The Hound

of the Baskervilles

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Chapter 1

--Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Chapter 2

--The Curse

of the Baskervilles

Chapter 3

--The Problem

Chapter 4

--Sir Henry Baskerville

Chapter 5

--Three Broken Threads

Chapter 6

--Baskerville Hall

Chapter 7

--The Stapletons

of Merripit House

Chapter 8

--First Report

of Dr. Watson

Chapter 9

--The Light Upon The Moor

Chapter 10


from the Diary

of Dr. Watson

Chapter 11

--The Man

on the Tor

Chapter 12


on the Moor

Chapter 13

--Fixing the Nets

Chapter 14

--The Hound

of the Baskervilles

Chapter 15

--A Retrospection

Chapter 1

Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Mr. Sherlock Holmes,

who was usually very late

in the mornings,

save upon those not infrequent occasions

when he was up all night,

was seated

at the breakfast table.

I stood upon the hearth-rug

and picked up the stick

which our visitor had left

behind him the night before.

It was a fine,

thick piece

of wood,


of the sort

which is known

as a “Penang lawyer.”


under the head was a broad silver band nearly an inch across.

“To James Mortimer,


from his friends

of the C.C.H.,”

was engraved upon it,

with the date “1884.”

It was just such a stick

as the old-fashioned family practitioner used

to carry



and reassuring.

, , , , 



what do you make

of it?”

, , , , 

Holmes was sitting

with his back

to me,

and I had given him no sign

of my occupation.

, , , , 

“How did you know

what I was doing?

I believe you have eyes

in the back

of your head.”

, , , , 

“I have,

at least,

a well-polished,

silver-plated coffee-pot

in front

of me,”

said he.


tell me,


what do you make

of our visitor’s stick?

Since we have been so unfortunate as

to miss him

and have no notion

of his errand,

this accidental souvenir becomes

of importance.

Let me hear you reconstruct the man

by an examination

of it.”

, , , , 

“I think,”

said I,


as far

as I

could the methods

of my companion,

“that Dr. Mortimer is a successful,

elderly medical man,


since those

who know him give him this mark

of their appreciation.”

, , , , 


said Holmes.


“I think also

that the probability is

in favour

of his being a country practitioner

who does a great deal

of his visiting

on foot.”

, , , , 

“Why so?”

, , , , 

“Because this stick,

though originally a very handsome one has been so knocked about

that I


hardly imagine a town practitioner carrying it.

The thick-iron ferrule is worn down,

so it is evident

that he has done a great amount

of walking

with it.”

, , , , 

“Perfectly sound!”

said Holmes.

, , , , 


then again,

there is the ‘friends

of the C.C.H.’


should guess that

to be the Something Hunt,

the local hunt

to whose members he has possibly given some surgical assistance,


which has made him a small presentation

in return.”

, , , , 



you excel yourself,”

said Holmes,

pushing back his chair

and lighting a cigarette.

“I am bound

to say that

in all the accounts

which you have been so good as

to give

of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities.

It may be

that you are not yourself luminous,

but you are a conductor

of light.

Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power

of stimulating it.

I confess,

my dear fellow,

that I am very much

in your debt.”

, , , , 

He had never said

as much before,

and I must admit

that his words gave me keen pleasure,

for I had often been piqued

by his indifference

to my admiration and

to the attempts

which I had made

to give publicity

to his methods.

I was proud,


to think

that I had so far mastered his system as

to apply it

in a way

which earned his approval.

He now took the stick

from my hands

and examined it

for a few minutes

with his naked eyes.


with an expression

of interest he laid down his cigarette,

and carrying the cane

to the window,

he looked

over it again

with a convex lens.

, , , , 


though elementary,”

said he

as he returned

to his favourite corner

of the settee.

“There are certainly one

or two indications upon the stick.

It gives us the basis

for several deductions.”

, , , , 

“Has anything escaped me?”

I asked

with some self-importance.

“I trust


there is nothing

of consequence

which I have overlooked?”

, , , , 

“I am afraid,

my dear Watson,

that most

of your conclusions were erroneous.

When I said

that you stimulated me I meant,

to be frank,


in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided

towards the truth.


that you are entirely wrong

in this instance.

The man is certainly a country practitioner.

And he walks a good deal.”

, , , , 

“Then I was right.”

, , , , 


that extent.”

, , , , 


that was all.”

, , , , 



my dear Watson,

not all

--by no means all.


would suggest,

for example,

that a presentation

to a doctor is more likely

to come

from a hospital than

from a hunt,

and that

when the initials ‘C.C.’

are placed before

that hospital the words ‘Charing Cross’ very naturally suggest themselves.”

, , , , 

“You may be right.”

, , , , 

“The probability lies


that direction.


if we take this

as a working hypothesis we have a fresh basis

from which

to start our construction

of this unknown visitor.”

, , , , 




that ‘C.C.H.’

does stand

for ‘Charing Cross Hospital,’

what further inferences may we draw?”

, , , , 

“Do none suggest themselves?

You know my methods.

Apply them!”


can only think

of the obvious conclusion

that the man has practised

in town

before going

to the country.”

, , , , 

“I think

that we might venture a little farther

than this.


at it

in this light.


what occasion

would it be most probable

that such a presentation

would be made?


would his friends unite

to give him a pledge

of their good will?


at the moment

when Dr. Mortimer withdrew

from the service

of the hospital

in order

to start

in practice

for himself.

We know

there has been a presentation.

We believe

there has been a change

from a town hospital

to a country practice.

Is it,


stretching our inference too far

to say

that the presentation was

on the occasion

of the change?”

, , , , 

“It certainly seems probable.”

, , , , 



will observe

that he

could not have been

on the staff

of the hospital,

since only a man well-established

in a London practice

could hold such a position,

and such a one

would not drift

into the country.

What was he,


If he was

in the hospital

and yet not

on the staff he

could only have been a house-surgeon

or a house-physician

--little more

than a senior student.

And he left five years ago

--the date is

on the stick.

So your grave,

middle-aged family practitioner vanishes

into thin air,

my dear Watson,


there emerges a young fellow

under thirty,




and the possessor

of a favourite dog,

which I

should describe roughly

as being larger

than a terrier

and smaller

than a mastiff.”

, , , , 

I laughed incredulously

as Sherlock Holmes leaned back

in his settee

and blew little wavering rings

of smoke up

to the ceiling.

, , , , 


to the latter part,

I have no means

of checking you,”

said I,


at least it is not difficult

to find out a few particulars

about the man’s age

and professional career.”

From my small medical shelf I took down the Medical Directory

and turned up the name.

There were several Mortimers,

but only one


could be our visitor.

I read his record aloud.

, , , , 









from 1882

to 1884,

at Charing Cross Hospital.


of the Jackson prize

for Comparative Pathology,

with essay entitled ‘Is Disease a Reversion?’

Corresponding member

of the Swedish Pathological Society.


of ‘Some Freaks

of Atavism’

(Lancet 1882).

‘Do We Progress?’


of Psychology,



Medical Officer

for the parishes

of Grimpen,


and High Barrow.”

, , , , 

“No mention


that local hunt,


said Holmes

with a mischievous smile,

“but a country doctor,

as you very astutely observed.

I think

that I am fairly justified

in my inferences.


to the adjectives,

I said,

if I remember right,



and absent-minded.

It is my experience

that it is only an amiable man

in this world

who receives testimonials,

only an unambitious one

who abandons a London career

for the country,

and only an absent-minded one

who leaves his stick

and not his visiting-card after waiting an hour

in your room.”

, , , , 

“And the dog?”

, , , , 

“Has been

in the habit

of carrying this stick

behind his master.

Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly

by the middle,

and the marks

of his teeth are very plainly visible.

The dog’s jaw,

as shown

in the space

between these marks,

is too broad

in my opinion

for a terrier

and not broad enough

for a mastiff.

It may have been


by Jove,

it is a curly-haired spaniel.”

, , , , 

He had risen

and paced the room

as he spoke.

Now he halted

in the recess

of the window.

There was such a ring

of conviction

in his voice

that I glanced up

in surprise.

, , , , 

“My dear fellow,


can you possibly be so sure

of that?”

, , , , 

“For the very simple reason

that I see the dog himself

on our very door-step,


there is the ring

of its owner.

Don’t move,

I beg you,


He is a professional brother

of yours,

and your presence may be

of assistance

to me.

Now is the dramatic moment

of fate,


when you hear a step upon the stair

which is walking

into your life,

and you know not whether

for good

or ill.

What does Dr. James Mortimer,

the man

of science,


of Sherlock Holmes,

the specialist

in crime?

Come in!”

The appearance

of our visitor was a surprise

to me,

since I had expected a typical country practitioner.

He was a very tall,

thin man,

with a long nose

like a beak,

which jutted out

between two keen,

gray eyes,

set closely together

and sparkling brightly


behind a pair

of gold-rimmed glasses.

He was clad

in a professional

but rather slovenly fashion,

for his frock-coat was dingy

and his trousers frayed.

Though young,

his long back was already bowed,

and he walked

with a forward thrust

of his head

and a general air

of peering benevolence.

As he entered his eyes fell upon the stick

in Holmes’s hand,

and he ran

towards it

with an exclamation

of joy.

“I am so very glad,”

said he.

“I was not sure whether I had left it here or

in the Shipping Office.


would not lose

that stick

for the world.”

, , , , 

“A presentation,

I see,”

said Holmes.

, , , , 



, , , , 

“From Charing Cross Hospital?”

, , , , 

“From one

or two friends there

on the occasion

of my marriage.”

, , , , 



that’s bad!”

said Holmes,

shaking his head.

, , , , 

Dr. Mortimer blinked

through his glasses

in mild astonishment.

, , , , 

“Why was it bad?”

, , , , 


that you have disarranged our little deductions.

Your marriage,

you say?”

, , , , 



I married,

and so left the hospital,


with it all hopes

of a consulting practice.

It was necessary

to make a home

of my own.”

, , , , 



we are not so far wrong,

after all,”

said Holmes.

“And now,

Dr. James Mortimer 






--a humble M.R.C.S.”

, , , , 

“And a man

of precise mind,


, , , , 

“A dabbler

in science,

Mr. Holmes,

a picker up

of shells

on the shores

of the great unknown ocean.

I presume

that it is Mr. Sherlock Holmes whom I am addressing

and not 




this is my friend Dr. Watson.”

, , , , 


to meet you,


I have heard your name mentioned

in connection

with that

of your friend.

You interest me very much,

Mr. Holmes.

I had

hardly expected so dolichocephalic a skull

or such well-marked supra-orbital development.

Would you have any objection

to my running my finger

along your parietal fissure?

A cast

of your skull,


until the original is available,

would be an ornament

to any anthropological museum.

It is not my intention

to be fulsome,

but I confess

that I covet your skull.”

, , , , 

Sherlock Holmes waved our strange visitor

into a chair.

“You are an enthusiast

in your line

of thought,

I perceive,


as I am

in mine,”

said he.

“I observe

from your forefinger

that you make your own cigarettes.

Have no hesitation

in lighting one.”

, , , , 

The man drew out paper

and tobacco

and twirled the one up

in the other

with surprising dexterity.

He had long,

quivering fingers

as agile

and restless

as the antennae

of an insect.

, , , , 

Holmes was silent,

but his little darting glances showed me the interest

which he took

in our curious companion.

, , , , 

“I presume,


said he

at last,

“that it was not merely

for the purpose

of examining my skull

that you have done me the honour

to call here last night

and again to-day?”

, , , , 




though I am happy

to have had the opportunity

of doing that

as well.

I came

to you,

Mr. Holmes,

because I recognized

that I am myself an unpractical man


because I am suddenly confronted

with a most serious

and extraordinary problem.


as I do,

that you are the second highest expert

in Europe 





May I inquire

who has the honour

to be the first?”

asked Holmes

with some asperity.

, , , , 

“To the man

of precisely scientific mind the work

of Monsieur Bertillon must always appeal strongly.”

, , , , 

“Then had you not better consult him?”

, , , , 

“I said,


to the precisely scientific mind.


as a practical man

of affairs it is acknowledged

that you stand alone.

I trust,


that I have not inadvertently 



“Just a little,”

said Holmes.

“I think,

Dr. Mortimer,


would do wisely

if without more ado you

would kindly tell me plainly

what the exact nature

of the problem is


which you demand my assistance.”

, , , , 

Chapter 2

The Curse

of the Baskervilles

“I have

in my pocket a manuscript,”

said Dr. James Mortimer.

, , , , 

“I observed it

as you entered the room,”

said Holmes.

, , , , 

“It is an old manuscript.”

, , , , 

“Early eighteenth century,

unless it is a forgery.”

, , , , 


can you say that,


, , , , 

“You have presented an inch

or two

of it

to my examination all the time

that you have been talking.


would be a poor expert


could not give the date

of a document within a decade

or so.

You may possibly have read my little monograph upon the subject.

I put that

at 1730.”

, , , , 

“The exact date is 1742.”

Dr. Mortimer drew it

from his breast-pocket.

“This family paper was committed

to my care

by Sir Charles Baskerville,

whose sudden

and tragic death some three months ago created so much excitement

in Devonshire.

I may say

that I was his personal friend

as well

as his medical attendant.

He was a strong-minded man,





as unimaginative

as I am myself.

Yet he took this document very seriously,

and his mind was prepared

for just such an end

as did eventually overtake him.”

, , , , 

Holmes stretched out his hand

for the manuscript

and flattened it upon his knee.

, , , , 


will observe,


the alternative use

of the long s

and the short.

It is one

of several indications

which enabled me

to fix the date.”

, , , , 

I looked

over his shoulder

at the yellow paper

and the faded script.

At the head was written:

“Baskerville Hall,”

and below

in large,

scrawling figures:


, , , , 

“It appears

to be a statement

of some sort.”

, , , , 


it is a statement

of a certain legend

which runs

in the Baskerville family.”

, , , , 

“But I understand

that it is something more modern

and practical upon

which you wish

to consult me?”

, , , , 

“Most modern.

A most practical,

pressing matter,

which must be decided within twenty-four hours.

But the manuscript is short

and is intimately connected

with the affair.

With your permission I

will read it

to you.”

, , , , 

Holmes leaned back

in his chair,

placed his finger-tips together,

and closed his eyes,

with an air

of resignation.

Dr. Mortimer turned the manuscript

to the light

and read

in a high,

cracking voice the following curious,

old-world narrative:


“Of the origin

of the Hound

of the Baskervilles

there have been many statements,


as I come

in a direct line

from Hugo Baskerville,


as I had the story

from my father,

who also had it

from his,

I have set it down

with all belief

that it occurred even

as is here set forth.

And I

would have you believe,

my sons,

that the same Justice

which punishes sin may also most graciously forgive it,


that no ban is so heavy

but that

by prayer

and repentance it may be removed.



from this story not

to fear the fruits

of the past,

but rather

to be circumspect

in the future,

that those foul passions whereby our family has suffered so grievously may not again be loosed

to our undoing.

, , , , 


then that

in the time

of the Great Rebellion

(the history

of which

by the learned Lord Clarendon I most earnestly commend

to your attention)

this Manor

of Baskerville was held

by Hugo


that name,


can it be gainsaid

that he was a most wild,


and godless man.


in truth,

his neighbours might have pardoned,


that saints have never flourished

in those parts,


there was

in him a certain wanton

and cruel humour

which made his name a byword

through the West.

It chanced

that this Hugo came

to love



so dark a passion may be known

under so bright a name)

the daughter

of a yeoman

who held lands near the Baskerville estate.

But the young maiden,

being discreet and

of good repute,

would ever avoid him,

for she feared his evil name.

So it came

to pass

that one Michaelmas this Hugo,

with five

or six

of his idle

and wicked companions,

stole down upon the farm

and carried off the maiden,

her father

and brothers being

from home,

as he well knew.

When they had brought her

to the Hall the maiden was placed

in an upper chamber,

while Hugo

and his friends sat down

to a long carouse,

as was their nightly custom.


the poor lass upstairs was like

to have her wits turned

at the singing

and shouting

and terrible oaths

which came up

to her

from below,

for they say

that the words used

by Hugo Baskerville,

when he was

in wine,

were such

as might blast the man

who said them.

At last

in the stress

of her fear she did


which might have daunted the bravest

or most active man,


by the aid

of the growth

of ivy

which covered

(and still covers)

the south wall she came down


under the eaves,

and so homeward

across the moor,

there being three leagues betwixt the Hall

and her father’s farm.

, , , , 

“It chanced

that some little time later Hugo left his guests

to carry food

and drink

--with other worse things,


--to his captive,

and so found the cage empty

and the bird escaped.


as it

would seem,

he became

as one

that hath a devil,


rushing down the stairs

into the dining-hall,

he sprang upon the great table,


and trenchers flying

before him,

and he cried aloud

before all the company

that he would

that very night render his body

and soul

to the Powers

of Evil

if he might

but overtake the wench.


while the revellers stood aghast

at the fury

of the man,

one more wicked or,

it may be,

more drunken

than the rest,

cried out

that they

should put the hounds upon her.

Whereat Hugo ran

from the house,


to his grooms

that they

should saddle his mare

and unkennel the pack,

and giving the hounds a kerchief

of the maid’s,

he swung them

to the line,

and so off full cry

in the moonlight

over the moor.

, , , , 


for some space the revellers stood agape,


to understand all

that had been done

in such haste.

But anon their bemused wits awoke

to the nature

of the deed

which was like

to be done upon the moorlands.

Everything was now

in an uproar,

some calling

for their pistols,


for their horses,

and some

for another flask

of wine.


at length some sense came back

to their crazed minds,

and the whole

of them,


in number,

took horse

and started

in pursuit.

The moon shone clear

above them,

and they rode swiftly abreast,


that course

which the maid must needs have taken

if she were

to reach her own home.

, , , , 

“They had gone a mile

or two

when they passed one

of the night shepherds upon the moorlands,

and they cried

to him

to know

if he had seen the hunt.

And the man,

as the story goes,

was so crazed

with fear

that he

could scarce speak,


at last he said

that he had indeed seen the unhappy maiden,

with the hounds upon her track.

‘But I have seen more

than that,’

said he,

‘for Hugo Baskerville passed me upon his black mare,


there ran mute

behind him such a hound

of hell

as God forbid

should ever be

at my heels.’

So the drunken squires cursed the shepherd

and rode onward.

But soon their skins turned cold,


there came a galloping

across the moor,

and the black mare,


with white froth,

went past

with trailing bridle

and empty saddle.

Then the revellers rode close together,

for a great fear was

on them,

but they still followed

over the moor,

though each,

had he been alone,

would have been right glad

to have turned his horse’s head.

Riding slowly

in this fashion they came

at last upon the hounds.


though known

for their valour

and their breed,

were whimpering

in a cluster

at the head

of a deep dip

or goyal,

as we call it,

upon the moor,

some slinking away

and some,

with starting hackles

and staring eyes,

gazing down the narrow valley

before them.

, , , , 

“The company had come

to a halt,

more sober men,

as you may guess,


when they started.

The most

of them would

by no means advance,

but three

of them,

the boldest,

or it may be the most drunken,

rode forward down the goyal.


it opened

into a broad space


which stood two

of those great stones,


to be seen there,

which were set

by certain forgotten peoples

in the days

of old.

The moon was shining bright upon the clearing,

and there

in the centre lay the unhappy maid

where she had fallen,


of fear and

of fatigue.

But it was not the sight

of her body,

nor yet was it that

of the body

of Hugo Baskerville lying near her,

which raised the hair upon the heads

of these three daredevil roysterers,

but it was that,


over Hugo,

and plucking

at his throat,

there stood a foul thing,

a great,

black beast,


like a hound,

yet larger

than any hound

that ever mortal eye has rested upon.

And even

as they looked the thing tore the throat out

of Hugo Baskerville,

on which,

as it turned its blazing eyes

and dripping jaws upon them,

the three shrieked

with fear

and rode

for dear life,

still screaming,

across the moor.


it is said,


that very night


what he had seen,

and the other twain were

but broken men

for the rest

of their days.

, , , , 

“Such is the tale,

my sons,

of the coming

of the hound

which is said

to have plagued the family so sorely ever since.

If I have set it down it is because


which is clearly known hath less terror than


which is

but hinted


and guessed.


can it be denied

that many

of the family have been unhappy

in their deaths,

which have been sudden,


and mysterious.

Yet may we shelter ourselves

in the infinite goodness

of Providence,


would not forever punish the innocent beyond

that third

or fourth generation

which is threatened

in Holy Writ.


that Providence,

my sons,

I hereby commend you,

and I counsel you

by way

of caution

to forbear

from crossing the moor

in those dark hours

when the powers

of evil are exalted.

, , , , 


from Hugo Baskerville

to his sons Rodger

and John,

with instructions

that they say nothing thereof

to their sister Elizabeth.]”

When Dr. Mortimer had finished reading this singular narrative he pushed his spectacles up

on his forehead

and stared across

at Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

The latter yawned

and tossed the end

of his cigarette

into the fire.

, , , , 


said he.

, , , , 

“Do you not find it interesting?”

, , , , 

“To a collector

of fairy tales.”

, , , , 

Dr. Mortimer drew a folded newspaper out

of his pocket.

, , , , 


Mr. Holmes,


will give you something a little more recent.

This is the Devon County Chronicle

of May 14th

of this year.

It is a short account

of the facts elicited

at the death

of Sir Charles Baskerville

which occurred a few days before

that date.”

, , , , 

My friend leaned a little forward

and his expression became intent.

Our visitor readjusted his glasses

and began:


“The recent sudden death

of Sir Charles Baskerville,

whose name has been mentioned

as the probable Liberal candidate

for Mid-Devon

at the next election,

has cast a gloom

over the county.

Though Sir Charles had resided

at Baskerville Hall

for a comparatively short period his amiability

of character

and extreme generosity had won the affection

and respect

of all

who had been brought

into contact

with him.

In these days

of _nouveaux riches_ it is refreshing

to find a case

where the scion

of an old county family

which has fallen upon evil days is able

to make his own fortune and

to bring it back

with him

to restore the fallen grandeur

of his line.

Sir Charles,

as is well known,

made large sums

of money

in South African speculation.

More wise

than those

who go


until the wheel turns

against them,

he realized his gains

and returned

to England

with them.

It is only two years

since he took up his residence

at Baskerville Hall,

and it is common talk

how large were those schemes

of reconstruction

and improvement

which have been interrupted

by his death.

Being himself childless,

it was his openly expressed desire

that the whole country-side should,

within his own lifetime,


by his good fortune,

and many

will have personal reasons

for bewailing his untimely end.

His generous donations

to local

and county charities have been frequently chronicled

in these columns.

, , , , 

“The circumstances connected

with the death

of Sir Charles cannot be said

to have been entirely cleared up

by the inquest,


at least enough has been done

to dispose

of those rumours


which local superstition has given rise.

There is no reason whatever

to suspect foul play,


to imagine

that death

could be

from any

but natural causes.

Sir Charles was a widower,

and a man

who may be said

to have been

in some ways

of an eccentric habit

of mind.

In spite

of his considerable wealth he was simple

in his personal tastes,

and his indoor servants

at Baskerville Hall consisted

of a married couple named Barrymore,

the husband acting

as butler

and the wife

as housekeeper.

Their evidence,


by that

of several friends,


to show

that Sir Charles’s health has

for some time been impaired,

and points especially

to some affection

of the heart,

manifesting itself

in changes

of colour,


and acute attacks

of nervous depression.

Dr. James Mortimer,

the friend

and medical attendant

of the deceased,

has given evidence

to the same effect.

, , , , 

“The facts

of the case are simple.

Sir Charles Baskerville was

in the habit every night

before going

to bed

of walking down the famous Yew Alley

of Baskerville Hall.

The evidence

of the Barrymores shows

that this had been his custom.

On the 4th

of May Sir Charles had declared his intention

of starting next day

for London,

and had ordered Barrymore

to prepare his luggage.

That night he went out

as usual

for his nocturnal walk,

in the course


which he was

in the habit

of smoking a cigar.

He never returned.

At twelve o’clock Barrymore,

finding the hall door still open,

became alarmed,


lighting a lantern,


in search

of his master.

The day had been wet,

and Sir Charles’s footmarks were easily traced down the Alley.

Half-way down this walk

there is a gate

which leads out


to the moor.

There were indications

that Sir Charles had stood

for some little time here.


then proceeded down the Alley,

and it was

at the far end

of it

that his body was discovered.

One fact

which has not been explained is the statement

of Barrymore

that his master’s footprints altered their character

from the time

that he passed the moor-gate,


that he appeared

from thence onward

to have been walking upon his toes.

One Murphy,

a gipsy horse-dealer,


on the moor

at no great distance

at the time,

but he appears

by his own confession

to have been the worse

for drink.

He declares

that he heard cries,

but is unable

to state


what direction they came.

No signs

of violence were

to be discovered upon Sir Charles’s person,

and though the doctor’s evidence pointed

to an

almost incredible facial distortion

--so great

that Dr. Mortimer refused

at first

to believe

that it was indeed his friend

and patient

who lay

before him

--it was explained

that that is a symptom

which is not unusual

in cases

of dyspnoea

and death

from cardiac exhaustion.

This explanation was borne out

by the post-mortem examination,

which showed long-standing organic disease,

and the coroner’s jury returned a verdict

in accordance

with the medical evidence.

It is well

that this is so,

for it is obviously

of the utmost importance

that Sir Charles’s heir

should settle

at the Hall

and continue the good work

which has been so sadly interrupted.

Had the prosaic finding

of the coroner not finally put an end

to the romantic stories

which have been whispered

in connection

with the affair,

it might have been difficult

to find a tenant

for Baskerville Hall.

It is understood

that the next

of kin is Mr. Henry Baskerville,

if he be still alive,

the son

of Sir Charles Baskerville’s younger brother.

The young man

when last heard

of was

in America,

and inquiries are being instituted

with a view

to informing him

of his good fortune.”

, , , , 

Dr. Mortimer refolded his paper

and replaced it

in his pocket.

, , , , 

“Those are the public facts,

Mr. Holmes,

in connection

with the death

of Sir Charles Baskerville.”

, , , , 

“I must thank you,”

said Sherlock Holmes,

“for calling my attention

to a case

which certainly presents some features

of interest.

I had observed some newspaper comment

at the time,

but I was exceedingly preoccupied


that little affair

of the Vatican cameos,


in my anxiety

to oblige the Pope I lost touch

with several interesting English cases.

This article,

you say,

contains all the public facts?”

, , , , 

“It does.”

, , , , 

“Then let me have the private ones.”

He leaned back,

put his finger-tips together,

and assumed his most impassive

and judicial expression.

, , , , 

“In doing so,”

said Dr. Mortimer,

who had begun

to show signs

of some strong emotion,

“I am telling


which I have not confided

to anyone.

My motive

for withholding it

from the coroner’s inquiry is

that a man

of science shrinks

from placing himself

in the public position

of seeming

to indorse a popular superstition.

I had the further motive

that Baskerville Hall,

as the paper says,

would certainly remain untenanted

if anything were done

to increase its already rather grim reputation.

For both these reasons I thought

that I was justified

in telling rather less

than I knew,

since no practical good

could result

from it,


with you

there is no reason

why I

should not be perfectly frank.

, , , , 

“The moor is very sparsely inhabited,

and those

who live near each other are thrown very much together.

For this reason I saw a good deal

of Sir Charles Baskerville.

With the exception

of Mr. Frankland,

of Lafter Hall,

and Mr. Stapleton,

the naturalist,

there are no other men

of education within many miles.

Sir Charles was a retiring man,

but the chance

of his illness brought us together,

and a community

of interests

in science kept us so.

He had brought back much scientific information

from South Africa,

and many a charming evening we have spent together discussing the comparative anatomy

of the Bushman

and the Hottentot.

, , , , 

“Within the last few months it became increasingly plain

to me

that Sir Charles’s nervous system was strained

to the breaking point.

He had taken this legend

which I have read you exceedingly

to heart

--so much so that,

although he

would walk

in his own grounds,


would induce him

to go out upon the moor

at night.


as it may appear

to you,

Mr. Holmes,

he was honestly convinced

that a dreadful fate overhung his family,

and certainly the records

which he was able

to give

of his ancestors were not encouraging.

The idea

of some ghastly presence constantly haunted him,


on more

than one occasion he has asked me whether I had

on my medical journeys

at night ever seen any strange creature

or heard the baying

of a hound.

The latter question he put

to me several times,

and always

with a voice

which vibrated

with excitement.

, , , , 


can well remember driving up

to his house

in the evening some three weeks

before the fatal event.

He chanced

to be

at his hall door.

I had descended

from my gig

and was standing

in front

of him,

when I saw his eyes fix themselves

over my shoulder,

and stare past me

with an expression

of the most dreadful horror.

I whisked round

and had just time

to catch a glimpse

of something

which I took

to be a large black calf passing

at the head

of the drive.

So excited

and alarmed was he

that I was compelled

to go down

to the spot

where the animal had been

and look around

for it.

It was gone,


and the incident appeared

to make the worst impression upon his mind.

I stayed

with him all the evening,

and it was


that occasion,

to explain the emotion

which he had shown,

that he confided

to my keeping

that narrative

which I read

to you

when first I came.

I mention this small episode

because it assumes some importance

in view

of the tragedy

which followed,

but I was convinced

at the time

that the matter was entirely trivial


that his excitement had no justification.

, , , , 

“It was

at my advice

that Sir Charles was about

to go

to London.

His heart was,

I knew,


and the constant anxiety


which he lived,

however chimerical the cause

of it might be,

was evidently having a serious effect upon his health.

I thought

that a few months

among the distractions

of town

would send him back a new man.

Mr. Stapleton,

a mutual friend

who was much concerned

at his state

of health,


of the same opinion.

At the last instant came this terrible catastrophe.

, , , , 

“On the night

of Sir Charles’s death Barrymore the butler,

who made the discovery,

sent Perkins the groom

on horseback

to me,


as I was sitting up late I was able

to reach Baskerville Hall within an hour

of the event.

I checked

and corroborated all the facts

which were mentioned

at the inquest.

I followed the footsteps down the Yew Alley,

I saw the spot

at the moor-gate

where he seemed

to have waited,

I remarked the change

in the shape

of the prints after

that point,

I noted


there were no other footsteps save those

of Barrymore

on the soft gravel,

and finally I carefully examined the body,

which had not been touched

until my arrival.

Sir Charles lay

on his face,

his arms out,

his fingers dug

into the ground,

and his features convulsed

with some strong emotion

to such an extent

that I


hardly have sworn

to his identity.

There was certainly no physical injury

of any kind.

But one false statement was made

by Barrymore

at the inquest.

He said


there were no traces upon the ground round the body.

He did not observe any.

But I did

--some little distance off,

but fresh

and clear.”

, , , , 


, , , , 


, , , , 

“A man’s

or a woman’s?”

, , , , 

Dr. Mortimer looked strangely

at us

for an instant,

and his voice sank almost

to a whisper

as he answered:


“Mr. Holmes,

they were the footprints

of a gigantic hound!”

Chapter 3

The Problem

I confess

at these words a shudder passed

through me.

There was a thrill

in the doctor’s voice

which showed

that he was himself deeply moved



which he told us.

Holmes leaned forward

in his excitement

and his eyes had the hard,

dry glitter

which shot

from them

when he was keenly interested.

, , , , 

“You saw this?”

, , , , 

“As clearly

as I see you.”

, , , , 

“And you said nothing?”

, , , , 

“What was the use?”

, , , , 

“How was it

that no one else saw it?”

, , , , 

“The marks were some twenty yards

from the body

and no one gave them a thought.


don’t suppose I

should have done so had I not known this legend.”

, , , , 

“There are many sheep-dogs

on the moor?”

, , , , 

“No doubt,

but this was no sheep-dog.”

, , , , 

“You say it was large?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“But it had not approached the body?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“What sort

of night was it?’

, , , , 


and raw.”

, , , , 

“But not actually raining?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“What is the Alley like?”

, , , , 

“There are two lines

of old yew hedge,

twelve feet high

and impenetrable.

The walk

in the centre is

about eight feet across.”

, , , , 


there anything

between the hedges

and the walk?”

, , , , 


there is a strip

of grass

about six feet broad

on either side.”

, , , , 

“I understand

that the yew hedge is penetrated

at one point

by a gate?”

, , , , 


the wicket-gate

which leads


to the moor.”

, , , , 


there any other opening?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“So that

to reach the Yew Alley one either has

to come down it

from the house

or else

to enter it

by the moor-gate?”

, , , , 

“There is an exit

through a summer-house

at the far end.”

, , , , 

“Had Sir Charles reached this?”

, , , , 


he lay

about fifty yards

from it.”

, , , , 


tell me,

Dr. Mortimer

--and this is important

--the marks

which you saw were

on the path

and not

on the grass?”

, , , , 

“No marks

could show

on the grass.”

, , , , 

“Were they

on the same side

of the path

as the moor-gate?”

, , , , 


they were

on the edge

of the path

on the same side

as the moor-gate.”

, , , , 

“You interest me exceedingly.

Another point.

Was the wicket-gate closed?”

, , , , 


and padlocked.”

, , , , 

“How high was it?”

, , , , 

“About four feet high.”

, , , , 

“Then anyone

could have got

over it?”

, , , , 


, , , , 


what marks did you see

by the wicket-gate?”

, , , , 


in particular.”

, , , , 

“Good heaven!

Did no one examine?”

, , , , 


I examined myself.”

, , , , 

“And found nothing?”

, , , , 

“It was all very confused.

Sir Charles had evidently stood there

for five

or ten minutes.”

, , , , 

“How do you know that?”

, , , , 

“Because the ash had twice dropped

from his cigar.”

, , , , 


This is a colleague,


after our own heart.

But the marks?”

, , , , 

“He had left his own marks all over

that small patch

of gravel.


could discern no others.”

, , , , 

Sherlock Holmes struck his hand

against his knee

with an impatient gesture.

, , , , 

“If I had only been there!”

he cried.

“It is evidently a case

of extraordinary interest,

and one

which presented immense opportunities

to the scientific expert.

That gravel page upon

which I might have read so much has been long ere this smudged

by the rain

and defaced

by the clogs

of curious peasants.


Dr. Mortimer,

Dr. Mortimer,

to think

that you

should not have called me in!

You have indeed much

to answer for.”

, , , , 


could not call you in,

Mr. Holmes,

without disclosing these facts

to the world,

and I have already given my reasons

for not wishing

to do so.




“Why do you hesitate?”

, , , , 

“There is a realm


which the most acute

and most experienced

of detectives is helpless.”

, , , , 

“You mean

that the thing is supernatural?”

, , , , 

“I did not positively say so.”

, , , , 


but you evidently think it.”

, , , , 

“Since the tragedy,

Mr. Holmes,

there have come

to my ears several incidents

which are hard

to reconcile

with the settled order

of Nature.”

, , , , 

“For example?”

, , , , 

“I find


before the terrible event occurred several people had seen a creature upon the moor

which corresponds

with this Baskerville demon,



could not possibly be any animal known

to science.

They all agreed

that it was a huge creature,



and spectral.

I have cross-examined these men,


of them a hard-headed countryman,

one a farrier,

and one a moorland farmer,

who all tell the same story

of this dreadful apparition,

exactly corresponding

to the hell-hound

of the legend.

I assure you


there is a reign

of terror

in the district,


that it is a hardy man


will cross the moor

at night.”

, , , , 

“And you,

a trained man

of science,

believe it

to be supernatural?”

, , , , 

“I do not know what

to believe.”

, , , , 

Holmes shrugged his shoulders.

, , , , 

“I have hitherto confined my investigations

to this world,”

said he.

“In a modest way I have combated evil,


to take

on the Father

of Evil himself would,


be too ambitious a task.

Yet you must admit

that the footmark is material.”

, , , , 

“The original hound was material enough

to tug a man’s throat out,

and yet he was diabolical

as well.”

, , , , 

“I see

that you have quite gone over

to the supernaturalists.

But now,

Dr. Mortimer,

tell me this.

If you hold these views,

why have you come

to consult me

at all?

You tell me

in the same breath

that it is useless

to investigate Sir Charles’s death,


that you desire me

to do it.”

, , , , 

“I did not say

that I desired you

to do it.”

, , , , 



can I assist you?”

, , , , 

“By advising me as


what I

should do

with Sir Henry Baskerville,

who arrives

at Waterloo Station”

--Dr. Mortimer looked

at his watch

--”in exactly one hour

and a quarter.”

, , , , 

“He being the heir?”

, , , , 


On the death

of Sir Charles we inquired

for this young gentleman

and found

that he had been farming

in Canada.

From the accounts

which have reached us he is an excellent fellow

in every way.

I speak not

as a medical man but

as a trustee

and executor

of Sir Charles’s will.”

, , , , 

“There is no other claimant,

I presume?”

, , , , 


The only other kinsman whom we have been able

to trace was Rodger Baskerville,

the youngest

of three brothers

of whom poor Sir Charles was the elder.

The second brother,

who died young,

is the father

of this lad Henry.

The third,


was the black sheep

of the family.

He came

of the old masterful Baskerville strain,

and was the very image,

they tell me,

of the family picture

of old Hugo.

He made England too hot

to hold him,


to Central America,

and died there

in 1876

of yellow fever.

Henry is the last

of the Baskervilles.

In one hour

and five minutes I meet him

at Waterloo Station.

I have had a wire

that he arrived

at Southampton this morning.


Mr. Holmes,


would you advise me

to do

with him?”

, , , , 


should he not go

to the home

of his fathers?”

, , , , 

“It seems natural,

does it not?

And yet,


that every Baskerville

who goes

there meets

with an evil fate.

I feel sure that

if Sir Charles

could have spoken

with me

before his death he

would have warned me

against bringing this,

the last

of the old race,

and the heir

to great wealth,


that deadly place.

And yet it cannot be denied

that the prosperity

of the whole poor,

bleak country-side depends upon his presence.

All the good work

which has been done

by Sir Charles

will crash

to the ground


there is no tenant

of the Hall.

I fear lest I

should be swayed too much

by my own obvious interest

in the matter,


that is

why I bring the case

before you

and ask

for your advice.”

, , , , 

Holmes considered

for a little time.

, , , , 


into plain words,

the matter is this,”

said he.

“In your opinion

there is a diabolical agency

which makes Dartmoor an unsafe abode

for a Baskerville

--that is your opinion?”

, , , , 

“At least I might go the length

of saying


there is some evidence

that this may be so.”

, , , , 


But surely,

if your supernatural theory be correct,


could work the young man evil

in London

as easily as

in Devonshire.

A devil

with merely local powers

like a parish vestry

would be too inconceivable a thing.”

, , , , 

“You put the matter more flippantly,

Mr. Holmes,

than you

would probably do

if you were brought

into personal contact

with these things.

Your advice,


as I understand it,


that the young man

will be

as safe

in Devonshire as

in London.

He comes

in fifty minutes.


would you recommend?”

, , , , 

“I recommend,


that you take a cab,

call off your spaniel

who is scratching

at my front door,

and proceed

to Waterloo

to meet Sir Henry Baskerville.”

, , , , 

“And then?”

, , , , 


then you

will say nothing

to him

at all

until I have made up my mind

about the matter.”

, , , , 

“How long

will it take you

to make up your mind?”

, , , , 

“Twenty-four hours.

At ten o’clock to-morrow,

Dr. Mortimer,


will be much obliged

to you

if you

will call upon me here,

and it

will be

of help

to me

in my plans

for the future

if you

will bring Sir Henry Baskerville

with you.”

, , , , 


will do so,

Mr. Holmes.”

He scribbled the appointment

on his shirtcuff

and hurried off

in his strange,


absent-minded fashion.

Holmes stopped him

at the head

of the stair.

, , , , 

“Only one more question,

Dr. Mortimer.

You say


before Sir Charles Baskerville’s death several people saw this apparition upon the moor?”

, , , , 

“Three people did.”

, , , , 

“Did any see it after?”

, , , , 

“I have not heard

of any.”

, , , , 

“Thank you.

Good morning.”

, , , , 

Holmes returned

to his seat


that quiet look

of inward satisfaction

which meant

that he had a congenial task

before him.

, , , , 

“Going out,


, , , , 

“Unless I

can help you.”

, , , , 


my dear fellow,

it is

at the hour

of action

that I turn

to you

for aid.

But this is splendid,

really unique

from some points

of view.

When you pass Bradley’s,

would you ask him

to send up a pound

of the strongest shag tobacco?

Thank you.


would be

as well

if you

could make it convenient not

to return

before evening.

Then I

should be very glad

to compare impressions as

to this most interesting problem

which has been submitted

to us this morning.”

, , , , 

I knew

that seclusion

and solitude were very necessary

for my friend

in those hours

of intense mental concentration during

which he weighed every particle

of evidence,

constructed alternative theories,

balanced one

against the other,

and made up his mind as


which points were essential


which immaterial.

I therefore spent the day

at my club

and did not return

to Baker Street

until evening.

It was nearly nine o’clock

when I found myself

in the sitting-room once more.

, , , , 

My first impression

as I opened the door was

that a fire had broken out,

for the room was so filled

with smoke

that the light

of the lamp upon the table was blurred

by it.

As I entered,


my fears were set

at rest,

for it was the acrid fumes

of strong coarse tobacco

which took me

by the throat

and set me coughing.

Through the haze I had a vague vision

of Holmes

in his dressing-gown coiled up

in an armchair

with his black clay pipe

between his lips.

Several rolls

of paper lay

around him.

, , , , 

“Caught cold,


said he.

, , , , 


it’s this poisonous atmosphere.”

, , , , 

“I suppose it is pretty thick,


that you mention it.”

, , , , 


It is intolerable.”

, , , , 

“Open the window,


You have been

at your club all day,

I perceive.”

, , , , 

“My dear Holmes!”

“Am I right?”

, , , , 


but how?”

, , , , 

He laughed

at my bewildered expression.

, , , , 

“There is a delightful freshness

about you,


which makes it a pleasure

to exercise any small powers

which I possess

at your expense.

A gentleman goes forth

on a showery

and miry day.

He returns immaculate

in the evening

with the gloss still

on his hat

and his boots.

He has been a fixture therefore all day.

He is not a man

with intimate friends.



could he have been?

Is it not obvious?”

, , , , 


it is rather obvious.”

, , , , 

“The world is full

of obvious things

which nobody

by any chance ever observes.

Where do you think

that I have been?”

, , , , 

“A fixture also.”

, , , , 

“On the contrary,

I have been

to Devonshire.”

, , , , 

“In spirit?”

, , , , 


My body has remained

in this arm-chair

and has,

I regret

to observe,


in my absence two large pots

of coffee

and an incredible amount

of tobacco.

After you left I sent down

to Stamford’s

for the Ordnance map

of this portion

of the moor,

and my spirit has hovered

over it all day.

I flatter myself

that I

could find my way about.”

, , , , 

“A large scale map,

I presume?”

, , , , 

“Very large.”

He unrolled one section

and held it

over his knee.

“Here you have the particular district

which concerns us.

That is Baskerville Hall

in the middle.”

, , , , 

“With a wood round it?”

, , , , 


I fancy the Yew Alley,

though not marked under

that name,

must stretch

along this line,

with the moor,

as you perceive,

upon the right

of it.

This small clump

of buildings here is the hamlet

of Grimpen,

where our friend Dr. Mortimer has his headquarters.

Within a radius

of five miles

there are,

as you see,

only a very few scattered dwellings.

Here is Lafter Hall,

which was mentioned

in the narrative.

There is a house indicated here

which may be the residence

of the naturalist


if I remember right,

was his name.

Here are two moorland farm-houses,

High Tor

and Foulmire.

Then fourteen miles away the great convict prison

of Princetown.



around these scattered points extends the desolate,

lifeless moor.



is the stage upon

which tragedy has been played,

and upon

which we may help

to play it again.”

, , , , 

“It must be a wild place.”

, , , , 


the setting is a worthy one.

If the devil did desire

to have a hand

in the affairs

of men 


“Then you are yourself inclining

to the supernatural explanation.”

, , , , 

“The devil’s agents may be

of flesh

and blood,

may they not?

There are two questions waiting

for us

at the outset.

The one is whether any crime has been committed

at all;

the second is,

what is the crime and

how was it committed?

Of course,

if Dr. Mortimer’s surmise

should be correct,

and we are dealing

with forces outside the ordinary laws

of Nature,

there is an end

of our investigation.

But we are bound

to exhaust all other hypotheses

before falling back upon this one.

I think we’ll shut

that window again,

if you

don’t mind.

It is a singular thing,

but I find

that a concentrated atmosphere helps a concentration

of thought.

I have not pushed it

to the length

of getting

into a box

to think,


that is the logical outcome

of my convictions.

Have you turned the case over

in your mind?”

, , , , 


I have thought a good deal

of it

in the course

of the day.”

, , , , 

“What do you make

of it?”

, , , , 

“It is very bewildering.”

, , , , 

“It has certainly a character

of its own.

There are points

of distinction

about it.

That change

in the footprints,

for example.

What do you make

of that?”

, , , , 

“Mortimer said

that the man had walked

on tiptoe down

that portion

of the alley.”

, , , , 

“He only repeated

what some fool had said

at the inquest.


should a man walk

on tiptoe down the alley?”

, , , , 

“What then?”

, , , , 

“He was running,


--running desperately,


for his life,


until he burst his heart

and fell dead upon his face.”

, , , , 


from what?”

, , , , 

“There lies our problem.

There are indications

that the man was crazed

with fear

before ever he began

to run.”

, , , , 


can you say that?”

, , , , 

“I am presuming

that the cause

of his fears came

to him

across the moor.


that were so,

and it seems most probable,

only a man

who had lost his wits

would have run

from the house instead


towards it.

If the gipsy’s evidence may be taken

as true,

he ran

with cries

for help

in the direction

where help was least likely

to be.



whom was he waiting


that night,


why was he waiting

for him

in the Yew Alley rather than

in his own house?”

, , , , 

“You think

that he was waiting

for someone?”

, , , , 

“The man was elderly

and infirm.


can understand his taking an evening stroll,

but the ground was damp

and the night inclement.

Is it natural

that he

should stand

for five

or ten minutes,

as Dr. Mortimer,

with more practical sense

than I

should have given him credit for,


from the cigar ash?”

, , , , 

“But he went out every evening.”

, , , , 

“I think it unlikely

that he waited

at the moor-gate every evening.

On the contrary,

the evidence is

that he avoided the moor.

That night he waited there.

It was the night

before he made his departure

for London.

The thing takes shape,


It becomes coherent.

Might I ask you

to hand me my violin,

and we

will postpone all further thought upon this business

until we have had the advantage

of meeting Dr. Mortimer

and Sir Henry Baskerville

in the morning.”

, , , , 

Chapter 4

Sir Henry Baskerville

Our breakfast-table was cleared early,

and Holmes waited

in his dressing-gown

for the promised interview.

Our clients were punctual

to their appointment,

for the clock had just struck ten

when Dr. Mortimer was shown up,


by the young baronet.

The latter was a small,


dark-eyed man

about thirty years

of age,

very sturdily built,

with thick black eyebrows

and a strong,

pugnacious face.

He wore a ruddy-tinted tweed suit

and had the weather-beaten appearance

of one

who has spent most

of his time

in the open air,

and yet

there was something

in his steady eye

and the quiet assurance

of his bearing

which indicated the gentleman.

, , , , 

“This is Sir Henry Baskerville,”

said Dr. Mortimer.

, , , , 



said he,

“and the strange thing is,

Mr. Sherlock Holmes,


if my friend here had not proposed coming round

to you this morning I

should have come

on my own account.

I understand

that you think out little puzzles,

and I’ve had one this morning

which wants more thinking out

than I am able

to give it.”

, , , , 

“Pray take a seat,

Sir Henry.

Do I understand you

to say

that you have yourself had some remarkable experience

since you arrived

in London?”

, , , , 


of much importance,

Mr. Holmes.

Only a joke,

as like

as not.

It was this letter,

if you

can call it a letter,

which reached me this morning.”

, , , , 

He laid an envelope upon the table,

and we all bent

over it.

It was

of common quality,


in colour.

The address,

“Sir Henry Baskerville,

Northumberland Hotel,”

was printed

in rough characters;

the postmark “Charing Cross,”

and the date

of posting the preceding evening.

, , , , 

“Who knew

that you were going

to the Northumberland Hotel?”

asked Holmes,

glancing keenly across

at our visitor.

, , , , 

“No one

could have known.

We only decided after I met Dr. Mortimer.”

, , , , 

“But Dr. Mortimer was no doubt already stopping there?”

, , , , 


I had been staying

with a friend,”

said the doctor.

“There was no possible indication

that we intended

to go

to this hotel.”

, , , , 


Someone seems

to be very deeply interested

in your movements.”


of the envelope he took a half-sheet

of foolscap paper folded

into four.

This he opened

and spread flat upon the table.

Across the middle

of it a single sentence had been formed

by the expedient

of pasting printed words upon it.

It ran:

“As you value your life

or your reason keep away

from the moor.”

The word “moor” only was printed

in ink.

, , , , 


said Sir Henry Baskerville,

“perhaps you

will tell me,

Mr. Holmes,


in thunder is the meaning

of that,


who it is

that takes so much interest

in my affairs?”

, , , , 

“What do you make

of it,

Dr. Mortimer?

You must allow


there is nothing supernatural

about this,

at any rate?”

, , , , 



but it might very well come

from someone

who was convinced

that the business is supernatural.”

, , , , 

“What business?”

asked Sir Henry sharply.

“It seems

to me

that all you gentlemen know a great deal more

than I do

about my own affairs.”

, , , , 

“You shall share our knowledge

before you leave this room,

Sir Henry.

I promise you that,”

said Sherlock Holmes.


will confine ourselves

for the present

with your permission

to this very interesting document,

which must have been put together

and posted yesterday evening.

Have you yesterday’s Times,


, , , , 

“It is here

in the corner.”

, , , , 

“Might I trouble you

for it

--the inside page,


with the leading articles?”

He glanced swiftly

over it,

running his eyes up

and down the columns.

“Capital article this

on free trade.

Permit me

to give you an extract

from it.

‘You may be cajoled

into imagining

that your own special trade

or your own industry

will be encouraged

by a protective tariff,

but it stands

to reason

that such legislation must

in the long run keep away wealth

from the country,

diminish the value

of our imports,

and lower the general conditions

of life

in this island.’

What do you think

of that,


cried Holmes

in high glee,

rubbing his hands together

with satisfaction.

“Don’t you think

that is an admirable sentiment?”

, , , , 

Dr. Mortimer looked

at Holmes

with an air

of professional interest,

and Sir Henry Baskerville turned a pair

of puzzled dark eyes upon me.

, , , , 


don’t know much

about the tariff

and things


that kind,”

said he;

“but it seems

to me we’ve got a bit off the trail so far


that note is concerned.”

, , , , 

“On the contrary,

I think we are particularly hot upon the trail,

Sir Henry.

Watson here knows more

about my methods

than you do,

but I fear


even he has not quite grasped the significance

of this sentence.”

, , , , 


I confess

that I see no connection.”

, , , , 

“And yet,

my dear Watson,

there is so very close a connection

that the one is extracted out

of the other.







‘keep away,’

‘from the.’

Don’t you see now whence these words have been taken?”

, , , , 

“By thunder,

you’re right!



that isn’t smart!”

cried Sir Henry.

, , , , 

“If any possible doubt remained it is settled

by the fact

that ‘keep away’

and ‘from the’ are cut out

in one piece.”

, , , , 



--so it is!”


Mr. Holmes,

this exceeds anything

which I

could have imagined,”

said Dr. Mortimer,


at my friend

in amazement.


could understand anyone saying

that the words were

from a newspaper;


that you

should name which,

and add

that it came

from the leading article,

is really one

of the most remarkable things

which I have ever known.

How did you do it?”

, , , , 

“I presume,


that you

could tell the skull

of a negro

from that

of an Esquimau?”

, , , , 

“Most certainly.”

, , , , 

“But how?”

, , , , 


that is my special hobby.

The differences are obvious.

The supra-orbital crest,

the facial angle,

the maxillary curve,



“But this is my special hobby,

and the differences are equally obvious.

There is

as much difference

to my eyes

between the leaded bourgeois type

of a Times article

and the slovenly print

of an evening half-penny paper



could be

between your negro

and your Esquimau.

The detection

of types is one

of the most elementary branches

of knowledge

to the special expert

in crime,

though I confess

that once

when I was very young I confused the Leeds Mercury

with the Western Morning News.

But a Times leader is entirely distinctive,

and these words

could have been taken

from nothing else.

As it was done yesterday the strong probability was

that we

should find the words

in yesterday’s issue.”

, , , , 

“So far

as I

can follow you,


Mr. Holmes,”

said Sir Henry Baskerville,

“someone cut out this message

with a scissors--”


said Holmes.


can see

that it was a very short-bladed scissors,

since the cutter had

to take two snips

over ‘keep away.’”

“That is so.



cut out the message

with a pair

of short-bladed scissors,

pasted it

with paste--”


said Holmes.

, , , , 

“With gum


to the paper.

But I want

to know

why the word ‘moor’

should have been written?”

, , , , 

“Because he

could not find it

in print.

The other words were all simple

and might be found

in any issue,

but ‘moor’

would be less common.”

, , , , 


of course,


would explain it.

Have you read anything else

in this message,

Mr. Holmes?”

, , , , 

“There are one

or two indications,

and yet the utmost pains have been taken

to remove all clues.

The address,

you observe is printed

in rough characters.

But the Times is a paper

which is seldom found

in any hands

but those

of the highly educated.

We may take it,


that the letter was composed

by an educated man

who wished

to pose

as an uneducated one,

and his effort

to conceal his own writing suggests

that that writing might be known,

or come

to be known,

by you.



will observe

that the words are not gummed on

in an accurate line,


that some are much higher

than others.


for example is quite out

of its proper place.

That may point

to carelessness

or it may point

to agitation

and hurry upon the part

of the cutter.

On the whole I incline

to the latter view,

since the matter was evidently important,

and it is unlikely

that the composer

of such a letter

would be careless.

If he were

in a hurry it opens up the interesting question

why he

should be

in a hurry,

since any letter posted up

to early morning

would reach Sir Henry

before he

would leave his hotel.

Did the composer fear an interruption


from whom?”

, , , , 

“We are coming now rather

into the region

of guesswork,”

said Dr. Mortimer.

, , , , 



into the region

where we balance probabilities

and choose the most likely.

It is the scientific use

of the imagination,

but we have always some material basis

on which

to start our speculation.



would call it a guess,

no doubt,

but I am

almost certain

that this address has been written

in a hotel.”

, , , , 


in the world

can you say that?”

, , , , 

“If you examine it carefully you

will see

that both the pen

and the ink have given the writer trouble.

The pen has spluttered twice

in a single word,

and has run dry three times

in a short address,



there was very little ink

in the bottle.


a private pen

or ink-bottle is seldom allowed

to be

in such a state,

and the combination

of the two must be quite rare.

But you know the hotel ink

and the hotel pen,

where it is rare

to get anything else.


I have very little hesitation

in saying


could we examine the waste-paper baskets

of the hotels

around Charing Cross

until we found the remains

of the mutilated Times leader we

could lay our hands straight upon the person

who sent this singular message.



What’s this?”

, , , , 

He was carefully examining the foolscap,


which the words were pasted,

holding it only an inch

or two

from his eyes.

, , , , 


, , , , 


said he,

throwing it down.

“It is a blank half-sheet

of paper,


even a water-mark upon it.

I think we have drawn

as much

as we


from this curious letter;

and now,

Sir Henry,

has anything else

of interest happened

to you

since you have been

in London?”

, , , , 



Mr. Holmes.

I think not.”

, , , , 

“You have not observed anyone follow

or watch you?”

, , , , 

“I seem

to have walked right

into the thick

of a dime novel,”

said our visitor.


in thunder

should anyone follow

or watch me?”

, , , , 

“We are coming

to that.

You have nothing else

to report

to us

before we go

into this matter?”

, , , , 


it depends upon

what you think worth reporting.”

, , , , 

“I think anything out

of the ordinary routine

of life well worth reporting.”

, , , , 

Sir Henry smiled.

, , , , 


don’t know much

of British life yet,

for I have spent nearly all my time

in the States and

in Canada.

But I hope that

to lose one

of your boots is not part

of the ordinary routine

of life

over here.”

, , , , 

“You have lost one

of your boots?”

, , , , 

“My dear sir,”

cried Dr. Mortimer,

“it is only mislaid.


will find it

when you return

to the hotel.

What is the use

of troubling Mr. Holmes

with trifles

of this kind?”

, , , , 


he asked me

for anything outside the ordinary routine.”

, , , , 


said Holmes,

“however foolish the incident may seem.

You have lost one

of your boots,

you say?”

, , , , 


mislaid it,


I put them both outside my door last night,


there was only one

in the morning.


could get no sense out

of the chap

who cleans them.

The worst

of it is

that I only bought the pair last night

in the Strand,

and I have never had them on.”

, , , , 

“If you have never worn them,

why did you put them out

to be cleaned?”

, , , , 

“They were tan boots

and had never been varnished.

That was

why I put them out.”

, , , , 

“Then I understand that

on your arrival

in London yesterday you went out

at once

and bought a pair

of boots?”

, , , , 

“I did a good deal

of shopping.

Dr. Mortimer here went round

with me.

You see,

if I am

to be squire down

there I must dress the part,

and it may be

that I have got a little careless

in my ways out West.

Among other things I bought these brown boots

--gave six dollars

for them

--and had one stolen

before ever I had them

on my feet.”

, , , , 

“It seems a singularly useless thing

to steal,”

said Sherlock Holmes.

“I confess

that I share Dr. Mortimer’s belief

that it

will not be long

before the missing boot is found.”

, , , , 




said the baronet

with decision,

“it seems

to me

that I have spoken quite enough

about the little

that I know.

It is time

that you kept your promise

and gave me a full account


what we are all driving at.”

, , , , 

“Your request is a very reasonable one,”

Holmes answered.

“Dr. Mortimer,

I think you

could not do better than

to tell your story

as you told it

to us.”

, , , , 

Thus encouraged,

our scientific friend drew his papers

from his pocket,

and presented the whole case

as he had done upon the morning before.

Sir Henry Baskerville listened

with the deepest attention,


with an occasional exclamation

of surprise.

, , , , 


I seem

to have come

into an inheritance

with a vengeance,”

said he

when the long narrative was finished.

“Of course,

I’ve heard

of the hound ever

since I was

in the nursery.

It’s the pet story

of the family,

though I never thought

of taking it seriously before.

But as

to my uncle’s death


it all seems boiling up

in my head,

and I can’t get it clear yet.


don’t seem quite

to have made up your mind whether it’s a case

for a policeman

or a clergyman.”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“And now there’s this affair

of the letter

to me

at the hotel.

I suppose

that fits

into its place.”

, , , , 

“It seems

to show

that someone knows more

than we do about

what goes

on upon the moor,”

said Dr. Mortimer.

, , , , 

“And also,”

said Holmes,

“that someone is not ill-disposed

towards you,

since they warn you

of danger.”

, , , , 

“Or it may be

that they wish,

for their own purposes,

to scare me away.”

, , , , 


of course,

that is possible also.

I am very much indebted

to you,

Dr. Mortimer,

for introducing me

to a problem

which presents several interesting alternatives.

But the practical point

which we now have

to decide,

Sir Henry,

is whether it is

or is not advisable

for you

to go

to Baskerville Hall.”

, , , , 


should I not go?”

, , , , 

“There seems

to be danger.”

, , , , 

“Do you mean danger

from this family fiend

or do you mean danger

from human beings?”

, , , , 


that is

what we have

to find out.”

, , , , 

“Whichever it is,

my answer is fixed.

There is no devil

in hell,

Mr. Holmes,


there is no man upon earth


can prevent me

from going

to the home

of my own people,

and you may take that

to be my final answer.”

His dark brows knitted

and his face flushed

to a dusky red

as he spoke.

It was evident

that the fiery temper

of the Baskervilles was not extinct

in this their last representative.


said he,

“I have

hardly had time

to think

over all

that you have told me.

It’s a big thing

for a man

to have

to understand and

to decide

at one sitting.


should like

to have a quiet hour

by myself

to make up my mind.


look here,

Mr. Holmes,

it’s half-past eleven now

and I am going back right away

to my hotel.

Suppose you

and your friend,

Dr. Watson,

come round

and lunch

with us

at two.

I’ll be able

to tell you more clearly then

how this thing strikes me.”

, , , , 


that convenient

to you,


, , , , 


, , , , 

“Then you may expect us.

Shall I have a cab called?”

, , , , 

“I’d prefer

to walk,

for this affair has flurried me rather.”

, , , , 

“I’ll join you

in a walk,

with pleasure,”

said his companion.

, , , , 

“Then we meet again

at two o’clock.

Au revoir,

and good-morning!”

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.

, , , , 

“Your hat

and boots,



Not a moment

to lose!”

He rushed

into his room

in his dressing-gown

and was back again

in a few seconds

in a frock-coat.

We hurried together down the stairs


into the street.

Dr. Mortimer

and Baskerville were still visible

about two hundred yards ahead

of us

in the direction

of Oxford Street.

, , , , 

“Shall I run


and stop them?”

, , , , 


for the world,

my dear Watson.

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


about half.


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,


which Holmes did the same.

An instant afterwards he gave a little cry

of satisfaction,


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.

, , , , 

“There’s our man,


Come along!

We’ll have a good look

at him,

if we

can do no more.”

, , , , 


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.

, , , , 

“There now!”

said Holmes bitterly

as he emerged panting

and white

with vexation

from the tide

of vehicles.

“Was ever such bad luck

and such bad management,




if you are an honest man you

will record this also

and set it

against my successes!”

“Who was the man?”

, , , , 

“I have not an idea.”

, , , , 

“A spy?”

, , , , 


it was evident


what we have heard

that Baskerville has been very closely shadowed

by someone

since he has been

in town.

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.”

, , , , 


I remember.”

, , , , 

“I was looking out

for loiterers

in the street,

but I saw none.

We are dealing

with a clever man,


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,


one obvious disadvantage.”

, , , , 

“It puts him

in the power

of the cabman.”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“What a pity we did not get the number!”

“My dear Watson,


as I have been,

you surely do not seriously imagine

that I neglected

to get the number?

No. 2704 is our man.


that is no use

to us

for the moment.”

, , , , 

“I fail

to see

how you

could have done more.”

, , , , 

“On observing the cab I

should have instantly turned

and walked

in the other direction.


should then

at my leisure have hired a second cab

and followed the first

at a respectful distance,


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


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.

, , , , 

“There is no object

in our following them,”

said Holmes.

“The shadow has departed


will not return.

We must see

what further cards we have

in our hands

and play them

with decision.

Could you swear


that man’s face within the cab?”

, , , , 


could swear only

to the beard.”

, , , , 

“And so

could I


which I gather that

in all probability it was a false one.

A clever man upon so delicate an errand has no use

for a beard save

to conceal his features.


in here,


He turned

into one

of the district messenger offices,

where he was warmly greeted

by the manager.

, , , , 



I see you have not forgotten the little case


which I had the good fortune

to help you?”

, , , , 



indeed I have not.

You saved my good name,

and perhaps my life.”

, , , , 

“My dear fellow,

you exaggerate.

I have some recollection,


that you had

among your boys a lad named Cartwright,

who showed some ability during the investigation.”

, , , , 



he is still

with us.”

, , , , 

“Could you ring him up?

--thank you!

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.

, , , , 

“Let me have the Hotel Directory,”

said Holmes.

“Thank you!



there are the names

of twenty-three hotels here,


in the immediate neighbourhood

of Charing Cross.

Do you see?”

, , , , 



, , , , 


will visit each

of these

in turn.”

, , , , 



, , , , 


will begin

in each case

by giving the outside porter one shilling.

Here are twenty-three shillings.”

, , , , 



, , , , 


will tell him

that you want

to see the waste-paper

of yesterday.


will say

that an important telegram has miscarried


that you are looking

for it.

You understand?”

, , , , 



, , , , 


what you are really looking

for is the centre page

of the Times

with some holes cut

in it

with scissors.

Here is a copy

of the Times.

It is this page.


could easily recognize it,

could you not?”

, , , , 



, , , , 

“In each case the outside porter

will send

for the hall porter,

to whom also you

will give a shilling.

Here are twenty-three shillings.



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,


it only remains

for us

to find out

by wire the identity

of the cabman,

No. 2704,


then we

will drop

into one

of the Bond Street picture galleries

and fill

in the time

until we are due

at the hotel.”

, , , , 

Chapter 5

Three Broken Threads

Sherlock Holmes had,

in a very remarkable degree,

the power

of detaching his mind

at will.

For two hours the strange business


which we had been involved appeared

to be forgotten,

and he was entirely absorbed

in the pictures

of the modern Belgian masters.


would talk

of nothing

but art,


which he had the crudest ideas,

from our leaving the gallery

until we found ourselves

at the Northumberland Hotel.

, , , , 

“Sir Henry Baskerville is upstairs expecting you,”

said the clerk.

“He asked me

to show you up

at once

when you came.”

, , , , 

“Have you any objection

to my looking

at your register?”

said Holmes.

, , , , 


in the least.”

, , , , 

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,


, , , , 


that must be the same Johnson whom I used

to know,”

said Holmes

to the porter.

“A lawyer,

is he not,


and walks

with a limp?”

, , , , 



this is Mr. Johnson,

the coal-owner,

a very active gentleman,

not older

than yourself.”

, , , , 

“Surely you are mistaken

about his trade?”

, , , , 



he has used this hotel

for many years,

and he is very well known

to us.”

, , , , 


that settles it.

Mrs. Oldmore,


I seem

to remember the name.

Excuse my curiosity,

but often

in calling upon one friend one finds another.”

, , , , 

“She is an invalid lady,


Her husband was once mayor

of Gloucester.

She always comes

to us

when she is

in town.”

, , , , 

“Thank you;

I am afraid I cannot claim her acquaintance.

We have established a most important fact

by these questions,


he continued

in a low voice

as we went upstairs together.

“We know now

that the people

who are so interested

in our friend have not settled down

in his own hotel.

That means


while they are,

as we have seen,

very anxious

to watch him,

they are equally anxious

that he

should not see them.


this is a most suggestive fact.”

, , , , 

“What does it suggest?”

, , , , 

“It suggests


my dear fellow,


on earth is the matter?”

, , , , 

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,


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.

, , , , 


to me they are playing me

for a sucker

in this hotel,”

he cried.

“They’ll find they’ve started


to monkey

with the wrong man

unless they are careful.

By thunder,


that chap can’t find my missing boot there

will be trouble.


can take a joke

with the best,

Mr. Holmes,

but they’ve got a bit

over the mark this time.”

, , , , 

“Still looking

for your boot?”

, , , , 



and mean

to find it.”

, , , , 



you said

that it was a new brown boot?”

, , , , 

“So it was,


And now it’s an old black one.”

, , , , 



don’t mean

to say


, , , , 

“That’s just

what I do mean

to say.

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 to-day they have sneaked one

of the black.


have you got it?

Speak out,



don’t stand staring!”

An agitated German waiter had appeared upon the scene.

, , , , 



I have made inquiry all

over the hotel,

but I

can hear no word

of it.”

, , , , 



that boot comes back

before sundown

or I’ll see the manager

and tell him

that I go right straight out

of this hotel.”

, , , , 

“It shall be found,


--I promise you that

if you

will have a little patience it

will be found.”

, , , , 

“Mind it is,

for it’s the last thing

of mine

that I’ll lose

in this den

of thieves.



Mr. Holmes,

you’ll excuse my troubling you

about such a trifle


“I think it’s well worth troubling about.”

, , , , 


you look very serious

over it.”

, , , , 

“How do you explain it?”

, , , , 

“I just

don’t attempt

to explain it.

It seems the very maddest,

queerest thing

that ever happened

to me.”

, , , , 

“The queerest perhaps

----” said Holmes,


, , , , 

“What do you make

of it yourself?”

, , , , 



don’t profess

to understand it yet.

This case

of yours is very complex,

Sir Henry.

When taken

in conjunction

with your uncle’s death I am not sure that

of all the five hundred cases

of capital importance

which I have handled

there is one

which cuts so deep.

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


which little was said

of the business

which had brought us together.

It was

in the private sitting-room


which we afterwards repaired

that Holmes asked Baskerville

what were his intentions.

, , , , 

“To go

to Baskerville Hall.”

, , , , 

“And when?”

, , , , 

“At the end

of the week.”

, , , , 

“On the whole,”

said Holmes,

“I think

that your decision is a wise one.

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


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?”

, , , , 

Dr. Mortimer started violently.

, , , , 


By whom?”

, , , , 




what I cannot tell you.

Have you

among your neighbours

or acquaintances

on Dartmoor any man

with a black,

full beard?”

, , , , 



let me see




Sir Charles’s butler,

is a man

with a full,

black beard.”

, , , , 


Where is Barrymore?”

, , , , 

“He is

in charge

of the Hall.”

, , , , 

“We had best ascertain

if he is really there,

or if

by any possibility he might be

in London.”

, , , , 


can you do that?”

, , , , 

“Give me a telegraph form.

‘Is all ready

for Sir Henry?’


will do.


to Mr. Barrymore,

Baskerville Hall.

What is the nearest telegraph-office?


Very good,


will send a second wire

to the postmaster,



to Mr. Barrymore

to be delivered

into his own hand.

If absent,

please return wire

to Sir Henry Baskerville,

Northumberland Hotel.’


should let us know

before evening whether Barrymore is

at his post

in Devonshire

or not.”

, , , , 

“That’s so,”

said Baskerville.

“By the way,

Dr. Mortimer,

who is this Barrymore,


, , , , 

“He is the son

of the old caretaker,

who is dead.

They have looked after the Hall

for four generations now.

So far

as I know,


and his wife are

as respectable a couple

as any

in the county.”

, , , , 

“At the same time,”

said Baskerville,

“it’s clear enough

that so long


there are none

of the family

at the Hall these people have a mighty fine home

and nothing

to do.”

, , , , 

“That is true.”

, , , , 

“Did Barrymore profit

at all

by Sir Charles’s will?”

asked Holmes.

, , , , 


and his wife had five hundred pounds each.”

, , , , 


Did they know

that they

would receive this?”

, , , , 


Sir Charles was very fond

of talking

about the provisions

of his will.”

, , , , 

“That is very interesting.”

, , , , 

“I hope,”

said Dr. Mortimer,

“that you do not look

with suspicious eyes upon everyone

who received a legacy

from Sir Charles,

for I also had a thousand pounds left

to me.”

, , , , 


And anyone else?”

, , , , 

“There were many insignificant sums

to individuals,

and a large number

of public charities.

The residue all went

to Sir Henry.”

, , , , 


how much was the residue?”

, , , , 

“Seven hundred

and forty thousand pounds.”

, , , , 

Holmes raised his eyebrows

in surprise.

“I had no idea

that so gigantic a sum was involved,”

said he.

, , , , 

“Sir Charles had the reputation

of being rich,

but we did not know

how very rich he was

until we came

to examine his securities.

The total value

of the estate was close


to a million.”

, , , , 

“Dear me!

It is a stake


which a man might well play a desperate game.

And one more question,

Dr. Mortimer.


that anything happened

to our young friend here


will forgive the unpleasant hypothesis!


would inherit the estate?”

, , , , 

“Since Rodger Baskerville,

Sir Charles’s younger brother died unmarried,

the estate

would descend

to the Desmonds,

who are distant cousins.

James Desmond is an elderly clergyman

in Westmoreland.”

, , , , 

“Thank you.

These details are all

of great interest.

Have you met Mr. James Desmond?”

, , , , 


he once came down

to visit Sir Charles.

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.”

, , , , 

“And this man

of simple tastes

would be the heir

to Sir Charles’s thousands.”

, , , , 


would be the heir

to the estate because

that is entailed.


would also be the heir

to the money

unless it were willed otherwise

by the present owner,

who can,

of course,


what he likes

with it.”

, , , , 

“And have you made your will,

Sir Henry?”

, , , , 


Mr. Holmes,

I have not.

I’ve had no time,

for it was only yesterday

that I learned

how matters stood.


in any case I feel

that the money

should go

with the title

and estate.

That was my poor uncle’s idea.

How is the owner going

to restore the glories

of the Baskervilles

if he has not money enough

to keep up the property?



and dollars must go together.”

, , , , 

“Quite so.


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.”

, , , , 

“Dr. Mortimer returns

with me.”

, , , , 

“But Dr. Mortimer has his practice

to attend to,

and his house is miles away

from yours.

With all the good will

in the world he may be unable

to help you.


Sir Henry,

you must take

with you someone,

a trusty man,


will be always

by your side.”

, , , , 

“Is it possible

that you

could come yourself,

Mr. Holmes?”

, , , , 

“If matters came

to a crisis I

should endeavour

to be present

in person;

but you

can understand that,

with my extensive consulting practice


with the constant appeals

which reach me

from many quarters,

it is impossible

for me

to be absent

from London

for an indefinite time.

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.


will see

how impossible it is

for me

to go

to Dartmoor.”

, , , , 


would you recommend,


, , , , 

Holmes laid his hand upon my arm.

, , , , 

“If my friend

would undertake it

there is no man

who is better worth having

at your side

when you are

in a tight place.

No one

can say so more confidently

than I.”

, , , , 

The proposition took me completely

by surprise,


before I had time

to answer,

Baskerville seized me

by the hand

and wrung it heartily.

, , , , 



that is real kind

of you,

Dr. Watson,”

said he.

“You see

how it is

with me,

and you know just

as much

about the matter

as I do.

If you

will come down

to Baskerville Hall

and see me

through I’ll never forget it.”

, , , , 

The promise

of adventure had always a fascination

for me,

and I was complimented

by the words

of Holmes and

by the eagerness


which the baronet hailed me

as a companion.

, , , , 


will come,

with pleasure,”

said I. “I do not know

how I

could employ my time better.”

, , , , 

“And you

will report very carefully

to me,”

said Holmes.

“When a crisis comes,

as it

will do,


will direct

how you shall act.

I suppose that

by Saturday all might be ready?”

, , , , 


that suit Dr. Watson?”

, , , , 


, , , , 


on Saturday,

unless you hear

to the contrary,

we shall meet

at the 10:30 train

from Paddington.”

, , , , 

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


under a cabinet.

, , , , 

“My missing boot!”

he cried.

, , , , 

“May all our difficulties vanish

as easily!”

said Sherlock Holmes.

, , , , 

“But it is a very singular thing,”

Dr. Mortimer remarked.

“I searched this room carefully

before lunch.”

, , , , 

“And so did I,”

said Baskerville.

“Every inch

of it.”

, , , , 

“There was certainly no boot

in it then.”

, , , , 


that case the waiter must have placed it


while we were lunching.”

, , , , 

The German was sent for

but professed

to know nothing

of the matter,


could any inquiry clear it up.

Another item had been added


that constant

and apparently purposeless series

of small mysteries

which had succeeded each other so rapidly.

Setting aside the whole grim story

of Sir Charles’s death,

we had a line

of inexplicable incidents all within the limits

of two days,

which included the receipt

of the printed letter,

the black-bearded spy

in the hansom,

the loss

of the new brown boot,

the loss

of the old black boot,

and now the return

of the new brown boot.

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


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.

, , , , 


before dinner two telegrams were handed in.

The first ran:


“Have just heard

that Barrymore is

at the Hall.


The second:


“Visited twenty-three hotels

as directed,

but sorry,

to report unable

to trace cut sheet

of Times.


, , , , 

“There go two

of my threads,


There is nothing more stimulating

than a case

where everything goes

against you.

We must cast round

for another scent.”

, , , , 

“We have still the cabman

who drove the spy.”

, , , , 


I have wired

to get his name

and address

from the Official Registry.


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,


for the door opened

and a rough-looking fellow entered

who was evidently the man himself.

, , , , 

“I got a message

from the head office

that a gent

at this address had been inquiring

for 2704,”

said he.

“I’ve driven my cab this seven years

and never a word

of complaint.

I came here straight

from the Yard

to ask you

to your face

what you had

against me.”

, , , , 

“I have nothing

in the world

against you,

my good man,”

said Holmes.

“On the contrary,

I have half a sovereign

for you

if you

will give me a clear answer

to my questions.”

, , , , 


I’ve had a good day

and no mistake,”

said the cabman,

with a grin.

“What was it you wanted

to ask,


, , , , 


of all your name

and address,

in case I want you again.”

, , , , 

“John Clayton,

3 Turpey Street,

the Borough.

My cab is out

of Shipley’s Yard,

near Waterloo Station.”

, , , , 

Sherlock Holmes made a note

of it.

, , , , 



tell me all

about the fare

who came

and watched this house

at ten o’clock this morning

and afterwards followed the two gentlemen down Regent Street.”

, , , , 

The man looked surprised

and a little embarrassed.


there’s no good my telling you things,

for you seem

to know

as much

as I do already,”

said he.

“The truth is

that the gentleman told me

that he was a detective


that I was

to say nothing

about him

to anyone.”

, , , , 

“My good fellow,

this is a very serious business,

and you may find yourself

in a pretty bad position

if you try

to hide anything

from me.

You say

that your fare told you

that he was a detective?”

, , , , 


he did.”

, , , , 

“When did he say this?”

, , , , 

“When he left me.”

, , , , 

“Did he say anything more?”

, , , , 

“He mentioned his name.”

, , , , 

Holmes cast a swift glance

of triumph

at me.


he mentioned his name,

did he?

That was imprudent.

What was the name

that he mentioned?”

, , , , 

“His name,”

said the cabman,

“was Mr. Sherlock Holmes.”

, , , , 

Never have I seen my friend more completely taken aback than

by the cabman’s reply.

For an instant he sat

in silent amazement.

Then he burst

into a hearty laugh.

, , , , 

“A touch,


--an undeniable touch!”

said he.

“I feel a foil

as quick

and supple

as my own.

He got home upon me very prettily

that time.

So his name was Sherlock Holmes,

was it?”

, , , , 



that was the gentleman’s name.”

, , , , 


Tell me

where you picked him up

and all

that occurred.”

, , , , 

“He hailed me

at half-past nine

in Trafalgar Square.

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.”

, , , , 

“This very door,”

said Holmes.

, , , , 


I couldn’t be sure

of that,

but I dare say my fare knew all

about it.

We pulled up half-way down the street

and waited an hour

and a half.

Then the two gentlemen passed us,


and we followed down Baker Street




“I know,”

said Holmes.

, , , , 

“Until we got three-quarters down Regent Street.

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.

Only just

as he was leaving he turned round

and he said:

‘It might interest you

to know

that you have been driving Mr. Sherlock Holmes.’


how I come

to know the name.”

, , , , 

“I see.

And you saw no more

of him?”

, , , , 

“Not after he went

into the station.”

, , , , 



would you describe Mr. Sherlock Holmes?”

, , , , 

The cabman scratched his head.


he wasn’t altogether such an easy gentleman

to describe.

I’d put him

at forty years

of age,

and he was

of a middle height,


or three inches shorter

than you,


He was dressed

like a toff,

and he had a black beard,

cut square

at the end,

and a pale face.


don’t know

as I

could say more

than that.”

, , , , 


of his eyes?”

, , , , 


I can’t say that.”

, , , , 

“Nothing more

that you

can remember?”

, , , , 




, , , , 



here is your half-sovereign.

There’s another one waiting

for you

if you

can bring any more information.

Good night!”

“Good night,


and thank you!”

John Clayton departed chuckling,

and Holmes turned

to me

with a shrug

of his shoulders

and a rueful smile.

, , , , 

“Snap goes our third thread,

and we end

where we began,”

said he.

“The cunning rascal!

He knew our number,


that Sir Henry Baskerville had consulted me,


who I was

in Regent Street,


that I had got the number

of the cab


would lay my hands

on the driver,

and so sent back this audacious message.

I tell you,


this time we have got a foeman

who is worthy

of our steel.

I’ve been checkmated

in London.


can only wish you better luck

in Devonshire.

But I’m not easy

in my mind

about it.”

, , , , 

“About what?”

, , , , 

“About sending you.

It’s an ugly business,


an ugly dangerous business,

and the more I see

of it the less I

like it.


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.”

, , , , 

Chapter 6

Baskerville Hall

Sir Henry Baskerville

and Dr. Mortimer were ready upon the appointed day,

and we started

as arranged

for Devonshire.

Mr. Sherlock Holmes drove

with me

to the station

and gave me his last parting injunctions

and advice.

, , , , 


will not bias your mind

by suggesting theories

or suspicions,


said he;

“I wish you simply

to report facts

in the fullest possible manner

to me,

and you

can leave me

to do the theorizing.”

, , , , 

“What sort

of facts?”

I asked.

, , , , 


which may seem

to have a bearing however indirect upon the case,

and especially the relations

between young Baskerville

and his neighbours

or any fresh particulars concerning the death

of Sir Charles.

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,


that is

that Mr. James Desmond,

who is the next heir,

is an elderly gentleman

of a very amiable disposition,


that this persecution does not arise

from him.

I really think

that we may eliminate him entirely

from our calculations.

There remain the people


will actually surround Sir Henry Baskerville upon the moor.”

, , , , 

“Would it not be well

in the first place

to get rid

of this Barrymore couple?”

, , , , 

“By no means.


could not make a greater mistake.

If they are innocent it

would be a cruel injustice,


if they are guilty we

should be giving up all chance

of bringing it home

to them.




will preserve them upon our list

of suspects.


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,


there is his wife,

of whom we know nothing.

There is this naturalist,



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,


there are one

or two other neighbours.

These are the folk

who must be your very special study.”

, , , , 


will do my best.”

, , , , 

“You have arms,

I suppose?”

, , , , 


I thought it

as well

to take them.”

, , , , 

“Most certainly.

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 no news

of any kind,”

said Dr. Mortimer

in answer

to my friend’s questions.


can swear

to one thing,


that is

that we have not been shadowed during the last two days.

We have never gone out without keeping a sharp watch,

and no one

could have escaped our notice.”

, , , , 

“You have always kept together,

I presume?”

, , , , 

“Except yesterday afternoon.

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.”

, , , , 

“And I went

to look

at the folk

in the park,”

said Baskerville.

“But we had no trouble

of any kind.”

, , , , 

“It was imprudent,

all the same,”

said Holmes,

shaking his head

and looking very grave.

“I beg,

Sir Henry,

that you

will not go

about alone.

Some great misfortune

will befall you

if you do.

Did you get your other boot?”

, , , , 



it is gone forever.”

, , , , 


That is very interesting.



he added

as the train began

to glide down the platform.


in mind,

Sir Henry,


of the phrases


that queer old legend

which Dr. 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. Mortimer’s spaniel.

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,


Young Baskerville stared eagerly out

of the window,

and cried aloud

with delight

as he recognized the familiar features

of the Devon scenery.

, , , , 

“I’ve been

over a good part

of the world

since I left it,

Dr. Watson,”

said he;

“but I have never seen a place

to compare

with it.”

, , , , 

“I never saw a Devonshire man

who did not swear

by his county,”

I remarked.

, , , , 

“It depends upon the breed

of men quite

as much as

on the county,”

said Dr. Mortimer.

“A glance

at our friend here reveals the rounded head

of the Celt,

which carries inside it the Celtic enthusiasm

and power

of attachment.

Poor Sir Charles’s head was

of a very rare type,

half Gaelic,

half Ivernian

in its characteristics.

But you were very young

when you last saw Baskerville Hall,

were you not?”

, , , , 

“I was a boy

in my ‘teens

at the time

of my father’s death,

and had never seen the Hall,

for he lived

in a little cottage

on the South Coast.

Thence I went straight

to a friend

in America.

I tell you it is all

as new

to me

as it is

to Dr. Watson,

and I’m

as keen

as possible

to see the moor.”

, , , , 

“Are you?

Then your wish is easily granted,


there is your first sight

of the moor,”

said 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 gray,

melancholy hill,

with a strange jagged summit,


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


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


that long line

of high-blooded,


and masterful men.

There were pride,


and strength

in his thick brows,

his sensitive nostrils,

and his large hazel eyes.



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.


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,


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,


behind the peaceful

and sunlit country-side

there rose ever,


against the evening sky,

the long,

gloomy curve

of the moor,


by the jagged

and sinister hills.

, , , , 

The wagonette swung round

into a side road,

and we curved upward

through deep lanes worn

by centuries

of wheels,

high banks

on either side,


with dripping moss

and fleshy hart’s-tongue ferns.

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,


and roaring amid the gray 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,


to me a tinge

of melancholy lay upon the country-side,

which bore so clearly the mark

of the waning year.

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.

, , , , 


cried Dr. Mortimer,

“what is this?”

, , , , 

A steep curve

of heath-clad land,

an outlying spur

of the moor,


in front

of us.

On the summit,


and clear

like an equestrian statue upon its pedestal,

was a mounted soldier,


and stern,

his rifle poised ready

over his forearm.

He was watching the road along

which we travelled.

, , , , 

“What is this,


asked Dr. Mortimer.

, , , , 

Our driver half turned

in his seat.

, , , , 

“There’s a convict escaped

from Princetown,


He’s been out three days now,

and the warders watch every road

and every station,

but they’ve had no sight

of him yet.

The farmers

about here don’t

like it,


and that’s a fact.”

, , , , 


I understand

that they get five pounds

if they

can give information.”

, , , , 



but the chance

of five pounds is

but a poor thing compared

to the chance

of having your throat cut.

You see,

it isn’t

like any ordinary convict.

This is a man


would stick

at nothing.”

, , , , 

“Who is he,


, , , , 

“It is Selden,

the Notting Hill murderer.”

, , , , 

I remembered the case well,

for it was one


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,


with gnarled

and craggy cairns

and tors.

A cold wind swept down

from it

and set us shivering.

Somewhere there,


that desolate plain,

was lurking this fiendish man,


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


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,


with giant boulders.



then we passed a moorland cottage,


and roofed

with stone,

with no creeper

to break its harsh outline.

Suddenly we looked down

into a cup-like depression,


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.

, , , , 

“Baskerville Hall,”

said he.

, , , , 

Its master had risen

and was staring

with flushed cheeks

and shining eyes.

A few minutes later we had reached the lodge-gates,

a maze

of fantastic tracery

in wrought iron,

with weather-bitten pillars

on either side,


with lichens,

and surmounted

by the boars’ heads

of the Baskervilles.

The lodge was a ruin

of black granite

and bared ribs

of rafters,

but facing it was a new building,

half constructed,

the first fruit

of Sir Charles’s South African gold.

, , , , 

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


where the house glimmered

like a ghost

at the farther end.

, , , , 

“Was it here?”

he asked

in a low voice.

, , , , 



the Yew Alley is

on the other side.”

, , , , 

The young heir glanced round

with a gloomy face.

, , , , 

“It’s no wonder my uncle felt


if trouble were coming

on him

in such a place

as this,”

said he.

“It’s enough

to scare any man.

I’ll have a row

of electric lamps up here inside

of six months,

and you

won’t know it again,

with a thousand candle-power Swan

and Edison right here

in front

of the hall door.”

, , , , 

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


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,



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,


from the high chimneys

which rose

from the steep,

high-angled roof

there sprang a single black column

of smoke.

, , , , 


Sir Henry!


to Baskerville Hall!”

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.

, , , , 


don’t mind my driving straight home,

Sir Henry?”

said Dr. Mortimer.

“My wife is expecting me.”

, , , , 

“Surely you

will stay

and have some dinner?”

, , , , 


I must go.

I shall probably find some work awaiting me.


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


which we found ourselves,



and heavily raftered

with huge balks

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.

Then we gazed round us

at the high,

thin window

of old stained glass,

the oak panelling,

the stags’ heads,

the coats-of-arms upon the walls,

all dim

and sombre

in the subdued light

of the central lamp.

, , , , 

“It’s just

as I imagined it,”

said Sir Henry.

“Is it not the very picture

of an old family home?

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,



with a square black beard

and pale,

distinguished features.

, , , , 

“Would you wish dinner

to be served

at once,


, , , , 

“Is it ready?”

, , , , 

“In a very few minutes,



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


under the new conditions this house

will require a considerable staff.”

, , , , 

“What new conditions?”

, , , , 

“I only meant,


that Sir Charles led a very retired life,

and we were able

to look after his wants.

You would,



to have more company,

and so you

will need changes

in your household.”

, , , , 

“Do you mean

that your wife

and you wish

to leave?”

, , , , 


when it is quite convenient

to you,


, , , , 

“But your family have been

with us

for several generations,

have they not?


should be sorry

to begin my life here

by breaking an old family connection.”

, , , , 

I seemed

to discern some signs

of emotion upon the butler’s white face.

, , , , 

“I feel

that also,


and so does my wife.


to tell the truth,


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.”

, , , , 


what do you intend

to do?”

, , , , 

“I have no doubt,


that we shall succeed

in establishing ourselves

in some business.

Sir Charles’s generosity has given us the means

to do so.

And now,


perhaps I had best show you

to your rooms.”

, , , , 

A square balustraded gallery ran round the top

of the old hall,


by a double stair.

From this central point two long corridors extended the whole length

of the building,


which all the bedrooms opened.

My own was

in the same wing

as Baskerville’s


almost next door

to it.

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.

At one end a minstrel’s gallery overlooked it.

Black beams shot across

above our heads,

with a smoke-darkened ceiling beyond them.

With rows

of flaring torches

to light it up,

and the colour

and rude hilarity

of an old-time banquet,

it might have softened;

but now,

when two black-clothed gentlemen sat

in the little circle

of light thrown

by a shaded lamp,

one’s voice became hushed

and one’s spirit subdued.

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.

, , , , 

“My word,

it isn’t a very cheerful place,”

said Sir Henry.

“I suppose one

can tone down

to it,

but I feel a bit out

of the picture

at present.


don’t wonder

that my uncle got a little jumpy

if he lived all alone

in such a house

as this.


if it suits you,


will retire early to-night,

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.


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,


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,


for the sleep


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.


then suddenly,

in the very dead

of the night,

there came a sound

to my ears,



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,


there came no other sound save the chiming clock

and the rustle

of the ivy

on the wall.

, , , , 

Chapter 7

The Stapletons

of Merripit House

The fresh beauty

of the following morning did something

to efface

from our minds the grim

and gray 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


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 realize

that this was indeed the chamber

which had struck such a gloom

into our souls upon the evening before.

, , , , 

“I guess it is ourselves

and not the house

that we have

to blame!”

said the baronet.

“We were tired

with our journey

and chilled

by our drive,

so we took a gray view

of the place.

Now we are fresh

and well,

so it is all cheerful once more.”

, , , , 

“And yet it was not entirely a question

of imagination,”

I answered.

“Did you,

for example,


to hear someone,

a woman I think,


in the night?”

, , , , 

“That is curious,

for I did

when I was half asleep fancy

that I heard something

of the sort.

I waited quite a time,


there was no more

of it,

so I concluded

that it was all a dream.”

, , , , 

“I heard it distinctly,

and I am sure

that it was really the sob

of a woman.”

, , , , 

“We must ask

about this right away.”

He rang the bell

and asked Barrymore whether he

could account

for our experience.

It seemed

to me

that the pallid features

of the butler turned a shade paler still

as he listened

to his master’s question.

, , , , 

“There are only two women

in the house,

Sir Henry,”

he answered.

“One is the scullery-maid,

who sleeps

in the other wing.

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,


heavy-featured woman

with a stern set expression

of mouth.

But her tell-tale eyes were red

and glanced

at me


between swollen lids.

It was she,


who wept

in the night,


if she did so her husband must know it.

Yet he had taken the obvious risk

of discovery

in declaring

that it was not so.

Why had he done this?


why did she weep so bitterly?

Already round this pale-faced,


black-bearded man

there was gathering an atmosphere

of mystery and

of gloom.

It was he

who had been the first

to discover the body

of Sir Charles,

and we had only his word

for all the circumstances

which led up

to the old man’s death.

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.


could I settle the point forever?

Obviously the first thing

to do was

to see the Grimpen postmaster,

and find whether the test telegram had really been placed

in Barrymore’s own hands.

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,


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 gray hamlet,


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.

, , , , 



said he,

“I had the telegram delivered

to Mr. Barrymore exactly

as directed.”

, , , , 

“Who delivered it?”

, , , , 

“My boy here.


you delivered

that telegram

to Mr. Barrymore

at the Hall last week,

did you not?”

, , , , 



I delivered it.”

, , , , 

“Into his own hands?”

I asked.

, , , , 


he was up

in the loft

at the time,


that I

could not put it

into his own hands,

but I gave it

into Mrs. Barrymore’s hands,

and she promised

to deliver it

at once.”

, , , , 

“Did you see Mr. Barrymore?”

, , , , 



I tell you he was

in the loft.”

, , , , 

“If you didn’t see him,

how do you know he was

in the loft?”

, , , , 


surely his own wife ought

to know

where he is,”

said the postmaster testily.

“Didn’t he get the telegram?


there is any mistake it is

for Mr. Barrymore himself

to complain.”

, , , , 

It seemed hopeless

to pursue the inquiry any farther,

but it was clear that

in spite

of Holmes’s ruse we had no proof

that Barrymore had not been

in London all the time.


that it were so


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.


that his work

or was it possibly the doing

of someone

who was bent upon counteracting his schemes?

The only conceivable motive was


which had been suggested

by Sir Henry,


if the family

could be scared away a comfortable

and permanent home

would be secured

for the Barrymores.

But surely such an explanation



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 gray,

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,


to see Dr. Mortimer,


to my surprise it was a stranger

who was pursuing me.

He was a small,



prim-faced man,


and lean-jawed,

between thirty

and forty years

of age,


in a gray suit

and wearing a straw hat.

A tin box

for botanical specimens hung

over his shoulder

and he carried a green butterfly-net

in one

of his hands.

, , , , 

“You will,

I am sure,

excuse my presumption,

Dr. Watson,”

said he,

as he came panting up


where I stood.


on the moor we are homely folk

and do not wait

for formal introductions.

You may possibly have heard my name

from our mutual friend,


I am Stapleton,

of Merripit House.”

, , , , 

“Your net

and box

would have told me

as much,”

said I,

“for I knew

that Mr. Stapleton was a naturalist.


how did you know me?”

, , , , 

“I have been calling

on Mortimer,

and he pointed you out

to me

from the window

of his surgery

as you passed.

As our road lay the same way I thought

that I

would overtake you

and introduce myself.

I trust

that Sir Henry is none the worse

for his journey?”

, , , , 

“He is very well,

thank you.”

, , , , 

“We were all rather afraid

that after the sad death

of Sir Charles the new baronet might refuse

to live here.

It is asking much

of a wealthy man

to come down

and bury himself

in a place

of this kind,

but I need not tell you

that it means a very great deal

to the country-side.

Sir Henry has,

I suppose,

no superstitious fears

in the matter?”

, , , , 

“I do not think

that it is likely.”

, , , , 

“Of course you know the legend

of the fiend dog

which haunts the family?”

, , , , 

“I have heard it.”

, , , , 

“It is extraordinary

how credulous the peasants are

about here!

Any number

of them are ready

to swear

that they have seen such a creature upon the moor.”

He spoke

with a smile,

but I seemed

to read

in his eyes

that he took the matter more seriously.

“The story took a great hold upon the imagination

of Sir Charles,

and I have no doubt

that it led

to his tragic end.”

, , , , 

“But how?”

, , , , 

“His nerves were so worked up

that the appearance

of any dog might have had a fatal effect upon his diseased heart.

I fancy

that he really did see something

of the kind upon

that last night

in the Yew Alley.

I feared

that some disaster might occur,

for I was very fond

of the old man,

and I knew

that his heart was weak.”

, , , , 

“How did you know that?”

, , , , 

“My friend Mortimer told me.”

, , , , 

“You think,


that some dog pursued Sir Charles,


that he died

of fright

in consequence?”

, , , , 

“Have you any better explanation?”

, , , , 

“I have not come

to any conclusion.”

, , , , 

“Has Mr. Sherlock Holmes?”

, , , , 

The words took away my breath

for an instant,

but a glance

at the placid face

and steadfast eyes

of my companion showed

that no surprise was intended.

, , , , 

“It is useless

for us

to pretend

that we do not know you,

Dr. Watson,”

said he.

“The records

of your detective have reached us here,

and you

could not celebrate him without being known yourself.

When Mortimer told me your name he

could not deny your identity.

If you are here,

then it follows

that Mr. Sherlock Holmes is interesting himself

in the matter,

and I am naturally curious

to know

what view he may take.”

, , , , 

“I am afraid

that I cannot answer

that question.”

, , , , 

“May I ask

if he is going

to honour us

with a visit himself?”

, , , , 

“He cannot leave town

at present.

He has other cases

which engage his attention.”

, , , , 

“What a pity!

He might throw some light



which is so dark

to us.

But as

to your own researches,


there is any possible way


which I

can be

of service

to you I trust

that you

will command me.

If I had any indication

of the nature

of your suspicions


how you propose

to investigate the case,

I might perhaps

even now give you some aid

or advice.”

, , , , 

“I assure you

that I am simply here upon a visit

to my friend,

Sir Henry,


that I need no help

of any kind.”

, , , , 


said Stapleton.

“You are perfectly right

to be wary

and discreet.

I am justly reproved


what I feel was an unjustifiable intrusion,

and I promise you

that I

will not mention the matter again.”

, , , , 

We had come

to a point

where a narrow grassy path struck off

from the road

and wound away

across the moor.

A steep,

boulder-sprinkled hill lay upon the right

which had

in bygone days been cut

into a granite quarry.

The face

which was turned

towards us formed a dark cliff,

with ferns

and brambles growing

in its niches.


over a distant rise

there floated a gray plume

of smoke.

, , , , 

“A moderate walk

along this moor-path brings us

to Merripit House,”

said he.

“Perhaps you

will spare an hour

that I may have the pleasure

of introducing you

to my sister.”

, , , , 

My first thought was

that I

should be

by Sir Henry’s side.


then I remembered the pile

of papers

and bills


which his study table was littered.

It was certain

that I

could not help

with those.

And Holmes had expressly said

that I

should study the neighbours upon the moor.

I accepted Stapleton’s invitation,

and we turned together down the path.

, , , , 

“It is a wonderful place,

the moor,”

said he,

looking round

over the undulating downs,

long green rollers,

with crests

of jagged granite foaming up

into fantastic surges.

“You never tire

of the moor.

You cannot think the wonderful secrets

which it contains.

It is so vast,

and so barren,

and so mysterious.”

, , , , 

“You know it well,


, , , , 

“I have only been here two years.

The residents

would call me a newcomer.

We came shortly after Sir Charles settled.

But my tastes led me

to explore every part

of the country round,

and I

should think


there are few men

who know it better

than I do.”

, , , , 

“Is it hard

to know?”

, , , , 

“Very hard.

You see,

for example,

this great plain

to the north here

with the queer hills breaking out

of it.

Do you observe anything remarkable

about that?”

, , , , 


would be a rare place

for a gallop.”

, , , , 


would naturally think so

and the thought has cost several their lives

before now.

You notice those bright green spots scattered thickly

over it?”

, , , , 


they seem more fertile

than the rest.”

, , , , 

Stapleton laughed.

, , , , 

“That is the great Grimpen Mire,”

said he.

“A false step yonder means death

to man

or beast.

Only yesterday I saw one

of the moor ponies wander

into it.

He never came out.

I saw his head

for quite a long time craning out

of the bog-hole,

but it sucked him down

at last.


in dry seasons it is a danger

to cross it,

but after these autumn rains it is an awful place.

And yet I

can find my way

to the very heart

of it

and return alive.

By George,

there is another

of those miserable ponies!”

Something brown was rolling

and tossing

among the green sedges.

Then a long,


writhing neck shot upward

and a dreadful cry echoed

over the moor.

It turned me cold

with horror,

but my companion’s nerves seemed

to be stronger

than mine.

, , , , 

“It’s gone!”

said he.

“The mire has him.


in two days,

and many more,


for they get

in the way

of going there

in the dry weather,

and never know the difference

until the mire has them

in its clutches.

It’s a bad place,

the great Grimpen Mire.”

, , , , 

“And you say you

can penetrate it?”

, , , , 


there are one

or two paths

which a very active man

can take.

I have found them out.”

, , , , 



should you wish

to go

into so horrible a place?”

, , , , 


you see the hills beyond?

They are really islands cut off

on all sides

by the impassable mire,

which has crawled round them

in the course

of years.

That is

where the rare plants

and the butterflies are,

if you have the wit

to reach them.”

, , , , 

“I shall try my luck some day.”

, , , , 

He looked

at me

with a surprised face.

, , , , 

“For God’s sake put such an idea out

of your mind,”

said he.

“Your blood

would be upon my head.

I assure you



would not be the least chance

of your coming back alive.

It is only

by remembering certain complex landmarks

that I am able

to do it.”

, , , , 


I cried.

“What is that?”

, , , , 

A long,

low moan,

indescribably sad,


over the moor.

It filled the whole air,

and yet it was impossible

to say whence it came.

From a dull murmur it swelled

into a deep roar,


then sank back

into a melancholy,

throbbing murmur once again.

Stapleton looked

at me

with a curious expression

in his face.

, , , , 

“Queer place,

the moor!”

said he.

, , , , 


what is it?”

, , , , 

“The peasants say it is the Hound

of the Baskervilles calling

for its prey.

I’ve heard it once

or twice before,

but never quite so loud.”

, , , , 

I looked round,

with a chill

of fear

in my heart,

at the huge swelling plain,


with the green patches

of rushes.

Nothing stirred

over the vast expanse save a pair

of ravens,

which croaked loudly

from a tor

behind us.

, , , , 

“You are an educated man.


don’t believe such nonsense

as that?”

said I. “What do you think is the cause

of so strange a sound?”

, , , , 

“Bogs make queer noises sometimes.

It’s the mud settling,

or the water rising,

or something.”

, , , , 



that was a living voice.”

, , , , 


perhaps it was.

Did you ever hear a bittern booming?”

, , , , 


I never did.”

, , , , 

“It’s a very rare bird

--practically extinct

--in England now,

but all things are possible upon the moor.



should not be surprised

to learn


what we have heard is the cry

of the last

of the bitterns.”

, , , , 

“It’s the weirdest,

strangest thing

that ever I heard

in my life.”

, , , , 


it’s rather an uncanny place altogether.


at the hill- side yonder.

What do you make

of those?”

, , , , 

The whole steep slope was covered

with gray circular rings

of stone,

a score

of them

at least.

, , , , 

“What are they?


, , , , 


they are the homes

of our worthy ancestors.

Prehistoric man lived thickly

on the moor,


as no one

in particular has lived

there since,

we find all his little arrangements exactly

as he left them.

These are his wigwams

with the roofs off.



even see his hearth

and his couch

if you have the curiosity

to go inside.

, , , , 

“But it is quite a town.

When was it inhabited?”

, , , , 

“Neolithic man

--no date.”

, , , , 

“What did he do?”

, , , , 

“He grazed his cattle

on these slopes,

and he learned

to dig

for tin

when the bronze sword began

to supersede the stone axe.


at the great trench

in the opposite hill.

That is his mark.



will find some very singular points

about the moor,

Dr. Watson.


excuse me an instant!

It is surely Cyclopides.”

, , , , 

A small fly

or moth had fluttered

across our path,


in an instant Stapleton was rushing

with extraordinary energy

and speed

in pursuit

of it.

To my dismay the creature flew straight

for the great mire,

and my acquaintance never paused

for an instant,


from tuft

to tuft

behind it,

his green net waving

in the air.

His gray clothes

and jerky,


irregular progress made him not unlike some huge moth himself.

I was standing watching his pursuit

with a mixture

of admiration

for his extraordinary activity

and fear lest he

should lose his footing

in the treacherous mire,

when I heard the sound

of steps,

and turning round found a woman near me upon the path.

She had come

from the direction


which the plume

of smoke indicated the position

of Merripit House,

but the dip

of the moor had hid her

until she was quite close.

, , , , 


could not doubt

that this was the Miss Stapleton

of whom I had been told,

since ladies

of any sort must be few upon the moor,

and I remembered

that I had heard someone describe her

as being a beauty.

The woman

who approached me was certainly that,


of a most uncommon type.


could not have been a greater contrast

between brother

and sister,

for Stapleton was neutral tinted,

with light hair

and gray eyes,

while she was darker

than any brunette whom I have seen

in England



and tall.

She had a proud,

finely cut face,

so regular

that it might have seemed impassive were it not

for the sensitive mouth

and the beautiful dark,

eager eyes.

With her perfect figure

and elegant dress she was,


a strange apparition upon a lonely moorland path.

Her eyes were

on her brother

as I turned,


then she quickened her pace

towards me.

I had raised my hat

and was about

to make some explanatory remark,

when her own words turned all my thoughts

into a new channel.

, , , , 

“Go back!”

she said.

“Go straight back

to London,


, , , , 


could only stare

at her

in stupid surprise.

Her eyes blazed

at me,

and she tapped the ground impatiently

with her foot.

, , , , 


should I go back?”

I asked.

, , , , 

“I cannot explain.”

She spoke

in a low,

eager voice,

with a curious lisp

in her utterance.


for God’s sake do

what I ask you.

Go back

and never set foot upon the moor again.”

, , , , 

“But I have only just come.”

, , , , 



she cried.

“Can you not tell

when a warning is

for your own good?

Go back

to London!

Start to-night!

Get away

from this place

at all costs!


my brother is coming!

Not a word


what I have said.

Would you mind getting

that orchid

for me

among the mares-tails yonder?

We are very rich

in orchids

on the moor,


of course,

you are rather late

to see the beauties

of the place.”

, , , , 

Stapleton had abandoned the chase

and came back

to us breathing hard

and flushed

with his exertions.

, , , , 



said he,

and it seemed

to me

that the tone

of his greeting was not altogether a cordial one.

, , , , 



you are very hot.”

, , , , 


I was chasing a Cyclopides.

He is very rare

and seldom found

in the late autumn.

What a pity

that I

should have missed him!”

He spoke unconcernedly,

but his small light eyes glanced incessantly

from the girl

to me.

, , , , 

“You have introduced yourselves,


can see.”

, , , , 


I was telling Sir Henry

that it was rather late

for him

to see the true beauties

of the moor.”

, , , , 


who do you think this is?”

, , , , 

“I imagine

that it must be Sir Henry Baskerville.”

, , , , 



said I. “Only a humble commoner,

but his friend.

My name is Dr. Watson.”

, , , , 

A flush

of vexation passed

over her expressive face.

“We have been talking

at cross purposes,”

said she.

, , , , 


you had not very much time

for talk,”

her brother remarked

with the same questioning eyes.

, , , , 

“I talked


if Dr. Watson were a resident instead

of being merely a visitor,”

said she.

“It cannot much matter

to him whether it is early

or late

for the orchids.

But you

will come on,

will you not,

and see Merripit House?”

, , , , 

A short walk brought us

to it,

a bleak moorland house,

once the farm

of some grazier

in the old prosperous days,

but now put

into repair

and turned

into a modern dwelling.

An orchard surrounded it,

but the trees,

as is usual upon the moor,

were stunted

and nipped,

and the effect

of the whole place was mean

and melancholy.

We were admitted

by a strange,


rusty-coated old manservant,

who seemed

in keeping

with the house.



there were large rooms furnished

with an elegance


which I seemed

to recognize the taste

of the lady.

As I looked

from their windows

at the interminable granite-flecked moor rolling unbroken

to the farthest horizon I

could not

but marvel



could have brought this highly educated man

and this beautiful woman

to live

in such a place.

, , , , 

“Queer spot

to choose,

is it not?”

said he

as if

in answer

to my thought.

“And yet we manage

to make ourselves fairly happy,

do we not,


, , , , 

“Quite happy,”

said she,


there was no ring

of conviction

in her words.

, , , , 

“I had a school,”

said Stapleton.

“It was

in the north country.

The work

to a man

of my temperament was mechanical

and uninteresting,

but the privilege

of living

with youth,

of helping

to mould those young minds,


of impressing them

with one’s own character

and ideals,

was very dear

to me.


the fates were

against us.

A serious epidemic broke out

in the school

and three

of the boys died.

It never recovered

from the blow,

and much

of my capital was irretrievably swallowed up.

And yet,

if it were not

for the loss

of the charming companionship

of the boys,


could rejoice

over my own misfortune,


with my strong tastes

for botany

and zoology,

I find an unlimited field

of work here,

and my sister is

as devoted

to Nature

as I am.

All this,

Dr. Watson,

has been brought upon your head

by your expression

as you surveyed the moor out

of our window.”

, , , , 

“It certainly did cross my mind

that it might be a little dull


for you,



for your sister.”

, , , , 



I am never dull,”

said she,


, , , , 

“We have books,

we have our studies,

and we have interesting neighbours.

Dr. Mortimer is a most learned man

in his own line.

Poor Sir Charles was also an admirable companion.

We knew him well,

and miss him more

than I

can tell.

Do you think

that I

should intrude

if I were

to call this afternoon

and make the acquaintance

of Sir Henry?”

, , , , 

“I am sure

that he

would be delighted.”

, , , , 

“Then perhaps you

would mention

that I propose

to do so.

We may

in our humble way do something

to make things more easy

for him

until he becomes accustomed

to his new surroundings.

Will you come upstairs,

Dr. Watson,

and inspect my collection

of Lepidoptera?

I think it is the most complete one

in the south-west

of England.

By the time

that you have looked

through them lunch

will be

almost ready.”

, , , , 

But I was eager

to get back

to my charge.

The melancholy

of the moor,

the death

of the unfortunate pony,

the weird sound

which had been associated

with the grim legend

of the Baskervilles,

all these things tinged my thoughts

with sadness.


on the top

of these more

or less vague impressions

there had come the definite

and distinct warning

of Miss Stapleton,


with such intense earnestness

that I

could not doubt

that some grave

and deep reason lay

behind it.

I resisted all pressure

to stay

for lunch,

and I set off

at once upon my return journey,

taking the grass-grown path


which we had come.

, , , , 

It seems,



there must have been some short cut

for those

who knew it,


before I had reached the road I was astounded

to see Miss Stapleton sitting upon a rock

by the side

of the track.

Her face was beautifully flushed

with her exertions,

and she held her hand

to her side.

, , , , 

“I have run all the way

in order

to cut you off,

Dr. Watson,”

said she.

“I had not

even time

to put

on my hat.

I must not stop,

or my brother may miss me.

I wanted

to say

to you

how sorry I am

about the stupid mistake I made

in thinking

that you were Sir Henry.

Please forget the words I said,

which have no application whatever

to you.”

, , , , 

“But I can’t forget them,

Miss Stapleton,”

said I. “I am Sir Henry’s friend,

and his welfare is a very close concern

of mine.

Tell me

why it was

that you were so eager

that Sir Henry

should return

to London.”

, , , , 

“A woman’s whim,

Dr. Watson.

When you know me better you

will understand

that I cannot always give reasons


what I say

or do.”

, , , , 



I remember the thrill

in your voice.

I remember the look

in your eyes.



be frank

with me,

Miss Stapleton,

for ever

since I have been here I have been conscious

of shadows all round me.

Life has become like

that great Grimpen Mire,

with little green patches everywhere


which one may sink


with no guide

to point the track.

Tell me


what it was

that you meant,

and I

will promise

to convey your warning

to Sir Henry.”

, , , , 

An expression

of irresolution passed

for an instant

over her face,

but her eyes had hardened again

when she answered me.

, , , , 

“You make too much

of it,

Dr. Watson,”

said she.

“My brother

and I were very much shocked

by the death

of Sir Charles.

We knew him very intimately,

for his favourite walk was

over the moor

to our house.

He was deeply impressed

with the curse

which hung

over the family,


when this tragedy came I naturally felt


there must be some grounds

for the fears

which he had expressed.

I was distressed therefore

when another member

of the family came down

to live here,

and I felt

that he

should be warned

of the danger

which he

will run.

That was all

which I intended

to convey.

, , , , 


what is the danger?”

, , , , 

“You know the story

of the hound?”

, , , , 

“I do not believe

in such nonsense.”

, , , , 

“But I do.

If you have any influence

with Sir Henry,

take him away

from a place

which has always been fatal

to his family.

The world is wide.


should he wish

to live

at the place

of danger?”

, , , , 

“Because it is the place

of danger.

That is Sir Henry’s nature.

I fear


unless you

can give me some more definite information

than this it

would be impossible

to get him

to move.”

, , , , 

“I cannot say anything definite,

for I do not know anything definite.”

, , , , 


would ask you one more question,

Miss Stapleton.

If you meant no more

than this

when you first spoke

to me,


should you not wish your brother

to overhear

what you said?

There is nothing


which he,

or anyone else,

could object.”

, , , , 

“My brother is very anxious

to have the Hall inhabited,

for he thinks it is

for the good

of the poor folk upon the moor.


would be very angry

if he knew

that I have said anything

which might induce Sir Henry

to go away.

But I have done my duty now

and I

will say no more.

I must get back,

or he

will miss me

and suspect

that I have seen you.


She turned

and had disappeared

in a few minutes

among the scattered boulders,

while I,

with my soul full

of vague fears,

pursued my way

to Baskerville Hall.

, , , , 

Chapter 8

First Report

of Dr. Watson

From this point onward I

will follow the course

of events

by transcribing my own letters

to Mr. Sherlock Holmes

which lie

before me

on the table.

One page is missing,

but otherwise they are exactly

as written

and show my feelings

and suspicions

of the moment more accurately

than my memory,


as it is upon these tragic events,

can possibly do.

, , , , 


October 13th.

, , , , 


--My previous letters

and telegrams have kept you pretty well up

to date as

to all

that has occurred

in this most God-forsaken corner

of the world.

The longer one stays here the more does the spirit

of the moor sink

into one’s soul,

its vastness,

and also its grim charm.

When you are once out upon its bosom you have left all traces

of modern England

behind you,


on the other hand you are conscious everywhere

of the homes

and the work

of the prehistoric people.

On all sides

of you

as you walk are the houses

of these forgotten folk,

with their graves

and the huge monoliths

which are supposed

to have marked their temples.

As you look

at their gray stone huts

against the scarred hill-sides you leave your own age

behind you,


if you were

to see a skin-clad,

hairy man crawl out

from the low door fitting a flint-tipped arrow


to the string

of his bow,


would feel

that his presence

there was more natural

than your own.

The strange thing is

that they

should have lived so thickly


what must always have been most unfruitful soil.

I am no antiquarian,

but I

could imagine

that they were some unwarlike

and harried race

who were forced

to accept


which none other

would occupy.

, , , , 

All this,


is foreign

to the mission


which you sent me


will probably be very uninteresting

to your severely practical mind.


can still remember your complete indifference as

to whether the sun moved round the earth

or the earth round the sun.

Let me,



to the facts concerning Sir Henry Baskerville.

, , , , 

If you have not had any report within the last few days it is

because up

to to-day

there was nothing

of importance

to relate.

Then a very surprising circumstance occurred,

which I shall tell you

in due course.



of all,

I must keep you

in touch

with some

of the other factors

in the situation.

, , , , 


of these,


which I have said little,

is the escaped convict upon the moor.

There is strong reason now

to believe

that he has got right away,

which is a considerable relief

to the lonely householders

of this district.

A fortnight has passed

since his flight,


which he has not been seen

and nothing has been heard

of him.

It is surely inconceivable

that he

could have held out upon the moor during all

that time.

Of course,

so far

as his concealment goes

there is no difficulty

at all.

Any one

of these stone huts

would give him a hiding-place.


there is nothing

to eat

unless he were

to catch

and slaughter one

of the moor sheep.

We think,


that he has gone,

and the outlying farmers sleep the better

in consequence.

, , , , 

We are four able-bodied men

in this household,


that we

could take good care

of ourselves,

but I confess

that I have had uneasy moments

when I have thought

of the Stapletons.

They live miles

from any help.

There are one maid,

an old manservant,

the sister,

and the brother,

the latter not a very strong man.


would be helpless

in the hands

of a desperate fellow

like this Notting Hill criminal,

if he

could once effect an entrance.

Both Sir Henry

and I were concerned

at their situation,

and it was suggested

that Perkins the groom

should go over

to sleep there,

but Stapleton

would not hear

of it.

, , , , 

The fact is

that our friend,

the baronet,


to display a considerable interest

in our fair neighbour.

It is not

to be wondered at,

for time hangs heavily

in this lonely spot

to an active man

like him,

and she is a very fascinating

and beautiful woman.

There is something tropical

and exotic

about her

which forms a singular contrast

to her cool

and unemotional brother.

Yet he also gives the idea

of hidden fires.

He has certainly a very marked influence

over her,

for I have seen her continually glance

at him

as she talked


if seeking approbation


what she said.

I trust

that he is kind

to her.

There is a dry glitter

in his eyes,

and a firm set

of his thin lips,

which goes

with a positive

and possibly a harsh nature.


would find him an interesting study.

, , , , 

He came over

to call upon Baskerville


that first day,

and the very next morning he took us both

to show us the spot

where the legend

of the wicked Hugo is supposed

to have had its origin.

It was an excursion

of some miles

across the moor

to a place

which is so dismal

that it might have suggested the story.

We found a short valley

between rugged tors

which led

to an open,

grassy space flecked over

with the white cotton grass.

In the middle

of it rose two great stones,


and sharpened

at the upper end,

until they looked

like the huge corroding fangs

of some monstrous beast.

In every way it corresponded

with the scene

of the old tragedy.

Sir Henry was much interested

and asked Stapleton more

than once whether he did really believe

in the possibility

of the interference

of the supernatural

in the affairs

of men.

He spoke lightly,

but it was evident

that he was very much

in earnest.

Stapleton was guarded

in his replies,

but it was easy

to see

that he said less

than he might,


that he

would not express his whole opinion out

of consideration

for the feelings

of the baronet.

He told us

of similar cases,

where families had suffered

from some evil influence,

and he left us

with the impression

that he shared the popular view upon the matter.

, , , , 

On our way back we stayed

for lunch

at Merripit House,

and it was there

that Sir Henry made the acquaintance

of Miss Stapleton.

From the first moment

that he saw her he appeared

to be strongly attracted

by her,

and I am much mistaken

if the feeling was not mutual.

He referred

to her again

and again

on our walk home,

and since


hardly a day has passed

that we have not seen something

of the brother

and sister.

They dine here to-night,


there is some talk

of our going

to them next week.


would imagine

that such a match

would be very welcome

to Stapleton,

and yet I have more

than once caught a look

of the strongest disapprobation

in his face

when Sir Henry has been paying some attention

to his sister.

He is much attached

to her,

no doubt,


would lead a lonely life without her,

but it

would seem the height

of selfishness

if he were

to stand

in the way

of her making so brilliant a marriage.

Yet I am certain

that he does not wish their intimacy

to ripen

into love,

and I have several times observed

that he has taken pains

to prevent them

from being _tête-à-tête_.

By the way,

your instructions

to me never

to allow Sir Henry

to go out alone

will become very much more onerous

if a love affair were

to be added

to our other difficulties.

My popularity

would soon suffer

if I were

to carry out your orders

to the letter.

, , , , 

The other day


to be more exact

--Dr. Mortimer lunched

with us.

He has been excavating a barrow

at Long Down,

and has got a prehistoric skull

which fills him

with great joy.

Never was

there such a single-minded enthusiast

as he!

The Stapletons came

in afterwards,

and the good doctor took us all

to the Yew Alley,

at Sir Henry’s request,

to show us exactly

how everything occurred upon

that fatal night.

It is a long,

dismal walk,

the Yew Alley,

between two high walls

of clipped hedge,

with a narrow band

of grass upon either side.

At the far end is an old tumble-down summer-house.

Half-way down is the moor-gate,

where the old gentleman left his cigar-ash.

It is a white wooden gate

with a latch.

Beyond it lies the wide moor.

I remembered your theory

of the affair

and tried

to picture all

that had occurred.

As the old man stood

there he saw something coming

across the moor,


which terrified him so

that he lost his wits,

and ran

and ran

until he died

of sheer horror

and exhaustion.

There was the long,

gloomy tunnel down

which he fled.


from what?

A sheep-dog

of the moor?

Or a spectral hound,



and monstrous?


there a human agency

in the matter?

Did the pale,

watchful Barrymore know more

than he cared

to say?

It was all dim

and vague,

but always

there is the dark shadow

of crime

behind it.

, , , , 

One other neighbour I have met

since I wrote last.

This is Mr. Frankland,

of Lafter Hall,

who lives some four miles

to the south

of us.

He is an elderly man,



and choleric.

His passion is

for the British law,

and he has spent a large fortune

in litigation.

He fights

for the mere pleasure

of fighting

and is equally ready

to take up either side

of a question,


that it is no wonder

that he has found it a costly amusement.

Sometimes he

will shut up a right

of way

and defy the parish

to make him open it.

At others he will

with his own hands tear down some other man’s gate

and declare

that a path has existed there

from time immemorial,

defying the owner

to prosecute him

for trespass.

He is learned

in old manorial

and communal rights,

and he applies his knowledge sometimes

in favour

of the villagers

of Fernworthy

and sometimes

against them,


that he is periodically either carried

in triumph down the village street

or else burned

in effigy,


to his latest exploit.

He is said

to have

about seven lawsuits upon his hands

at present,


will probably swallow up the remainder

of his fortune

and so draw his sting

and leave him harmless

for the future.


from the law he seems a kindly,

good-natured person,

and I only mention him

because you were particular

that I

should send some description

of the people

who surround us.

He is curiously employed

at present,


being an amateur astronomer,

he has an excellent telescope,


which he lies upon the roof

of his own house

and sweeps the moor all day

in the hope

of catching a glimpse

of the escaped convict.

If he

would confine his energies

to this all

would be well,


there are rumours

that he intends

to prosecute Dr. Mortimer

for opening a grave without the consent

of the next-of-kin,

because he dug up the Neolithic skull

in the barrow

on Long Down.

He helps

to keep our lives

from being monotonous

and gives a little comic relief

where it is badly needed.

, , , , 

And now,

having brought you up

to date

in the escaped convict,

the Stapletons,

Dr. Mortimer,

and Frankland,

of Lafter Hall,

let me end



which is most important

and tell you more

about the Barrymores,

and especially

about the surprising development

of last night.

, , , , 


of all

about the test telegram,

which you sent

from London

in order

to make sure

that Barrymore was really here.

I have already explained

that the testimony

of the postmaster shows

that the test was worthless


that we have no proof one way

or the other.

I told Sir Henry

how the matter stood,

and he

at once,

in his downright fashion,

had Barrymore up

and asked him whether he had received the telegram himself.

Barrymore said

that he had.

, , , , 

“Did the boy deliver it

into your own hands?”

asked Sir Henry.

, , , , 

Barrymore looked surprised,

and considered

for a little time.

, , , , 


said he,

“I was

in the box-room

at the time,

and my wife brought it up

to me.”

, , , , 

“Did you answer it yourself?”

, , , , 


I told my wife what

to answer

and she went down

to write it.”

, , , , 

In the evening he recurred

to the subject

of his own accord.

, , , , 


could not quite understand the object

of your questions this morning,

Sir Henry,”

said he.

“I trust

that they do not mean

that I have done anything

to forfeit your confidence?”

, , , , 

Sir Henry had

to assure him

that it was not so

and pacify him

by giving him a considerable part

of his old wardrobe,

the London outfit having now all arrived.

, , , , 

Mrs. Barrymore is

of interest

to me.

She is a heavy,

solid person,

very limited,

intensely respectable,

and inclined

to be puritanical.



hardly conceive a less emotional subject.

Yet I have told you how,

on the first night here,

I heard her sobbing bitterly,

and since

then I have more

than once observed traces

of tears upon her face.

Some deep sorrow gnaws ever

at her heart.

Sometimes I wonder

if she has a guilty memory

which haunts her,

and sometimes I suspect Barrymore

of being a domestic tyrant.

I have always felt


there was something singular

and questionable

in this man’s character,

but the adventure

of last night brings all my suspicions

to a head.

, , , , 

And yet it may seem a small matter

in itself.

You are aware

that I am not a very sound sleeper,


since I have been

on guard

in this house my slumbers have been lighter

than ever.

Last night,

about two

in the morning,

I was aroused

by a stealthy step passing my room.

I rose,

opened my door,

and peeped out.

A long black shadow was trailing down the corridor.

It was thrown

by a man

who walked softly down the passage

with a candle held

in his hand.

He was

in shirt

and trousers,

with no covering

to his feet.


could merely see the outline,

but his height told me

that it was Barrymore.

He walked very slowly

and circumspectly,


there was something indescribably guilty

and furtive

in his whole appearance.

, , , , 

I have told you

that the corridor is broken

by the balcony

which runs round the hall,


that it is resumed upon the farther side.

I waited

until he had passed out

of sight


then I followed him.

When I came round the balcony he had reached the end

of the farther corridor,

and I

could see

from the glimmer

of light

through an open door

that he had entered one

of the rooms.


all these rooms are unfurnished

and unoccupied,


that his expedition became more mysterious

than ever.

The light shone steadily


if he were standing motionless.

I crept down the passage

as noiselessly

as I could

and peeped round the corner

of the door.

, , , , 

Barrymore was crouching

at the window

with the candle held

against the glass.

His profile was half turned

towards me,

and his face seemed

to be rigid

with expectation

as he stared out

into the blackness

of the moor.

For some minutes he stood watching intently.

Then he gave a deep groan


with an impatient gesture he put out the light.

Instantly I made my way back

to my room,

and very shortly came the stealthy steps passing once more upon their return journey.

Long afterwards

when I had fallen

into a light sleep I heard a key turn somewhere

in a lock,

but I

could not tell whence the sound came.

What it all means I cannot guess,


there is some secret business going on

in this house

of gloom

which sooner

or later we shall get

to the bottom of.

I do not trouble you

with my theories,

for you asked me

to furnish you only

with facts.

I have had a long talk

with Sir Henry this morning,

and we have made a plan

of campaign founded upon my observations

of last night.


will not speak

about it just now,

but it

should make my next report interesting reading.

, , , , 

Chapter 9

(Second Report

of Dr. Watson)





, , , , 


--If I was compelled

to leave you without much news during the early days

of my mission you must acknowledge

that I am making up

for lost time,


that events are now crowding thick

and fast upon us.

In my last report I ended upon my top note

with Barrymore

at the window,

and now I have quite a budget already

which will,

unless I am much mistaken,

considerably surprise you.

Things have taken a turn

which I

could not have anticipated.

In some ways they have within the last forty-eight hours become much clearer and

in some ways they have become more complicated.

But I

will tell you all

and you shall judge

for yourself.

, , , , 

Before breakfast

on the morning following my adventure I went down the corridor

and examined the room


which Barrymore had been

on the night before.

The western window through

which he had stared so intently has,

I noticed,

one peculiarity

above all other windows

in the house

--it commands the nearest outlook

on the moor.

There is an opening

between two trees

which enables one

from this point

of view

to look right down upon it,


from all the other windows it is only a distant glimpse which

can be obtained.

It follows,


that Barrymore,

since only this window

would serve the purpose,

must have been looking out

for something

or somebody upon the moor.

The night was very dark,


that I


hardly imagine

how he

could have hoped

to see anyone.

It had struck me

that it was possible

that some love intrigue was

on foot.


would have accounted

for his stealthy movements

and also

for the uneasiness

of his wife.

The man is a striking-looking fellow,

very well equipped

to steal the heart

of a country girl,


that this theory seemed

to have something

to support it.

That opening

of the door

which I had heard after I had returned

to my room might mean

that he had gone out

to keep some clandestine appointment.

So I reasoned

with myself

in the morning,

and I tell you the direction

of my suspicions,

however much the result may have shown

that they were unfounded.

, , , , 

But whatever the true explanation

of Barrymore’s movements might be,

I felt

that the responsibility

of keeping them

to myself

until I

could explain them was more

than I

could bear.

I had an interview

with the baronet

in his study after breakfast,

and I told him all

that I had seen.

He was less surprised

than I had expected.

, , , , 

“I knew

that Barrymore walked

about nights,

and I had a mind

to speak

to him

about it,”

said he.


or three times I have heard his steps

in the passage,


and going,


about the hour you name.”

, , , , 


then he pays a visit every night


that particular window,”

I suggested.

, , , , 

“Perhaps he does.

If so,


should be able

to shadow him,

and see

what it is

that he is after.

I wonder

what your friend Holmes

would do,

if he were here.”

, , , , 

“I believe

that he

would do exactly

what you now suggest,”

said I. “He

would follow Barrymore

and see

what he did.”

, , , , 

“Then we shall do it together.”

, , , , 

“But surely he

would hear us.”

, , , , 

“The man is rather deaf,


in any case we must take our chance

of that.

We’ll sit up

in my room to-night

and wait

until he passes.”

Sir Henry rubbed his hands

with pleasure,

and it was evident

that he hailed the adventure

as a relief

to his somewhat quiet life upon the moor.

, , , , 

The baronet has been

in communication

with the architect

who prepared the plans

for Sir Charles,


with a contractor

from London,


that we may expect great changes

to begin here soon.

There have been decorators

and furnishers up

from Plymouth,

and it is evident

that our friend has large ideas,

and means

to spare no pains

or expense

to restore the grandeur

of his family.

When the house is renovated

and refurnished,


that he

will need

will be a wife

to make it complete.

Between ourselves

there are pretty clear signs

that this

will not be wanting

if the lady is willing,

for I have seldom seen a man more infatuated

with a woman

than he is

with our beautiful neighbour,

Miss Stapleton.

And yet the course

of true love does not run quite

as smoothly

as one would

under the circumstances expect.


for example,

its surface was broken

by a very unexpected ripple,

which has caused our friend considerable perplexity

and annoyance.

, , , , 

After the conversation

which I have quoted

about Barrymore,

Sir Henry put

on his hat

and prepared

to go out.

As a matter

of course I did the same.

, , , , 


are you coming,


he asked,


at me

in a curious way.

, , , , 

“That depends

on whether you are going

on the moor,”

said I. 


I am.”

, , , , 


you know

what my instructions are.

I am sorry

to intrude,

but you heard

how earnestly Holmes insisted

that I

should not leave you,

and especially

that you

should not go alone upon the moor.”

, , , , 

Sir Henry put his hand upon my shoulder

with a pleasant smile.

, , , , 

“My dear fellow,”

said he,


with all his wisdom,

did not foresee some things

which have happened

since I have been

on the moor.

You understand me?

I am sure

that you are the last man

in the world


would wish

to be a spoil-sport.

I must go out alone.”

, , , , 

It put me

in a most awkward position.

I was

at a loss what

to say

or what

to do,


before I had made up my mind he picked up his cane

and was gone.

, , , , 


when I came

to think the matter

over my conscience reproached me bitterly

for having

on any pretext allowed him

to go out

of my sight.

I imagined

what my feelings

would be

if I had

to return

to you and

to confess

that some misfortune had occurred

through my disregard

for your instructions.

I assure you my cheeks flushed

at the very thought.

It might not

even now be too late

to overtake him,

so I set off

at once

in the direction

of Merripit House.

, , , , 

I hurried

along the road

at the top

of my speed without seeing anything

of Sir Henry,

until I came

to the point

where the moor path branches off.



that perhaps I had come

in the wrong direction after all,

I mounted a hill


which I

could command a view

--the same hill

which is cut

into the dark quarry.

Thence I saw him

at once.

He was

on the moor path,

about a quarter

of a mile off,

and a lady was

by his side


could only be Miss Stapleton.

It was clear


there was already an understanding

between them


that they had met

by appointment.

They were walking slowly along

in deep conversation,

and I saw her making quick little movements

of her hands


if she were very earnest


what she was saying,

while he listened intently,

and once

or twice shook his head

in strong dissent.

I stood

among the rocks watching them,

very much puzzled as


what I

should do next.

To follow them

and break

into their intimate conversation seemed

to be an outrage,

and yet my clear duty was never

for an instant

to let him out

of my sight.

To act the spy upon a friend was a hateful task.



could see no better course than

to observe him

from the hill,


to clear my conscience

by confessing

to him afterwards

what I had done.

It is true that

if any sudden danger had threatened him I was too far away

to be

of use,

and yet I am sure

that you

will agree

with me

that the position was very difficult,



there was nothing more

which I

could do.

, , , , 

Our friend,

Sir Henry,

and the lady had halted

on the path

and were standing deeply absorbed

in their conversation,

when I was suddenly aware

that I was not the only witness

of their interview.

A wisp

of green floating

in the air caught my eye,

and another glance showed me

that it was carried

on a stick

by a man

who was moving

among the broken ground.

It was Stapleton

with his butterfly-net.

He was very much closer

to the pair

than I was,

and he appeared

to be moving

in their direction.

At this instant Sir Henry suddenly drew Miss Stapleton

to his side.

His arm was round her,

but it seemed

to me

that she was straining away

from him

with her face averted.

He stooped his head

to hers,

and she raised one hand

as if

in protest.

Next moment I saw them spring apart

and turn hurriedly round.

Stapleton was the cause

of the interruption.

He was running wildly

towards them,

his absurd net dangling

behind him.

He gesticulated


almost danced

with excitement

in front

of the lovers.

What the scene meant I

could not imagine,

but it seemed

to me

that Stapleton was abusing Sir Henry,

who offered explanations,

which became more angry

as the other refused

to accept them.

The lady stood by

in haughty silence.

Finally Stapleton turned upon his heel

and beckoned

in a peremptory way

to his sister,


after an irresolute glance

at Sir Henry,

walked off

by the side

of her brother.

The naturalist’s angry gestures showed

that the lady was included

in his displeasure.

The baronet stood

for a minute looking after them,


then he walked slowly back the way

that he had come,

his head hanging,

the very picture

of dejection.

, , , , 

What all this meant I

could not imagine,

but I was deeply ashamed

to have witnessed so intimate a scene without my friend’s knowledge.

I ran down the hill therefore

and met the baronet

at the bottom.

His face was flushed

with anger

and his brows were wrinkled,

like one

who is

at his wit’s ends what

to do.

, , , , 



Where have you dropped from?”

said he.


don’t mean

to say

that you came after me

in spite

of all?”

, , , , 

I explained everything

to him:

how I had found it impossible

to remain behind,

how I had followed him,


how I had witnessed all

that had occurred.

For an instant his eyes blazed

at me,

but my frankness disarmed his anger,

and he broke

at last

into a rather rueful laugh.

, , , , 


would have thought the middle


that prairie a fairly safe place

for a man

to be private,”

said he,


by thunder,

the whole country-side seems

to have been out

to see me do my wooing

--and a mighty poor wooing

at that!

Where had you engaged a seat?”

, , , , 

“I was


that hill.”

, , , , 


in the back row,


But her brother was well up

to the front.

Did you see him come out

on us?”

, , , , 


I did.”

, , , , 

“Did he ever strike you

as being crazy

--this brother

of hers?”

, , , , 

“I can’t say

that he ever did.”

, , , , 

“I dare say not.

I always thought him sane enough

until to-day,

but you

can take it

from me

that either he

or I ought

to be

in a strait-jacket.

What’s the matter

with me,


You’ve lived near me

for some weeks,


Tell me straight,



there anything


would prevent me

from making a good husband

to a woman

that I loved?”

, , , , 


should say not.”

, , , , 

“He can’t object

to my worldly position,

so it must be myself

that he has this down on.

What has he

against me?

I never hurt man

or woman

in my life

that I know of.

And yet he

would not so much

as let me touch the tips

of her fingers.”

, , , , 

“Did he say so?”

, , , , 


and a deal more.

I tell you,


I’ve only known her these few weeks,


from the first I just felt

that she was made

for me,

and she,


--she was happy

when she was

with me,


that I’ll swear.

There’s a light

in a woman’s eyes

that speaks louder

than words.

But he has never let us get together,

and it was only to-day

for the first time

that I saw a chance

of having a few words

with her alone.

She was glad

to meet me,


when she did it was not love

that she

would talk about,

and she wouldn’t have let me talk

about it either

if she

could have stopped it.

She kept coming back

to it

that this was a place

of danger,


that she

would never be happy

until I had left it.

I told her


since I had seen her I was

in no hurry

to leave it,

and that

if she really wanted me

to go,

the only way

to work it was

for her

to arrange

to go

with me.


that I offered


as many words

to marry her,


before she

could answer,

down came this brother

of hers,


at us

with a face

on him

like a madman.

He was just white

with rage,

and those light eyes

of his were blazing

with fury.

What was I doing

with the lady?

How dared I offer her attentions

which were distasteful

to her?

Did I think


because I was a baronet I

could do

what I liked?

If he had not been her brother I

should have known better how

to answer him.

As it was I told him

that my feelings

towards his sister were such

as I was not ashamed of,


that I hoped

that she might honour me

by becoming my wife.

That seemed

to make the matter no better,


then I lost my temper too,

and I answered him rather more hotly

than I

should perhaps,


that she was standing by.

So it ended

by his going off

with her,

as you saw,

and here am I

as badly puzzled a man

as any

in this county.

Just tell me

what it all means,


and I’ll owe you more

than ever I

can hope

to pay.”

, , , , 

I tried one

or two explanations,



I was completely puzzled myself.

Our friend’s title,

his fortune,

his age,

his character,

and his appearance are all

in his favour,

and I know nothing

against him

unless it be this dark fate

which runs

in his family.

That his advances

should be rejected so brusquely without any reference

to the lady’s own wishes,


that the lady

should accept the situation without protest,

is very amazing.


our conjectures were set

at rest

by a visit

from Stapleton himself

that very afternoon.

He had come

to offer apologies

for his rudeness

of the morning,

and after a long private interview

with Sir Henry

in his study,

the upshot

of their conversation was

that the breach is quite healed,


that we are

to dine

at Merripit House next Friday

as a sign

of it.

, , , , 


don’t say now

that he isn’t a crazy man,”

said Sir Henry;

“I can’t forget the look

in his eyes

when he ran

at me this morning,

but I must allow

that no man

could make a more handsome apology

than he has done.”

, , , , 

“Did he give any explanation

of his conduct?”

, , , , 

“His sister is everything

in his life,

he says.

That is natural enough,

and I am glad

that he

should understand her value.

They have always been together,

and according

to his account he has been a very lonely man

with only her

as a companion,


that the thought

of losing her was really terrible

to him.

He had not understood,

he said,

that I was becoming attached

to her,


when he saw

with his own eyes

that it was really so,


that she might be taken away

from him,

it gave him such a shock that

for a time he was not responsible


what he said

or did.

He was very sorry

for all

that had passed,

and he recognized

how foolish and

how selfish it was

that he

should imagine

that he

could hold a beautiful woman

like his sister

to himself

for her whole life.

If she had

to leave him he had rather it was

to a neighbour

like myself than

to anyone else.


in any case it was a blow

to him,

and it

would take him some time

before he

could prepare himself

to meet it.


would withdraw all opposition upon his part

if I

would promise

for three months

to let the matter rest and

to be content

with cultivating the lady’s friendship during

that time without claiming her love.

This I promised,

and so the matter rests.”

, , , , 


there is one

of our small mysteries cleared up.

It is something

to have touched bottom anywhere

in this bog


which we are floundering.

We know now

why Stapleton looked

with disfavour upon his sister’s suitor



that suitor was so eligible a one

as Sir Henry.

And now I pass


to another thread

which I have extricated out

of the tangled skein,

the mystery

of the sobs

in the night,

of the tear-stained face

of Mrs. Barrymore,

of the secret journey

of the butler

to the western lattice window.

Congratulate me,

my dear Holmes,

and tell me

that I have not disappointed you

as an agent

--that you do not regret the confidence

which you showed

in me

when you sent me down.

All these things have

by one night’s work been thoroughly cleared.

, , , , 

I have said “by one night’s work,”


in truth,

it was

by two nights’ work,


on the first we drew entirely blank.

I sat up

with Sir Henry

in his rooms

until nearly three o’clock

in the morning,

but no sound

of any sort did we hear except the chiming clock upon the stairs.

It was a most melancholy vigil,

and ended

by each

of us falling asleep

in our chairs.

Fortunately we were not discouraged,

and we determined

to try again.

The next night we lowered the lamp,

and sat smoking cigarettes without making the least sound.

It was incredible

how slowly the hours crawled by,

and yet we were helped

through it

by the same sort

of patient interest

which the hunter must feel

as he watches the trap


which he hopes the game may wander.

One struck,

and two,

and we had almost

for the second time given it up

in despair,


in an instant we both sat bolt upright

in our chairs,

with all our weary senses keenly

on the alert once more.

We had heard the creak

of a step

in the passage.

, , , , 

Very stealthily we heard it pass


until it died away

in the distance.

Then the baronet gently opened his door

and we set out

in pursuit.

Already our man had gone round the gallery,

and the corridor was all

in darkness.

Softly we stole


until we had come

into the other wing.

We were just

in time

to catch a glimpse

of the tall,

black-bearded figure,

his shoulders rounded,

as he tip-toed down the passage.

Then he passed

through the same door

as before,

and the light

of the candle framed it

in the darkness

and shot one single yellow beam

across the gloom

of the corridor.

We shuffled cautiously

towards it,

trying every plank

before we dared

to put our whole weight upon it.

We had taken the precaution

of leaving our boots

behind us,


even so,

the old boards snapped

and creaked

beneath our tread.

Sometimes it seemed impossible

that he

should fail

to hear our approach.


the man is fortunately rather deaf,

and he was entirely preoccupied



which he was doing.


at last we reached the door

and peeped

through we found him crouching

at the window,


in hand,

his white,

intent face pressed

against the pane,


as I had seen him two nights before.

, , , , 

We had arranged no plan

of campaign,

but the baronet is a man

to whom the most direct way is always the most natural.

He walked

into the room,


as he did so Barrymore sprang up

from the window

with a sharp hiss

of his breath

and stood,


and trembling,

before us.

His dark eyes,

glaring out

of the white mask

of his face,

were full

of horror

and astonishment

as he gazed

from Sir Henry

to me.

, , , , 

“What are you doing here,


, , , , 



His agitation was so great

that he


hardly speak,

and the shadows sprang up

and down

from the shaking

of his candle.

“It was the window,


I go round

at night

to see

that they are fastened.”

, , , , 

“On the second floor?”

, , , , 



all the windows.”

, , , , 

“Look here,


said Sir Henry,


“we have made up our minds

to have the truth out

of you,

so it

will save you trouble

to tell it sooner rather

than later.



No lies!

What were you doing


that window?”

, , , , 

The fellow looked

at us

in a helpless way,

and he wrung his hands together

like one

who is

in the last extremity

of doubt

and misery.

, , , , 

“I was doing no harm,


I was holding a candle

to the window.”

, , , , 


why were you holding a candle

to the window?”

, , , , 

“Don’t ask me,

Sir Henry

--don’t ask me!

I give you my word,


that it is not my secret,


that I cannot tell it.

If it concerned no one

but myself I

would not try

to keep it

from you.”

, , , , 

A sudden idea occurred

to me,

and I took the candle

from the trembling hand

of the butler.

, , , , 

“He must have been holding it

as a signal,”

said I. “Let us see


there is any answer.”

I held it

as he had done,

and stared out

into the darkness

of the night.

Vaguely I

could discern the black bank

of the trees

and the lighter expanse

of the moor,

for the moon was

behind the clouds.


then I gave a cry

of exultation,

for a tiny pin-point

of yellow light had suddenly transfixed the dark veil,

and glowed steadily

in the centre

of the black square framed

by the window.

, , , , 

“There it is!”

I cried.

, , , , 




it is nothing


at all!”

the butler broke in;

“I assure you,



“Move your light

across the window,


cried the baronet.


the other moves also!


you rascal,

do you deny

that it is a signal?


speak up!

Who is your confederate out yonder,


what is this conspiracy

that is going on?”

, , , , 

The man’s face became openly defiant.

, , , , 

“It is my business,

and not yours.


will not tell.”

, , , , 

“Then you leave my employment right away.”

, , , , 

“Very good,


If I must I must.”

, , , , 

“And you go

in disgrace.

By thunder,

you may well be ashamed

of yourself.

Your family has lived

with mine


over a hundred years

under this roof,

and here I find you deep

in some dark plot

against me.”

, , , , 






against you!”

It was a woman’s voice,

and Mrs. Barrymore,


and more horror-struck

than her husband,

was standing

at the door.

Her bulky figure

in a shawl

and skirt might have been comic were it not

for the intensity

of feeling upon her face.

, , , , 

“We have

to go,


This is the end

of it.


can pack our things,”

said the butler.

, , , , 




have I brought you

to this?

It is my doing,

Sir Henry

--all mine.

He has done nothing except

for my sake


because I asked him.”

, , , , 

“Speak out,


What does it mean?”

, , , , 

“My unhappy brother is starving

on the moor.

We cannot let him perish

at our very gates.

The light is a signal

to him

that food is ready

for him,

and his light out yonder is

to show the spot

to which

to bring it.”

, , , , 

“Then your brother is


“The escaped convict,



the criminal.”

, , , , 

“That’s the truth,


said Barrymore.

“I said

that it was not my secret


that I

could not tell it

to you.

But now you have heard it,

and you

will see that


there was a plot it was not

against you.”

, , , , 



was the explanation

of the stealthy expeditions

at night

and the light

at the window.

Sir Henry

and I both stared

at the woman

in amazement.

Was it possible

that this stolidly respectable person was

of the same blood

as one

of the most notorious criminals

in the country?

, , , , 



my name was Selden,

and he is my younger brother.

We humoured him too much

when he was a lad,

and gave him his own way

in everything

until he came

to think

that the world was made

for his pleasure,


that he

could do

what he liked

in it.


as he grew older he met wicked companions,

and the devil entered

into him

until he broke my mother’s heart

and dragged our name

in the dirt.

From crime

to crime he sank lower

and lower,

until it is only the mercy

of God

which has snatched him

from the scaffold;


to me,


he was always the little curly-headed boy

that I had nursed

and played with,

as an elder sister would.

That was

why he broke prison,


He knew

that I was here


that we

could not refuse

to help him.

When he dragged himself here one night,


and starving,

with the warders hard

at his heels,


could we do?

We took him


and fed him

and cared

for him.

Then you returned,


and my brother thought he

would be safer

on the moor


anywhere else

until the hue

and cry was over,

so he lay

in hiding there.

But every second night we made sure

if he was still there

by putting a light

in the window,



there was an answer my husband took out some bread

and meat

to him.

Every day we hoped

that he was gone,


as long

as he was

there we

could not desert him.

That is the whole truth,

as I am an honest Christian woman,

and you

will see that


there is blame

in the matter it does not lie

with my husband,


with me,

for whose sake he has done all

that he has.”

, , , , 

The woman’s words came

with an intense earnestness

which carried conviction

with them.

, , , , 

“Is this true,


, , , , 


Sir Henry.

Every word

of it.”

, , , , 


I cannot blame you

for standing

by your own wife.


what I have said.


to your room,

you two,

and we shall talk further

about this matter

in the morning.”

, , , , 

When they were gone we looked out

of the window again.

Sir Henry had flung it open,

and the cold night wind beat

in upon our faces.

Far away

in the black distance

there still glowed

that one tiny point

of yellow light.

, , , , 

“I wonder he dares,”

said Sir Henry.

, , , , 

“It may be so placed as

to be only visible

from here.”

, , , , 

“Very likely.

How far do you think it is?”

, , , , 


by the Cleft Tor,

I think.”

, , , , 

“Not more

than a mile

or two off.”

, , , , 

“Hardly that.”

, , , , 


it cannot be far

if Barrymore had

to carry out the food

to it.

And he is waiting,

this villain,


that candle.

By thunder,


I am going out

to take

that man!”

The same thought had crossed my own mind.

It was not


if the Barrymores had taken us

into their confidence.

Their secret had been forced

from them.

The man was a danger

to the community,

an unmitigated scoundrel

for whom

there was neither pity nor excuse.

We were only doing our duty

in taking this chance

of putting him back

where he

could do no harm.

With his brutal

and violent nature,


would have

to pay the price

if we held our hands.

Any night,

for example,

our neighbours the Stapletons might be attacked

by him,

and it may have been the thought

of this

which made Sir Henry so keen upon the adventure.

, , , , 


will come,”

said I. 

“Then get your revolver

and put

on your boots.

The sooner we start the better,

as the fellow may put out his light

and be off.”

, , , , 

In five minutes we were outside the door,

starting upon our expedition.

We hurried

through the dark shrubbery,

amid the dull moaning

of the autumn wind

and the rustle

of the falling leaves.

The night air was heavy

with the smell

of damp

and decay.


and again the moon peeped out

for an instant,

but clouds were driving

over the face

of the sky,

and just

as we came out

on the moor a thin rain began

to fall.

The light still burned steadily

in front.

, , , , 

“Are you armed?”

I asked.

, , , , 

“I have a hunting-crop.”

, , , , 

“We must close


on him rapidly,

for he is said

to be a desperate fellow.

We shall take him

by surprise

and have him

at our mercy

before he

can resist.”

, , , , 

“I say,


said the baronet,


would Holmes say

to this?

How about

that hour

of darkness


which the power

of evil is exalted?”

, , , , 

As if

in answer

to his words

there rose suddenly out

of the vast gloom

of the moor

that strange cry

which I had already heard upon the borders

of the great Grimpen Mire.

It came

with the wind

through the silence

of the night,

a long,

deep mutter,

then a rising howl,


then the sad moan


which it died away.


and again it sounded,

the whole air throbbing

with it,



and menacing.

The baronet caught my sleeve

and his face glimmered white

through the darkness.

, , , , 

“My God,

what’s that,


, , , , 


don’t know.

It’s a sound they have

on the moor.

I heard it once before.”

, , , , 

It died away,

and an absolute silence closed

in upon us.

We stood straining our ears,

but nothing came.

, , , , 


said the baronet,

“it was the cry

of a hound.”

, , , , 

My blood ran cold

in my veins,


there was a break

in his voice

which told

of the sudden horror

which had seized him.

, , , , 

“What do they call this sound?”

he asked.

, , , , 


, , , , 

“The folk

on the country-side.”

, , , , 


they are ignorant people.


should you mind

what they call it?”

, , , , 

“Tell me,


What do they say

of it?”

, , , , 

I hesitated


could not escape the question.

, , , , 

“They say it is the cry

of the Hound

of the Baskervilles.”

, , , , 

He groaned

and was silent

for a few moments.

, , , , 

“A hound it was,”

he said,

at last,

“but it seemed

to come

from miles away,

over yonder,

I think.”

, , , , 

“It was hard

to say whence it came.”

, , , , 

“It rose

and fell

with the wind.


that the direction

of the great Grimpen Mire?”

, , , , 


it is.”

, , , , 


it was up there.

Come now,


didn’t you think yourself

that it was the cry

of a hound?

I am not a child.

You need not fear

to speak the truth.”

, , , , 

“Stapleton was

with me

when I heard it last.

He said

that it might be the calling

of a strange bird.”

, , , , 



it was a hound.

My God,


there be some truth

in all these stories?

Is it possible

that I am really

in danger

from so dark a cause?


don’t believe it,

do you,


, , , , 



, , , , 

“And yet it was one thing

to laugh

about it

in London,

and it is another

to stand out here

in the darkness

of the moor and

to hear such a cry

as that.

And my uncle!

There was the footprint

of the hound beside him

as he lay.

It all fits together.


don’t think

that I am a coward,



that sound seemed

to freeze my very blood.

Feel my hand!”

It was

as cold

as a block

of marble.

, , , , 

“You’ll be all right to-morrow.”

, , , , 


don’t think I’ll get

that cry out

of my head.

What do you advise

that we do now?”

, , , , 

“Shall we turn back?”

, , , , 


by thunder;

we have come out

to get our man,

and we

will do it.

We after the convict,

and a hell-hound,

as likely

as not,

after us.

Come on!

We’ll see it through

if all the fiends

of the pit were loose upon the moor.”

, , , , 

We stumbled slowly along

in the darkness,

with the black loom

of the craggy hills

around us,

and the yellow speck

of light burning steadily

in front.

There is nothing so deceptive

as the distance

of a light upon a pitch-dark night,

and sometimes the glimmer seemed

to be far away upon the horizon

and sometimes it might have been within a few yards

of us.


at last we

could see whence it came,


then we knew

that we were indeed very close.

A guttering candle was stuck

in a crevice

of the rocks

which flanked it

on each side so as

to keep the wind

from it

and also

to prevent it

from being visible,


in the direction

of Baskerville Hall.

A boulder

of granite concealed our approach,

and crouching

behind it we gazed

over it

at the signal light.

It was strange

to see this single candle burning there

in the middle

of the moor,

with no sign

of life near it

--just the one straight yellow flame

and the gleam

of the rock

on each side

of it.

, , , , 

“What shall we do now?”

whispered Sir Henry.

, , , , 

“Wait here.

He must be near his light.

Let us see

if we

can get a glimpse

of him.”

, , , , 

The words were

hardly out

of my mouth

when we both saw him.

Over the rocks,

in the crevice


which the candle burned,

there was thrust out an evil yellow face,

a terrible animal face,

all seamed

and scored

with vile passions.


with mire,

with a bristling beard,

and hung

with matted hair,

it might well have belonged

to one

of those old savages

who dwelt

in the burrows

on the hillsides.

The light

beneath him was reflected

in his small,

cunning eyes

which peered fiercely

to right

and left

through the darkness,

like a crafty

and savage animal

who has heard the steps

of the hunters.

, , , , 

Something had evidently aroused his suspicions.

It may have been

that Barrymore had some private signal

which we had neglected

to give,

or the fellow may have had some other reason

for thinking

that all was not well,

but I

could read his fears upon his wicked face.

Any instant he might dash out the light

and vanish

in the darkness.

I sprang forward therefore,

and Sir Henry did the same.

At the same moment the convict screamed out a curse

at us

and hurled a rock

which splintered up

against the boulder

which had sheltered us.

I caught one glimpse

of his short,


strongly- built figure

as he sprang

to his feet

and turned

to run.

At the same moment

by a lucky chance the moon broke

through the clouds.

We rushed

over the brow

of the hill,


there was our man running

with great speed down the other side,


over the stones

in his way

with the activity

of a mountain goat.

A lucky long shot

of my revolver might have crippled him,

but I had brought it only

to defend myself

if attacked,

and not

to shoot an unarmed man

who was running away.

, , , , 

We were both swift runners and

in fairly good training,

but we soon found

that we had no chance

of overtaking him.

We saw him

for a long time

in the moonlight

until he was only a small speck moving swiftly

among the boulders upon the side

of a distant hill.

We ran

and ran

until we were completely blown,

but the space

between us grew ever wider.

Finally we stopped

and sat panting

on two rocks,

while we watched him disappearing

in the distance.

, , , , 

And it was

at this moment


there occurred a most strange

and unexpected thing.

We had risen

from our rocks

and were turning

to go home,

having abandoned the hopeless chase.

The moon was low upon the right,

and the jagged pinnacle

of a granite tor stood up

against the lower curve

of its silver disc.



as black

as an ebony statue


that shining back-ground,

I saw the figure

of a man upon the tor.

Do not think

that it was a delusion,


I assure you

that I have never

in my life seen anything more clearly.

As far

as I

could judge,

the figure was that

of a tall,

thin man.

He stood

with his legs a little separated,

his arms folded,

his head bowed,


if he were brooding over

that enormous wilderness

of peat

and granite

which lay

before him.

He might have been the very spirit


that terrible place.

It was not the convict.

This man was far

from the place

where the latter had disappeared.


he was a much taller man.

With a cry

of surprise I pointed him out

to the baronet,


in the instant during

which I had turned

to grasp his arm the man was gone.

There was the sharp pinnacle

of granite still cutting the lower edge

of the moon,

but its peak bore no trace


that silent

and motionless figure.

, , , , 

I wished

to go


that direction and

to search the tor,

but it was some distance away.

The baronet’s nerves were still quivering from

that cry,

which recalled the dark story

of his family,

and he was not

in the mood

for fresh adventures.

He had not seen this lonely man upon the tor


could not feel the thrill

which his strange presence

and his commanding attitude had given

to me.

“A warder,

no doubt,”

said he.

“The moor has been thick

with them

since this fellow escaped.”


perhaps his explanation may be the right one,

but I

should like

to have some further proof

of it.

To-day we mean

to communicate

to the Princetown people

where they

should look

for their missing man,

but it is hard lines

that we have not actually had the triumph

of bringing him back

as our own prisoner.

Such are the adventures

of last night,

and you must acknowledge,

my dear Holmes,

that I have done you very well

in the matter

of a report.



what I tell you is no doubt quite irrelevant,

but still I feel

that it is best

that I

should let you have all the facts

and leave you

to select

for yourself those which

will be

of most service

to you

in helping you

to your conclusions.

We are certainly making some progress.

So far

as the Barrymores go we have found the motive

of their actions,


that has cleared up the situation very much.

But the moor

with its mysteries

and its strange inhabitants remains

as inscrutable

as ever.


in my next I may be able

to throw some light upon this also.


of all

would it be

if you

could come down

to us.

In any case you

will hear

from me again

in the course

of the next few days.

, , , , 

Chapter 10


from the Diary

of Dr. Watson

So far I have been able

to quote

from the reports

which I have forwarded during these early days

to Sherlock Holmes.



I have arrived

at a point

in my narrative

where I am compelled

to abandon this method and

to trust once more

to my recollections,


by the diary

which I kept

at the time.

A few extracts

from the latter

will carry me


to those scenes

which are indelibly fixed

in every detail upon my memory.

I proceed,


from the morning

which followed our abortive chase

of the convict

and our other strange experiences upon the moor.

, , , , 


--A dull

and foggy day

with a drizzle

of rain.

The house is banked


with rolling clouds,

which rise now

and then

to show the dreary curves

of the moor,

with thin,

silver veins upon the sides

of the hills,

and the distant boulders gleaming

where the light strikes upon their wet faces.

It is melancholy outside

and in.

The baronet is

in a black reaction after the excitements

of the night.

I am conscious myself

of a weight

at my heart

and a feeling

of impending danger

--ever present danger,

which is the more terrible

because I am unable

to define it.

, , , , 

And have I not cause

for such a feeling?

Consider the long sequence

of incidents

which have all pointed

to some sinister influence

which is

at work

around us.

There is the death

of the last occupant

of the Hall,

fulfilling so exactly the conditions

of the family legend,


there are the repeated reports

from peasants

of the appearance

of a strange creature upon the moor.

Twice I have

with my own ears heard the sound

which resembled the distant baying

of a hound.

It is incredible,


that it

should really be outside the ordinary laws

of nature.

A spectral hound

which leaves material footmarks

and fills the air

with its howling is surely not

to be thought of.

Stapleton may fall


with such a superstition,

and Mortimer also;


if I have one quality upon earth it is common-sense,

and nothing

will persuade me

to believe

in such a thing.

To do so

would be

to descend

to the level

of these poor peasants,

who are not content

with a mere fiend dog

but must needs describe him

with hell-fire shooting

from his mouth

and eyes.


would not listen

to such fancies,

and I am his agent.

But facts are facts,

and I have twice heard this crying upon the moor.



there were really some huge hound loose upon it;


would go far

to explain everything.



could such a hound lie concealed,

where did it get its food,

where did it come from,

how was it

that no one saw it

by day?

It must be confessed

that the natural explanation offers almost

as many difficulties

as the other.

And always,


from the hound,

there is the fact

of the human agency

in London,

the man

in the cab,

and the letter

which warned Sir Henry

against the moor.


at least was real,

but it might have been the work

of a protecting friend

as easily as

of an enemy.

Where is

that friend

or enemy now?

Has he remained

in London,

or has he followed us down here?

Could he

--could he be the stranger whom I saw upon the tor?

, , , , 

It is true

that I have had only the one glance

at him,

and yet

there are some things


which I am ready

to swear.

He is no one whom I have seen down here,

and I have now met all the neighbours.

The figure was far taller

than that

of Stapleton,

far thinner

than that

of Frankland.

Barrymore it might possibly have been,

but we had left him

behind us,

and I am certain

that he

could not have followed us.

A stranger

then is still dogging us,


as a stranger dogged us

in London.

We have never shaken him off.

If I

could lay my hands upon

that man,


at last we might find ourselves

at the end

of all our difficulties.

To this one purpose I must now devote all my energies.

, , , , 

My first impulse was

to tell Sir Henry all my plans.

My second

and wisest one is

to play my own game

and speak

as little

as possible

to anyone.

He is silent

and distrait.

His nerves have been strangely shaken


that sound upon the moor.


will say nothing

to add

to his anxieties,

but I

will take my own steps

to attain my own end.

, , , , 

We had a small scene this morning after breakfast.

Barrymore asked leave

to speak

with Sir Henry,

and they were closeted

in his study some little time.


in the billiard-room I more

than once heard the sound

of voices raised,

and I had a pretty good idea

what the point was

which was

under discussion.

After a time the baronet opened his door

and called

for me.

, , , , 

“Barrymore considers

that he has a grievance,”

he said.

“He thinks

that it was unfair

on our part

to hunt his brother-in-law down

when he,

of his own free will,

had told us the secret.”

, , , , 

The butler was standing very pale

but very collected

before us.

, , , , 

“I may have spoken too warmly,


said he,


if I have,

I am sure

that I beg your pardon.

At the same time,

I was very much surprised

when I heard you two gentlemen come back this morning

and learned

that you had been chasing Selden.

The poor fellow has enough

to fight

against without my putting more upon his track.”

, , , , 

“If you had told us

of your own free

will it

would have been a different thing,”

said the baronet,

“you only told us,

or rather your wife only told us,

when it was forced

from you

and you

could not help yourself.”

, , , , 

“I didn’t think you

would have taken advantage

of it,

Sir Henry

--indeed I didn’t.”

, , , , 

“The man is a public danger.

There are lonely houses scattered

over the moor,

and he is a fellow


would stick

at nothing.

You only want

to get a glimpse

of his face

to see that.


at Mr. Stapleton’s house,

for example,

with no one

but himself

to defend it.

There’s no safety

for anyone

until he is

under lock

and key.”

, , , , 

“He’ll break

into no house,


I give you my solemn word upon that.

But he

will never trouble anyone

in this country again.

I assure you,

Sir Henry,


in a very few days the necessary arrangements

will have been made

and he

will be

on his way

to South America.

For God’s sake,


I beg

of you not

to let the police know

that he is still

on the moor.

They have given up the chase there,

and he

can lie quiet

until the ship is ready

for him.

You can’t tell

on him without getting my wife

and me

into trouble.

I beg you,


to say nothing

to the police.”

, , , , 

“What do you say,


, , , , 

I shrugged my shoulders.

“If he were safely out

of the country it

would relieve the tax-payer

of a burden.”

, , , , 



about the chance

of his holding someone up

before he goes?”

, , , , 


would not do anything so mad,


We have provided him

with all

that he

can want.

To commit a crime

would be

to show

where he was hiding.”

, , , , 

“That is true,”

said Sir Henry.




“God bless you,


and thank you

from my heart!


would have killed my poor wife had he been taken again.”

, , , , 

“I guess we are aiding

and abetting a felony,




what we have heard I

don’t feel


if I

could give the man up,


there is an end

of it.

All right,



can go.”

, , , , 

With a few broken words

of gratitude the man turned,

but he hesitated


then came back.

, , , , 

“You’ve been so kind

to us,


that I

should like

to do the best I can

for you

in return.

I know something,

Sir Henry,

and perhaps I

should have said it before,

but it was long after the inquest

that I found it out.

I’ve never breathed a word

about it yet

to mortal man.


about poor Sir Charles’s death.”

, , , , 

The baronet

and I were both upon our feet.

“Do you know

how he died?”

, , , , 




don’t know that.”

, , , , 

“What then?”

, , , , 

“I know

why he was

at the gate


that hour.

It was

to meet a woman.”

, , , , 

“To meet a woman!


, , , , 



, , , , 

“And the woman’s name?”

, , , , 

“I can’t give you the name,


but I

can give you the initials.

Her initials were L. L.”

, , , , 

“How do you know this,


, , , , 


Sir Henry,

your uncle had a letter

that morning.

He had usually a great many letters,

for he was a public man

and well known

for his kind heart,


that everyone

who was

in trouble was glad

to turn

to him.


that morning,

as it chanced,

there was only this one letter,

so I took the more notice

of it.

It was

from Coombe Tracey,

and it was addressed

in a woman’s hand.”

, , , , 


, , , , 



I thought no more

of the matter,

and never

would have done had it not been

for my wife.

Only a few weeks ago she was cleaning out Sir Charles’s study

--it had never been touched

since his death

--and she found the ashes

of a burned letter

in the back

of the grate.

The greater part

of it was charred

to pieces,

but one little slip,

the end

of a page,

hung together,

and the writing

could still be read,

though it was gray

on a black ground.

It seemed

to us

to be a postscript

at the end

of the letter,

and it said:



as you are a gentleman,

burn this letter,

and be

at the gate

by ten o clock.

Beneath it were signed the initials L. L.”

, , , , 

“Have you got

that slip?”

, , , , 



it crumbled all

to bits after we moved it.”

, , , , 

“Had Sir Charles received any other letters

in the same writing?”

, , , , 



I took no particular notice

of his letters.


should not have noticed this one,

only it happened

to come alone.”

, , , , 

“And you have no idea

who L. L.


, , , , 



No more

than you have.

But I expect

if we

could lay our hands upon

that lady we

should know more

about Sir Charles’s death.”

, , , , 

“I cannot understand,


how you came

to conceal this important information.”

, , , , 



it was immediately after

that our own trouble came

to us.


then again,


we were both

of us very fond

of Sir Charles,

as we well might be considering all

that he has done

for us.

To rake this up couldn’t help our poor master,

and it’s well

to go carefully

when there’s a lady

in the case.

Even the best

of us 


“You thought it might injure his reputation?”

, , , , 



I thought no good

could come

of it.

But now you have been kind

to us,

and I feel


if it

would be treating you unfairly not

to tell you all

that I know

about the matter.”

, , , , 

“Very good,



can go.”

When the butler had left us Sir Henry turned

to me.



what do you think

of this new light?”

, , , , 

“It seems

to leave the darkness rather blacker

than before.”

, , , , 

“So I think.


if we

can only trace L. L.


should clear up the whole business.

We have gained

that much.

We know


there is someone

who has the facts

if we

can only find her.

What do you think we

should do?”

, , , , 

“Let Holmes know all

about it

at once.


will give him the clue


which he has been seeking.

I am much mistaken

if it does not bring him down.”

, , , , 

I went

at once

to my room

and drew up my report

of the morning’s conversation

for Holmes.

It was evident

to me

that he had been very busy

of late,

for the notes

which I had

from Baker Street were few

and short,

with no comments upon the information

which I had supplied


hardly any reference

to my mission.

No doubt his blackmailing case is absorbing all his faculties.

And yet this new factor must surely arrest his attention

and renew his interest.

I wish

that he were here.

, , , , 


--All day to-day the rain poured down,


on the ivy

and dripping

from the eaves.

I thought

of the convict out upon the bleak,


shelterless moor.

Poor devil!

Whatever his crimes,

he has suffered something

to atone

for them.


then I thought


that other one

--the face

in the cab,

the figure

against the moon.

Was he also out


that deluged

--the unseen watcher,

the man

of darkness?

In the evening I put

on my waterproof

and I walked far upon the sodden moor,


of dark imaginings,

the rain beating upon my face

and the wind whistling

about my ears.

God help those

who wander

into the great mire now,


even the firm uplands are becoming a morass.

I found the black tor upon

which I had seen the solitary watcher,


from its craggy summit I looked out myself

across the melancholy downs.

Rain squalls drifted

across their russet face,

and the heavy,

slate-coloured clouds hung low

over the landscape,


in gray wreaths down the sides

of the fantastic hills.

In the distant hollow

on the left,

half hidden

by the mist,

the two thin towers

of Baskerville Hall rose

above the trees.

They were the only signs

of human life

which I

could see,

save only those prehistoric huts

which lay thickly upon the slopes

of the hills.

Nowhere was

there any trace


that lonely man whom I had seen

on the same spot two nights before.

, , , , 

As I walked back I was overtaken

by Dr. Mortimer driving

in his dog-cart

over a rough moorland track

which led

from the outlying farmhouse

of Foulmire.

He has been very attentive

to us,


hardly a day has passed

that he has not called

at the Hall

to see

how we were getting on.

He insisted upon my climbing

into his dog-cart,

and he gave me a lift homeward.

I found him much troubled

over the disappearance

of his little spaniel.

It had wandered


to the moor

and had never come back.

I gave him such consolation

as I might,

but I thought

of the pony

on the Grimpen Mire,

and I do not fancy

that he

will see his little dog again.

, , , , 

“By the way,


said I

as we jolted

along the rough road,

“I suppose

there are few people living within driving distance

of this whom you do not know?”

, , , , 

“Hardly any,

I think.”

, , , , 

“Can you,


tell me the name

of any woman whose initials are L. L.?”

, , , , 

He thought

for a few minutes.

, , , , 


said he.

“There are a few gipsies

and labouring folk

for whom I can’t answer,


among the farmers

or gentry

there is no one whose initials are those.

Wait a bit though,”

he added after a pause.

“There is Laura Lyons

--her initials are L. L.

--but she lives

in Coombe Tracey.”

, , , , 

“Who is she?”

I asked.

, , , , 

“She is Frankland’s daughter.”

, , , , 


Old Frankland the crank?”

, , , , 


She married an artist named Lyons,

who came sketching

on the moor.

He proved

to be a blackguard

and deserted her.

The fault


what I hear may not have been entirely

on one side.

Her father refused

to have anything

to do

with her

because she had married without his consent,

and perhaps

for one

or two other reasons

as well.


between the old sinner

and the young one the girl has had a pretty bad time.”

, , , , 

“How does she live?”

, , , , 

“I fancy old Frankland allows her a pittance,

but it cannot be more,

for his own affairs are considerably involved.

Whatever she may have deserved one

could not allow her

to go hopelessly

to the bad.

Her story got about,

and several

of the people here did something

to enable her

to earn an honest living.

Stapleton did

for one,

and Sir Charles

for another.

I gave a trifle myself.

It was

to set her up

in a typewriting business.”

, , , , 

He wanted

to know the object

of my inquiries,

but I managed

to satisfy his curiosity without telling him too much,


there is no reason

why we

should take anyone

into our confidence.

To-morrow morning I shall find my way

to Coombe Tracey,


if I

can see this Mrs. Laura Lyons,

of equivocal reputation,

a long step

will have been made

towards clearing one incident

in this chain

of mysteries.

I am certainly developing the wisdom

of the serpent,


when Mortimer pressed his questions

to an inconvenient extent I asked him casually


what type Frankland’s skull belonged,

and so heard nothing

but craniology

for the rest

of our drive.

I have not lived

for years

with Sherlock Holmes

for nothing.

, , , , 

I have only one other incident

to record upon this tempestuous

and melancholy day.

This was my conversation

with Barrymore just now,

which gives me one more strong card

which I

can play

in due time.

, , , , 

Mortimer had stayed

to dinner,

and he

and the baronet played ecarté afterwards.

The butler brought me my coffee

into the library,

and I took the chance

to ask him a few questions.

, , , , 


said I,

“has this precious relation

of yours departed,

or is he still lurking out yonder?”

, , , , 


don’t know,


I hope

to heaven

that he has gone,

for he has brought nothing

but trouble here!

I’ve not heard

of him

since I left out food

for him last,


that was three days ago.”

, , , , 

“Did you see him then?”

, , , , 



but the food was gone

when next I went

that way.”

, , , , 

“Then he was certainly there?”

, , , , 

“So you

would think,


unless it was the other man

who took it.”

, , , , 

I sat

with my coffee-cup halfway

to my lips

and stared

at Barrymore.

, , , , 

“You know


there is another man then?”

, , , , 



there is another man upon the moor.”

, , , , 

“Have you seen him?”

, , , , 



, , , , 

“How do you know

of him then?”

, , , , 

“Selden told me

of him,


a week ago

or more.


in hiding,


but he’s not a convict

as far

as I

can make out.

I don’t

like it,

Dr. Watson

--I tell you straight,


that I don’t

like it.”

He spoke

with a sudden passion

of earnestness.

, , , , 



to me,


I have no interest

in this matter

but that

of your master.

I have come here

with no object except

to help him.

Tell me,


what it is

that you

don’t like.”

, , , , 

Barrymore hesitated

for a moment,


if he regretted his outburst,

or found it difficult

to express his own feelings

in words.

, , , , 

“It’s all these goings-on,


he cried

at last,

waving his hand

towards the rain-lashed window

which faced the moor.

“There’s foul play somewhere,

and there’s black villainy brewing,


that I’ll swear!

Very glad I

should be,


to see Sir Henry

on his way back

to London again!”


what is it

that alarms you?”

, , , , 


at Sir Charles’s death!

That was bad enough,

for all

that the coroner said.


at the noises

on the moor

at night.

There’s not a man

would cross it after sundown

if he was paid

for it.


at this stranger hiding out yonder,

and watching

and waiting!

What’s he waiting for?

What does it mean?

It means no good

to anyone

of the name

of Baskerville,

and very glad I shall be

to be quit

of it all

on the day

that Sir Henry’s new servants are ready

to take

over the Hall.”

, , , , 


about this stranger,”

said I. “Can you tell me anything

about him?

What did Selden say?

Did he find out

where he hid,


what he was doing?”

, , , , 

“He saw him once

or twice,

but he is a deep one,

and gives nothing away.

At first he thought

that he was the police,

but soon he found

that he had some lay

of his own.

A kind

of gentleman he was,

as far

as he

could see,


what he was doing he

could not make out.”

, , , , 


where did he say

that he lived?”

, , , , 

“Among the old houses

on the hillside

--the stone huts

where the old folk used

to live.”

, , , , 



about his food?”

, , , , 

“Selden found out

that he has got a lad

who works

for him

and brings him all he needs.

I dare say he goes

to Coombe Tracey


what he wants.”

, , , , 

“Very good,


We may talk further

of this some other time.”

When the butler had gone I walked over

to the black window,

and I looked

through a blurred pane

at the driving clouds and

at the tossing outline

of the wind-swept trees.

It is a wild night indoors,


what must it be

in a stone hut upon the moor.

What passion

of hatred

can it be

which leads a man

to lurk

in such a place

at such a time!


what deep

and earnest purpose

can he have

which calls

for such a trial!



that hut upon the moor,


to lie the very centre


that problem

which has vexed me so sorely.

I swear

that another day shall not have passed

before I have done all

that man

can do

to reach the heart

of the mystery.

, , , , 

Chapter 11

The Man

on the Tor

The extract

from my private diary

which forms the last chapter has brought my narrative up

to the 18th

of October,

a time

when these strange events began

to move swiftly

towards their terrible conclusion.

The incidents

of the next few days are indelibly graven upon my recollection,

and I

can tell them without reference

to the notes made

at the time.

I start


from the day

which succeeded

that upon

which I had established two facts

of great importance,

the one

that Mrs. Laura Lyons

of Coombe Tracey had written

to Sir Charles Baskerville

and made an appointment

with him

at the very place

and hour

that he met his death,

the other

that the lurking man upon the moor was

to be found

among the stone huts upon the hill-side.

With these two facts

in my possession I felt

that either my intelligence

or my courage must be deficient

if I

could not throw some further light upon these dark places.

, , , , 

I had no opportunity

to tell the baronet

what I had learned

about Mrs. Lyons upon the evening before,

for Dr. Mortimer remained

with him

at cards

until it was very late.

At breakfast,


I informed him

about my discovery,

and asked him whether he

would care

to accompany me

to Coombe Tracey.

At first he was very eager

to come,


on second thoughts it seemed

to both

of us that

if I went alone the results might be better.

The more formal we made the visit the less information we might obtain.

I left Sir Henry behind,


not without some prickings

of conscience,

and drove off upon my new quest.

, , , , 

When I reached Coombe Tracey I told Perkins

to put up the horses,

and I made inquiries

for the lady whom I had come

to interrogate.

I had no difficulty

in finding her rooms,

which were central

and well appointed.

A maid showed me

in without ceremony,


as I entered the sitting-room a lady,

who was sitting

before a Remington typewriter,

sprang up

with a pleasant smile

of welcome.

Her face fell,


when she saw

that I was a stranger,

and she sat down again

and asked me the object

of my visit.

, , , , 

The first impression left

by Mrs. Lyons was one

of extreme beauty.

Her eyes

and hair were

of the same rich hazel colour,

and her cheeks,

though considerably freckled,

were flushed

with the exquisite bloom

of the brunette,

the dainty pink

which lurks

at the heart

of the sulphur rose.

Admiration was,

I repeat,

the first impression.

But the second was criticism.

There was something subtly wrong

with the face,

some coarseness

of expression,

some hardness,


of eye,

some looseness

of lip

which marred its perfect beauty.

But these,

of course,

are after-thoughts.

At the moment I was simply conscious

that I was

in the presence

of a very handsome woman,


that she was asking me the reasons

for my visit.

I had not quite understood until

that instant

how delicate my mission was.

, , , , 

“I have the pleasure,”

said I,

“of knowing your father.”

It was a clumsy introduction,

and the lady made me feel it.

, , , , 

“There is nothing

in common

between my father

and me,”

she said.

“I owe him nothing,

and his friends are not mine.

If it were not

for the late Sir Charles Baskerville

and some other kind hearts I might have starved

for all

that my father cared.”

, , , , 

“It was

about the late Sir Charles Baskerville

that I have come here

to see you.”

, , , , 

The freckles started out

on the lady’s face.

, , , , 


can I tell you

about him?”

she asked,

and her fingers played nervously

over the stops

of her typewriter.

, , , , 

“You knew him,

did you not?”

, , , , 

“I have already said

that I owe a great deal

to his kindness.

If I am able

to support myself it is largely due

to the interest

which he took

in my unhappy situation.”

, , , , 

“Did you correspond

with him?”

, , , , 

The lady looked quickly up

with an angry gleam

in her hazel eyes.

, , , , 

“What is the object

of these questions?”

she asked sharply.

, , , , 

“The object is

to avoid a public scandal.

It is better

that I

should ask them here than

that the matter

should pass outside our control.”

, , , , 

She was silent

and her face was still very pale.

At last she looked up

with something reckless

and defiant

in her manner.

, , , , 


I’ll answer,”

she said.

“What are your questions?”

, , , , 

“Did you correspond

with Sir Charles?”

, , , , 

“I certainly wrote

to him once

or twice

to acknowledge his delicacy

and his generosity.”

, , , , 

“Have you the dates

of those letters?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“Have you ever met him?”

, , , , 



or twice,

when he came

into Coombe Tracey.

He was a very retiring man,

and he preferred

to do good

by stealth.”

, , , , 


if you saw him so seldom

and wrote so seldom,

how did he know enough

about your affairs

to be able

to help you,

as you say

that he has done?”

, , , , 

She met my difficulty

with the utmost readiness.

, , , , 

“There were several gentlemen

who knew my sad history

and united

to help me.

One was Mr. Stapleton,

a neighbour

and intimate friend

of Sir Charles’s.

He was exceedingly kind,

and it was

through him

that Sir Charles learned

about my affairs.”

, , , , 

I knew already

that Sir Charles Baskerville had made Stapleton his almoner upon several occasions,

so the lady’s statement bore the impress

of truth upon it.

, , , , 

“Did you ever write

to Sir Charles asking him

to meet you?”

I continued.

, , , , 

Mrs. Lyons flushed

with anger again.

, , , , 



this is a very extraordinary question.”

, , , , 

“I am sorry,


but I must repeat it.”

, , , , 

“Then I answer,

certainly not.”

, , , , 


on the very day

of Sir Charles’s death?”

, , , , 

The flush had faded

in an instant,

and a deathly face was

before me.

Her dry lips

could not speak the “No”

which I saw rather

than heard.

, , , , 

“Surely your memory deceives you,”

said I. “I could

even quote a passage

of your letter.

It ran ‘Please,


as you are a gentleman,

burn this letter,

and be

at the gate

by ten o’clock.’”

I thought

that she had fainted,

but she recovered herself

by a supreme effort.

, , , , 


there no such thing

as a gentleman?”

she gasped.

, , , , 

“You do Sir Charles an injustice.

He did burn the letter.

But sometimes a letter may be legible even

when burned.

You acknowledge now

that you wrote it?”

, , , , 


I did write it,”

she cried,

pouring out her soul

in a torrent

of words.

“I did write it.


should I deny it?

I have no reason

to be ashamed

of it.

I wished him

to help me.

I believed that

if I had an interview I

could gain his help,

so I asked him

to meet me.”

, , , , 

“But why

at such an hour?”

, , , , 

“Because I had only just learned

that he was going

to London next day

and might be away

for months.

There were reasons

why I

could not get

there earlier.”

, , , , 


why a rendezvous

in the garden instead

of a visit

to the house?”

, , , , 

“Do you think a woman

could go alone


that hour

to a bachelor’s house?”

, , , , 


what happened

when you did get there?”

, , , , 

“I never went.”

, , , , 

“Mrs. Lyons!”


I swear it

to you

on all I hold sacred.

I never went.

Something intervened

to prevent my going.”

, , , , 

“What was that?”

, , , , 

“That is a private matter.

I cannot tell it.”

, , , , 

“You acknowledge then

that you made an appointment

with Sir Charles

at the very hour

and place


which he met his death,

but you deny

that you kept the appointment.”

, , , , 

“That is the truth.”

, , , , 


and again I cross-questioned her,

but I

could never get past

that point.

, , , , 

“Mrs. Lyons,”

said I,

as I rose

from this long

and inconclusive interview,

“you are taking a very great responsibility

and putting yourself

in a very false position

by not making an absolutely clean breast

of all

that you know.

If I have

to call

in the aid

of the police you

will find

how seriously you are compromised.

If your position is innocent,

why did you

in the first instance deny having written

to Sir Charles upon

that date?”

, , , , 

“Because I feared

that some false conclusion might be drawn

from it


that I might find myself involved

in a scandal.”

, , , , 


why were you so pressing

that Sir Charles

should destroy your letter?”

, , , , 

“If you have read the letter you

will know.”

, , , , 

“I did not say

that I had read all the letter.”

, , , , 

“You quoted some

of it.”

, , , , 

“I quoted the postscript.

The letter had,

as I said,

been burned

and it was not all legible.

I ask you once again

why it was

that you were so pressing

that Sir Charles

should destroy this letter

which he received

on the day

of his death.”

, , , , 

“The matter is a very private one.”

, , , , 

“The more reason

why you

should avoid a public investigation.”

, , , , 


will tell you,


If you have heard anything

of my unhappy history you

will know

that I made a rash marriage

and had reason

to regret it.”

, , , , 

“I have heard so much.”

, , , , 

“My life has been one incessant persecution

from a husband whom I abhor.

The law is upon his side,

and every day I am faced

by the possibility

that he may force me

to live

with him.

At the time

that I wrote this letter

to Sir Charles I had learned


there was a prospect

of my regaining my freedom

if certain expenses

could be met.

It meant everything

to me


of mind,




I knew Sir Charles’s generosity,

and I thought that

if he heard the story

from my own lips he

would help me.”

, , , , 


how is it

that you did not go?”

, , , , 

“Because I received help

in the interval

from another source.”

, , , , 

“Why then,

did you not write

to Sir Charles

and explain this?”

, , , , 

“So I

should have done had I not seen his death

in the paper next morning.”

, , , , 

The woman’s story hung coherently together,

and all my questions were unable

to shake it.


could only check it

by finding

if she had,


instituted divorce proceedings

against her husband at


about the time

of the tragedy.

, , , , 

It was unlikely

that she

would dare

to say

that she had not been

to Baskerville Hall

if she really had been,

for a trap

would be necessary

to take her there,


could not have returned

to Coombe Tracey

until the early hours

of the morning.

Such an excursion

could not be kept secret.

The probability was,


that she was telling the truth,


at least,

a part

of the truth.

I came away baffled

and disheartened.

Once again I had reached

that dead wall

which seemed

to be built

across every path


which I tried

to get

at the object

of my mission.

And yet the more I thought

of the lady’s face and

of her manner the more I felt

that something was being held back

from me.


should she turn so pale?


should she fight

against every admission

until it was forced

from her?


should she have been so reticent

at the time

of the tragedy?

Surely the explanation

of all this

could not be

as innocent

as she

would have me believe.

For the moment I

could proceed no farther


that direction,

but must turn back


that other clue

which was

to be sought


among the stone huts upon the moor.

, , , , 


that was a most vague direction.

I realized it

as I drove back

and noted

how hill after hill showed traces

of the ancient people.

Barrymore’s only indication had been

that the stranger lived

in one

of these abandoned huts,

and many hundreds

of them are scattered throughout the length

and breadth

of the moor.

But I had my own experience

for a guide

since it had shown me the man himself standing upon the summit

of the Black Tor.



should be the centre

of my search.


there I

should explore every hut upon the moor

until I lighted upon the right one.

If this man were inside it I

should find out

from his own lips,

at the point

of my revolver

if necessary,

who he was


why he had dogged us so long.

He might slip away

from us

in the crowd

of Regent Street,

but it

would puzzle him

to do so upon the lonely moor.

On the other hand,

if I

should find the hut

and its tenant

should not be within it I must remain there,

however long the vigil,

until he returned.

Holmes had missed him

in London.


would indeed be a triumph

for me

if I

could run him

to earth,

where my master had failed.

, , , , 

Luck had been

against us again

and again

in this inquiry,

but now

at last it came

to my aid.

And the messenger

of good fortune was none other

than Mr. Frankland,

who was standing,


and red-faced,

outside the gate

of his garden,

which opened


to the high road along

which I travelled.

, , , , 


Dr. Watson,”

cried he

with unwonted good humour,

“you must really give your horses a rest,

and come


to have a glass

of wine and

to congratulate me.”

, , , , 

My feelings

towards him were very far

from being friendly after

what I had heard

of his treatment

of his daughter,

but I was anxious

to send Perkins

and the wagonette home,

and the opportunity was a good one.

I alighted

and sent a message

to Sir Henry

that I

should walk over

in time

for dinner.

Then I followed Frankland

into his dining-room.

, , , , 

“It is a great day

for me,



of the red-letter days

of my life,”

he cried

with many chuckles.

“I have brought off a double event.

I mean

to teach them

in these parts

that law is law,



there is a man here

who does not fear

to invoke it.

I have established a right

of way

through the centre

of old Middleton’s park,


across it,


within a hundred yards

of his own front door.

What do you think

of that?

We’ll teach these magnates

that they cannot ride roughshod

over the rights

of the commoners,

confound them!

And I’ve closed the wood

where the Fernworthy folk used

to picnic.

These infernal people seem

to think


there are no rights

of property,


that they

can swarm

where they like

with their papers

and their bottles.

Both cases decided,

Dr. Watson,

and both

in my favour.

I haven’t had such a day

since I had Sir John Morland

for trespass,

because he shot

in his own warren.”

, , , , 


on earth did you do that?”

, , , , 

“Look it up

in the books,



will repay reading

--Frankland v.



of Queen’s Bench.

It cost me 200 pounds,

but I got my verdict.”

, , , , 

“Did it do you any good?”

, , , , 




I am proud

to say

that I had no interest

in the matter.

I act entirely

from a sense

of public duty.

I have no doubt,

for example,

that the Fernworthy people

will burn me

in effigy to-night.

I told the police last time they did it

that they

should stop these disgraceful exhibitions.

The County Constabulary is

in a scandalous state,


and it has not afforded me the protection


which I am entitled.

The case

of Frankland v.


will bring the matter

before the attention

of the public.

I told them

that they

would have occasion

to regret their treatment

of me,

and already my words have come true.”

, , , , 

“How so?”

I asked.

, , , , 

The old man put

on a very knowing expression.

, , , , 

“Because I

could tell them

what they are dying

to know;

but nothing

would induce me

to help the rascals

in any way.”

, , , , 

I had been casting round

for some excuse


which I

could get away

from his gossip,

but now I began

to wish

to hear more

of it.

I had seen enough

of the contrary nature

of the old sinner

to understand

that any strong sign

of interest

would be the surest way

to stop his confidences.

, , , , 

“Some poaching case,

no doubt?”

said I,

with an indifferent manner.

, , , , 



my boy,

a very much more important matter

than that!


about the convict

on the moor?”

, , , , 

I started.


don’t mean

that you know

where he is?”

said I. 

“I may not know exactly

where he is,

but I am quite sure

that I

could help the police

to lay their hands

on him.

Has it never struck you

that the way

to catch

that man was

to find out

where he got his food,

and so trace it

to him?”

, , , , 

He certainly seemed

to be getting uncomfortably near the truth.

“No doubt,”

said I;


how do you know

that he is

anywhere upon the moor?”

, , , , 

“I know it

because I have seen

with my own eyes the messenger

who takes him his food.”

, , , , 

My heart sank

for Barrymore.

It was a serious thing

to be

in the power

of this spiteful old busybody.

But his next remark took a weight

from my mind.

, , , , 

“You’ll be surprised

to hear

that his food is taken

to him

by a child.

I see him every day

through my telescope upon the roof.

He passes

along the same path

at the same hour,


to whom

should he be going except

to the convict?”

, , , , 

Here was luck indeed!

And yet I suppressed all appearance

of interest.

A child!

Barrymore had said

that our unknown was supplied

by a boy.

It was

on his track,

and not upon the convict’s,

that Frankland had stumbled.

If I

could get his knowledge it might save me a long

and weary hunt.

But incredulity

and indifference were evidently my strongest cards.

, , , , 


should say

that it was much more likely

that it was the son

of one

of the moorland shepherds taking out his father’s dinner.”

, , , , 

The least appearance

of opposition struck fire out

of the old autocrat.

His eyes looked malignantly

at me,

and his gray whiskers bristled

like those

of an angry cat.

, , , , 



said he,

pointing out

over the wide-stretching moor.

“Do you see

that Black Tor

over yonder?


do you see the low hill beyond

with the thornbush upon it?

It is the stoniest part

of the whole moor.


that a place

where a shepherd

would be likely

to take his station?

Your suggestion,


is a most absurd one.”

, , , , 

I meekly answered

that I had spoken without knowing all the facts.

My submission pleased him

and led him

to further confidences.

, , , , 

“You may be sure,


that I have very good grounds

before I come

to an opinion.

I have seen the boy again

and again

with his bundle.

Every day,

and sometimes twice a day,

I have been able

--but wait a moment,

Dr. Watson.

Do my eyes deceive me,

or is there

at the present moment something moving upon

that hill- side?”

, , , , 

It was several miles off,

but I

could distinctly see a small dark dot

against the dull green

and gray.

, , , , 




cried Frankland,

rushing upstairs.


will see

with your own eyes

and judge

for yourself.”

, , , , 

The telescope,

a formidable instrument mounted upon a tripod,

stood upon the flat leads

of the house.

Frankland clapped his eye

to it

and gave a cry

of satisfaction.

, , , , 


Dr. Watson,


before he passes

over the hill!”

There he was,

sure enough,

a small urchin

with a little bundle upon his shoulder,

toiling slowly up the hill.

When he reached the crest I saw the ragged uncouth figure outlined

for an instant

against the cold blue sky.

He looked round him

with a furtive

and stealthy air,

as one

who dreads pursuit.

Then he vanished

over the hill.

, , , , 


Am I right?”

, , , , 


there is a boy

who seems

to have some secret errand.”

, , , , 


what the errand is

even a county constable

could guess.

But not one word shall they have

from me,

and I bind you

to secrecy also,

Dr. Watson.

Not a word!

You understand!”


as you wish.”

, , , , 

“They have treated me shamefully


When the facts come out

in Frankland v.

Regina I venture

to think

that a thrill

of indignation

will run

through the country.


would induce me

to help the police

in any way.

For all they cared it might have been me,


of my effigy,

which these rascals burned

at the stake.

Surely you are not going!


will help me

to empty the decanter

in honour

of this great occasion!”

But I resisted all his solicitations

and succeeded

in dissuading him

from his announced intention

of walking home

with me.

I kept the road

as long

as his eye was

on me,


then I struck off

across the moor

and made

for the stony hill


which the boy had disappeared.

Everything was working

in my favour,

and I swore

that it

should not be

through lack

of energy

or perseverance

that I

should miss the chance

which fortune had thrown

in my way.

, , , , 

The sun was already sinking

when I reached the summit

of the hill,

and the long slopes

beneath me were all golden-green

on one side

and gray shadow

on the other.

A haze lay low upon the farthest sky-line,



which jutted the fantastic shapes

of Belliver

and Vixen Tor.

Over the wide expanse

there was no sound

and no movement.

One great gray bird,

a gull

or curlew,

soared aloft

in the blue heaven.


and I seemed

to be the only living things

between the huge arch

of the sky

and the desert

beneath it.

The barren scene,

the sense

of loneliness,

and the mystery

and urgency

of my task all struck a chill

into my heart.

The boy was nowhere

to be seen.

But down

beneath me

in a cleft

of the hills

there was a circle

of the old stone huts,


in the middle

of them

there was one

which retained sufficient roof

to act

as a screen

against the weather.

My heart leaped within me

as I saw it.

This must be the burrow

where the stranger lurked.

At last my foot was

on the threshold

of his hiding place

--his secret was within my grasp.

, , , , 

As I approached the hut,


as warily

as Stapleton

would do when

with poised net he drew near the settled butterfly,

I satisfied myself

that the place had indeed been used

as a habitation.

A vague pathway

among the boulders led

to the dilapidated opening

which served

as a door.

All was silent within.

The unknown might be lurking there,

or he might be prowling

on the moor.

My nerves tingled

with the sense

of adventure.

Throwing aside my cigarette,

I closed my hand upon the butt

of my revolver and,

walking swiftly up

to the door,

I looked in.

The place was empty.

, , , , 


there were ample signs

that I had not come upon a false scent.

This was certainly

where the man lived.

Some blankets rolled

in a waterproof lay upon

that very stone slab upon

which Neolithic man had once slumbered.

The ashes

of a fire were heaped

in a rude grate.

Beside it lay some cooking utensils

and a bucket half-full

of water.

A litter

of empty tins showed

that the place had been occupied

for some time,

and I saw,

as my eyes became accustomed

to the checkered light,

a pannikin

and a half-full bottle

of spirits standing

in the corner.

In the middle

of the hut a flat stone served the purpose

of a table,

and upon this stood a small cloth bundle

--the same,

no doubt,

which I had seen

through the telescope upon the shoulder

of the boy.

It contained a loaf

of bread,

a tinned tongue,

and two tins

of preserved peaches.

As I set it down again,

after having examined it,

my heart leaped

to see


beneath it

there lay a sheet

of paper

with writing upon it.

I raised it,

and this was

what I read,

roughly scrawled

in pencil:


Dr. Watson has gone

to Coombe Tracey.

, , , , 

For a minute I stood there

with the paper

in my hands thinking out the meaning

of this curt message.

It was I,


and not Sir Henry,

who was being dogged

by this secret man.

He had not followed me himself,

but he had set an agent

--the boy,


--upon my track,

and this was his report.

Possibly I had taken no step

since I had been upon the moor

which had not been observed

and reported.


there was this feeling

of an unseen force,

a fine net drawn round us

with infinite skill

and delicacy,

holding us so lightly

that it was only

at some supreme moment

that one realized

that one was indeed entangled

in its meshes.

, , , , 


there was one report

there might be others,

so I looked round the hut

in search

of them.

There was no trace,


of anything

of the kind,


could I discover any sign

which might indicate the character

or intentions

of the man

who lived

in this singular place,


that he must be

of Spartan habits

and cared little

for the comforts

of life.

When I thought

of the heavy rains

and looked

at the gaping roof I understood

how strong

and immutable must be the purpose

which had kept him


that inhospitable abode.

Was he our malignant enemy,

or was he

by chance our guardian angel?

I swore

that I

would not leave the hut

until I knew.

, , , , 

Outside the sun was sinking low

and the west was blazing

with scarlet

and gold.

Its reflection was shot back

in ruddy patches

by the distant pools

which lay amid the great Grimpen Mire.

There were the two towers

of Baskerville Hall,


there a distant blur

of smoke

which marked the village

of Grimpen.

Between the two,

behind the hill,

was the house

of the Stapletons.

All was sweet

and mellow

and peaceful

in the golden evening light,

and yet

as I looked

at them my soul shared none

of the peace

of nature

but quivered

at the vagueness

and the terror


that interview

which every instant was bringing nearer.

With tingling nerves,

but a fixed purpose,

I sat

in the dark recess

of the hut

and waited

with sombre patience

for the coming

of its tenant.

, , , , 

And then

at last I heard him.

Far away came the sharp clink

of a boot striking upon a stone.

Then another

and yet another,

coming nearer

and nearer.

I shrank back

into the darkest corner,

and cocked the pistol

in my pocket,

determined not

to discover myself

until I had an opportunity

of seeing something

of the stranger.

There was a long pause

which showed

that he had stopped.

Then once more the footsteps approached

and a shadow fell

across the opening

of the hut.

, , , , 

“It is a lovely evening,

my dear Watson,”

said a well-known voice.

“I really think

that you

will be more comfortable outside

than in.”

, , , , 

Chapter 12


on the Moor

For a moment

or two I sat breathless,

hardly able

to believe my ears.

Then my senses

and my voice came back

to me,

while a crushing weight

of responsibility seemed

in an instant

to be lifted

from my soul.

That cold,


ironical voice

could belong


but one man

in all the world.

, , , , 


I cried


“Come out,”

said he,

“and please be careful

with the revolver.”

, , , , 

I stooped

under the rude lintel,


there he sat upon a stone outside,

his gray eyes dancing

with amusement

as they fell upon my astonished features.

He was thin

and worn,

but clear

and alert,

his keen face bronzed

by the sun

and roughened

by the wind.

In his tweed suit

and cloth cap he looked

like any other tourist upon the moor,

and he had contrived,


that cat-like love

of personal cleanliness

which was one

of his characteristics,

that his chin

should be

as smooth

and his linen

as perfect


if he were

in Baker Street.

, , , , 

“I never was more glad

to see anyone

in my life,”

said I,

as I wrung him

by the hand.

, , , , 

“Or more astonished,


, , , , 


I must confess

to it.”

, , , , 

“The surprise was not all

on one side,

I assure you.

I had no idea

that you had found my occasional retreat,

still less

that you were inside it,

until I was within twenty paces

of the door.”

, , , , 

“My footprint,

I presume?”

, , , , 



I fear

that I

could not undertake

to recognize your footprint amid all the footprints

of the world.

If you seriously desire

to deceive me you must change your tobacconist;


when I see the stub

of a cigarette marked Bradley,

Oxford Street,

I know

that my friend Watson is

in the neighbourhood.


will see it

there beside the path.

You threw it down,

no doubt,


that supreme moment

when you charged

into the empty hut.”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“I thought

as much

--and knowing your admirable tenacity I was convinced

that you were sitting

in ambush,

a weapon within reach,


for the tenant

to return.

So you actually thought

that I was the criminal?”

, , , , 

“I did not know

who you were,

but I was determined

to find out.”

, , , , 




how did you localize me?

You saw me,


on the night

of the convict hunt,

when I was so imprudent as

to allow the moon

to rise

behind me?”

, , , , 


I saw you then.”

, , , , 

“And have no doubt searched all the huts

until you came

to this one?”

, , , , 


your boy had been observed,


that gave me a guide where

to look.”

, , , , 

“The old gentleman

with the telescope,

no doubt.


could not make it out

when first I saw the light flashing upon the lens.”

He rose

and peeped

into the hut.


I see

that Cartwright has brought up some supplies.

What’s this paper?

So you have been

to Coombe Tracey,

have you?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“To see Mrs. Laura Lyons?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“Well done!

Our researches have evidently been running

on parallel lines,


when we unite our results I expect we shall have a fairly full knowledge

of the case.”

, , , , 


I am glad

from my heart

that you are here,

for indeed the responsibility

and the mystery were both becoming too much

for my nerves.

But how

in the name

of wonder did you come here,


what have you been doing?

I thought

that you were

in Baker Street working out

that case

of blackmailing.”

, , , , 

“That was

what I wished you

to think.”

, , , , 

“Then you use me,

and yet do not trust me!”

I cried

with some bitterness.

“I think

that I have deserved better

at your hands,


, , , , 

“My dear fellow,

you have been invaluable

to me

in this as

in many other cases,

and I beg

that you

will forgive me

if I have seemed

to play a trick upon you.

In truth,

it was partly

for your own sake

that I did it,

and it was my appreciation

of the danger

which you ran

which led me

to come down

and examine the matter

for myself.

Had I been

with Sir Henry

and you it is confident

that my point

of view

would have been the same

as yours,

and my presence

would have warned our very formidable opponents

to be

on their guard.

As it is,

I have been able

to get about

as I

could not possibly have done had I been living

in the Hall,

and I remain an unknown factor

in the business,


to throw

in all my weight

at a critical moment.”

, , , , 


why keep me

in the dark?”

, , , , 

“For you

to know

could not have helped us,

and might possibly have led

to my discovery.


would have wished

to tell me something,


in your kindness you

would have brought me out some comfort

or other,

and so an unnecessary risk

would be run.

I brought Cartwright down

with me

--you remember the little chap

at the express office

--and he has seen after my simple wants:

a loaf

of bread

and a clean collar.

What does man want more?

He has given me an extra pair

of eyes upon a very active pair

of feet,

and both have been invaluable.”

, , , , 

“Then my reports have all been wasted!”

--My voice trembled

as I recalled the pains

and the pride


which I had composed them.

, , , , 

Holmes took a bundle

of papers

from his pocket.

, , , , 

“Here are your reports,

my dear fellow,

and very well thumbed,

I assure you.

I made excellent arrangements,

and they are only delayed one day upon their way.

I must compliment you exceedingly upon the zeal

and the intelligence

which you have shown

over an extraordinarily difficult case.”

, , , , 

I was still rather raw

over the deception

which had been practised upon me,

but the warmth

of Holmes’s praise drove my anger

from my mind.

I felt also

in my heart

that he was right


what he said


that it was really best

for our purpose

that I

should not have known

that he was upon the moor.

, , , , 

“That’s better,”

said he,

seeing the shadow rise

from my face.

“And now tell me the result

of your visit

to Mrs. Laura Lyons

--it was not difficult

for me

to guess

that it was

to see her

that you had gone,

for I am already aware

that she is the one person

in Coombe Tracey

who might be

of service

to us

in the matter.

In fact,

if you had not gone to-day it is exceedingly probable

that I

should have gone to-morrow.”

, , , , 

The sun had set

and dusk was settling

over the moor.

The air had turned chill

and we withdrew

into the hut

for warmth.


sitting together

in the twilight,

I told Holmes

of my conversation

with the lady.

So interested was he

that I had

to repeat some

of it twice

before he was satisfied.

, , , , 

“This is most important,”

said he

when I had concluded.

“It fills up a gap

which I had been unable

to bridge,

in this most complex affair.

You are aware,


that a close intimacy exists

between this lady

and the man Stapleton?”

, , , , 

“I did not know

of a close intimacy.”

, , , , 


can be no doubt

about the matter.

They meet,

they write,

there is a complete understanding

between them.


this puts a very powerful weapon

into our hands.

If I

could only use it

to detach his wife


“His wife?”

, , , , 

“I am giving you some information now,

in return

for all

that you have given me.

The lady

who has passed here

as Miss Stapleton is

in reality his wife.”

, , , , 

“Good heavens,


Are you sure


what you say?


could he have permitted Sir Henry

to fall

in love

with her?”

, , , , 

“Sir Henry’s falling

in love

could do no harm

to anyone except Sir Henry.

He took particular care

that Sir Henry did not make love

to her,

as you have yourself observed.

I repeat

that the lady is his wife

and not his sister.”

, , , , 


why this elaborate deception?”

, , , , 

“Because he foresaw

that she

would be very much more useful

to him

in the character

of a free woman.”

, , , , 

All my unspoken instincts,

my vague suspicions,

suddenly took shape

and centred upon the naturalist.


that impassive,

colourless man,

with his straw hat

and his butterfly-net,

I seemed

to see something terrible

--a creature

of infinite patience

and craft,

with a smiling face

and a murderous heart.

, , , , 

“It is he,


who is our enemy

--it is he

who dogged us

in London?”

, , , , 

“So I read the riddle.”

, , , , 

“And the warning

--it must have come

from her!”


, , , , 

The shape

of some monstrous villainy,

half seen,

half guessed,


through the darkness

which had girt me so long.

, , , , 

“But are you sure

of this,


How do you know

that the woman is his wife?”

, , , , 

“Because he so far forgot himself as

to tell you a true piece

of autobiography upon the occasion

when he first met you,

and I dare say he has many a time regretted it since.

He was once a schoolmaster

in the north

of England.


there is no one more easy

to trace

than a schoolmaster.

There are scholastic agencies


which one may identify any man

who has been

in the profession.

A little investigation showed me

that a school had come

to grief

under atrocious circumstances,


that the man

who had owned it

--the name was different

--had disappeared

with his wife.

The descriptions agreed.

When I learned

that the missing man was devoted

to entomology the identification was complete.”

, , , , 

The darkness was rising,

but much was still hidden

by the shadows.

, , , , 

“If this woman is

in truth his wife,

where does Mrs. Laura Lyons come in?”

I asked.

, , , , 

“That is one

of the points upon

which your own researches have shed a light.

Your interview

with the lady has cleared the situation very much.

I did not know

about a projected divorce

between herself

and her husband.


that case,

regarding Stapleton

as an unmarried man,

she counted no doubt upon becoming his wife.”

, , , , 


when she is undeceived?”

, , , , 


then we may find the lady

of service.

It must be our first duty

to see her


of us


Don’t you think,


that you are away

from your charge rather long?

Your place

should be

at Baskerville Hall.”

, , , , 

The last red streaks had faded away

in the west

and night had settled upon the moor.

A few faint stars were gleaming

in a violet sky.

, , , , 

“One last question,


I said,

as I rose.


there is no need

of secrecy

between you

and me.

What is the meaning

of it all?

What is he after?”

, , , , 

Holmes’s voice sank

as he answered:



“It is murder,




deliberate murder.

Do not ask me

for particulars.

My nets are closing upon him,


as his are upon Sir Henry,


with your help he is already almost

at my mercy.

There is

but one danger which

can threaten us.

It is

that he

should strike

before we are ready

to do so.

Another day


at the most

--and I have my case complete,

but until

then guard your charge

as closely

as ever a fond mother watched her ailing child.

Your mission to-day has justified itself,

and yet I


almost wish

that you had not left his side.


A terrible scream

--a prolonged yell

of horror

and anguish

--burst out

of the silence

of the moor.

That frightful cry turned the blood

to ice

in my veins.

, , , , 


my God!”

I gasped.

“What is it?

What does it mean?”

, , , , 

Holmes had sprung

to his feet,

and I saw his dark,

athletic outline

at the door

of the hut,

his shoulders stooping,

his head thrust forward,

his face peering

into the darkness.

, , , , 


he whispered.


The cry had been loud

on account

of its vehemence,

but it had pealed out

from somewhere far off

on the shadowy plain.

Now it burst upon our ears,



more urgent

than before.

, , , , 

“Where is it?”

Holmes whispered;

and I knew

from the thrill

of his voice

that he,

the man

of iron,

was shaken

to the soul.

“Where is it,


, , , , 


I think.”

I pointed

into the darkness.

, , , , 



Again the agonized cry swept

through the silent night,


and much nearer

than ever.

And a new sound mingled

with it,

a deep,

muttered rumble,


and yet menacing,


and falling

like the low,

constant murmur

of the sea.

, , , , 

“The hound!”

cried Holmes.




Great heavens,

if we are too late!”

He had started running swiftly

over the moor,

and I had followed

at his heels.

But now

from somewhere

among the broken ground immediately

in front

of us

there came one last despairing yell,


then a dull,

heavy thud.

We halted

and listened.

Not another sound broke the heavy silence

of the windless night.

, , , , 

I saw Holmes put his hand

to his forehead

like a man distracted.

He stamped his feet upon the ground.

, , , , 

“He has beaten us,


We are too late.”

, , , , 



surely not!”


that I was

to hold my hand.

And you,



what comes

of abandoning your charge!


by Heaven,

if the worst has happened,

we’ll avenge him!”

Blindly we ran

through the gloom,


against boulders,

forcing our way

through gorse bushes,

panting up hills

and rushing down slopes,

heading always

in the direction whence those dreadful sounds had come.

At every rise Holmes looked eagerly round him,

but the shadows were thick upon the moor,

and nothing moved upon its dreary face.

, , , , 

“Can you see anything?”

, , , , 


, , , , 



what is that?”

, , , , 

A low moan had fallen upon our ears.

There it was again upon our left!


that side a ridge

of rocks ended

in a sheer cliff

which overlooked a stone-strewn slope.

On its jagged face was spread-eagled some dark,

irregular object.

As we ran

towards it the vague outline hardened

into a definite shape.

It was a prostrate man face downward upon the ground,

the head doubled

under him

at a horrible angle,

the shoulders rounded

and the body hunched together

as if

in the act

of throwing a somersault.

So grotesque was the attitude

that I

could not

for the instant realize

that that moan had been the passing

of his soul.

Not a whisper,

not a rustle,

rose now

from the dark figure


which we stooped.

Holmes laid his hand upon him,

and held it up again,

with an exclamation

of horror.

The gleam

of the match

which he struck shone upon his clotted fingers

and upon the ghastly pool

which widened slowly

from the crushed skull

of the victim.

And it shone upon something else

which turned our hearts sick

and faint within us

--the body

of Sir Henry Baskerville!

There was no chance

of either

of us forgetting

that peculiar ruddy tweed suit

--the very one

which he had worn

on the first morning

that we had seen him

in Baker Street.

We caught the one clear glimpse

of it,


then the match flickered

and went out,


as the hope had gone out

of our souls.

Holmes groaned,

and his face glimmered white

through the darkness.

, , , , 

“The brute!

the brute!”

I cried

with clenched hands.

“Oh Holmes,

I shall never forgive myself

for having left him

to his fate.”

, , , , 

“I am more

to blame

than you,


In order

to have my case well rounded

and complete,

I have thrown away the life

of my client.

It is the greatest blow

which has befallen me

in my career.



could I know


could l know

--that he

would risk his life alone upon the moor

in the face

of all my warnings?”

, , , , 

“That we

should have heard his screams

--my God,

those screams!

--and yet have been unable

to save him!

Where is this brute

of a hound

which drove him

to his death?

It may be lurking

among these rocks

at this instant.

And Stapleton,

where is he?

He shall answer

for this deed.”

, , , , 

“He shall.


will see

to that.


and nephew have been murdered

--the one frightened

to death

by the very sight

of a beast

which he thought

to be supernatural,

the other driven

to his end

in his wild flight

to escape

from it.

But now we have

to prove the connection

between the man

and the beast.



what we heard,

we cannot

even swear

to the existence

of the latter,

since Sir Henry has evidently died

from the fall.


by heavens,


as he is,

the fellow shall be

in my power

before another day is past!”

We stood

with bitter hearts

on either side

of the mangled body,


by this sudden

and irrevocable disaster

which had brought all our long

and weary labours

to so piteous an end.


as the moon rose we climbed

to the top

of the rocks


which our poor friend had fallen,


from the summit we gazed out

over the shadowy moor,

half silver

and half gloom.

Far away,

miles off,

in the direction

of Grimpen,

a single steady yellow light was shining.


could only come

from the lonely abode

of the Stapletons.

With a bitter curse I shook my fist

at it

as I gazed.

, , , , 


should we not seize him

at once?”

, , , , 

“Our case is not complete.

The fellow is wary

and cunning

to the last degree.

It is not

what we know,


what we

can prove.

If we make one false move the villain may escape us yet.”

, , , , 


can we do?”

, , , , 


will be plenty

for us

to do to-morrow.

To-night we

can only perform the last offices

to our poor friend.”

, , , , 

Together we made our way down the precipitous slope

and approached the body,


and clear

against the silvered stones.

The agony

of those contorted limbs struck me

with a spasm

of pain

and blurred my eyes

with tears.

, , , , 

“We must send

for help,


We cannot carry him all the way

to the Hall.

Good heavens,

are you mad?”

, , , , 

He had uttered a cry

and bent

over the body.

Now he was dancing

and laughing

and wringing my hand.

Could this be my stern,

self-contained friend?

These were hidden fires,


“A beard!

A beard!

The man has a beard!”

“A beard?”

, , , , 

“It is not the baronet

--it is


it is my neighbour,

the convict!”

With feverish haste we had turned the body over,


that dripping beard was pointing up

to the cold,

clear moon.


could be no doubt

about the beetling forehead,

the sunken animal eyes.

It was indeed the same face

which had glared upon me

in the light

of the candle from

over the rock

--the face

of Selden,

the criminal.

, , , , 


in an instant it was all clear

to me.

I remembered

how the baronet had told me

that he had handed his old wardrobe

to Barrymore.

Barrymore had passed it on

in order

to help Selden

in his escape.




--it was all Sir Henry’s.

The tragedy was still black enough,

but this man had

at least deserved death

by the laws

of his country.

I told Holmes

how the matter stood,

my heart bubbling over

with thankfulness

and joy.

, , , , 

“Then the clothes have been the poor devil’s death,”

said he.

“It is clear enough

that the hound has been laid


from some article

of Sir Henry’s

--the boot

which was abstracted

in the hotel,

in all probability

--and so ran this man down.

There is one very singular thing,


How came Selden,

in the darkness,

to know

that the hound was

on his trail?”

, , , , 

“He heard him.”

, , , , 

“To hear a hound upon the moor

would not work a hard man

like this convict

into such a paroxysm

of terror

that he

would risk recapture

by screaming wildly

for help.

By his cries he must have run a long way after he knew the animal was

on his track.

How did he know?”

, , , , 

“A greater mystery

to me is

why this hound,


that all our conjectures are correct


“I presume nothing.”

, , , , 



why this hound

should be loose to-night.

I suppose

that it does not always run loose upon the moor.


would not let it go

unless he had reason

to think

that Sir Henry

would be there.”

, , , , 

“My difficulty is the more formidable

of the two,

for I think

that we shall very shortly get an explanation

of yours,

while mine may remain forever a mystery.

The question now is,

what shall we do

with this poor wretch’s body?

We cannot leave it here

to the foxes

and the ravens.”

, , , , 

“I suggest

that we put it

in one

of the huts

until we

can communicate

with the police.”

, , , , 


I have no doubt

that you

and I

could carry it so far.



what’s this?

It’s the man himself,

by all that’s wonderful

and audacious!

Not a word

to show your suspicions

--not a word,

or my plans crumble

to the ground.”

, , , , 

A figure was approaching us

over the moor,

and I saw the dull red glow

of a cigar.

The moon shone upon him,

and I

could distinguish the dapper shape

and jaunty walk

of the naturalist.

He stopped

when he saw us,


then came

on again.

, , , , 


Dr. Watson,

that’s not you,

is it?

You are the last man

that I

should have expected

to see out

on the moor

at this time

of night.


dear me,

what’s this?

Somebody hurt?


--don’t tell me

that it is our friend Sir Henry!”

He hurried past me

and stooped

over the dead man.

I heard a sharp intake

of his breath

and the cigar fell

from his fingers.

, , , , 


--who’s this?”

he stammered.

, , , , 

“It is Selden,

the man

who escaped

from Princetown.”

, , , , 

Stapleton turned a ghastly face upon us,


by a supreme effort he had overcome his amazement

and his disappointment.

He looked sharply

from Holmes

to me.

, , , , 

“Dear me!

What a very shocking affair!

How did he die?”

, , , , 

“He appears

to have broken his neck

by falling

over these rocks.

My friend

and I were strolling

on the moor

when we heard a cry.”

, , , , 

“I heard a cry also.

That was

what brought me out.

I was uneasy

about Sir Henry.”

, , , , 


about Sir Henry

in particular?”


could not help asking.

, , , , 

“Because I had suggested

that he

should come over.

When he did not come I was surprised,

and I naturally became alarmed

for his safety

when I heard cries upon the moor.

By the way”

--his eyes darted again

from my face

to Holmes’s

--”did you hear anything else

besides a cry?”

, , , , 


said Holmes;

“did you?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“What do you mean,


, , , , 


you know the stories

that the peasants tell

about a phantom hound,

and so on.

It is said

to be heard

at night upon the moor.

I was wondering


there were any evidence

of such a sound to-night.”

, , , , 

“We heard nothing

of the kind,”

said I. 


what is your theory

of this poor fellow’s death?”

, , , , 

“I have no doubt

that anxiety

and exposure have driven him off his head.

He has rushed

about the moor

in a crazy state

and eventually fallen

over here

and broken his neck.”

, , , , 

“That seems the most reasonable theory,”

said Stapleton,

and he gave a sigh

which I took

to indicate his relief.

“What do you think

about it,

Mr. Sherlock Holmes?”

, , , , 

My friend bowed his compliments.

, , , , 

“You are quick

at identification,”

said he.

, , , , 

“We have been expecting you

in these parts

since Dr. Watson came down.

You are

in time

to see a tragedy.”

, , , , 



I have no doubt

that my friend’s explanation

will cover the facts.


will take an unpleasant remembrance back

to London

with me to-morrow.”

, , , , 


you return to-morrow?”

, , , , 

“That is my intention.”

, , , , 

“I hope your visit has cast some light upon those occurrences

which have puzzled us?”

, , , , 

Holmes shrugged his shoulders.

, , , , 

“One cannot always have the success


which one hopes.

An investigator needs facts,

and not legends

or rumours.

It has not been a satisfactory case.”

, , , , 

My friend spoke

in his frankest

and most unconcerned manner.

Stapleton still looked hard

at him.

Then he turned

to me.

, , , , 


would suggest carrying this poor fellow

to my house,

but it

would give my sister such a fright

that I do not feel justified

in doing it.

I think that

if we put something

over his face he

will be safe

until morning.”

, , , , 

And so it was arranged.

Resisting Stapleton’s offer

of hospitality,


and I set off

to Baskerville Hall,

leaving the naturalist

to return alone.

Looking back we saw the figure moving slowly away

over the broad moor,


behind him

that one black smudge

on the silvered slope

which showed

where the man was lying

who had come so horribly

to his end.

, , , , 

Chapter 13

Fixing the Nets


at close grips

at last,”

said Holmes

as we walked together

across the moor.

“What a nerve the fellow has!

How he pulled himself together

in the face


what must have been a paralyzing shock

when he found

that the wrong man had fallen a victim

to his plot.

I told you

in London,


and I tell you now again,

that we have never had a foeman more worthy

of our steel.”

, , , , 

“I am sorry

that he has seen you.”

, , , , 

“And so was I

at first.


there was no getting out

of it.”

, , , , 

“What effect do you think it

will have upon his plans now

that he knows you are here?”

, , , , 

“It may cause him

to be more cautious,

or it may drive him

to desperate measures

at once.

Like most clever criminals,

he may be too confident

in his own cleverness

and imagine

that he has completely deceived us.”

, , , , 


should we not arrest him

at once?”

, , , , 

“My dear Watson,

you were born

to be a man

of action.

Your instinct is always

to do something energetic.

But supposing,

for argument’s sake,

that we had him arrested to-night,


on earth the better off

should we be

for that?


could prove nothing

against him.

There’s the devilish cunning

of it!

If he were acting

through a human agent we

could get some evidence,


if we were

to drag this great dog

to the light

of day it

would not help us

in putting a rope round the neck

of its master.”

, , , , 

“Surely we have a case.”

, , , , 

“Not a shadow

of one

--only surmise

and conjecture.


should be laughed out

of court

if we came

with such a story

and such evidence.”

, , , , 

“There is Sir Charles’s death.”

, , , , 

“Found dead without a mark upon him.


and I know

that he died

of sheer fright,

and we know also

what frightened him;


how are we

to get twelve stolid jurymen

to know it?

What signs are there

of a hound?

Where are the marks

of its fangs?

Of course we know

that a hound does not bite a dead body


that Sir Charles was dead

before ever the brute overtook him.

But we have

to prove all this,

and we are not

in a position

to do it.”

, , , , 




, , , , 

“We are not much better off to-night.


there was no direct connection

between the hound

and the man’s death.

We never saw the hound.

We heard it;

but we

could not prove

that it was running upon this man’s trail.

There is a complete absence

of motive.


my dear fellow;

we must reconcile ourselves

to the fact

that we have no case

at present,


that it is worth our while

to run any risk

in order

to establish one.”

, , , , 


how do you propose

to do so?”

, , , , 

“I have great hopes


what Mrs. Laura Lyons may do

for us

when the position

of affairs is made clear

to her.

And I have my own plan

as well.


for to-morrow is the evil thereof;

but I hope

before the day is past

to have the upper hand

at last.”

, , , , 


could draw nothing further

from him,

and he walked,


in thought,

as far

as the Baskerville gates.

, , , , 

“Are you coming up?”

, , , , 


I see no reason

for further concealment.

But one last word,


Say nothing

of the hound

to Sir Henry.

Let him think

that Selden’s death was

as Stapleton

would have us believe.


will have a better nerve

for the ordeal

which he

will have

to undergo to-morrow,

when he is engaged,

if I remember your report aright,

to dine

with these people.”

, , , , 

“And so am I.”

, , , , 

“Then you must excuse yourself

and he must go alone.


will be easily arranged.

And now,

if we are too late

for dinner,

I think

that we are both ready

for our suppers.”

, , , , 

Sir Henry was more pleased

than surprised

to see Sherlock Holmes,

for he had

for some days been expecting

that recent events

would bring him down

from London.

He did raise his eyebrows,


when he found

that my friend had neither any luggage nor any explanations

for its absence.

Between us we soon supplied his wants,

and then

over a belated supper we explained

to the baronet

as much

of our experience

as it seemed desirable

that he

should know.

But first I had the unpleasant duty

of breaking the news

to Barrymore

and his wife.

To him it may have been an unmitigated relief,

but she wept bitterly

in her apron.

To all the world he was the man

of violence,

half animal

and half demon;


to her he always remained the little wilful boy

of her own girlhood,

the child

who had clung

to her hand.

Evil indeed is the man

who has not one woman

to mourn him.

, , , , 

“I’ve been moping

in the house all day

since Watson went off

in the morning,”

said the baronet.

“I guess I

should have some credit,

for I have kept my promise.

If I hadn’t sworn not

to go

about alone I might have had a more lively evening,

for I had a message

from Stapleton asking me

over there.”

, , , , 

“I have no doubt

that you

would have had a more lively evening,”

said Holmes drily.

“By the way,


don’t suppose you appreciate

that we have been mourning

over you

as having broken your neck?”

, , , , 

Sir Henry opened his eyes.

“How was that?”

, , , , 

“This poor wretch was dressed

in your clothes.

I fear your servant

who gave them

to him may get

into trouble

with the police.”

, , , , 

“That is unlikely.

There was no mark

on any

of them,

as far

as I know.”

, , , , 

“That’s lucky

for him

--in fact,

it’s lucky

for all

of you,

since you are all

on the wrong side

of the law

in this matter.

I am not sure that

as a conscientious detective my first duty is not

to arrest the whole household.

Watson’s reports are most incriminating documents.”

, , , , 



about the case?”

asked the baronet.

“Have you made anything out

of the tangle?


don’t know

that Watson

and I are much the wiser

since we came down.”

, , , , 

“I think

that I shall be

in a position

to make the situation rather more clear

to you

before long.

It has been an exceedingly difficult

and most complicated business.

There are several points upon

which we still want light

--but it is coming all the same.”

, , , , 

“We’ve had one experience,

as Watson has no doubt told you.

We heard the hound

on the moor,

so I

can swear

that it is not all empty superstition.

I had something

to do

with dogs

when I was out West,

and I know one

when I hear one.

If you

can muzzle

that one

and put him

on a chain I’ll be ready

to swear you are the greatest detective

of all time.”

, , , , 

“I think I

will muzzle him

and chain him all right

if you

will give me your help.”

, , , , 

“Whatever you tell me

to do I

will do.”

, , , , 

“Very good;

and I

will ask you also

to do it blindly,

without always asking the reason.”

, , , , 


as you like.”

, , , , 

“If you

will do this I think the chances are

that our little problem

will soon be solved.

I have no doubt


He stopped suddenly

and stared fixedly up

over my head

into the air.

The lamp beat upon his face,

and so intent was it

and so still

that it might have been that

of a clear-cut classical statue,

a personification

of alertness

and expectation.

, , , , 

“What is it?”

we both cried.

, , , , 


could see

as he looked down

that he was repressing some internal emotion.

His features were still composed,

but his eyes shone

with amused exultation.

, , , , 

“Excuse the admiration

of a connoisseur,”

said he

as he waved his hand

towards the line

of portraits

which covered the opposite wall.


won’t allow

that I know anything

of art,


that is mere jealousy,

because our views upon the subject differ.


these are a really very fine series

of portraits.”

, , , , 


I’m glad

to hear you say so,”

said Sir Henry,


with some surprise

at my friend.


don’t pretend

to know much

about these things,

and I’d be a better judge

of a horse

or a steer than

of a picture.

I didn’t know

that you found time

for such things.”

, , , , 

“I know

what is good

when I see it,

and I see it now.

That’s a Kneller,

I’ll swear,

that lady

in the blue silk

over yonder,

and the stout gentleman

with the wig ought

to be a Reynolds.

They are all family portraits,

I presume?”

, , , , 

“Every one.”

, , , , 

“Do you know the names?”

, , , , 

“Barrymore has been coaching me

in them,

and I think I

can say my lessons fairly well.”

, , , , 

“Who is the gentleman

with the telescope?”

, , , , 

“That is Rear-Admiral Baskerville,

who served

under Rodney

in the West Indies.

The man

with the blue coat

and the roll

of paper is Sir William Baskerville,

who was Chairman

of Committees

of the House

of Commons

under Pitt.”

, , , , 

“And this Cavalier opposite

to me

--the one

with the black velvet

and the lace?”

, , , , 


you have a right

to know

about him.

That is the cause

of all the mischief,

the wicked Hugo,

who started the Hound

of the Baskervilles.

We’re not likely

to forget him.”

, , , , 

I gazed

with interest

and some surprise upon the portrait.

, , , , 

“Dear me!”

said Holmes,

“he seems a quiet,

meek-mannered man enough,

but I dare say


there was a lurking devil

in his eyes.

I had pictured him

as a more robust

and ruffianly person.”

, , , , 

“There’s no doubt

about the authenticity,

for the name

and the date,



on the back

of the canvas.”

, , , , 

Holmes said little more,

but the picture

of the old roysterer seemed

to have a fascination

for him,

and his eyes were continually fixed upon it during supper.

It was not

until later,

when Sir Henry had gone

to his room,

that I was able

to follow the trend

of his thoughts.

He led me back

into the banqueting-hall,

his bedroom candle

in his hand,

and he held it up

against the time-stained portrait

on the wall.

, , , , 

“Do you see anything there?”

, , , , 

I looked

at the broad plumed hat,

the curling love-locks,

the white lace collar,

and the straight,

severe face

which was framed

between them.

It was not a brutal countenance,

but it was prim,


and stern,

with a firm-set,

thin-lipped mouth,

and a coldly intolerant eye.

, , , , 

“Is it

like anyone you know?”

, , , , 

“There is something

of Sir Henry

about the jaw.”

, , , , 

“Just a suggestion,


But wait an instant!”

He stood upon a chair,


holding up the light

in his left hand,

he curved his right arm

over the broad hat

and round the long ringlets.

, , , , 

“Good heavens!”

I cried,

in amazement.

, , , , 

The face

of Stapleton had sprung out

of the canvas.

, , , , 


you see it now.

My eyes have been trained

to examine faces

and not their trimmings.

It is the first quality

of a criminal investigator

that he

should see

through a disguise.”

, , , , 

“But this is marvellous.

It might be his portrait.”

, , , , 


it is an interesting instance

of a throwback,

which appears

to be both physical

and spiritual.

A study

of family portraits is enough

to convert a man

to the doctrine

of reincarnation.

The fellow is a Baskerville

--that is evident.”

, , , , 

“With designs upon the succession.”

, , , , 


This chance

of the picture has supplied us

with one

of our most obvious missing links.

We have him,


we have him,

and I dare swear


before to-morrow night he

will be fluttering

in our net

as helpless

as one

of his own butterflies.

A pin,

a cork,

and a card,

and we add him

to the Baker Street collection!”

He burst

into one

of his rare fits

of laughter

as he turned away

from the picture.

I have not heard him laugh often,

and it has always boded ill

to somebody.

, , , , 

I was up betimes

in the morning,

but Holmes was afoot earlier still,

for I saw him

as I dressed,

coming up the drive.

, , , , 



should have a full day to-day,”

he remarked,

and he rubbed his hands

with the joy

of action.

“The nets are all

in place,

and the drag is about

to begin.

We’ll know

before the day is out whether we have caught our big,

lean-jawed pike,

or whether he has got

through the meshes.”

, , , , 

“Have you been

on the moor already?”

, , , , 

“I have sent a report

from Grimpen

to Princetown as

to the death

of Selden.

I think I

can promise

that none

of you

will be troubled

in the matter.

And I have also communicated

with my faithful Cartwright,


would certainly have pined away

at the door

of my hut,

as a dog does

at his master’s grave,

if I had not set his mind

at rest

about my safety.”

, , , , 

“What is the next move?”

, , , , 

“To see Sir Henry.


here he is!”

“Good morning,


said the baronet.

“You look

like a general

who is planning a battle

with his chief

of the staff.”

, , , , 

“That is the exact situation.

Watson was asking

for orders.”

, , , , 

“And so do I.”

, , , , 

“Very good.

You are engaged,

as I understand,

to dine

with our friends the Stapletons to-night.”

, , , , 

“I hope

that you

will come also.

They are very hospitable people,

and I am sure

that they

would be very glad

to see you.”

, , , , 

“I fear

that Watson

and I must go

to London.”

, , , , 

“To London?”

, , , , 


I think

that we

should be more useful there

at the present juncture.”

, , , , 

The baronet’s face perceptibly lengthened.

, , , , 

“I hoped

that you were going

to see me

through this business.

The Hall

and the moor are not very pleasant places

when one is alone.”

, , , , 

“My dear fellow,

you must trust me implicitly

and do exactly

what I tell you.


can tell your friends

that we

should have been happy

to have come

with you,


that urgent business required us

to be

in town.

We hope very soon

to return

to Devonshire.

Will you remember

to give them

that message?”

, , , , 

“If you insist upon it.”

, , , , 

“There is no alternative,

I assure you.”

, , , , 

I saw

by the baronet’s clouded brow

that he was deeply hurt


what he regarded

as our desertion.

, , , , 

“When do you desire

to go?”

he asked coldly.

, , , , 

“Immediately after breakfast.


will drive


to Coombe Tracey,

but Watson

will leave his things

as a pledge

that he

will come back

to you.



will send a note

to Stapleton

to tell him

that you regret

that you cannot come.”

, , , , 

“I have a good mind

to go

to London

with you,”

said the baronet.


should I stay here alone?”

, , , , 

“Because it is your post

of duty.

Because you gave me your word

that you

would do

as you were told,

and I tell you

to stay.”

, , , , 

“All right,


I’ll stay.”

, , , , 

“One more direction!

I wish you

to drive

to Merripit House.

Send back your trap,


and let them know

that you intend

to walk home.”

, , , , 

“To walk

across the moor?”

, , , , 


, , , , 


that is the very thing

which you have so often cautioned me not

to do.”

, , , , 

“This time you may do it

with safety.

If I had not every confidence

in your nerve

and courage I

would not suggest it,

but it is essential

that you

should do it.”

, , , , 

“Then I

will do it.”

, , , , 


as you value your life do not go

across the moor

in any direction save

along the straight path

which leads

from Merripit House

to the Grimpen Road,

and is your natural way home.”

, , , , 


will do just

what you say.”

, , , , 

“Very good.


should be glad

to get away

as soon after breakfast

as possible,

so as

to reach London

in the afternoon.”

, , , , 

I was much astounded

by this programme,

though I remembered

that Holmes had said

to Stapleton

on the night before

that his visit

would terminate next day.

It had not crossed my mind,


that he

would wish me

to go

with him,


could I understand

how we

could both be absent

at a moment

which he himself declared

to be critical.

There was nothing

for it,


but implicit obedience;

so we bade good-bye

to our rueful friend,

and a couple

of hours afterwards we were

at the station

of Coombe Tracey

and had dispatched the trap upon its return journey.

A small boy was waiting upon the platform.

, , , , 

“Any orders,


, , , , 


will take this train

to town,


The moment you arrive you

will send a wire

to Sir Henry Baskerville,

in my name,

to say that

if he finds the pocket-book

which I have dropped he is

to send it

by registered post

to Baker Street.”

, , , , 



, , , , 

“And ask

at the station office


there is a message

for me.”

, , , , 

The boy returned

with a telegram,

which Holmes handed

to me.

It ran:

“Wire received.

Coming down

with unsigned warrant.

Arrive five-forty.


, , , , 

“That is

in answer

to mine

of this morning.

He is the best

of the professionals,

I think,

and we may need his assistance.



I think

that we cannot employ our time better than

by calling upon your acquaintance,

Mrs. Laura Lyons.”

, , , , 

His plan

of campaign was beginning

to be evident.


would use the baronet

in order

to convince the Stapletons

that we were really gone,

while we

should actually return

at the instant

when we were likely

to be needed.

That telegram

from London,

if mentioned

by Sir Henry

to the Stapletons,

must remove the last suspicions

from their minds.

Already I seemed

to see our nets drawing closer around

that lean-jawed pike.

, , , , 

Mrs. Laura Lyons was

in her office,

and Sherlock Holmes opened his interview

with a frankness

and directness

which considerably amazed her.

, , , , 

“I am investigating the circumstances

which attended the death

of the late Sir Charles Baskerville,”

said he.

“My friend here,

Dr. Watson,

has informed me


what you have communicated,

and also


what you have withheld

in connection


that matter.”

, , , , 

“What have I withheld?”

she asked defiantly.

, , , , 

“You have confessed

that you asked Sir Charles

to be

at the gate

at ten o’clock.

We know

that that was the place

and hour

of his death.

You have withheld

what the connection is

between these events.”

, , , , 

“There is no connection.”

, , , , 


that case the coincidence must indeed be an extraordinary one.

But I think

that we shall succeed

in establishing a connection after all.

I wish

to be perfectly frank

with you,

Mrs. Lyons.

We regard this case

as one

of murder,

and the evidence may implicate not only your friend Mr. Stapleton,

but his wife

as well.”

, , , , 

The lady sprang

from her chair.

, , , , 

“His wife!”

she cried.

, , , , 

“The fact is no longer a secret.

The person

who has passed

for his sister is really his wife.”

, , , , 

Mrs. Lyons had resumed her seat.

Her hands were grasping the arms

of her chair,

and I saw

that the pink nails had turned white

with the pressure

of her grip.

, , , , 

“His wife!”

she said again.

“His wife!

He is not a married man.”

, , , , 

Sherlock Holmes shrugged his shoulders.

, , , , 

“Prove it

to me!

Prove it

to me!


if you

can do so


The fierce flash

of her eyes said more

than any words.

, , , , 

“I have come prepared

to do so,”

said Holmes,

drawing several papers

from his pocket.

“Here is a photograph

of the couple taken

in York four years ago.

It is indorsed ‘Mr.

and Mrs. Vandeleur,’

but you

will have no difficulty

in recognizing him,

and her also,

if you know her

by sight.

Here are three written descriptions

by trustworthy witnesses

of Mr.

and Mrs. Vandeleur,



that time kept St. Oliver’s private school.

Read them

and see

if you

can doubt the identity

of these people.”

, , , , 

She glanced

at them,


then looked up

at us

with the set,

rigid face

of a desperate woman.

, , , , 

“Mr. Holmes,”

she said,

“this man had offered me marriage

on condition

that I

could get a divorce

from my husband.

He has lied

to me,

the villain,

in every conceivable way.

Not one word

of truth has he ever told me.

And why


I imagined

that all was

for my own sake.

But now I see

that I was never anything

but a tool

in his hands.


should I preserve faith

with him

who never kept any

with me?


should I try

to shield him

from the consequences

of his own wicked acts?

Ask me

what you like,


there is nothing

which I shall hold back.

One thing I swear

to you,


that is that

when I wrote the letter I never dreamed

of any harm

to the old gentleman,

who had been my kindest friend.”

, , , , 

“I entirely believe you,


said Sherlock Holmes.

“The recital

of these events must be very painful

to you,

and perhaps it

will make it easier

if I tell you

what occurred,

and you

can check me

if I make any material mistake.

The sending

of this letter was suggested

to you

by Stapleton?”

, , , , 

“He dictated it.”

, , , , 

“I presume

that the reason he gave was

that you

would receive help

from Sir Charles

for the legal expenses connected

with your divorce?”

, , , , 


, , , , 


then after you had sent the letter he dissuaded you

from keeping the appointment?”

, , , , 

“He told me

that it

would hurt his self-respect

that any other man

should find the money

for such an object,


that though he was a poor man himself he

would devote his last penny

to removing the obstacles

which divided us.”

, , , , 

“He appears

to be a very consistent character.


then you heard nothing

until you read the reports

of the death

in the paper?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“And he made you swear

to say nothing

about your appointment

with Sir Charles?”

, , , , 

“He did.

He said

that the death was a very mysterious one,


that I

should certainly be suspected

if the facts came out.

He frightened me

into remaining silent.”

, , , , 

“Quite so.

But you had your suspicions?”

, , , , 

She hesitated

and looked down.

, , , , 

“I knew him,”

she said.


if he had kept faith

with me I

should always have done so

with him.”

, , , , 

“I think that

on the whole you have had a fortunate escape,”

said Sherlock Holmes.

“You have had him

in your power

and he knew it,

and yet you are alive.

You have been walking

for some months very near

to the edge

of a precipice.

We must wish you good-morning now,

Mrs. Lyons,

and it is probable

that you

will very shortly hear

from us again.”

, , , , 

“Our case becomes rounded off,

and difficulty after difficulty thins away

in front

of us,”

said Holmes

as we stood waiting

for the arrival

of the express

from town.

“I shall soon be

in the position

of being able

to put

into a single connected narrative one

of the most singular

and sensational crimes

of modern times.


of criminology

will remember the analogous incidents

in Godno,

in Little Russia,

in the year ‘66,


of course

there are the Anderson murders

in North Carolina,

but this case possesses some features

which are entirely its own.

Even now we have no clear case

against this very wily man.

But I shall be very much surprised

if it is not clear enough

before we go

to bed this night.”

, , , , 

The London express came roaring

into the station,

and a small,

wiry bulldog

of a man had sprung

from a first-class carriage.

We all three shook hands,

and I saw

at once

from the reverential way


which Lestrade gazed

at my companion

that he had learned a good deal

since the days

when they had first worked together.


could well remember the scorn

which the theories

of the reasoner used then

to excite

in the practical man.

, , , , 

“Anything good?”

he asked.

, , , , 

“The biggest thing

for years,”

said Holmes.

“We have two hours

before we need think

of starting.

I think we might employ it

in getting some dinner

and then,



will take the London fog out

of your throat

by giving you a breath

of the pure night air

of Dartmoor.

Never been there?




don’t suppose you

will forget your first visit.”

, , , , 

Chapter 14

The Hound

of the Baskervilles


of Sherlock Holmes’s defects



one may call it a defect


that he was exceedingly loath

to communicate his full plans

to any other person

until the instant

of their fulfilment.

Partly it came no doubt

from his own masterful nature,

which loved

to dominate

and surprise those

who were

around him.

Partly also

from his professional caution,

which urged him never

to take any chances.

The result,


was very trying

for those

who were acting

as his agents

and assistants.

I had often suffered

under it,

but never more so

than during

that long drive

in the darkness.

The great ordeal was

in front

of us;

at last we were about

to make our final effort,

and yet Holmes had said nothing,

and I

could only surmise

what his course

of action

would be.

My nerves thrilled

with anticipation when

at last the cold wind upon our faces

and the dark,

void spaces

on either side

of the narrow road told me

that we were back upon the moor once again.

Every stride

of the horses

and every turn

of the wheels was taking us nearer

to our supreme adventure.

, , , , 

Our conversation was hampered

by the presence

of the driver

of the hired wagonette,


that we were forced

to talk

of trivial matters

when our nerves were tense

with emotion

and anticipation.

It was a relief

to me,


that unnatural restraint,

when we

at last passed Frankland’s house

and knew

that we were drawing near

to the Hall and

to the scene

of action.

We did not drive up

to the door

but got down near the gate

of the avenue.

The wagonette was paid off

and ordered

to return

to Coombe Tracey forthwith,

while we started

to walk

to Merripit House.

, , , , 

“Are you armed,


, , , , 

The little detective smiled.

, , , , 

“As long

as I have my trousers I have a hip-pocket,


as long

as I have my hip-pocket I have something

in it.”

, , , , 


My friend

and I are also ready

for emergencies.”

, , , , 

“You’re mighty close

about this affair,

Mr. Holmes.

What’s the game now?”

, , , , 

“A waiting game.”

, , , , 

“My word,

it does not seem a very cheerful place,”

said the detective

with a shiver,

glancing round him

at the gloomy slopes

of the hill and

at the huge lake

of fog

which lay

over the Grimpen Mire.

“I see the lights

of a house ahead

of us.”

, , , , 

“That is Merripit House

and the end

of our journey.

I must request you

to walk

on tiptoe

and not

to talk

above a whisper.”

, , , , 

We moved cautiously

along the track


if we were bound

for the house,

but Holmes halted us

when we were

about two hundred yards

from it.

, , , , 


will do,”

said he.

“These rocks upon the right make an admirable screen.”

, , , , 

“We are

to wait here?”

, , , , 


we shall make our little ambush here.


into this hollow,


You have been inside the house,

have you not,


Can you tell the position

of the rooms?

What are those latticed windows

at this end?”

, , , , 

“I think they are the kitchen windows.”

, , , , 

“And the one beyond,

which shines so brightly?”

, , , , 

“That is certainly the dining-room.”

, , , , 

“The blinds are up.

You know the lie

of the land best.

Creep forward quietly

and see

what they are doing


for heaven’s sake

don’t let them know

that they are watched!”

I tiptoed down the path

and stooped

behind the low wall

which surrounded the stunted orchard.


in its shadow I reached a point whence I

could look straight

through the uncurtained window.

, , , , 

There were only two men

in the room,

Sir Henry

and Stapleton.

They sat

with their profiles

towards me

on either side

of the round table.


of them were smoking cigars,

and coffee

and wine were

in front

of them.

Stapleton was talking

with animation,

but the baronet looked pale

and distrait.

Perhaps the thought


that lonely walk

across the ill-omened moor was weighing heavily upon his mind.

, , , , 

As I watched them Stapleton rose

and left the room,

while Sir Henry filled his glass again

and leaned back

in his chair,


at his cigar.

I heard the creak

of a door

and the crisp sound

of boots upon gravel.

The steps passed

along the path

on the other side

of the wall under

which I crouched.

Looking over,

I saw the naturalist pause

at the door

of an out-house

in the corner

of the orchard.

A key turned

in a lock,


as he passed


there was a curious scuffling noise

from within.

He was only a minute

or so inside,


then I heard the key turn once more

and he passed me

and re-entered the house.

I saw him rejoin his guest,

and I crept quietly back


where my companions were waiting

to tell them

what I had seen.

, , , , 

“You say,


that the lady is not there?”

Holmes asked,

when I had finished my report.

, , , , 


, , , , 


can she be,



there is no light

in any other room except the kitchen?”

, , , , 

“I cannot think

where she is.”

, , , , 

I have said


over the great Grimpen Mire

there hung a dense,

white fog.

It was drifting slowly

in our direction,

and banked itself up

like a wall


that side

of us,


but thick

and well defined.

The moon shone

on it,

and it looked

like a great shimmering ice-field,

with the heads

of the distant tors

as rocks borne upon its surface.

Holmes’s face was turned

towards it,

and he muttered impatiently

as he watched its sluggish drift.

, , , , 

“It’s moving

towards us,


, , , , 


that serious?”

, , , , 

“Very serious,


--the one thing upon earth


could have disarranged my plans.

He can’t be very long,


It is already ten o’clock.

Our success


even his life may depend upon his coming out

before the fog is

over the path.”

, , , , 

The night was clear

and fine

above us.

The stars shone cold

and bright,

while a half-moon bathed the whole scene

in a soft,

uncertain light.

Before us lay the dark bulk

of the house,

its serrated roof

and bristling chimneys hard outlined

against the silver-spangled sky.

Broad bars

of golden light

from the lower windows stretched

across the orchard

and the moor.


of them was suddenly shut off.

The servants had left the kitchen.

There only remained the lamp

in the dining-room

where the two men,

the murderous host

and the unconscious guest,

still chatted

over their cigars.

, , , , 

Every minute

that white woolly plain

which covered one half

of the moor was drifting closer

and closer

to the house.

Already the first thin wisps

of it were curling

across the golden square

of the lighted window.

The farther wall

of the orchard was already invisible,

and the trees were standing out

of a swirl

of white vapour.

As we watched it the fog-wreaths came crawling round both corners

of the house

and rolled slowly

into one dense bank,


which the upper floor

and the roof floated

like a strange ship upon a shadowy sea.

Holmes struck his hand passionately upon the rock

in front

of us

and stamped his feet

in his impatience.

, , , , 

“If he isn’t out

in a quarter

of an hour the path

will be covered.

In half an hour we

won’t be able

to see our hands

in front

of us.”

, , , , 

“Shall we move farther back upon higher ground?”

, , , , 


I think it

would be

as well.”

, , , , 


as the fog-bank flowed onward we fell back

before it

until we were half a mile

from the house,

and still

that dense white sea,

with the moon silvering its upper edge,

swept slowly

and inexorably on.

, , , , 

“We are going too far,”

said Holmes.

“We dare not take the chance

of his being overtaken

before he

can reach us.

At all costs we must hold our ground

where we are.”

He dropped

on his knees

and clapped his ear

to the ground.

“Thank God,

I think

that I hear him coming.”

, , , , 

A sound

of quick steps broke the silence

of the moor.


among the stones we stared intently

at the silver-tipped bank

in front

of us.

The steps grew louder,


through the fog,


through a curtain,

there stepped the man whom we were awaiting.

He looked round him

in surprise

as he emerged

into the clear,

starlit night.

Then he came swiftly

along the path,

passed close


where we lay,

and went

on up the long slope

behind us.

As he walked he glanced continually

over either shoulder,

like a man

who is ill

at ease.

, , , , 


cried Holmes,

and I heard the sharp click

of a cocking pistol.

“Look out!

It’s coming!”

There was a thin,


continuous patter

from somewhere

in the heart


that crawling bank.

The cloud was within fifty yards


where we lay,

and we glared

at it,

all three,


what horror was about

to break

from the heart

of it.

I was

at Holmes’s elbow,

and I glanced

for an instant

at his face.

It was pale

and exultant,

his eyes shining brightly

in the moonlight.

But suddenly they started forward

in a rigid,

fixed stare,

and his lips parted

in amazement.

At the same instant Lestrade gave a yell

of terror

and threw himself face downward upon the ground.

I sprang

to my feet,

my inert hand grasping my pistol,

my mind paralyzed

by the dreadful shape

which had sprung out upon us

from the shadows

of the fog.

A hound it was,

an enormous coal-black hound,

but not such a hound

as mortal eyes have ever seen.

Fire burst

from its open mouth,

its eyes glowed

with a smouldering glare,

its muzzle

and hackles

and dewlap were outlined

in flickering flame.


in the delirious dream

of a disordered brain

could anything more savage,

more appalling,

more hellish be conceived than

that dark form

and savage face

which broke upon us out

of the wall

of fog.

, , , , 

With long bounds the huge black creature was leaping down the track,

following hard upon the footsteps

of our friend.

So paralyzed were we

by the apparition

that we allowed him

to pass

before we had recovered our nerve.

Then Holmes

and I both fired together,

and the creature gave a hideous howl,

which showed

that one

at least had hit him.

He did not pause,


but bounded onward.

Far away

on the path we saw Sir Henry looking back,

his face white

in the moonlight,

his hands raised

in horror,

glaring helplessly

at the frightful thing

which was hunting him down.

, , , , 


that cry

of pain

from the hound had blown all our fears

to the winds.

If he was vulnerable he was mortal,


if we

could wound him we

could kill him.

Never have I seen a man run

as Holmes ran

that night.

I am reckoned fleet

of foot,

but he outpaced me

as much

as I outpaced the little professional.

In front

of us

as we flew up the track we heard scream after scream

from Sir Henry

and the deep roar

of the hound.

I was

in time

to see the beast spring upon its victim,

hurl him

to the ground,

and worry

at his throat.

But the next instant Holmes had emptied five barrels

of his revolver

into the creature’s flank.

With a last howl

of agony

and a vicious snap

in the air,

it rolled upon its back,

four feet pawing furiously,


then fell limp upon its side.

I stooped,


and pressed my pistol

to the dreadful,

shimmering head,

but it was useless

to press the trigger.

The giant hound was dead.

, , , , 

Sir Henry lay insensible

where he had fallen.

We tore away his collar,

and Holmes breathed a prayer

of gratitude

when we saw


there was no sign

of a wound


that the rescue had been

in time.

Already our friend’s eyelids shivered

and he made a feeble effort

to move.

Lestrade thrust his brandy-flask

between the baronet’s teeth,

and two frightened eyes were looking up

at us.

, , , , 

“My God!”

he whispered.

“What was it?


in heaven’s name,

was it?”

, , , , 

“It’s dead,

whatever it is,”

said Holmes.

“We’ve laid the family ghost once

and forever.”

, , , , 

In mere size

and strength it was a terrible creature

which was lying stretched

before us.

It was not a pure bloodhound

and it was not a pure mastiff;

but it appeared

to be a combination

of the two




as large

as a small lioness.

Even now,

in the stillness

of death,

the huge jaws seemed

to be dripping

with a bluish flame

and the small,


cruel eyes were ringed

with fire.

I placed my hand upon the glowing muzzle,


as I held them up my own fingers smouldered

and gleamed

in the darkness.

, , , , 


I said.

, , , , 

“A cunning preparation

of it,”

said Holmes,


at the dead animal.

“There is no smell

which might have interfered

with his power

of scent.

We owe you a deep apology,

Sir Henry,

for having exposed you

to this fright.

I was prepared

for a hound,

but not

for such a creature

as this.

And the fog gave us little time

to receive him.”

, , , , 

“You have saved my life.”

, , , , 

“Having first endangered it.

Are you strong enough

to stand?”

, , , , 

“Give me another mouthful


that brandy

and I shall be ready

for anything.



if you

will help me up.

What do you propose

to do?”

, , , , 

“To leave you here.

You are not fit

for further adventures to-night.

If you

will wait,


or other

of us

will go back

with you

to the Hall.”

, , , , 

He tried

to stagger

to his feet;

but he was still ghastly pale

and trembling

in every limb.

We helped him

to a rock,

where he sat shivering

with his face buried

in his hands.

, , , , 

“We must leave you now,”

said Holmes.

“The rest

of our work must be done,

and every moment is

of importance.

We have our case,

and now we only want our man.

, , , , 

“It’s a thousand

to one

against our finding him

at the house,”

he continued

as we retraced our steps swiftly down the path.

“Those shots must have told him

that the game was up.”

, , , , 

“We were some distance off,

and this fog may have deadened them.”

, , , , 

“He followed the hound

to call him off


that you may be certain.



he’s gone

by this time!

But we’ll search the house

and make sure.”

, , , , 

The front door was open,

so we rushed


and hurried

from room

to room

to the amazement

of a doddering old manservant,

who met us

in the passage.

There was no light save

in the dining-room,

but Holmes caught up the lamp

and left no corner

of the house unexplored.

No sign

could we see

of the man whom we were chasing.

On the upper floor,



of the bedroom doors was locked.

, , , , 

“There’s someone

in here,”

cried Lestrade.


can hear a movement.

Open this door!”

A faint moaning

and rustling came

from within.

Holmes struck the door just

over the lock

with the flat

of his foot

and it flew open.


in hand,

we all three rushed

into the room.

, , , , 


there was no sign within it


that desperate

and defiant villain whom we expected

to see.

Instead we were faced

by an object so strange

and so unexpected

that we stood

for a moment staring

at it

in amazement.

, , , , 

The room had been fashioned

into a small museum,

and the walls were lined

by a number

of glass-topped cases full


that collection

of butterflies

and moths the formation


which had been the relaxation

of this complex

and dangerous man.

In the centre

of this room

there was an upright beam,

which had been placed

at some period

as a support

for the old worm-eaten baulk

of timber

which spanned the roof.

To this post a figure was tied,

so swathed

and muffled

in the sheets

which had been used

to secure it

that one

could not

for the moment tell whether it was that

of a man

or a woman.

One towel passed round the throat

and was secured

at the back

of the pillar.

Another covered the lower part

of the face,


over it two dark eyes

--eyes full

of grief

and shame

and a dreadful questioning

--stared back

at us.

In a minute we had torn off the gag,

unswathed the bonds,

and Mrs. Stapleton sank upon the floor

in front

of us.

As her beautiful head fell upon her chest I saw the clear red weal

of a whiplash

across her neck.

, , , , 

“The brute!”

cried Holmes.



your brandy-bottle!

Put her

in the chair!

She has fainted

from ill-usage

and exhaustion.”

, , , , 

She opened her eyes again.

, , , , 

“Is he safe?”

she asked.

“Has he escaped?”

, , , , 

“He cannot escape us,


, , , , 



I did not mean my husband.

Sir Henry?

Is he safe?”

, , , , 


, , , , 

“And the hound?”

, , , , 

“It is dead.”

, , , , 

She gave a long sigh

of satisfaction.

, , , , 

“Thank God!

Thank God!


this villain!


how he has treated me!”

She shot her arms out

from her sleeves,

and we saw

with horror

that they were all mottled

with bruises.

“But this is nothing


It is my mind

and soul

that he has tortured

and defiled.


could endure it all,



a life

of deception,


as long

as I

could still cling

to the hope

that I had his love,

but now I know that

in this also I have been his dupe

and his tool.”

She broke

into passionate sobbing

as she spoke.

, , , , 

“You bear him no good will,


said Holmes.

“Tell us


where we shall find him.

If you have ever aided him

in evil,

help us now

and so atone.”

, , , , 

“There is

but one place

where he

can have fled,”

she answered.

“There is an old tin mine

on an island

in the heart

of the mire.

It was there

that he kept his hound


there also he had made preparations so

that he might have a refuge.

That is

where he

would fly.”

, , , , 

The fog-bank lay

like white wool

against the window.

Holmes held the lamp

towards it.

, , , , 


said he.

“No one

could find his way

into the Grimpen Mire to-night.”

, , , , 

She laughed

and clapped her hands.

Her eyes

and teeth gleamed

with fierce merriment.

, , , , 

“He may find his way in,

but never out,”

she cried.


can he see the guiding wands to-night?

We planted them together,


and I,

to mark the pathway

through the mire.


if I

could only have plucked them out to-day.

Then indeed you

would have had him

at your mercy!”

It was evident

to us

that all pursuit was

in vain

until the fog had lifted.

Meanwhile we left Lestrade

in possession

of the house

while Holmes

and I went back

with the baronet

to Baskerville Hall.

The story

of the Stapletons

could no longer be withheld

from him,

but he took the blow bravely

when he learned the truth

about the woman whom he had loved.

But the shock

of the night’s adventures had shattered his nerves,


before morning he lay delirious

in a high fever,

under the care

of Dr. Mortimer.

The two

of them were destined

to travel together round the world

before Sir Henry had become once more the hale,

hearty man

that he had been

before he became master


that ill-omened estate.

, , , , 

And now I come rapidly

to the conclusion

of this singular narrative,


which I have tried

to make the reader share those dark fears

and vague surmises

which clouded our lives so long

and ended

in so tragic a manner.

On the morning after the death

of the hound the fog had lifted

and we were guided

by Mrs. Stapleton

to the point

where they had found a pathway

through the bog.

It helped us

to realize the horror

of this woman’s life

when we saw the eagerness

and joy


which she laid us

on her husband’s track.

We left her standing upon the thin peninsula

of firm,

peaty soil

which tapered out

into the widespread bog.

From the end

of it a small wand planted here


there showed

where the path zigzagged

from tuft

to tuft

of rushes

among those green-scummed pits

and foul quagmires

which barred the way

to the stranger.

Rank reeds

and lush,

slimy water-plants sent an odour

of decay

and a heavy miasmatic vapour

onto our faces,

while a false step plunged us more

than once thigh-deep

into the dark,

quivering mire,

which shook

for yards

in soft undulations

around our feet.

Its tenacious grip plucked

at our heels

as we walked,


when we sank

into it it was


if some malignant hand was tugging us down

into those obscene depths,

so grim

and purposeful was the clutch


which it held us.

Once only we saw a trace

that someone had passed

that perilous way

before us.

From amid a tuft

of cotton grass

which bore it up out

of the slime some dark thing was projecting.

Holmes sank

to his waist

as he stepped

from the path

to seize it,

and had we not been there

to drag him out he

could never have set his foot upon firm land again.

He held an old black boot

in the air.



was printed

on the leather inside.

, , , , 

“It is worth a mud bath,”

said he.

“It is our friend Sir Henry’s missing boot.”

, , , , 

“Thrown there

by Stapleton

in his flight.”

, , , , 


He retained it

in his hand after using it

to set the hound upon the track.

He fled

when he knew the game was up,

still clutching it.

And he hurled it away

at this point

of his flight.

We know

at least

that he came so far

in safety.”

, , , , 

But more than

that we were never destined

to know,


there was much

which we might surmise.

There was no chance

of finding footsteps

in the mire,

for the rising mud oozed swiftly

in upon them,


as we

at last reached firmer ground beyond the morass we all looked eagerly

for them.

But no slightest sign

of them ever met our eyes.

If the earth told a true story,

then Stapleton never reached

that island

of refuge towards

which he struggled

through the fog upon

that last night.


in the heart

of the great Grimpen Mire,


in the foul slime

of the huge morass

which had sucked him in,

this cold

and cruel-hearted man is forever buried.

, , , , 

Many traces we found

of him

in the bog-girt island

where he had hid his savage ally.

A huge driving-wheel

and a shaft half-filled

with rubbish showed the position

of an abandoned mine.

Beside it were the crumbling remains

of the cottages

of the miners,

driven away no doubt

by the foul reek

of the surrounding swamp.

In one

of these a staple

and chain

with a quantity

of gnawed bones showed

where the animal had been confined.

A skeleton

with a tangle

of brown hair adhering

to it lay

among the debris.

, , , , 

“A dog!”

said Holmes.

“By Jove,

a curly-haired spaniel.

Poor Mortimer

will never see his pet again.


I do not know

that this place contains any secret

which we have not already fathomed.


could hide his hound,

but he

could not hush its voice,

and hence came those cries

which even

in daylight were not pleasant

to hear.

On an emergency he

could keep the hound

in the out-house

at Merripit,

but it was always a risk,

and it was only

on the supreme day,

which he regarded

as the end

of all his efforts,

that he dared do it.

This paste

in the tin is no doubt the luminous mixture


which the creature was daubed.

It was suggested,

of course,

by the story

of the family hell-hound,


by the desire

to frighten old Sir Charles

to death.

No wonder the poor devil

of a convict ran

and screamed,


as our friend did,


as we ourselves might have done,

when he saw such a creature bounding

through the darkness

of the moor upon his track.

It was a cunning device,



from the chance

of driving your victim

to his death,

what peasant

would venture

to inquire too closely

into such a creature

should he get sight

of it,

as many have done,

upon the moor?

I said it

in London,


and I say it again now,

that never yet have we helped

to hunt down a more dangerous man

than he

who is lying yonder”

--he swept his long arm

towards the huge mottled expanse

of green-splotched bog

which stretched away

until it merged

into the russet slopes

of the moor.

, , , , 

Chapter 15

A Retrospection

It was the end

of November

and Holmes

and I sat,

upon a raw

and foggy night,

on either side

of a blazing fire

in our sitting-room

in Baker Street.

Since the tragic upshot

of our visit

to Devonshire he had been engaged

in two affairs

of the utmost importance,

in the first


which he had exposed the atrocious conduct

of Colonel Upwood

in connection

with the famous card scandal

of the Nonpareil Club,


in the second he had defended the unfortunate Mme. Montpensier

from the charge

of murder

which hung

over her

in connection

with the death

of her step-daughter,

Mlle. Carére,

the young lady who,

as it

will be remembered,

was found six months later alive

and married

in New York.

My friend was

in excellent spirits

over the success

which had attended a succession

of difficult

and important cases,


that I was able

to induce him

to discuss the details

of the Baskerville mystery.

I had waited patiently

for the opportunity,

for I was aware

that he

would never permit cases

to overlap,


that his clear

and logical mind

would not be drawn

from its present work

to dwell upon memories

of the past.

Sir Henry

and Dr. Mortimer were,


in London,

on their way


that long voyage

which had been recommended

for the restoration

of his shattered nerves.

They had called upon us

that very afternoon,


that it was natural

that the subject

should come up

for discussion.

, , , , 

“The whole course

of events,”

said Holmes,

“from the point

of view

of the man

who called himself Stapleton was simple

and direct,


to us,

who had no means

in the beginning

of knowing the motives

of his actions


could only learn part

of the facts,

it all appeared exceedingly complex.

I have had the advantage

of two conversations

with Mrs. Stapleton,

and the case has now been so entirely cleared up

that I am not aware


there is anything

which has remained a secret

to us.


will find a few notes upon the matter

under the heading B

in my indexed list

of cases.”

, , , , 

“Perhaps you

would kindly give me a sketch

of the course

of events

from memory.”

, , , , 


though I cannot guarantee

that I carry all the facts

in my mind.

Intense mental concentration has a curious way

of blotting out

what has passed.

The barrister

who has his case

at his fingers’ ends,

and is able

to argue

with an expert upon his own subject finds

that a week

or two

of the courts

will drive it all out

of his head once more.

So each

of my cases displaces the last,

and Mlle. Carére has blurred my recollection

of Baskerville Hall.

To-morrow some other little problem may be submitted

to my notice

which will

in turn dispossess the fair French lady

and the infamous Upwood.

So far

as the case

of the Hound goes,



will give you the course

of events

as nearly

as I can,

and you

will suggest anything

which I may have forgotten.

, , , , 

“My inquiries show beyond all question

that the family portrait did not lie,


that this fellow was indeed a Baskerville.

He was a son


that Rodger Baskerville,

the younger brother

of Sir Charles,

who fled

with a sinister reputation

to South America,

where he was said

to have died unmarried.

He did,

as a matter

of fact,


and had one child,

this fellow,

whose real name is the same

as his father’s.

He married Beryl Garcia,


of the beauties

of Costa Rica,


having purloined a considerable sum

of public money,

he changed his name

to Vandeleur

and fled

to England,

where he established a school

in the east

of Yorkshire.

His reason

for attempting this special line

of business was

that he had struck up an acquaintance

with a consumptive tutor upon the voyage home,


that he had used this man’s ability

to make the undertaking a success.


the tutor,

died however,

and the school

which had begun well sank

from disrepute

into infamy.

The Vandeleurs found it convenient

to change their name

to Stapleton,

and he brought the remains

of his fortune,

his schemes

for the future,

and his taste

for entomology

to the south

of England.

I learned

at the British Museum

that he was a recognized authority upon the subject,


that the name

of Vandeleur has been permanently attached

to a certain moth

which he had,

in his Yorkshire days,

been the first

to describe.

, , , , 

“We now come


that portion

of his life

which has proved

to be

of such intense interest

to us.

The fellow had evidently made inquiry

and found

that only two lives intervened

between him

and a valuable estate.

When he went

to Devonshire his plans were,

I believe,

exceedingly hazy,


that he meant mischief

from the first is evident

from the way


which he took his wife

with him

in the character

of his sister.

The idea

of using her

as a decoy was clearly already

in his mind,

though he may not have been certain

how the details

of his plot were

to be arranged.

He meant

in the end

to have the estate,

and he was ready

to use any tool

or run any risk


that end.

His first act was

to establish himself

as near

to his ancestral home

as he could,

and his second was

to cultivate a friendship

with Sir Charles Baskerville


with the neighbours.

, , , , 

“The baronet himself told him

about the family hound,

and so prepared the way

for his own death.


as I

will continue

to call him,


that the old man’s heart was weak


that a shock

would kill him.

So much he had learned

from Dr. Mortimer.

He had heard also

that Sir Charles was superstitious

and had taken this grim legend very seriously.

His ingenious mind instantly suggested a way


which the baronet

could be done

to death,

and yet it

would be

hardly possible

to bring home the guilt

to the real murderer.

, , , , 

“Having conceived the idea he proceeded

to carry it out

with considerable finesse.

An ordinary schemer

would have been content

to work

with a savage hound.

The use

of artificial means

to make the creature diabolical was a flash

of genius upon his part.

The dog he bought

in London

from Ross

and Mangles,

the dealers

in Fulham Road.

It was the strongest

and most savage

in their possession.

He brought it down

by the North Devon line

and walked a great distance

over the moor so as

to get it home without exciting any remarks.

He had already

on his insect hunts learned

to penetrate the Grimpen Mire,

and so had found a safe hiding-place

for the creature.

Here he kennelled it

and waited his chance.

, , , , 

“But it was some time coming.

The old gentleman

could not be decoyed outside

of his grounds

at night.

Several times Stapleton lurked about

with his hound,

but without avail.

It was during these fruitless quests

that he,

or rather his ally,

was seen

by peasants,


that the legend

of the demon dog received a new confirmation.

He had hoped

that his wife might lure Sir Charles

to his ruin,

but here she proved unexpectedly independent.


would not endeavour

to entangle the old gentleman

in a sentimental attachment

which might deliver him over

to his enemy.


and even,

I am sorry

to say,

blows refused

to move her.


would have nothing

to do

with it,


for a time Stapleton was

at a deadlock.

, , , , 

“He found a way out

of his difficulties

through the chance

that Sir Charles,

who had conceived a friendship

for him,

made him the minister

of his charity

in the case

of this unfortunate woman,

Mrs. Laura Lyons.

By representing himself

as a single man he acquired complete influence

over her,

and he gave her

to understand that

in the event

of her obtaining a divorce

from her husband he

would marry her.

His plans were suddenly brought

to a head

by his knowledge

that Sir Charles was about

to leave the Hall

on the advice

of Dr. Mortimer,

with whose opinion he himself pretended

to coincide.

He must act

at once,

or his victim might get beyond his power.

He therefore put pressure upon Mrs. Lyons

to write this letter,

imploring the old man

to give her an interview

on the evening

before his departure

for London.

He then,

by a specious argument,

prevented her

from going,

and so had the chance


which he had waited.

, , , , 

“Driving back

in the evening

from Coombe Tracey he was

in time

to get his hound,

to treat it

with his infernal paint,


to bring the beast round

to the gate


which he had reason

to expect

that he

would find the old gentleman waiting.

The dog,


by its master,


over the wicket-gate

and pursued the unfortunate baronet,

who fled screaming down the Yew Alley.


that gloomy tunnel it must indeed have been a dreadful sight

to see

that huge black creature,

with its flaming jaws

and blazing eyes,

bounding after its victim.

He fell dead

at the end

of the alley

from heart disease

and terror.

The hound had kept upon the grassy border

while the baronet had run down the path,


that no track

but the man’s was visible.

On seeing him lying still the creature had probably approached

to sniff

at him,

but finding him dead had turned away again.

It was then

that it left the print

which was actually observed

by Dr. Mortimer.

The hound was called off

and hurried away

to its lair

in the Grimpen Mire,

and a mystery was left

which puzzled the authorities,

alarmed the country-side,

and finally brought the case within the scope

of our observation.

, , , , 

“So much

for the death

of Sir Charles Baskerville.

You perceive the devilish cunning

of it,

for really it

would be

almost impossible

to make a case

against the real murderer.

His only accomplice was one


could never give him away,

and the grotesque,

inconceivable nature

of the device only served

to make it more effective.


of the women concerned

in the case,

Mrs. Stapleton

and Mrs. Laura Lyons,

were left

with a strong suspicion

against Stapleton.

Mrs. Stapleton knew

that he had designs upon the old man,

and also

of the existence

of the hound.

Mrs. Lyons knew neither

of these things,

but had been impressed

by the death occurring

at the time

of an uncancelled appointment

which was only known

to him.



of them were

under his influence,

and he had nothing

to fear

from them.

The first half

of his task was successfully accomplished

but the more difficult still remained.

, , , , 

“It is possible

that Stapleton did not know

of the existence

of an heir

in Canada.

In any case he

would very soon learn it

from his friend Dr. Mortimer,

and he was told

by the latter all details

about the arrival

of Henry Baskerville.

Stapleton’s first idea was

that this young stranger

from Canada might possibly be done

to death

in London without coming down

to Devonshire

at all.

He distrusted his wife ever

since she had refused

to help him

in laying a trap

for the old man,

and he dared not leave her long out

of his sight

for fear he

should lose his influence

over her.

It was

for this reason

that he took her

to London

with him.

They lodged,

I find,

at the Mexborough Private Hotel,

in Craven Street,

which was actually one

of those called upon

by my agent

in search

of evidence.

Here he kept his wife imprisoned

in her room

while he,


in a beard,

followed Dr. Mortimer

to Baker Street

and afterwards

to the station and

to the Northumberland Hotel.

His wife had some inkling

of his plans;

but she had such a fear

of her husband

--a fear founded upon brutal ill-treatment

--that she dare not write

to warn the man whom she knew

to be

in danger.

If the letter

should fall

into Stapleton’s hands her own life

would not be safe.


as we know,

she adopted the expedient

of cutting out the words


would form the message,

and addressing the letter

in a disguised hand.

It reached the baronet,

and gave him the first warning

of his danger.

, , , , 

“It was very essential

for Stapleton

to get some article

of Sir Henry’s attire so that,

in case he was driven

to use the dog,

he might always have the means

of setting him upon his track.

With characteristic promptness

and audacity he set

about this

at once,

and we cannot doubt

that the boots

or chamber-maid

of the hotel was well bribed

to help him

in his design.

By chance,


the first boot

which was procured

for him was a new one and,



for his purpose.


then had it returned

and obtained another

--a most instructive incident,

since it proved conclusively

to my mind

that we were dealing

with a real hound,

as no other supposition

could explain this anxiety

to obtain an old boot

and this indifference

to a new one.

The more outre

and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves

to be examined,

and the very point

which appears

to complicate a case is,

when duly considered

and scientifically handled,

the one

which is most likely

to elucidate it.

, , , , 

“Then we had the visit

from our friends next morning,

shadowed always

by Stapleton

in the cab.

From his knowledge

of our rooms and

of my appearance,

as well


from his general conduct,

I am inclined

to think

that Stapleton’s career

of crime has been

by no means limited

to this single Baskerville affair.

It is suggestive

that during the last three years

there have been four considerable burglaries

in the West Country,

for none


which was any criminal ever arrested.

The last

of these,

at Folkestone Court,

in May,

was remarkable

for the cold-blooded pistoling

of the page,

who surprised the masked

and solitary burglar.

I cannot doubt

that Stapleton recruited his waning resources

in this fashion,

and that

for years he has been a desperate

and dangerous man.

, , , , 

“We had an example

of his readiness

of resource

that morning

when he got away

from us so successfully,

and also

of his audacity

in sending back my own name

to me

through the cabman.


that moment he understood

that I had taken

over the case

in London,


that therefore

there was no chance

for him there.

He returned

to Dartmoor

and awaited the arrival

of the baronet.”

, , , , 

“One moment!”

said I. “You have,

no doubt,

described the sequence

of events correctly,


there is one point

which you have left unexplained.

What became

of the hound

when its master was

in London?”

, , , , 

“I have given some attention

to this matter

and it is undoubtedly

of importance.


can be no question

that Stapleton had a confidant,

though it is unlikely

that he ever placed himself

in his power

by sharing all his plans

with him.

There was an old manservant

at Merripit House,

whose name was Anthony.

His connection

with the Stapletons

can be traced

for several years,

as far back

as the schoolmastering days,


that he must have been aware

that his master

and mistress were really husband

and wife.

This man has disappeared

and has escaped

from the country.

It is suggestive

that Anthony is not a common name

in England,

while Antonio is so

in all Spanish

or Spanish-American countries.

The man,

like Mrs. Stapleton herself,

spoke good English,


with a curious lisping accent.

I have myself seen this old man cross the Grimpen Mire

by the path

which Stapleton had marked out.

It is very probable,



in the absence

of his master it was he

who cared

for the hound,

though he may never have known the purpose


which the beast was used.

, , , , 

“The Stapletons

then went down

to Devonshire,

whither they were soon followed

by Sir Henry

and you.

One word now as


how I stood myself


that time.

It may possibly recur

to your memory that

when I examined the paper upon

which the printed words were fastened I made a close inspection

for the water-mark.

In doing so I held it within a few inches

of my eyes,

and was conscious

of a faint smell

of the scent known

as white jessamine.

There are seventy-five perfumes,

which it is very necessary

that a criminal expert

should be able

to distinguish

from each other,

and cases have more

than once within my own experience depended upon their prompt recognition.

The scent suggested the presence

of a lady,

and already my thoughts began

to turn

towards the Stapletons.

Thus I had made certain

of the hound,

and had guessed

at the criminal

before ever we went

to the west country.

, , , , 

“It was my game

to watch Stapleton.

It was evident,


that I

could not do this

if I were

with you,

since he

would be keenly

on his guard.

I deceived everybody,


yourself included,

and I came down secretly

when I was supposed

to be

in London.

My hardships were not so great

as you imagined,

though such trifling details must never interfere

with the investigation

of a case.

I stayed

for the most part

at Coombe Tracey,

and only used the hut upon the moor

when it was necessary

to be near the scene

of action.

Cartwright had come down

with me,


in his disguise

as a country boy he was

of great assistance

to me.

I was dependent upon him

for food

and clean linen.

When I was watching Stapleton,

Cartwright was frequently watching you,


that I was able

to keep my hand upon all the strings.

, , , , 

“I have already told you

that your reports reached me rapidly,

being forwarded instantly

from Baker Street

to Coombe Tracey.

They were

of great service

to me,

and especially

that one incidentally truthful piece

of biography

of Stapleton’s.

I was able

to establish the identity

of the man

and the woman

and knew

at last exactly

how I stood.

The case had been considerably complicated

through the incident

of the escaped convict

and the relations

between him

and the Barrymores.

This also you cleared up

in a very effective way,

though I had already come

to the same conclusions

from my own observations.

, , , , 

“By the time

that you discovered me upon the moor I had a complete knowledge

of the whole business,

but I had not a case


could go

to a jury.

Even Stapleton’s attempt upon Sir Henry

that night

which ended

in the death

of the unfortunate convict did not help us much

in proving murder

against our man.

There seemed

to be no alternative but

to catch him red-handed,


to do so we had

to use Sir Henry,


and apparently unprotected,

as a bait.

We did so,


at the cost

of a severe shock

to our client we succeeded

in completing our case

and driving Stapleton

to his destruction.

That Sir Henry

should have been exposed

to this is,

I must confess,

a reproach

to my management

of the case,

but we had no means

of foreseeing the terrible

and paralyzing spectacle

which the beast presented,


could we predict the fog

which enabled him

to burst upon us

at such short notice.

We succeeded

in our object

at a cost

which both the specialist

and Dr. Mortimer assure me

will be a temporary one.

A long journey may enable our friend

to recover not only

from his shattered nerves

but also

from his wounded feelings.

His love

for the lady was deep

and sincere,


to him the saddest part

of all this black business was

that he

should have been deceived

by her.

, , , , 

“It only remains

to indicate the part

which she had played throughout.


can be no doubt

that Stapleton exercised an influence

over her

which may have been love

or may have been fear,

or very possibly both,

since they are

by no means incompatible emotions.

It was,

at least,

absolutely effective.

At his command she consented

to pass

as his sister,

though he found the limits

of his power

over her

when he endeavoured

to make her the direct accessory

to murder.

She was ready

to warn Sir Henry so far

as she

could without implicating her husband,

and again

and again she tried

to do so.

Stapleton himself seems

to have been capable

of jealousy,


when he saw the baronet paying court

to the lady,

even though it was part

of his own plan,

still he

could not help interrupting

with a passionate outburst

which revealed the fiery soul

which his self-contained manner so cleverly concealed.

By encouraging the intimacy he made it certain

that Sir Henry

would frequently come

to Merripit House


that he

would sooner

or later get the opportunity

which he desired.

On the day

of the crisis,


his wife turned suddenly

against him.

She had learned something

of the death

of the convict,

and she knew

that the hound was being kept

in the out-house

on the evening

that Sir Henry was coming

to dinner.

She taxed her husband

with his intended crime,

and a furious scene followed,


which he showed her

for the first time

that she had a rival

in his love.

Her fidelity turned

in an instant

to bitter hatred

and he saw

that she

would betray him.

He tied her up,


that she might have no chance

of warning Sir Henry,

and he hoped,

no doubt,


when the whole country-side put down the baronet’s death

to the curse

of his family,

as they certainly

would do,


could win his wife back

to accept an accomplished fact and

to keep silent upon

what she knew.

In this I fancy that

in any case he made a miscalculation,

and that,

if we had not been there,

his doom

would none the less have been sealed.

A woman

of Spanish blood does not condone such an injury so lightly.

And now,

my dear Watson,

without referring

to my notes,

I cannot give you a more detailed account

of this curious case.

I do not know

that anything essential has been left unexplained.”

, , , , 


could not hope

to frighten Sir Henry

to death

as he had done the old uncle

with his bogie hound.”

, , , , 

“The beast was savage

and half-starved.

If its appearance did not frighten its victim

to death,

at least it

would paralyze the resistance

which might be offered.”

, , , , 

“No doubt.

There only remains one difficulty.

If Stapleton came

into the succession,


could he explain the fact

that he,

the heir,

had been living unannounced

under another name so close

to the property?


could he claim it without causing suspicion

and inquiry?”

, , , , 

“It is a formidable difficulty,

and I fear

that you ask too much

when you expect me

to solve it.

The past

and the present are within the field

of my inquiry,


what a man may do

in the future is a hard question

to answer.

Mrs. Stapleton has heard her husband discuss the problem

on several occasions.

There were three possible courses.

He might claim the property

from South America,

establish his identity

before the British authorities there

and so obtain the fortune without ever coming

to England

at all;

or he might adopt an elaborate disguise during the short time

that he need be

in London;



he might furnish an accomplice

with the proofs

and papers,

putting him


as heir,

and retaining a claim upon some proportion

of his income.

We cannot doubt


what we know

of him

that he

would have found some way out

of the difficulty.

And now,

my dear Watson,

we have had some weeks

of severe work,


for one evening,

I think,

we may turn our thoughts

into more pleasant channels.

I have a box

for ‘Les Huguenots.’

Have you heard the De Reszkes?

Might I trouble you then

to be ready

in half an hour,

and we

can stop

at Marcini’s

for a little dinner

on the way?”

, , , ,