name and address from the Official Registry. I should not be surprised if this were an answer to my question. The ring at the bell proved to be something even more satisfactory than an answer, however, for the door opened and a rough-looking fellow entered who was evidently the man himself.
I came here straight from the Yard to ask you to your face what you had against me. The man looked surprised and a little embarrassed. You say that your fare told you that he was a detective? Holmes cast a swift glance of triumph at me. That was imprudent. What was the name that he mentioned? For an instant he sat in silent amazement.
Then he burst into a hearty laugh. He got home upon me very prettily that time. So his name was Sherlock Holmes, was it? He said that he was a detective, and he offered me two guineas if I would do exactly what he wanted all day and ask no questions.
I was glad enough to agree. First we drove down to the Northumberland Hotel and waited there until two gentlemen came out and took a cab from the rank. We followed their cab until it pulled up somewhere near here. We pulled up halfway down the street and waited an hour and a half. Then my gentleman threw up the trap, and he cried that I should drive right away to Waterloo Station as hard as I could go. I whipped up the mare and we were there under the ten minutes. Then he paid up his two guineas, like a good one, and away he went into the station.
The cabman scratched his head. He was dressed like a toff, and he had a black beard, cut square at the end, and a pale face. John Clayton departed chuckling, and Holmes turned to me with a shrug of his shoulders and a rueful smile. He knew our number, knew that Sir Henry Baskerville had consulted me, spotted who I was in Regent Street, conjectured that I had got the number of the cab and would lay my hands on the driver, and so sent back this audacious message.
I tell you, Watson, this time we have got a foeman who is worthy of our steel. I can only wish you better luck in Devonshire. Yes, my dear fellow, you may laugh, but I give you my word that I shall be very glad to have you back safe and sound in Baker Street once more. Sir Henry Baskerville and Dr. Mortimer were ready upon the appointed day, and we started as arranged for Devonshire. Sherlock Holmes drove with me to the station and gave me his last parting injunctions and advice.
I have made some inquiries myself in the last few days, but the results have, I fear, been negative. One thing only appears to be certain, and that is that Mr. James Desmond, who is the next heir, is an elderly gentleman of a very amiable disposition, so that this persecution does not arise from him. I really think that we may eliminate him entirely from our calculations.
There remain the people who will actually surround Sir Henry Baskerville upon the moor. You could not make a greater mistake. If they are innocent it would be a cruel injustice, and if they are guilty we should be giving up all chance of bringing it home to them. No, no, we will preserve them upon our list of suspects. Then there is a groom at the Hall, if I remember right. There are two moorland farmers. There is our friend Dr.
Mortimer, whom I believe to be entirely honest, and there is his wife, of whom we know nothing. There is this naturalist, Stapleton, and there is his sister, who is said to be a young lady of attractions. There is Mr. Frankland, of Lafter Hall, who is also an unknown factor, and there are one or two other neighbours. These are the folk who must be your very special study. Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions.
Our friends had already secured a first-class carriage and were waiting for us upon the platform. We have never gone out without keeping a sharp watch, and no one could have escaped our notice. I usually give up one day to pure amusement when I come to town, so I spent it at the Museum of the College of Surgeons. Some great misfortune will befall you if you do. Did you get your other boot? That is very interesting.
Mortimer has read to us, and avoid the moor in those hours of darkness when the powers of evil are exalted. I looked back at the platform when we had left it far behind and saw the tall, austere figure of Holmes standing motionless and gazing after us. The journey was a swift and pleasant one, and I spent it in making the more intimate acquaintance of my two companions and in playing with Dr. In a very few hours the brown earth had become ruddy, the brick had changed to granite, and red cows grazed in well-hedged fields where the lush grasses and more luxuriant vegetation spoke of a richer, if a damper, climate.
Young Baskerville stared eagerly out of the window and cried aloud with delight as he recognized the familiar features of the Devon scenery. But you were very young when you last saw Baskerville Hall, were you not? Thence I went straight to a friend in America. I tell you it is all as new to me as it is to Dr. Mortimer, pointing out of the carriage window. Over the green squares of the fields and the low curve of a wood there rose in the distance a grey, melancholy hill, with a strange jagged summit, dim and vague in the distance, like some fantastic landscape in a dream.
Baskerville sat for a long time, his eyes fixed upon it, and I read upon his eager face how much it meant to him, this first sight of that strange spot where the men of his blood had held sway so long and left their mark so deep. There he sat, with his tweed suit and his American accent, in the corner of a prosaic railway-carriage, and yet as I looked at his dark and expressive face I felt more than ever how true a descendant he was of that long line of high-blooded, fiery, and masterful men. There were pride, valour, and strength in his thick brows, his sensitive nostrils, and his large hazel eyes.
If on that forbidding moor a difficult and dangerous quest should lie before us, this was at least a comrade for whom one might venture to take a risk with the certainty that he would bravely share it. The train pulled up at a small wayside station and we all descended. Outside, beyond the low, white fence, a wagonette with a pair of cobs was waiting. Our coming was evidently a great event, for station-master and porters clustered round us to carry out our luggage.
It was a sweet, simple country spot, but I was surprised to observe that by the gate there stood two soldierly men in dark uniforms who leaned upon their short rifles and glanced keenly at us as we passed. The coachman, a hard-faced, gnarled little fellow, saluted Sir Henry Baskerville, and in a few minutes we were flying swiftly down the broad, white road. Rolling pasture lands curved upward on either side of us, and old gabled houses peeped out from amid the thick green foliage, but behind the peaceful and sunlit countryside there rose ever, dark against the evening sky, the long, gloomy curve of the moor, broken by the jagged and sinister hills.
Bronzing bracken and mottled bramble gleamed in the light of the sinking sun. Still steadily rising, we passed over a narrow granite bridge and skirted a noisy stream which gushed swiftly down, foaming and roaring amid the grey boulders. Both road and stream wound up through a valley dense with scrub oak and fir. At every turn Baskerville gave an exclamation of delight, looking eagerly about him and asking countless questions.
To his eyes all seemed beautiful, but to me a tinge of melancholy lay upon the countryside, which bore so clearly the mark of the waning year.
Der Hund der Baskervilles
Yellow leaves carpeted the lanes and fluttered down upon us as we passed. The rattle of our wheels died away as we drove through drifts of rotting vegetation—sad gifts, as it seemed to me, for Nature to throw before the carriage of the returning heir of the Baskervilles. A steep curve of heath-clad land, an outlying spur of the moor, lay in front of us. On the summit, hard and clear like an equestrian statue upon its pedestal, was a mounted soldier, dark and stern, his rifle poised ready over his forearm.
He was watching the road along which we travelled. Our driver half turned in his seat. This is a man that would stick at nothing. I remembered the case well, for it was one in which Holmes had taken an interest on account of the peculiar ferocity of the crime and the wanton brutality which had marked all the actions of the assassin. The commutation of his death sentence had been due to some doubts as to his complete sanity, so atrocious was his conduct. Our wagonette had topped a rise and in front of us rose the huge expanse of the moor, mottled with gnarled and craggy cairns and tors.
A cold wind swept down from it and set us shivering. Somewhere there, on that desolate plain, was lurking this fiendish man, hiding in a burrow like a wild beast, his heart full of malignancy against the whole race which had cast him out. It needed but this to complete the grim suggestiveness of the barren waste, the chilling wind, and the darkling sky. Even Baskerville fell silent and pulled his overcoat more closely around him.
We had left the fertile country behind and beneath us. We looked back on it now, the slanting rays of a low sun turning the streams to threads of gold and glowing on the red earth new turned by the plough and the broad tangle of the woodlands. The road in front of us grew bleaker and wilder over huge russet and olive slopes, sprinkled with giant boulders. Now and then we passed a moorland cottage, walled and roofed with stone, with no creeper to break its harsh outline. Suddenly we looked down into a cuplike depression, patched with stunted oaks and firs which had been twisted and bent by the fury of years of storm.
Two high, narrow towers rose over the trees. The driver pointed with his whip.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (and other Sherlock Holmes inspired books)
Its master had risen and was staring with flushed cheeks and shining eyes. Through the gateway we passed into the avenue, where the wheels were again hushed amid the leaves, and the old trees shot their branches in a sombre tunnel over our heads. Baskerville shuddered as he looked up the long, dark drive to where the house glimmered like a ghost at the farther end. The avenue opened into a broad expanse of turf, and the house lay before us. In the fading light I could see that the centre was a heavy block of building from which a porch projected.
The whole front was draped in ivy, with a patch clipped bare here and there where a window or a coat of arms broke through the dark veil. From this central block rose the twin towers, ancient, crenelated, and pierced with many loopholes. To right and left of the turrets were more modern wings of black granite. A dull light shone through heavy mullioned windows, and from the high chimneys which rose from the steep, high-angled roof there sprang a single black column of smoke. A tall man had stepped from the shadow of the porch to open the door of the wagonette.
The figure of a woman was silhouetted against the yellow light of the hall. She came out and helped the man to hand down our bags. I shall probably find some work awaiting me. I would stay to show you over the house, but Barrymore will be a better guide than I. Good-bye, and never hesitate night or day to send for me if I can be of service. The wheels died away down the drive while Sir Henry and I turned into the hall, and the door clanged heavily behind us. It was a fine apartment in which we found ourselves, large, lofty, and heavily raftered with huge baulks of age-blackened oak.
In the great old-fashioned fireplace behind the high iron dogs a log-fire crackled and snapped. Sir Henry and I held out our hands to it, for we were numb from our long drive. To think that this should be the same hall in which for five hundred years my people have lived. It strikes me solemn to think of it. I saw his dark face lit up with a boyish enthusiasm as he gazed about him. The light beat upon him where he stood, but long shadows trailed down the walls and hung like a black canopy above him.
Barrymore had returned from taking our luggage to our rooms. He stood in front of us now with the subdued manner of a well-trained servant. He was a remarkable-looking man, tall, handsome, with a square black beard and pale, distinguished features. You will find hot water in your rooms. My wife and I will be happy, Sir Henry, to stay with you until you have made your fresh arrangements, but you will understand that under the new conditions this house will require a considerable staff. You would, naturally, wish to have more company, and so you will need changes in your household.
I should be sorry to begin my life here by breaking an old family connection. But to tell the truth, sir, we were both very much attached to Sir Charles, and his death gave us a shock and made these surroundings very painful to us. I fear that we shall never again be easy in our minds at Baskerville Hall. And now, sir, perhaps I had best show you to your rooms. A square balustraded gallery ran round the top of the old hall, approached by a double stair.
From this central point two long corridors extended the whole length of the building, from which all the bedrooms opened. These rooms appeared to be much more modern than the central part of the house, and the bright paper and numerous candles did something to remove the sombre impression which our arrival had left upon my mind. But the dining-room which opened out of the hall was a place of shadow and gloom.
It was a long chamber with a step separating the dais where the family sat from the lower portion reserved for their dependents. Black beams shot across above our heads, with a smoke-darkened ceiling beyond them. A dim line of ancestors, in every variety of dress, from the Elizabethan knight to the buck of the Regency, stared down upon us and daunted us by their silent company. We talked little, and I for one was glad when the meal was over and we were able to retire into the modern billiard-room and smoke a cigarette.
However, if it suits you, we will retire early tonight, and perhaps things may seem more cheerful in the morning. I drew aside my curtains before I went to bed and looked out from my window. It opened upon the grassy space which lay in front of the hall door. Beyond, two copses of trees moaned and swung in a rising wind.
A half moon broke through the rifts of racing clouds. In its cold light I saw beyond the trees a broken fringe of rocks, and the long, low curve of the melancholy moor. I closed the curtain, feeling that my last impression was in keeping with the rest. And yet it was not quite the last. I found myself weary and yet wakeful, tossing restlessly from side to side, seeking for the sleep which would not come.
Far away a chiming clock struck out the quarters of the hours, but otherwise a deathly silence lay upon the old house. And then suddenly, in the very dead of the night, there came a sound to my ears, clear, resonant, and unmistakable. It was the sob of a woman, the muffled, strangling gasp of one who is torn by an uncontrollable sorrow. I sat up in bed and listened intently. The noise could not have been far away and was certainly in the house. For half an hour I waited with every nerve on the alert, but there came no other sound save the chiming clock and the rustle of the ivy on the wall.
The fresh beauty of the following morning did something to efface from our minds the grim and grey impression which had been left upon both of us by our first experience of Baskerville Hall. As Sir Henry and I sat at breakfast the sunlight flooded in through the high mullioned windows, throwing watery patches of colour from the coats of arms which covered them. The dark panelling glowed like bronze in the golden rays, and it was hard to realise that this was indeed the chamber which had struck such a gloom into our souls upon the evening before.
Now we are fresh and well, so it is all cheerful once more. I waited quite a time, but there was no more of it, so I concluded that it was all a dream. The other is my wife, and I can answer for it that the sound could not have come from her. And yet he lied as he said it, for it chanced that after breakfast I met Mrs.
Barrymore in the long corridor with the sun full upon her face. She was a large, impassive, heavy-featured woman with a stern set expression of mouth. But her telltale eyes were red and glanced at me from between swollen lids. It was she, then, who wept in the night, and if she did so her husband must know it.
- In praise of education.
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Granada)?
- You might like...?
- See a Problem?.
- Bulletproof SSL and TLS: Understanding and Deploying SSL/TLS and PKI to Secure Servers and Web Applications!
- Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Complete Set 5);
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) (Penguin Popular Classics).
Yet he had taken the obvious risk of discovery in declaring that it was not so. Why had he done this? And why did she weep so bitterly? Already round this pale-faced, handsome, black-bearded man there was gathering an atmosphere of mystery and of gloom. Was it possible that it was Barrymore, after all, whom we had seen in the cab in Regent Street?
The beard might well have been the same. The cabman had described a somewhat shorter man, but such an impression might easily have been erroneous. How could I settle the point forever? Be the answer what it might, I should at least have something to report to Sherlock Holmes. Sir Henry had numerous papers to examine after breakfast, so that the time was propitious for my excursion. It was a pleasant walk of four miles along the edge of the moor, leading me at last to a small grey hamlet, in which two larger buildings, which proved to be the inn and the house of Dr.
Mortimer, stood high above the rest. The postmaster, who was also the village grocer, had a clear recollection of the telegram. Barrymore exactly as directed. James, you delivered that telegram to Mr. Barrymore at the Hall last week, did you not? If there is any mistake it is for Mr. Barrymore himself to complain. Suppose that it were so—suppose that the same man had been the last who had seen Sir Charles alive, and the first to dog the new heir when he returned to England. What then?
Was he the agent of others or had he some sinister design of his own?
What interest could he have in persecuting the Baskerville family? I thought of the strange warning clipped out of the leading article of the Times. Was that his work or was it possibly the doing of someone who was bent upon counteracting his schemes? The only conceivable motive was that which had been suggested by Sir Henry, that if the family could be scared away a comfortable and permanent home would be secured for the Barrymores.
But surely such an explanation as that would be quite inadequate to account for the deep and subtle scheming which seemed to be weaving an invisible net round the young baronet. Holmes himself had said that no more complex case had come to him in all the long series of his sensational investigations. I prayed, as I walked back along the grey, lonely road, that my friend might soon be freed from his preoccupations and able to come down to take this heavy burden of responsibility from my shoulders.
Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of running feet behind me and by a voice which called me by name. I turned, expecting to see Dr. Mortimer, but to my surprise it was a stranger who was pursuing me. He was a small, slim, clean-shaven, prim-faced man, flaxen-haired and lean-jawed, between thirty and forty years of age, dressed in a grey suit and wearing a straw hat.
So begins a lifelong passion. And Mr. Horowitz has the auspicious recognition to do just that. An international mystery surrounding the art world, the streets of Boston and London, and the highest levels of government are involved in this criminality. And the dialogue is to die for. Ahem, not die, per say, but definitely juicy enough to roll around in your mouth hours after the show has finished.
Each episode runs nearly 90 minutes long. And Benedict Cumberbatch is incredible as Holmes. Seriously — watch this show. Netflix just got Season 3. Two young men were murdered in a horrible fashion: crushed to death. But the power required to perform this act would surpass human power.