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It is this page. You could easily recognize it, could you not? You will then learn in possibly twenty cases out of the twenty-three that the waste of the day before has been burned or removed. In the three other cases you will be shown a heap of paper and you will look for this page of the Times among it.

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The odds are enormously against your finding it. There are ten shillings over in case of emergencies. Let me have a report by wire at Baker Street before evening. And now, Watson, it only remains for us to find out by wire the identity of the cabman, No. Sherlock Holmes had, in a very remarkable degree, the power of detaching his mind at will. For two hours the strange business in which we had been involved appeared to be forgotten, and he was entirely absorbed in the pictures of the modern Belgian masters. He would talk of nothing but art, of which he had the crudest ideas, from our leaving the gallery until we found ourselves at the Northumberland Hotel.

The book showed that two names had been added after that of Baskerville. One was Theophilus Johnson and family, of Newcastle; the other Mrs. Oldmore and maid, of High Lodge, Alton. Johnson, the coal-owner, a very active gentleman, not older than yourself. Oldmore, too; I seem to remember the name. Excuse my curiosity, but often in calling upon one friend one finds another. Her husband was once mayor of Gloucester. She always comes to us when she is in town. That means that while they are, as we have seen, very anxious to watch him, they are equally anxious that he should not see them.

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Now, this is a most suggestive fact. As we came round the top of the stairs we had run up against Sir Henry Baskerville himself. His face was flushed with anger, and he held an old and dusty boot in one of his hands. So furious was he that he was hardly articulate, and when he did speak it was in a much broader and more Western dialect than any which we had heard from him in the morning. I can take a joke with the best, Mr. I only had three pairs in the world—the new brown, the old black, and the patent leathers, which I am wearing. Last night they took one of my brown ones, and today they have sneaked one of the black.

Well, have you got it? Well, well, Mr. It seems the very maddest, queerest thing that ever happened to me. This case of yours is very complex, Sir Henry.

But we hold several threads in our hands, and the odds are that one or other of them guides us to the truth. We may waste time in following the wrong one, but sooner or later we must come upon the right. We had a pleasant luncheon in which little was said of the business which had brought us together. It was in the private sitting-room to which we afterwards repaired that Holmes asked Baskerville what were his intentions.

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I have ample evidence that you are being dogged in London, and amid the millions of this great city it is difficult to discover who these people are or what their object can be. If their intentions are evil they might do you a mischief, and we should be powerless to prevent it.

You did not know, Dr. Mortimer, that you were followed this morning from my house? Have you among your neighbours or acquaintances on Dartmoor any man with a black, full beard? Address to Mr. Barrymore, Baskerville Hall. What is the nearest telegraph-office? Barrymore to be delivered into his own hand. Mortimer, who is this Barrymore, anyhow? They have looked after the Hall for four generations now.

So far as I know, he and his wife are as respectable a couple as any in the county. The residue all went to Sir Henry. Holmes raised his eyebrows in surprise. The total value of the estate was close on to a million. It is a stake for which a man might well play a desperate game. And one more question, Dr. Supposing that anything happened to our young friend here—you will forgive the unpleasant hypothesis!

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James Desmond is an elderly clergyman in Westmoreland. These details are all of great interest. Have you met Mr. James Desmond? He is a man of venerable appearance and of saintly life.

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I remember that he refused to accept any settlement from Sir Charles, though he pressed it upon him. He would also be the heir to the money unless it were willed otherwise by the present owner, who can, of course, do what he likes with it. Holmes, I have not. But in any case I feel that the money should go with the title and estate. How is the owner going to restore the glories of the Baskervilles if he has not money enough to keep up the property?

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  7. House, land, and dollars must go together. Well, Sir Henry, I am of one mind with you as to the advisability of your going down to Devonshire without delay. There is only one provision which I must make. You certainly must not go alone. Mortimer has his practice to attend to, and his house is miles away from yours.

    With all the goodwill in the world he may be unable to help you. No, Sir Henry, you must take with you someone, a trusty man, who will be always by your side. At the present instant one of the most revered names in England is being besmirched by a blackmailer, and only I can stop a disastrous scandal. You will see how impossible it is for me to go to Dartmoor. Holmes laid his hand upon my arm.

    No one can say so more confidently than I. The proposition took me completely by surprise, but before I had time to answer, Baskerville seized me by the hand and wrung it heartily. The promise of adventure had always a fascination for me, and I was complimented by the words of Holmes and by the eagerness with which the baronet hailed me as a companion.

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    I suppose that by Saturday all might be ready? We had risen to depart when Baskerville gave a cry of triumph, and diving into one of the corners of the room he drew a brown boot from under a cabinet. Mortimer remarked. The German was sent for but professed to know nothing of the matter, nor could any inquiry clear it up. Another item had been added to that constant and apparently purposeless series of small mysteries which had succeeded each other so rapidly. Holmes sat in silence in the cab as we drove back to Baker Street, and I knew from his drawn brows and keen face that his mind, like my own, was busy in endeavouring to frame some scheme into which all these strange and apparently disconnected episodes could be fitted.

    All afternoon and late into the evening he sat lost in tobacco and thought. Visited twenty-three hotels as directed, but sorry to report unable to trace cut sheet of Times. There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you. We must cast round for another scent.

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    I have wired to get his name and address from the Official Registry. I should not be surprised if this were an answer to my question. The ring at the bell proved to be something even more satisfactory than an answer, however, for the door opened and a rough-looking fellow entered who was evidently the man himself.

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