The Hound of the Baskervilles (in English, abridged, for upper-intermediate)

English Lessons based on the story The Hound of the Baskervilles Part 3 for Episode 3

The Scenes from the film:

  1. Meeting with Sir Henry next morning (continuation)
  2. Following the cab.
  3. Scene with a boot corresponds to Episode 2.
  4. Scene at the restaurant.
  5. The Cabman
  6. Arriving at the Baskerville Hall

hound of the baskervilles adapted

You can continue now. Watch Episode 3 of the Hound of the Baskervilles and then read part 3 of the book.

Episode 3 corresponds to chapter 4, chapter 5 and chapter 6 of the book. You can read The Hound of the Baskervilles (in the original)

This part is based on Chapter 4 (continuation)

«Well, I seem to have come into an inheritance with a vengeance,» said Sir Henry when the long narrative was finished. «Of course, I’ve heard of the hound ever since I was in the nursery. It’s the pet story of the family, though I never thought of taking it seriously before. But as to my uncle’s death – well, I can’t get it clear yet. You don’t seem quite to have made up your mind whether it’s a case for a detective or a priest.»

«And now there’s the letter.»
«It seems to show that someone knows more than we do about what goes on upon the moor,» said Dr. Mortimer.
«And also,» said Holmes, «that someone is not ill-disposed towards you, since they warn you of danger.»
«Or it may be that they wish, for their own purposes, to scare me away.»
«Well, of course, that is possible also. But the practical point which we now have to decide, Sir Henry, is whether it is or is not advisable for you to go to Baskerville Hall.»
«Why should I not go?»
«There seems to be danger.»
«Do you mean danger from this family fiend or do you mean danger from human beings?»
«Well, that is what we have to find out.»

«Whichever it is, my answer is fixed. There is no devil in hell, Mr. Holmes, and there is no man upon earth who can prevent me from going to the home of my own people, and you may take that to be my final answer.» His dark brows knitted and his face flushed to a dusky red as he spoke. It was evident that the fiery temper of the Baskervilles was not extinct in this their last representative. «Meanwhile,» said he, «I have hardly had time to think over all that you have told me. Now, look here, Mr. Holmes, it’s half-past eleven now and I am going back right away to my hotel.– Suppose you and your friend, Dr. Watson, come round and lunch with us at two. I’ll be able to tell you more clearly then how this thing strikes me.»
«Is that convenient to you, Watson?»
«Then you may expect us. Shall I have a cab called?»
«I’d prefer to walk.»
«I’ll join you in a walk, with pleasure,» said his companion.
«Then we meet again at two o’clock. Au revoir, and good-morning!»

We heard the steps of our visitors descend the stair and the bang of the front door. In an instant Holmes had changed from the languid dreamer to the man of action.
«Your hat and boots, Watson, quick! Not a moment to lose!» He rushed into his room in his dressing-gown and was back again in a few seconds in a frock-coat. We hurried together down the stairs and into the street. Dr. Mortimer and Baskerville were still visible about two hundred yards ahead of us in the direction of Oxford Street.
«Shall I run on and stop them?»
«Not for the world, my dear Watson. Our friends are wise, for it is certainly a very fine morning for a walk.»

He hurried until we had decreased the distance which divided us by about half. Then, still keeping a hundred yards behind, we followed into Oxford Street and so down Regent Street. Once our friends stopped and stared into a shop window, upon which Holmes did the same. A moment later he gave a little cry of satisfaction, and, following the direction of his eyes, I saw that a cab with a man inside which had halted on the other side of the street was now proceeding slowly onward again.
«There’s our man, Watson! Come along! We’ll have a good look at him, if we can do no more.»

At that instant I saw a bushy black beard and a pair of piercing eyes turned upon us through the side window of the cab. Instantly something was screamed to the driver, and the cab flew madly off down Regent Street. Holmes looked around for another, but no-empty one was in sight. Then he dashed in wild pursuit amid the stream of the traffic, but the start was too great, and already the cab was out of sight.

«There now!» said Holmes bitterly as he emerged panting and white with vexation from the tide of vehicles. «Was ever such bad luck?»
«Who was the man?»
«I have not an idea.»
«A spy?»
«Well, it was evident from what we have heard that Baskerville has been very closely shadowed by someone since he has been in town. How else could it be known so quickly that it was the Northumberland Hotel which he had chosen? If they had followed him the first day I argued that they would follow him also the second. You may have observed that I twice strolled over to the window while Dr. Mortimer was reading his legend.»
«Yes, I remember.»

«I was looking out from the window, but I saw none. We are dealing with a clever man, Watson. But he was to take a cab to follow our friends, and this has one obvious disadvantage.»
«It puts him in the power of the cabman.»
«What a pity we did not get the number!»
«My dear Watson, clumsy as I have been, you surely do not seriously imagine that I neglected to get the number? No. 2704 is our man. But that is no use to us for the moment.»

We had been going slowly down Regent Street during this conversation, and Dr. Mortimer, with his companion, had long vanished in front of us.
«There is no use in our following them,» said Holmes. «The shadow has departed and will not return. We must see what further cards we have in our hands and play them with decision. Could you see that man’s face within the cab?»
«I could see only the beard.»
«And so could I – from which I gather that in all probability it was a false one. A clever man has no use for a beard save to conceal his features. »

 * * *

This part is based on Chapter 5

The same day Sherlock Holmes visited Sir Henry at the Northumberland Hotel.
«Sir Henry Baskerville is upstairs expecting you,» said the clerk. «He asked me to show you up at once when you came.»
As we came round the top of the stairs we had run up against Sir Henry Baskerville himself. His face was flushed with anger, and he held an old and dusty boot in one of his hands. So furious was he that he could hardly speak.

«Seems to me they are playing me for a fool in this hotel,» he cried. «By thunder, if that chap can’t find my missing boot there will be trouble.»
«Still looking for your boot?»
«Yes, sir, and mean to find it.»

«But, surely, you said that it was a new brown boot?»
«So it was, sir. And now it’s an old black one.»
«What! you don’t mean to say ?»
«That’s just what I do mean to say. I only had three pairs in the world – the new brown, the old black, and the patent leathers, which I am wearing. Last night they took one of my brown ones, and today they have sneaked one of the black. Well, have you got it? Speak out, man, and don’t stand staring!»
An agitated German waiter had appeared upon the scene.

«It shall be found, sir – I promise you that if you will have a little patience it will be found.»
«Mind it is, for it’s the last thing of mine that I’ll lose in this den of thieves. Well, well, Mr. Holmes, you’ll excuse my troubling you about such a trifle –»
«I think it’s not a trifle. It seems the very queerest thing.»
«What do you make of it yourself?»
«Well, this case of yours is very complex, Sir Henry. But we hold several threads in our hands, and one or other of them guides us to the truth. We may waste time in following the wrong one, but sooner or later we must come upon the right.»

We had a pleasant luncheon in which little was said of the business which had brought us together. At the end Holmes asked Baskerville what were his intentions.
«To go to Baskerville Hall.»
«And when?»
«At the end of the week.»
«On the whole,» said Holmes, «I think that your decision is a wise one. I have clear evidence that you are being dogged in London, and amid the millions of this great city it is difficult to discover who these people are or what their object can be. If their intentions are evil they might do you a mischief, and we should be powerless to prevent it. You did not know, Dr. Moftimer, that you were followed this morning from my house?»
Dr. Mortimer started violently.
«Followed! By whom?»
«That, unfortunately, is what I cannot tell you. Have you among your neighbours or acquaintances on Daftmoor any man with a black, full beard?»

«No – or, let me see – why, yes. Barrymore, Sir Charles’s butler, is a man with a full, black beard.»
«Ha! Where is Baffymore?»
«He is in charge of the Hall.»
«We need to be certain if he is really there, or if by any possibility he might be in London.»
«How can you do that?»
«Give me a telegraph form. ‘Is all ready for Sir Henry?’ That will do. Address to Mr. Barrymore, Baskerville Hall. What is the nearest telegraph-office? Grimpen. Very good, we will send a second wire to the postmaster, Grimpen: ‘Telegram to Mr. Barrymore to be delivered into his own hand. If absent, please return wire to Sir Henry Baskerville, Northumberland Hotel.’ That should let us know before evening whether Barrymore is at his post in Devonshire or not.»

«That’s so,» said Baskerville. «By the way, Dr. Mortimer, who is this Barrymore, anyhow?»
«He is the son of the old caretaker, who is dead. They have looked after the Hall for four generations now. So far as I know, he and his wife are as respectable a couple as any in the county.»
«At the same time,» said Baskerville, «it’s clear enough that so long as there are none of the family at the Hall these people have a fine home and nothing to do.»
«That is true.»
«Did Barrymore profit at all by Sir Charles’s will?» asked Holmes.
«He and his wife had five hundred pounds each.»
«Ha! Did they know that they would receive this?»
«Yes; Sir Charles was very fond of talking about the provisions of his wlll.»
«That is very interesting.»

«I hope,» said Dr. Mortimer, «that you do not look with suspicious eyes upon everyone who received a legacy from Sir Charles, for I also had a thousand pounds left to me.»
«Indeed! And anyone else?»
«There were many insignificant sums to individuals, and a large number of public charities. The residue all went to Sir Henry.»
«And how much was the residue?»
«Seven hundred and forty thousand pounds.»
Holmes raised his eyebrows in surprise. «I had no idea that so enormous a sum was involved,» said he.

«Sir Charles had the reputation of being rich, but we did not know how very rich he was until we came to examine his will. The total value of the estate was close on to a million pounds.»
«Dear me! It is a stake for which a man might well play a desperate game. And one more question, Dr. Mortimer. Supposing that anything happened to our young friend here who would inherit the estate?»
«Since Rodger Baskerville, Sir Charles’s younger brother died unmarried, the estate would descend to the Desmonds, who are distant cousins. James Desmond is an elderly clergyman in Westmoreland.»
«Thank you. These details are all of great interest. Have you met Mr. James Desmond?»
«Yes; he once came down to visit Sir Charles. He is a man of venerable appearance and of saintly life.»

«Quite so. Well, Sir Henry, I advise you go to Devonshire without delay. There is only one provision which I must make. You certainly must not go alone.»
«Dr. Mortimer returns with me.»
«But Dr. Mortimer is a busy man, and his house is miles away from yours. With all the good will in the world he may be unable to help you. No, Sir Henry, you must take with you someone, a trusty man, who will be always by your side.»
«Is it possible that you could come yourself, Mr. Holmes?»
«It is impossible for me to be absent from London for an indefinite time.»
«Whom would you recommend, then?»
Holmes laid his hand upon my arm.
«If my friend would undertake it there is no man who is better worth having at your side when you are in a tight place. No one can say so more confidently than I.»

«I will come, with pleasure,» said I. «I do not know how I could employ my time better.»
«And you will report very carefully to me,» said Holmes. «When a crisis comes, I will direct how you shall act.»

Holmes sat in silence in the cab as we drove back to Baker Street, and I knew from his keen face that his mind, like my own, was busy in trying to frame some scheme into which all these strange episodes could be fitted. All afternoon and late into the evening he sat lost in tobacco and thought.
Just before dinner two telegrams were handed in. The first ran: «Have just heard that Barrymore is at the Hall.»
The second informs that the cabman of No. 2704 will arrive at 5.

«I’ve driven my cab this seven years and never a word of complaint. I came here straight from the Yard to ask you what you had against me.»
«I have nothing in the world against you, my good man,» said Holmes to the cabman. «On the contrary, I have half a sovereign for you if you will give me a clear answer to my questions.»
«What was it you wanted to ask, sir?»
«First of all your name and address, in case I want you again.»
«John Clayton, 3 Turpey Street, the Borough. My cab is out of Shipley’s Yard, near Waterloo Station.»
Sherlock Holmes made a note of it.

«Now, Clayton, tell me all who came and watched this house at ten o’clock this morning and afterwards followed the two gentlemen down Regent Street.»
The man looked surprised and a little embarrassed. «Why there’s no good my telling you things, for you seem to know as much as I do already,» said he. «The truth is that the gentleman told me that he was a detective and that I was to say nothing about him to anyone.»
«My good fellow; this is a very serious business, and you may find yourself in a pretty bad position if you try to hide anything from me. You say he was a detective?»
«Yes, he did.»

«When did he say this?»
«When he left me.»
«Did he say anything more?»
«He mentioned his name.»
Holmes cast a swift glance of triumph at me. «Oh, he mentioned his name, did he? What was the name that he mentioned?»
«His name,» said the cabman, «was Mr. Sherlock Holmes.»

Never have I seen my friend more completely taken aback than by the cabman’s reply. For an instant he sat in silent amazement. Then he burst into a hearty laugh.
«Excellent! Tell me where you picked him up and all that occurred.»
«He hailed me at half-past nine in Trafalgar Square. He said that he was a detective, and he offered me two guineas if I would do exactly what he wanted all day and ask no questions. I was glad enough to agree. First we drove down to the Northumberland Hotel and waited there until two gentlemen came out and took a cab from the rank. We followed their cab until it pulled up somewhere near here.»

«This very door,» said Holmes.
«Well, we waited an hour and a half. Then the two gentlemen passed us, walking, and we followed down Baker Street and along –»
«I know,» said Holmes.
«Until we got three-quarters down Regent Street. Then my gentleman cried that I should drive right away to Waterloo Station as hard as I could go. I whipped up the mare and we were there under the ten minutes. Then he paid up his two guineas, like a good one, and away he went into the station. Only just as he was leaving he turned round and he said: ‘It might interest you to know that you have been driving Mr. Sherlock Holmes.’ That’s how I come to know the name.»

«I see. And you saw no more of him?»
«Not after he went into the station.»
«And how would you describe Mr. Sherlock Holmes?»
The cabman scratched his head. «Well, he wasn’t altogether such an easy gentleman to describe. I’d put him at forty years of age, and he was of a middle height, two or three inches shorter than you, sir. He had a black beard, cut square at the end, and a pale face. I don’t know as I could say more than that.»

«Colour of his eyes?»
«No, I can’t say that.»
«Nothing more that you can remember?»
«No, sir; nothing.»
«Well, then, here is your half-sovereign. There’s another one waiting for you if you can bring any more information. Good-night!»
«Good-night, sir, and thank you!»

John Clayton departed and Holmes turned to me with a rueful smile.
«The cunning rascal! He knew our number, knew that Sir Henry Baskerville had consulted me, spotted me in Regent Street, conjectured that I had got the number of the cab and would lay my hands on the driver, and so sent back this audacious message. I tell you, Watson, this time we have got a foeman who is worthy of our steel. I’ve been checkmated in London. I can only wish you better luck in Devonshire.»

* * *

This part is based on Chapter 6

Sir Henry Baskerville and Dr. Mortimer were ready upon the appointed day, and we started as arranged for Devonshire. Mr. Sherlock Holmes drove with me to the station and gave me his last advice.
«Watson,» said he; «I wish you simply to report facts in the fullest possible manner to me, and you can leave me to do the theorizing.»
«What sort of facts?» I asked.

«Anything which may concern the case, and especially the relations between young Baskerville and his neighbours or any fresh facts about the death of Sir Charles and about the people who will actually surround Sir Henry Baskerville upon the moor.»
«I will do my best.»
«You have arms, I suppose?»
«Yes, I thought it as well to take them.»
«Most certainly. Keep your revolver near you night and day.»

Our friends had already secured a first-class carriage and were waiting for us upon the platform.
«You have always kept together, I presume?» said I.
«Except yesterday afternoon. I usually give up one day to pure amusement when I come to town, so I spent it at the Museum of the College of Surgeons.»
«And I went to look at the folk in the park,» said Baskerville. «But we had no trouble of any kind.»
«It was imprudent, all the same,» said Holmes, shaking his head and looking very grave. «I beg, Sir Henry, that you will not go about alone. Some great misfortune will happen you if you do. Did you get your other boot?»
«No, sir, it is gone forever.»

«Indeed. That is very interesting. Well, good-bye,» he added. «Bear in mind, Sir Henry, one of the phrases in that queer old legend which Dr. Mortimer has read to us and avoid the moor in those hours of darkness when the powers of evil are exalted.»
I looked back at the plafform when we had left it far behind and saw the tall figure of Holmes standing motionless and gazing after us.

The journey was a swift and pleasant one, and I spent it in making the more intimate acquaintance of my two companions. In a very few hours the brown earth had become ruddy, the brick had changed to granite and we saw red cows grazed in well-hedged fields. Young Baskerville stared eagerly out of the window.
«I’ve been over a good part of the world since I left it, Dr. Watson,» said he; «but I have never seen a place to compare with it.»

«But you were very young when you last saw Baskerville Hall, were you not?»
«I was a boy in my teens at the time of my father’s death and had never seen the Hall, for he lived in a little cottage on the South Coast. Thence I went straight to a friend in America. I tell you it is all as new to me as it is to Dr. Watson, and I’m as keen as possible to see the moor.»
«Are you? Then your wish is easily granted, for there is your first sight of the moor,» said Dr. Mortimer, pointing out of the carriage window.

Over the green squares of the fields there rose in the distance a gray, melancholy hill, with a strange jagged summit, dim and vague in the distance, like some fantastic landscape in a dream. Baskerville sat for a long time his eyes fixed upon it. As I looked at his dark and expressive face I felt more than ever how true a descendant he was of that long line of high-blooded, fiery, and masterful men. There were pride, valour, and strength in his thick brows, his sensitive nostrils, and his large hazel eyes.

The train pulled up at a small wayside station and we all descended. The coachman, a hardfaced, little fellow, saluted Sir Henry Baskerville, and in a few minutes we were flying swiftly down the broad, white road. Rolling pasture lands were on either side of us, and old gabled houses peeped out from amid the thick green foliage, but behind the peaceful and sunlit countryside there rose ever, dark against the evening sky, the long, gloomy curve of the moor, broken by the jagged and sinister hills.

The rattle of our wheels died away as we drove through drifts of rotting vegetation – sad gifts which Nature had thrown before the carriage of the returning heir of the Baskervilles.
«Halloa!» cried Dr. Mortimer, «what is this?»

A steep curve of the land, an outlying spur of the moor, lay in front of us. On the summit, hard and clear like an statue upon its pedestal, was a mounted soldier, dark and stern, his rifle poised ready over his forearm. He was watching the road along which we travelled.
«What is this, Perkins?» asked Dr. Mortimer.
Our driver half turned in his seat.

«There’s a convict escaped from Princetown, sir. He’s been out three days now, and the warders watch every road and every station, but they’ve had no sight of him yet. The farmers about here don’t like it, sir, and that’s a fact.»
«Well, I understand that they get five pounds if they can give information.»
«Yes, sir, but the chance of five pounds is but a poor thing compared to the chance of having your throat cut. You see, it isn’t like any ordinary convict. This is a man that would stick at nothing.»
«Who is he, then?»
«It is Selden, the Notting Hill murderer.»

I remembered the case well, for it was one in which Holmes had taken an interest on account of the peculiar ferocity of the crime and the wanton brutality which had marked all the actions of the assassin.

Our wagonette had topped a rise and in front of us rose the huge expanse of the moor with its tors. A cold wind swept down from it and set us shivering. Somewhere there, on that desolate plain, was lurking this fiendish man, hiding in a burrow like a wild beast.

Soon we had left the moor behind us. The sun was lowering and the road in front of us grew bleaker and wilder over huge russet and olive slopes. Now and then we passed a moorland cottage, walled and roofed with stone. Suddenly we saw two high, narrow towers rose over the trees. The driver pointed to it with his whip.
«Baskerville Hall,» said he.

Through the gateway we passed into the avenue and went up the long, dark drive to where the house glimmered like a ghost at the farther end. A dull light shone through its windows, and from the high chimneys rose a black column of smoke.
«Welcome, Sir Henry! Welcome to Baskerville Hall!»

A tall man had stepped from the shadow of the porch to open the door of the wagonette. The figure of a woman was silhouetted against the yellow light of the hall. She came out and helped the man to hand down our bags.
«You don’t mind my driving straight home, Sir Henry?» said Dr. Mortimer. «My wife is expecting me.»
«Surely you will stay and have some dinner?»
«No, I must go. I shall probably find some work awaiting me. I would stay to show you over the house, but Barrymore will be a better guide than I. Good-bye, and never hesitate night or day to send for me if I can be of service.»

The wheels died away down the drive while Sir Henry and I turned into the hall, and the door clanged heavily behind us. We found ourselves in a large and lofty hall panelled with huge baulks of age-blackened oak. We gazed round us at the high, thin window of old stained glass, the stags’ heads, the coats of arms upon the walls, all dim and sombre in the subdued light of the central lamp.

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