The hound of the baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles

By A. Conan Doyle

Chapter 1
Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings,
Save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night,
Was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug
And picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the
Night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed,
Of the sort which is known as a “Penang lawyer.” Just under the
Head was a broad silver band nearly an inch across. “To James
Mortimer, M. R. C. S., from his friends of the C. C. H.,” was engraved
Upon it, with the date “1884.” It was just such a stick as the
Old-fashioned family practitioner used to carry – dignified, solid,
And reassuring.

“Well, Watson, what do you make of it?”

Holmes was sitting with his back to me, and I had given him no
Sign of my occupation.

“How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in
The back of your head.”

“I have, at least, a well-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot in
Front of me,” said he. “But, tell me, Watson, what do you make
Of our visitor’s stick? Since we have been so unfortunate as to
Miss him and have no notion of his errand, this accidental souvenir
Becomes of importance. Let me hear you reconstruct the man by an
Examination of it.”

“I think,” said I, following as far as I could the methods of my
Companion, “that Dr. Mortimer is a successful, elderly medical
Man, well-esteemed since those who know him give him this mark
Of their appreciation.”

“Good!” said Holmes. “Excellent!”

“I think also that the probability is in favour of his being a
Country practitioner who does

a great deal of his visiting on foot.”

“Why so?”

“Because this stick, though originally a very handsome one has been
So knocked about that I can hardly imagine a town practitioner
Carrying it. The thick-iron ferrule is worn down, so it is evident
That he has done a great amount of walking with it.”

“Perfectly sound!” said Holmes.

“And then again, there is the ‘friends of the C. C. H.’ I should
Guess that to be the Something Hunt, the local hunt to whose
Members he has possibly given some surgical assistance, and which
Has made him a small presentation in return.”

“Really, Watson, you excel yourself,” said Holmes, pushing back
His chair and lighting a cigarette. “I am bound to say that in
All the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my
Own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own
Abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but
You are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing
Genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my
Dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt.”

He had never said as much before, and I must admit that his words
Gave me keen pleasure, for I had often been piqued by his
Indifference to my admiration and to the attempts which I had
Made to give publicity to his methods. I was proud, too, to
Think that I had so far mastered his system as to apply it in a
Way which earned his approval. He now took the stick from my
Hands and examined it for a few minutes with his naked eyes.
Then with an expression of interest he laid down his cigarette,
And carrying the cane to the window, he looked over it again with
A convex lens.

“Interesting, though elementary,” said he as he returned to his
Favourite corner of the settee. “There are certainly one or two
Indications upon the stick. It gives us the basis for several

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The hound of the baskervilles