On Saturday morning, Sherlock Holmes came with me to Paddington Station.
‘This is a dangerous business, Watson,’ he said. ‘Stay near to Sir Henry. Do not let him walk on the moor alone at night.’
‘Don’t worry, Holmes,’ I said. ‘I have brought my army revolver.’
‘Good,’ said Holmes. ‘Write to me every day. Tell me what you see and hear. Tell me all the facts — everything.’
I said goodbye to Sherlock Holmes and met Sir Henry Baskerville and Dr Mortimer at the station. The train journey to Devon took three hours. We looked out of the windows at the green countryside. At last, we reached Dartmoor. Then the countryside changed from green to grey and we saw broken hills of black rock.
We got off the train at the small station in Grimpen Village. A driver was waiting with a carriage and horses to take us to Baskerville Hall. As we rode along the narrow country road, I saw a soldier on a horse. The soldier was carrying a gun and was watching the road.
I spoke to the driver. ‘Why is that soldier guarding the road? Is there some trouble?’
‘Why is that soldier guarding the road? Is there some trouble?’
‘Yes, sir,’ the driver replied. ‘A prisoner has escaped from Dartmoor Prison. He’s a very dangerous man. His name is Selden. He is a dangerous murderer.’
I looked across the empty moor. A cold wind blew and made me shiver. Holmes believed that someone wanted to murder Sir Henry Baskerville. Now, another murderer was out on the moor. I felt that this lonely place was very dangerous. I wanted to go back to London.
There were thick trees all round Baskerville Hall. It looked like a castle. It stood alone on the empty moor.
We stopped outside Baskerville Hall. ‘I must leave you here,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘I have a lot of work to do. And my wife is waiting for me at home.’
‘I hope you will come to dinner very soon,’ said Sir Henry.
‘I will,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘And if you ever need me, send for me at any time — day or night.’ Then Dr Mortimer rode away in the carriage.
A man with a thick black beard and a pale face came out of the house. He greeted Sir Henry.
‘Welcome to Baskerville Hall, sir. I am Barrymore. I have been a servant here for many years. My wife and I have prepared the house for you. Shall I show you around the house?’
‘Yes please, Barrymore,’ said Sir Henry. ‘This is Dr Watson. He will be my guest for a few days.’
‘Very good, sir,’ said Barrymore. He took our cases into the house.
I looked carefully at Barrymore. Was he the man with a black beard who had followed Sir Henry in London? I was not sure.
Mr and Mrs Barrymore had looked after the house well.
Everything was in order. But the house was a cold and lonely place. There was trouble here.
That night I wrote a letter to Sherlock Holmes. I told him all that I had seen and heard. While I was writing, I heard a sound — a woman crying. The only woman in the house was Mrs Barrymore. I wondered why she was so unhappy.