Chapter Three - The Hound of the Baskervilles
"Since the tragedy, Mr. Holmes,
there have come to my ears several
incidents which are
that before the terrible event
occurred several people had seen a creature
upon the moor which corresponds
with this Baskerville demon, and which could not possibly be any animal known to science.
They all agreed that it was a huge
I have cross-examined
these men, one of them a hard-headed
countryman, one a farrier
and one a moorland farmer, who all tell the same story of this
corresponding to the hell-hound of the legend. I
you that there is a reign
, and that it is a
man who will cross the moor at night."
My first impression as
I opened the door was that a fire had broken out, for the room was so filled with smoke
that the light of the lamp upon the table was
by it. As I entered, however, my fears
were set at rest, for it was the acrid fumes
of strong coarse tobacco
which took me by the throat and set me coughing
Through the haze
I had a vague
vision of Holmes in his dressing-gown
in an armchair with his black
between his lips. Several rolls of paper lay around him.
Sir Henry Baskerville
"Exactly. My body has remained in this armchair and has, I regret to observe, consumed in my
two large pots
of coffee and an incredible amount of tobacco. After you left I
sent down to Stamford's for the
of this portion of the moor, and my spirit has
over it all day. I flatter myself
that I could find my way about
"The devil's agents
may be of
and blood, may they not?
There are two questions waiting for us at the outset
The one is whether any crime
has been committed at all; the second is,
what is the crime and how was it committed? Of course, if
Dr. Mortimer's surmise
should be correct, and we are dealing with
forces outside the ordinary laws of Nature, there is an end of our
. But we are bound to
falling back upon
I think we'll shut that window again, if you don't mind.
It is a singular thing, but I
that a concentrated atmosphere helps a concentration of thought.
I have not pushed it to the length of getting into a box to think,
but that is the logical outcome
Have you turned the case over in your mind?"
"I am presuming
that the cause of his fears
came to him across the moor. If that were so,
and it seems most probable
only a man who had lost his wits would have run from the house
instead of towards it. If the gipsy'sevidence
may be taken as true, he ran with
cries for help
in the direction where help was least likely to be.
Then, again, whom was he waiting for that night, and why was he waiting for him in the Yew
rather than in his own house?"
You think that he was waiting for someone?"
The man was elderly and infirm
We can understand his taking an evening stroll,
but the ground was damp and the night inclement.
Is it natural that he should stand for five or ten
minutes, as Dr. Mortimer, with more practical sense than
I should have given him credit for, deduced from the cigar ash?"
But he went out every evening."
I think it unlikely that he waited at the moor-gate every evening.
On the contrary, the evidence is that he avoided the moor.
That night he waited there. It was the night before he made
his departure for London. The thing takes shape, Watson.
It becomes coherent. Might I ask you to hand me my violin,
and we will postpone all further thought upon this business until we have had the
advantage of meeting Dr. Mortimer and Sir Henry Baskerville in the morning."