|The following day was dull and foggy.The Hall was sur rounded by heavy,low clouds,which opened now and then to show the grim,cold moor and its wet,grey rocks.The weather made us miserable.It was difficult to be cheerful when we felt danger all around us.I thougth of Sir Charles’death,and the awful sound of the hound,which I had now heard twice.Holmes did not believe that there was a supernatural hound.But facts are facts,and I had heard a hound.Was there a huge hound living on the moor?If so,where could it hide?Where did it get its food?Why was it never seen by day? It was almost as difficult to accept a natural explanation as a su pernatural explanation.
That morning Sir Henry and Barrymore argued about Selden,the escaped prisoner.Barrymore said that it was wrong to try to catch Selden.
‘But the man is dangerous,’said Sir Henry.’He’ll do any thing.Nobody is safe until he is in prison again.We must tell the police.’
‘I promise he won’t break into any house,’said Barrymore,’and he won’t cause any trouble.In a few days he will catch a boat for South America.Please don’t tell the police about him.If you tell the police,my wife and I will be in serious trouble.’
‘What do you say,Watson?’ asked Sir Henry,turning to me.
‘I don’t think he will break into houses,or cause trouble.If he did,the police would know where to look for him and would catch him.He’s not a stupid man.’
‘I hope you’re right,’said Sir Henry.’I’m sure we’re breaking the law.But I don’t want to get Barrymore and his wife into trouble,so I shall not tell the police.I shall leave Selden in peace.’
Barrymore could not find the words to thank Sir Henry enough.Then he said:’You have been so kind to us that I want to do something for you in return.I have never told any one else.I know something more about poor Sir Charles’death.’
Sir Henry and I jumped up at once.
‘Do you know how he died?’Sir Henry asked.
‘No,sir,I don’t know that,but I know why he was waiting at the gate He was going to meet a woman.’
‘Sir Charles was meeting a woman?Who was the woman?’
‘I don’t know her name,’Barrymore said,’but it begins with L.L.’
‘How do you know this,Barrymore?’I asked.
‘Well,Sir Charles got a letter on the morning of the day he died.It was from Newtown,and the address was in a woman’s writing.I forgot all about it,but some time after Sir Charles died my wife was cleaning the fireplace in his study.She found a letter.Most of it was burned,but the bottom of one page was not burned.On it was written:“Please,please,burn this letter,and be at the gate by ten o’clock.L.L.”The paper fell into pieces as my wife went to move it.We don’t know who L.L.is,but if you could find out,you might learn more about Sir Charles’death.We haven’t told anyone else.We felt it would not be good for poor,kind Sir Charles.But we thought we ought to tell you,Sir Henry.’
The Barrymores left us and Sir Henry turned to me.’If we can find L.L.,the mystery may be at an end,’he said.’What do you think we should do,Watson?’
‘I must write to Holmes at once,’I said,and I went straight to my room and wrote a letter to Holmes,which gave him all the details of Barrymore’s story.
On the following day heavy rain fell without stopping.I put on my coat and went for a long walk on the moor.I thought of Selden out on the cold moor in this weather.And I thought of the other man,the mysterious watcher.
As I walked,Dr Mortimer drove past me.He stopped and said he would take me back to the Hall.
‘I expect you know almost everybody living near here,’I said.’Do you know a woman whose names begin with the let ters L.L.?’
Dr Mortimer thought for a minute,and then he said:’Yes,Mrs Laura Lyons.She lives in Newtown.’
‘Who is she?’I asked.
‘She’s Mr Frankland’s daughter.’
‘What,old Frankland who has the large telescope?’
‘Yes,’said Dr Mortimer.’Laura married a painter called Lyons who came to paint pictures of the moor.But he was cruel to her,and after a while he left her.Her father will not speak to her,because she married against his wishes.So her husband and her father have made her life very unhappy.’
‘How does she live?’I asked.
‘Several people who knew her sad story have helped her.Stapleton and Sir Charles gave her some money.I gave a little myself.She used the money to start a typewriting business.’
Dr Mortimer wanted to know why I was asking about Mrs Lyons.However,I preferred to keep the reason secret,and we talked about other things for the rest of the journey.
Only one other thing of interest happened that day.In the evening after dinner I had a few words with Barrymore alone.I asked him whether Selden had left the country.
‘I don’t know,sir,’Barrymore replied.’I hope he has gone.But I’ve not heard anything of him since I last left food and some clothes for him,and that was three days ago.’
‘Did you see him then?’
‘No,sir,but the food and clothes were gone when I next went that way,’Barrymore told me.
‘Then Selden was certainly there?’I asked.
‘I think so,sir,unless the other man took everything.’
I sat very still and looked hard at Barrymore.’You know there is another man,then?Have you seen him?’
‘No,sir,but Selden told me about him a week or more ago.He is hiding from someone,too,but he is not an escaped prisoner.I don’t like it,sir.Something evil is going to happen,I’m sure.Sir Henry would be much safer in London.’
‘Did Selden tell you anything more about the other man?’I asked.
‘He looked like a gentleman.He was living in one of the old stone huts on the moor.A boy works for him and brings him all the food and things he needs.That’s all Selden told me.’
I thanked him,and he left me.I went to the window and looked out at the rain and the clouds.It was a wild night.I knew the huts Barrymore had spoken about.There were many of them on the moor.They had been built many hundreds of years ago by the people who lived on the moor.They would not keep a man warm and dry in bad weather.Selden could not choose to live anywhere else,but why did the other man live in such conditions?
I sat and thought what I should do next.I decided I must try to find the man who had been watching us.Was he the en emy who had been following us since the very beginning in London? If he was,and I could catch him,perhaps our diffi culties would be at an end.
I also decided to hunt the man on my own.Sir Henry was still shaken by the terrible cry we had heard on the moor.I did not want to add to his troubles or to lead him into more danger.