Dr Watson’s First Report
Baskerville Hall Dartmoor
13 October 1889
My Dear Holmes,
I wrote and told you about Baskerville Hall and the people who live here. Now I have more facts to tell you. First, I will draw a map of the area. It will help you to understand my story.
Baskerville Hall is about two miles south-west of Grimpen Village. I walk to the village to post letters.
There are trees all round the Hall and a long avenue leads to a small summer-house in the garden. Sir Charles Baskerville died near the summer-house. I have marked the gate on the map. It is where Sir Charles stood and smoked a cigar. The gate opens onto the moor.
I have told you about the neighbours. Dr Mortimer lives nearby, about half-way between the villages of Grimpen and Coombe Tracey.
I have met the Stapletons. Their house is about three miles from the Hall. It is on the other side of High Tor.
There is one man I have not met. But Dr Mortimer has told me about him. His name is Mr Frankland and he lives at Lafter Hall. He has a large telescope and is interested in astronomy. He uses his telescope to look at the stars.
In the past few days, he has not looked at the stars. He has looked at the moor. He is watching the moor because the police have not caught the murderer, Selden. Mr Frankland watches the moor looking for strangers. But I do not think that Selden is hiding on the moor. There is no food and the weather is now very cold.
Sir Henry is worried about the Stapletons. He thinks that the murderer may break into their house. He has visited Miss Stapleton several times and they have become good friends. But Mr Stapleton is a strange man. He does not like Sir Henry visiting his sister.
Now, here is some news about Barrymore, the servant at Baskerville Hall. He looks like the man we saw in the carriage in London. You remember — the man who followed Sir Henry and Dr Mortimer to Baker Street. I told Sir Henry what I thought and he called Barrymore and asked him, ‘Have you been to London recently?’
Barrymore says he has never been to London in his life. Also, Sir Henry’s question made him angry. He said he wanted to leave Baskerville Hall.
Sir Henry said he was sorry. He gave Barrymore some clothes and Barrymore was pleased. Barrymore and his wife thanked Sir Henry very much for the clothes.
Then, last night, I saw something very strange. In the middle of the night I heard footsteps and I looked out of my bedroom door. I saw Barrymore with a candle. I saw him walk to the end of the corridor. He stopped at the large window which looks out over the moor. He held the candle to the window and moved it backwards and forwards.
I went to the window of my own room and looked out across the moor. I saw a light moving backwards and forwards. It was somewhere near High Tor and it was clearly a signal. But a signal for what?