|Mr Stapleton came to the Hall and met Sir Henry that same afternoon.The next morning he took us to the place where the evil Sir Hugo died.Then we had lunch at the House.Sir Henry clearly thought Miss Stapleton was very beautiful.His eyes followed her everywhere.He liked her very much,and I was sure that she felt the same about him.He spoke about her again and again as we walked home.After the first meeting,we met the Stapletons almost every day.
After a short time it was clear that Sir Henry had fallen deeply in love with the beautiful Miss Stapleton.At first I thought that Stapleton would be very pleased if his sister mar ried Sir Henry.However,I soon realized that he did not want their friendship to grow into love.He did everything he could to make sure that they were never alone.On one or two occa sions they did manage to meet alone,but Stapleton followed them and was not pleased to see them together.
I soon met another neighbour of Sir Henry’s.His name was Mr Frankland,and he lived about four miles to the south of the Hall.He was an old man with a red face and white hair.He had two hobbies.The first was arguing.He argued with everybody.The second hobby was studying the stars.For this he had a very big telescope.For several days he had been watching the moor through the telescope.He wanted to find Selden,the escaped murderer.Nobody had seen the prisoner for a fortnight,and we all thought that he had probably left the moor.
A few nights later I was woken by a noise at about two in the morning.I heard someone walking softly outside my door.I got up,opened the door and looked out.I saw Barrymore moving carefully and quietly away from me.I followed him,as quietly as I could.He went into one of the empty bedrooms and left the door open.I went quietly up to the door and looked in side.
Barrymore was standing at the window.He was holding a light in his hand and looking out onto the moor.He stood without moving for a few minutes and then he put out the light.
I went quickly back to my room.A few minutes later I heard Barrymore go softly by.
The next morning I told Sir Henry what I had seen.
‘We must follow him and find out what he is doing,’said Sir Henry.’He won’t hear us if we move carefully.’
That night we sat in Sir Henry’s room and waited.At about three o’clock in the morning we heard the sound of footsteps outside the bedroom.We looked out and saw Barrymore.We followed him as quietly as we could.He went into the same room as before.We reached the door and looked in.There was Barrymore,with the light in his hand,looking out across the moor,exactly as I had seen him on the night before.
Sir Henry walked into the room and said:’What are you do ing here,Barrymore?’
Barrymore turned round quickly,surprise and horror on his face.
‘Nothing,Sir,’he said.The shadows on the wall from his light were jumping up and down as his hand shook.’It was the window,sir.I go round at night to see that they are closed,and this one wasn’t shut.’
‘Come now,Barrymore,’said Sir Henry.’No lies.What were you doing with that light?You were holding it up to the window.’
I suddenly had an idea.’I think he was sending a message,’ I said.’Let’s see if there’s an answer from someone on the moor.’
I held the light up to the window,and looked out into the darkness.Suddenly a light answered from the moor.
‘There it is,’I cried.I waved my light backwards and for wards across the window.The light on the moor answered by moving in the same way.
‘Now,Barrymore,who is your friend on the moor?What’s going on?’
‘That’s my business,’said Barrymore,’I won’t tell you.’
‘Are you making some criminal plan against me?’Sir Henry said.
‘No,it’s nothing against you,sir,’said a voice behind us.It was Mrs Barrymore.She had followed us and was standing at the door.’He’s doing it for me.My unhappy brother is cold and hungry on the moor.We cannot let him die.Our light is to tell him that food is ready for him.His light shows us where to take it.’
‘Then your brother is…’began Sir Henry.
‘The escaped prisoner,sir.Selden,the murderer.He is my younger brother.He has done evil things,but to me he is still the little boy I loved and cared for.I had to help him.Every thing my husband has done has been for me.Please don’t take his job from him.It’s not his fault.’
Sir Henry turned to Barrymore and said:
‘I cannot blame you for helping your wife.Go to bed,and we’ll talk about this in the morning.’
The Barrymores left us.
‘The murderer is waiting out there by that light,’ said Sir Henry.’He’s a danger to everyone.I’m going to catch him.If you want to come with me,Watson,fetch your revolver and let’s go.’
We left the Hall immediately.
‘We must surprise him and catch him.’said Sir Henry.’He’s a dangerous man.Now,Watson,what would Holmes say about this?Do you remember what the old papers said? They said the Devil does his work when the world is dark.’
Just as he spoke there came a strange cry from across the moor.It was the same cry I had heard when I was with Staple ton on the edge of the Great Grimpen Marsh.
‘What is that noise?’asked Sir Henry.He stopped and put his hand on my arm to hold me back.
‘I’ve heard it before,’I said.’Stapleton says it’s the cry of a bird.’
‘Watson,’said Sir Henry,his voice shaking,’it is the cry of a hound.What do the local people say it is?’
‘They say it is the cry of the Hound of the Baskervilles,’I replied.
‘Can there possibly be some truth in the story?’said Sir Henry.’Am I really in danger from such an evil thing?I think I am as brave as most men,but that sound froze my blood.But we have come out to catch that prisoner,and the Devil himself will not make me turn back.’
It was difficult to cross the moor in the dark,but at last we reached the light.It was standing on a rock.Suddenly an evil face,more like an animal than a man,looked at us from behind the rock.The escaped prisoner saw us and screamed as he turned to run.
Sir Henry and I were both good runners and very healthy men,but we soon realized that we had no chance of catching Selden.He knew the way,and was running for his life.Soon we had lost him in the dark,so we stopped and sat down,breathing heavily,to rest.
At that moment a very strange thing happened.The moon was low upon our right,and in its light we could see the top of a hill.On that hill,with the moon behind him,stood a tall,thin man.He was standing perfectly still.He was watching us.
It was not Selden,who had been running away from that hill.This man was much taller.With a cry of surprise I turned to Sir Henry.As I turned,the man disappeared.
I wanted to go across to the hill and search for him,but we were tired and I remembered that Sir Henry might be in dan ger.So we went back to Baskerville Hall.
Who was the tall man I had seen standing against the moon? Was he an enemy,or a friend who was watching over us?
I wished more and more that Holmes could leave London and come to Baskerville Hall.I wrote to him every few days and gave him the details of everything that happened and everyone I met.