The Hound of the Baskervilles by A.

Conan Doyle

Chapter 1 Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Mr. Sherlock Holmes !ho !as usually very late in the mornin"s save upon those not infre#uent occasions !hen he !as up all ni"ht !as seated at the breakfast table. $ stood upon the hearth%ru" and picked up the stick !hich our visitor had left behind him the ni"ht before. $t !as a fine thick piece of !ood bulbous%headed of the sort !hich is kno!n as a &'enan" la!yer.& (ust under the head !as a broad silver band nearly an inch across. &To (ames Mortimer M.).C.S. from his friends of the C.C.H. & !as en"raved upon it !ith the date &1**+.& $t !as ,ust such a stick as the old%fashioned family practitioner used to carry%%di"nified solid and reassurin". &-ell -atson !hat do you make of it.& and $ had "iven him no

Holmes !as sittin" !ith his back to me si"n of my occupation. &Ho! did you kno! !hat $ !as doin". the back of your head.&

$ believe you have eyes in

&$ have at least a !ell%polished silver%plated coffee%pot in front of me & said he. &But tell me -atson !hat do you make of our visitor/s stick. Since !e have been so unfortunate as to miss him and have no notion of his errand this accidental souvenir becomes of importance. 0et me hear you reconstruct the man by an e1amination of it.& &$ think & said $ follo!in" as far as $ could the methods of my companion &that Dr. Mortimer is a successful elderly medical man !ell%esteemed since those !ho kno! him "ive him this mark of their appreciation.& &2ood3& said Holmes. &41cellent3&

&$ think also that the probability is in favour of his bein" a country practitioner !ho does a "reat deal of his visitin" on foot.& &-hy so.& &Because this stick thou"h ori"inally a very handsome one has been so knocked about that $ can hardly ima"ine a to!n practitioner carryin" it. The thick%iron ferrule is !orn do!n so it is evident that he has done a "reat amount of !alkin" !ith it.& &'erfectly sound3& said Holmes.

&And then a"ain there is the /friends of the C.C.H./ $ should "uess that to be the Somethin" Hunt the local hunt to !hose members he has possibly "iven some sur"ical assistance and !hich has made him a small presentation in return.& &)eally -atson you e1cel yourself & said Holmes pushin" back his chair and li"htin" a ci"arette. &$ am bound to say that in all the accounts !hich you have been so "ood as to "ive of my o!n small achievements you have habitually underrated your o!n abilities. $t may be that you are not yourself luminous but you are a conductor of li"ht. Some people !ithout possessin" "enius have a remarkable po!er of stimulatin" it. $ confess my dear fello! that $ am very much in your debt.& He had never said as much before and $ must admit that his !ords "ave me keen pleasure for $ had often been pi#ued by his indifference to my admiration and to the attempts !hich $ had made to "ive publicity to his methods. $ !as proud too to think that $ had so far mastered his system as to apply it in a !ay !hich earned his approval. He no! took the stick from my hands and e1amined it for a fe! minutes !ith his naked eyes. Then !ith an e1pression of interest he laid do!n his ci"arette and carryin" the cane to the !indo! he looked over it a"ain !ith a conve1 lens. &$nterestin" thou"h elementary & said he as he returned to his favourite corner of the settee. &There are certainly one or t!o indications upon the stick. $t "ives us the basis for several deductions.& &Has anythin" escaped me.& $ asked !ith some self%importance. &$ trust that there is nothin" of conse#uence !hich $ have overlooked.& &$ am afraid my dear -atson that most of your conclusions !ere erroneous. -hen $ said that you stimulated me $ meant to be frank that in notin" your fallacies $ !as occasionally "uided to!ards the truth. 5ot that you are entirely !ron" in this instance. The man is certainly a country practitioner. And he !alks a "ood deal.& &Then $ !as ri"ht.& &To that e1tent.& &But that !as all.& &5o no my dear -atson not all%%by no means all. $ !ould su""est for e1ample that a presentation to a doctor is more likely to come from a hospital than from a hunt and that !hen the initials /C.C./ are placed before that hospital the !ords /Charin" Cross/ very naturally su""est themselves.& &6ou may be ri"ht.& &The probability lies in that direction. And if !e take this as

a !orkin" hypothesis !e have a fresh basis from !hich to start our construction of this unkno!n visitor.& &-ell then supposin" that /C.C.H./ does stand for /Charin" Cross Hospital / !hat further inferences may !e dra!.& &Do none su""est themselves. 6ou kno! my methods. Apply them3&

&$ can only think of the obvious conclusion that the man has practised in to!n before "oin" to the country.& &$ think that !e mi"ht venture a little farther than this. 0ook at it in this li"ht. 7n !hat occasion !ould it be most probable that such a presentation !ould be made. -hen !ould his friends unite to "ive him a pled"e of their "ood !ill. 7bviously at the moment !hen Dr. Mortimer !ithdre! from the service of the hospital in order to start a practice for himself. -e kno! there has been a presentation. -e believe there has been a chan"e from a to!n hospital to a country practice. $s it then stretchin" our inference too far to say that the presentation !as on the occasion of the chan"e.& &$t certainly seems probable.& &5o! you !ill observe that he could not have been on the staff of the hospital since only a man !ell%established in a 0ondon practice could hold such a position and such a one !ould not drift into the country. -hat !as he then. $f he !as in the hospital and yet not on the staff he could only have been a house%sur"eon or a house%physician%%little more than a senior student. And he left five years a"o%%the date is on the stick. So your "rave middle%a"ed family practitioner vanishes into thin air my dear -atson and there emer"es a youn" fello! under thirty amiable unambitious absent%minded and the possessor of a favourite do" !hich $ should describe rou"hly as bein" lar"er than a terrier and smaller than a mastiff.& $ lau"hed incredulously as Sherlock Holmes leaned back in his settee and ble! little !averin" rin"s of smoke up to the ceilin". &As to the latter part $ have no means of checkin" you & said $ &but at least it is not difficult to find out a fe! particulars about the man/s a"e and professional career.& 8rom my small medical shelf $ took do!n the Medical Directory and turned up the name. There !ere several Mortimers but only one !ho could be our visitor. $ read his record aloud. &Mortimer (ames M.).C.S. 1**9 2rimpen Dartmoor Devon. House%sur"eon from 1**9 to 1**+ at Charin" Cross Hospital. -inner of the (ackson pri:e for Comparative 'atholo"y !ith essay entitled /$s Disease a )eversion./ Correspondin" member of the S!edish 'atholo"ical Society. Author of /Some 8reaks of Atavism/ ;0ancet 1**9<. /Do -e 'ro"ress./ ;(ournal of 'sycholo"y March 1**=<. Medical 7fficer for the parishes of 2rimpen Thorsley and Hi"h Barro!.& &5o mention of that local hunt -atson & said Holmes !ith a

mischievous smile &but a country doctor as you very astutely observed. $ think that $ am fairly ,ustified in my inferences. As to the ad,ectives $ said if $ remember ri"ht amiable unambitious and absent%minded. $t is my e1perience that it is only an amiable man in this !orld !ho receives testimonials only an unambitious one !ho abandons a 0ondon career for the country and only an absent%minded one !ho leaves his stick and not his visitin"%card after !aitin" an hour in your room.& &And the do".& &Has been in the habit of carryin" this stick behind his master. Bein" a heavy stick the do" has held it ti"htly by the middle and the marks of his teeth are very plainly visible. The do"/s ,a! as sho!n in the space bet!een these marks is too broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad enou"h for a mastiff. $t may have been%%yes by (ove it is a curly%haired spaniel.& He had risen and paced the room as he spoke. 5o! he halted in the recess of the !indo!. There !as such a rin" of conviction in his voice that $ "lanced up in surprise. &My dear fello! ho! can you possibly be so sure of that.&

&8or the very simple reason that $ see the do" himself on our very door%step and there is the rin" of its o!ner. Don/t move $ be" you -atson. He is a professional brother of yours and your presence may be of assistance to me. 5o! is the dramatic moment of fate -atson !hen you hear a step upon the stair !hich is !alkin" into your life and you kno! not !hether for "ood or ill. -hat does Dr. (ames Mortimer the man of science ask of Sherlock Holmes the specialist in crime. Come in3& The appearance of our visitor !as a surprise to me since $ had e1pected a typical country practitioner. He !as a very tall thin man !ith a lon" nose like a beak !hich ,utted out bet!een t!o keen "ray eyes set closely to"ether and sparklin" bri"htly from behind a pair of "old%rimmed "lasses. He !as clad in a professional but rather slovenly fashion for his frock%coat !as din"y and his trousers frayed. Thou"h youn" his lon" back !as already bo!ed and he !alked !ith a for!ard thrust of his head and a "eneral air of peerin" benevolence. As he entered his eyes fell upon the stick in Holmes/s hand and he ran to!ards it !ith an e1clamation of ,oy. &$ am so very "lad & said he. &$ !as not sure !hether $ had left it here or in the Shippin" 7ffice. $ !ould not lose that stick for the !orld.& &A presentation &6es sir.& $ see & said Holmes.

&8rom Charin" Cross Hospital.& &8rom one or t!o friends there on the occasion of my marria"e.& &Dear dear that/s bad3& said Holmes shakin" his head.

Dr. Mortimer blinked throu"h his "lasses in mild astonishment. &-hy !as it bad.& &7nly that you have disarran"ed our little deductions. marria"e you say.& 6our

&6es sir. $ married and so left the hospital and !ith it all hopes of a consultin" practice. $t !as necessary to make a home of my o!n.& &Come come !e are not so far !ron" &And no! Dr. (ames Mortimer%%& &Mister sir after all & said Holmes.

Mister%%a humble M.).C.S.& evidently.&

&And a man of precise mind

&A dabbler in science Mr. Holmes a picker up of shells on the shores of the "reat unkno!n ocean. $ presume that it is Mr. Sherlock Holmes !hom $ am addressin" and not%%& &5o this is my friend Dr. -atson.&

&2lad to meet you sir. $ have heard your name mentioned in connection !ith that of your friend. 6ou interest me very much Mr. Holmes. $ had hardly e1pected so dolichocephalic a skull or such !ell%marked supra%orbital development. -ould you have any ob,ection to my runnin" my fin"er alon" your parietal fissure. A cast of your skull sir until the ori"inal is available !ould be an ornament to any anthropolo"ical museum. $t is not my intention to be fulsome but $ confess that $ covet your skull.& Sherlock Holmes !aved our stran"e visitor into a chair. &6ou are an enthusiast in your line of thou"ht $ perceive sir as $ am in mine & said he. &$ observe from your forefin"er that you make your o!n ci"arettes. Have no hesitation in li"htin" one.& The man dre! out paper and tobacco and t!irled the one up in the other !ith surprisin" de1terity. He had lon" #uiverin" fin"ers as a"ile and restless as the antennae of an insect. Holmes !as silent but his little dartin" "lances sho!ed me the interest !hich he took in our curious companion. &$ presume sir & said he at last &that it !as not merely for the purpose of e1aminin" my skull that you have done me the honour to call here last ni"ht and a"ain today.& &5o sir no> thou"h $ am happy to have had the opportunity of doin" that as !ell. $ came to you Mr. Holmes because $ reco"ni:ed that $ am myself an unpractical man and because $ am suddenly confronted !ith a most serious and e1traordinary problem. )eco"ni:in" as $ do that you are the second hi"hest e1pert in 4urope%%& &$ndeed sir3 May $ in#uire !ho has the honour to be the first.& asked Holmes !ith some asperity.

&To the man of precisely scientific mind the !ork of Monsieur Bertillon must al!ays appeal stron"ly.& &Then had you not better consult him.& &$ said sir to the precisely scientific mind. But as a practical man of affairs it is ackno!led"ed that you stand alone. $ trust sir that $ have not inadvertently%%& &(ust a little & said Holmes. &$ think Dr. Mortimer you !ould do !isely if !ithout more ado you !ould kindly tell me plainly !hat the e1act nature of the problem is in !hich you demand my assistance.&

Chapter 9 The Curse of the Baskervilles

&$ have in my pocket a manuscript & said Dr. (ames Mortimer. &$ observed it as you entered the room & said Holmes. &$t is an old manuscript.& &4arly ei"hteenth century &Ho! can you say that unless it is a for"ery.&

sir.&

&6ou have presented an inch or t!o of it to my e1amination all the time that you have been talkin". $t !ould be a poor e1pert !ho could not "ive the date of a document !ithin a decade or so. 6ou may possibly have read my little mono"raph upon the sub,ect. $ put that at 1?=@.& &The e1act date is 1?+9.& Dr. Mortimer dre! it from his breast% pocket. &This family paper !as committed to my care by Sir Charles Baskerville !hose sudden and tra"ic death some three months a"o created so much e1citement in Devonshire. $ may say that $ !as his personal friend as !ell as his medical attendant. He !as a stron"%minded man sir shre!d practical and as unima"inative as $ am myself. 6et he took this document very seriously and his mind !as prepared for ,ust such an end as did eventually overtake him.& Holmes stretched out his hand for the manuscript and flattened it upon his knee. &6ou !ill observe -atson the alternative use of the lon" s and the short. $t is one of several indications !hich enabled me to fi1 the date.& $ looked over his shoulder at the yello! paper and the faded script. At the head !as !rittenA &Baskerville Hall & and belo! in lar"e scra!lin" fi"uresA &1?+9.&

&$t appears to be a statement of some sort.& &6es it is a statement of a certain le"end !hich runs in the Baskerville family.& &But $ understand that it is somethin" more modern and practical upon !hich you !ish to consult me.& &Most modern. A most practical pressin" matter !hich must be decided !ithin t!enty%four hours. But the manuscript is short and is intimately connected !ith the affair. -ith your permission $ !ill read it to you.& Holmes leaned back in his chair placed his fin"er%tips to"ether and closed his eyes !ith an air of resi"nation. Dr. Mortimer turned the manuscript to the li"ht and read in a hi"h crackin" voice the follo!in" curious old%!orld narrativeA &7f the ori"in of the Hound of the Baskervilles there have been many statements yet as $ come in a direct line from Hu"o Baskerville and as $ had the story from my father !ho also had it from his $ have set it do!n !ith all belief that it occurred even as is here set forth. And $ !ould have you believe my sons that the same (ustice !hich punishes sin may also most "raciously for"ive it and that no ban is so heavy but that by prayer and repentance it may be removed. 0earn then from this story not to fear the fruits of the past but rather to be circumspect in the future that those foul passions !hereby our family has suffered so "rievously may not a"ain be loosed to our undoin". &Bno! then that in the time of the 2reat )ebellion ;the history of !hich by the learned 0ord Clarendon $ most earnestly commend to your attention< this Manor of Baskerville !as held by Hu"o of that name nor can it be "ainsaid that he !as a most !ild profane and "odless man. This in truth his nei"hbours mi"ht have pardoned seein" that saints have never flourished in those parts but there !as in him a certain !anton and cruel humour !hich made his name a by%!ord throu"h the -est. $t chanced that this Hu"o came to love ;if indeed so dark a passion may be kno!n under so bri"ht a name< the dau"hter of a yeoman !ho held lands near the Baskerville estate. But the youn" maiden bein" discreet and of "ood repute !ould ever avoid him for she feared his evil name. So it came to pass that one Michaelmas this Hu"o !ith five or si1 of his idle and !icked companions stole do!n upon the farm and carried off the maiden her father and brothers bein" from home as he !ell kne!. -hen they had brou"ht her to the Hall the maiden !as placed in an upper chamber !hile Hu"o and his friends sat do!n to a lon" carouse as !as their ni"htly custom. 5o! the poor lass upstairs !as like to have her !its turned at the sin"in" and shoutin" and terrible oaths !hich came up to her from belo! for they say that the !ords used by Hu"o Baskerville !hen he !as in !ine !ere such as mi"ht blast the man !ho

said them. At last in the stress of her fear she did that !hich mi"ht have daunted the bravest or most active man for by the aid of the "ro!th of ivy !hich covered ;and still covers< the south !all she came do!n from under the eaves and so home!ard across the moor there bein" three lea"ues bet!i1t the Hall and her father/s farm. &$t chanced that some little time later Hu"o left his "uests to carry food and drink%%!ith other !orse thin"s perchance%%to his captive and so found the ca"e empty and the bird escaped. Then as it !ould seem he became as one that hath a devil for rushin" do!n the stairs into the dinin"%hall he spran" upon the "reat table fla"ons and trenchers flyin" before him and he cried aloud before all the company that he !ould that very ni"ht render his body and soul to the 'o!ers of 4vil if he mi"ht but overtake the !ench. And !hile the revellers stood a"hast at the fury of the man one more !icked or it may be more drunken than the rest cried out that they should put the hounds upon her. -hereat Hu"o ran from the house cryin" to his "rooms that they should saddle his mare and unkennel the pack and "ivin" the hounds a kerchief of the maid/s he s!un" them to the line and so off full cry in the moonli"ht over the moor. &5o! for some space the revellers stood a"ape unable to understand all that had been done in such haste. But anon their bemused !its a!oke to the nature of the deed !hich !as like to be done upon the moorlands. 4verythin" !as no! in an uproar some callin" for their pistols some for their horses and some for another flask of !ine. But at len"th some sense came back to their cra:ed minds and the !hole of them thirteen in number took horse and started in pursuit. The moon shone clear above them and they rode s!iftly abreast takin" that course !hich the maid must needs have taken if she !ere to reach her o!n home. &They had "one a mile or t!o !hen they passed one of the ni"ht shepherds upon the moorlands and they cried to him to kno! if he had seen the hunt. And the man as the story "oes !as so cra:ed !ith fear that he could scarce speak but at last he said that he had indeed seen the unhappy maiden !ith the hounds upon her track. /But $ have seen more than that / said he /for Hu"o Baskerville passed me upon his black mare and there ran mute behind him such a hound of hell as 2od forbid should ever be at my heels./ So the drunken s#uires cursed the shepherd and rode on!ard. But soon their skins turned cold for there came a "allopin" across the moor and the black mare dabbled !ith !hite froth !ent past !ith trailin" bridle and empty saddle. Then the revellers rode close to"ether for a "reat fear !as on them but they still follo!ed over the moor thou"h each had he been alone !ould have been ri"ht "lad to have turned his horse/s head. )idin" slo!ly in this fashion they came at last upon the hounds. These thou"h kno!n for their valour

and their breed !ere !himperin" in a cluster at the head of a deep dip or "oyal as !e call it upon the moor some slinkin" a!ay and some !ith startin" hackles and starin" eyes "a:in" do!n the narro! valley before them. &The company had come to a halt more sober men as you may "uess than !hen they started. The most of them !ould by no means advance but three of them the boldest or it may be the most drunken rode for!ard do!n the "oyal. 5o! it opened into a broad space in !hich stood t!o of those "reat stones still to be seen there !hich !ere set by certain for"otten peoples in the days of old. The moon !as shinin" bri"ht upon the clearin" and there in the centre lay the unhappy maid !here she had fallen dead of fear and of fati"ue. But it !as not the si"ht of her body nor yet !as it that of the body of Hu"o Baskerville lyin" near her !hich raised the hair upon the heads of these three dare%devil roysterers but it !as that standin" over Hu"o and pluckin" at his throat there stood a foul thin" a "reat black beast shaped like a hound yet lar"er than any hound that ever mortal eye has rested upon. And even as they looked the thin" tore the throat out of Hu"o Baskerville on !hich as it turned its bla:in" eyes and drippin" ,a!s upon them the three shrieked !ith fear and rode for dear life still screamin" across the moor. 7ne it is said died that very ni"ht of !hat he had seen and the other t!ain !ere but broken men for the rest of their days. &Such is the tale my sons of the comin" of the hound !hich is said to have pla"ued the family so sorely ever since. $f $ have set it do!n it is because that !hich is clearly kno!n hath less terror than that !hich is but hinted at and "uessed. 5or can it be denied that many of the family have been unhappy in their deaths !hich have been sudden bloody and mysterious. 6et may !e shelter ourselves in the infinite "oodness of 'rovidence !hich !ould not forever punish the innocent beyond that third or fourth "eneration !hich is threatened in Holy -rit. To that 'rovidence my sons $ hereby commend you and $ counsel you by !ay of caution to forbear from crossin" the moor in those dark hours !hen the po!ers of evil are e1alted. &CThis from Hu"o Baskerville to his sons )od"er and (ohn !ith instructions that they say nothin" thereof to their sister 4li:abeth.D& -hen Dr. Mortimer had finished readin" this sin"ular narrative he pushed his spectacles up on his forehead and stared across at Mr. Sherlock Holmes. The latter ya!ned and tossed the end of his ci"arette into the fire. &-ell.& said he. &Do you not find it interestin".&

&To a collector of fairy tales.& Dr. Mortimer dre! a folded ne!spaper out of his pocket. &5o! Mr. Holmes !e !ill "ive you somethin" a little more recent. This is the Devon County Chronicle of May 1+th of this year. $t is a short account of the facts elicited at the death of Sir Charles Baskerville !hich occurred a fe! days before that date.& My friend leaned a little for!ard and his e1pression became intent. 7ur visitor read,usted his "lasses and be"anA &The recent sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville !hose name has been mentioned as the probable 0iberal candidate for Mid%Devon at the ne1t election has cast a "loom over the county. Thou"h Sir Charles had resided at Baskerville Hall for a comparatively short period his amiability of character and e1treme "enerosity had !on the affection and respect of all !ho had been brou"ht into contact !ith him. $n these days of nouveau1 riches it is refreshin" to find a case !here the scion of an old county family !hich has fallen upon evil days is able to make his o!n fortune and to brin" it back !ith him to restore the fallen "randeur of his line. Sir Charles as is !ell kno!n made lar"e sums of money in South African speculation. More !ise than those !ho "o on until the !heel turns a"ainst them he reali:ed his "ains and returned to 4n"land !ith them. $t is only t!o years since he took up his residence at Baskerville Hall and it is common talk ho! lar"e !ere those schemes of reconstruction and improvement !hich have been interrupted by his death. Bein" himself childless it !as his openly e1pressed desire that the !hole countryside should !ithin his o!n lifetime profit by his "ood fortune and many !ill have personal reasons for be!ailin" his untimely end. His "enerous donations to local and county charities have been fre#uently chronicled in these columns. &The circumstances connected !ith the death of Sir Charles cannot be said to have been entirely cleared up by the in#uest but at least enou"h has been done to dispose of those rumours to !hich local superstition has "iven rise. There is no reason !hatever to suspect foul play or to ima"ine that death could be from any but natural causes. Sir Charles !as a !ido!er and a man !ho may be said to have been in some !ays of an eccentric habit of mind. $n spite of his considerable !ealth he !as simple in his personal tastes and his indoor servants at Baskerville Hall consisted of a married couple named Barrymore the husband actin" as butler and the !ife as housekeeper. Their evidence corroborated by that of several friends tends to sho! that Sir Charles/s health has for some time been impaired and points especially to some affection of the heart manifestin" itself in chan"es of colour breathlessness and acute attacks of nervous depression. Dr. (ames Mortimer the friend and medical attendant of the deceased has "iven evidence to the same effect.

&The facts of the case are simple. Sir Charles Baskerville !as in the habit every ni"ht before "oin" to bed of !alkin" do!n the famous ye! alley of Baskerville Hall. The evidence of the Barrymores sho!s that this had been his custom. 7n the fourth of May Sir Charles had declared his intention of startin" ne1t day for 0ondon and had ordered Barrymore to prepare his lu""a"e. That ni"ht he !ent out as usual for his nocturnal !alk in the course of !hich he !as in the habit of smokin" a ci"ar. He never returned. At t!elve o/clock Barrymore findin" the hall door still open became alarmed and li"htin" a lantern !ent in search of his master. The day had been !et and Sir Charles/s footmarks !ere easily traced do!n the alley. Half!ay do!n this !alk there is a "ate !hich leads out on to the moor. There !ere indications that Sir Charles had stood for some little time here. He then proceeded do!n the alley and it !as at the far end of it that his body !as discovered. 7ne fact !hich has not been e1plained is the statement of Barrymore that his master/s footprints altered their character from the time that he passed the moor%"ate and that he appeared from thence on!ard to have been !alkin" upon his toes. 7ne Murphy a "ipsy horse%dealer !as on the moor at no "reat distance at the time but he appears by his o!n confession to have been the !orse for drink. He declares that he heard cries but is unable to state from !hat direction they came. 5o si"ns of violence !ere to be discovered upon Sir Charles/s person and thou"h the doctor/s evidence pointed to an almost incredible facial distortion%%so "reat that Dr. Mortimer refused at first to believe that it !as indeed his friend and patient !ho lay before him%%it !as e1plained that that is a symptom !hich is not unusual in cases of dyspnoea and death from cardiac e1haustion. This e1planation !as borne out by the post%mortem e1amination !hich sho!ed lon"%standin" or"anic disease and the coroner/s ,ury returned a verdict in accordance !ith the medical evidence. $t is !ell 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 "ood !ork !hich has been so sadly interrupted. Had the prosaic findin" of the coroner not finally put an end to the romantic stories !hich have been !hispered in connection !ith the affair it mi"ht have been difficult to find a tenant for Baskerville Hall. $t is understood that the ne1t of kin is Mr. Henry Baskerville if he be still alive the son of Sir Charles Baskerville/s youn"er brother. The youn" man !hen last heard of !as in America and in#uiries are bein" instituted !ith a vie! to informin" him of his "ood fortune.& Dr. Mortimer refolded his paper and replaced it in his pocket. &Those are the public facts Mr. Holmes in connection !ith the death of Sir Charles Baskerville.& &$ must thank you & said Sherlock Holmes &for callin" my attention to a case !hich certainly presents some features of interest. $ had observed some ne!spaper comment at the time but $ !as

e1ceedin"ly preoccupied by that little affair of the Eatican cameos and in my an1iety to obli"e the 'ope $ lost touch !ith several interestin" 4n"lish cases. This article you say contains all the public facts.& &$t does.& &Then let me have the private ones.& He leaned back put his fin"er%tips to"ether and assumed his most impassive and ,udicial e1pression. &$n doin" so & said Dr. Mortimer !ho had be"un to sho! si"ns of some stron" emotion &$ am tellin" that !hich $ have not confided to anyone. My motive for !ithholdin" it from the coroner/s in#uiry is that a man of science shrinks from placin" himself in the public position of seemin" to indorse a popular superstition. $ had the further motive that Baskerville Hall as the paper says !ould certainly remain untenanted if anythin" !ere done to increase its already rather "rim reputation. 8or both these reasons $ thou"ht that $ !as ,ustified in tellin" rather less than $ kne! since no practical "ood could result from it but !ith you there is no reason !hy $ should not be perfectly frank. &The moor is very sparsely inhabited and those !ho live near each other are thro!n very much to"ether. 8or this reason $ sa! a "ood deal of Sir Charles Baskerville. -ith the e1ception of Mr. 8rankland of 0after Hall and Mr. Stapleton the naturalist there are no other men of education !ithin many miles. Sir Charles !as a retirin" man but the chance of his illness brou"ht us to"ether and a community of interests in science kept us so. He had brou"ht back much scientific information from South Africa and many a charmin" evenin" !e have spent to"ether discussin" the comparative anatomy of the Bushman and the Hottentot. &-ithin the last fe! months it became increasin"ly plain to me that Sir Charles/s nervous system !as strained to the breakin" point. He had taken this le"end !hich $ have read you e1ceedin"ly to heart%%so much so that althou"h he !ould !alk in his o!n "rounds nothin" !ould induce him to "o out upon the moor at ni"ht. $ncredible as it may appear to you Mr. Holmes he !as honestly convinced that a dreadful fate overhun" his family and certainly the records !hich he !as able to "ive of his ancestors !ere not encoura"in". The idea of some "hastly presence constantly haunted him and on more than one occasion he has asked me !hether $ had on my medical ,ourneys at ni"ht ever seen any stran"e creature or heard the bayin" of a hound. The latter #uestion he put to me several times and al!ays !ith a voice !hich vibrated !ith e1citement. &$ can !ell remember drivin" up to his house in the evenin" some three !eeks before the fatal event. He chanced to be at his hall door. $ had descended from my "i" and !as standin" in front of him !hen $ sa! his eyes fi1 themselves over my shoulder and stare past me !ith an e1pression of the most dreadful horror. $ !hisked round and had ,ust time to catch a "limpse of somethin" !hich $ took to be a lar"e black calf passin" at the head of the drive. So e1cited and alarmed !as he that $ !as compelled to "o do!n to

the spot !here the animal had been and look around for it. $t !as "one ho!ever and the incident appeared to make the !orst impression upon his mind. $ stayed !ith him all the evenin" and it !as on that occasion to e1plain the emotion !hich he had sho!n that he confided to my keepin" that narrative !hich $ read to you !hen first $ came. $ mention this small episode because it assumes some importance in vie! of the tra"edy !hich follo!ed but $ !as convinced at the time that the matter !as entirely trivial and that his e1citement had no ,ustification. &$t !as at my advice that Sir Charles !as about to "o to 0ondon. His heart !as $ kne! affected and the constant an1iety in !hich he lived ho!ever chimerical the cause of it mi"ht be !as evidently havin" a serious effect upon his health. $ thou"ht that a fe! months amon" the distractions of to!n !ould send him back a ne! man. Mr. Stapleton a mutual friend !ho !as much concerned at his state of health !as of the same opinion. At the last instant came this terrible catastrophe. &7n the ni"ht of Sir Charles/s death Barrymore the butler !ho made the discovery sent 'erkins the "room on horseback to me and as $ !as sittin" up late $ !as able to reach Baskerville Hall !ithin an hour of the event. $ checked and corroborated all the facts !hich !ere mentioned at the in#uest. $ follo!ed the footsteps do!n the ye! alley $ sa! the spot at the moor%"ate !here he seemed to have !aited $ remarked the chan"e in the shape of the prints after that point $ noted that there !ere no other footsteps save those of Barrymore on the soft "ravel and finally $ carefully e1amined the body !hich had not been touched until my arrival. Sir Charles lay on his face his arms out his fin"ers du" into the "round and his features convulsed !ith some stron" emotion to such an e1tent that $ could hardly have s!orn to his identity. There !as certainly no physical in,ury of any kind. But one false statement !as made by Barrymore at the in#uest. He said that there !ere no traces upon the "round round the body. He did not observe any. But $ did%%some little distance off but fresh and clear.& &8ootprints.& &8ootprints.& &A man/s or a !oman/s.& Dr. Mortimer looked stran"ely at us for an instant sank almost to a !hisper as he ans!ered. &Mr. Holmes and his voice

they !ere the footprints of a "i"antic hound3&

Chapter = The 'roblem

$ confess at these !ords a shudder passed throu"h me. There !as a thrill in the doctor/s voice !hich sho!ed that he !as himself deeply moved by that !hich he told us. Holmes leaned for!ard in his e1citement and his eyes had the hard dry "litter !hich shot from them !hen he !as keenly interested. &6ou sa! this.& &As clearly as $ see you.& &And you said nothin".& &-hat !as the use.& &Ho! !as it that no one else sa! it.& &The marks !ere some t!enty yards from the body and no one "ave them a thou"ht. $ don/t suppose $ should have done so had $ not kno!n this le"end.& &There are many sheep%do"s on the moor.& &5o doubt but this !as no sheep%do".&

&6ou say it !as lar"e.& &4normous.& &But it had not approached the body.& &5o.& &-hat sort of ni"ht !as it./ &Damp and ra!.& &But not actually rainin".& &5o.& &-hat is the alley like.& &There are t!o lines of old ye! hed"e t!elve feet hi"h and impenetrable. The !alk in the centre is about ei"ht feet across.& &$s there anythin" bet!een the hed"es and the !alk.& &6es there is a strip of "rass about si1 feet broad on either side.&

&$ understand that the ye! hed"e is penetrated at one point by a "ate.& &6es the !icket%"ate !hich leads on to the moor.&

&$s there any other openin".& &5one.&

&So that to reach the ye! alley one either has to come do!n it from the house or else to enter it by the moor%"ate.& &There is an e1it throu"h a summer%house at the far end.& &Had Sir Charles reached this.& &5o> he lay about fifty yards from it.& &5o! tell me Dr. Mortimer%%and this is important%%the marks !hich you sa! !ere on the path and not on the "rass.& &5o marks could sho! on the "rass.& &-ere they on the same side of the path as the moor%"ate.& &6es> they !ere on the ed"e of the path on the same side as the moor%"ate.& &6ou interest me e1ceedin"ly. !icket%"ate closed.& &Closed and padlocked.& &Ho! hi"h !as it.& &About four feet hi"h.& &Then anyone could have "ot over it.& &6es.& &And !hat marks did you see by the !icket%"ate.& &5one in particular.& &2ood heaven3 &6es Did no one e1amine.& myself.& Another point. -as the

$ e1amined

&And found nothin".& &$t !as all very confused. for five or ten minutes.& &Ho! do you kno! that.& &Because the ash had t!ice dropped from his ci"ar.& &41cellent3 This is a collea"ue But the marks.& -atson after our o!n heart. Sir Charles had evidently stood there

&He had left his o!n marks all over that small patch of "ravel. $ could discern no others.& Sherlock Holmes struck his hand a"ainst his knee !ith an impatient "esture.

&$f $ had only been there3& he cried. &$t is evidently a case of e1traordinary interest and one !hich presented immense opportunities to the scientific e1pert. That "ravel pa"e upon !hich $ mi"ht have read so much has been lon" ere this smud"ed by the rain and defaced by the clo"s of curious peasants. 7h Dr. Mortimer Dr. Mortimer to think that you should not have called me in3 6ou have indeed much to ans!er for.& &$ could not call you in Mr. Holmes !ithout disclosin" these facts to the !orld and $ have already "iven my reasons for not !ishin" to do so. Besides besides%%& &-hy do you hesitate.& &There is a realm in !hich the most acute and most e1perienced of detectives is helpless.& &6ou mean that the thin" is supernatural.& &$ did not positively say so.& &5o but you evidently think it.&

&Since the tra"edy Mr. Holmes there have come to my ears several incidents !hich are hard to reconcile !ith the settled order of 5ature.& &8or e1ample.& &$ find that before the terrible event occurred several people had seen a creature upon the moor !hich corresponds !ith this Baskerville demon and !hich could not possibly be any animal kno!n to science. They all a"reed that it !as a hu"e creature luminous "hastly and spectral. $ have cross%e1amined these men one of them a hard%headed countryman one a farrier and one a moorland farmer !ho all tell the same story of this dreadful apparition e1actly correspondin" to the hell%hound of the le"end. $ assure you that there is a rei"n of terror in the district and that it is a hardy man !ho !ill cross the moor at ni"ht.& &And you a trained man of science believe it to be supernatural.&

&$ do not kno! !hat to believe.& Holmes shru""ed his shoulders. &$ have hitherto confined my investi"ations to this !orld & said he. &$n a modest !ay $ have combated evil but to take on the 8ather of 4vil himself !ould perhaps be too ambitious a task. 6et you must admit that the footmark is material.& &The ori"inal hound !as material enou"h to tu" a man/s throat out and yet he !as diabolical as !ell.& &$ see that you have #uite "one over to the supernaturalists. But no! Dr. Mortimer tell me this. $f you hold these vie!s !hy have you come to consult me at all. 6ou tell me in the same breath that it is useless to investi"ate Sir Charles/s death and

that you desire me to do it.& &$ did not say that $ desired you to do it.& &Then ho! can $ assist you.&

&By advisin" me as to !hat $ should do !ith Sir Henry Baskerville !ho arrives at -aterloo Station&%%Dr. Mortimer looked at his !atch%%&in e1actly one hour and a #uarter.& &He bein" the heir.& &6es. 7n the death of Sir Charles !e in#uired for this youn" "entleman and found that he had been farmin" in Canada. 8rom the accounts !hich have reached us he is an e1cellent fello! in every !ay. $ speak no! not as a medical man but as a trustee and e1ecutor of Sir Charles/s !ill.& &There is no other claimant $ presume.&

&5one. The only other kinsman !hom !e have been able to trace !as )od"er Baskerville the youn"est of three brothers of !hom poor Sir Charles !as the elder. The second brother !ho died youn" is the father of this lad Henry. The third )od"er !as the black sheep of the family. He came of the old masterful Baskerville strain and !as the very ima"e they tell me of the family picture of old Hu"o. He made 4n"land too hot to hold him fled to Central America and died there in 1*?F of yello! fever. Henry is the last of the Baskervilles. $n one hour and five minutes $ meet him at -aterloo Station. $ have had a !ire that he arrived at Southampton this mornin". 5o! Mr. Holmes !hat !ould you advise me to do !ith him.& &-hy should he not "o to the home of his fathers.& &$t seems natural does it not. And yet consider that every Baskerville !ho "oes there meets !ith an evil fate. $ feel sure that if Sir Charles could have spoken !ith me before his death he !ould have !arned me a"ainst brin"in" this the last of the old race and the heir to "reat !ealth to that deadly place. And yet it cannot be denied that the prosperity of the !hole poor bleak countryside depends upon his presence. All the "ood !ork !hich has been done by Sir Charles !ill crash to the "round if there is no tenant of the Hall. $ fear lest $ should be s!ayed too much by my o!n obvious interest in the matter and that is !hy $ brin" the case before you and ask for your advice.& Holmes considered for a little time. &'ut into plain !ords the matter is this & said he. &$n your opinion there is a diabolical a"ency !hich makes Dartmoor an unsafe abode for a Baskerville%%that is your opinion.& &At least $ mi"ht "o the len"th of sayin" that there is some evidence that this may be so.& &41actly. But surely if your supernatural theory be correct

it could !ork the youn" man evil in 0ondon as easily as in Devonshire. A devil !ith merely local po!ers like a parish vestry !ould be too inconceivable a thin".& &6ou put the matter more flippantly Mr. Holmes than you !ould probably do if you !ere brou"ht into personal contact !ith these thin"s. 6our advice then as $ understand it is that the youn" man !ill be as safe in Devonshire as in 0ondon. He comes in fifty minutes. -hat !ould you recommend.& &$ recommend sir that you take a cab call off your spaniel !ho is scratchin" at my front door and proceed to -aterloo to meet Sir Henry Baskerville.& &And then.& &And then you !ill say nothin" to him at all until $ have made up my mind about the matter.& &Ho! lon" !ill it take you to make up your mind.& &T!enty%four hours. At ten !ill be much obli"ed to you it !ill be of help to me in brin" Sir Henry Baskerville o/clock tomorro! Dr. Mortimer $ if you !ill call upon me here and my plans for the future if you !ill !ith you.&

&$ !ill do so Mr. Holmes.& He scribbled the appointment on his shirt%cuff and hurried off in his stran"e peerin" absent%minded fashion. Holmes stopped him at the head of the stair. &7nly one more #uestion Dr. Mortimer. 6ou say that before Sir Charles Baskerville/s death several people sa! this apparition upon the moor.& &Three people did.& &Did any see it after.& &$ have not heard of any.& &Thank you. 2ood%mornin".&

Holmes returned to his seat !ith that #uiet look of in!ard satisfaction !hich meant that he had a con"enial task before him. &2oin" out -atson.&

&Gnless $ can help you.& &5o my dear fello! it is at the hour of action that $ turn to you for aid. But this is splendid really uni#ue from some points of vie!. -hen you pass Bradley/s !ould you ask him to send up a pound of the stron"est sha" tobacco. Thank you. $t !ould be as !ell if you could make it convenient not to return before evenin". Then $ should be very "lad to compare impressions as to this most interestin" problem !hich has been submitted to us this mornin".&

$ kne! that seclusion and solitude !ere very necessary for my friend in those hours of intense mental concentration durin" !hich he !ei"hed every particle of evidence constructed alternative theories balanced one a"ainst the other and made up his mind as to !hich points !ere essential and !hich immaterial. $ therefore spent the day at my club and did not return to Baker Street until evenin". $t !as nearly nine o/clock !hen $ found myself in the sittin"%room once more. My first impression as $ opened the door !as that a fire had broken out for the room !as so filled !ith smoke that the li"ht of the lamp upon the table !as blurred by it. As $ entered ho!ever my fears !ere set at rest for it !as the acrid fumes of stron" coarse tobacco !hich took me by the throat and set me cou"hin". Throu"h the ha:e $ had a va"ue vision of Holmes in his dressin"%"o!n coiled up in an armchair !ith his black clay pipe bet!een his lips. Several rolls of paper lay around him. &Cau"ht cold &5o -atson.& said he.

it/s this poisonous atmosphere.& no! that you mention it.&

&$ suppose it is pretty thick &Thick3 $t is intolerable.& then3

&7pen the !indo! perceive.& &My dear Holmes3& &Am $ ri"ht.& &Certainly

6ou have been at your club all day

$

but ho!.&

He lau"hed at my be!ildered e1pression. &There is a deli"htful freshness about you -atson !hich makes it a pleasure to e1ercise any small po!ers !hich $ possess at your e1pense. A "entleman "oes forth on a sho!ery and miry day. He returns immaculate in the evenin" !ith the "loss still on his hat and his boots. He has been a fi1ture therefore all day. He is not a man !ith intimate friends. -here then could he have been. $s it not obvious.& &-ell it is rather obvious.&

&The !orld is full of obvious thin"s !hich nobody by any chance ever observes. -here do you think that $ have been.& &A fi1ture also.& &7n the contrary &$n spirit.& &41actly. My body has remained in this armchair and has $ re"ret to observe consumed in my absence t!o lar"e pots of coffee and $ have been to Devonshire.&

an incredible amount of tobacco. After you left $ sent do!n to Stamford/s for the 7rdnance map of this portion of the moor and my spirit has hovered over it all day. $ flatter myself that $ could find my !ay about.& &A lar"e%scale map &Eery lar"e.& He unrolled one section and held it over his knee. &Here you have the particular district !hich concerns us. That is Baskerville Hall in the middle.& &-ith a !ood round it.& &41actly. $ fancy the ye! alley thou"h not marked under that name must stretch alon" this line !ith the moor as you perceive upon the ri"ht of it. This small clump of buildin"s here is the hamlet of 2rimpen !here our friend Dr. Mortimer has his head#uarters. -ithin a radius of five miles there are as you see only a very fe! scattered d!ellin"s. Here is 0after Hall !hich !as mentioned in the narrative. There is a house indicated here !hich may be the residence of the naturalist%%Stapleton if $ remember ri"ht !as his name. Here are t!o moorland farmhouses Hi"h Tor and 8oulmire. Then fourteen miles a!ay the "reat convict prison of 'rinceto!n. Bet!een and around these scattered points e1tends the desolate lifeless moor. This then is the sta"e upon !hich tra"edy has been played and upon !hich !e may help to play it a"ain.& &$t must be a !ild place.& &6es the settin" is a !orthy one. $f the devil did desire to have a hand in the affairs of men%%& &Then you are yourself inclinin" to the supernatural e1planation.& &The devil/s a"ents may be of flesh and blood may they not. There are t!o #uestions !aitin" for us at the outset. The one is !hether any crime has been committed at all> the second is !hat is the crime and ho! !as it committed. 7f course if Dr. Mortimer/s surmise should be correct and !e are dealin" !ith forces outside the ordinary la!s of 5ature there is an end of our investi"ation. But !e are bound to e1haust all other hypotheses before fallin" back upon this one. $ think !e/ll shut that !indo! a"ain if you don/t mind. $t is a sin"ular thin" but $ find that a concentrated atmosphere helps a concentration of thou"ht. $ have not pushed it to the len"th of "ettin" into a bo1 to think but that is the lo"ical outcome of my convictions. Have you turned the case over in your mind.& &6es $ have thou"ht a "ood deal of it in the course of the day.& $ presume.&

&-hat do you make of it.& &$t is very be!ilderin".& &$t has certainly a character of its o!n. There are points of

distinction about it. That chan"e in the footprints -hat do you make of that.&

for e1ample.

&Mortimer said that the man had !alked on tiptoe do!n that portion of the alley.& &He only repeated !hat some fool had said at the in#uest. should a man !alk on tiptoe do!n the alley.& &-hat then.& &He !as runnin" -atson%%runnin" desperately runnin" for his life runnin" until he burst his heart%%and fell dead upon his face.& &)unnin" from !hat.& &There lies our problem. There are indications that the man !as cra:ed !ith fear before ever he be"an to run.& &Ho! can you say that.& &$ am presumin" that the cause of his fears came to him across the moor. $f that !ere so and it seems most probable only a man !ho had lost his !its !ould have run from the house instead of to!ards it. $f the "ipsy/s evidence may be taken as true he ran !ith cries for help in the direction !here help !as least likely to be. Then a"ain !hom !as he !aitin" for that ni"ht and !hy !as he !aitin" for him in the ye! alley rather than in his o!n house.& &6ou think that he !as !aitin" for someone.& &The man !as elderly and infirm. -e can understand his takin" an evenin" stroll but the "round !as damp and the ni"ht inclement. $s it natural that he should stand for five or ten minutes as Dr. Mortimer !ith more practical sense than $ should have "iven him credit for deduced from the ci"ar ash.& &But he !ent out every evenin".& &$ think it unlikely that he !aited at the moor%"ate every evenin". 7n the contrary the evidence is that he avoided the moor. That ni"ht he !aited there. $t !as the ni"ht before he made his departure for 0ondon. The thin" takes shape -atson. $t becomes coherent. Mi"ht $ ask you to hand me my violin and !e !ill postpone all further thou"ht upon this business until !e have had the advanta"e of meetin" Dr. Mortimer and Sir Henry Baskerville in the mornin".& -hy

Chapter + Sir Henry Baskerville

7ur breakfast table !as cleared early and Holmes !aited in his dressin"%"o!n for the promised intervie!. 7ur clients !ere punctual to their appointment for the clock had ,ust struck ten !hen Dr. Mortimer !as sho!n up follo!ed by the youn" baronet. The latter !as a small alert dark%eyed man about thirty years of a"e very sturdily built !ith thick black eyebro!s and a stron" pu"nacious face. He !ore a ruddy%tinted t!eed suit and had the !eather%beaten appearance of one !ho has spent most of his time in the open air and yet there !as somethin" in his steady eye and the #uiet assurance of his bearin" !hich indicated the "entleman. &This is Sir Henry Baskerville & said Dr. Mortimer. &-hy yes & said he &and the stran"e thin" is Mr. Sherlock Holmes that if my friend here had not proposed comin" round to you this mornin" $ should have come on my o!n account. $ understand that you think out little pu::les and $/ve had one this mornin" !hich !ants more thinkin" out than $ am able to "ive it.& &'ray take a seat Sir Henry. Do $ understand you to say that you have yourself had some remarkable e1perience since you arrived in 0ondon.& &5othin" of much importance as not. $t !as this letter reached me this mornin".& Mr. Holmes. 7nly a ,oke as like if you can call it a letter !hich

He laid an envelope upon the table and !e all bent over it. $t !as of common #uality "rayish in colour. The address &Sir Henry Baskerville 5orthumberland Hotel & !as printed in rou"h characters> the post%mark &Charin" Cross & and the date of postin" the precedin" evenin". &-ho kne! that you !ere "oin" to the 5orthumberland Hotel.& asked Holmes "lancin" keenly across at our visitor. &5o one could have kno!n. -e only decided after $ met Dr. Mortimer.&

&But Dr. Mortimer !as no doubt already stoppin" there.& &5o $ had been stayin" !ith a friend & said the doctor.

&There !as no possible indication that !e intended to "o to this hotel.& &Hum3 Someone seems to be very deeply interested in your movements.& 7ut 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 sin"le sentence had been formed by the e1pedient of pastin" printed !ords upon it. $t ranA As you value your life or your reason keep a!ay from the moor. The !ord &moor& only !as printed in ink. &5o! & said Sir Henry Baskerville &perhaps you !ill tell me Mr.

Holmes !hat in thunder is the meanin" of that that takes so much interest in my affairs.&

and !ho it is

&-hat do you make of it Dr. Mortimer. 6ou must allo! that there is nothin" supernatural about this at any rate.& &5o sir but it mi"ht very !ell come from someone !ho !as convinced that the business is supernatural.& &-hat business.& asked Sir Henry sharply. &$t seems to me that all you "entlemen kno! a "reat deal more than $ do about my o!n affairs.& &6ou shall share our kno!led"e before you leave this room Sir Henry. $ promise you that & said Sherlock Holmes. &-e !ill confine ourselves for the present !ith your permission to this very interestin" document !hich must have been put to"ether and posted yesterday evenin". Have you yesterday/s Times -atson.& &$t is here in the corner.& &Mi"ht $ trouble you for it%%the inside pa"e please !ith the leadin" articles.& He "lanced s!iftly over it runnin" his eyes up and do!n the columns. &Capital article this on free trade. 'ermit me to "ive you an e1tract from it. /6ou may be ca,oled into ima"inin" that your o!n special trade or your o!n industry !ill be encoura"ed by a protective tariff but it stands to reason that such le"islation must in the lon" run keep a!ay !ealth from the country diminish the value of our imports and lo!er the "eneral conditions of life in this island./ &-hat do you think of that -atson.& cried Holmes in hi"h "lee rubbin" his hands to"ether !ith satisfaction. &Don/t you think that is an admirable sentiment.& Dr. Mortimer looked at Holmes !ith an air of professional interest and Sir Henry Baskerville turned a pair of pu::led dark eyes upon me. &$ don/t kno! much about the tariff and thin"s of that kind & said he &but it seems to me !e/ve "ot a bit off the trail so far as that note is concerned.& &7n the contrary $ think !e are particularly hot upon the trail Sir Henry. -atson here kno!s more about my methods than you do but $ fear that even he has not #uite "rasped the si"nificance of this sentence.& &5o $ confess that $ see no connection.&

&And yet my dear -atson there is so very close a connection that the one is e1tracted out of the other. /6ou / /your / /your / /life / /reason / /value / /keep a!ay / /from the./ Don/t you see no! !hence these !ords have been taken.& &By thunder Sir Henry. you/re ri"ht3 -ell if that isn/t smart3& cried

&$f any possible doubt remained it is settled by the fact that /keep a!ay/ and /from the/ are cut out in one piece.& &-ell no!%%so it is3&

&)eally Mr. Holmes this e1ceeds anythin" !hich $ could have ima"ined & said Dr. Mortimer "a:in" at my friend in ama:ement. &$ could understand anyone sayin" that the !ords !ere from a ne!spaper> but that you should name !hich and add that it came from the leadin" article is really one of the most remarkable thin"s !hich $ have ever kno!n. Ho! did you do it.& &$ presume Doctor that you could tell the skull of a ne"ro from that of an 4s#uimau.& &Most certainly.& &But ho!.& &Because that is my special hobby. The differences are obvious. The supra%orbital crest the facial an"le the ma1illary curve the%%& &But this is my special hobby and the differences are e#ually obvious. There is as much difference to my eyes bet!een the leaded bour"eois type of a Times article and the slovenly print of an evenin" half%penny paper as there could be bet!een your ne"ro and your 4s#uimau. The detection of types is one of the most elementary branches of kno!led"e to the special e1pert in crime thou"h $ confess that once !hen $ !as very youn" $ confused the 0eeds Mercury !ith the -estern Mornin" 5e!s. But a Times leader is entirely distinctive and these !ords could have been taken from nothin" else. As it !as done yesterday the stron" probability !as that !e should find the !ords in yesterday/s issue.& &So far as $ can follo! you then Mr. Holmes & said Sir Henry Baskerville &someone cut out this messa"e !ith a scissors%%& &5ail%scissors & said Holmes. &6ou can see that it !as a very short%bladed scissors since the cutter had to take t!o snips over /keep a!ay./& &That is so. Someone short%bladed scissors &2um & said Holmes. &-ith "um on to the paper. should have been !ritten.& But $ !ant to kno! !hy the !ord /moor/ then cut out the messa"e !ith a pair of pasted it !ith paste%%&

&Because he could not find it in print. The other !ords !ere all simple and mi"ht be found in any issue but /moor/ !ould be less common.& &-hy of course that !ould e1plain it. else in this messa"e Mr. Holmes.& Have you read anythin"

&There are one or t!o indications and yet the utmost pains have been taken to remove all clues. The address you observe is printed in rou"h characters. But the Times is a paper !hich is seldom found in any hands but those of the hi"hly educated. -e may take it therefore that the letter !as composed by an educated man !ho !ished to pose as an uneducated one and his effort to conceal his o!n !ritin" su""ests that that !ritin" mi"ht be kno!n or come to be kno!n by you. A"ain you !ill observe that the !ords are not "ummed on in an accurate line but that some are much hi"her than others. /0ife / for e1ample is #uite out of its proper place. That may point to carelessness or it may point to a"itation and hurry upon the part of the cutter. 7n the !hole $ incline to the latter vie! since the matter !as evidently important and it is unlikely that the composer of such a letter !ould be careless. $f he !ere in a hurry it opens up the interestin" #uestion !hy he should be in a hurry since any letter posted up to early mornin" !ould reach Sir Henry before he !ould leave his hotel. Did the composer fear an interruption%%and from !hom.& &-e are comin" no! rather into the re"ion of "uess!ork & said Dr. Mortimer. &Say rather into the re"ion !here !e balance probabilities and choose the most likely. $t is the scientific use of the ima"ination but !e have al!ays some material basis on !hich to start our speculation. 5o! you !ould call it a "uess no doubt but $ am almost certain that this address has been !ritten in a hotel.& &Ho! in the !orld can you say that.& &$f you e1amine it carefully you !ill see that both the pen and the ink have "iven the !riter trouble. The pen has spluttered t!ice in a sin"le !ord and has run dry three times in a short address sho!in" that there !as very little ink in the bottle. 5o! a private pen or ink%bottle is seldom allo!ed to be in such a state and the combination of the t!o must be #uite rare. But you kno! the hotel ink and the hotel pen !here it is rare to "et anythin" else. 6es $ have very little hesitation in sayin" that could !e e1amine the !aste%paper baskets of the hotels around Charin" Cross until !e found the remains of the mutilated Times leader !e could lay our hands strai"ht upon the person !ho sent this sin"ular messa"e. Halloa3 Halloa3 -hat/s this.& He !as carefully e1aminin" the foolscap upon !hich the !ords !ere pasted holdin" it only an inch or t!o from his eyes. &-ell.& &5othin" & said he thro!in" it do!n. &$t is a blank half%sheet of paper !ithout even a !ater%mark upon it. $ think !e have dra!n as much as !e can from this curious letter> and no! Sir Henry has anythin" else of interest happened to you since you have been in 0ondon.& &-hy no Mr. Holmes. $ think not.&

&6ou have not observed anyone follo! or !atch you.& &$ seem to have !alked ri"ht into the thick of a dime novel & said our visitor. &-hy in thunder should anyone follo! or !atch me.& &-e are comin" to that. 6ou have nothin" else to report to us before !e "o into this matter.& &-ell it depends upon !hat you think !orth reportin".&

&$ think anythin" out of the ordinary routine of life !ell !orth reportin".& Sir Henry smiled. &$ don/t kno! much of British life yet for $ have spent nearly all my time in the States and in Canada. But $ hope that to lose one of your boots is not part of the ordinary routine of life over here.& &6ou have lost one of your boots.& &My dear sir & cried Dr. Mortimer &it is only mislaid. 6ou !ill find it !hen you return to the hotel. -hat is the use of troublin" Mr. Holmes !ith trifles of this kind.& &-ell he asked me for anythin" outside the ordinary routine.&

&41actly & said Holmes &ho!ever foolish the incident may seem. 6ou have lost one of your boots you say.& &-ell mislaid it anyho!. $ put them both outside my door last ni"ht and there !as only one in the mornin". $ could "et no sense out of the chap !ho cleans them. The !orst of it is that $ only bou"ht the pair last ni"ht in the Strand and $ have never had them on.& &$f you have never !orn them cleaned.& !hy did you put them out to be That !as !hy

&They !ere tan boots and had never been varnished. $ put them out.&

&Then $ understand that on your arrival in 0ondon yesterday you !ent out at once and bou"ht a pair of boots.& &$ did a "ood deal of shoppin". Dr. Mortimer here !ent round !ith me. 6ou see if $ am to be s#uire do!n there $ must dress the part and it may be that $ have "ot a little careless in my !ays out -est. Amon" other thin"s $ bou"ht these bro!n boots%% "ave si1 dollars for them%%and had one stolen before ever $ had them on my feet.& &$t seems a sin"ularly useless thin" to steal & said Sherlock Holmes. &$ confess that $ share Dr. Mortimer/s belief that it !ill not be lon" before the missin" boot is found.&

&And no! "entlemen & said the baronet !ith decision &it seems to me that $ have spoken #uite enou"h about the little that $ kno!. $t is time that you kept your promise and "ave me a full account of !hat !e are all drivin" at.& &6our re#uest is a very reasonable one & Holmes ans!ered. &Dr. Mortimer $ think you could not do better than to tell your story as you told it to us.& Thus encoura"ed our scientific friend dre! his papers from his pocket and presented the !hole case as he had done upon the mornin" before. Sir Henry Baskerville listened !ith the deepest attention and !ith an occasional e1clamation of surprise. &-ell $ seem to have come into an inheritance !ith a ven"eance & said he !hen the lon" narrative !as finished. &7f course $/ve heard of the hound ever since $ !as in the nursery. $t/s the pet story of the family thou"h $ never thou"ht of takin" it seriously before. But as to my uncle/s death%%!ell it all seems boilin" up in my head and $ can/t "et it clear yet. 6ou don/t seem #uite to have made up your mind !hether it/s a case for a policeman or a cler"yman.& &'recisely.& &And no! there/s this affair of the letter to me at the hotel. $ suppose that fits into its place.& &$t seems to sho! that someone kno!s more than !e do about !hat "oes on upon the moor & said Dr. Mortimer. &And also & said Holmes &that someone is not ill%disposed to!ards you since they !arn you of dan"er.& &7r it may be that they !ish me a!ay.& for their o!n purposes to scare

&-ell of course that is possible also. $ am very much indebted to you Dr. Mortimer for introducin" me to a problem !hich presents several interestin" alternatives. But the practical point !hich !e no! have to decide Sir Henry is !hether it is or is not advisable for you to "o to Baskerville Hall.& &-hy should $ not "o.& &There seems to be dan"er.& &Do you mean dan"er from this family fiend or do you mean dan"er from human bein"s.& &-ell that is !hat !e have to find out.&

&-hichever it is my ans!er is fi1ed. There is no devil in hell Mr. Holmes and there is no man upon earth !ho can prevent me from "oin" to the home of my o!n people and you may take that to be my final ans!er.& His dark bro!s knitted and his face flushed to a dusky red as he spoke. $t !as evident that the fiery

temper of the Baskervilles !as not e1tinct in this their last representative. &Mean!hile & said he &$ have hardly had time to think over all that you have told me. $t/s a bi" thin" for a man to have to understand and to decide at one sittin". $ should like to have a #uiet hour by myself to make up my mind. 5o! look here Mr. Holmes it/s half%past eleven no! and $ am "oin" back ri"ht a!ay to my hotel. Suppose you and your friend Dr. -atson come round and lunch !ith us at t!o. $/ll be able to tell you more clearly then ho! this thin" strikes me.& &$s that convenient to you &'erfectly.& &Then you may e1pect us. &$/d prefer to !alk Shall $ have a cab called.& -atson.&

for this affair has flurried me rather.& !ith pleasure & said his companion. Au revoir and "ood%mornin"3&

&$/ll ,oin you in a !alk

&Then !e meet a"ain at t!o o/clock.

-e heard the steps of our visitors descend the stair and the ban" of the front door. $n an instant Holmes had chan"ed from the lan"uid dreamer to the man of action. &6our hat and boots -atson #uick3 5ot a moment to lose3& He rushed into his room in his dressin"%"o!n and !as back a"ain in a fe! seconds in a frock%coat. -e hurried to"ether do!n the stairs and into the street. Dr. Mortimer and Baskerville !ere still visible about t!o hundred yards ahead of us in the direction of 71ford Street. &Shall $ run on and stop them.& &5ot for the !orld my dear -atson. $ am perfectly satisfied !ith your company if you !ill tolerate mine. 7ur friends are !ise for it is certainly a very fine mornin" for a !alk.& He #uickened his pace until !e had decreased the distance !hich divided us by about half. Then still keepin" a hundred yards behind !e follo!ed into 71ford Street and so do!n )e"ent Street. 7nce our friends stopped and stared into a shop !indo! upon !hich Holmes did the same. An instant after!ards he "ave a little cry of satisfaction and follo!in" the direction of his ea"er eyes $ sa! that a hansom cab !ith a man inside !hich had halted on the other side of the street !as no! proceedin" slo!ly on!ard a"ain. &There/s our man -atson3 Come alon"3 at him if !e can do no more.& -e/ll have a "ood look

At that instant $ !as a!are of a bushy black beard and a pair of piercin" eyes turned upon us throu"h the side !indo! of the cab. $nstantly the trapdoor at the top fle! up somethin" !as screamed to the driver and the cab fle! madly off do!n )e"ent Street. Holmes looked ea"erly round for another but no empty one !as in

si"ht. Then he dashed in !ild pursuit amid the stream of the traffic but the start !as too "reat and already the cab !as out of si"ht. &There no!3& said Holmes bitterly !hite !ith ve1ation from the tide bad luck and such bad mana"ement are an honest man you !ill record my successes3& &-ho !as the man.& &$ have not an idea.& &A spy.& &-ell it !as evident from !hat !e have heard that Baskerville has been very closely shado!ed by someone since he has been in to!n. Ho! else could it be kno!n so #uickly that it !as the 5orthumberland Hotel !hich he had chosen. $f they had follo!ed him the first day $ ar"ued that they !ould follo! him also the second. 6ou may have observed that $ t!ice strolled over to the !indo! !hile Dr. Mortimer !as readin" his le"end.& &6es $ remember.& as he emer"ed of vehicles. too. -atson this also and pantin" and &-as ever such -atson if you set it a"ainst

&$ !as lookin" out for loiterers in the street but $ sa! none. -e are dealin" !ith a clever man -atson. This matter cuts very deep and thou"h $ have not finally made up my mind !hether it is a benevolent or a malevolent a"ency !hich is in touch !ith us $ am conscious al!ays of po!er and desi"n. -hen our friends left $ at once follo!ed them in the hopes of markin" do!n their invisible attendant. So !ily !as 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 advanta"e that if they !ere to take a cab he !as all ready to follo! them. $t has ho!ever one obvious disadvanta"e.& &$t puts him in the po!er of the cabman.& &41actly.& &-hat a pity !e did not "et the number3& &My dear -atson clumsy as $ have been you surely do not seriously ima"ine that $ ne"lected to "et the number. 5o. 9?@+ is our man. But that is no use to us for the moment.& &$ fail to see ho! you could have done more.& &7n observin" the cab $ should have instantly turned and !alked in the other direction. $ should then at my leisure have hired a second cab and follo!ed the first at a respectful distance or better still have driven to the 5orthumberland Hotel and !aited there. -hen our unkno!n had follo!ed Baskerville home !e should have had the opportunity of playin" his o!n "ame upon himself

and seein" !here he made for. As it is by an indiscreet ea"erness !hich !as taken advanta"e of !ith e1traordinary #uickness and ener"y by our opponent !e have betrayed ourselves and lost our man.& -e had been saunterin" slo!ly do!n )e"ent Street durin" this conversation and Dr. Mortimer !ith his companion had lon" vanished in front of us. &There is no ob,ect in our follo!in" them & said Holmes. &The shado! has departed and !ill not return. -e must see !hat further cards !e have in our hands and play them !ith decision. Could you s!ear to that man/s face !ithin the cab.& &$ could s!ear only to the beard.& &And so could $%%from !hich $ "ather that in all probability it !as a false one. A clever man upon so delicate an errand has no use for a beard save to conceal his features. Come in here -atson3& He turned into one of the district messen"er offices !as !armly "reeted by the mana"er. !here he

&Ah -ilson $ see you have not for"otten the little case in !hich $ had the "ood fortune to help you.& &5o sir indeed $ have not. my life.& 6ou saved my "ood name and perhaps

&My dear fello! you e1a""erate. $ have some recollection -ilson that you had amon" your boys a lad named Cart!ri"ht !ho sho!ed some ability durin" the investi"ation.& &6es sir he is still !ith us.& And $ should be "lad to

&Could you rin" him up. %% thank you3 have chan"e of this five%pound note.&

A lad of fourteen !ith a bri"ht keen face had obeyed the summons of the mana"er. He stood no! "a:in" !ith "reat reverence at the famous detective. &0et me have the Hotel Directory & said Holmes. &Thank you3 5o! Cart!ri"ht there are the names of t!enty%three hotels here all in the immediate nei"hbourhood of Charin" Cross. Do you see.& &6es sir.&

&6ou !ill visit each of these in turn.& &6es sir.&

&6ou !ill be"in in each case by "ivin" the outside porter one shillin". Here are t!enty%three shillin"s.& &6es sir.&

&6ou !ill tell him that you !ant to see the !aste%paper of yesterday. 6ou !ill say that an important tele"ram has miscarried and that you are lookin" for it. 6ou understand.& &6es sir.&

&But !hat you are really lookin" for is the centre pa"e of the Times !ith some holes cut in it !ith scissors. Here is a copy of the Times. $t is this pa"e. 6ou could easily reco"ni:e it could you not.& &6es sir.&

&$n each case the outside porter !ill send for the hall porter to !hom also you !ill "ive a shillin". Here are t!enty%three shillin"s. 6ou !ill then learn in possibly t!enty cases out of the t!enty%three that the !aste of the day before has been burned or removed. $n the three other cases you !ill be sho!n a heap of paper and you !ill look for this pa"e of the Times amon" it. The odds are enormously a"ainst your findin" it. There are ten shillin"s over in case of emer"encies. 0et me have a report by !ire at Baker Street before evenin". And no! -atson it only remains for us to find out by !ire the identity of the cabman 5o. 9?@+ and then !e !ill drop into one of the Bond Street picture "alleries and fill in the time until !e are due at the hotel.&

Chapter H Three Broken Threads

Sherlock Holmes had in a very remarkable de"ree the po!er of detachin" his mind at !ill. 8or t!o hours the stran"e business in !hich !e had been involved appeared to be for"otten and he !as entirely absorbed in the pictures of the modern Bel"ian masters. He !ould talk of nothin" but art of !hich he had the crudest ideas from our leavin" the "allery until !e found ourselves at the 5orthumberland Hotel. &Sir Henry Baskerville is upstairs e1pectin" you & said the clerk. &He asked me to sho! you up at once !hen you came.& &Have you any ob,ection to my lookin" at your re"ister.& said Holmes. &5ot in the least.& The book sho!ed that t!o names had been added after that of Baskerville. 7ne !as Theophilus (ohnson and family of 5e!castle> the other Mrs. 7ldmore and maid of Hi"h 0od"e Alton. &Surely that must be the same (ohnson !hom $ used to kno! & said Holmes to the porter. &A la!yer is he not "ray%headed and

!alks !ith a limp.& &5o sir this is Mr. (ohnson the coal%o!ner "entleman not older than yourself.& &Surely you are mistaken about his trade.& &5o sir3 he has used this hotel for many years !ell kno!n to us.& and he is very a very active

&Ah that settles it. Mrs. 7ldmore too> $ seem to remember the name. 41cuse my curiosity but often in callin" upon one friend one finds another.& &She is an invalid lady sir. Her husband !as once mayor of 2loucester. She al!ays comes to us !hen she is in to!n.& &Thank you> $ am afraid $ cannot claim her ac#uaintance. -e have established a most important fact by these #uestions -atson & he continued in a lo! voice as !e !ent upstairs to"ether. &-e kno! no! that the people !ho are so interested in our friend have not settled do!n in his o!n hotel. That means that !hile they are as !e have seen very an1ious to !atch him they are e#ually an1ious that he should not see them. 5o! this is a most su""estive fact.& &-hat does it su""est.& &$t su""ests%%halloa my dear fello! !hat on earth is the matter.&

As !e came round the top of the stairs !e had run up a"ainst Sir Henry Baskerville himself. His face !as flushed !ith an"er and he held an old and dusty boot in one of his hands. So furious !as he that he !as hardly articulate and !hen he did speak it !as in a much broader and more -estern dialect than any !hich !e had heard from him in the mornin". &Seems to me they are playin" me for a sucker in this hotel & he cried. &They/ll find they/ve started in to monkey !ith the !ron" man unless they are careful. By thunder if that chap can/t find my missin" boot there !ill be trouble. $ can take a ,oke !ith the best Mr. Holmes but they/ve "ot a bit over the mark this time.& &Still lookin" for your boot.& &6es &But sir and mean to find it.& you said that it !as a ne! bro!n boot.& sir. And no! it/s an old black one.&

surely

&So it !as

&-hat3 you don/t mean to say%%.& &That/s ,ust !hat $ do mean to say. $ only had three pairs in the !orld%%the ne! bro!n the old black and the patent leathers !hich $ am !earin". 0ast ni"ht they took one of my bro!n ones and today they have sneaked one of the black. -ell have you "ot it. Speak out man and don/t stand starin"3&

An a"itated 2erman !aiter had appeared upon the scene. &5o sir> $ have made in#uiry all over the hotel no !ord of it.& but $ can hear

&-ell either that boot comes back before sundo!n or $/ll see the mana"er and tell him that $ "o ri"ht strai"ht out of this hotel.& &$t shall be found sir%%$ promise you that if you !ill have a little patience it !ill be found.& &Mind it is for it/s the last thin" of mine that $/ll lose in this den of thieves. -ell !ell Mr. Holmes you/ll e1cuse my troublin" you about such a trifle%%& &$ think it/s !ell !orth troublin" about.& &-hy you look very serious over it.&

&Ho! do you e1plain it.& &$ ,ust don/t attempt to e1plain it. $t seems the very maddest #ueerest thin" that ever happened to me.& &The #ueerest perhaps%%& said Holmes thou"htfully. &-hat do you make of it yourself.& &-ell $ don/t profess to understand it yet. This case of yours is very comple1 Sir Henry. -hen taken in con,unction !ith your uncle/s death $ am not sure that of all the five hundred cases of capital importance !hich $ have handled there is one !hich cuts so deep. But !e hold several threads in our hands and the odds are that one or other of them "uides us to the truth. -e may !aste time in follo!in" the !ron" one but sooner or later !e must come upon the ri"ht.& -e had a pleasant luncheon in !hich little !as said of the business !hich had brou"ht us to"ether. $t !as in the private sittin"%room to !hich !e after!ards repaired that Holmes asked Baskerville !hat !ere his intentions. &To "o to Baskerville Hall.& &And !hen.& &At the end of the !eek.& &7n the !hole & said Holmes &$ think that your decision is a !ise one. $ have ample evidence that you are bein" do""ed in 0ondon and amid the millions of this "reat city it is difficult to discover !ho these people are or !hat their ob,ect can be. $f their intentions are evil they mi"ht do you a mischief and !e should be po!erless to prevent it. 6ou did not kno! Dr. Mortimer that you !ere follo!ed this mornin" from my house.&

Dr. Mortimer started violently.

&8ollo!ed3

By !hom.&

&That unfortunately is !hat $ cannot tell you. Have you amon" your nei"hbours or ac#uaintances on Dartmoor any man !ith a black full beard.& &5o%%or let me see%%!hy yes. Barrymore is a man !ith a full black beard.& &Ha3 -here is Barrymore.& Sir Charles/s butler

&He is in char"e of the Hall.& &-e had best ascertain if he is really there possibility he mi"ht be in 0ondon.& &Ho! can you do that.& &2ive me a tele"raph form. /$s all ready for Sir Henry./ That !ill do. Address to Mr. Barrymore Baskerville Hall. -hat is the nearest tele"raph%office. 2rimpen. Eery "ood !e !ill send a second !ire to the postmaster 2rimpenA /Tele"ram to Mr. Barrymore to be delivered into his o!n hand. $f absent please return !ire to Sir Henry Baskerville 5orthumberland Hotel./ That should let us kno! before evenin" !hether Barrymore is at his post in Devonshire or not.& &That/s so & said Baskerville. is this Barrymore anyho!.& &By the !ay Dr. Mortimer !ho or if by any

&He is the son of the old caretaker !ho is dead. They have looked after the Hall for four "enerations no!. So far as $ kno! he and his !ife are as respectable a couple as any in the county.& &At the same time & said Baskerville &it/s clear enou"h that so lon" as there are none of the family at the Hall these people have a mi"hty fine home and nothin" to do.& &That is true.& &Did Barrymore profit at all by Sir Charles/s !ill.& asked Holmes. &He and his !ife had five hundred pounds each.& &Ha3 Did they kno! that they !ould receive this.&

&6es> Sir Charles !as very fond of talkin" about the provisions of his !ill.& &That is very interestin".& &$ hope & said Dr. Mortimer &that you do not look !ith suspicious eyes upon everyone !ho received a le"acy from Sir Charles for $ also had a thousand pounds left to me.& &$ndeed3 And anyone else.&

&There !ere many insi"nificant sums to individuals and a lar"e number of public charities. The residue all !ent to Sir Henry.& &And ho! much !as the residue.& &Seven hundred and forty thousand pounds.& Holmes raised his eyebro!s in surprise. "i"antic a sum !as involved & said he. &$ had no idea that so

&Sir Charles had the reputation of bein" rich but !e did not kno! ho! very rich he !as until !e came to e1amine his securities. The total value of the estate !as close on to a million.& &Dear me3 $t is a stake for !hich a man mi"ht !ell play a desperate "ame. And one more #uestion Dr. Mortimer. Supposin" that anythin" happened to our youn" friend here%%you !ill for"ive the unpleasant hypothesis3%%!ho !ould inherit the estate.& &Since )od"er Baskerville Sir Charles/s youn"er brother died unmarried the estate !ould descend to the Desmonds !ho are distant cousins. (ames Desmond is an elderly cler"yman in -estmoreland.& &Thank you. These details are all of "reat interest. met Mr. (ames Desmond.& Have you

&6es> he once came do!n to visit Sir Charles. He is a man of venerable appearance and of saintly life. $ remember that he refused to accept any settlement from Sir Charles thou"h he pressed it upon him.& &And this man of simple tastes !ould be the heir to Sir Charles/s thousands.& &He !ould be the heir to the estate because that is entailed. He !ould also be the heir to the money unless it !ere !illed other!ise by the present o!ner !ho can of course do !hat he likes !ith it.& &And have you made your !ill Sir Henry.&

&5o Mr. Holmes $ have not. $/ve had no time for it !as only yesterday that $ learned ho! matters stood. But in any case $ feel that the money should "o !ith the title and estate. That !as my poor uncle/s idea. Ho! is the o!ner "oin" to restore the "lories of the Baskervilles if he has not money enou"h to keep up the property. House land and dollars must "o to"ether.& &Iuite so. -ell Sir Henry $ am of one mind !ith you as to the advisability of your "oin" do!n to Devonshire !ithout delay. There is only one provision !hich $ must make. 6ou certainly must not "o alone.& &Dr. Mortimer returns !ith me.& &But Dr. Mortimer has his practice to attend to and his house

is miles a!ay from yours. -ith all the "ood!ill in the !orld he may be unable to help you. 5o Sir Henry you must take !ith you someone a trusty man !ho !ill be al!ays by your side.& &$s it possible that you could come yourself Mr. Holmes.&

&$f matters came to a crisis $ should endeavour to be present in person> but you can understand that !ith my e1tensive consultin" practice and !ith the constant appeals !hich reach me from many #uarters it is impossible for me to be absent from 0ondon for an indefinite time. At the present instant one of the most revered names in 4n"land is bein" besmirched by a blackmailer and only $ can stop a disastrous scandal. 6ou !ill see ho! impossible it is for me to "o to Dartmoor.& &-hom !ould you recommend then.&

Holmes laid his hand upon my arm. &$f my friend !ould undertake it there is no man !ho is better !orth havin" at your side !hen you are in a ti"ht place. 5o one can say so more confidently than $.& The proposition took me completely by surprise but before $ had time to ans!er Baskerville sei:ed me by the hand and !run" it heartily. &-ell no! that is real kind of you Dr. -atson & said he. &6ou see ho! it is !ith me and you kno! ,ust as much about the matter as $ do. $f you !ill come do!n to Baskerville Hall and see me throu"h $/ll never for"et it.& The promise of adventure had al!ays a fascination for me and $ !as complimented by the !ords of Holmes and by the ea"erness !ith !hich the baronet hailed me as a companion. &$ !ill come !ith pleasure & said $. &$ do not kno! ho! $ could employ my time better.& &And you !ill report very carefully to me & said Holmes. &-hen a crisis comes as it !ill do $ !ill direct ho! you shall act. $ suppose that by Saturday all mi"ht be ready.& &-ould that suit Dr. -atson.& &'erfectly.& &Then on Saturday unless you hear to the contrary at the ten%thirty train from 'addin"ton.& !e shall meet

-e had risen to depart !hen Baskerville "ave a cry of triumph and divin" into one of the corners of the room he dre! a bro!n boot from under a cabinet. &My missin" boot3& he cried. &May all our difficulties vanish as easily3& said Sherlock Holmes.

&But it is a very sin"ular thin" & Dr. Mortimer remarked. searched this room carefully before lunch.& &And so did $ & said Baskerville. &4very inch of it.&

&$

&There !as certainly no boot in it then.& &$n that case the !aiter must have placed it there !hile !e !ere lunchin".& The 2erman !as sent for but professed to kno! nothin" of the matter nor could any in#uiry clear it up. Another item had been added to that constant and apparently purposeless series of small mysteries !hich had succeeded each other so rapidly. Settin" aside the !hole "rim story of Sir Charles/s death !e had a line of ine1plicable incidents all !ithin the limits of t!o days !hich included the receipt of the printed letter the black%bearded spy in the hansom the loss of the ne! bro!n boot the loss of the old black boot and no! the return of the ne! bro!n boot. Holmes sat in silence in the cab as !e drove back to Baker Street and $ kne! from his dra!n bro!s and keen face that his mind like my o!n !as busy in endeavourin" to frame some scheme into !hich all these stran"e and apparently disconnected episodes could be fitted. All afternoon and late into the evenin" he sat lost in tobacco and thou"ht. (ust before dinner t!o tele"rams !ere handed in. Have ,ust heard that Barrymore is at the Hall. BASB4)E$004. The secondA Eisited t!enty%three hotels as directed unable to trace cut sheet of Times. CA)T-)l2HT. but sorry to report The first ranA

&There "o t!o of my threads -atson. There is nothin" more stimulatin" than a case !here everythin" "oes a"ainst you. -e must cast round for another scent.& &-e have still the cabman !ho drove the spy.& &41actly. $ have !ired to "et his name and address from the 7fficial )e"istry. $ should not be surprised if this !ere an ans!er to my #uestion.& The rin" at the bell proved to be somethin" even more satisfactory than an ans!er ho!ever for the door opened and a rou"h%lookin" fello! entered !ho !as evidently the man himself. &$ "ot a messa"e from the head office that a "ent at this address had been in#uirin" for 5o. 9?@+ & said he. &$/ve driven my cab this seven years and never a !ord of complaint. $ came here strai"ht from the 6ard to ask you to your face !hat you had a"ainst me.& &$ have nothin" in the !orld a"ainst you my "ood man & said

Holmes. &7n the contrary $ have half a soverei"n for you if you !ill "ive me a clear ans!er to my #uestions.& &-ell $/ve had a "ood day and no mistake & said the cabman !ith a "rin. &-hat !as it you !anted to ask sir.& &8irst of all your name and address in case $ !ant you a"ain.& My cab is out of

&(ohn Clayton = Turpey Street the Borou"h. Shipley/s 6ard near -aterloo Station.& Sherlock Holmes made a note of it.

&5o! Clayton tell me all about the fare !ho came and !atched this house at ten o/clock this mornin" and after!ards follo!ed the t!o "entlemen do!n )e"ent Street.& The man looked surprised and a little embarrassed. &-hy there/s no "ood my tellin" you thin"s for you seem to kno! as much as $ do already & said he. &The truth is that the "entleman told me that he !as a detective and that $ !as to say nothin" about him to anyone.& &My "ood fello!> this is a very serious business and you may find yourself in a pretty bad position if you try to hide anythin" from me. 6ou say that your fare told you that he !as a detective.& &6es he did.&

&-hen did he say this.& &-hen he left me.& &Did he say anythin" more.& &He mentioned his name.& Holmes cast a s!ift "lance of triumph at me. &7h he mentioned his name did he. That !as imprudent. -hat !as the name that he mentioned.& &His name & said the cabman &!as Mr. Sherlock Holmes.&

5ever have $ seen my friend more completely taken aback than by the cabman/s reply. 8or an instant he sat in silent ama:ement. Then he burst into a hearty lau"h. &A touch -atson%%an undeniable touch3& said he. &$ feel a foil as #uick and supple as my o!n. He "ot home upon me very prettily that time. So his name !as Sherlock Holmes !as it.& &6es sir that !as the "entleman/s name.& Tell me !here you picked him up and all that occurred.&

&41cellent3

&He hailed me at half%past nine in Trafal"ar S#uare. He said that he !as a detective and he offered me t!o "uineas if $ !ould do

e1actly !hat he !anted all day and ask no #uestions. $ !as "lad enou"h to a"ree. 8irst !e drove do!n to the 5orthumberland Hotel and !aited there until t!o "entlemen came out and took a cab from the rank. -e follo!ed their cab until it pulled up some!here near here.& &This very door & said Holmes. &-ell $ couldn/t be sure of that but $ dare say my fare kne! all about it. -e pulled up half!ay do!n the street and !aited an hour and a half. Then the t!o "entlemen passed us !alkin" and !e follo!ed do!n Baker Street and alon"%%& &$ kno! & said Holmes. &Gntil !e "ot three%#uarters do!n )e"ent Street. Then my "entleman thre! up the trap and he cried that $ should drive ri"ht a!ay to -aterloo Station as hard as $ could "o. $ !hipped up the mare and !e !ere there under the ten minutes. Then he paid up his t!o "uineas like a "ood one and a!ay he !ent into the station. 7nly ,ust as he !as leavin" he turned round and he saidA /$t mi"ht interest you to kno! that you have been drivin" Mr. Sherlock Holmes./ That/s ho! $ come to kno! the name.& &$ see. And you sa! no more of him.&

&5ot after he !ent into the station.& &And ho! !ould you describe Mr. Sherlock Holmes.& The cabman scratched his head. &-ell he !asn/t alto"ether such an easy "entleman to describe. $/d put him at forty years of a"e and he !as of a middle hei"ht t!o or three inches shorter than you sir. He !as dressed like a toff and he had a black beard cut s#uare at the end and a pale face. $ don/t kno! as $ could say more than that.& &Colour of his eyes.& &5o $ can/t say that.&

&5othin" more that you can remember.& &5o sir> nothin".&

&-ell then here is your half%soverei"n. There/s another one !aitin" for you if you can brin" any more information. 2ood%ni"ht3& &2ood%ni"ht sir and thank you3&

(ohn Clayton departed chucklin" and Holmes turned to me !ith a shru" of his shoulders and a rueful smile. &Snap "oes our third thread and !e end !here !e be"an & said he. &The cunnin" rascal3 He kne! our number kne! that Sir Henry Baskerville had consulted me spotted !ho $ !as in )e"ent Street con,ectured that $ had "ot the number of the cab and !ould lay

my hands on the driver and so sent back this audacious messa"e. $ tell you -atson this time !e have "ot a foeman !ho is !orthy of our steel. $/ve been checkmated in 0ondon. $ can only !ish you better luck in Devonshire. But $/m not easy in my mind about it.& &About !hat.& &About sendin" you. $t/s an u"ly business -atson an u"ly dan"erous business and the more $ see of it the less $ like it. 6es my dear fello! you may lau"h but $ "ive you my !ord that $ shall be very "lad to have you back safe and sound in Baker Street once more.&

Chapter F Baskerville Hall

Sir Henry Baskerville and Dr. Mortimer !ere ready upon the appointed day and !e started as arran"ed for Devonshire. Mr. Sherlock Holmes drove !ith me to the station and "ave me his last partin" in,unctions and advice. &$ !ill not bias your mind by su""estin" theories or suspicions -atson & said he> &$ !ish you simply to report facts in the fullest possible manner to me and you can leave me to do the theori:in".& &-hat sort of facts.& $ asked.

&Anythin" !hich may seem to have a bearin" ho!ever indirect upon the case and especially the relations bet!een youn" Baskerville and his nei"hbours or any fresh particulars concernin" the death of Sir Charles. $ have made some in#uiries myself in the last fe! days but the results have $ fear been ne"ative. 7ne thin" only appears to be certain and that is that Mr. (ames Desmond !ho is the ne1t heir is an elderly "entleman of a very amiable disposition so that this persecution does not arise from him. $ really think that !e may eliminate him entirely from our calculations. There remain the people !ho !ill actually surround Sir Henry Baskerville upon the moor.& &-ould it not be !ell in the first place to "et rid of this Barrymore couple.& &By no means. 6ou could not make a "reater mistake. $f they are innocent it !ould be a cruel in,ustice and if they are "uilty !e should be "ivin" up all chance of brin"in" it home to them. 5o no !e !ill preserve them upon our list of suspects. Then there is a "room at the Hall if $ remember ri"ht. There are t!o moorland farmers. There is our friend Dr. Mortimer !hom $ believe to be entirely honest and there is his !ife of !hom !e kno! nothin". There is this naturalist Stapleton and there is his sister !ho is said to be a youn" lady of attractions. There

is Mr. 8rankland of 0after Hall !ho is also an unkno!n factor and there are one or t!o other nei"hbours. These are the folk !ho must be your very special study.& &$ !ill do my best.& &6ou have arms &6es $ suppose.&

$ thou"ht it as !ell to take them.& and

&Most certainly. Beep your revolver near you ni"ht and day never rela1 your precautions.&

7ur friends had already secured a first%class carria"e and !ere !aitin" for us upon the platform. &5o !e have no ne!s of any kind & said Dr. Mortimer in ans!er to my friend/s #uestions. &$ can s!ear to one thin" and that is that !e have not been shado!ed durin" the last t!o days. -e have never "one out !ithout keepin" a sharp !atch and no one could have escaped our notice.& &6ou have al!ays kept to"ether $ presume.&

&41cept yesterday afternoon. $ usually "ive up one day to pure amusement !hen $ come to to!n so $ spent it at the Museum of the Colle"e of Sur"eons.& &And $ !ent to look at the folk in the park & said Baskerville. &But !e had no trouble of any kind.& &$t !as imprudent all the same & said Holmes shakin" his head and lookin" very "rave. &$ be" Sir Henry that you !ill not "o about alone. Some "reat misfortune !ill befall you if you do. Did you "et your other boot.& &5o sir it is "one forever.&

&$ndeed. That is very interestin". -ell "ood%bye & he added as the train be"an to "lide do!n the platform. &Bear in mind Sir Henry one of the phrases in that #ueer old le"end !hich Dr. Mortimer has read to us and avoid the moor in those hours of darkness !hen the po!ers of evil are e1alted.& $ looked back at the platform !hen !e had left it far behind and sa! the tall austere fi"ure of Holmes standin" motionless and "a:in" after us. The ,ourney !as a s!ift and pleasant one and $ spent it in makin" the more intimate ac#uaintance of my t!o companions and in playin" !ith Dr. Mortimer/s spaniel. $n a very fe! hours the bro!n earth had become ruddy the brick had chan"ed to "ranite and red co!s "ra:ed in !ell%hed"ed fields !here the lush "rasses and more lu1uriant ve"etation spoke of a richer if a damper climate. 6oun" Baskerville stared ea"erly out of the !indo! and cried aloud !ith deli"ht as he reco"ni:ed the familiar features

of the Devon scenery. &$/ve been over a "ood part of the !orld since $ left it Dr. -atson & said he> &but $ have never seen a place to compare !ith it.& &$ never sa! a Devonshire man !ho did not s!ear by his county & $ remarked. &$t depends upon the breed of men #uite as much as on the county & said Dr. Mortimer. &A "lance at our friend here reveals the rounded head of the Celt !hich carries inside it the Celtic enthusiasm and po!er of attachment. 'oor Sir Charles/s head !as of a very rare type half 2aelic half $vernian in its characteristics. But you !ere very youn" !hen you last sa! Baskerville Hall !ere you not.& &$ !as 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 cotta"e on the South Coast. Thence $ !ent strai"ht to a friend in America. $ tell you it is all as ne! to me as it is to Dr. -atson and $/m as keen as possible to see the moor.& &Are you. Then your !ish is easily "ranted first si"ht of the moor & said Dr. Mortimer carria"e !indo!. for there is your pointin" out of the

7ver the "reen s#uares of the fields and the lo! curve of a !ood there rose in the distance a "ray melancholy hill !ith a stran"e ,a""ed summit dim and va"ue in the distance like some fantastic landscape in a dream. Baskerville sat for a lon" time his eyes fi1ed upon it and $ read upon his ea"er face ho! much it meant to him this first si"ht of that stran"e spot !here the men of his blood had held s!ay so lon" and left their mark so deep. There he sat !ith his t!eed suit and his American accent in the corner of a prosaic rail!ay%carria"e and yet as $ looked at his dark and e1pressive face $ felt more than ever ho! true a descendant he !as of that lon" line of hi"h%blooded fiery and masterful men. There !ere pride valour and stren"th in his thick bro!s his sensitive nostrils and his lar"e ha:el eyes. $f on that forbiddin" moor a difficult and dan"erous #uest should lie before us this !as at least a comrade for !hom one mi"ht venture to take a risk !ith the certainty that he !ould bravely share it. The train pulled up at a small !ayside station and !e all descended. 7utside beyond the lo! !hite fence a !a"onette !ith a pair of cobs !as !aitin". 7ur comin" !as evidently a "reat event for station%master and porters clustered round us to carry out our lu""a"e. $t !as a s!eet simple country spot but $ !as surprised to observe that by the "ate there stood t!o soldierly men in dark uniforms !ho leaned upon their short rifles and "lanced keenly at us as !e passed. The coachman a hard%faced "narled little fello! saluted Sir Henry Baskerville and in a fe! minutes !e !ere flyin" s!iftly do!n the broad !hite road. )ollin" pasture lands curved up!ard on either side of us and old "abled houses peeped out from amid the thick "reen folia"e but behind the peaceful and sunlit countryside there rose ever dark a"ainst the

evenin" sky the lon" "loomy curve of the moor ,a""ed and sinister hills.

broken by the

The !a"onette s!un" round into a side road and !e curved up!ard throu"h deep lanes !orn by centuries of !heels hi"h banks on either side heavy !ith drippin" moss and fleshy hart/s%ton"ue ferns. Bron:in" bracken and mottled bramble "leamed in the li"ht of the sinkin" sun. Still steadily risin" !e passed over a narro! "ranite brid"e and skirted a noisy stream !hich "ushed s!iftly do!n foamin" and roarin" amid the "ray boulders. Both road and stream !ound up throu"h a valley dense !ith scrub oak and fir. At every turn Baskerville "ave an e1clamation of deli"ht lookin" ea"erly about him and askin" countless #uestions. To his eyes all seemed beautiful but to me a tin"e of melancholy lay upon the countryside !hich bore so clearly the mark of the !anin" year. 6ello! leaves carpeted the lanes and fluttered do!n upon us as !e passed. The rattle of our !heels died a!ay as !e drove throu"h drifts of rottin" ve"etation%%sad "ifts as it seemed to me for 5ature to thro! before the carria"e of the returnin" heir of the Baskervilles. &Halloa3& cried Dr. Mortimer &!hat is this.&

A steep curve of heath%clad land an outlyin" spur of the moor lay in front of us. 7n the summit hard and clear like an e#uestrian statue upon its pedestal !as a mounted soldier dark and stern his rifle poised ready over his forearm. He !as !atchin" the road alon" !hich !e travelled. &-hat is this 'erkins.& asked Dr. Mortimer. convict escaped no! and the they/ve had no like it sir

7ur driver half turned in his seat. &There/s a from 'rinceto!n sir. He/s been out three days !arders !atch every road and every station but si"ht of him yet. The farmers about here don/t and that/s a fact.&

&-ell $ understand that they "et five pounds if they can "ive information.& &6es sir but the chance of five pounds is but a poor thin" compared to the chance of havin" your throat cut. 6ou see it isn/t like any ordinary convict. This is a man that !ould stick at nothin".& &-ho is he then.& the 5ottin" Hill murderer.&

&$t is Selden

$ remembered the case !ell for it !as one in !hich Holmes had taken an interest on account of the peculiar ferocity of the crime and the !anton brutality !hich 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 !as his conduct. 7ur !a"onette had topped a rise and in front of us rose the hu"e e1panse of the moor mottled !ith "narled and cra""y cairns and tors. A cold !ind s!ept do!n from it and set us shiverin".

Some!here there on that desolate plain !as lurkin" this fiendish man hidin" in a burro! like a !ild beast his heart full of mali"nancy a"ainst the !hole race !hich had cast him out. $t needed but this to complete the "rim su""estiveness of the barren !aste the chillin" !ind and the darklin" sky. 4ven Baskerville fell silent and pulled his overcoat more closely around him. -e had left the fertile country behind and beneath us. -e looked back on it no! the slantin" rays of a lo! sun turnin" the streams to threads of "old and "lo!in" on the red earth ne! turned by the plou"h and the broad tan"le of the !oodlands. The road in front of us "re! bleaker and !ilder over hu"e russet and olive slopes sprinkled !ith "iant boulders. 5o! and then !e passed a moorland cotta"e !alled and roofed !ith stone !ith no creeper to break its harsh outline. Suddenly !e looked do!n into a cuplike depression patched !ith stunted oaks and firs !hich had been t!isted and bent by the fury of years of storm. T!o hi"h narro! to!ers rose over the trees. The driver pointed !ith his !hip. &Baskerville Hall & said he. $ts master had risen and !as starin" !ith flushed cheeks and shinin" eyes. A fe! minutes later !e had reached the lod"e%"ates a ma:e of fantastic tracery in !rou"ht iron !ith !eather%bitten pillars on either side blotched !ith lichens and surmounted by the boars/ heads of the Baskervilles. The lod"e !as a ruin of black "ranite and bared ribs of rafters but facin" it !as a ne! buildin" half constructed the first fruit of Sir Charles/s South African "old. Throu"h the "ate!ay !e passed into the avenue !here the !heels !ere a"ain 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 lon" dark drive to !here the house "limmered like a "host at the farther end. &-as it here.& he asked in a lo! voice. &5o no the ye! alley is on the other side.&

The youn" heir "lanced round !ith a "loomy face. &$t/s no !onder my uncle felt as if trouble !ere comin" on him in such a place as this & said he. &$t/s enou"h to scare any man. $/ll have a ro! of electric lamps up here inside of si1 months and you !on/t kno! it a"ain !ith a thousand candle%po!er S!an and 4dison ri"ht here in front of the hall door.& The avenue opened into a broad e1panse of turf and the house lay before us. $n the fadin" li"ht $ could see that the centre !as a heavy block of buildin" from !hich a porch pro,ected. The !hole front !as draped in ivy !ith a patch clipped bare here and there !here a !indo! or a coat of arms broke throu"h the dark veil. 8rom this central block rose the t!in to!ers ancient crenelated and pierced !ith many loopholes. To ri"ht and left of the turrets !ere more modern !in"s of black "ranite. A dull li"ht shone throu"h heavy mullioned !indo!s and from the

hi"h chimneys !hich rose from the steep spran" a sin"le black column of smoke. &-elcome Sir Henry3

hi"h%an"led roof there

-elcome to Baskerville Hall3&

A tall man had stepped from the shado! of the porch to open the door of the !a"onette. The fi"ure of a !oman !as silhouetted a"ainst the yello! li"ht of the hall. She came out and helped the man to hand do!n our ba"s. &6ou don/t mind my drivin" strai"ht home Mortimer. &My !ife is e1pectin" me.& Sir Henry.& said Dr.

&Surely you !ill stay and have some dinner.& &5o $ must "o. $ shall probably $ !ould stay to sho! you over the a better "uide than $. 2ood%bye day to send for me if $ can be of find some !ork a!aitin" me. house but Barrymore !ill be and never hesitate ni"ht or service.&

The !heels died a!ay do!n the drive !hile Sir Henry and $ turned into the hall and the door clan"ed heavily behind us. $t !as a fine apartment in !hich !e found ourselves lar"e lofty and heavily raftered !ith hu"e baulks of a"e%blackened oak. $n the "reat old%fashioned fireplace behind the hi"h iron do"s a lo"%fire crackled and snapped. Sir Henry and $ held out our hands to it for !e !ere numb from our lon" drive. Then !e "a:ed round us at the hi"h thin !indo! of old stained "lass the oak panellin" the sta"s/ heads the coats of arms upon the !alls all dim and sombre in the subdued li"ht of the central lamp. &$t/s ,ust as $ ima"ined it & said Sir Henry. &$s it not the very picture of an old family home. To think that this should be the same hall in !hich for five hundred years my people have lived. $t strikes me solemn to think of it.& $ sa! his dark face lit up !ith a boyish enthusiasm as he "a:ed about him. The li"ht beat upon him !here he stood but lon" shado!s trailed do!n the !alls and hun" like a black canopy above him. Barrymore had returned from takin" our lu""a"e to our rooms. He stood in front of us no! !ith the subdued manner of a !ell%trained servant. He !as a remarkable%lookin" man tall handsome !ith a s#uare black beard and pale distin"uished features. &-ould you !ish dinner to be served at once &$s it ready.& &$n a very fe! minutes sir. 6ou !ill find hot !ater in your rooms. My !ife and $ !ill be happy Sir Henry to stay !ith you until you have made your fresh arran"ements but you !ill understand that under the ne! conditions this house !ill re#uire a considerable staff.& &-hat ne! conditions.& sir.&

&$ only meant sir that Sir Charles led a very retired life and !e !ere able to look after his !ants. 6ou !ould naturally !ish to have more company and so you !ill need chan"es in your household.& &Do you mean that your !ife and you !ish to leave.& &7nly !hen it is #uite convenient to you sir.&

&But your family have been !ith us for several "enerations have they not. $ should be sorry to be"in my life here by breakin" an old family connection.& $ seemed to discern some si"ns of emotion upon the butler/s !hite face. &$ feel that also sir and so does my !ife. But to tell the truth sir !e !ere both very much attached to Sir Charles and his death "ave us a shock and made these surroundin"s very painful to us. $ fear that !e shall never a"ain be easy in our minds at Baskerville Hall.& &But !hat do you intend to do.& &$ have no doubt sir that !e shall succeed in establishin" ourselves in some business. Sir Charles/s "enerosity has "iven us the means to do so. And no! sir perhaps $ had best sho! you to your rooms.& A s#uare balustraded "allery ran round the top of the old hall approached by a double stair. 8rom this central point t!o lon" corridors e1tended the !hole len"th of the buildin" from !hich all the bedrooms opened. My o!n !as in the same !in" as Baskerville/s and almost ne1t door to it. These rooms appeared to be much more modern than the central part of the house and the bri"ht paper and numerous candles did somethin" to remove the sombre impression !hich our arrival had left upon my mind. But the dinin"%room !hich opened out of the hall !as a place of shado! and "loom. $t !as a lon" chamber !ith a step separatin" the dais !here the family sat from the lo!er portion reserved for their dependents. At one end a minstrel/s "allery overlooked it. Black beams shot across above our heads !ith a smoke%darkened ceilin" beyond them. -ith ro!s of flarin" torches to li"ht it up and the colour and rude hilarity of an old%time ban#uet it mi"ht have softened> but no! !hen t!o black%clothed "entlemen sat in the little circle of li"ht thro!n 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 4li:abethan kni"ht to the buck of the )e"ency stared do!n upon us and daunted us by their silent company. -e talked little and $ for one !as "lad !hen the meal !as over and !e !ere able to retire into the modern billiard%room and smoke a ci"arette. &My !ord it isn/t a very cheerful place & said Sir Henry. &$ suppose one can tone do!n to it but $ feel a bit out of the picture at present. $ don/t !onder that my uncle "ot a little

,umpy if he lived all alone in such a house as this. Ho!ever if it suits you !e !ill retire early toni"ht and perhaps thin"s may seem more cheerful in the mornin".& $ dre! aside my curtains before $ !ent to bed and looked out from my !indo!. $t opened upon the "rassy space !hich lay in front of the hall door. Beyond t!o copses of trees moaned and s!un" in a risin" !ind. A half moon broke throu"h the rifts of racin" clouds. $n its cold li"ht $ sa! beyond the trees a broken frin"e of rocks and the lon" lo! curve of the melancholy moor. $ closed the curtain feelin" that my last impression !as in keepin" !ith the rest. And yet it !as not #uite the last. $ found myself !eary and yet !akeful tossin" restlessly from side to side seekin" for the sleep !hich !ould not come. 8ar a!ay a chimin" clock struck out the #uarters of the hours but other!ise a deathly silence lay upon the old house. And then suddenly in the very dead of the ni"ht there came a sound to my ears clear resonant and unmistakable. $t !as the sob of a !oman the muffled stran"lin" "asp of one !ho is torn by an uncontrollable sorro!. $ sat up in bed and listened intently. The noise could not have been far a!ay and !as certainly in the house. 8or half an hour $ !aited !ith every nerve on the alert but there came no other sound save the chimin" clock and the rustle of the ivy on the !all.

Chapter ? The Stapletons of Merripit House

The fresh beauty of the follo!in" mornin" did somethin" to efface from our minds the "rim and "ray impression !hich had been left upon both of us by our first e1perience of Baskerville Hall. As Sir Henry and $ sat at breakfast the sunli"ht flooded in throu"h the hi"h mullioned !indo!s thro!in" !atery patches of colour from the coats of arms !hich covered them. The dark panellin" "lo!ed like bron:e in the "olden rays and it !as hard to reali:e that this !as indeed the chamber !hich had struck such a "loom into our souls upon the evenin" before. &$ "uess it is ourselves and not the house that !e have to blame3& said the baronet. &-e !ere tired !ith our ,ourney and chilled by our drive so !e took a "ray vie! of the place. 5o! !e are fresh and !ell so it is all cheerful once more.& &And yet it !as not entirely a #uestion of ima"ination & $ ans!ered. &Did you for e1ample happen to hear someone a !oman $ think sobbin" in the ni"ht.& &That is curious for $ did !hen $ !as half asleep fancy that $ heard somethin" of the sort. $ !aited #uite a time but there !as no more of it so $ concluded that it !as all a dream.&

&$ heard it distinctly of a !oman.&

and $ am sure that it !as really the sob

&-e must ask about this ri"ht a!ay.& He ran" the bell and asked Barrymore !hether he could account for our e1perience. $t seemed to me that the pallid features of the butler turned a shade paler still as he listened to his master/s #uestion. &There are only t!o !omen in the house Sir Henry & he ans!ered. &7ne is the scullery%maid !ho sleeps in the other !in". The other is my !ife and $ can ans!er 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 $ met Mrs. Barrymore in the lon" corridor !ith the sun full upon her face. She !as a lar"e impassive heavy%featured !oman !ith a stern set e1pression of mouth. But her telltale eyes !ere red and "lanced at me from bet!een s!ollen lids. $t !as she then !ho !ept in the ni"ht and if she did so her husband must kno! it. 6et he had taken the obvious risk of discovery in declarin" that it !as not so. -hy had he done this. And !hy did she !eep so bitterly. Already round this pale%faced handsome black%bearded man there !as "atherin" an atmosphere of mystery and of "loom. $t !as he !ho had been the first to discover the body of Sir Charles and !e had only his !ord for all the circumstances !hich led up to the old man/s death. -as it possible that it !as Barrymore after all !hom !e had seen in the cab in )e"ent Street. The beard mi"ht !ell have been the same. The cabman had described a some!hat shorter man but such an impression mi"ht easily have been erroneous. Ho! could $ settle the point forever. 7bviously the first thin" to do !as to see the 2rimpen postmaster and find !hether the test tele"ram had really been placed in Barrymore/s o!n hands. Be the ans!er !hat it mi"ht $ should at least have somethin" to report to Sherlock Holmes. Sir Henry had numerous papers to e1amine after breakfast so that the time !as propitious for my e1cursion. $t !as a pleasant !alk of four miles alon" the ed"e of the moor leadin" me at last to a small "ray hamlet in !hich t!o lar"er buildin"s !hich proved to be the inn and the house of Dr. Mortimer stood hi"h above the rest. The postmaster !ho !as also the villa"e "rocer had a clear recollection of the tele"ram. &Certainly sir & said he &$ had the tele"ram delivered to Mr. Barrymore e1actly as directed.& &-ho delivered it.& &My boy here. (ames you delivered that tele"ram to Mr. Barrymore at the Hall last !eek did you not.& &6es father $ delivered it.& $ asked.

&$nto his o!n hands.&

&-ell he !as up in the loft at the time so that $ could not put it into his o!n hands but $ "ave it into Mrs. Barrymore/s

hands

and she promised to deliver it at once.&

&Did you see Mr. Barrymore.& &5o sir> $ tell you he !as in the loft.& ho! do you kno! he !as in the loft.&

&$f you didn/t see him

&-ell surely his o!n !ife ou"ht to kno! !here he is & said the postmaster testily. &Didn/t he "et the tele"ram. $f there is any mistake it is for Mr. Barrymore himself to complain.& $t seemed hopeless to pursue the in#uiry any farther but it !as clear that in spite of Holmes/s ruse !e had no proof that Barrymore had not been in 0ondon all the time. Suppose that it !ere so%% suppose that the same man had been the last !ho had seen Sir Charles alive and the first to do" the ne! heir !hen he returned to 4n"land. -hat then. -as he the a"ent of others or had he some sinister desi"n of his o!n. -hat interest could he have in persecutin" the Baskerville family. $ thou"ht of the stran"e !arnin" clipped out of the leadin" article of the Times. -as that his !ork or !as it possibly the doin" of someone !ho !as bent upon counteractin" his schemes. The only conceivable motive !as that !hich had been su""ested by Sir Henry that if the family could be scared a!ay a comfortable and permanent home !ould be secured for the Barrymores. But surely such an e1planation as that !ould be #uite inade#uate to account for the deep and subtle schemin" !hich seemed to be !eavin" an invisible net round the youn" baronet. Holmes himself had said that no more comple1 case had come to him in all the lon" series of his sensational investi"ations. $ prayed as $ !alked back alon" the "ray lonely road that my friend mi"ht soon be freed from his preoccupations and able to come do!n to take this heavy burden of responsibility from my shoulders. Suddenly my thou"hts !ere interrupted by the sound of runnin" feet behind me and by a voice !hich called me by name. $ turned e1pectin" to see Dr. Mortimer but to my surprise it !as a stran"er !ho !as pursuin" me. He !as a small slim clean%shaven prim% faced man fla1en%haired and lean,a!ed bet!een thirty and forty years of a"e dressed in a "ray suit and !earin" a stra! hat. A tin bo1 for botanical specimens hun" over his shoulder and he carried a "reen butterfly%net in one of his hands. &6ou !ill $ am sure e1cuse my presumption Dr. -atson & said he as he came pantin" up to !here $ stood. &Here on the moor !e are homely folk and do not !ait for formal introductions. 6ou may possibly have heard my name from our mutual friend Mortimer. $ am Stapleton of Merripit House.& &6our net and bo1 !ould have told me as much & said $ &for $ kne! that Mr. Stapleton !as a naturalist. But ho! did you kno! me.& &$ have been callin" on Mortimer and he pointed you out to me from the !indo! of his sur"ery as you passed. As our road lay the same !ay $ thou"ht that $ !ould overtake you and introduce myself. $ trust that Sir Henry is none the !orse for his ,ourney.&

&He is very !ell

thank you.&

&-e !ere all rather afraid that after the sad death of Sir Charles the ne! baronet mi"ht refuse to live here. $t is askin" much of a !ealthy man to come do!n and bury himself in a place of this kind but $ need not tell you that it means a very "reat deal to the countryside. Sir Henry has $ suppose no superstitious fears in the matter.& &$ do not think that it is likely.& &7f course you kno! the le"end of the fiend do" !hich haunts the family.& &$ have heard it.& &$t is e1traordinary ho! credulous the peasants are about here3 Any number of them are ready to s!ear that they have seen such a creature upon the moor.& He spoke !ith a smile but $ seemed to read in his eyes that he took the matter more seriously. &The story took a "reat hold upon the ima"ination of Sir Charles and $ have no doubt that it led to his tra"ic end.& &But ho!.& &His nerves !ere so !orked up that the appearance have had a fatal effect upon his diseased heart. he really did see somethin" of the kind upon that the ye! alley. $ feared that some disaster mi"ht !as very fond of the old man and $ kne! that his &Ho! did you kno! that.& &My friend Mortimer told me.& &6ou think then that some do" pursued Sir Charles died of fri"ht in conse#uence.& &Have you any better e1planation.& &$ have not come to any conclusion.& &Has Mr. Sherlock Holmes.& The !ords took a!ay my breath for an instant but a "lance at the placid face and steadfast eyes of my companion sho!ed that no surprise !as intended. &$t is useless for us to pretend that !e do not kno! you Dr. -atson & said he. &The records of your detective have reached us here and you could not celebrate him !ithout bein" kno!n yourself. -hen Mortimer told me your name he could not deny your identity. $f you are here then it follo!s that Mr. Sherlock Holmes is interestin" himself in the matter and $ am naturally curious to kno! !hat vie! he may take.& and that he of any do" mi"ht $ fancy that last ni"ht in occur for $ heart !as !eak.&

&$ am afraid that $ cannot ans!er that #uestion.& &May $ ask if he is "oin" to honour us !ith a visit himself.& &He cannot leave to!n at present. his attention.& He has other cases !hich en"a"e

&-hat a pity3 He mi"ht thro! some li"ht on that !hich is so dark to us. But as to your o!n researches if there is any possible !ay in !hich $ can be of service to you $ trust that you !ill command me. $f $ had any indication of the nature of your suspicions or ho! you propose to investi"ate the case $ mi"ht perhaps even no! "ive you some aid or advice.& &$ assure you that $ am simply here upon a visit to my friend Sir Henry and that $ need no help of any kind.& &41cellent3& said Stapleton. &6ou are perfectly ri"ht to be !ary and discreet. $ am ,ustly reproved for !hat $ feel !as an un,ustifiable intrusion and $ promise you that $ !ill not mention the matter a"ain.& -e had come to a point !here a narro! "rassy path struck off from the road and !ound a!ay across the moor. A steep boulder%sprinkled hill lay upon the ri"ht !hich had in by"one days been cut into a "ranite #uarry. The face !hich !as turned to!ards us formed a dark cliff !ith ferns and brambles "ro!in" in its niches. 8rom over a distant rise there floated a "ray plume of smoke. &A moderate !alk alon" this moor%path brin"s us to Merripit House & said he. &'erhaps you !ill spare an hour that $ may have the pleasure of introducin" you to my sister.& My first thou"ht !as that $ should be by Sir Henry/s side. But then $ remembered the pile of papers and bills !ith !hich his study table !as littered. $t !as certain that $ could not help !ith those. And Holmes had e1pressly said that $ should study the nei"hbours upon the moor. $ accepted Stapleton/s invitation and !e turned to"ether do!n the path. &$t is a !onderful place the moor & said he lookin" round over the undulatin" do!ns lon" "reen rollers !ith crests of ,a""ed "ranite foamin" up into fantastic sur"es. &6ou never tire of the moor. 6ou cannot think the !onderful secrets !hich it contains. $t is so vast and so barren and so mysterious.& &6ou kno! it !ell then.&

&$ have only been here t!o years. The residents !ould call me a ne!comer. -e came shortly after Sir Charles settled. But my tastes led me to e1plore every part of the country round and $ should think that there are fe! men !ho kno! it better than $ do.& &$s it hard to kno!.& &Eery hard. 6ou see for e1ample this "reat plain to the north here !ith the #ueer hills breakin" out of it. Do you observe

anythin" remarkable about that.& &$t !ould be a rare place for a "allop.& &6ou !ould naturally think so and the thou"ht has cost several their lives before no!. 6ou notice those bri"ht "reen spots scattered thickly over it.& &6es they seem more fertile than the rest.&

Stapleton lau"hed. &That is the "reat 2rimpen Mire & said he. &A false step yonder means death to man or beast. 7nly yesterday $ sa! one of the moor ponies !ander into it. He never came out. $ sa! his head for #uite a lon" time cranin" out of the bo"%hole but it sucked him do!n at last. 4ven in dry seasons it is a dan"er to cross it but after these autumn rains it is an a!ful place. And yet $ can find my !ay to the very heart of it and return alive. By 2eor"e there is another of those miserable ponies3& Somethin" bro!n !as rollin" and tossin" amon" the "reen sed"es. Then a lon" a"oni:ed !rithin" neck shot up!ard and a dreadful cry echoed over the moor. $t turned me cold !ith horror but my companion/s nerves seemed to be stron"er than mine. &$t/s "one3& said he. &The mire has him. T!o in t!o days and many more perhaps for they "et in the !ay of "oin" there in the dry !eather and never kno! the difference until the mire has them in its clutches. $t/s a bad place the "reat 2rimpen Mire.& &And you say you can penetrate it.& &6es there are one or t!o paths !hich a very active man can take. $ have found them out.& &But !hy should you !ish to "o into so horrible a place.& &-ell you see the hills beyond. They are really islands cut off on all sides by the impassable mire !hich has cra!led round them in the course of years. That is !here the rare plants and the butterflies are if you have the !it to reach them.& &$ shall try my luck some day.& He looked at me !ith a surprised face. &8or 2od/s sake put such an idea out of your mind & said he. &6our blood !ould be upon my head. $ assure you that there !ould not be the least chance of your comin" back alive. $t is only by rememberin" certain comple1 landmarks that $ am able to do it.& &Halloa3& $ cried. &-hat is that.&

A lon" lo! moan indescribably sad s!ept over the moor. $t filled the !hole air and yet it !as impossible to say !hence it came. 8rom a dull murmur it s!elled into a deep roar and then sank back into a melancholy throbbin" murmur once a"ain. Stapleton looked at me !ith a curious e1pression in his face.

&Iueer place

the moor3& said he.

&But !hat is it.& &The peasants say it is the Hound of the Baskervilles callin" for its prey. $/ve heard it once or t!ice before but never #uite so loud.& $ looked round !ith a chill of fear in my heart at the hu"e s!ellin" plain mottled !ith the "reen patches of rushes. 5othin" stirred over the vast e1panse save a pair of ravens !hich croaked loudly from a tor behind us. &6ou are an educated man. 6ou don/t believe such nonsense as that.& said $. &-hat do you think is the cause of so stran"e a sound.& &Bo"s make #ueer noises sometimes. the !ater risin" or somethin".& &5o &-ell &5o no that !as a livin" voice.& perhaps it !as. $ never did.& Did you ever hear a bittern boomin".& $t/s the mud settlin" or

&$t/s a very rare bird%%practically e1tinct%%in 4n"land no! but all thin"s are possible upon the moor. 6es $ should not be surprised to learn that !hat !e have heard is the cry of the last of the bitterns.& &$t/s the !eirdest stran"est thin" that ever $ heard in my life.& 0ook at the hillside

&6es it/s rather an uncanny place alto"ether. yonder. -hat do you make of those.&

The !hole steep slope !as covered !ith "ray circular rin"s of stone a score of them at least. &-hat are they. Sheep%pens.&

&5o they are the homes of our !orthy ancestors. 'rehistoric man lived thickly on the moor and as no one in particular has lived there since !e find all his little arran"ements e1actly as he left them. These are his !i"!ams !ith the roofs off. 6ou can even see his hearth and his couch if you have the curiosity to "o inside. &But it is #uite a to!n. &5eolithic man%%no date.& &-hat did he do.& &He "ra:ed his cattle on these slopes and he learned to di" for tin !hen the bron:e s!ord be"an to supersede the stone a1e. 0ook at the "reat trench in the opposite hill. That is his mark. 6es -hen !as it inhabited.&

you !ill find some very sin"ular points about the moor 7h e1cuse me an instant3 $t is surely Cyclopides.&

Dr. -atson.

A small fly or moth had fluttered across our path and in an instant Stapleton !as rushin" !ith e1traordinary ener"y and speed in pursuit of it. To my dismay the creature fle! strai"ht for the "reat mire and my ac#uaintance never paused for an instant boundin" from tuft to tuft behind it his "reen net !avin" in the air. His "ray clothes and ,erky :i":a" irre"ular pro"ress made him not unlike some hu"e moth himself. $ !as standin" !atchin" his pursuit !ith a mi1ture of admiration for his e1traordinary activity and fear lest he should lose his footin" in the treacherous mire !hen $ heard the sound of steps and turnin" round found a !oman near me upon the path. She had come from the direction in !hich the plume of smoke indicated the position of Merripit House but the dip of the moor had hid her until she !as #uite close. $ could not doubt that this !as the Miss Stapleton of !hom $ had been told since ladies of any sort must be fe! upon the moor and $ remembered that $ had heard someone describe her as bein" a beauty. The !oman !ho approached me !as certainly that and of a most uncommon type. There could not have been a "reater contrast bet!een brother and sister for Stapleton !as neutral tinted !ith li"ht hair and "ray eyes !hile she !as darker than any brunette !hom $ have seen in 4n"land%%slim ele"ant and tall. She had a proud finely cut face so re"ular that it mi"ht have seemed impassive !ere it not for the sensitive mouth and the beautiful dark ea"er eyes. -ith her perfect fi"ure and ele"ant dress she !as indeed a stran"e apparition upon a lonely moorland path. Her eyes !ere on her brother as $ turned and then she #uickened her pace to!ards me. $ had raised my hat and !as about to make some e1planatory remark !hen her o!n !ords turned all my thou"hts into a ne! channel. &2o back3& she said. &2o strai"ht back to 0ondon instantly.&

$ could only stare at her in stupid surprise. Her eyes bla:ed at me and she tapped the "round impatiently !ith her foot. &-hy should $ "o back.& $ asked.

&$ cannot e1plain.& She spoke in a lo! ea"er voice !ith a curious lisp in her utterance. &But for 2od/s sake do !hat $ ask you. 2o back and never set foot upon the moor a"ain.& &But $ have only ,ust come.& &Man man3& she cried. &Can you not tell !hen a !arnin" is for your o!n "ood. 2o back to 0ondon3 Start toni"ht3 2et a!ay from this place at all costs3 Hush my brother is comin"3 5ot a !ord of !hat $ have said. -ould you mind "ettin" that orchid for me amon" the mare/s%tails yonder. -e are very rich in orchids on the moor thou"h of course you are rather late to see the beauties of the place.& Stapleton had abandoned the chase and came back to us breathin" hard and flushed !ith his e1ertions.

&Halloa Beryl3& said he and it seemed to me that the tone of his "reetin" !as not alto"ether a cordial one. &-ell (ack you are very hot.&

&6es $ !as chasin" a Cyclopides. He is very rare and seldom found in the late autumn. -hat a pity that $ should have missed him3& He spoke unconcernedly but his small li"ht eyes "lanced incessantly from the "irl to me. &6ou have introduced yourselves $ can see.&

&6es. $ !as tellin" Sir Henry that it !as rather late for him to see the true beauties of the moor.& &-hy !ho do you think this is.&

&$ ima"ine that it must be Sir Henry Baskerville.& &5o no & said $. &7nly a humble commoner name is Dr. -atson.& but his friend. My

A flush of ve1ation passed over her e1pressive face. been talkin" at cross purposes & said she.

&-e have

&-hy you had not very much time for talk & her brother remarked !ith the same #uestionin" eyes. &$ talked as if Dr. -atson !ere a resident instead of bein" merely a visitor & said she. &$t cannot much matter to him !hether it is early or late for the orchids. But you !ill come on !ill you not and see Merripit House.& A short !alk brou"ht us to it a bleak moorland house once the farm of some "ra:ier in the old prosperous days but no! put into repair and turned into a modern d!ellin". An orchard surrounded it but the trees as is usual upon the moor !ere stunted and nipped and the effect of the !hole place !as mean and melancholy. -e !ere admitted by a stran"e !i:ened rusty%coated old manservant !ho seemed in keepin" !ith the house. $nside ho!ever there !ere lar"e rooms furnished !ith an ele"ance in !hich $ seemed to reco"ni:e the taste of the lady. As $ looked from their !indo!s at the interminable "ranite%flecked moor rollin" unbroken to the farthest hori:on $ could not but marvel at !hat could have brou"ht this hi"hly educated man and this beautiful !oman to live in such a place. &Iueer spot to choose is it not.& said he as if in ans!er to my thou"ht. &And yet !e mana"e to make ourselves fairly happy do !e not Beryl.& &Iuite happy & said she her !ords. but there !as no rin" of conviction in

&$ had a school & said Stapleton. &$t !as in the north country. The !ork to a man of my temperament !as mechanical and

uninterestin" but the privile"e of livin" !ith youth of helpin" to mould those youn" minds and of impressin" them !ith one/s o!n character and ideals !as very dear to me. Ho!ever the fates !ere a"ainst us. A serious epidemic broke out in the school and three of the boys died. $t never recovered from the blo! and much of my capital !as irretrievably s!allo!ed up. And yet if it !ere not for the loss of the charmin" companionship of the boys $ could re,oice over my o!n misfortune for !ith my stron" tastes for botany and :oolo"y $ find an unlimited field of !ork here and my sister is as devoted to 5ature as $ am. All this Dr. -atson has been brou"ht upon your head by your e1pression as you surveyed the moor out of our !indo!.& &$t certainly did cross my mind that it mi"ht be a little dull%% less for you perhaps than for your sister.& &5o no $ am never dull & said she #uickly.

&-e have books !e have our studies and !e have interestin" nei"hbours. Dr. Mortimer is a most learned man in his o!n line. 'oor Sir Charles !as also an admirable companion. -e kne! him !ell and miss him more than $ can tell. Do you think that $ should intrude if $ !ere to call this afternoon and make the ac#uaintance of Sir Henry.& &$ am sure that he !ould be deli"hted.& &Then perhaps you !ould mention that $ propose to do so. -e may in our humble !ay do somethin" to make thin"s more easy for him until he becomes accustomed to his ne! surroundin"s. -ill you come upstairs Dr. -atson and inspect my collection of 0epidoptera. $ think it is the most complete one in the south%!est of 4n"land. By the time that you have looked throu"h them lunch !ill be almost ready.& But $ !as ea"er to "et back to my char"e. The melancholy of the moor the death of the unfortunate pony the !eird sound !hich had been associated !ith the "rim le"end of the Baskervilles all these thin"s tin"ed my thou"hts !ith sadness. Then on the top of these more or less va"ue impressions there had come the definite and distinct !arnin" of Miss Stapleton delivered !ith such intense earnestness that $ could not doubt that some "rave and deep reason lay behind it. $ resisted all pressure to stay for lunch and $ set off at once upon my return ,ourney takin" the "rass%"ro!n path by !hich !e had come. $t seems ho!ever that there must have been some short cut for those !ho kne! it for before $ had reached the road $ !as astounded to see Miss Stapleton sittin" upon a rock by the side of the track. Her face !as beautifully flushed !ith her e1ertions and she held her hand to her side. &$ have run all the !ay in order to cut you off Dr. -atson & said she. &$ had not even time to put on my hat. $ must not stop or my brother may miss me. $ !anted to say to you ho! sorry $ am about the stupid mistake $ made in thinkin" that you !ere Sir Henry. 'lease for"et the !ords $ said !hich have no application

!hatever to you.& &But $ can/t for"et them Miss Stapleton & said $. &$ am Sir Henry/s friend and his !elfare is a very close concern of mine. Tell me !hy it !as that you !ere so ea"er that Sir Henry should return to 0ondon.& &A !oman/s !him Dr. -atson. -hen you kno! me better you !ill understand that $ cannot al!ays "ive reasons for !hat $ say or do.& &5o no. $ remember the thrill in your voice. $ remember the look in your eyes. 'lease please be frank !ith me Miss Stapleton for ever since $ have been here $ have been conscious of shado!s all round me. 0ife has become like that "reat 2rimpen Mire !ith little "reen patches every!here into !hich one may sink and !ith no "uide to point the track. Tell me then !hat it !as that you meant and $ !ill promise to convey your !arnin" to Sir Henry.& An e1pression of irresolution passed for an instant over her face but her eyes had hardened a"ain !hen she ans!ered me. &6ou make too much of it Dr. -atson & said she. &My brother and $ !ere very much shocked by the death of Sir Charles. -e kne! him very intimately for his favourite !alk !as over the moor to our house. He !as deeply impressed !ith the curse !hich hun" over the family and !hen this tra"edy came $ naturally felt that there must be some "rounds for the fears !hich he had e1pressed. $ !as distressed therefore !hen another member of the family came do!n to live here and $ felt that he should be !arned of the dan"er !hich he !ill run. That !as all !hich $ intended to convey. &But !hat is the dan"er.& &6ou kno! the story of the hound.& &$ do not believe in such nonsense.& &But $ do. $f you have any influence !ith Sir Henry take him a!ay from a place !hich has al!ays been fatal to his family. The !orld is !ide. -hy should he !ish to live at the place of dan"er.& &Because it is the place of dan"er. That is Sir Henry/s nature. $ fear that unless you can "ive me some more definite information than this it !ould be impossible to "et him to move.& &$ cannot say anythin" definite definite.& for $ do not kno! anythin"

&$ !ould ask you one more #uestion Miss Stapleton. $f you meant no more than this !hen you first spoke to me !hy should you not !ish your brother to overhear !hat you said. There is nothin" to !hich he or anyone else could ob,ect.& &My brother is very an1ious to have the Hall inhabited for he thinks it is for the "ood of the poor folk upon the moor. He !ould be very an"ry if he kne! that $ have said anythin" !hich

mi"ht induce Sir Henry to "o a!ay. But $ have done my duty no! and $ !ill say no more. $ must "o back or he !ill miss me and suspect that $ have seen you. 2ood%bye3& She turned and had disappeared in a fe! minutes amon" the scattered boulders !hile $ !ith my soul full of va"ue fears pursued my !ay to Baskerville Hall.

Chapter * 8irst )eport of Dr. -atson

J8rom this point on!ard $ !ill follo! the course of events by transcribin" my o!n letters to Mr. Sherlock Holmes !hich lie before me on the table. 7ne pa"e is missin" but other!ise they are e1actly as !ritten and sho! my feelin"s and suspicions of the moment more accurately than my memory clear as it is upon these tra"ic events can possibly do. Baskerville Hall 7ctober 1=th. M6 D4A) H70M4SA My previous letters and tele"rams have kept you pretty !ell up to date as to all that has occurred in this most 2od%forsaken corner of the !orld. The lon"er one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one/s soul its vastness and also its "rim charm. -hen you are once out upon its bosom you have left all traces of modern 4n"land behind you but on the other hand you are conscious every!here of the homes and the !ork of the prehistoric people. 7n all sides of you as you !alk are the houses of these for"otten folk !ith their "raves and the hu"e monoliths !hich are supposed to have marked their temples. As you look at their "ray stone huts a"ainst the scarred hillsides you leave your o!n a"e behind you and if you !ere to see a skin% clad hairy man cra!l out from the lo! door fittin" a flint%tipped arro! on to the strin" of his bo! you !ould feel that his presence there !as more natural than your o!n. The stran"e thin" is that they should have lived so thickly on !hat must al!ays have been most unfruitful soil. $ am no anti#uarian but $ could ima"ine that they !ere some un!arlike and harried race !ho !ere forced to accept that !hich none other !ould occupy. All this ho!ever is forei"n to the mission on !hich you sent me and !ill probably be very uninterestin" to your severely practical mind. $ can still remember your complete indifference as to !hether the sun moved round the earth or the earth round the sun. 0et me therefore return to the facts concernin" Sir Henry Baskerville. $f you have not had any report !ithin the last fe! days it is because up to today there !as nothin" of importance to relate. Then a very surprisin" circumstance occurred !hich $ shall tell you in due course. But first of all $ must keep you in touch !ith some of the other factors in the situation.

7ne of these concernin" !hich $ have said little is the escaped convict upon the moor. There is stron" reason no! to believe that he has "ot ri"ht a!ay !hich is a considerable relief to the lonely householders of this district. A fortni"ht has passed since his fli"ht durin" !hich he has not been seen and nothin" has been heard of him. $t is surely inconceivable that he could have held out upon the moor durin" all that time. 7f course so far as his concealment "oes there is no difficulty at all. Any one of these stone huts !ould "ive him a hidin"%place. But there is nothin" to eat unless he !ere to catch and slau"hter one of the moor sheep. -e think therefore that he has "one and the outlyin" farmers sleep the better in conse#uence. -e are four able%bodied men in this household so that !e could take "ood care of ourselves but $ confess that $ have had uneasy moments !hen $ have thou"ht 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 stron" man. They !ould be helpless in the hands of a desperate fello! like this 5ottin" Hill criminal if he could once effect an entrance. Both Sir Henry and $ !ere concerned at their situation and it !as su""ested that 'erkins the "room should "o over to sleep there but Stapleton !ould not hear of it. The fact is that our friend the baronet be"ins to display a considerable interest in our fair nei"hbour. $t is not to be !ondered at for time han"s heavily in this lonely spot to an active man like him and she is a very fascinatin" and beautiful !oman. There is somethin" tropical and e1otic about her !hich forms a sin"ular contrast to her cool and unemotional brother. 6et he also "ives the idea of hidden fires. He has certainly a very marked influence over her for $ have seen her continually "lance at him as she talked as if seekin" approbation for !hat she said. $ trust that he is kind to her. There is a dry "litter in his eyes and a firm set of his thin lips !hich "oes !ith a positive and possibly a harsh nature. 6ou !ould find him an interestin" study. He came over to call upon Baskerville on that first day and the very ne1t mornin" he took us both to sho! us the spot !here the le"end of the !icked Hu"o is supposed to have had its ori"in. $t !as an e1cursion of some miles across the moor to a place !hich is so dismal that it mi"ht have su""ested the story. -e found a short valley bet!een ru""ed tors !hich led to an open "rassy space flecked over !ith the !hite cotton "rass. $n the middle of it rose t!o "reat stones !orn and sharpened at the upper end until they looked like the hu"e corrodin" fan"s of some monstrous beast. $n every !ay it corresponded !ith the scene of the old tra"edy. Sir Henry !as much interested and asked Stapleton more than once !hether he did really believe in the possibility of the interference of the supernatural in the affairs of men. He spoke li"htly but it !as evident that he !as very much in earnest. Stapleton !as "uarded in his replies but it !as easy to see that he said less than he mi"ht and that he !ould not e1press his !hole opinion out of consideration for the feelin"s of the baronet. He told us of similar cases !here families had suffered from some evil

influence and he left us !ith the impression that he shared the popular vie! upon the matter. 7n our !ay back !e stayed for lunch at Merripit House and it !as there that Sir Henry made the ac#uaintance of Miss Stapleton. 8rom the first moment that he sa! her he appeared to be stron"ly attracted by her and $ am much mistaken if the feelin" !as not mutual. He referred to her a"ain and a"ain on our !alk home and since then hardly a day has passed that !e have not seen somethin" of the brother and sister. They dine here toni"ht and there is some talk of our "oin" to them ne1t !eek. 7ne !ould ima"ine that such a match !ould be very !elcome to Stapleton and yet $ have more than once cau"ht a look of the stron"est disapprobation in his face !hen Sir Henry has been payin" some attention to his sister. He is much attached to her no doubt and !ould lead a lonely life !ithout her but it !ould seem the hei"ht of selfishness if he !ere to stand in the !ay of her makin" so brilliant a marria"e. 6et $ am certain that he does not !ish their intimacy to ripen into love and $ have several times observed that he has taken pains to prevent them from bein" tete% a%tete. By the !ay your instructions to me never to allo! Sir Henry to "o out alone !ill become very much more onerous if a love affair !ere to be added to our other difficulties. My popularity !ould soon suffer if $ !ere to carry out your orders to the letter. The other day%%Thursday to be more e1act%%Dr. Mortimer lunched !ith us. He has been e1cavatin" a barro! at 0on" Do!n and has "ot a prehistoric skull !hich fills him !ith "reat ,oy. 5ever !as there such a sin"le%minded enthusiast as he3 The Stapletons came in after!ards and the "ood doctor took us all to the ye! alley at Sir Henry/s re#uest to sho! us e1actly ho! everythin" occurred upon that fatal ni"ht. $t is a lon" dismal !alk the ye! alley bet!een t!o hi"h !alls of clipped hed"e !ith a narro! band of "rass upon either side. At the far end is an old tumble% do!n summer%house. Half!ay do!n is the moor%"ate !here the old "entleman left his ci"ar%ash. $t is a !hite !ooden "ate !ith a latch. Beyond it lies the !ide moor. $ remembered your theory of the affair and tried to picture all that had occurred. As the old man stood there he sa! somethin" comin" across the moor somethin" !hich terrified him so that he lost his !its and ran and ran until he died of sheer horror and e1haustion. There !as the lon" "loomy tunnel do!n !hich he fled. And from !hat. A sheep%do" of the moor. 7r a spectral hound black silent and monstrous. -as there a human a"ency in the matter. Did the pale !atchful Barrymore kno! more than he cared to say. $t !as all dim and va"ue but al!ays there is the dark shado! of crime behind it. 7ne other nei"hbour $ have met since $ !rote last. This is Mr. 8rankland of 0after Hall !ho lives some four miles to the south of us. He is an elderly man red%faced !hite%haired and choleric. His passion is for the British la! and he has spent a lar"e fortune in liti"ation. He fi"hts for the mere pleasure of fi"htin" and is e#ually ready to take up either side of a #uestion so that it is no !onder that he has found it a costly amusement. Sometimes he !ill shut up a ri"ht of !ay and defy the parish to make him open it. At others he !ill !ith his o!n hands tear do!n some

other man/s "ate and declare that a path has e1isted there from time immemorial defyin" the o!ner to prosecute him for trespass. He is learned in old manorial and communal ri"hts and he applies his kno!led"e sometimes in favour of the villa"ers of 8ern!orthy and sometimes a"ainst them so that he is periodically either carried in triumph do!n the villa"e street or else burned in effi"y accordin" to his latest e1ploit. He is said to have about seven la!suits upon his hands at present !hich !ill probably s!allo! up the remainder of his fortune and so dra! his stin" and leave him harmless for the future. Apart from the la! he seems a kindly "ood%natured person and $ only mention him because you !ere particular that $ should send some description of the people !ho surround us. He is curiously employed at present for bein" an amateur astronomer he has an e1cellent telescope !ith !hich he lies upon the roof of his o!n house and s!eeps the moor all day in the hope of catchin" a "limpse of the escaped convict. $f he !ould confine his ener"ies to this all !ould be !ell but there are rumours that he intends to prosecute Dr. Mortimer for openin" a "rave !ithout the consent of the ne1t of kin because he du" up the 5eolithic skull in the barro! on 0on" Do!n. He helps to keep our lives from bein" monotonous and "ives a little comic relief !here it is badly needed. And no! havin" brou"ht you up to date in the escaped convict the Stapletons Dr. Mortimer and 8rankland of 0after Hall let me end on that !hich is most important and tell you more about the Barrymores and especially about the surprisin" development of last ni"ht. 8irst of all about the test tele"ram !hich you sent from 0ondon in order to make sure that Barrymore !as really here. $ have already e1plained that the testimony of the postmaster sho!s that the test !as !orthless and that !e have no proof one !ay or the other. $ told Sir Henry ho! the matter stood and he at once in his do!nri"ht fashion had Barrymore up and asked him !hether he had received the tele"ram himself. Barrymore said that he had. &Did the boy deliver it into your o!n hands.& asked Sir Henry. Barrymore looked surprised and considered for a little time. and my !ife

&5o & said he &$ !as in the bo1%room at the time brou"ht it up to me.& &Did you ans!er it yourself.&

&5o> $ told my !ife !hat to ans!er and she !ent do!n to !rite it.& $n the evenin" he recurred to the sub,ect of his o!n accord. &$ could not #uite understand the ob,ect of your #uestions this mornin" Sir Henry & said he. &$ trust that they do not mean that $ have done anythin" to forfeit your confidence.& Sir Henry had to assure him that it !as not so and pacify him by "ivin" him a considerable part of his old !ardrobe the 0ondon outfit havin" no! all arrived.

Mrs. Barrymore is of interest to me. She is a heavy solid person very limited intensely respectable and inclined to be puritanical. 6ou could hardly conceive a less emotional sub,ect. 6et $ have told you ho! on the first ni"ht here $ heard her sobbin" bitterly and since then $ have more than once observed traces of tears upon her face. Some deep sorro! "na!s ever at her heart. Sometimes $ !onder if she has a "uilty memory !hich haunts her and sometimes $ suspect Barrymore of bein" a domestic tyrant. $ have al!ays felt that there !as somethin" sin"ular and #uestionable in this man/s character but the adventure of last ni"ht brin"s all my suspicions to a head. And yet it may seem a small matter in itself. 6ou are a!are that $ am not a very sound sleeper and since $ have been on "uard in this house my slumbers have been li"hter than ever. 0ast ni"ht about t!o in the mornin" $ !as aroused by a stealthy step passin" my room. $ rose opened my door and peeped out. A lon" black shado! !as trailin" do!n the corridor. $t !as thro!n by a man !ho !alked softly do!n the passa"e !ith a candle held in his hand. He !as in shirt and trousers !ith no coverin" to his feet. $ could merely see the outline but his hei"ht told me that it !as Barrymore. He !alked very slo!ly and circumspectly and there !as somethin" indescribably "uilty and furtive in his !hole appearance. $ have told you that the corridor is broken by the balcony !hich runs round the hall but that it is resumed upon the farther side. $ !aited until he had passed out of si"ht and then $ follo!ed him. -hen $ came round the balcony he had reached the end of the farther corridor and $ could see from the "limmer of li"ht throu"h an open door that he had entered one of the rooms. 5o! all these rooms are unfurnished and unoccupied so that his e1pedition became more mysterious than ever. The li"ht shone steadily as if he !ere standin" motionless. $ crept do!n the passa"e as noiselessly as $ could and peeped round the corner of the door. Barrymore !as crouchin" at the !indo! !ith the candle held a"ainst the "lass. His profile !as half turned to!ards me and his face seemed to be ri"id !ith e1pectation as he stared out into the blackness of the moor. 8or some minutes he stood !atchin" intently. Then he "ave a deep "roan and !ith an impatient "esture he put out the li"ht. $nstantly $ made my !ay back to my room and very shortly came the stealthy steps passin" once more upon their return ,ourney. 0on" after!ards !hen $ had fallen into a li"ht sleep $ heard a key turn some!here in a lock but $ could not tell !hence the sound came. -hat it all means $ cannot "uess but there is some secret business "oin" on in this house of "loom !hich sooner or later !e shall "et to the bottom of. $ do not trouble you !ith my theories for you asked me to furnish you only !ith facts. $ have had a lon" talk !ith Sir Henry this mornin" and !e have made a plan of campai"n founded upon my observations of last ni"ht. $ !ill not speak about it ,ust no! but it should make my ne1t report interestin" readin".

Chapter K The 0i"ht upon the Moor CSecond )eport of Dr. -atsonD

Baskerville Hall 7ct. 1Hth. M6 D4A) H70M4SA $f $ !as compelled to leave you !ithout much ne!s durin" the early days of my mission you must ackno!led"e that $ am makin" up for lost time and that events are no! cro!din" thick and fast upon us. $n my last report $ ended upon my top note !ith Barrymore at the !indo! and no! $ have #uite a bud"et already !hich !ill unless $ am much mistaken considerably surprise you. Thin"s have taken a turn !hich $ could not have anticipated. $n some !ays they have !ithin the last forty%ei"ht hours become much clearer and in some !ays they have become more complicated. But $ !ill tell you all and you shall ,ud"e for yourself. Before breakfast on the mornin" follo!in" my adventure $ !ent do!n the corridor and e1amined the room in !hich Barrymore had been on the ni"ht before. The !estern !indo! throu"h !hich he had stared so intently has $ noticed one peculiarity above all other !indo!s in the house%%it commands the nearest outlook on to the moor. There is an openin" bet!een t!o trees !hich enables one from this point of vie! to look ri"ht do!n upon it !hile from all the other !indo!s it is only a distant "limpse !hich can be obtained. $t follo!s therefore that Barrymore since only this !indo! !ould serve the purpose must have been lookin" out for somethin" or somebody upon the moor. The ni"ht !as very dark so that $ can hardly ima"ine ho! he could have hoped to see anyone. $t had struck me that it !as possible that some love intri"ue !as on foot. That !ould have accounted for his stealthy movements and also for the uneasiness of his !ife. The man is a strikin"%lookin" fello! very !ell e#uipped to steal the heart of a country "irl so that this theory seemed to have somethin" to support it. That openin" of the door !hich $ had heard after $ had returned to my room mi"ht mean that he had "one out to keep some clandestine appointment. So $ reasoned !ith myself in the mornin" and $ tell you the direction of my suspicions ho!ever much the result may have sho!n that they !ere unfounded. But !hatever the true e1planation of Barrymore/s movements mi"ht be $ felt that the responsibility of keepin" them to myself until $ could e1plain them !as more than $ could bear. $ had an intervie! !ith the baronet in his study after breakfast and $ told him all that $ had seen. He !as less surprised than $ had e1pected. &$ kne! that Barrymore !alked about ni"hts and $ had a mind to speak to him about it & said he. &T!o or three times $ have heard his steps in the passa"e comin" and "oin" ,ust about the hour you name.& &'erhaps then he pays a visit every ni"ht to that particular !indo! & $ su""ested.

&'erhaps he does. $f so !e should be able to shado! him and see !hat it is that he is after. $ !onder !hat your friend Holmes !ould do if he !ere here.& &$ believe that he !ould do e1actly !hat you no! su""est & said $. &He !ould follo! Barrymore and see !hat he did.& &Then !e shall do it to"ether.& &But surely he !ould hear us.& &The man is rather deaf and in any case !e must take our chance of that. -e/ll sit up in my room toni"ht and !ait until he passes.& Sir Henry rubbed his hands !ith pleasure and it !as evident that he hailed the adventure as a relief to his some!hat #uiet life upon the moor. The baronet has been in communication !ith the architect !ho prepared the plans for Sir Charles and !ith a contractor from 0ondon so that !e may e1pect "reat chan"es to be"in here soon. There have been decorators and furnishers up from 'lymouth and it is evident that our friend has lar"e ideas and means to spare no pains or e1pense to restore the "randeur of his family. -hen the house is renovated and refurnished all that he !ill need !ill be a !ife to make it complete. Bet!een ourselves there are pretty clear si"ns that this !ill not be !antin" if the lady is !illin" for $ have seldom seen a man more infatuated !ith a !oman than he is !ith our beautiful nei"hbour Miss Stapleton. And yet the course of true love does not run #uite as smoothly as one !ould under the circumstances e1pect. Today for e1ample its surface !as broken by a very une1pected ripple !hich has caused our friend considerable perple1ity and annoyance. After the conversation !hich $ have #uoted about Barrymore Sir Henry put on his hat and prepared to "o out. As a matter of course $ did the same. &-hat are you comin" curious !ay. -atson.& he asked lookin" at me in a

&That depends on !hether you are "oin" on the moor & said $. &6es $ am.&

&-ell you kno! !hat my instructions are. $ am sorry to intrude but you heard ho! earnestly Holmes insisted that $ should not leave you and especially that you should not "o alone upon the moor.& Sir Henry put his hand upon my shoulder !ith a pleasant smile. &My dear fello! & said he &Holmes !ith all his !isdom did not foresee some thin"s !hich have happened since $ have been on the moor. 6ou understand me. $ am sure that you are the last man in the !orld !ho !ould !ish to be a spoil%sport. $ must "o out alone.& $t put me in a most a!k!ard position. $ !as at a loss !hat to

say or !hat to do and before $ had made up my mind he picked up his cane and !as "one. But !hen $ came to think the matter over my conscience reproached me bitterly for havin" on any prete1t allo!ed him to "o out of my si"ht. $ ima"ined !hat my feelin"s !ould be if $ had to return to you and to confess that some misfortune had occurred throu"h my disre"ard for your instructions. $ assure you my cheeks flushed at the very thou"ht. $t mi"ht not even no! be too late to overtake him so $ set off at once in the direction of Merripit House. $ hurried alon" the road at the top of my speed !ithout seein" anythin" of Sir Henry until $ came to the point !here the moor path branches off. There fearin" that perhaps $ had come in the !ron" direction after all $ mounted a hill from !hich $ could command a vie!%%the same hill !hich is cut into the dark #uarry. Thence $ sa! him at once. He !as on the moor path about a #uarter of a mile off and a lady !as by his side !ho could only be Miss Stapleton. $t !as clear that there !as already an understandin" bet!een them and that they had met by appointment. They !ere !alkin" slo!ly alon" in deep conversation and $ sa! her makin" #uick little movements of her hands as if she !ere very earnest in !hat she !as sayin" !hile he listened intently and once or t!ice shook his head in stron" dissent. $ stood amon" the rocks !atchin" them very much pu::led as to !hat $ should do ne1t. To follo! them and break into their intimate conversation seemed to be an outra"e and yet my clear duty !as never for an instant to let him out of my si"ht. To act the spy upon a friend !as a hateful task. Still $ could see no better course than to observe him from the hill and to clear my conscience by confessin" to him after!ards !hat $ had done. $t is true that if any sudden dan"er had threatened him $ !as too far a!ay to be of use and yet $ am sure that you !ill a"ree !ith me that the position !as very difficult and that there !as nothin" more !hich $ could do. 7ur friend Sir Henry and the lady had halted on the path and !ere standin" deeply absorbed in their conversation !hen $ !as suddenly a!are that $ !as not the only !itness of their intervie!. A !isp of "reen floatin" in the air cau"ht my eye and another "lance sho!ed me that it !as carried on a stick by a man !ho !as movin" amon" the broken "round. $t !as Stapleton !ith his butterfly%net. He !as very much closer to the pair than $ !as and he appeared to be movin" in their direction. At this instant Sir Henry suddenly dre! Miss Stapleton to his side. His arm !as round her but it seemed to me that she !as strainin" a!ay from him !ith her face averted. He stooped his head to hers and she raised one hand as if in protest. 5e1t moment $ sa! them sprin" apart and turn hurriedly round. Stapleton !as the cause of the interruption. He !as runnin" !ildly to!ards them his absurd net dan"lin" behind him. He "esticulated and almost danced !ith e1citement in front of the lovers. -hat the scene meant $ could not ima"ine but it seemed to me that Stapleton !as abusin" Sir Henry !ho offered e1planations !hich became more an"ry as the other refused to accept them. The lady stood by in hau"hty silence. 8inally Stapleton turned upon his heel and beckoned in a peremptory !ay to his sister !ho after an irresolute "lance at Sir Henry !alked off by the side of her brother. The naturalist/s an"ry

"estures sho!ed that the lady !as included in his displeasure. The baronet stood for a minute lookin" after them and then he !alked slo!ly back the !ay that he had come his head han"in" the very picture of de,ection. -hat all this meant $ could not ima"ine but $ !as deeply ashamed to have !itnessed so intimate a scene !ithout my friend/s kno!led"e. $ ran do!n the hill therefore and met the baronet at the bottom. His face !as flushed !ith an"er and his bro!s !ere !rinkled like one !ho is at his !it/s ends !hat to do. &Halloa -atson3 -here have you dropped from.& said he. &6ou don/t mean to say that you came after me in spite of all.& $ e1plained everythin" to himA ho! $ had found it impossible to remain behind ho! $ had follo!ed him and ho! $ had !itnessed all that had occurred. 8or an instant his eyes bla:ed at me but my frankness disarmed his an"er and he broke at last into a rather rueful lau"h. &6ou !ould have thou"ht the middle of that prairie a fairly safe place for a man to be private & said he &but by thunder the !hole countryside seems to have been out to see me do my !ooin"%% and a mi"hty poor !ooin" at that3 -here had you en"a"ed a seat.& &$ !as on that hill.& &Iuite in the back ro! eh. But her brother !as !ell up to the front. Did you see him come out on us.& &6es $ did.&

&Did he ever strike you as bein" cra:y%%this brother of hers.& &$ can/t say that he ever did.& &$ dare say not. $ al!ays thou"ht him sane enou"h until today but you can take it from me that either he or $ ou"ht to be in a strait,acket. -hat/s the matter !ith me anyho!. 6ou/ve lived near me for some !eeks -atson. Tell me strai"ht no!3 $s there anythin" that !ould prevent me from makin" a "ood husband to a !oman that $ loved.& &$ should say not.& &He can/t ob,ect to my !orldly position so it must be myself that he has this do!n on. -hat has he a"ainst me. $ never hurt man or !oman in my life that $ kno! of. And yet he !ould not so much as let me touch the tips of her fin"ers.& &Did he say so.& &That and a deal more. $ tell you -atson $/ve only kno!n her these fe! !eeks but from the first $ ,ust felt that she !as made for me and she too%%she !as happy !hen she !as !ith me and that $/ll s!ear. There/s a li"ht in a !oman/s eyes that speaks louder than !ords. But he has never let us "et to"ether and it !as only

today for the first time that $ sa! a chance of havin" a fe! !ords !ith her alone. She !as "lad to meet me but !hen she did it !as not love that she !ould talk about and she !ouldn/t have let me talk about it either if she could have stopped it. She kept comin" back to it that this !as a place of dan"er and that she !ould never be happy until $ had left it. $ told her that since $ had seen her $ !as in no hurry to leave it and that if she really !anted me to "o the only !ay to !ork it !as for her to arran"e to "o !ith me. -ith that $ offered in as many !ords to marry her but before she could ans!er do!n came this brother of hers runnin" at us !ith a face on him like a madman. He !as ,ust !hite !ith ra"e and those li"ht eyes of his !ere bla:in" !ith fury. -hat !as $ doin" !ith the lady. Ho! dared $ offer her attentions !hich !ere distasteful to her. Did $ think that because $ !as a baronet $ could do !hat $ liked. $f he had not been her brother $ should have kno!n better ho! to ans!er him. As it !as $ told him that my feelin"s to!ards his sister !ere such as $ !as not ashamed of and that $ hoped that she mi"ht honour me by becomin" my !ife. That seemed to make the matter no better so then $ lost my temper too and $ ans!ered him rather more hotly than $ should perhaps considerin" that she !as standin" by. So it ended by his "oin" off !ith her as you sa! and here am $ as badly pu::led a man as any in this county. (ust tell me !hat it all means -atson and $/ll o!e you more than ever $ can hope to pay.& $ tried one or t!o e1planations but indeed $ !as completely pu::led myself. 7ur friend/s title his fortune his a"e his character and his appearance are all in his favour and $ kno! nothin" a"ainst him unless it be this dark fate !hich runs in his family. That his advances should be re,ected so brus#uely !ithout any reference to the lady/s o!n !ishes and that the lady should accept the situation !ithout protest is very ama:in". Ho!ever our con,ectures !ere set at rest by a visit from Stapleton himself that very afternoon. He had come to offer apolo"ies for his rudeness of the mornin" and after a lon" private intervie! !ith Sir Henry in his study the upshot of their conversation !as that the breach is #uite healed and that !e are to dine at Merripit House ne1t 8riday as a si"n of it. &$ don/t say no! that he isn/t a cra:y man & said Sir Henry> &$ can/t for"et the look in his eyes !hen he ran at me this mornin" but $ must allo! that no man could make a more handsome apolo"y than he has done.& &Did he "ive any e1planation of his conduct.& &His sister is everythin" in his life he says. That is natural enou"h and $ am "lad that he should understand her value. They have al!ays been to"ether and accordin" to his account he has been a very lonely man !ith only her as a companion so that the thou"ht of losin" her !as really terrible to him. He had not understood he said that $ !as becomin" attached to her but !hen he sa! !ith his o!n eyes that it !as really so and that she mi"ht be taken a!ay from him it "ave him such a shock that for a time he !as not responsible for !hat he said or did. He !as very sorry for all that had passed and he reco"ni:ed ho!

foolish and ho! selfish it !as that he should ima"ine that he could hold a beautiful !oman like his sister to himself for her !hole life. $f she had to leave him he had rather it !as to a nei"hbour like myself than to anyone else. But in any case it !as a blo! to him and it !ould take him some time before he could prepare himself to meet it. He !ould !ithdra! all opposition upon his part if $ !ould promise for three months to let the matter rest and to be content !ith cultivatin" the lady/s friendship durin" that time !ithout claimin" her love. This $ promised and so the matter rests.& So there is one of our small mysteries cleared up. $t is somethin" to have touched bottom any!here in this bo" in !hich !e are flounderin". -e kno! no! !hy Stapleton looked !ith disfavour upon his sister/s suitor%%even !hen that suitor !as so eli"ible a one as Sir Henry. And no! $ pass on to another thread !hich $ have e1tricated out of the tan"led skein the mystery of the sobs in the ni"ht of the tear%stained face of Mrs. Barrymore of the secret ,ourney of the butler to the !estern lattice !indo!. Con"ratulate me my dear Holmes and tell me that $ have not disappointed you as an a"ent%%that you do not re"ret the confidence !hich you sho!ed in me !hen you sent me do!n. All these thin"s have by one ni"ht/s !ork been thorou"hly cleared. $ have said &by one ni"ht/s !ork & but in truth it !as by t!o ni"hts/ !ork for on the first !e dre! entirely blank. $ sat up !ith Sir Henry in his rooms until nearly three o/clock in the mornin" but no sound of any sort did !e hear e1cept the chimin" clock upon the stairs. $t !as a most melancholy vi"il and ended by each of us fallin" asleep in our chairs. 8ortunately !e !ere not discoura"ed and !e determined to try a"ain. The ne1t ni"ht !e lo!ered the lamp and sat smokin" ci"arettes !ithout makin" the least sound. $t !as incredible ho! slo!ly the hours cra!led by and yet !e !ere helped throu"h it by the same sort of patient interest !hich the hunter must feel as he !atches the trap into !hich he hopes the "ame may !ander. 7ne struck and t!o and !e had almost for the second time "iven it up in despair !hen in an instant !e both sat bolt upri"ht in our chairs !ith all our !eary senses keenly on the alert once more. -e had heard the creak of a step in the passa"e. Eery stealthily !e heard it pass alon" until it died a!ay in the distance. Then the baronet "ently opened his door and !e set out in pursuit. Already our man had "one round the "allery and the corridor !as all in darkness. Softly !e stole alon" until !e had come into the other !in". -e !ere ,ust in time to catch a "limpse of the tall black%bearded fi"ure his shoulders rounded as he tiptoed do!n the passa"e. Then he passed throu"h the same door as before and the li"ht of the candle framed it in the darkness and shot one sin"le yello! beam across the "loom of the corridor. -e shuffled cautiously to!ards it tryin" every plank before !e dared to put our !hole !ei"ht upon it. -e had taken the precaution of leavin" our boots behind us but even so the old boards snapped and creaked beneath our tread. Sometimes it seemed impossible that he should fail to hear our approach. Ho!ever the man is fortunately rather deaf and he !as entirely preoccupied in that !hich he !as doin". -hen at last !e reached the door and peeped

throu"h !e found him crouchin" at the !indo! candle in hand his !hite intent face pressed a"ainst the pane e1actly as $ had seen him t!o ni"hts before. -e had arran"ed no plan of campai"n but the baronet is a man to !hom the most direct !ay is al!ays the most natural. He !alked into the room and as he did so Barrymore spran" up from the !indo! !ith a sharp hiss of his breath and stood livid and tremblin" before us. His dark eyes "larin" out of the !hite mask of his face !ere full of horror and astonishment as he "a:ed from Sir Henry to me. &-hat are you doin" here Barrymore.&

&5othin" sir.& His a"itation !as so "reat that he could hardly speak and the shado!s spran" up and do!n from the shakin" of his candle. &$t !as the !indo! sir. $ "o round at ni"ht to see that they are fastened.& &7n the second floor.& &6es sir all the !indo!s.&

&0ook here Barrymore & said Sir Henry sternly &!e have made up our minds to have the truth out of you so it !ill save you trouble to tell it sooner rather than later. Come no!3 5o lies3 -hat !ere you doin" at that !indo!.& The fello! looked at us in a helpless !ay and he !run" his hands to"ether like one !ho is in the last e1tremity of doubt and misery. &$ !as doin" no harm sir. $ !as holdin" a candle to the !indo!.&

&And !hy !ere you holdin" a candle to the !indo!.& &Don/t ask me Sir Henry%%don/t ask me3 $ "ive you my !ord sir that it is not my secret and that $ cannot tell it. $f it concerned no one but myself $ !ould not try to keep it from you.& A sudden idea occurred to me and $ took the candle from the tremblin" hand of the butler. &He must have been holdin" it as a si"nal & said $. &0et us see if there is any ans!er.& $ held it as he had done and stared out into the darkness of the ni"ht. Ea"uely $ could discern the black bank of the trees and the li"hter e1panse of the moor for the moon !as behind the clouds. And then $ "ave a cry of e1ultation for a tiny pinpoint of yello! li"ht had suddenly transfi1ed the dark veil and "lo!ed steadily in the centre of the black s#uare framed by the !indo!. &There it is3& $ cried.

&5o no sir it is nothin"%%nothin" at all3& the butler broke in> &$ assure you sir%%& &Move your li"ht across the !indo! -atson3& cried the baronet.

&See the other moves also3 5o! you rascal do you deny that it is a si"nal. Come speak up3 -ho is your confederate out yonder and !hat is this conspiracy that is "oin" on.& The man/s face became openly defiant. not yours. $ !ill not tell.& &$t is my business and

&Then you leave my employment ri"ht a!ay.& &Eery "ood sir. $f $ must $ must.&

&And you "o in dis"race. By thunder you may !ell be ashamed of yourself. 6our family has lived !ith mine for over a hundred years under this roof and here $ find you deep in some dark plot a"ainst me.& &5o no sir> no not a"ainst you3& $t !as a !oman/s voice and Mrs. Barrymore paler and more horrorstruck than her husband !as standin" at the door. Her bulky fi"ure in a sha!l and skirt mi"ht have been comic !ere it not for the intensity of feelin" upon her face. &-e have to "o 4li:a. This is the end of it. thin"s & said the butler. 6ou can pack our

&7h (ohn (ohn have $ brou"ht you to this. $t is my doin" Sir Henry%%all mine. He has done nothin" e1cept for my sake and because $ asked him.& &Speak out then3 -hat does it mean.&

&My unhappy brother is starvin" on the moor. -e cannot let him perish at our very "ates. The li"ht is a si"nal to him that food is ready for him and his li"ht out yonder is to sho! the spot to !hich to brin" it.& &Then your brother is%%& &The escaped convict sir%%Selden the criminal.&

&That/s the truth sir & said Barrymore. &$ said that it !as not my secret and that $ could not tell it to you. But no! you have heard it and you !ill see that if there !as a plot it !as not a"ainst you.& This then !as the e1planation of the stealthy e1peditions at ni"ht and the li"ht at the !indo!. Sir Henry and $ both stared at the !oman in ama:ement. -as it possible that this stolidly respectable person !as of the same blood as one of the most notorious criminals in the country. &6es sir my name !as Selden and he is my youn"er brother. -e humoured him too much !hen he !as a lad and "ave him his o!n !ay in everythin" until he came to think that the !orld !as made for his pleasure and that he could do !hat he liked in it. Then as he "re! older he met !icked companions and the devil entered into him until he broke my mother/s heart and dra""ed our name

in the dirt. 8rom crime to crime he sank lo!er and lo!er until it is only the mercy of 2od !hich has snatched him from the scaffold> but to me sir he !as al!ays the little curly%headed boy that $ had nursed and played !ith as an elder sister !ould. That !as !hy he broke prison sir. He kne! that $ !as here and that !e could not refuse to help him. -hen he dra""ed himself here one ni"ht !eary and starvin" !ith the !arders hard at his heels !hat could !e do. -e took him in and fed him and cared for him. Then you returned sir and my brother thou"ht he !ould be safer on the moor than any!here else until the hue and cry !as over so he lay in hidin" there. But every second ni"ht !e made sure if he !as still there by puttin" a li"ht in the !indo! and if there !as an ans!er my husband took out some bread and meat to him. 4very day !e hoped that he !as "one but as lon" as he !as there !e could not desert him. That is the !hole truth as $ am an honest Christian !oman and you !ill see that if there is blame in the matter it does not lie !ith my husband but !ith me for !hose sake he has done all that he has.& The !oman/s !ords came !ith an intense earnestness !hich carried conviction !ith them. &$s this true &6es Barrymore.& 4very !ord of it.&

Sir Henry.

&-ell $ cannot blame you for standin" by your o!n !ife. 8or"et !hat $ have said. 2o to your room you t!o and !e shall talk further about this matter in the mornin".& -hen they !ere "one !e looked out of the !indo! a"ain. Sir Henry had flun" it open and the cold ni"ht !ind beat in upon our faces. 8ar a!ay in the black distance there still "lo!ed that one tiny point of yello! li"ht. &$ !onder he dares & said Sir Henry. &$t may be so placed as to be only visible from here.& &Eery likely. Ho! far do you think it is.& $ think.&

&7ut by the Cleft Tor

&5ot more than a mile or t!o off.& &Hardly that.& &-ell it cannot be far if Barrymore had to carry out the food to it. And he is !aitin" this villain beside that candle. By thunder -atson $ am "oin" out to take that man3& The same thou"ht had crossed my o!n mind. $t !as not as if the Barrymores had taken us into their confidence. Their secret had been forced from them. The man !as a dan"er to the community an unmiti"ated scoundrel for !hom there !as neither pity nor e1cuse. -e !ere only doin" our duty in takin" this chance of puttin" him back !here he could do no harm. -ith his brutal and

violent nature others !ould have to pay the price if !e held our hands. Any ni"ht for e1ample our nei"hbours the Stapletons mi"ht be attacked by him and it may have been the thou"ht of this !hich made Sir Henry so keen upon the adventure. &$ !ill come & said $. &Then "et your revolver and put on your boots. The sooner !e start the better as the fello! may put out his li"ht and be off.& $n five minutes !e !ere outside the door startin" upon our e1pedition. -e hurried throu"h the dark shrubbery amid the dull moanin" of the autumn !ind and the rustle of the fallin" leaves. The ni"ht air !as heavy !ith the smell of damp and decay. 5o! and a"ain the moon peeped out for an instant but clouds !ere drivin" over the face of the sky and ,ust as !e came out on the moor a thin rain be"an to fall. The li"ht still burned steadily in front. &Are you armed.& $ asked.

&$ have a huntin"%crop.& &-e must close in on him rapidly for he is said to be a desperate fello!. -e shall take him by surprise and have him at our mercy before he can resist.& &$ say -atson & said the baronet &!hat !ould Holmes say to this. Ho! about that hour of darkness in !hich the po!er of evil is e1alted.& As if in ans!er to his !ords there rose suddenly out of the vast "loom of the moor that stran"e cry !hich $ had already heard upon the borders of the "reat 2rimpen Mire. $t came !ith the !ind throu"h the silence of the ni"ht a lon" deep mutter then a risin" ho!l and then the sad moan in !hich it died a!ay. A"ain and a"ain it sounded the !hole air throbbin" !ith it strident !ild and menacin". The baronet cau"ht my sleeve and his face "limmered !hite throu"h the darkness. &My 2od !hat/s that -atson.& $ heard it -e stood

&$ don/t kno!. once before.&

$t/s a sound they have on the moor.

$t died a!ay and an absolute silence closed in upon us. strainin" our ears but nothin" came. &-atson & said the baronet &it !as the cry of a hound.&

My blood ran cold in my veins for there !as a break in his voice !hich told of the sudden horror !hich had sei:ed him. &-hat do they call this sound.& he asked. &-ho.&

&The folk on the countryside.& &7h they are i"norant people. call it.& &Tell me -atson. -hy should you mind !hat they

-hat do they say of it.&

$ hesitated but could not escape the #uestion. &They say it is the cry of the Hound of the Baskervilles.& He "roaned and !as silent for a fe! moments. &A hound it !as & he said at last &but it seemed to come from miles a!ay over yonder $ think.& &$t !as hard to say !hence it came.& &$t rose and fell !ith the !ind. the "reat 2rimpen Mire.& &6es it is.& 6ou $sn/t that the direction of

&-ell it !as up there. Come no! -atson didn/t you think yourself that it !as the cry of a hound. $ am not a child. need not fear to speak the truth.& &Stapleton !as !ith me !hen $ heard it last. mi"ht be the callin" of a stran"e bird.& He said that it

&5o no it !as a hound. My 2od can there be some truth in all these stories. $s it possible that $ am really in dan"er from so dark a cause. 6ou don/t believe it do you -atson.& &5o no.&

&And yet it !as one thin" to lau"h about it in 0ondon and it is another to stand out here in the darkness of the moor and to hear such a cry as that. And my uncle3 There !as the footprint of the hound beside him as he lay. $t all fits to"ether. $ don/t think that $ am a co!ard -atson but that sound seemed to free:e my very blood. 8eel my hand3& $t !as as cold as a block of marble. &6ou/ll be all ri"ht tomorro!.& &$ don/t think $/ll "et that cry out of my head. advise that !e do no!.& &Shall !e turn back.& &5o by thunder> !e have come out to "et our man and !e !ill do it. -e after the convict and a hell%hound as likely as not after us. Come on3 -e/ll see it throu"h if all the fiends of the pit !ere loose upon the moor.& -hat do you

-e stumbled slo!ly alon" in the darkness !ith the black loom of the cra""y hills around us and the yello! speck of li"ht burnin" steadily in front. There is nothin" so deceptive as the distance of a li"ht upon a pitch%dark ni"ht and sometimes the "limmer seemed to be far a!ay upon the hori:on and sometimes it mi"ht have been !ithin a fe! yards of us. But at last !e could see !hence it came and then !e kne! that !e !ere indeed very close. A "utterin" candle !as stuck in a crevice of the rocks !hich flanked it on each side so as to keep the !ind from it and also to prevent it from bein" visible save in the direction of Baskerville Hall. A boulder of "ranite concealed our approach and crouchin" behind it !e "a:ed over it at the si"nal li"ht. $t !as stran"e to see this sin"le candle burnin" there in the middle of the moor !ith no si"n of life near it%%,ust the one strai"ht yello! flame and the "leam of the rock on each side of it. &-hat shall !e do no!.& !hispered Sir Henry. &-ait here. He must be near his li"ht. a "limpse of him.& 0et us see if !e can "et

The !ords !ere hardly out of my mouth !hen !e both sa! him. 7ver the rocks in the crevice of !hich the candle burned there !as thrust out an evil yello! face a terrible animal face all seamed and scored !ith vile passions. 8oul !ith mire !ith a bristlin" beard and hun" !ith matted hair it mi"ht !ell have belon"ed to one of those old sava"es !ho d!elt in the burro!s on the hillsides. The li"ht beneath him !as reflected in his small cunnin" eyes !hich peered fiercely to ri"ht and left throu"h the darkness like a crafty and sava"e animal !ho has heard the steps of the hunters. Somethin" had evidently aroused his suspicions. $t may have been that Barrymore had some private si"nal !hich !e had ne"lected to "ive or the fello! may have had some other reason for thinkin" that all !as not !ell but $ could read his fears upon his !icked face. Any instant he mi"ht dash out the li"ht and vanish in the darkness. $ spran" for!ard therefore and Sir Henry did the same. At the same moment the convict screamed out a curse at us and hurled a rock !hich splintered up a"ainst the boulder !hich had sheltered us. $ cau"ht one "limpse of his short s#uat stron"ly built fi"ure as he spran" to his feet and turned to run. At the same moment by a lucky chance the moon broke throu"h the clouds. -e rushed over the bro! of the hill and there !as our man runnin" !ith "reat speed do!n the other side sprin"in" over the stones in his !ay !ith the activity of a mountain "oat. A lucky lon" shot of my revolver mi"ht have crippled him but $ had brou"ht it only to defend myself if attacked and not to shoot an unarmed man !ho !as runnin" a!ay. -e !ere both s!ift runners and in fairly "ood trainin" but !e soon found that !e had no chance of overtakin" him. -e sa! him for a lon" time in the moonli"ht until he !as only a small speck movin" s!iftly amon" the boulders upon the side of a distant hill. -e ran and ran until !e !ere completely blo!n but the space bet!een us "re! ever !ider. 8inally !e stopped and sat pantin" on t!o rocks !hile !e !atched him disappearin" in the distance.

And it !as at this moment that there occurred a most stran"e and une1pected thin". -e had risen from our rocks and !ere turnin" to "o home havin" abandoned the hopeless chase. The moon !as lo! upon the ri"ht and the ,a""ed pinnacle of a "ranite tor stood up a"ainst the lo!er curve of its silver disc. There outlined as black as an ebony statue on that shinin" back"round $ sa! the fi"ure of a man upon the tor. Do not think that it !as a delusion Holmes. $ assure you that $ have never in my life seen anythin" more clearly. As far as $ could ,ud"e the fi"ure !as that of a tall thin man. He stood !ith his le"s a little separated his arms folded his head bo!ed as if he !ere broodin" over that enormous !ilderness of peat and "ranite !hich lay before him. He mi"ht have been the very spirit of that terrible place. $t !as not the convict. This man !as far from the place !here the latter had disappeared. Besides he !as a much taller man. -ith a cry of surprise $ pointed him out to the baronet but in the instant durin" !hich $ had turned to "rasp his arm the man !as "one. There !as the sharp pinnacle of "ranite still cuttin" the lo!er ed"e of the moon but its peak bore no trace of that silent and motionless fi"ure. $ !ished to "o in that direction and to search the tor but it !as some distance a!ay. The baronet/s nerves !ere still #uiverin" from that cry !hich recalled the dark story of his family and he !as not in the mood for fresh adventures. He had not seen this lonely man upon the tor and could not feel the thrill !hich his stran"e presence and his commandin" attitude had "iven to me. &A !arder no doubt & said he. &The moor has been thick !ith them since this fello! escaped.& -ell perhaps his e1planation may be the ri"ht one but $ should like to have some further proof of it. Today !e mean to communicate to the 'rinceto!n people !here they should look for their missin" man but it is hard lines that !e have not actually had the triumph of brin"in" him back as our o!n prisoner. Such are the adventures of last ni"ht and you must ackno!led"e my dear Holmes that $ have done you very !ell in the matter of a report. Much of !hat $ tell you is no doubt #uite irrelevant but still $ feel that it is best that $ should let you have all the facts and leave you to select for yourself those !hich !ill be of most service to you in helpin" you to your conclusions. -e are certainly makin" some pro"ress. So far as the Barrymores "o !e have found the motive of their actions and that has cleared up the situation very much. But the moor !ith its mysteries and its stran"e inhabitants remains as inscrutable as ever. 'erhaps in my ne1t $ may be able to thro! some li"ht upon this also. Best of all !ould it be if you could come do!n to us. $n any case you !ill hear from me a"ain in the course of the ne1t fe! days.

Chapter 1@ 41tract from the Diary of Dr. -atson

So far $ have been able to #uote from the reports !hich $ have

for!arded durin" these early days to Sherlock Holmes. 5o! ho!ever $ have arrived at a point in my narrative !here $ am compelled to abandon this method and to trust once more to my recollections aided by the diary !hich $ kept at the time. A fe! e1tracts from the latter !ill carry me on to those scenes !hich are indelibly fi1ed in every detail upon my memory. $ proceed then from the mornin" !hich follo!ed our abortive chase of the convict and our other stran"e e1periences upon the moor. 7ctober 1Fth. A dull and fo""y day !ith a dri::le of rain. The house is banked in !ith rollin" clouds !hich rise no! and then to sho! the dreary curves of the moor !ith thin silver veins upon the sides of the hills and the distant boulders "leamin" !here the li"ht strikes upon their !et faces. $t is melancholy outside and in. The baronet is in a black reaction after the e1citements of the ni"ht. $ am conscious myself of a !ei"ht at my heart and a feelin" of impendin" dan"er%%ever present dan"er !hich is the more terrible because $ am unable to define it. And have $ not cause for such a feelin". Consider the lon" se#uence of incidents !hich have all pointed to some sinister influence !hich is at !ork around us. There is the death of the last occupant of the Hall fulfillin" so e1actly the conditions of the family le"end and there are the repeated reports from peasants of the appearance of a stran"e creature upon the moor. T!ice $ have !ith my o!n ears heard the sound !hich resembled the distant bayin" of a hound. $t is incredible impossible that it should really be outside the ordinary la!s of nature. A spectral hound !hich leaves material footmarks and fills the air !ith its ho!lin" is surely not to be thou"ht of. Stapleton may fall in !ith such a superstition and Mortimer also but if $ have one #uality upon earth it is common sense and nothin" !ill persuade me to believe in such a thin". To do so !ould be to descend to the level of these poor peasants !ho are not content !ith a mere fiend do" but must needs describe him !ith hell%fire shootin" from his mouth and eyes. Holmes !ould not listen to such fancies and $ am his a"ent. But facts are facts and $ have t!ice heard this cryin" upon the moor. Suppose that there !ere really some hu"e hound loose upon it> that !ould "o far to e1plain everythin". But !here could such a hound lie concealed !here did it "et its food !here did it come from ho! !as it that no one sa! it by day. $t must be confessed that the natural e1planation offers almost as many difficulties as the other. And al!ays apart from the hound there is the fact of the human a"ency in 0ondon the man in the cab and the letter !hich !arned Sir Henry a"ainst the moor. This at least !as real but it mi"ht have been the !ork of a protectin" friend as easily as of an enemy. -here is that friend or enemy no!. Has he remained in 0ondon or has he follo!ed us do!n here. Could he%%could he be the stran"er !hom $ sa! upon the tor. $t is true that $ have had only the one "lance at him and yet there are some thin"s to !hich $ am ready to s!ear. He is no one !hom $ have seen do!n here and $ have no! met all the nei"hbours. The fi"ure !as far taller than that of Stapleton far thinner than that of 8rankland. Barrymore it mi"ht possibly have been but !e had left him behind us and $ am certain that he could not have follo!ed us. A stran"er then is still do""in"

us ,ust as a stran"er do""ed us in 0ondon. -e have never shaken him off. $f $ could lay my hands upon that man then at last !e mi"ht find ourselves at the end of all our difficulties. To this one purpose $ must no! devote all my ener"ies. My first impulse !as to tell Sir Henry all my plans. My second and !isest one is to play my o!n "ame and speak as little as possible to anyone. He is silent and distrait. His nerves have been stran"ely shaken by that sound upon the moor. $ !ill say nothin" to add to his an1ieties but $ !ill take my o!n steps to attain my o!n end. -e had a small scene this mornin" after breakfast. Barrymore asked leave to speak !ith Sir Henry and they !ere closeted in his study some little time. Sittin" in the billiard%room $ more than once heard the sound of voices raised and $ had a pretty "ood idea !hat the point !as !hich !as under discussion. After a time the baronet opened his door and called for me. &Barrymore considers that he has a "rievance & he said. &He thinks that it !as unfair on our part to hunt his brother%in%la! do!n !hen he of his o!n free !ill had told us the secret.& The butler !as standin" very pale but very collected before us. &$ may have spoken too !armly sir & said he &and if $ have $ am sure that $ be" your pardon. At the same time $ !as very much surprised !hen $ heard you t!o "entlemen come back this mornin" and learned that you had been chasin" Selden. The poor fello! has enou"h to fi"ht a"ainst !ithout my puttin" more upon his track.& &$f you had told us of your o!n free !ill it !ould have been a different thin" & said the baronet &you only told us or rather your !ife only told us !hen it !as forced from you and you could not help yourself.& &$ didn/t think you !ould have taken advanta"e of it indeed $ didn/t.& Sir Henry%%

&The man is a public dan"er. There are lonely houses scattered over the moor and he is a fello! !ho !ould stick at nothin". 6ou only !ant to "et a "limpse of his face to see that. 0ook at Mr. Stapleton/s house for e1ample !ith 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 sir. $ "ive you my solemn !ord upon that. But he !ill never trouble anyone in this country a"ain. $ assure you Sir Henry that in a very fe! days the necessary arran"ements !ill have been made and he !ill be on his !ay to South America. 8or 2od/s sake sir $ be" of you not to let the police kno! that he is still on the moor. They have "iven up the chase there and he can lie #uiet until the ship is ready for him. 6ou can/t tell on him !ithout "ettin" my !ife and me into trouble. $ be" you sir to say nothin" to the police.& &-hat do you say -atson.&

$ shru""ed my shoulders. &$f he !ere safely out of the country it !ould relieve the ta1%payer of a burden.& &But ho! about the chance of his holdin" someone up before he "oes.& &He !ould not do anythin" so mad sir. -e have provided him !ith all that he can !ant. To commit a crime !ould be to sho! !here he !as hidin".& &That is true & said Sir Henry. &-ell Barrymore%%& $t !ould have

&2od bless you sir and thank you from my heart3 killed my poor !ife had he been taken a"ain.&

&$ "uess !e are aidin" and abettin" a felony -atson. But after !hat !e have heard $ don/t feel as if $ could "ive the man up so there is an end of it. All ri"ht Barrymore you can "o.& -ith a fe! broken !ords of "ratitude the man turned hesitated and then came back. but he

&6ou/ve been so kind to us sir that $ should like to do the best $ can for you in return. $ kno! somethin" Sir Henry and perhaps $ should have said it before but it !as lon" after the in#uest that $ found it out. $/ve never breathed a !ord about it yet to mortal man. $t/s about poor Sir Charles/s death.& The baronet and $ !ere both upon our feet. died.& &5o sir $ don/t kno! that.& &Do you kno! ho! he

&-hat then.& &$ kno! !hy he !as at the "ate at that hour. !oman.& &To meet a !oman3 &6es sir.& He.& $t !as to meet a

&And the !oman/s name.& &$ can/t "ive you the name Her initials !ere 0. 0.& &Ho! do you kno! this sir but $ can "ive you the initials.

Barrymore.&

&-ell Sir Henry your uncle had a letter that mornin". He had usually a "reat many letters for he !as a public man and !ell kno!n for his kind heart so that everyone !ho !as in trouble !as "lad to turn to him. But that mornin" as it chanced there !as only this one letter so $ took the more notice of it. $t !as from Coombe Tracey and it !as addressed in a !oman/s hand.& &-ell.&

&-ell sir $ thou"ht no more of the matter and never !ould have done had it not been for my !ife. 7nly a fe! !eeks a"o she !as cleanin" 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 "rate. The "reater part of it !as charred to pieces but one little slip the end of a pa"e hun" to"ether and the !ritin" could still be read thou"h it !as "ray on a black "round. $t seemed to us to be a postscript at the end of the letter and it saidA /'lease please as you are a "entleman burn this letter and be at the "ate by ten o clock. Beneath it !ere si"ned the initials 0. 0.& &Have you "ot that slip.& &5o sir it crumbled all to bits after !e moved it.&

&Had Sir Charles received any other letters in the same !ritin".& &-ell sir $ took no particular notice of his letters. $ should not have noticed this one only it happened to come alone.& &And you have no idea !ho 0. 0. is.& &5o sir. 5o more than you have. But $ e1pect if !e could lay our hands upon that lady !e should kno! more about Sir Charles/s death.& &$ cannot understand Barrymore important information.& ho! you came to conceal this

&-ell sir it !as immediately after that our o!n trouble came to us. And then a"ain sir !e !ere both of us very fond of Sir Charles as !e !ell mi"ht be considerin" all that he has done for us. To rake this up couldn/t help our poor master and it/s !ell to "o carefully !hen there/s a lady in the case. 4ven the best of us%%& &6ou thou"ht it mi"ht in,ure his reputation.& &-ell sir $ thou"ht no "ood could come of it. But no! you have been kind to us and $ feel as if it !ould be treatin" you unfairly not to tell you all that $ kno! about the matter.& &Eery "ood Barrymore> you can "o.& -hen the butler had left us Sir Henry turned to me. &-ell -atson !hat do you think of this ne! li"ht.& &$t seems to leave the darkness rather blacker than before.& &So $ think. But if !e can only trace 0. 0. it should clear up the !hole business. -e have "ained that much. -e kno! that there is someone !ho has the facts if !e can only find her. -hat do you think !e should do.& &0et Holmes kno! all about it at once. $t !ill "ive him the clue for !hich he has been seekin". $ am much mistaken if it does not

brin" him do!n.& $ !ent at once to my room and dre! up my report of the mornin"/s conversation for Holmes. $t !as evident to me that he had been very busy of late for the notes !hich $ had from Baker Street !ere fe! and short !ith no comments upon the information !hich $ had supplied and hardly any reference to my mission. 5o doubt his blackmailin" case is absorbin" all his faculties. And yet this ne! factor must surely arrest his attention and rene! his interest. $ !ish that he !ere here. 7ctober 1?th. All day today the rain poured do!n rustlin" on the ivy and drippin" from the eaves. $ thou"ht of the convict out upon the bleak cold shelterless moor. 'oor devil3 -hatever his crimes he has suffered somethin" to atone for them. And then $ thou"ht of that other one%%the face in the cab the fi"ure a"ainst the moon. -as he also out in that delu"ed%%the unseen !atcher the man of darkness. $n the evenin" $ put on my !aterproof and $ !alked far upon the sodden moor full of dark ima"inin"s the rain beatin" upon my face and the !ind !histlin" about my ears. 2od help those !ho !ander into the "reat mire no! for even the firm uplands are becomin" a morass. $ found the black tor upon !hich $ had seen the solitary !atcher and from its cra""y summit $ looked out myself across the melancholy do!ns. )ain s#ualls drifted across their russet face and the heavy slate%coloured clouds hun" lo! over the landscape trailin" in "ray !reaths do!n the sides of the fantastic hills. $n the distant hollo! on the left half hidden by the mist the t!o thin to!ers of Baskerville Hall rose above the trees. They !ere the only si"ns of human life !hich $ could see save only those prehistoric huts !hich lay thickly upon the slopes of the hills. 5o!here !as there any trace of that lonely man !hom $ had seen on the same spot t!o ni"hts before. As $ !alked back $ !as overtaken by Dr. Mortimer drivin" in his do"%cart over a rou"h moorland track !hich led from the outlyin" farmhouse of 8oulmire. He has been very attentive to us and hardly a day has passed that he has not called at the Hall to see ho! !e !ere "ettin" on. He insisted upon my climbin" into his do"%cart and he "ave me a lift home!ard. $ found him much troubled over the disappearance of his little spaniel. $t had !andered on to the moor and had never come back. $ "ave him such consolation as $ mi"ht but $ thou"ht of the pony on the 2rimpen Mire and $ do not fancy that he !ill see his little do" a"ain. &By the !ay Mortimer & said $ as !e ,olted alon" the rou"h road &$ suppose there are fe! people livin" !ithin drivin" distance of this !hom you do not kno!.& &Hardly any &Can you 0. 0..& $ think.& tell me the name of any !oman !hose initials are

then

He thou"ht for a fe! minutes. &5o & said he. &There are a fe! "ipsies and labourin" folk for

!hom $ can/t ans!er but amon" the farmers or "entry there is no one !hose initials are those. -ait a bit thou"h & he added after a pause. &There is 0aura 0yons%%her initials are 0. 0.%%but she lives in Coombe Tracey.& &-ho is she.& $ asked.

&She is 8rankland/s dau"hter.& &-hat3 7ld 8rankland the crank.&

&41actly. She married an artist named 0yons !ho came sketchin" on the moor. He proved to be a black"uard and deserted her. The fault from !hat $ hear may not have been entirely on one side. Her father refused to have anythin" to do !ith her because she had married !ithout his consent and perhaps for one or t!o other reasons as !ell. So bet!een the old sinner and the youn" one the "irl has had a pretty bad time.& &Ho! does she live.& &$ fancy old 8rankland allo!s her a pittance but it cannot be more for his o!n affairs are considerably involved. -hatever she may have deserved one could not allo! her to "o hopelessly to the bad. Her story "ot about and several of the people here did somethin" to enable her to earn an honest livin". Stapleton did for one and Sir Charles for another. $ "ave a trifle myself. $t !as to set her up in a type!ritin" business.& He !anted to kno! the ob,ect of my in#uiries but $ mana"ed to satisfy his curiosity !ithout tellin" him too much for there is no reason !hy !e should take anyone into our confidence. Tomorro! mornin" $ shall find my !ay to Coombe Tracey and if $ can see this Mrs. 0aura 0yons of e#uivocal reputation a lon" step !ill have been made to!ards clearin" one incident in this chain of mysteries. $ am certainly developin" the !isdom of the serpent for !hen Mortimer pressed his #uestions to an inconvenient e1tent $ asked him casually to !hat type 8rankland/s skull belon"ed and so heard nothin" but craniolo"y for the rest of our drive. $ have not lived for years !ith Sherlock Holmes for nothin". $ have only one other incident to record upon this tempestuous and melancholy day. This !as my conversation !ith Barrymore ,ust no! !hich "ives me one more stron" card !hich $ can play in due time. Mortimer had stayed to dinner and he and the baronet played ecarte after!ards. The butler brou"ht me my coffee into the library and $ took the chance to ask him a fe! #uestions. &-ell & said $ &has this precious relation of yours departed or is he still lurkin" out yonder.& &$ don/t kno! sir. $ hope to heaven that he has "one for he has brou"ht nothin" but trouble here3 $/ve not heard of him since $ left out food for him last and that !as three days a"o.&

&Did you see him then.& &5o sir but the food !as "one !hen ne1t $ !ent that !ay.&

&Then he !as certainly there.& &So you !ould think sir unless it !as the other man !ho took it.&

$ sat !ith my coffee%cup half!ay to my lips and stared at Barrymore. &6ou kno! that there is another man then.& &6es sir> there is another man upon the moor.&

&Have you seen him.& &5o sir.&

&Ho! do you kno! of him then.& &Selden told me of him sir a !eek a"o or more. He/s in hidin" too but he/s not a convict as far as $ can make out. $ don/t like it Dr. -atson%%$ tell you strai"ht sir that $ don/t like it.& He spoke !ith a sudden passion of earnestness. &5o! listen to me Barrymore3 $ have no interest in this matter but that of your master. $ have come here !ith no ob,ect e1cept to help him. Tell me frankly !hat it is that you don/t like.& Barrymore hesitated for a moment as if he re"retted his outburst or found it difficult to e1press his o!n feelin"s in !ords. &$t/s all these "oin"s%on sir & he cried at last !avin" his hand to!ards the rain%lashed !indo! !hich faced the moor. &There/s foul play some!here and there/s black villainy bre!in" to that $/ll s!ear3 Eery "lad $ should be sir to see Sir Henry on his !ay back to 0ondon a"ain3& &But !hat is it that alarms you.& &0ook at Sir Charles/s death3 That !as bad enou"h for all that the coroner said. 0ook at the noises on the moor at ni"ht. There/s not a man !ould cross it after sundo!n if he !as paid for it. 0ook at this stran"er hidin" out yonder and !atchin" and !aitin"3 -hat/s he !aitin" for. -hat does it mean. $t means no "ood to anyone of the name of Baskerville and very "lad $ shall be to be #uit of it all on the day that Sir Henry/s ne! servants are ready to take over the Hall.& &But about this stran"er & said $. &Can you tell me anythin" about him. -hat did Selden say. Did he find out !here he hid or !hat he !as doin".& &He sa! him once or t!ice but he is a deep one and "ives nothin" a!ay. At first he thou"ht that he !as the police but soon he found that he had some lay of his o!n. A kind of "entleman he !as as far as he could see but !hat he !as doin" he could not

make out.& &And !here did he say that he lived.& &Amon" the old houses on the hillside%%the stone huts !here the old folk used to live.& &But ho! about his food.& &Selden found out that he has "ot a lad !ho !orks for him and brin"s all he needs. $ dare say he "oes to Coombe Tracey for !hat he !ants.& &Eery "ood Barrymore. -e may talk further of this some other time.& -hen the butler had "one $ !alked over to the black !indo! and $ looked throu"h a blurred pane at the drivin" clouds and at the tossin" outline of the !ind%s!ept trees. $t is a !ild ni"ht indoors and !hat must it be in a stone hut upon the moor. -hat passion of hatred can it be !hich leads a man to lurk in such a place at such a time3 And !hat deep and earnest purpose can he have !hich calls for such a trial3 There in that hut upon the moor seems to lie the very centre of that problem !hich has ve1ed me so sorely. $ s!ear that another day shall not have passed before $ have done all that man can do to reach the heart of the mystery.

Chapter 11 The Man on the Tor

The e1tract from my private diary !hich forms the last chapter has brou"ht my narrative up to the ei"hteenth of 7ctober a time !hen these stran"e events be"an to move s!iftly to!ards their terrible conclusion. The incidents of the ne1t fe! days are indelibly "raven upon my recollection and $ can tell them !ithout reference to the notes made at the time. $ start them from the day !hich succeeded that upon !hich $ had established t!o facts of "reat importance the one that Mrs. 0aura 0yons of Coombe Tracey had !ritten to Sir Charles Baskerville and made an appointment !ith him at the very place and hour that he met his death the other that the lurkin" man upon the moor !as to be found amon" the stone huts upon the hillside. -ith these t!o facts in my possession $ felt that either my intelli"ence or my coura"e must be deficient if $ could not thro! some further li"ht upon these dark places. $ had no opportunity to tell the baronet !hat $ had learned about Mrs. 0yons upon the evenin" before for Dr. Mortimer remained !ith him at cards until it !as very late. At breakfast ho!ever $ informed him about my discovery and asked him !hether he !ould care to accompany me to Coombe Tracey. At first he !as very ea"er to come but on second thou"hts it seemed to both of us that if $ !ent alone the results mi"ht be better. The more formal !e made the visit the less information !e mi"ht obtain. $

left Sir Henry behind therefore not !ithout some prickin"s of conscience and drove off upon my ne! #uest. -hen $ reached Coombe Tracey $ told 'erkins to put up the horses and $ made in#uiries for the lady !hom $ had come to interro"ate. $ had no difficulty in findin" her rooms !hich !ere central and !ell appointed. A maid sho!ed me in !ithout ceremony and as $ entered the sittin"%room a lady !ho !as sittin" before a )emin"ton type!riter spran" up !ith a pleasant smile of !elcome. Her face fell ho!ever !hen she sa! that $ !as a stran"er and she sat do!n a"ain and asked me the ob,ect of my visit. The first impression left by Mrs. 0yons !as one of e1treme beauty. Her eyes and hair !ere of the same rich ha:el colour and her cheeks thou"h considerably freckled !ere flushed !ith the e1#uisite bloom of the brunette the dainty pink !hich lurks at the heart of the sulphur rose. Admiration !as $ repeat the first impression. But the second !as criticism. There !as somethin" subtly !ron" !ith the face some coarseness of e1pression some hardness perhaps of eye some looseness of lip !hich marred its perfect beauty. But these of course are afterthou"hts. At the moment $ !as simply conscious that $ !as in the presence of a very handsome !oman and that she !as askin" me the reasons for my visit. $ had not #uite understood until that instant ho! delicate my mission !as. &$ have the pleasure & said $ &of kno!in" your father.&

$t !as a clumsy introduction and the lady made me feel it. &There is nothin" in common bet!een my father and me & she said. &$ o!e him nothin" and his friends are not mine. $f it !ere not for the late Sir Charles Baskerville and some other kind hearts $ mi"ht have starved for all that my father cared.& &$t !as about the late Sir Charles Baskerville that $ have come here to see you.& The freckles started out on the lady/s face. &-hat can $ tell you about him.& she asked and her fin"ers played nervously over the stops of her type!riter. &6ou kne! him did you not.& $f

&$ have already said that $ o!e a "reat deal to his kindness. $ am able to support myself it is lar"ely due to the interest !hich he took in my unhappy situation.& &Did you correspond !ith him.&

The lady looked #uickly up !ith an an"ry "leam in her ha:el eyes. &-hat is the ob,ect of these #uestions.& she asked sharply. &The ob,ect is to avoid a public scandal. $t is better that $ should ask them here than that the matter should pass outside our control.&

She !as silent and her face !as still very pale. At last she looked up !ith somethin" reckless and defiant in her manner. &-ell $/ll ans!er & she said. &-hat are your #uestions.&

&Did you correspond !ith Sir Charles.& &$ certainly !rote to him once or t!ice to ackno!led"e his delicacy and his "enerosity.& &Have you the dates of those letters.& &5o.& &Have you ever met him.& &6es once or t!ice !hen he came into Coombe Tracey. He !as a very retirin" man and he preferred to do "ood by stealth.& &But if you sa! him so seldom and !rote so seldom ho! did he kno! enou"h about your affairs to be able to help you as you say that he has done.& She met my difficulty !ith the utmost readiness. &There !ere several "entlemen !ho kne! my sad history and united to help me. 7ne !as Mr. Stapleton a nei"hbour and intimate friend of Sir Charles/s. He !as e1ceedin"ly kind and it !as throu"h him that Sir Charles learned about my affairs.& $ kne! 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 !rite to Sir Charles askin" him to meet you.& continued. Mrs. 0yons flushed !ith an"er a"ain. very e1traordinary #uestion.& &$ am sorry madam &)eally sir this is a $

but $ must repeat it.&

&Then $ ans!er

certainly not.&

&5ot on the very day of Sir Charles/s death.& The flush had faded in an instant and a deathly face !as before me. Her dry lips could not speak the &5o& !hich $ sa! rather than heard. &Surely your memory deceives you & said $. &$ could even #uote a passa"e of your letter. $t ran /'lease please as you are a "entleman burn this letter and be at the "ate by ten o/clock./& $ thou"ht that she had fainted supreme effort. but she recovered herself by a

&$s there no such thin" as a "entleman.& she "asped. &6ou do Sir Charles an in,ustice. He did burn the letter. But sometimes a letter may be le"ible even !hen burned. 6ou ackno!led"e no! that you !rote it.& &6es $ did !rite it & she cried pourin" out her soul in a torrent of !ords. &$ did !rite it. -hy should $ deny it. $ have no reason to be ashamed of it. $ !ished him to help me. $ believed that if $ had an intervie! $ could "ain his help so $ asked him to meet me.& &But !hy at such an hour.& &Because $ had only ,ust learned that he !as "oin" to 0ondon ne1t day and mi"ht be a!ay for months. There !ere reasons !hy $ could not "et there earlier.& &But !hy a rende:vous in the "arden instead of a visit to the house.& &Do you think a !oman could "o alone at that hour to a bachelor/s house.& &-ell !hat happened !hen you did "et there.&

&$ never !ent.& &Mrs. 0yons3& &5o $ s!ear it to you on all $ hold sacred. Somethin" intervened to prevent my "oin".& &-hat !as that.& &That is a private matter. $ cannot tell it.& $ never !ent.

&6ou ackno!led"e then that you made an appointment !ith Sir Charles at the very hour and place at !hich he met his death but you deny that you kept the appointment.& &That is the truth.& A"ain and a"ain $ cross%#uestioned her that point. but $ could never "et past

&Mrs. 0yons & said $ as $ rose from this lon" and inconclusive intervie! &you are takin" a very "reat responsibility and puttin" yourself in a very false position by not makin" an absolutely clean breast of all that you kno!. $f $ have to call in the aid of the police you !ill find ho! seriously you are compromised. $f your position is innocent !hy did you in the first instance deny havin" !ritten to Sir Charles upon that date.& &Because $ feared that some false conclusion mi"ht be dra!n from it and that $ mi"ht find myself involved in a scandal.&

&And !hy !ere you so pressin" that Sir Charles should destroy your letter.& &$f you have read the letter you !ill kno!.& &$ did not say that $ had read all the letter.& &6ou #uoted some of it.& &$ #uoted the postscript. The letter had as $ said been burned and it !as not all le"ible. $ ask you once a"ain !hy it !as that you !ere so pressin" that Sir Charles should destroy this letter !hich he received on the day of his death.& &The matter is a very private one.& &The more reason !hy you should avoid a public investi"ation.& &$ !ill tell you then. $f you have heard anythin" of my unhappy history you !ill kno! that $ made a rash marria"e and had reason to re"ret it.& &$ have heard so much.& &My life has been one incessant persecution from a husband !hom $ abhor. The la! is upon his side and every day $ am faced by the possibility that he may force me to live !ith him. At the time that $ !rote this letter to Sir Charles $ had learned that there !as a prospect of my re"ainin" my freedom if certain e1penses could be met. $t meant everythin" to me%%peace of mind happiness self%respect%%everythin". $ kne! Sir Charles/s "enerosity and $ thou"ht that if he heard the story from my o!n lips he !ould help me.& &Then ho! is it that you did not "o.& &Because $ received help in the interval from another source.& &-hy then did you not !rite to Sir Charles and e1plain this.&

&So $ should have done had $ not seen his death in the paper ne1t mornin".& The !oman/s story hun" coherently to"ether and all my #uestions !ere unable to shake it. $ could only check it by findin" if she had indeed instituted divorce proceedin"s a"ainst her husband at or about the time of the tra"edy. $t !as unlikely that she !ould dare to say that she had not been to Baskerville Hall if she really had been for a trap !ould be necessary to take her there and could not have returned to Coombe Tracey until the early hours of the mornin". Such an e1cursion could not be kept secret. The probability !as therefore that she !as tellin" the truth or at least a part of the truth. $ came a!ay baffled and disheartened. 7nce a"ain $ had reached that dead !all !hich seemed to be built across

every path by !hich $ tried to "et at the ob,ect of my mission. And yet the more $ thou"ht of the lady/s face and of her manner the more $ felt that somethin" !as bein" held back from me. -hy should she turn so pale. -hy should she fi"ht a"ainst every admission until it !as forced from her. -hy should she have been so reticent at the time of the tra"edy. Surely the e1planation of all this could not be as innocent as she !ould have me believe. 8or the moment $ could proceed no farther in that direction but must turn back to that other clue !hich !as to be sou"ht for amon" the stone huts upon the moor. And that !as a most va"ue direction. $ reali:ed it as $ drove back and noted ho! hill after hill sho!ed traces of the ancient people. Barrymore/s only indication had been that the stran"er lived in one of these abandoned huts and many hundreds of them are scattered throu"hout the len"th and breadth of the moor. But $ had my o!n e1perience for a "uide since it had sho!n me the man himself standin" upon the summit of the Black Tor. That then should be the centre of my search. 8rom there $ should e1plore every hut upon the moor until $ li"hted upon the ri"ht one. $f this man !ere inside it $ should find out from his o!n lips at the point of my revolver if necessary !ho he !as and !hy he had do""ed us so lon". He mi"ht slip a!ay from us in the cro!d of )e"ent Street but it !ould pu::le him to do so upon the lonely moor. 7n the other hand if $ should find the hut and its tenant should not be !ithin it $ must remain there ho!ever lon" the vi"il until he returned. Holmes had missed him in 0ondon. $t !ould indeed be a triumph for me if $ could run him to earth !here my master had failed. 0uck had been a"ainst us a"ain and a"ain in this in#uiry but no! at last it came to my aid. And the messen"er of "ood fortune !as none other than Mr. 8rankland !ho !as standin" "ray%!hiskered and red%faced outside the "ate of his "arden !hich opened on to the hi"hroad alon" !hich $ travelled. &2ood%day Dr. -atson & cried he !ith un!onted "ood humour &you must really "ive your horses a rest and come in to have a "lass of !ine and to con"ratulate me.& My feelin"s to!ards him !ere very far from bein" friendly after !hat $ had heard of his treatment of his dau"hter but $ !as an1ious to send 'erkins and the !a"onette home and the opportunity !as a "ood one. $ ali"hted and sent a messa"e to Sir Henry that $ should !alk over in time for dinner. Then $ follo!ed 8rankland into his dinin"%room. &$t is a "reat day for me sir%%one of the red%letter days of my life & he cried !ith many chuckles. &$ have brou"ht off a double event. $ mean to teach them in these parts that la! is la! and that there is a man here !ho does not fear to invoke it. $ have established a ri"ht of !ay throu"h the centre of old Middleton/s park slap across it sir !ithin a hundred yards of his o!n front door. -hat do you think of that. -e/ll teach these ma"nates that they cannot ride rou"hshod over the ri"hts of the commoners confound them3 And $/ve closed the !ood !here the 8ern!orthy folk used to picnic. These infernal people seem to think that there

are no ri"hts of property and that they can s!arm !here they like !ith their papers and their bottles. Both cases decided Dr. -atson and both in my favour. $ haven/t had such a day since $ had Sir (ohn Morland for trespass because he shot in his o!n !arren.& &Ho! on earth did you do that.& &0ook it up in the books sir. $t !ill repay readin"%%8rankland v. Morland Court of Iueen/s Bench. $t cost me 9@@ pounds but $ "ot my verdict.& &Did it do you any "ood.& &5one sir none. $ am proud to say that $ had no interest in the matter. $ act entirely from a sense of public duty. $ have no doubt for e1ample that the 8ern!orthy people !ill burn me in effi"y toni"ht. $ told the police last time they did it that they should stop these dis"raceful e1hibitions. The County Constabulary is in a scandalous state sir and it has not afforded me the protection to !hich $ am entitled. The case of 8rankland v. )e"ina !ill brin" the matter before the attention of the public. $ told them that they !ould have occasion to re"ret their treatment of me and already my !ords have come true.& &Ho! so.& $ asked.

The old man put on a very kno!in" e1pression. &Because $ could tell them !hat they are dyin" to kno!> but nothin" !ould induce me to help the rascals in any !ay.& $ had been castin" round for some e1cuse by !hich $ could "et a!ay from his "ossip but no! $ be"an to !ish to hear more of it. $ had seen enou"h of the contrary nature of the old sinner to understand that any stron" si"n of interest !ould be the surest !ay to stop his confidences. &Some poachin" case no doubt.& said $ !ith an indifferent manner.

&Ha ha my boy a very much more important matter than that3 -hat about the convict on the moor.& $ stared. &$ may not could help struck you he "ot his &6ou don/t mean that you kno! !here he is.& said $. kno! e1actly !here he is but $ am #uite sure that $ the police to lay their hands on him. Has it never that the !ay to catch that man !as to find out !here food and so trace it to him.&

He certainly seemed to be "ettin" uncomfortably near the truth. &5o doubt & said $> &but ho! do you kno! that he is any!here upon the moor.& &$ kno! it because $ have seen !ith my o!n eyes the messen"er !ho takes him his food.& My heart sank for Barrymore. $t !as a serious thin" to be in the po!er of this spiteful old busybody. But his ne1t remark took a

!ei"ht from my mind. &6ou/ll be surprised to hear that his food is taken to him by a child. $ see him every day throu"h my telescope upon the roof. He passes alon" the same path at the same hour and to !hom should he be "oin" e1cept to the convict.& Here !as luck indeed3 And yet $ suppressed all appearance of interest. A child3 Barrymore had said that our unkno!n !as supplied by a boy. $t !as on his track and not upon the convict/s that 8rankland had stumbled. $f $ could "et his kno!led"e it mi"ht save me a lon" and !eary hunt. But incredulity and indifference !ere evidently my stron"est cards. &$ should say that it !as much more likely that it !as the son of one of the moorland shepherds takin" out his father/s dinner.& The least appearance of opposition struck fire out of the old autocrat. His eyes looked mali"nantly at me and his "ray !hiskers bristled like those of an an"ry cat. &$ndeed sir3& said he pointin" out over the !ide%stretchin" moor. &Do you see that Black Tor over yonder. -ell do you see the lo! hill beyond !ith the thornbush upon it. $t is the stoniest part of the !hole moor. $s that a place !here a shepherd !ould be likely to take his station. 6our su""estion sir is a most absurd one.& $ meekly ans!ered that $ had spoken !ithout kno!in" all the facts. My submission pleased him and led him to further confidences. &6ou may be sure sir that $ have very "ood "rounds before $ come to an opinion. $ have seen the boy a"ain and a"ain !ith his bundle. 4very day and sometimes t!ice a day $ have been able%%but !ait a moment Dr. -atson. Do my eyes deceive me or is there at the present moment somethin" movin" upon that hillside.& $t !as several miles off but $ could distinctly see a small dark dot a"ainst the dull "reen and "ray. &Come sir come3& cried 8rankland rushin" upstairs. see !ith your o!n eyes and ,ud"e for yourself.& &6ou !ill

The telescope a formidable instrument mounted upon a tripod stood upon the flat leads of the house. 8rankland clapped his eye to it and "ave a cry of satisfaction. &Iuick Dr. -atson #uick before he passes over the hill3&

There he !as sure enou"h a small urchin !ith a little bundle upon his shoulder toilin" slo!ly up the hill. -hen he reached the crest $ sa! the ra""ed uncouth fi"ure outlined for an instant a"ainst the cold blue sky. He looked round him !ith a furtive and stealthy air as one !ho dreads pursuit. Then he vanished over the hill. &-ell3 Am $ ri"ht.&

&Certainly

there is a boy !ho seems to have some secret errand.&

&And !hat the errand is even a county constable could "uess. But not one !ord shall they have from me and $ bind you to secrecy also Dr. -atson. 5ot a !ord3 6ou understand3& &(ust as you !ish.& &They have treated me shamefully%%shamefully. -hen the facts come out in 8rankland v. )e"ina $ venture to think that a thrill of indi"nation !ill run throu"h the country. 5othin" !ould induce me to help the police in any !ay. 8or all they cared it mi"ht have been me instead of my effi"y !hich these rascals burned at the stake. Surely you are not "oin"3 6ou !ill help me to empty the decanter in honour of this "reat occasion3& But $ resisted all his solicitations and succeeded in dissuadin" him from his announced intention of !alkin" home !ith me. $ kept the road as lon" as his eye !as on me and then $ struck off across the moor and made for the stony hill over !hich the boy had disappeared. 4verythin" !as !orkin" in my favour and $ s!ore that it should not be throu"h lack of ener"y or perseverance that $ should miss the chance !hich fortune had thro!n in my !ay. The sun !as already sinkin" !hen $ reached the summit of the hill and the lon" slopes beneath me !ere all "olden%"reen on one side and "ray shado! on the other. A ha:e lay lo! upon the farthest sky%line out of !hich ,utted the fantastic shapes of Belliver and Ei1en Tor. 7ver the !ide e1panse there !as no sound and no movement. 7ne "reat "ray bird a "ull or curle! soared aloft in the blue heaven. He and $ seemed to be the only livin" thin"s bet!een the hu"e arch of the sky and the desert beneath it. The barren scene the sense of loneliness and the mystery and ur"ency of my task all struck a chill into my heart. The boy !as no!here to be seen. But do!n beneath me in a cleft of the hills there !as a circle of the old stone huts and in the middle of them there !as one !hich retained sufficient roof to act as a screen a"ainst the !eather. My heart leaped !ithin me as $ sa! it. This must be the burro! !here the stran"er lurked. At last my foot !as on the threshold of his hidin" place%%his secret !as !ithin my "rasp. As $ approached the hut !alkin" as !arily as Stapleton !ould do !hen !ith poised net he dre! near the settled butterfly $ satisfied myself that the place had indeed been used as a habitation. A va"ue path!ay amon" the boulders led to the dilapidated openin" !hich served as a door. All !as silent !ithin. The unkno!n mi"ht be lurkin" there or he mi"ht be pro!lin" on the moor. My nerves tin"led !ith the sense of adventure. Thro!in" aside my ci"arette $ closed my hand upon the butt of my revolver and !alkin" s!iftly up to the door $ looked in. The place !as empty. But there !ere ample si"ns that $ had not come upon a false scent. This !as certainly !here the man lived. Some blankets rolled in a !aterproof lay upon that very stone slab upon !hich 5eolithic man had once slumbered. The ashes of a fire !ere heaped in a

rude "rate. Beside it lay some cookin" utensils and a bucket half%full of !ater. A litter of empty tins sho!ed that the place had been occupied for some time and $ sa! as my eyes became accustomed to the checkered li"ht a pannikin and a half%full bottle of spirits standin" in the corner. $n 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 !hich $ had seen throu"h the telescope upon the shoulder of the boy. $t contained a loaf of bread a tinned ton"ue and t!o tins of preserved peaches. As $ set it do!n a"ain after havin" e1amined it my heart leaped to see that beneath it there lay a sheet of paper !ith !ritin" upon it. $ raised it and this !as !hat $ read rou"hly scra!led in pencilA &Dr. -atson has "one to Coombe Tracey.& 8or a minute $ stood there !ith the paper in my hands thinkin" out the meanin" of this curt messa"e. $t !as $ then and not Sir Henry !ho !as bein" do""ed by this secret man. He had not follo!ed me himself but he had set an a"ent%%the boy perhaps%% upon my track and this !as his report. 'ossibly $ had taken no step since $ had been upon the moor !hich had not been observed and reported. Al!ays there !as this feelin" of an unseen force a fine net dra!n round us !ith infinite skill and delicacy holdin" us so li"htly that it !as only at some supreme moment that one reali:ed that one !as indeed entan"led in its meshes. $f there !as one report there mi"ht be others so $ looked round the hut in search of them. There !as no trace ho!ever of anythin" of the kind nor could $ discover any si"n !hich mi"ht indicate the character or intentions of the man !ho lived in this sin"ular place save that he must be of Spartan habits and cared little for the comforts of life. -hen $ thou"ht of the heavy rains and looked at the "apin" roof $ understood ho! stron" and immutable must be the purpose !hich had kept him in that inhospitable abode. -as he our mali"nant enemy or !as he by chance our "uardian an"el. $ s!ore that $ !ould not leave the hut until $ kne!. 7utside the sun !as sinkin" lo! and the !est !as bla:in" !ith scarlet and "old. $ts reflection !as shot back in ruddy patches by the distant pools !hich lay amid the "reat 2rimpen Mire. There !ere the t!o to!ers of Baskerville Hall and there a distant blur of smoke !hich marked the villa"e of 2rimpen. Bet!een the t!o behind the hill !as the house of the Stapletons. All !as s!eet and mello! and peaceful in the "olden evenin" li"ht and yet as $ looked at them my soul shared none of the peace of 5ature but #uivered at the va"ueness and the terror of that intervie! !hich every instant !as brin"in" nearer. -ith tin"lin" nerves but a fi1ed purpose $ sat in the dark recess of the hut and !aited !ith sombre patience for the comin" of its tenant. And then at last $ heard him. 8ar a!ay came the sharp clink of a boot strikin" upon a stone. Then another and yet another comin" nearer and nearer. $ shrank back into the darkest corner and cocked the pistol in my pocket determined not to discover myself until $ had an opportunity of seein" somethin" of the stran"er. There !as a lon" pause !hich sho!ed that he had stopped. Then once more the footsteps approached and a shado! fell across the

openin" of the hut. &$t is a lovely evenin" my dear -atson & said a !ell%kno!n voice. &$ really think that you !ill be more comfortable outside than in.&

Chapter 19 Death on the Moor

8or a moment or t!o $ sat breathless hardly able to believe my ears. Then my senses and my voice came back to me !hile a crushin" !ei"ht of responsibility seemed in an instant to be lifted from my soul. That cold incisive ironical voice could belon" to but one man in all the !orld. &Holmes3& $ cried%%&Holmes3& &Come out & said he &and please be careful !ith the revolver.&

$ stooped under the rude lintel and there he sat upon a stone outside his "ray eyes dancin" !ith amusement as they fell upon my astonished features. He !as thin and !orn but clear and alert his keen face bron:ed by the sun and rou"hened by the !ind. $n his t!eed suit and cloth cap he looked like any other tourist upon the moor and he had contrived !ith that catlike love of personal cleanliness !hich !as one of his characteristics that his chin should be as smooth and his linen as perfect as if he !ere in Baker Street. &$ never !as more "lad to see anyone in my life & said $ as $ !run" him by the hand. &7r more astonished &-ell eh.&

$ must confess to it.&

&The surprise !as not all on one side $ assure you. $ had no idea that you had found my occasional retreat still less that you !ere inside it until $ !as !ithin t!enty paces of the door.& &My footprint $ presume.& undertake to reco"ni:e your the !orld. $f you seriously your tobacconist> for !hen Bradley 71ford Street $ nei"hbourhood. 6ou !ill see it do!n no doubt at that the empty hut.&

&5o -atson $ fear that $ could not footprint amid all the footprints of desire to deceive me you must chan"e $ see the stub of a ci"arette marked kno! that my friend -atson is in the it there beside the path. 6ou thre! supreme moment !hen you char"ed into &41actly.&

&$ thou"ht as much%%and kno!in" your admirable tenacity $ !as

convinced that you !ere sittin" in ambush a !eapon !ithin reach !aitin" for the tenant to return. So you actually thou"ht that $ !as the criminal.& &$ did not kno! !ho you !ere but $ !as determined to find out.&

&41cellent -atson3 And ho! did you locali:e me. 6ou sa! me perhaps on the ni"ht of the convict hunt !hen $ !as so imprudent as to allo! the moon to rise behind me.& &6es $ sa! you then.&

&And have no doubt searched all the huts until you came to this one.& &5o your boy had been observed to look.& and that "ave me a "uide !here

&The old "entleman !ith the telescope no doubt. $ could not make it out !hen first $ sa! the li"ht flashin" upon the lens.& He rose and peeped into the hut. &Ha $ see that Cart!ri"ht has brou"ht up some supplies. -hat/s this paper. So you have been to Coombe Tracey have you.& &6es.& &To see Mrs. 0aura 0yons.& &41actly.& &-ell done3 7ur researches have evidently been runnin" on parallel lines and !hen !e unite our results $ e1pect !e shall have a fairly full kno!led"e of the case.& &-ell $ am "lad from my heart that you are here for indeed the responsibility and the mystery !ere both becomin" too much for my nerves. But ho! in the name of !onder did you come here and !hat have you been doin". $ thou"ht that you !ere in Baker Street !orkin" out that case of blackmailin".& &That !as !hat $ !ished you to think.& &Then you use me and yet do not trust me3& $ cried !ith some bitterness. &$ think that $ have deserved better at your hands Holmes.& &My dear fello! you have been invaluable to me in this as in many other cases and $ be" that you !ill for"ive me if $ have seemed to play a trick upon you. $n truth it !as partly for your o!n sake that $ did it and it !as my appreciation of the dan"er !hich you ran !hich led me to come do!n and e1amine the matter for myself. Had $ been !ith Sir Henry and you it is confident that my point of vie! !ould have been the same as yours and my presence !ould have !arned our very formidable opponents to be on their "uard. As it is $ have been able to "et about as $ could not possibly have done had $ been livin" in the Hall and $ remain an unkno!n factor in the business ready to thro!

in all my !ei"ht at a critical moment.& &But !hy keep me in the dark.& &8or you to kno! could not have helped us and mi"ht possibly have led to my discovery. 6ou !ould have !ished to tell me somethin" or in your kindness you !ould have brou"ht me out some comfort or other and so an unnecessary risk !ould be run. $ brou"ht Cart!ri"ht do!n !ith me%%you remember the little chap at the e1press office%%and he has seen after my simple !antsA a loaf of bread and a clean collar. -hat does man !ant more. He has "iven me an e1tra pair of eyes upon a very active pair of feet and both have been invaluable.& &Then my reports have all been !asted3& %%My voice trembled as $ recalled the pains and the pride !ith !hich $ had composed them. Holmes took a bundle of papers from his pocket. &Here are your reports my dear fello! and very !ell thumbed $ assure you. $ made e1cellent arran"ements and they are only delayed one day upon their !ay. $ must compliment you e1ceedin"ly upon the :eal and the intelli"ence !hich you have sho!n over an e1traordinarily difficult case.& $ !as still rather ra! over the deception !hich had been practised upon me but the !armth of Holmes/s praise drove my an"er from my mind. $ felt also in my heart that he !as ri"ht in !hat he said and that it !as really best for our purpose that $ should not have kno!n that he !as upon the moor. &That/s better & said he seein" the shado! rise from my face. &And no! tell me the result of your visit to Mrs. 0aura 0yons%% it !as not difficult for me to "uess that it !as to see her that you had "one for $ am already a!are that she is the one person in Coombe Tracey !ho mi"ht be of service to us in the matter. $n fact if you had not "one today it is e1ceedin"ly probable that $ should have "one tomorro!.& The sun had set and dusk !as settlin" over the moor. The air had turned chill and !e !ithdre! into the hut for !armth. There sittin" to"ether in the t!ili"ht $ told Holmes of my conversation !ith the lady. So interested !as he that $ had to repeat some of it t!ice before he !as satisfied. &This is most important & said he !hen $ had concluded. &$t fills up a "ap !hich $ had been unable to brid"e in this most comple1 affair. 6ou are a!are perhaps that a close intimacy e1ists bet!een this lady and the man Stapleton.& &$ did not kno! of a close intimacy.& &There can be no doubt about the matter. They meet they !rite there is a complete understandin" bet!een them. 5o! this puts a very po!erful !eapon into our hands. $f $ could only use it to detach his !ife%%&

&His !ife.& &$ am "ivin" you some information no! in return for all that you have "iven me. The lady !ho has passed here as Miss Stapleton is in reality his !ife.& &2ood heavens Holmes3 Are you sure of !hat you say. Ho! could he have permitted Sir Henry to fall in love !ith her.& &Sir Henry/s fallin" in love could do no harm to anyone e1cept Sir Henry. He took particular care that Sir Henry did not make love to her as you have yourself observed. $ repeat that the lady is his !ife and not his sister.& &But !hy this elaborate deception.& &Because he foresa! that she !ould be very much more useful to him in the character of a free !oman.& All my unspoken instincts my va"ue suspicions suddenly took shape and centred upon the naturalist. $n that impassive colourless man !ith his stra! hat and his butterfly%net $ seemed to see somethin" terrible%%a creature of infinite patience and craft !ith a smilin" face and a murderous heart. &$t is he 0ondon.& then !ho is our enemy%%it is he !ho do""ed us in

&So $ read the riddle.& &And the !arnin"%%it must have come from her3& &41actly.& The shape of some monstrous villainy half seen half "uessed loomed throu"h the darkness !hich had "irt me so lon". &But are you sure of this !oman is his !ife.& Holmes. Ho! do you kno! that the

&Because he so far for"ot himself as to tell you a true piece of autobio"raphy upon the occasion !hen he first met you and $ dare say he has many a time re"retted it since. He !as once a schoolmaster in the north of 4n"land. 5o! there is no one more easy to trace than a schoolmaster. There are scholastic a"encies by !hich one may identify any man !ho has been in the profession. A little investi"ation sho!ed me that a school had come to "rief under atrocious circumstances and that the man !ho had o!ned it%%the name !as different%%had disappeared !ith his !ife. The descriptions a"reed. -hen $ learned that the missin" man !as devoted to entomolo"y the identification !as complete.& The darkness !as risin" but much !as still hidden by the shado!s. !here does Mrs. 0aura 0yons

&$f this !oman is in truth his !ife come in.& $ asked.

&That is one of the points upon !hich your o!n researches have shed a li"ht. 6our intervie! !ith the lady has cleared the situation very much. $ did not kno! about a pro,ected divorce bet!een herself and her husband. $n that case re"ardin" Stapleton as an unmarried man she counted no doubt upon becomin" his !ife.& &And !hen she is undeceived.& &-hy then !e may find the lady of service. $t must be our first duty to see her%%both of us%%tomorro!. Don/t you think -atson that you are a!ay from your char"e rather lon". 6our place should be at Baskerville Hall.& The last red streaks had faded a!ay in the !est and ni"ht had settled upon the moor. A fe! faint stars !ere "leamin" in a violet sky. &7ne last #uestion Holmes & $ said as $ rose. &Surely there is no need of secrecy bet!een you and me. -hat is the meanin" of it all. -hat is he after.& Holmes/s voice sank as he ans!eredA &$t is murder -atson%%refined cold%blooded deliberate murder. Do not ask me for particulars. My nets are closin" upon him even as his are upon Sir Henry and !ith your help he is already almost at my mercy. There is but one dan"er !hich can threaten us. $t is that he should strike before !e are ready to do so. Another day%%t!o at the most%%and $ have my case complete but until then "uard your char"e as closely as ever a fond mother !atched her ailin" child. 6our mission today has ,ustified itself and yet $ could almost !ish that you had not left his side. Hark3& A terrible scream%%a prolon"ed yell of horror and an"uish%%burst out of the silence of the moor. That fri"htful cry turned the blood to ice in my veins. &7h my 2od3& $ "asped. &-hat is it. -hat does it mean.&

Holmes had sprun" to his feet and $ sa! his dark athletic outline at the door of the hut his shoulders stoopin" his head thrust for!ard his face peerin" into the darkness. &Hush3& he !hispered. &Hush3&

The cry had been loud on account of its vehemence but it had pealed out from some!here far off on the shado!y plain. 5o! it burst upon our ears nearer louder more ur"ent than before. &-here is it.& Holmes !hispered> and $ kne! from the thrill of his voice that he the man of iron !as shaken to the soul. &-here is it -atson.& &There &5o $ think.& $ pointed into the darkness.

there3&

A"ain the a"oni:ed cry s!ept throu"h the silent ni"ht louder and much nearer than ever. And a ne! sound min"led !ith it a deep muttered rumble musical and yet menacin" risin" and fallin" like the lo! constant murmur of the sea. &The hound3& cried Holmes. if !e are too late3& &Come -atson come3 2reat heavens

He had started runnin" s!iftly over the moor and $ had follo!ed at his heels. But no! from some!here amon" the broken "round immediately in front of us there came one last despairin" yell and then a dull heavy thud. -e halted and listened. 5ot another sound broke the heavy silence of the !indless ni"ht. $ sa! Holmes put his hand to his forehead like a man distracted. He stamped his feet upon the "round. &He has beaten us &5o no -atson. -e are too late.&

surely not3& -atson see !hat comes if the !orst has

&8ool that $ !as to hold my hand. And you of abandonin" your char"e3 But by Heaven happened !e/ll aven"e him3&

Blindly !e ran throu"h the "loom blunderin" a"ainst boulders forcin" our !ay throu"h "orse bushes pantin" up hills and rushin" do!n slopes headin" al!ays in the direction !hence those dreadful sounds had come. At every rise Holmes looked ea"erly round him but the shado!s !ere thick upon the moor and nothin" moved upon its dreary face. &Can you see anythin".& &5othin".& &But hark !hat is that.&

A lo! moan had fallen upon our ears. There it !as a"ain upon our left3 7n that side a rid"e of rocks ended in a sheer cliff !hich overlooked a stone%stre!n slope. 7n its ,a""ed face !as spread%ea"led some dark irre"ular ob,ect. As !e ran to!ards it the va"ue outline hardened into a definite shape. $t !as a prostrate man face do!n!ard upon the "round the head doubled under him at a horrible an"le the shoulders rounded and the body hunched to"ether as if in the act of thro!in" a somersault. So "rotes#ue !as the attitude that $ could not for the instant reali:e that that moan had been the passin" of his soul. 5ot a !hisper not a rustle rose no! from the dark fi"ure over !hich !e stooped. Holmes laid his hand upon him and held it up a"ain !ith an e1clamation of horror. The "leam of the match !hich he struck shone upon his clotted fin"ers and upon the "hastly pool !hich !idened slo!ly from the crushed skull of the victim. And it shone upon somethin" else !hich turned our hearts sick and faint !ithin us%%the body of Sir Henry Baskerville3 There !as no chance of either of us for"ettin" that peculiar ruddy

t!eed suit%%the very one !hich he had !orn on the first mornin" that !e had seen him in Baker Street. -e cau"ht the one clear "limpse of it and then the match flickered and !ent out even as the hope had "one out of our souls. Holmes "roaned and his face "limmered !hite throu"h the darkness. &The brute3 The brute3& $ cried !ith clenched hands. &7h Holmes $ shall never for"ive myself for havin" left him to his fate.& &$ am more to blame than you -atson. $n order to have my case !ell rounded and complete $ have thro!n a!ay the life of my client. $t is the "reatest blo! !hich has befallen me in my career. But ho! could $ kno!%%ho! could l kno!%%that he !ould risk his life alone upon the moor in the face of all my !arnin"s.& &That !e should have heard his screams%%my 2od those screams3%%and yet have been unable to save him3 -here is this brute of a hound !hich drove him to his death. $t may be lurkin" amon" these rocks at this instant. And Stapleton !here is he. He shall ans!er for this deed.& &He shall. $ !ill see to that. Gncle and nephe! have been murdered%%the one fri"htened to death by the very si"ht of a beast !hich he thou"ht to be supernatural the other driven to his end in his !ild fli"ht to escape from it. But no! !e have to prove the connection bet!een the man and the beast. Save from !hat !e heard !e cannot even s!ear to the e1istence of the latter since Sir Henry has evidently died from the fall. But by heavens cunnin" as he is the fello! shall be in my po!er before another day is past3& -e stood !ith bitter hearts on either side of the man"led body over!helmed by this sudden and irrevocable disaster !hich had brou"ht all our lon" and !eary labours to so piteous an end. Then as the moon rose !e climbed to the top of the rocks over !hich our poor friend had fallen and from the summit !e "a:ed out over the shado!y moor half silver and half "loom. 8ar a!ay miles off in the direction of 2rimpen a sin"le steady yello! li"ht !as shinin". $t could only come from the lonely abode of the Stapletons. -ith a bitter curse $ shook my fist at it as $ "a:ed. &-hy should !e not sei:e him at once.& &7ur case is not complete. The fello! is !ary and cunnin" to the last de"ree. $t is not !hat !e kno! but !hat !e can prove. $f !e make one false move the villain may escape us yet.& &-hat can !e do.& &There !ill be plenty for us to do tomorro!. Toni"ht !e can only perform the last offices to our poor friend.& To"ether !e made our !ay do!n the precipitous slope and approached the body black and clear a"ainst the silvered stones. The a"ony of those contorted limbs struck me !ith a spasm of pain and blurred my eyes !ith tears.

&-e must send for help Holmes3 -e cannot carry him all the !ay to the Hall. 2ood heavens are you mad.& He had uttered a cry and bent over the body. 5o! he !as dancin" and lau"hin" and !rin"in" my hand. Could this be my stern self% contained friend. These !ere hidden fires indeed3 &A beard3 &A beard.& &$t is not the baronet%%it is%%!hy it is my nei"hbour the convict3& A beard3 The man has a beard3&

-ith feverish haste !e had turned the body over and that drippin" beard !as pointin" up to the cold clear moon. There could be no doubt about the beetlin" forehead the sunken animal eyes. $t !as indeed the same face !hich had "lared upon me in the li"ht of the candle from over the rock%%the face of Selden the criminal. Then in an instant it !as all clear to me. $ remembered ho! the baronet had told me that he had handed his old !ardrobe to Barrymore. Barrymore had passed it on in order to help Selden in his escape. Boots shirt cap%%it !as all Sir Henry/s. The tra"edy !as still black enou"h but this man had at least deserved death by the la!s of his country. $ told Holmes ho! the matter stood my heart bubblin" over !ith thankfulness and ,oy. &Then the clothes have been the poor devil/s death & said he. &$t is clear enou"h that the hound has been laid on from some article of Sir Henry/s%%the boot !hich !as abstracted in the hotel in all probability%%and so ran this man do!n. There is one very sin"ular thin" ho!everA Ho! came Selden in the darkness to kno! that the hound !as on his trail.& &He heard him.& &To hear a hound upon the moor !ould not !ork a hard man like this convict into such a paro1ysm of terror that he !ould risk recapture by screamin" !ildly for help. By his cries he must have run a lon" !ay after he kne! the animal !as on his track. Ho! did he kno!.& &A "reater mystery to me is !hy this hound our con,ectures are correct%%& &$ presume nothin".& &-ell then !hy this hound should be loose toni"ht. $ suppose that it does not al!ays run loose upon the moor. Stapleton !ould not let it "o unless he had reason to think that Sir Henry !ould be there.& &My difficulty is the more formidable of the t!o for $ think that !e shall very shortly "et an e1planation of yours !hile mine may remain forever a mystery. The #uestion no! is !hat shall !e do !ith this poor !retch/s body. -e cannot leave it here to the fo1es and the ravens.& presumin" that all

&$ su""est that !e put it in one of the huts until !e can communicate !ith the police.& &41actly. $ have no doubt that you and $ could carry it so far. Halloa -atson !hat/s this. $t/s the man himself by all that/s !onderful and audacious3 5ot a !ord to sho! your suspicions%%not a !ord or my plans crumble to the "round.& A fi"ure !as approachin" us over "lo! of a ci"ar. The moon shone the dapper shape and ,aunty !alk !hen he sa! us and then came on the moor and $ sa! the dull red upon him and $ could distin"uish of the naturalist. He stopped a"ain. last man this time 5ot%%don/t past me and his breath

&-hy Dr. -atson that/s not you is it. 6ou are the that $ should have e1pected to see out on the moor at of ni"ht. But dear me !hat/s this. Somebody hurt. tell me that it is our friend Sir Henry3& He hurried stooped over the dead man. $ heard a sharp intake of and the ci"ar fell from his fin"ers. &-ho%%!ho/s this.& he stammered. &$t is Selden the man !ho escaped from 'rinceto!n.&

Stapleton turned a "hastly face upon us but by a supreme effort he had overcome his ama:ement and his disappointment. He looked sharply from Holmes to me. &Dear me3 -hat a very shockin" affair3 Ho! did he die.& &He appears to have broken his neck by fallin" over these rocks. My friend and $ !ere strollin" on the moor !hen !e heard a cry.& &$ heard a cry also. about Sir Henry.& That !as !hat brou"ht me out. $ !as uneasy

&-hy about Sir Henry in particular.&

$ could not help askin".

&Because $ had su""ested that he should come over. -hen he did not come $ !as surprised and $ naturally became alarmed for his safety !hen $ heard cries upon the moor. By the !ay&%%his eyes darted a"ain from my face to Holmes/s%%&did you hear anythin" else besides a cry.& &5o & said Holmes> &did you.& &5o.& &-hat do you mean then.&

&7h you kno! the stories that the peasants tell about a phantom hound and so on. $t is said to be heard at ni"ht upon the moor. $ !as !onderin" if there !ere any evidence of such a sound toni"ht.& &-e heard nothin" of the kind & said $. &And !hat is your theory of this poor fello!/s death.&

&$ have no doubt that an1iety and e1posure have driven him off his head. He has rushed about the moor in a cra:y state and eventually fallen over here and broken his neck.& &That seems the most reasonable theory & said Stapleton and he "ave a si"h !hich $ took to indicate his relief. &-hat do you think about it Mr. Sherlock Holmes.& My friend bo!ed his compliments. said he. &6ou are #uick at identification &

&-e have been e1pectin" you in these parts since Dr. -atson came do!n. 6ou are in time to see a tra"edy.& &6es indeed. $ have no doubt that my friend/s e1planation !ill cover the facts. $ !ill take an unpleasant remembrance back to 0ondon !ith me tomorro!.& &7h you return tomorro!.&

&That is my intention.& &$ hope your visit has cast some li"ht upon those occurrences !hich have pu::led us.& Holmes shru""ed his shoulders. &7ne cannot al!ays have the success for !hich one hopes. An investi"ator needs facts and not le"ends or rumours. $t has not been a satisfactory case.& My friend spoke in his frankest and most unconcerned manner. Stapleton still looked hard at him. Then he turned to me. &$ !ould su""est carryin" this poor fello! to my house but it !ould "ive my sister such a fri"ht that $ do not feel ,ustified in doin" it. $ think that if !e put somethin" over his face he !ill be safe until mornin".& And so it !as arran"ed. )esistin" Stapleton/s offer of hospitality Holmes and $ set off to Baskerville Hall leavin" the naturalist to return alone. 0ookin" back !e sa! the fi"ure movin" slo!ly a!ay over the broad moor and behind him that one black smud"e on the silvered slope !hich sho!ed !here the man !as lyin" !ho had come so horribly to his end.

Chapter 1= 8i1in" the 5ets

&-e/re at close "rips at last & said Holmes as !e !alked to"ether across the moor. &-hat a nerve the fello! has3 Ho! he pulled

himself to"ether in the face of !hat must have been a paraly:in" shock !hen he found that the !ron" man had fallen a victim to his plot. $ told you in 0ondon -atson and $ tell you no! a"ain that !e have never had a foeman more !orthy of our steel.& &$ am sorry that he has seen you.& &And so !as $ at first. But there !as no "ettin" out of it.&

&-hat effect do you think it !ill have upon his plans no! that he kno!s you are here.& &$t may cause him to be more cautious or it may drive him to desperate measures at once. 0ike most clever criminals he may be too confident in his o!n cleverness and ima"ine that he has completely deceived us.& &-hy should !e not arrest him at once.& &My dear -atson you !ere born to be a man of action. 6our instinct is al!ays to do somethin" ener"etic. But supposin" for ar"ument/s sake that !e had him arrested toni"ht !hat on earth the better off should !e be for that. -e could prove nothin" a"ainst him. There/s the devilish cunnin" of it3 $f he !ere actin" throu"h a human a"ent !e could "et some evidence but if !e !ere to dra" this "reat do" to the li"ht of day it !ould not help us in puttin" a rope round the neck of its master.& &Surely !e have a case.& &5ot a shado! of one%%only surmise and con,ecture. -e should be lau"hed out of court if !e came !ith such a story and such evidence.& &There is Sir Charles/s death.& &8ound dead !ithout a mark upon him. 6ou and $ kno! that he died of sheer fri"ht and !e kno! also !hat fri"htened him but ho! are !e to "et t!elve stolid ,urymen to kno! it. -hat si"ns are there of a hound. -here are the marks of its fan"s. 7f course !e kno! that a hound does not bite a dead body and that Sir Charles !as dead before ever the brute overtook him. But !e have to prove all this and !e are not in a position to do it.& &-ell then toni"ht.&

&-e are not much better off toni"ht. A"ain there !as no direct connection bet!een the hound and the man/s death. -e never sa! the hound. -e heard it but !e could not prove that it !as runnin" upon this man/s trail. There is a complete absence of motive. 5o my dear fello!> !e must reconcile ourselves to the fact that !e have no case at present and that it is !orth our !hile to run any risk in order to establish one.& &And ho! do you propose to do so.& &$ have "reat hopes of !hat Mrs. 0aura 0yons may do for us !hen the position of affairs is made clear to her. And $ have my o!n

plan as !ell. Sufficient for tomorro! is the evil thereof> but $ hope before the day is past to have the upper hand at last.& $ could dra! nothin" further from him and he !alked thou"ht as far as the Baskerville "ates. &Are you comin" up.& &6es> $ see no reason for further concealment. But one last !ord -atson. Say nothin" of the hound to Sir Henry. 0et him think that Selden/s death !as as Stapleton !ould have us believe. He !ill have a better nerve for the ordeal !hich he !ill have to under"o tomorro! !hen he is en"a"ed if $ remember your report ari"ht to dine !ith these people.& &And so am $.& &Then you must e1cuse yourself and he must "o alone. That !ill be easily arran"ed. And no! if !e are too late for dinner $ think that !e are both ready for our suppers.& Sir Henry !as more pleased than surprised to see Sherlock Holmes for he had for some days been e1pectin" that recent events !ould brin" him do!n from 0ondon. He did raise his eyebro!s ho!ever !hen he found that my friend had neither any lu""a"e nor any e1planations for its absence. Bet!een us !e soon supplied his !ants and then over a belated supper !e e1plained to the baronet as much of our e1perience as it seemed desirable that he should kno!. But first $ had the unpleasant duty of breakin" the ne!s to Barrymore and his !ife. To him it may have been an unmiti"ated relief but she !ept bitterly in her apron. To all the !orld he !as the man of violence half animal and half demon> but to her he al!ays remained the little !ilful boy of her o!n "irlhood the child !ho had clun" to her hand. 4vil indeed is the man !ho has not one !oman to mourn him. &$/ve been mopin" in the house all day since -atson !ent off in the mornin" & said the baronet. &$ "uess $ should have some credit for $ have kept my promise. $f $ hadn/t s!orn not to "o about alone $ mi"ht have had a more lively evenin" for $ had a messa"e from Stapleton askin" me over there.& &$ have no doubt that you !ould have had a more lively evenin" & said Holmes drily. &By the !ay $ don/t suppose you appreciate that !e have been mournin" over you as havin" broken your neck.& Sir Henry opened his eyes. &Ho! !as that.& lost in

&This poor !retch !as dressed in your clothes. $ fear your servant !ho "ave them to him may "et into trouble !ith the police.& &That is unlikely. $ kno!.& There !as no mark on any of them as far as

&That/s lucky for him%%in fact it/s lucky for all of you since you are all on the !ron" side of the la! in this matter. $ am not sure that as a conscientious detective my first duty is not

to arrest the !hole household. incriminatin" documents.&

-atson/s reports are most

&But ho! about the case.& asked the baronet. &Have you made anythin" out of the tan"le. $ don/t kno! that -atson and $ are much the !iser since !e came do!n.& &$ think that $ shall be in a position to make the situation rather more clear to you before lon". $t has been an e1ceedin"ly difficult and most complicated business. There are several points upon !hich !e still !ant li"ht%%but it is comin" all the same.& &-e/ve had one e1perience as -atson has no doubt told you. -e heard the hound on the moor so $ can s!ear that it is not all empty superstition. $ had somethin" to do !ith do"s !hen $ !as out -est and $ kno! one !hen $ hear one. $f you can mu::le that one and put him on a chain $/ll be ready to s!ear you are the "reatest detective of all time.& &$ think $ !ill mu::le him and chain him all ri"ht if you !ill "ive me your help.& &-hatever you tell me to do $ !ill do.& &Eery "ood> and $ !ill ask you also to do it blindly al!ays askin" the reason.& &(ust as you like.& &$f you !ill do this $ think the chances are that our little problem !ill soon be solved. $ have no doubt%%& He stopped suddenly and stared fi1edly up over my head into the air. The lamp beat upon his face and so intent !as it and so still that it mi"ht have been that of a clear%cut classical statue a personification of alertness and e1pectation. &-hat is it.& !e both cried. $ could see as he looked do!n that he !as repressin" some internal emotion. His features !ere still composed but his eyes shone !ith amused e1ultation. &41cuse the admiration of a connoisseur & said he as he !aved his hand to!ards the line of portraits !hich covered the opposite !all. &-atson !on/t allo! that $ kno! anythin" of art but that is mere ,ealousy because our vie!s upon the sub,ect differ. 5o! these are a really very fine series of portraits.& &-ell $/m "lad to hear you say so & said Sir Henry "lancin" !ith some surprise at my friend. &$ don/t pretend to kno! much about these thin"s and $/d be a better ,ud"e of a horse or a steer than of a picture. $ didn/t kno! that you found time for such thin"s.& &$ kno! !hat is "ood !hen $ see it and $ see it no!. That/s a Bneller $/ll s!ear that lady in the blue silk over yonder and !ithout

the stout "entleman !ith the !i" ou"ht to be a )eynolds. are all family portraits $ presume.& &4very one.& &Do you kno! the names.& &Barrymore has been coachin" me in them my lessons fairly !ell.&

They

and $ think $ can say

&-ho is the "entleman !ith the telescope.& &That is )ear%Admiral Baskerville !ho served under )odney in the -est $ndies. The man !ith the blue coat and the roll of paper is Sir -illiam Baskerville !ho !as Chairman of Committees of the House of Commons under 'itt.& &And this Cavalier opposite to me%%the one !ith the black velvet and the lace.& &Ah you have a ri"ht to kno! about him. That is the cause of all the mischief the !icked Hu"o !ho started the Hound of the Baskervilles. -e/re not likely to for"et him.& $ "a:ed !ith interest and some surprise upon the portrait. &Dear me3& said Holmes &he seems a #uiet meek%mannered man enou"h but $ dare say that there !as a lurkin" devil in his eyes. $ had pictured him as a more robust and ruffianly person.& &There/s no doubt about the authenticity for the name and the date 1F+? are 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 !ere continually fi1ed upon it durin" supper. $t !as not until later !hen Sir Henry had "one to his room that $ !as able to follo! the trend of his thou"hts. He led me back into the ban#uetin"%hall his bedroom candle in his hand and he held it up a"ainst the time% stained portrait on the !all. &Do you see anythin" there.& $ looked at the broad plumed hat the curlin" love%locks the !hite lace collar and the strai"ht severe face !hich !as framed bet!een them. $t !as not a brutal countenance but it !as prim hard and stern !ith a firm%set thin%lipped mouth and a coldly intolerant eye. &$s it like anyone you kno!.& &There is somethin" of Sir Henry about the ,a!.& &(ust a su""estion perhaps. But !ait an instant3& He stood upon a chair and holdin" up the li"ht in his left hand he curved his ri"ht arm over the broad hat and round the lon" rin"lets.

&2ood heavens3& $ cried in ama:ement. The face of Stapleton had sprun" out of the canvas. &Ha you see it no!. My eyes have been trained to e1amine faces and not their trimmin"s. $t is the first #uality of a criminal investi"ator that he should see throu"h a dis"uise.& &But this is marvellous. $t mi"ht be his portrait.&

&6es it is an interestin" instance of a thro!back !hich appears to be both physical and spiritual. A study of family portraits is enou"h to convert a man to the doctrine of reincarnation. The fello! is a Baskerville%%that is evident.& &-ith desi"ns upon the succession.& &41actly. This chance of the picture has supplied us !ith one of our most obvious missin" links. -e have him -atson !e have him and $ dare s!ear that before tomorro! ni"ht he !ill be flutterin" in our net as helpless as one of his o!n butterflies. A pin a cork and a card and !e add him to the Baker Street collection3& He burst into one of his rare fits of lau"hter as he turned a!ay from the picture. $ have not heard him lau"h often and it has al!ays boded ill to somebody. $ !as up betimes in the mornin" but Holmes !as afoot earlier still for $ sa! him as $ dressed comin" up the drive. &6es !e should have a full day today & he remarked and he rubbed his hands !ith the ,oy of action. &The nets are all in place and the dra" is about to be"in. -e/ll kno! before the day is out !hether !e have cau"ht our bi" lean,a!ed pike or !hether he has "ot throu"h the meshes.& &Have you been on the moor already.& &$ have sent a report from 2rimpen to 'rinceto!n as to the death of Selden. $ think $ can promise that none of you !ill be troubled in the matter. And $ have also communicated !ith my faithful Cart!ri"ht !ho !ould certainly have pined a!ay at the door of my hut as a do" does at his master/s "rave if $ had not set his mind at rest about my safety.& &-hat is the ne1t move.& &To see Sir Henry. Ah here he is3&

&2ood%mornin" Holmes & said the baronet. &6ou look like a "eneral !ho is plannin" a battle !ith his chief of the staff.& &That is the e1act situation. &And so do $.& &Eery "ood. 6ou are en"a"ed as $ understand friends the Stapletons toni"ht.& to dine !ith our -atson !as askin" for orders.&

&$ hope that you !ill come also. They are very hospitable people and $ am sure that they !ould be very "lad to see you.& &$ fear that -atson and $ must "o to 0ondon.& &To 0ondon.& &6es $ think that !e should be more useful there at the present ,uncture.& The baronet/s face perceptibly len"thened. &$ hoped that you !ere "oin" to see me throu"h this business. The Hall and the moor are not very pleasant places !hen one is alone.& &My dear fello! you must trust me implicitly and do e1actly !hat $ tell you. 6ou can tell your friends that !e should have been happy to have come !ith you but that ur"ent business re#uired us to be in to!n. -e hope very soon to return to Devonshire. -ill you remember to "ive them that messa"e.& &$f you insist upon it.& &There is no alternative $ assure you.&

$ sa! by the baronet/s clouded bro! that he !as deeply hurt by !hat he re"arded as our desertion. &-hen do you desire to "o.& he asked coldly. &$mmediately after breakfast. -e !ill drive in to Coombe Tracey but -atson !ill leave his thin"s as a pled"e that he !ill come back to you. -atson you !ill send a note to Stapleton to tell him that you re"ret that you cannot come.& &$ have a "ood mind to "o to 0ondon !ith you & said the baronet. &-hy should $ stay here alone.& &Because it is your post of duty. Because you "ave me your !ord that you !ould do as you !ere told and $ tell you to stay.& &All ri"ht then $/ll stay.&

&7ne more direction3 $ !ish you to drive to Merripit House. Send back your trap ho!ever and let them kno! that you intend to !alk home.& &To !alk across the moor.& &6es.& &But that is the very thin" !hich you have so often cautioned me not to do.& &This time you may do it !ith safety. $f $ had not every confidence

in your nerve and coura"e $ !ould not su""est it that you should do it.& &Then $ !ill do it.&

but it is essential

&And as you value your life do not "o across the moor in any direction save alon" the strai"ht path !hich leads from Merripit House to the 2rimpen )oad and is your natural !ay home.& &$ !ill do ,ust !hat you say.& &Eery "ood. as possible $ should be "lad to "et a!ay as soon after breakfast so as to reach 0ondon in the afternoon.&

$ !as much astounded by this pro"ramme thou"h $ remembered that Holmes had said to Stapleton on the ni"ht before that his visit !ould terminate ne1t day. $t had not crossed my mind ho!ever that he !ould !ish me to "o !ith him nor could $ understand ho! !e could both be absent at a moment !hich he himself declared to be critical. There !as nothin" for it ho!ever but implicit obedience> so !e bade "ood%bye to our rueful friend and a couple of hours after!ards !e !ere at the station of Coombe Tracey and had dispatched the trap upon its return ,ourney. A small boy !as !aitin" upon the platform. &Any orders sir.&

&6ou !ill take this train to to!n Cart!ri"ht. The moment you arrive you !ill send a !ire to Sir Henry Baskerville in my name to say that if he finds the pocketbook !hich $ have dropped he is to send it by re"istered post to Baker Street.& &6es sir.&

&And ask at the station office if there is a messa"e for me.& The boy returned !ith a tele"ram ranA !hich Holmes handed to me. $t

-ire received. Comin" do!n !ith unsi"ned !arrant. forty. 0estrade.

Arrive five%

&That is in ans!er to mine of this mornin". He is the best of the professionals $ think and !e may need his assistance. 5o! -atson $ think that !e cannot employ our time better than by callin" upon your ac#uaintance Mrs. 0aura 0yons.& His plan of campai"n !as be"innin" to be evident. He !ould use the baronet in order to convince the Stapletons that !e !ere really "one !hile !e should actually return at the instant !hen !e !ere likely to be needed. That tele"ram from 0ondon if mentioned by Sir Henry to the Stapletons must remove the last suspicions from their minds. Already $ seemed to see our nets dra!in" closer around that lean,a!ed pike. Mrs. 0aura 0yons !as in her office and Sherlock Holmes opened his intervie! !ith a frankness and directness !hich considerably

ama:ed her. &$ am investi"atin" the circumstances !hich attended the death of the late Sir Charles Baskerville & said he. &My friend here Dr. -atson has informed me of !hat you have communicated and also of !hat you have !ithheld in connection !ith that matter.& &-hat have $ !ithheld.& she asked defiantly. &6ou have confessed that you asked Sir Charles to be at the "ate at ten o/clock. -e kno! that that !as the place and hour of his death. 6ou have !ithheld !hat the connection is bet!een these events.& &There is no connection.& &$n that case the coincidence must indeed be an e1traordinary one. But $ think that !e shall succeed in establishin" a connection after all. $ !ish to be perfectly frank !ith you Mrs. 0yons. -e re"ard this case as one of murder and the evidence may implicate not only your friend Mr. Stapleton but his !ife as !ell.& The lady spran" from her chair. &His !ife3& she cried. &The fact is no lon"er a secret. his sister is really his !ife.& The person !ho has passed for

Mrs. 0yons had resumed her seat. Her hands !ere "raspin" the arms of her chair and $ sa! that the pink nails had turned !hite !ith the pressure of her "rip. &His !ife3& she said a"ain. &His !ife3 He is not a married man.&

Sherlock Holmes shru""ed his shoulders. &'rove it to me3 'rove it to me3 And if you can do so%%3&

The fierce flash of her eyes said more than any !ords. &$ have come prepared to do so & said Holmes dra!in" several papers from his pocket. &Here is a photo"raph of the couple taken in 6ork four years a"o. $t is indorsed /Mr. and Mrs. Eandeleur / but you !ill have no difficulty in reco"ni:in" him and her also if you kno! her by si"ht. Here are three !ritten descriptions by trust!orthy !itnesses of Mr. and Mrs. Eandeleur !ho at that time kept St. 7liver/s private school. )ead them and see if you can doubt the identity of these people.& She "lanced at them and then looked up at us !ith the set face of a desperate !oman. ri"id

&Mr. Holmes & she said &this man had offered me marria"e on condition that $ could "et a divorce from my husband. He has lied to me the villain in every conceivable !ay. 5ot one !ord of truth has he ever told me. And !hy%%!hy. $ ima"ined that all

!as for my o!n sake. But no! $ see that $ !as never anythin" but a tool in his hands. -hy should $ preserve faith !ith him !ho never kept any !ith me. -hy should $ try to shield him from the conse#uences of his o!n !icked acts. Ask me !hat you like and there is nothin" !hich $ shall hold back. 7ne thin" $ s!ear to you and that is that !hen $ !rote the letter $ never dreamed of any harm to the old "entleman !ho had been my kindest friend.& &$ entirely believe you madam & said Sherlock Holmes. &The recital of these events must be very painful to you and perhaps it !ill make it easier if $ tell you !hat occurred and you can check me if $ make any material mistake. The sendin" of this letter !as su""ested to you by Stapleton.& &He dictated it.& &$ presume that the reason he "ave !as that you !ould receive help from Sir Charles for the le"al e1penses connected !ith your divorce.& &41actly.& &And then after you had sent the letter he dissuaded you from keepin" the appointment.& &He told me that it !ould hurt his self%respect that any other man should find the money for such an ob,ect and that thou"h he !as a poor man himself he !ould devote his last penny to removin" the obstacles !hich divided us.& &He appears to be a very consistent character. And then you heard nothin" until you read the reports of the death in the paper.& &5o.& &And he made you s!ear to say nothin" about your appointment !ith Sir Charles.& &He did. He said that the death !as a very mysterious one and that $ should certainly be suspected if the facts came out. He fri"htened me into remainin" silent.& &Iuite so. But you had your suspicions.&

She hesitated and looked do!n. &$ kne! him & she said. &But if he had kept faith !ith me $ should al!ays have done so !ith him.& &$ think that on the !hole you have had a fortunate escape & said Sherlock Holmes. &6ou have had him in your po!er and he kne! it and yet you are alive. 6ou have been !alkin" for some months very near to the ed"e of a precipice. -e must !ish you "ood%mornin" no! Mrs. 0yons and it is probable that you !ill very shortly hear from us a"ain.& &7ur case becomes rounded off and difficulty after difficulty

thins a!ay in front of us & said Holmes as !e stood !aitin" for the arrival of the e1press from to!n. &$ shall soon be in the position of bein" able to put into a sin"le connected narrative one of the most sin"ular and sensational crimes of modern times. Students of criminolo"y !ill remember the analo"ous incidents in 2odno in 0ittle )ussia in the year /FF and of course there are the Anderson murders in 5orth Carolina but this case possesses some features !hich are entirely its o!n. 4ven no! !e have no clear case a"ainst this very !ily man. But $ shall be very much surprised if it is not clear enou"h before !e "o to bed this ni"ht.& The 0ondon e1press came roarin" into the station and a small !iry bulldo" of a man had sprun" from a first%class carria"e. -e all three shook hands and $ sa! at once from the reverential !ay in !hich 0estrade "a:ed at my companion that he had learned a "ood deal since the days !hen they had first !orked to"ether. $ could !ell remember the scorn !hich the theories of the reasoner used then to e1cite in the practical man. &Anythin" "ood.& he asked. &The bi""est thin" for years & said Holmes. &-e have t!o hours before !e need think of startin". $ think !e mi"ht employ it in "ettin" some dinner and then 0estrade !e !ill take the 0ondon fo" out of your throat by "ivin" you a breath of the pure ni"ht air of Dartmoor. 5ever been there. Ah !ell $ don/t suppose you !ill for"et your first visit.&

Chapter 1+ The Hound of the Baskervilles

7ne of Sherlock Holmes/s defects%%if indeed one may call it a defect%%!as that he !as e1ceedin"ly loath to communicate his full plans to any other person until the instant of their fulfilment. 'artly it came no doubt from his o!n masterful nature !hich loved to dominate and surprise those !ho !ere around him. 'artly also from his professional caution !hich ur"ed him never to take any chances. The result ho!ever !as very tryin" for those !ho !ere actin" as his a"ents and assistants. $ had often suffered under it but never more so than durin" that lon" drive in the darkness. The "reat ordeal !as in front of us> at last !e !ere about to make our final effort and yet Holmes had said nothin" and $ could only surmise !hat his course of action !ould be. My nerves thrilled !ith anticipation !hen at last the cold !ind upon our faces and the dark void spaces on either side of the narro! road told me that !e !ere back upon the moor once a"ain. 4very stride of the horses and every turn of the !heels !as takin" us nearer to our supreme adventure. 7ur conversation !as hampered by the presence of the driver of the hired !a"onette so that !e !ere forced to talk of trivial matters !hen our nerves !ere tense !ith emotion and anticipation.

$t !as a relief to me after that unnatural restraint !hen !e at last passed 8rankland/s house and kne! that !e !ere dra!in" near to the Hall and to the scene of action. -e did not drive up to the door but "ot do!n near the "ate of the avenue. The !a"onette !as paid off and ordered to return to Coombe Tracey forth!ith !hile !e started to !alk to Merripit House. &Are you armed 0estrade.&

The little detective smiled. &As lon" as $ have my trousers $ have a hip%pocket and as lon" as $ have my hip%pocket $ have somethin" in it.& &2ood3 My friend and $ are also ready for emer"encies.& Mr. Holmes. -hat/s the

&6ou/re mi"hty close about this affair "ame no!.& &A !aitin" "ame.&

&My !ord it does not seem a very cheerful place & said the detective !ith a shiver "lancin" round him at the "loomy slopes of the hill and at the hu"e lake of fo" !hich lay over the 2rimpen Mire. &$ see the li"hts of a house ahead of us.& &That is Merripit House and the end of our ,ourney. $ must re#uest you to !alk on tiptoe and not to talk above a !hisper.& -e moved cautiously alon" the track as if !e !ere bound for the house but Holmes halted us !hen !e !ere about t!o hundred yards from it. &This !ill do & said he. admirable screen.& &-e are to !ait here.& &6es !e shall make our little ambush here. 2et into this hollo! 0estrade. 6ou have been inside the house have you not -atson. Can you tell the position of the rooms. -hat are those latticed !indo!s at this end.& &$ think they are the kitchen !indo!s.& &And the one beyond !hich shines so bri"htly.& &These rocks upon the ri"ht make an

&That is certainly the dinin"%room.& &The blinds are up. 6ou kno! the lie of the land best. Creep for!ard #uietly and see !hat they are doin"%%but for heaven/s sake don/t let them kno! that they are !atched3& $ tiptoed do!n the path and stooped behind the lo! !all !hich surrounded the stunted orchard. Creepin" in its shado! $ reached a point !hence $ could look strai"ht throu"h the uncurtained !indo!. There !ere only t!o men in the room Sir Henry and Stapleton.

They sat !ith their profiles to!ards me on either side of the round table. Both of them !ere smokin" ci"ars and coffee and !ine !ere in front of them. Stapleton !as talkin" !ith animation but the baronet looked pale and distrait. 'erhaps the thou"ht of that lonely !alk across the ill%omened moor !as !ei"hin" heavily upon his mind. As $ !atched them Stapleton rose and left the room !hile Sir Henry filled his "lass a"ain and leaned back in his chair puffin" at his ci"ar. $ heard the creak of a door and the crisp sound of boots upon "ravel. The steps passed alon" the path on the other side of the !all under !hich $ crouched. 0ookin" over $ sa! the naturalist pause at the door of an out%house in the corner of the orchard. A key turned in a lock and as he passed in there !as a curious scufflin" noise from !ithin. He !as only a minute or so inside and then $ heard the key turn once more and he passed me and reentered the house. $ sa! him re,oin his "uest and $ crept #uietly back to !here my companions !ere !aitin" to tell them !hat $ had seen. &6ou say -atson that the lady is not there.& $ had finished my report. &5o.& &-here can she be then since there is no li"ht in any other room e1cept the kitchen.& &$ cannot think !here she is.& $ have said that over the "reat 2rimpen Mire there hun" a dense !hite fo". $t !as driftin" slo!ly in our direction and banked itself up like a !all on that side of us lo! but thick and !ell defined. The moon shone on it and it looked like a "reat shimmerin" ice%field !ith the heads of the distant tors as rocks borne upon its surface. Holmes/s face !as turned to!ards it and he muttered impatiently as he !atched its slu""ish drift. &$t/s movin" to!ards us &$s that serious.& &Eery serious indeed%%the one thin" upon earth !hich could have disarran"ed my plans. He can/t be very lon" no!. $t is already ten o/clock. 7ur success and even his life may depend upon his comin" out before the fo" is over the path.& The ni"ht !as clear and fine above us. The stars shone cold and bri"ht !hile a half%moon bathed the !hole scene in a soft uncertain li"ht. Before us lay the dark bulk of the house its serrated roof and bristlin" chimneys hard outlined a"ainst the silver%span"led sky. Broad bars of "olden li"ht from the lo!er !indo!s stretched across the orchard and the moor. 7ne of them !as suddenly shut off. The servants had left the kitchen. There only remained the lamp in the dinin"%room !here the t!o men the murderous host and the unconscious "uest still chatted over their ci"ars. -atson.& Holmes asked !hen

4very minute that !hite !oolly plain !hich covered one%half of the moor !as driftin" closer and closer to the house. Already the first thin !isps of it !ere curlin" across the "olden s#uare of the li"hted !indo!. The farther !all of the orchard !as already invisible and the trees !ere standin" out of a s!irl of !hite vapour. As !e !atched it the fo"%!reaths came cra!lin" round both corners of the house and rolled slo!ly into one dense bank on !hich the upper floor and the roof floated like a stran"e ship upon a shado!y sea. Holmes struck his hand passionately upon the rock in front of us and stamped his feet in his impatience. &$f he isn/t out in a #uarter of an hour the path !ill be covered. $n half an hour !e !on/t be able to see our hands in front of us.& &Shall !e move farther back upon hi"her "round.& &6es $ think it !ould be as !ell.&

So as the fo"%bank flo!ed on!ard !e fell back before it until !e !ere half a mile from the house and still that dense !hite sea !ith the moon silverin" its upper ed"e s!ept slo!ly and ine1orably on. &-e are "oin" too far & said Holmes. &-e dare not take the chance of his bein" overtaken before he can reach us. At all costs !e must hold our "round !here !e are.& He dropped on his knees and clapped his ear to the "round. &Thank 2od $ think that $ hear him comin".& A sound of #uick steps broke the silence of the moor. Crouchin" amon" the stones !e stared intently at the silver%tipped bank in front of us. The steps "re! louder and throu"h the fo" as throu"h a curtain there stepped the man !hom !e !ere a!aitin". He looked round him in surprise as he emer"ed into the clear starlit ni"ht. Then he came s!iftly alon" the path passed close to !here !e lay and !ent on up the lon" slope behind us. As he !alked he "lanced continually over either shoulder like a man !ho is ill at ease. &Hist3& cried Holmes and $ heard the sharp click of a cockin" pistol. &0ook out3 $t/s comin"3& There !as a thin crisp continuous patter from some!here in the heart of that cra!lin" bank. The cloud !as !ithin fifty yards of !here !e lay and !e "lared at it all three uncertain !hat horror !as about to break from the heart of it. $ !as at Holmes/s elbo! and $ "lanced for an instant at his face. $t !as pale and e1ultant his eyes shinin" bri"htly in the moonli"ht. But suddenly they started for!ard in a ri"id fi1ed stare and his lips parted in ama:ement. At the same instant 0estrade "ave a yell of terror and thre! himself face do!n!ard upon the "round. $ spran" to my feet my inert hand "raspin" my pistol my mind paraly:ed by the dreadful shape !hich had sprun" out upon us from the shado!s of the fo". A hound it !as an enormous coal%black hound but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. 8ire burst from its open mouth its eyes "lo!ed !ith a smoulderin" "lare its mu::le

and hackles and de!lap !ere outlined in flickerin" flame. 5ever in the delirious dream of a disordered brain could anythin" more sava"e more appallin" more hellish be conceived than that dark form and sava"e face !hich broke upon us out of the !all of fo". -ith lon" bounds the hu"e black creature !as leapin" do!n the track follo!in" hard upon the footsteps of our friend. So paraly:ed !ere !e by the apparition that !e allo!ed him to pass before !e had recovered our nerve. Then Holmes and $ both fired to"ether and the creature "ave a hideous ho!l !hich sho!ed that one at least had hit him. He did not pause ho!ever but bounded on!ard. 8ar a!ay on the path !e sa! Sir Henry lookin" back his face !hite in the moonli"ht his hands raised in horror "larin" helplessly at the fri"htful thin" !hich !as huntin" him do!n. But that cry of pain from the hound had blo!n all our fears to the !inds. $f he !as vulnerable he !as mortal and if !e could !ound him !e could kill him. 5ever have $ seen a man run as Holmes ran that ni"ht. $ am reckoned fleet of foot but he outpaced me as much as $ outpaced the little professional. $n front of us as !e fle! up the track !e heard scream after scream from Sir Henry and the deep roar of the hound. $ !as in time to see the beast sprin" upon its victim hurl him to the "round and !orry at his throat. But the ne1t instant Holmes had emptied five barrels of his revolver into the creature/s flank. -ith a last ho!l of a"ony and a vicious snap in the air it rolled upon its back four feet pa!in" furiously and then fell limp upon its side. $ stooped pantin" and pressed my pistol to the dreadful shimmerin" head but it !as useless to press the tri""er. The "iant hound !as dead. Sir Henry lay insensible !here he had fallen. -e tore a!ay his collar and Holmes breathed a prayer of "ratitude !hen !e sa! that there !as no si"n of a !ound and that the rescue had been in time. Already our friend/s eyelids shivered and he made a feeble effort to move. 0estrade thrust his brandy%flask bet!een the baronet/s teeth and t!o fri"htened eyes !ere lookin" up at us. &My 2od3& he !hispered. !as it.& &-hat !as it. -hat in heaven/s name

&$t/s dead !hatever it is & said Holmes. "host once and forever.&

&-e/ve laid the family

$n mere si:e and stren"th it !as a terrible creature !hich !as lyin" stretched before us. $t !as not a pure bloodhound and it !as not a pure mastiff> but it appeared to be a combination of the t!o%%"aunt sava"e and as lar"e as a small lioness. 4ven no! in the stillness of death the hu"e ,a!s seemed to be drippin" !ith a bluish flame and the small deep%set cruel eyes !ere rin"ed !ith fire. $ placed my hand upon the "lo!in" mu::le and as $ held them up my o!n fin"ers smouldered and "leamed in the darkness. &'hosphorus & $ said. &A cunnin" preparation of it & said Holmes sniffin" at the dead animal. &There is no smell !hich mi"ht have interfered !ith his po!er of scent. -e o!e you a deep apolo"y Sir Henry for havin" e1posed you to this fri"ht. $ !as prepared for a hound but not

for such a creature as this. receive him.& &6ou have saved my life.& &Havin" first endan"ered it.

And the fo" "ave us little time to

Are you stron" enou"h to stand.&

&2ive me another mouthful of that brandy and $ shall be ready for anythin". So3 5o! if you !ill help me up. -hat do you propose to do.& &To leave you here. 6ou are not fit for further adventures toni"ht. $f you !ill !ait one or other of us !ill "o back !ith you to the Hall.& He tried to sta""er to his feet> but he !as still "hastly pale and tremblin" in every limb. -e helped him to a rock !here he sat shiverin" !ith his face buried in his hands. &-e must leave you no! & said Holmes. &The rest of our !ork must be done and every moment is of importance. -e have our case and no! !e only !ant our man. &$t/s a thousand to one a"ainst our findin" him at the house & he continued as !e retraced our steps s!iftly do!n the path. &Those shots must have told him that the "ame !as up.& &-e !ere some distance off and this fo" may have deadened them.&

&He follo!ed the hound to call him off%%of that you may be certain. 5o no he/s "one by this time3 But !e/ll search the house and make sure.& The front door !as open so !e rushed in and hurried from room to room to the ama:ement of a dodderin" old manservant !ho met us in the passa"e. There !as no li"ht save in the dinin"%room but Holmes cau"ht up the lamp and left no corner of the house une1plored. 5o si"n could !e see of the man !hom !e !ere chasin". 7n the upper floor ho!ever one of the bedroom doors !as locked. &There/s someone in here & cried 0estrade. 7pen this door3& &$ can hear a movement.

A faint moanin" and rustlin" came from !ithin. Holmes struck the door ,ust over the lock !ith the flat of his foot and it fle! open. 'istol in hand !e all three rushed into the room. But there !as no si"n !ithin it of that desperate and defiant villain !hom !e e1pected to see. $nstead !e !ere faced by an ob,ect so stran"e and so une1pected that !e stood for a moment starin" at it in ama:ement. The room had been fashioned into a small museum and the !alls !ere lined by a number of "lass%topped cases full of that collection of butterflies and moths the formation of !hich had been the rela1ation of this comple1 and dan"erous man. $n the centre of this room there !as an upri"ht beam !hich had been placed at

some period as a support for the old !orm%eaten baulk of timber !hich spanned the roof. To this post a fi"ure !as tied so s!athed and muffled in the sheets !hich had been used to secure it that one could not for the moment tell !hether it !as that of a man or a !oman. 7ne to!el passed round the throat and !as secured at the back of the pillar. Another covered the lo!er part of the face and over it t!o dark eyes%%eyes full of "rief and shame and a dreadful #uestionin"%%stared back at us. $n a minute !e had torn off the "a" uns!athed the bonds and Mrs. Stapleton sank upon the floor in front of us. As her beautiful head fell upon her chest $ sa! the clear red !eal of a !hiplash across her neck. &The brute3& cried Holmes. &Here 0estrade your brandy%bottle3 'ut her in the chair3 She has fainted from ill%usa"e and e1haustion.& She opened her eyes a"ain. &$s he safe.& she asked. &He cannot escape us &5o no &Has he escaped.&

madam.& Sir Henry. $s he safe.&

$ did not mean my husband.

&6es.& &And the hound.& &$t is dead.& She "ave a lon" si"h of satisfaction. &Thank 2od3 Thank 2od3 7h this villain3 See ho! he has treated me3& She shot her arms out from her sleeves and !e sa! !ith horror that they !ere all mottled !ith bruises. &But this is nothin"%%nothin"3 $t is my mind and soul that he has tortured and defiled. $ could endure it all ill%usa"e solitude a life of deception everythin" as lon" as $ could still clin" to the hope that $ had his love but no! $ kno! that in this also $ have been his dupe and his tool.& She broke into passionate sobbin" as she spoke. &6ou bear him no "ood !ill madam & said Holmes. &Tell us then !here !e shall find him. $f you have ever aided him in evil help us no! and so atone.& &There is but one place !here he can have fled & she ans!ered. &There is an old tin mine on an island in the heart of the mire. $t !as there that he kept his hound and there also he had made preparations so that he mi"ht have a refu"e. That is !here he !ould fly.& The fo"%bank lay like !hite !ool a"ainst the !indo!. the lamp to!ards it. &See & said he. Holmes held

&5o one could find his !ay into the 2rimpen Mire

toni"ht.& She lau"hed and clapped her hands. !ith fierce merriment. &He may find his !ay in but never see the "uidin" !ands toni"ht. -e $ to mark the path!ay throu"h the have plucked them out today. Then at your mercy3& Her eyes and teeth "leamed out & she cried. &Ho! can he planted them to"ether he and mire. 7h if $ could only indeed you !ould have had him

$t !as evident to us that all pursuit !as in vain until the fo" had lifted. Mean!hile !e left 0estrade in possession of the house !hile Holmes and $ !ent back !ith the baronet to Baskerville Hall. The story of the Stapletons could no lon"er be !ithheld from him but he took the blo! bravely !hen he learned the truth about the !oman !hom he had loved. But the shock of the ni"ht/s adventures had shattered his nerves and before mornin" he lay delirious in a hi"h fever under the care of Dr. Mortimer. The t!o of them !ere destined to travel to"ether round the !orld before Sir Henry had become once more the hale hearty man that he had been before he became master of that ill%omened estate. And no! $ come rapidly to the conclusion of this sin"ular narrative in !hich $ have tried to make the reader share those dark fears and va"ue surmises !hich clouded our lives so lon" and ended in so tra"ic a manner. 7n the mornin" after the death of the hound the fo" had lifted and !e !ere "uided by Mrs. Stapleton to the point !here they had found a path!ay throu"h the bo". $t helped us to reali:e the horror of this !oman/s life !hen !e sa! the ea"erness and ,oy !ith !hich she laid us on her husband/s track. -e left her standin" upon the thin peninsula of firm peaty soil !hich tapered out into the !idespread bo". 8rom the end of it a small !and planted here and there sho!ed !here the path :i":a""ed from tuft to tuft of rushes amon" those "reen%scummed pits and foul #ua"mires !hich barred the !ay to the stran"er. )ank reeds and lush slimy !ater%plants sent an odour of decay and a heavy miasmatic vapour onto our faces !hile a false step plun"ed us more than once thi"h%deep into the dark #uiverin" mire !hich shook for yards in soft undulations around our feet. $ts tenacious "rip plucked at our heels as !e !alked and !hen !e sank into it it !as as if some mali"nant hand !as tu""in" us do!n into those obscene depths so "rim and purposeful !as the clutch in !hich it held us. 7nce only !e sa! a trace that someone had passed that perilous !ay before us. 8rom amid a tuft of cotton "rass !hich bore it up out of the slime some dark thin" !as pro,ectin". Holmes sank to his !aist as he stepped from the path to sei:e it and had !e not been there to dra" him out he could never have set his foot upon firm land a"ain. He held an old black boot in the air. &Meyers Toronto & !as printed on the leather inside. &$t is !orth a mud bath & said he. missin" boot.& &$t is our friend Sir Henry/s

&Thro!n there by Stapleton in his fli"ht.& &41actly. He retained it in his hand after usin" it to set the

hound upon the track. He fled !hen he kne! the "ame !as up still clutchin" it. And he hurled it a!ay at this point of his fli"ht. -e kno! at least that he came so far in safety.& But more than that !e !ere never destined to kno! thou"h there !as much !hich !e mi"ht surmise. There !as no chance of findin" footsteps in the mire for the risin" mud oo:ed s!iftly in upon them but as !e at last reached firmer "round beyond the morass !e all looked ea"erly for them. But no sli"htest si"n of them ever met our eyes. $f the earth told a true story then Stapleton never reached that island of refu"e to!ards !hich he stru""led throu"h the fo" upon that last ni"ht. Some!here in the heart of the "reat 2rimpen Mire do!n in the foul slime of the hu"e morass !hich had sucked him in this cold and cruel%hearted man is forever buried. Many traces !e found of him in the bo"%"irt island !here he had hid his sava"e ally. A hu"e drivin"%!heel and a shaft half%filled !ith rubbish sho!ed the position of an abandoned mine. Beside it !ere the crumblin" remains of the cotta"es of the miners driven a!ay no doubt by the foul reek of the surroundin" s!amp. $n one of these a staple and chain !ith a #uantity of "na!ed bones sho!ed !here the animal had been confined. A skeleton !ith a tan"le of bro!n hair adherin" to it lay amon" the debris. &A do"3& said Holmes. &By (ove a curly%haired spaniel. 'oor Mortimer !ill never see his pet a"ain. -ell $ do not kno! that this place contains any secret !hich !e have not already fathomed. He could hide his hound but he could not hush its voice and hence came those cries !hich even in dayli"ht !ere not pleasant to hear. 7n an emer"ency he could keep the hound in the out%house at Merripit but it !as al!ays a risk and it !as only on the supreme day !hich he re"arded as the end of all his efforts that he dared do it. This paste in the tin is no doubt the luminous mi1ture !ith !hich the creature !as daubed. $t !as su""ested of course by the story of the family hell%hound and by the desire to fri"hten old Sir Charles to death. 5o !onder the poor devil of a convict ran and screamed even as our friend did and as !e ourselves mi"ht have done !hen he sa! such a creature boundin" throu"h the darkness of the moor upon his track. $t !as a cunnin" device for apart from the chance of drivin" your victim to his death !hat peasant !ould venture to in#uire too closely into such a creature should he "et si"ht of it as many have done upon the moor. $ said it in 0ondon -atson and $ say it a"ain no! that never yet have !e helped to hunt do!n a more dan"erous man than he !ho is lyin" yonder&%%he s!ept his lon" arm to!ards the hu"e mottled e1panse of "reen%splotched bo" !hich stretched a!ay until it mer"ed into the russet slopes of the moor.

Chapter 1H A )etrospection

$t !as the end of 5ovember and Holmes and $ sat upon a ra! and fo""y ni"ht on either side of a bla:in" fire in our sittin"%room in Baker Street. Since the tra"ic upshot of our visit to Devonshire he had been en"a"ed in t!o affairs of the utmost importance in the first of !hich he had e1posed the atrocious conduct of Colonel Gp!ood in connection !ith the famous card scandal of the 5onpareil Club !hile in the second he had defended the unfortunate Mme. Montpensier from the char"e of murder !hich hun" over her in connection !ith the death of her step%dau"hter Mlle. Carere the youn" lady !ho as it !ill be remembered !as found si1 months later alive and married in 5e! 6ork. My friend !as in e1cellent spirits over the success !hich had attended a succession of difficult and important cases so that $ !as able to induce him to discuss the details of the Baskerville mystery. $ had !aited patiently for the opportunity for $ !as a!are that he !ould never permit cases to overlap and that his clear and lo"ical mind !ould not be dra!n from its present !ork to d!ell upon memories of the past. Sir Henry and Dr. Mortimer !ere ho!ever in 0ondon on their !ay to that lon" voya"e !hich had been recommended for the restoration of his shattered nerves. They had called upon us that very afternoon so that it !as natural that the sub,ect should come up for discussion. &The !hole course of events & said Holmes &from the point of vie! of the man !ho called himself Stapleton !as simple and direct althou"h to us !ho had no means in the be"innin" of kno!in" the motives of his actions and could only learn part of the facts it all appeared e1ceedin"ly comple1. $ have had the advanta"e of t!o conversations !ith Mrs. Stapleton and the case has no! been so entirely cleared up that $ am not a!are that there is anythin" !hich has remained a secret to us. 6ou !ill find a fe! notes upon the matter under the headin" B in my inde1ed list of cases.& &'erhaps you !ould kindly "ive me a sketch of the course of events from memory.& &Certainly thou"h $ cannot "uarantee that $ carry all the facts in my mind. $ntense mental concentration has a curious !ay of blottin" out !hat has passed. The barrister !ho has his case at his fin"ers/ ends and is able to ar"ue !ith an e1pert upon his o!n sub,ect finds that a !eek or t!o of the courts !ill drive it all out of his head once more. So each of my cases displaces the last and Mlle. Carere has blurred my recollection of Baskerville Hall. Tomorro! some other little problem may be submitted to my notice !hich !ill in turn dispossess the fair 8rench lady and the infamous Gp!ood. So far as the case of the hound "oes ho!ever $ !ill "ive you the course of events as nearly as $ can and you !ill su""est anythin" !hich $ may have for"otten. &My in#uiries sho! beyond all #uestion that the family portrait did not lie and that this fello! !as indeed a Baskerville. He !as a son of that )od"er Baskerville the youn"er brother of Sir Charles !ho fled !ith a sinister reputation to South America !here he !as said to have died unmarried. He did as a matter of fact marry and had one child this fello! !hose real name is the same as his father/s. He married Beryl 2arcia one of the

beauties of Costa )ica and havin" purloined a considerable sum of public money he chan"ed his name to Eandeleur and fled to 4n"land !here he established a school in the east of 6orkshire. His reason for attemptin" this special line of business !as that he had struck up an ac#uaintance !ith a consumptive tutor upon the voya"e home and that he had used this man/s ability to make the undertakin" a success. 8raser the tutor died ho!ever and the school !hich had be"un !ell sank from disrepute into infamy. The Eandeleurs found it convenient to chan"e their name to Stapleton and he brou"ht the remains of his fortune his schemes for the future and his taste for entomolo"y to the south of 4n"land. $ learned at the British Museum that he !as a reco"ni:ed authority upon the sub,ect and that the name of Eandeleur has been permanently attached to a certain moth !hich he had in his 6orkshire days been the first to describe. &-e no! come to that portion of his life !hich has proved to be of such intense interest to us. The fello! had evidently made in#uiry and found that only t!o lives intervened bet!een him and a valuable estate. -hen he !ent to Devonshire his plans !ere $ believe e1ceedin"ly ha:y but that he meant mischief from the first is evident from the !ay in !hich he took his !ife !ith him in the character of his sister. The idea of usin" her as a decoy !as clearly already in his mind thou"h he may not have been certain ho! the details of his plot !ere to be arran"ed. He meant in the end to have the estate and he !as ready to use any tool or run any risk for that end. His first act !as to establish himself as near to his ancestral home as he could and his second !as to cultivate a friendship !ith Sir Charles Baskerville and !ith the nei"hbours. &The baronet himself told him about the family hound and so prepared the !ay for his o!n death. Stapleton as $ !ill continue to call him kne! that the old man/s heart !as !eak and that a shock !ould kill him. So much he had learned from Dr. Mortimer. He had heard also that Sir Charles !as superstitious and had taken this "rim le"end very seriously. His in"enious mind instantly su""ested a !ay by !hich the baronet could be done to death and yet it !ould be hardly possible to brin" home the "uilt to the real murderer. &Havin" conceived the idea he proceeded to carry it out !ith considerable finesse. An ordinary schemer !ould have been content to !ork !ith a sava"e hound. The use of artificial means to make the creature diabolical !as a flash of "enius upon his part. The do" he bou"ht in 0ondon from )oss and Man"les the dealers in 8ulham )oad. $t !as the stron"est and most sava"e in their possession. He brou"ht it do!n by the 5orth Devon line and !alked a "reat distance over the moor so as to "et it home !ithout e1citin" any remarks. He had already on his insect hunts learned to penetrate the 2rimpen Mire and so had found a safe hidin"%place for the creature. Here he kennelled it and !aited his chance. &But it !as some time comin". The old "entleman could not be decoyed outside of his "rounds at ni"ht. Several times Stapleton lurked about !ith his hound but !ithout avail. $t !as durin" these fruitless #uests that he or rather his ally !as seen by

peasants and that the le"end of the demon do" received a ne! confirmation. He had hoped that his !ife mi"ht lure Sir Charles to his ruin but here she proved une1pectedly independent. She !ould not endeavour to entan"le the old "entleman in a sentimental attachment !hich mi"ht deliver him over to his enemy. Threats and even $ am sorry to say blo!s refused to move her. She !ould have nothin" to do !ith it and for a time Stapleton !as at a deadlock. &He found a !ay out of his difficulties throu"h the chance that Sir Charles !ho had conceived a friendship for him made him the minister of his charity in the case of this unfortunate !oman Mrs. 0aura 0yons. By representin" himself as a sin"le man he ac#uired complete influence over her and he "ave her to understand that in the event of her obtainin" a divorce from her husband he !ould marry her. His plans !ere suddenly brou"ht to a head by his kno!led"e that Sir Charles !as about to leave the Hall on the advice of Dr. Mortimer !ith !hose opinion he himself pretended to coincide. He must act at once or his victim mi"ht "et beyond his po!er. He therefore put pressure upon Mrs. 0yons to !rite this letter implorin" the old man to "ive her an intervie! on the evenin" before his departure for 0ondon. He then by a specious ar"ument prevented her from "oin" and so had the chance for !hich he had !aited. &Drivin" back in the evenin" from Coombe Tracey he !as in time to "et his hound to treat it !ith his infernal paint and to brin" the beast round to the "ate at !hich he had reason to e1pect that he !ould find the old "entleman !aitin". The do" incited by its master spran" over the !icket%"ate and pursued the unfortunate baronet !ho fled screamin" do!n the ye! alley. $n that "loomy tunnel it must indeed have been a dreadful si"ht to see that hu"e black creature !ith its flamin" ,a!s and bla:in" eyes boundin" after its victim. He fell dead at the end of the alley from heart disease and terror. The hound had kept upon the "rassy border !hile the baronet had run do!n the path so that no track but the man/s !as visible. 7n seein" him lyin" still the creature had probably approached to sniff at him but findin" him dead had turned a!ay a"ain. $t !as then that it left the print !hich !as actually observed by Dr. Mortimer. The hound !as called off and hurried a!ay to its lair in the 2rimpen Mire and a mystery !as left !hich pu::led the authorities alarmed the countryside and finally brou"ht the case !ithin the scope of our observation. &So much for the death of Sir Charles Baskerville. 6ou perceive the devilish cunnin" of it for really it !ould be almost impossible to make a case a"ainst the real murderer. His only accomplice !as one !ho could never "ive him a!ay and the "rotes#ue inconceivable nature of the device only served to make it more effective. Both of the !omen concerned in the case Mrs. Stapleton and Mrs. 0aura 0yons !ere left !ith a stron" suspicion a"ainst Stapleton. Mrs. Stapleton kne! that he had desi"ns upon the old man and also of the e1istence of the hound. Mrs. 0yons kne! neither of these thin"s but had been impressed by the death occurrin" at the time of an uncancelled appointment !hich !as only kno!n to him. Ho!ever both of them !ere under his influence and he had nothin" to fear from them. The first half of his task

!as successfully accomplished but the more difficult still remained. &$t is possible that Stapleton did not kno! of the e1istence of an heir in Canada. $n any case he !ould very soon learn it from his friend Dr. Mortimer and he !as told by the latter all details about the arrival of Henry Baskerville. Stapleton/s first idea !as that this youn" stran"er from Canada mi"ht possibly be done to death in 0ondon !ithout comin" do!n to Devonshire at all. He distrusted his !ife ever since she had refused to help him in layin" a trap for the old man and he dared not leave her lon" out of his si"ht for fear he should lose his influence over her. $t !as for this reason that he took her to 0ondon !ith him. They lod"ed $ find at the Me1borou"h 'rivate Hotel in Craven Street !hich !as actually one of those called upon by my a"ent in search of evidence. Here he kept his !ife imprisoned in her room !hile he dis"uised in a beard follo!ed Dr. Mortimer to Baker Street and after!ards to the station and to the 5orthumberland Hotel. His !ife had some inklin" of his plans> but she had such a fear of her husband%%a fear founded upon brutal ill%treatment%%that she dare not !rite to !arn the man !hom she kne! to be in dan"er. $f the letter should fall into Stapleton/s hands her o!n life !ould not be safe. 4ventually as !e kno! she adopted the e1pedient of cuttin" out the !ords !hich !ould form the messa"e and addressin" the letter in a dis"uised hand. $t reached the baronet and "ave him the first !arnin" of his dan"er. &$t !as very essential for Stapleton to "et some article of Sir Henry/s attire so that in case he !as driven to use the do" he mi"ht al!ays have the means of settin" him upon his track. -ith characteristic promptness and audacity he set about this at once and !e cannot doubt that the boots or chamber%maid of the hotel !as !ell bribed to help him in his desi"n. By chance ho!ever the first boot !hich !as procured for him !as a ne! one and therefore useless for his purpose. He then had it returned and obtained another%%a most instructive incident since it proved conclusively to my mind that !e !ere dealin" !ith a real hound as no other supposition could e1plain this an1iety to obtain an old boot and this indifference to a ne! one. The more outre and "rotes#ue an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be e1amined and the very point !hich appears to complicate a case is !hen duly considered and scientifically handled the one !hich is most likely to elucidate it. &Then !e had the visit from our friends ne1t mornin" shado!ed al!ays by Stapleton in the cab. 8rom his kno!led"e of our rooms and of my appearance as !ell as from his "eneral conduct $ am inclined to think that Stapleton/s career of crime has been by no means limited to this sin"le Baskerville affair. $t is su""estive that durin" the last three years there have been four considerable bur"laries in the !est country for none of !hich !as any criminal ever arrested. The last of these at 8olkestone Court in May !as remarkable for the cold%blooded pistollin" of the pa"e !ho surprised the masked and solitary bur"lar. $ cannot doubt that Stapleton recruited his !anin" resources in this fashion and that for years he has been a desperate and dan"erous man. &-e had an e1ample of his readiness of resource that mornin" !hen

he "ot a!ay from us so successfully and also of his audacity in sendin" back my o!n name to me throu"h the cabman. 8rom that moment he understood that $ had taken over the case in 0ondon and that therefore there !as no chance for him there. He returned to Dartmoor and a!aited the arrival of the baronet.& &7ne moment3& said $. &6ou have no doubt described the se#uence of events correctly but there is one point !hich you have left une1plained. -hat became of the hound !hen its master !as in 0ondon.& &$ have "iven some attention to this matter and it is undoubtedly of importance. There can be no #uestion that Stapleton had a confidant thou"h it is unlikely that he ever placed himself in his po!er by sharin" all his plans !ith him. There !as an old manservant at Merripit House !hose name !as Anthony. His connection !ith the Stapletons can be traced for several years as far back as the schoolmasterin" days so that he must have been a!are that his master and mistress !ere really husband and !ife. This man has disappeared and has escaped from the country. $t is su""estive that Anthony is not a common name in 4n"land !hile Antonio is so in all Spanish or Spanish%American countries. The man like Mrs. Stapleton herself spoke "ood 4n"lish but !ith a curious lispin" accent. $ have myself seen this old man cross the 2rimpen Mire by the path !hich Stapleton had marked out. $t is very probable therefore that in the absence of his master it !as he !ho cared for the hound thou"h he may never have kno!n the purpose for !hich the beast !as used. &The Stapletons then !ent do!n to Devonshire !hither they !ere soon follo!ed by Sir Henry and you. 7ne !ord no! as to ho! $ stood myself at that time. $t may possibly recur to your memory that !hen $ e1amined the paper upon !hich the printed !ords !ere fastened $ made a close inspection for the !ater%mark. $n doin" so $ held it !ithin a fe! inches of my eyes and !as conscious of a faint smell of the scent kno!n as !hite ,essamine. There are seventy%five perfumes !hich it is very necessary that a criminal e1pert should be able to distin"uish from each other and cases have more than once !ithin my o!n e1perience depended upon their prompt reco"nition. The scent su""ested the presence of a lady and already my thou"hts be"an to turn to!ards the Stapletons. Thus $ had made certain of the hound and had "uessed at the criminal before ever !e !ent to the !est country. &$t !as my "ame to !atch Stapleton. $t !as evident ho!ever that $ could not do this if $ !ere !ith you since he !ould be keenly on his "uard. $ deceived everybody therefore yourself included and $ came do!n secretly !hen $ !as supposed to be in 0ondon. My hardships !ere not so "reat as you ima"ined thou"h such triflin" details must never interfere !ith the investi"ation of a case. $ stayed for the most part at Coombe Tracey and only used the hut upon the moor !hen it !as necessary to be near the scene of action. Cart!ri"ht had come do!n !ith me and in his dis"uise as a country boy he !as of "reat assistance to me. $ !as dependent upon him for food and clean linen. -hen $ !as !atchin" Stapleton Cart!ri"ht !as fre#uently !atchin" you so that $ !as able to keep my hand upon all the strin"s.

&$ have already told you that your reports reached me rapidly bein" for!arded instantly from Baker Street to Coombe Tracey. They !ere of "reat service to me and especially that one incidentally truthful piece of bio"raphy of Stapleton/s. $ !as able to establish the identity of the man and the !oman and kne! at last e1actly ho! $ stood. The case had been considerably complicated throu"h the incident of the escaped convict and the relations bet!een him and the Barrymores. This also you cleared up in a very effective !ay thou"h $ had already come to the same conclusions from my o!n observations. &By the time that you discovered me upon the moor $ had a complete kno!led"e of the !hole business but $ had not a case !hich could "o to a ,ury. 4ven Stapleton/s attempt upon Sir Henry that ni"ht !hich ended in the death of the unfortunate convict did not help us much in provin" murder a"ainst our man. There seemed to be no alternative but to catch him red%handed and to do so !e had to use Sir Henry alone and apparently unprotected as a bait. -e did so and at the cost of a severe shock to our client !e succeeded in completin" our case and drivin" Stapleton to his destruction. That Sir Henry should have been e1posed to this is $ must confess a reproach to my mana"ement of the case but !e had no means of foreseein" the terrible and paraly:in" spectacle !hich the beast presented nor could !e predict the fo" !hich enabled him to burst upon us at such short notice. -e succeeded in our ob,ect at a cost !hich both the specialist and Dr. Mortimer assure me !ill be a temporary one. A lon" ,ourney may enable our friend to recover not only from his shattered nerves but also from his !ounded feelin"s. His love for the lady !as deep and sincere and to him the saddest part of all this black business !as that he should have been deceived by her. &$t only remains to indicate the part !hich she had played throu"hout. There can be no doubt that Stapleton e1ercised an influence over her !hich may have been love or may have been fear or very possibly both since they are by no means incompatible emotions. $t !as at least absolutely effective. At his command she consented to pass as his sister thou"h he found the limits of his po!er over her !hen he endeavoured to make her the direct accessory to murder. She !as ready to !arn Sir Henry so far as she could !ithout implicatin" her husband and a"ain and a"ain she tried to do so. Stapleton himself seems to have been capable of ,ealousy and !hen he sa! the baronet payin" court to the lady even thou"h it !as part of his o!n plan still he could not help interruptin" !ith a passionate outburst !hich revealed the fiery soul !hich his self%contained manner so cleverly concealed. By encoura"in" the intimacy he made it certain that Sir Henry !ould fre#uently come to Merripit House and that he !ould sooner or later "et the opportunity !hich he desired. 7n the day of the crisis ho!ever his !ife turned suddenly a"ainst him. She had learned somethin" of the death of the convict and she kne! that the hound !as bein" kept in the outhouse on the evenin" that Sir Henry !as comin" to dinner. She ta1ed her husband !ith his intended crime and a furious scene follo!ed in !hich he sho!ed her for the first time that she had a rival in his love. Her fidelity turned in an instant to bitter hatred and he sa! that she !ould betray him. He tied her up therefore that she mi"ht

have no chance of !arnin" Sir Henry and he hoped no doubt that !hen the !hole countryside put do!n the baronet/s death to the curse of his family as they certainly !ould do he could !in his !ife back to accept an accomplished fact and to keep silent upon !hat she kne!. $n this $ fancy that in any case he made a miscalculation and that if !e had not been there his doom !ould none the less have been sealed. A !oman of Spanish blood does not condone such an in,ury so li"htly. And no! my dear -atson !ithout referrin" to my notes $ cannot "ive you a more detailed account of this curious case. $ do not kno! that anythin" essential has been left une1plained.& &He could not hope to fri"hten Sir Henry to death as he had done the old uncle !ith his bo"ie hound.& &The beast !as sava"e and half%starved. $f its appearance did not fri"hten its victim to death at least it !ould paraly:e the resistance !hich mi"ht be offered.& &5o doubt. There only remains one difficulty. $f Stapleton came into the succession ho! could he e1plain the fact that he the heir had been livin" unannounced under another name so close to the property. Ho! could he claim it !ithout causin" suspicion and in#uiry.& &$t is a formidable difficulty and $ fear that you ask too much !hen you e1pect me to solve it. The past and the present are !ithin the field of my in#uiry but !hat a man may do in the future is a hard #uestion to ans!er. Mrs. Stapleton has heard her husband discuss the problem on several occasions. There !ere three possible courses. He mi"ht claim the property from South America establish his identity before the British authorities there and so obtain the fortune !ithout ever comin" to 4n"land at all or he mi"ht adopt an elaborate dis"uise durin" the short time that he need be in 0ondon> or a"ain he mi"ht furnish an accomplice !ith the proofs and papers puttin" him in as heir and retainin" a claim upon some proportion of his income. -e cannot doubt from !hat !e kno! of him that he !ould have found some !ay out of the difficulty. And no! my dear -atson !e have had some !eeks of severe !ork and for one evenin" $ think !e may turn our thou"hts into more pleasant channels. $ have a bo1 for /0es Hu"uenots./ Have you heard the De )es:kes. Mi"ht $ trouble you then to be ready in half an hour and !e can stop at Marcini/s for a little dinner on the !ay.&

4nd of 'ro,ect 2utenber"/s 4te1t The Hound of the Baskervilles by Doyle