"Know then that in the time of the Great
of which by the learned Lord Clarendon I most
to your attention) this
of Baskerville was
by Hugo of that name, nor can it be
that he was a most wild,
This, in truth, his neighbours might have
seeing that saints have never flourished
in those parts, but there was in him a certain
and cruel humour which made his name a
through the West. It
that this Hugo came to love
(if, indeed, so dark a passion
may be known under so bright a name) the daughter of a
who held lands near the Baskerville
But the young maiden,
being discreet and of
good repute, would ever avoid him, for she
his evil name. So it came to pass that one Michaelmas this Hugo, with five or six of his
down upon the farm and carried off
the maiden, her father and brothers being from home, as he well knew. When they had brought her to the Hall the maiden was
placed in an upper
chamber, while Hugo and his friends sat down to a long
carouse, as was their nightly custom.
"Now, the poor lass
upstairs was like to have her wits turned
at the singing and shouting and terrible oaths
which came up to her from below, for they say that the words used by Hugo Baskerville,
when he was in wine, were such as might
blast the man who said them. At last in the stress of her
fear she did that which might have
daunted the bravest or most active man, for by the
aid of the
growth of ivy
which covered (and still covers) the south wall she came down from under the
eaves, and so homeward across the
moor, there being three
leaguesbetwixt the Hall and her father's farm.
Can you give four words meaning 'promise'? What are the differences between then?
What kind of plant is ivy.
"It chanced that some little time later Hugo left his guests to carry food
and drink with other worse things, perchance
to his captive,
and so found the cage
empty and the bird escaped. Then, as it would seem, he became as one that
a devil, for, rushing
down the stairs into the dining-hall, he
sprang upon the great table,
trenchers flying before him, and he
aloud before all the company that he would that very night
his body and soul to the powers of Evil
if he might but overtake
the wench. And while the
revellers stood aghast
at the fury
of the man, one more wicked or, it may be, more drunken than the rest,
cried out that they should put the hounds upon her. Whereat
Hugo ran from the house,
crying to his
grooms that they should saddle his
and giving the hounds a kerchief
of the maid's, he
them to the line, and so off full cry in the moonlight over the moor.
"Now, for some space the revellers
unable to understand all that had been done in such
haste. But anon
to the nature of the deed
which was like to be done upon the moorlands. Everything was now in an uproar,
some calling for
their pistols, some for their horses, and some for another flask of wine.
But at length some sense came back to their crazed minds,
and the whole of them, thirteen in number,
took horse and started in pursuit.
The moon shone clear above them, and they rode swiftlyabreast, taking that course
which the maid must needs have taken if she were to reach her own home.
"They had gone a mile or two when they
passed one of the nightshepherds upon the moorlands,
and they cried to him to know if he had seen the hunt. And the man, as the story goes, was so
crazed with fear that he could scarce speak,
but at last he said that he had indeed seen the unhappy maiden, with the hounds upon her track.
'But I have seen more than that,' said he,
'for Hugo Baskerville passed me upon his black mare, and there ran mute behind him such a hound of hell as
God forbid should ever be at my heels.'
"So the drunken squires
cursed the shepherd and rode onward.
But soon their skins turned cold, for there came a galloping across the moor,
and the black mare, dabbled with white froth,
went past with trailingbridle and empty saddle.
Then the revellers rode close together, for a great fear was on them, but they still followed
over the moor, though each, had he been alone, would have been right glad
to have turned his horse's head. Riding slowly in this fashion they came
at last upon the hounds. These, though known for their valour and their
breed, were whimpering
in a clusterat the head of
a deep dip or goyal,
as we call it, upon the moor, some slinking
away and some, with starting hackles and staring eyes, gazing
down the narrow valley before them.
"The company had come to a halt, more sober
men, as you may guess, than when they started.
The most of them would by no means advance, but three of them, the boldest,
or it may be the most drunken, rode forward down the goyal. Now, it opened into a broad space
in which stood two of those great stones, still to be seen there, which were set by certain forgotten peoples in the days of old.
The moon was shining bright upon the clearing, and there in the centre lay the unhappy maid
where she had fallen, dead of fear and of fatigue. But it was not the sight of her body,
nor yet was it that of the body of Hugo Baskerville lying near her, which raised the hair upon the heads of these three
daredevilroysterers, but it was that, standing over Hugo,
and plucking at his throat, there stood a foul thing,
a great, black beast, shaped like a hound,
yet larger than any hound that ever mortal eye has rested upon.
"And even as they looked the thing tore the throat out of Hugo Baskerville, on which, as it turned its
blazing eyes and
upon them, the three shrieked
with fear and rode for dear life,
still screaming, across the moor. One, it is said, died that very night of what he had seen, and the other
twain were but broken men for the rest of their days.
"Since the tragedy, Mr. Holmes, there have
come to my ears
which are hard to reconcile
with the settledorder of Nature."
What was in Conan Doyle's mind
when he referred to Hugo as "a godless man" ?