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YouTube .. (The Hound ofthe Baskervilles byArthur Conan Doyle) . Librivox (https://librivox.org/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles-dramatic-reading-by-sir-arthur-conan-doyle/), , Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3070). , , - . -ࠖ (http://lingorado.com/transcription/).

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Chapter 1. Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late inthe mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. Istood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was afine, thick piece ofwood, bulbous-headed, ofthe sort which is known as aPenang lawyer. Just under the head was abroad silver band nearly an inch across. ToJames Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends oftheC.C.H., was engraved upon it, with the date 1884. It was just such astick as the old-fashioned family practitioner used tocarry dignified, solid, and reassuring.

Well, Watson, what do you make ofit?

Holmes was sitting with his back tome, and Ihad given him no sign ofmy occupation.

How did you know what Iwas doing? Ibelieve you have eyes inthe back ofyour head.

Ihave, at least, awell-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot infront ofme, said he. But, tell me, Watson, what do you make ofour visitors stick? Since we have been so unfortunate as tomiss him and have no notion ofhis errand, this accidental souvenir becomes ofimportance. Let me hear you reconstruct the man byan examination ofit.

Ithink, said I, following as far as Icould the methods ofmy companion, that Dr. Mortimer is asuccessful, elderly medical man, well-esteemed since those who know him give him this mark oftheir appreciation.

Good! said Holmes. Excellent!

Ithink also that the probability is infavour ofhis being acountry practitioner who does agreat deal ofhis visiting on foot.


Because this stick, though originally avery handsome one has been so knocked about that Ican hardly imagine atown practitioner carrying it. The thick-iron ferrule is worn down, so it is evident that he has done agreat amount ofwalking withit.

Perfectly sound! said Holmes.

And then again, there is the friends oftheC.C.H. Ishould guess that tobe the Something Hunt, the local hunt towhose members he has possibly given some surgical assistance, and which has made him asmall presentation inreturn.

Really, Watson, you excel yourself, said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting acigarette. Iam bound tosay that inall the accounts which you have been so good as togive ofmy own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are aconductor oflight. Some people without possessing genius have aremarkable power ofstimulating it. Iconfess, my dear fellow, that Iam very much inyour debt.

He had never said as much before, and Imust admit that his words gave me keen pleasure, for Ihad often been piqued byhis indifference tomy admiration and tothe attempts which Ihad made togive publicity tohis methods. Iwas proud, too, tothink that Ihad so far mastered his system as toapply it inaway which earned his approval. He now took the stick from my hands and examined it for afew minutes with his naked eyes. Then with an expression ofinterest he laid down his cigarette, and carrying the cane tothe window, he looked over it again with aconvex lens.

Interesting, though elementary, said he as he returned tohis favourite corner ofthe settee. There are certainly one or two indications upon the stick. It givesus the basis for several deductions.

Has anything escaped me? Iasked with some self-importance. Itrust that there is nothing ofconsequence which Ihave overlooked?

Iam afraid, my dear Watson, that most ofyour conclusions were erroneous. When Isaid that you stimulated me Imeant, tobe frank, that innoting your fallacies Iwas occasionally guided towards the truth. Not that you are entirely wrong inthis instance. The man is certainly acountry practitioner. And he walks agood deal.

Then Iwas right.

Tothat extent.

But that was all.

No, no, my dear Watson, not all byno means all. Iwould suggest, for example, that apresentation toadoctor is more likely tocome from ahospital than from ahunt, and that when the initials C.C. are placed before that hospital the words Charing Cross very naturally suggest themselves.

You may be right.

The probability lies inthat direction. And if we take this as aworking hypothesis we have afresh basis from which tostart our construction ofthis unknown visitor.

Well, then, supposing that C.C.H. does stand for Charing Cross Hospital, what further inferences may we draw?

Do none suggest themselves? You know my methods. Apply them!

Ican only think ofthe obvious conclusion that the man has practised intown before going tothe country.

Ithink that we might venture alittle farther than this. Look at it inthis light. On what occasion would it be most probable that such apresentation would be made? When would his friends unite togive him apledge oftheir good will? Obviously at the moment when Dr. Mortimer withdrew from the service ofthe hospital inorder tostart inpractice for himself. We know there has been apresentation. We believe there has been achange from atown hospital toacountry practice. Is it, then, stretching our inference too far tosay that the presentation was on the occasion ofthe change?

It certainly seems probable.

Now, you will observe that he could not have been on the staff ofthe hospital, since only aman well-established inaLondon practice could hold such aposition, and such aone would not drift into the country. What was he, then? If he was inthe hospital and yet not on the staff he could only have been ahouse-surgeon or ahouse-physician little more than asenior student. And he left five years ago the date is on the stick. So your grave, middle-aged family practitioner vanishes into thin air, my dear Watson, and there emerges ayoung fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent-minded, and the possessor ofafavourite dog, which Ishould describe roughly as being larger than aterrier and smaller than amastiff.

Ilaughed incredulously as Sherlock Holmes leaned back inhis settee and blew little wavering rings ofsmoke up tothe ceiling.

As tothe latter part, Ihave no means ofchecking you, said I, but at least it is not difficult tofind out afew particulars about the mans age and professional career. From my small medical shelf Itook down the Medical Directory and turned up the name. There were several Mortimers, but only one who could be our visitor. Iread his record aloud.

Mortimer, James, M.R.C.S., 1882, Grimpen, Dartmoor, Devon. House-surgeon, from 1882to1884, at Charing Cross Hospital. Winner ofthe Jackson prize for Comparative Pathology, with essay entitled Is Disease aReversion? Corresponding member ofthe Swedish Pathological Society. Author ofSome Freaks ofAtavism (Lancet 1882). Do We Progress? (Journal ofPsychology, March, 1883). Medical Officer for the parishes ofGrimpen, Thorsley, and High Barrow.

No mention ofthat local hunt, Watson, said Holmes with amischievous smile, but acountry doctor, as you very astutely observed. Ithink that Iam fairly justified inmy inferences. As tothe adjectives, Isaid, if Iremember right, amiable, unambitious, and absent-minded. It is my experience that it is only an amiable man inthis world who receives testimonials, only an unambitious one who abandons aLondon career for the country, and only an absent-minded one who leaves his stick and not his visiting-card after waiting an hour inyour room.

And the dog?

Has been inthe habit ofcarrying this stick behind his master. Being aheavy stick the dog has held it tightly bythe middle, and the marks ofhis teeth are very plainly visible. The dogs jaw, as shown inthe space between these marks, is too broad inmy opinion for aterrier and not broad enough for amastiff. It may have been yes, byJove, it is acurly-haired spaniel.

He had risen and paced the room as he spoke. Now he halted inthe recess ofthe window. There was such aring ofconviction inhis voice that Iglanced up insurprise.

My dear fellow, how can you possibly be so sure ofthat?

For the very simple reason that Isee the dog himself on our very door-step, and there is the ring ofits owner. Dont move, Ibeg you, Watson. He is aprofessional brother ofyours, and your presence may be ofassistance tome. Now is the dramatic moment offate, Watson, when you hear astep upon the stair which is walking into your life, and you know not whether for good or ill. What does Dr. James Mortimer, the man ofscience, ask ofSherlock Holmes, the specialist incrime? Comein!

The appearance ofour visitor was asurprise tome, since Ihad expected atypical country practitioner. He was avery tall, thin man, with along nose like abeak, which jutted out between two keen, gray eyes, set closely together and sparkling brightly from behind apair ofgold-rimmed glasses. He was clad inaprofessional but rather slovenly fashion, for his frock-coat was dingy and his trousers frayed. Though young, his long back was already bowed, and he walked with aforward thrust ofhis head and ageneral air ofpeering benevolence. As he entered his eyes fell upon the stick inHolmess hand, and he ran towards it with an exclamation ofjoy. Iam so very glad, said he. Iwas not sure whether Ihad left it here or inthe Shipping Office. Iwould not lose that stick for the world.

Apresentation, Isee, said Holmes.

Yes, sir.

From Charing Cross Hospital?

From one or two friends there on the occasion ofmy marriage.

Dear, dear, thats bad! said Holmes, shaking his head.

Dr. Mortimer blinked through his glasses inmild astonishment. Why was it bad?

Only that you have disarranged our little deductions. Your marriage, you say?

Yes, sir. Imarried, and so left the hospital, and with it all hopes ofaconsulting practice. It was necessary tomake ahome ofmy own.

Come, come, we are not so far wrong, after all, said Holmes. And now, Dr. James Mortimer

Mister, sir, Mister ahumbleM.R.C.S.

And aman ofprecise mind, evidently.

Adabbler inscience, Mr. Holmes, apicker up ofshells on the shores ofthe great unknown ocean. Ipresume that it is Mr. Sherlock Holmes whom Iam addressing and not

No, this is my friend Dr. Watson.

Glad tomeet you, sir. Ihave heard your name mentioned inconnection with that ofyour friend. You interest me very much, Mr. Holmes. Ihad hardly expected so dolichocephalic askull or such well-marked supra-orbital development. Would you have any objection tomy running my finger along your parietal fissure? Acast ofyour skull, sir, until the original is available, would be an ornament toany anthropological museum. It is not my intention tobe fulsome, but Iconfess that Icovet your skull.

Sherlock Holmes waved our strange visitor into achair. You are an enthusiast inyour line ofthought, Iperceive, sir, as Iam inmine, said he. Iobserve from your forefinger that you make your own cigarettes. Have no hesitation inlighting one.

The man drew out paper and tobacco and twirled the one up inthe other with surprising dexterity. He had long, quivering fingers as agile and restless as the antennae ofan insect.

Holmes was silent, but his little darting glances showed me the interest which he took inour curious companion. Ipresume, sir, said he at last, that it was not merely for the purpose ofexamining my skull that you have done me the honour tocall here last night and again to-day?

No, sir, no; though Iam happy tohave had the opportunity ofdoing that as well. Icame toyou, Mr. Holmes, because Irecognized that Iam myself an unpractical man and because Iam suddenly confronted with amost serious and extraordinary problem. Recognizing, as Ido, that you are the second highest expert inEurope

Indeed, sir! May Iinquire who has the honour tobe the first? asked Holmes with some asperity.

Tothe man ofprecisely scientific mind the work ofMonsieur Bertillon must always appeal strongly.

Then had you not better consult him?

Isaid, sir, tothe precisely scientific mind. But as apractical man ofaffairs it is acknowledged that you stand alone. Itrust, sir, that Ihave not inadvertently

Just alittle, said Holmes. Ithink, Dr. Mortimer, you would do wisely if without more ado you would kindly tell me plainly what the exact nature ofthe problem is inwhich you demand my assistance.

Chapter 2. The Curse ofthe Baskervilles

Ihave inmy pocket amanuscript, said Dr. James Mortimer.

Iobserved it as you entered the room, said Holmes.

It is an old manuscript.

Early eighteenth century, unless it is aforgery.

How can you say that, sir?

You have presented an inch or two ofit tomy examination all the time that you have been talking. It would be apoor expert who could not give the date ofadocument within adecade or so. You may possibly have read my little monograph upon the subject. Iput that at 1730.

The exact date is 1742. Dr. Mortimer drew it from his breast-pocket. This family paper was committed tomy care bySir Charles Baskerville, whose sudden and tragic death some three months ago created so much excitement inDevonshire. Imay say that Iwas his personal friend as well as his medical attendant. He was astrong-minded man, sir, shrewd, practical, and as unimaginative as Iam myself. Yet he took this document very seriously, and his mind was prepared for just such an end as did eventually overtake him.

Holmes stretched out his hand for the manuscript and flattened it upon his knee. You will observe, Watson, the alternative use ofthe long s and the short. It is one ofseveral indications which enabled me tofix the date.

Ilooked over his shoulder at the yellow paper and the faded script. At the head was written: Baskerville Hall, and below inlarge, scrawling figures: 1742.

It appears tobe astatement ofsome sort.

Yes, it is astatement ofacertain legend which runs inthe Baskerville family.

But Iunderstand that it is something more modern and practical upon which you wish toconsultme?

Most modern. Amost practical, pressing matter, which must be decided within twenty-four hours. But the manuscript is short and is intimately connected with the affair. With your permission Iwill read it toyou.

Holmes leaned back inhis chair, placed his finger-tips together, and closed his eyes, with an air ofresignation. Dr.Mortimer turned the manuscript tothe light and read inahigh, cracking voice the following curious, old-world narrative:

Ofthe origin ofthe Hound ofthe Baskervilles there have been many statements, yet as Icome inadirect line from Hugo Baskerville, and as Ihad the story from my father, who also had it from his, Ihave set it down with all belief that it occurred even as is here set forth. And Iwould have you believe, my sons, that the same Justice which punishes sin may also most graciously forgive it, and that no ban is so heavy but that byprayer and repentance it may be removed. Learn then from this story not tofear the fruits ofthe past, but rather tobe circumspect inthe future, that those foul passions whereby our family has suffered so grievously may not again be loosed toour undoing.

Know then that inthe time ofthe Great Rebellion (the history ofwhich bythe learned Lord Clarendon Imost earnestly commend toyour attention) this Manor ofBaskerville was held byHugo ofthat name, nor can it be gainsaid that he was amost wild, profane, and godless man. This, intruth, his neighbours might have pardoned, seeing that saints have never flourished inthose parts, but there was inhim acertain wanton and cruel humour which made his name abyword through the West. It chanced that this Hugo came tolove (if, indeed, so dark apassion may be known under so bright aname) the daughter ofayeoman who held lands near the Baskerville estate.

But the young maiden, being discreet and ofgood repute, would ever avoid him, for she feared his evil name. So it came topass that one Michaelmas this Hugo, with five or six ofhis idle and wicked companions, stole down upon the farm and carried off the maiden, her father and brothers being from home, as he well knew. When they had brought her tothe Hall the maiden was placed inan upper chamber, while Hugo and his friends sat down toalong carouse, as was their nightly custom.

Now, the poor lass upstairs was like tohave her wits turned at the singing and shouting and terrible oaths which came up toher from below, for they say that the words used byHugo Baskerville, when he was inwine, were such as might blast the man who said them. At last inthe stress ofher fear she did that which might have daunted the bravest or most active man, for bythe aid ofthe growth ofivy which covered (and still covers) the south wall she came down from under the eaves, and so homeward across the moor, there being three leagues betwixt the Hall and her fathers farm.

It chanced that some little time later Hugo left his guests tocarry food and drink with other worse things, perchance tohis captive, and so found the cage empty and the bird escaped. Then, as it would seem, he became as one that hath adevil, for, rushing down the stairs into the dining-hall, he sprang upon the great table, flagons and trenchers flying before him, and he cried aloud before all the company that he would that very night render his body and soul tothe Powers ofEvil if he might but overtake the wench. And while the revellers stood aghast at the fury ofthe 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 tohis grooms that they should saddle his mare and unkennel the pack, and giving the hounds akerchief ofthe maids, he swung them tothe line, and so off full cry inthe moonlight over the moor.

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