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

English Lessons based on the story The Hound of the Baskervilles Part 6 for Episode 6

The Scenes from the film:

  1. The Spiritualistic Seance (Mind! There is no such scene in the book.)
  2. The Convict
  3. The Figure on the Tor
  4. Sherlock Holmes

hound of the baskervilles adapted

You can continue now. Watch Episode 6 of the Hound of the Baskervilles and then read part 6 of the book

Episode 6 corresponds to chapter 9 (the second part) and chapter 10 of the book. You can read The Hound of the Baskervilles (in the original)

This part is based on Chapter 9 (continuation)

«How far do you think it is?»
«Out by the Cleft Tor, I think.»
«Not more than a mile or two off.»
«Hardly that.»
«Well, it cannot be far if Barrymore had to carry out the food to it. And he is waiting, this villain, beside that candle. By thunder, Watson, I am going out to take that man!»

The same thought had crossed my own mind. The man was a danger to the community, a scoundrel for whom there was neither pity nor excuse. We were only doing our duty in taking this chance of putting him back where he could do no harm.
«I will come,» said I.
«Then get your revolver and put on your boots. The sooner we start the better, as the fellow may put out his light and be off.»

In five minutes we were outside the door. We hurried through the dark shrubbery, amid the dull moaning of the autumn wind. The light still burned steadily in front.
«Are you armed?» I asked.
«I have a hunting-crop.»
«We must close in on him rapidly, for he is said to be a desperate fellow. We shall take him by surprise before he can resist.»
«I say, Watson,» said the baronet, «what would Holmes say to this? How about that hour of darkness in which the power of evil is exalted?»

As if in answer to his words there rose suddenly out of the vast gloom of the moor that strange cry which I had already heard near the Grimpen Mire. Again and again it sounded, the whole air throbbing with it, wild and menacing. The baronet caught my sleeve and his face glimmered white through the darkness.
«My God, what’s that, Watson?»
«I don’t know. It’s a sound they have on the moor. I heard it once before.»
It died away, and an absolute silence closed in upon us. We stood listening but nothing came.
«Watson,» said the baronet, «it was the cry of a hound.»

My blood ran cold in my veins, for there was something in his voice which told of the sudden horror which had seized him.
«What do they call this sound?» he asked.
«The folk on the countryside.»
I hesitated but could not escape the question.
«They say it is the cry of the Hound of the Baskervilles.»
He groaned and was silent for a few moments.
«Yes, it was a hound. My God, can there be some truth in all these stories? Is it possible that I am really in danger from so dark a cause? You don’t believe it, do you, Watson?»

«No, no.»
«And yet it was one thing to laugh about it in London, and it is another to stand out here in the darkness of the moor and to hear such a cry as that. And my uncle! There was the footprint of the hound beside him as he lay. It all fits together. I don’t think that I am a coward, Watson, but that sound seemed to freeze my very blood. Feel my hand!»
It was as cold as a block of marble.

«Shall we turn back?» I asked.
«No, by thunder; we have come out to get our man, and we will do it. Come on!»
We went slowly along in the darkness towards the yellow speck of light burning steadily in front. At last we came where it was. A candle was stuck in a crevice of the rocks so as to keep the wind from it. It was strange to see the candle burning there in the middle of the moor, with no sign of life near it.
«What shall we do now?» whispered Sir Henry.
«Wait here. He must be near his light. Let us see if we can get a glimpse of him.»

The words were hardly out of my mouth when we both saw him. Over the rocks, in the crevice of which the candle burned, there was an evil yellow face. This terrible animal face might well have belonged to one of those old savages who dwelt in the burrows on the hillsides. Suddenly something had evidently aroused his suspicions. The convict screamed out a curse and hurled a rock at us. In an instant he sprang to his feet and turned to run. We rushed after him but our man was springing over the stones like a mountain goat. A shot of my revolver might have stopped him, but I had brought it only to defend myself if attacked and not to shoot an unarmed man who was running away.

Soon found that we had no chance to overtake him. We saw him for a long time in the moonlight until he was only a small speck moving swiftly along the side of a distant hill. We sat on the rocks, watching him disappearing in the distance.

And it was at this moment that there occurred a most strange and unexpected thing. The moon was low upon the right, and against it on a granite tor I saw the figure of a man. It was the figure of a tall, thin man. He stood with his arms folded, his head bowed, as if he were brooding over that wilderness which lay before him. He might have been the very spirit of that terrible place. It was not the convict. With a cry of surprise I pointed him out to the baronet, but in the instant during which I had turned to grasp his arm the man was gone.

* * *

This part is based on Chapter 10

All the next day I have been thinking about the strange figure I saw on the tor. The man is no one whom I have seen down here, and I have now met all the neighbours. The figure was far taller than that of Stapleton, far thinner than that of Frankland. It might have been Barrymore but we had left him behind us. And it was evident that the stranger is still dogging us.

Also I thought of the convict out upon the bleak, cold, shelterless moor. In the evening I put on my waterproof and I walked far upon the moor, the rain beating upon my face and the wind whistling about my ears. I found the black tor upon which I had seen the figure, and from its summit I looked down upon the melancholy scenery. In the distance on the left, half hidden by the mist, the two thin towers of Baskerville Hall rose above the trees. They were the only signs of human life which I could see, nowhere was any trace of a man.

Some text from this chapter is ommited

* * *

This part is based on chapter 11
The sun was already sinking and the long slopes beneath me were all golden-green on one side and gray shadow on the other. One great gray bird soared in the blue heaven. He and I seemed to be the only living things between the  sky and the desert beneath it. The sense of loneliness and the mystery overwhelmed me. Suddenly I noticed that in a cleft of the hills there was something like an old stone hut. My heart leaped. This must be the burrow where the stranger lurked.

As I approached the hut, all was silent within. The unknown might be lurking there, I closed my hand upon the butt of my revolver and, walking swiftly up to the door, I looked in. The place was empty.
But there were evident signs that the man lived here. The ashes of a fire were heaped in a rude grate. Beside it lay some cooking utensils and a bucket half-full of water. In the middle of the hut a flat stone served as a table, and upon this stood a small cloth bundle, which contained a loaf of bread and two tins of preserved meat.

Outside the sun was sinking low but I swore that I would not leave the hut until I knew.  I sat in the dark recess of the hut and waited with sombre patience for the coming of its tenant.
And then at last I heard him. Far away came the sharp clink of a boot striking upon a stone. Then another and yet another, coming nearer and nearer. I cocked the pistol in my pocket, determined not to discover myself until I had an opportunity of seeing the stranger. There was a long pause which showed that he had stopped.
«It is a lovely evening, my dear Watson,» said a well-known voice. «I really think that you will be more comfortable outside than in.»

Some text from this chapter is ommited

* * *

This part is based on Chapter 12
For a moment or two I sat breathless, hardly able to believe my ears. Then my senses and my voice came back to me.
«Holmes!» I cried – «Holmes!»
«Come out,» said he, «and please be careful with the revolver.»
«I never was more glad to see anyone in my life,» said I.
«Or more astonished, eh?»
«Well, I must confess to it.»

«I’ve been expecting you. Ever since you saw me on the night of the convict hunt, when I was so imprudent as to allow the moon to rise behind me?»

«But what have you been doing? I thought that you were in Baker Street working out that case of blackmailing.»
«That was what I wished you to think.»

«Then you use me, and yet do not trust me!» I cried with some bitterness. «I think that I have deserved better at your hands, Holmes.»
«Forgive me if I have seemed to play a trick upon you. Had I been with Sir Henry and you, my presence would have warned our very formidable opponents to be on their guard. As it is I remain an unknown factor in the business, ready to throw in all my weight at a critical moment.»
«But why keep me in the dark?»
«For you to know could not have helped us and might possibly have led to my discovery.»
«Then my reports have all been wasted!»

«On the contrary,» Holmes took a bundle of papers from his pocket.
«Here are your reports, my dear fellow, I assure you. I made arrangements for them to be sent down to Grimpen from Baker Street , and they are only delayed one day upon their way. I must compliment you upon the zeal and the intelligence which you have shown over an extraordinarily difficult case.»

«I don’t need your praise. I am furious with you, Holmes»
«That’s your prerogative. That fact remains that you have been away from your charge for too long. Your palce is at Baskerville Hall. »

A terrible scream – a prolonged yell of horror and anguish burst out of the silence of the moor. That frightful cry turned the blood to ice in my veins.
«Oh, my God!» I gasped. «What is it? What does it mean?»
Holmes had sprung to his feet. «The Hound!» he cried.

Again the agonized cry swept through the silent night, louder and much nearer than ever.
He had started running swiftly over the moor, and I had followed at his heels. But now from somewhere in front of us there came one last despairing yell, and then a dull, heavy thud. We halted and listened. Not another sound broke the heavy silence of the windless night.

Blindly we ran through the bushes, panting up hills and rushing down slopes, heading always in the direction whence those dreadful sounds had come.

At last we saw an outline hardened into a definite shape. It was a prostrate man face downward upon the ground. Not a whisper, not a rustle, rose now from the dark figure over which we stooped. Holmes laid his hand upon him and held it up again with an exclamation of horror.
«It’s Sir Henry, Watson. We are too late.»
«Oh, God!»

There was no chance of either of us forgetting that peculiar ruddy tweed suit – the very one which he had worn on the first morning that we had seen him in Baker Street. We caught the one clear glimpse of it, and then the match flickered and went out, even as the hope had gone out of our souls. Holmes groaned.

«Oh Holmes, I shall never forgive myself for having left him to his fate.»
«I am more to blame than you, Watson. In order to have my case complete, I have thrown away the life of my client. It is the greatest blow which has befallen me in my career. But how could I know – how could l know – that he would risk his life alone upon the moor in the face of all my warnings?»

«That we should have heard his screams – my God, those screams! – and yet have been unable to save him! Where is this brute of a hound which drove him to his death? It may be lurking among these rocks at this instant.»
«Uncle and nephew have been murdered – the one frightened to death by the very sight of a beast, the other driven to his end in his wild flight to escape from it. »

We stood with bitter hearts on either side of the mangled body, overwhelmed by this sudden and irrevocable disaster. Then we approached the body.
«We must send for help, Holmes! We cannot carry him all the way to the Hall. Good heavens, are you mad?»
He had uttered a cry and bent over the body. Now he was dancing and laughing and wringing my hand.
«A beard! A beard! The man has a beard!»
«A beard?»

«It is not the baronet – it is – why, it is my neighbour, the convict!»
With feverish haste we had turned the body over, and the beard was pointing up to the cold, clear moon. There could be no doubt it was indeed the same face which had glared upon me in the light of the candle from over the rock – the face of Selden, the criminal.

Then in an instant it was all clear to me. I remembered how the baronet had told me that he had handed his old wardrobe to Barrymore. Barrymore had passed it on in order to help Selden in his escape. Boots, shirt, cap – it was all Sir Henry’s. I told Holmes how the matter stood.

«Then the clothes have been the poor devil’s death,» said he. «It is clear enough that the hound has been laid on from some article of Sir Henry’s – the boot which was stolen in the hotel.

Some text from this chapter is ommited

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