CHAPTER 4- Sir Henry Baskerville
After hastily clearing their breakfast to prepare for the meeting, Holmes and Watson noticed their guests arriving at the very moment that the clock struck 10.
The appearance of Sir Henry was of a man about thirty years of age, with broad eyebrows and the look and feel of a man who spent most of his time outdoors.
After being introduced, Sir Henry told Sherlock about a letter which would have sent him toward Baker Street in any case. The message was forbidding, telling Sir Henry not to go to the moor.
The presentation was strange, for although all other words were printed; ‘moor’ was written in ink. Holmes deduced and demonstrated that all the printed words had come from articles in a newspaper.
The last word had to be written in ink, for it was not in the newspaper.
The layout also meant that the letter was written in a hotel, and was done hurriedly – so as to reach Sir Henry.
Sir Henry then remarked that when he last put his brand-new boots to be cleaned, one had mysteriously vanished. Holmes said that it was pointless to steal just the one, and that it would be discovered eventually.
When Mortimer and Henry left, the detective told Watson that they must hurry after them. A suspicious looking cab stopped by, and when a bearded man’s face peered out of a window Holmes knew at once that it was the writer of the letter!
Holmes told Watson that this man had been spying on Sir Henry and was most clever and sly in his methods. Even though the number of the cab was now known, it was to be of no immediate use.
The duo then called in at the district manager’s office and asked for Cartwright – a boy who had helped them before on a previous case. Holmes told the boy to visit all of the hotels in the Charing Cross area and to pay a shilling to each manager in return for help with finding a telegram that had become lost. However the real assignment was to actually locate the newspaper used for the letter.
Now all that remained to be done was the identification of the cab-driver’s name by using the number – and to drop in at Sir Henry’s hotel.
CHAPTER 5 – THe Broken Threads
At the hotel, Holmes made an enquiry into the register and learnt that a couple more people have booked rooms after Sir Henry had so done. Holmes reckoned that he knows who these people are, and that they are spying on him likewise then they will be trying to keep themselves out of his way.
The duo walk upstairs to meet a flustered Sir Henry, holding a black boot. This time an older boot has been stolen on its own. A waiter nervously says that it had been searched for thoroughly but remained unfound. Sir Henry was advised to remain just a bit more patient for a short time.
Holmes says to the heir of Baskerville Hall that this business is very complicated and that there would be various paths to take, with just one of them proving to be the correct one. Holmes also told Sir Henry that a bearded man had been following him. Barrymore was ‘one such man that fit the description’ was the reply Holmes received.
Sherlock then said that they would send out a telegram to learn if the butler was at the hall. Sir Charles had given out large sums of money. A lot of that had come Sir Henry’s way.
Holmes then told the knight that he would need to be accompanied over at Devonshire, and put a hand to Watson’s shoulder stating that the good Doctor would willingly be that companion.
Watson was startled but also was clearly keen at the chance of some new adventure.
The boot that was lost suddenly is found under a cabinet, but the waiter states that this development was unknown to him.
Then Holmes and Watson made their way back to Baker Street, and Holmes proceeded to use the cab’s number to send for the driver. Soon enough the mysterious man enters the detective’s home, upon which he was given half a sovereign to talk. He told his name and address. Holmes enquired about his passenger’s title, and the reply – shockingly – was ‘Mr Sherlock Holmes’.
Holmes is startled but now knew how clever their adversary was – the cabman says that he drove this man to Waterloo Station. The detective asks for a description, but gets a basic one at best: ‘a square-cut beard, and a pale face’. Holmes tells the man – called Clayton – that he will give him another half-sovereign for any more details.
Before he came to see Holmes, Clayton had received a pair of telegrams. One was from Sir Henry, saying that Barrymore was at Baskerville Hall the whole time. The other was from Cartwright, reporting that no cut-out newspapers had been discovered.
So all three threads of enquiry were now broken. Holmes could only wish Watson to be more successful over n Devonshire. However once the case would be resolved, he would happily await his friend’s return back home.