|Later,we went on to Sir Henry’s hotel.He was pleased to see us,but rather angry because another of his shoes had disappeared.This time it was one shose of an old pair.I could see that holmes found this both interesting and strange.He thought about it for a few moments,but said nothing ex cept that he did not understand why a second shoe had been stolen.
At lunch,Sir henry told Holmes that he had decided to go to Baskerville Hall.
‘I think you have decided to do the right thing,’said Holmes.’I know somebody is following you.If someone tries to harm you in London,it will be hard to stop him or catch him afterwards.In the country we have a better chance.’
Holmes went on to tell them about what we had seen that morning.Then he asked Dr Mortimer if anyone with a large black beard lived in or near Baskerville Hall.
‘Yes,said Dr Mortimer,’Barrymore,Sir Charles’butler,has a black heard.’
‘We must check whether Barrymore is in London or at Baskerville Hall,’said Holmes.’I shall send a telegram to Bar rymore at the Hall,which will say:“Is everything ready for Sir Henry?”Then I’ll send another telegram to the local post of fice.This one will say:“please put telegram to Mr Barrymore into his own hand.If he is away,please return telegram to Sir Henry Baskerville.”I’ll give your address at this hotel.We shall know before evening whether Barrymore is in Devonshire or not.’
‘Barrymore and his wife have a very fine home and nothing to do while the family is not living in the Hall,’said Sir Henry.
‘That’s true,’said Holmes.’Did the Barrymores receive anything from Sir Chades’will?And did they know that they would get some money when he died?’
‘Yes,’said Dr Mortimer.’They each received￡500,and Sir Charles told everyone what he had written in his will.’
‘That’s very interesting,’said Holmes.
‘I hope you don’t suspect everyone who got something from the will,’said Dr Mortimer.’I received￡1000.’
‘Indeed!’said Holmes.’And who else received money?’
‘A lot of people received a little money.He gave a lot of money to a number of hospitals.The rest all went to Sir Henry,who received￡740000.’
‘I had no idea it was so much,’said Holmes in surprise.
‘The Baskerville lands are worth about one million pounds,’ Dr Mortimer said.
‘Dear me,’said Holmes.’A man could kill for that much.One more question.If something happened to our young friend here,who would get Baskerville Hall and all its lands?’
‘Well,as you know,Sir Charles had two brothers.Sir Henry is the only son of Sir Charles’younger brother.The youngest brother of the three,Roger,was a criminal.The police wanted him,so he had to leave England.They say he looked exactly like the family picture of old Sir Hugo,who first saw the Hound.He was the same kind of man,too.He went to South America,where he died of a fever.So if Sir Henry died,Baskerville Hall would go to James Desmond,who is a cousin of the Baskervilles.James Desmond is an old man,who lives in the north of England.His life is very simple and he would not want to be rich.’
‘Thank you,Dr Mortimer,’said Holmes.’Now,Sir Henry,I agree that you should go to Baskerville Hall as quickly as pos sible.But you must not go alone.I myself cannot leave London at the present time.I am working on another case.I am trying to save one of the most important men in England from a diffi cult situation.I hope my friend Watson will go with you.If there is danger,you could not have a better man by your side.’
Sir Henry and I were both very happy with this idea.So we arranged to travel to Devonshire on the following Saturday.
Just as we were leaving Sir Henry’s room,he gave a cry and got down on his knees by the table.
‘Here’s my brown shoe that was lost,’he said,reaching un der the table.
‘That’s very strange,’said Dr Mortimer.’We both
searched the room before lunch,and it wasn’t under the table then.’
None of the people who worked at the hotel could explain how the shoe had got back into the room.
So we had another mystery.On the way back to Baker Street in the taxi,Holmes sat thinking deeply.All through the afternoon and the evening he went on thinking silently,and smoking pipe after pipe.
Just before dinner,a telegram arrived.It was from Sir Henry and said:’Have just heard that Barrymore is at the Hall.’
‘So we don’t have the answer to the mystery of the man with the beard,’said Holmes.’But perhaps we shall soon have an answer to another question.’
At that moment the door bell rang.It was the driver of the bearded man’s taxi.
‘I got a message that you wanted to see me,’said the driver.’I hope there’s nothing wrong.’
‘No,no,my good man,’said Holmes.’In fact I’ll give you some money if you can answer my questions clearly.Tell me all about the man in your taxi this morning.He was watching this house at ten o’clock and then told you to follow the two gentlemen who came out of it.’
The taxi driver was surprised at how much Holmes seemed to know.He answered:’The man told me that he was a detec tive,and that I should say nothing about him to anyone.’
‘This is a serious business,’said Holmes,’and you will be in trouble if you try to hide anything.What can you tell me?’
‘The man told me his name,’said the driver.
Holmes looked like a man who has just won an important game.’That was not very clever of him,’he said.’What was his name?’
‘His name,’said the taxi driver,’was Sherlock Holmes.’
I have never seen my friend look more surprised Then he laughed loudly.’Tell me where be got into your taxi and everything that happened.’
We already knew most of what the taxi driver told us.But we learned that after we had lost sight of the taxi,it had gone to Waterloo Station,where the man had caught his train.The taxi driver said that the man was welldressed and had a black beard and pale face.He was about forty and not very tall.The driver did not know the colour of the man’s eyes.
Holmes gave the man a pound,and sent him away.Then he said:
‘We have a very clever enemy,Watson.He is winning the game at the moment.We have no answers at all to the strange things that have happened in London.I hope you are more suc cessful at Baskerville Hall,but I am not happy about sending you there.There is too much danger in this case.’