The Death of Sir Charles Baskerville
when Dr. Mortimer finished reading this strange letter he looked at Sherlock Holmes and took a newspaper from his pocket.
"Here's the local paper from May 14. It tells of the death of sir Charles Baskerville."
My friend listened with interest as out visitor began to read:
"The sudden death of sir Charles Baskerville has upset many people in the country. Sir Charles was well liked and gave a lot of money to charity. Although there were some rumors about his death, there is no reason to suppose anything unnatural. He had a weak heart and it is thought that he died of a heart attack. He lived a simple life at Baskerville Hall with only two servants, a married couple named Barrymore, The night of his death, Sir Charles was walking as usual down the famous Yew Alley outside the hall. The next day he planned to go to London. But he went out walking and never returned. At midnight Barrymore saw that the door was open and went to find his master. He followed the footprints in the alley. Half-way down the alley is a gate that goes out onto the moor. There were signs that Sir Charles had stood at the gate and then walked down the alley, and his body was found at the end of it. Barrymore reported that after his master passed the gate he walked on tiptoe. Though there were no signs of violence on his body, there was an awful look on his face. This is not unusual after a heart attack.
Sir Charles closest relative is his nephew in Canada, who is expected soon at Baskerville Hall."
"These are the public facts, Mr Holmes, about the death of sir Charles."
"Then what are the private ones?" asked Sherlock Holmes.
"Not many people live on the moor, so all of them know each other well.
I saw a lot of sir Charles and , except for Mr, Frankland of Lafter Hall, and Mr. Stapleton, an expert on nature, no other educated men live there. Sir Charles was very nervous these last months, He had taken this legend to heart and never went out on the moor at night. He was afraid because many people in his family had
died strangely. He sometimes asked me if I had seen any strange creature at night or heard a hound barking.
"One evening when I drove to his house he was at the door with his eyes staring in horror. I turned and saw a large black animal passing by. He was so nervous that I stayed with him all evening. He showed me the letter about the legend and asked me to keep it.
"Because of his bad heart I advised him to go to London for a rest. However, at the last minute, this tragedy happened. His servant Barrymore sent for me after he found Sir Charles's body and I came right away. I also followed his footprints. When I turned the body over to examine it, I noticed the look on his face. but Barrymore made one mistake. He said there were no tracks on the ground near the body. But I saw some - not far away - very clear tracks."
"Footprints?" asked Holmes. "A man's or a woman's?"
Dr. Mortimer looked strangely at us for an instant, then whispered, "No,
Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a huge dog!"