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The Hound of the Baskervilles (Pulp! The Classics)
     

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Pulp! The Classics)

4.3 93
by Arthur Conan Doyle
 

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Murder, mayhem, and a hero with a drug addiction!
 
A desolate moor, a diabolical dog, and some inbred locals—Sherlock Holmes is really up against it. With the help of his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson, Holmes pieces together a mystery that has captured the imagination of readers across the decades—all while practicing a serious coffee

Overview


Murder, mayhem, and a hero with a drug addiction!
 
A desolate moor, a diabolical dog, and some inbred locals—Sherlock Holmes is really up against it. With the help of his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson, Holmes pieces together a mystery that has captured the imagination of readers across the decades—all while practicing a serious coffee and cocaine habit.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"We immediately fell in love with these awesome vintage-style redesigns of classic novels." —Flavorwire

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781843441229
Publisher:
Oldcastle Books
Publication date:
09/01/2013
Series:
Pulp! The Classics Series
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,301,739
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Hound of the Baskervilles


By Arthur Conan Doyle

Oldcastle Books

Copyright © 2013 Arthur Conan Doyle
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-84344-122-9



CHAPTER 1

MR SHERLOCK HOLMES


Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a 'Penang lawyer.' Just under the head was a broad silver band nearly an inch across. 'To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.,' was engraved upon it, with the date '1884.' It was just such a stick as the old-fashioned family practitioner used to carry – dignified, solid, and reassuring.

'Well, Watson, what do you make of it?'

Holmes was sitting with his back to me, and I had given him no sign of my occupation.

'How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in the back of your head.'

'I have, at least, a well-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot in front of me,' said he. 'But, tell me, Watson, what do you make of our visitor's stick? Since we have been so unfortunate as to miss him and have no notion of his errand, this accidental souvenir becomes of importance. Let me hear you reconstruct the man by an examination of it.'

'I think,' said I, following as far as I could the methods of my companion, 'that Dr Mortimer is a successful, elderly medical man, well-esteemed since those who know him give him this mark of their appreciation.'

'Good!' said Holmes. 'Excellent!'

'I think also that the probability is in favour of his being a country practitioner who does a great deal of his visiting on foot.'

'Why so?'

'Because this stick, though originally a very handsome one, has been so knocked about that I can hardly imagine a town practitioner carrying it. The thick-iron ferrule is worn down, so it is evident that he has done a great amount of walking with it.'

'Perfectly sound!' said Holmes.

'And then again, there is the "friends of the C.C.H." I should guess that to be the Something Hunt, the local hunt to whose members he has possibly given some surgical assistance, and which has made him a small presentation in return.'

'Really, Watson, you excel yourself,' said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. 'I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt.'

He had never said as much before, and I must admit that his words gave me keen pleasure, for I had often been piqued by his indifference to my admiration and to the attempts which I had made to give publicity to his methods. I was proud, too, to think that I had so far mastered his system as to apply it in a way which earned his approval. He now took the stick from my hands and examined it for a few minutes with his naked eyes. Then with an expression of interest he laid down his cigarette, and carrying the cane to the window, he looked over it again with a convex lens.

'Interesting, though elementary,' said he as he returned to his favourite corner of the settee. 'There are certainly one or two indications upon the stick. It gives us the basis for several deductions.'

'Has anything escaped me?' I asked with some self-importance. 'I trust that there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?'

'I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth. Not that you are entirely wrong in this instance. The man is certainly a country practitioner. And he walks a good deal.'

'Then I was right.'

'To that extent.'

'But that was all.'

'No, no, my dear Watson, not all – by no means all. I would suggest, for example, that a presentation to a doctor is more likely to come from a hospital than from a hunt, and that when the initials "C.C." are placed before that hospital the words "Charing Cross" very naturally suggest themselves.'

'You may be right.'

'The probability lies in that direction. And if we take this as a working hypothesis we have a fresh basis from which to start our construction of this unknown visitor.'

'Well, then, supposing that "C.C.H." does stand for "Charing Cross Hospital," what further inferences may we draw?'

'Do none suggest themselves? You know my methods. Apply them!'

'I can only think of the obvious conclusion that the man has practised in town before going to the country.'

'I think that we might venture a little farther than this. Look at it in this light. On what occasion would it be most probable that such a presentation would be made? When would his friends unite to give him a pledge of their good will? Obviously at the moment when Dr Mortimer withdrew from the service of the hospital in order to start a practice for himself. We know there has been a presentation. We believe there has been a change from a town hospital to a country practice. Is it, then, stretching our inference too far to say that the presentation was on the occasion of the change?'

'It certainly seems probable.'

'Now, you will observe that he could not have been on the staff of the hospital, since only a man well-established in a London practice could hold such a position, and such a one would not drift into the country. What was he, then? If he was in the hospital and yet not on the staff he could only have been a house-surgeon or a house-physician – little more than a senior student. And he left five years ago – the date is on the stick. So your grave, middle-aged family practitioner vanishes into thin air, my dear Watson, and there emerges a young fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent-minded, and the possessor of a favourite dog, which I should describe roughly as being larger than a terrier and smaller than a mastiff.'

I laughed incredulously as Sherlock Holmes leaned back in his settee and blew little wavering rings of smoke up to the ceiling.

'As to the latter part, I have no means of checking you,' said I, 'but at least it is not difficult to find out a few particulars about the man's age and professional career.' From my small medical shelf I took down the Medical Directory and turned up the name. There were several Mortimers, but only one who could be our visitor. I read his record aloud.

'Mortimer, James, M.R.C.S., 1882, Grimpen, Dartmoor, Devon. House-surgeon, from 1882 to 1884, at Charing Cross Hospital. Winner of the Jackson prize for Comparative Pathology, with essay entitled 'Is Disease a Reversion?' Corresponding member of the Swedish Pathological Society. Author of 'Some Freaks of Atavism' (Lancet 1882). 'Do We Progress?' (Journal of Psychology, March, 1883). Medical Officer for the parishes of Grimpen, Thorsley, and High Barrow.'

'No mention of that local hunt, Watson,' said Holmes with a mischievous smile, 'but a country doctor, as you very astutely observed. I think that I am fairly justified in my inferences. As to the adjectives, I said, if I remember right, amiable, unambitious, and absent-minded. It is my experience that it is only an amiable man in this world who receives testimonials, only an unambitious one who abandons a London career for the country, and only an absent-minded one who leaves his stick and not his visiting-card after waiting an hour in your room.'

'And the dog?'

'Has been in the habit of carrying this stick behind his master. Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly by the middle, and the marks of his teeth are very plainly visible. The dog's jaw, as shown in the space between these marks, is too broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad enough for a mastiff. It may have been – yes, by Jove, it is a curly-haired spaniel.'

He had risen and paced the room as he spoke. Now he halted in the recess of the window. There was such a ring of conviction in his voice that I glanced up in surprise.

'My dear fellow, how can you possibly be so sure of that?'

'For the very simple reason that I see the dog himself on our very door-step, and there is the ring of its owner. Don't move, I beg you, Watson. He is a professional brother of yours, and your presence may be of assistance to me. Now is the dramatic moment of fate, Watson, when you hear a step upon the stair which is walking into your life, and you know not whether for good or ill. What does Dr James Mortimer, the man of science, ask of Sherlock Holmes, the specialist in crime? Come in!'

The appearance of our visitor was a surprise to me, since I had expected a typical country practitioner. He was a very tall, thin man, with a long nose like a beak, which jutted out between two keen, grey eyes, set closely together and sparkling brightly from behind a pair of gold-rimmed glasses. He was clad in a professional but rather slovenly fashion, for his frock-coat was dingy and his trousers frayed. Though young, his long back was already bowed, and he walked with a forward thrust of his head and a general air of peering benevolence. As he entered his eyes fell upon the stick in Holmes's hand, and he ran towards it with an exclamation of joy. 'I am so very glad,' said he. 'I was not sure whether I had left it here or in the Shipping Office. I would not lose that stick for the world.'

'A presentation, I see,' said Holmes.

'Yes, sir.'

'From Charing Cross Hospital?'

'From one or two friends there on the occasion of my marriage.'

'Dear, dear, that's bad!' said Holmes, shaking his head.

Dr Mortimer blinked through his glasses in mild astonishment. 'Why was it bad?'

'Only that you have disarranged our little deductions. Your marriage, you say?'

'Yes, sir. I married, and so left the hospital, and with it all hopes of a consulting practice. It was necessary to make a home of my own.'

'Come, come, we are not so far wrong, after all,' said Holmes. 'And now, Dr James Mortimer –'

'Mister, sir, Mister – a humble M.R.C.S.'

'And a man of precise mind, evidently.'

'A dabbler in science, Mr Holmes, a picker up of shells on the shores of the great unknown ocean. I presume that it is Mr Sherlock Holmes whom I am addressing and not –'

'No, this is my friend Dr Watson.'

'Glad to meet you, sir. I have heard your name mentioned in connection with that of your friend. You interest me very much, Mr Holmes. I had hardly expected so dolichocephalic a skull or such well-marked supra-orbital development. Would you have any objection to my running my finger along your parietal fissure? A cast of your skull, sir, until the original is available, would be an ornament to any anthropological museum. It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.'

Sherlock Holmes waved our strange visitor into a chair. 'You are an enthusiast in your line of thought, I perceive, sir, as I am in mine,' said he. 'I observe from your forefinger that you make your own cigarettes. Have no hesitation in lighting one.'

The man drew out paper and tobacco and twirled the one up in the other with surprising dexterity. He had long, quivering fingers as agile and restless as the antennae of an insect.

Holmes was silent, but his little darting glances showed me the interest which he took in our curious companion. 'I presume, sir,' said he at last, 'that it was not merely for the purpose of examining my skull that you have done me the honour to call here last night and again today?'

'No, sir, no; though I am happy to have had the opportunity of doing that as well. I came to you, Mr Holmes, because I recognised that I am myself an unpractical man and because I am suddenly confronted with a most serious and extraordinary problem. Recognising, as I do, that you are the second highest expert in Europe –'

'Indeed, sir! May I inquire who has the honour to be the first?' asked Holmes with some asperity.

'To the man of precisely scientific mind the work of Monsieur Bertillon must always appeal strongly.'

'Then had you not better consult him?'

'I said, sir, to the precisely scientific mind. But as a practical man of affairs it is acknowledged that you stand alone. I trust, sir, that I have not inadvertently –'

'Just a little,' said Holmes. 'I think, Dr Mortimer, you would do wisely if without more ado you would kindly tell me plainly what the exact nature of the problem is in which you demand my assistance.'

CHAPTER 2

THE CURSE OF THE BASKERVILLES


'I have in my pocket a manuscript,' said Dr James Mortimer.

'I observed it as you entered the room,' said Holmes.

'It is an old manuscript.'

'Early eighteenth century, unless it is a forgery.'

'How can you say that, sir?'

'You have presented an inch or two of it to my examination all the time that you have been talking. It would be a poor expert who could not give the date of a document within a decade or so. You may possibly have read my little monograph upon the subject. I put that at 1730.'

'The exact date is 1742.' Dr Mortimer drew it from his breast-pocket. 'This family paper was committed to my care by Sir Charles Baskerville, whose sudden and tragic death some three months ago created so much excitement in Devonshire. I may say that I was his personal friend as well as his medical attendant. He was a strong-minded man, sir, shrewd, practical, and as unimaginative as I am myself. Yet he took this document very seriously, and his mind was prepared for just such an end as did eventually overtake him.'

Holmes stretched out his hand for the manuscript and flattened it upon his knee. 'You will observe, Watson, the alternative use of the long s and the short. It is one of several indications which enabled me to fix the date.'

I looked over his shoulder at the yellow paper and the faded script. At the head was written: 'Baskerville Hall,' and below in large, scrawling figures: '1742.'

'It appears to be a statement of some sort.'

'Yes, it is a statement of a certain legend which runs in the Baskerville family.'

'But I understand that it is something more modern and practical upon which you wish to consult me?'

'Most modern. A most practical, pressing matter, which must be decided within twenty-four hours. But the manuscript is short and is intimately connected with the affair. With your permission I will read it to you.'

Holmes leaned back in his chair, placed his finger-tips together, and closed his eyes, with an air of resignation. Dr Mortimer turned the manuscript to the light and read in a high, cracking voice the following curious, old-world narrative:

'Of the origin of the Hound of the Baskervilles there have been many statements, yet as I come in a direct line from Hugo Baskerville, and as I had the story from my father, who also had it from his, I have set it down with all belief that it occurred even as is here set forth. And I would have you believe, my sons, that the same Justice which punishes sin may also most graciously forgive it, and that no ban is so heavy but that by prayer and repentance it may be removed. Learn then from this story not to fear the fruits of the past, but rather to be circumspect in the future, that those foul passions whereby our family has suffered so grievously may not again be loosed to our undoing.


'Know then that in the time of the Great Rebellion (the history of which by the learned Lord Clarendon I most earnestly commend to your attention) this Manor of Baskerville was held by Hugo of that name, nor can it be gainsaid that he was a most wild, profane, and godless man. This, in truth, his neighbours might have pardoned, seeing that saints have never flourished in those parts, but there was in him a certain wanton and cruel humour which made his name a by-word through the West. It chanced that this Hugo came to love (if, indeed, so dark a passion may be known under so bright a name) the daughter of a yeoman who held lands near the Baskerville estate. But the young maiden, being discreet and of good repute, would ever avoid him, for she feared his evil name. So it came to pass that one Michaelmas this Hugo, with five or six of his idle and wicked companions, stole down upon the farm and carried off the maiden, her father and brothers being from home, as he well knew. When they had brought her to the Hall the maiden was placed in an upper chamber, while Hugo and his friends sat down to a long carouse, as was their nightly custom. Now, the poor lass upstairs was like to have her wits turned at the singing and shouting and terrible oaths which came up to her from below, for they say that the words used by Hugo Baskerville, when he was in wine, were such as might blast the man who said them. At last in the stress of her fear she did that which might have daunted the bravest or most active man, for by the aid of the growth of ivy which covered (and still covers) the south wall she came down from under the eaves, and so homeward across the moor, there being three leagues betwixt the Hall and her father's farm.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. Copyright © 2013 Arthur Conan Doyle. Excerpted by permission of Oldcastle Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction, plays, romances, poetry, nonfiction, and historical novels.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
May 22, 1859
Date of Death:
July 7, 1930
Place of Birth:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:
Crowborough, Sussex, England
Education:
Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

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The Hound of the Baskervilles 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing!!! Highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 12 years old, sixth grade. I am reading this book in my literature circles. Although I am only about half way through the book, I can definately say it is a great book. We have to read 9 novels by the end of the year (we only get to choose from a certain pile of nine books) and i have to admit, this was one of my last picks, i was really hesitant to read it. I have now learned that i do not only like girl stories and romance novels among funny books, but now i have been exposed to a whole nother world of literature. For this, i very much thank my teacher. Now, reguarding the actual book, I am very much enjoying it. I do have to admit that some words i need to look up, but that is easy on nook! It really grabs your attention in some parts, but sometimes, more in the beginning, you can get a little bored. Many people say that kids cannot enjoy these books, they are wrong! ~alicia s.
nick_martinez More than 1 year ago
Upon reading the first few paragraphs of the novel, I did not think I would bear reading the entire thing. It features mildly complicated vocabulary and is spoken in an English which I am not too familiar with. Yet, putting this aside I found the story to be quite interesting and even had me wanting to read the next chapter right then at some points. The mystery and suspense of the story for most parts keeps it slow-paced. But, there are scenes of the novel which display fast-paced and even violent action. Again, to my surprise the novel drew me in and kept me all the way through!
heathcliffheathcliff More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended!
CCchamp93 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing and extremely entertaining and impossible to put down. This book was very interesting and a classic mystery type and a typical Sherlock Holmes edition. The mystery was dark and morbid while the characters involved all seemed to be quite harmless, that is to the unsuspecting eye but not to Sherlock Holmes of course. He is the top authority on all mysteries and he proves it in this book with his daring antics and his amazingly acurate deductions. The vocabulary was mildly difficult, the plot was great, the authors tone was incredible. A perfect fit into the mystery genre, the clues had me thinking in circles i couldn't figure out anything untill the clues started to piece together, the book was like a puzzle the more clues you got the more the picture became clearer. I loved this book.
EnglishPeriod1 More than 1 year ago
I can recommend this book to most who enjoy the dry wit of Sherlock Holmes novels. I advise you to start with "A Letter In Scarlet" if you have not yet read it because out of his four novels you should start at the beginning. I'm happy to say the deductive reasoning and plot twists that come with all Holmes' escapades transcends into this book no less diminished. I'm not out to ruin any plot twists but you won't see them coming. You may expect one thing, but from around a corner Holmes will correct you with his cold hard decisive perceptional skills. And thats what makes it an Arthur Conan Doyle novel a shrewd parched novel devoid of emotional thoughts and feelings. This will be a safe assumption for all of the Sherlock Holmes novels.
sarafenix More than 1 year ago
I think it was Sherlock Holmes that taught me logical thinking and that has gotten me in trouble for quite a while!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books are always the best!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is here.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have se<_>x with Dedre at 'aaj' res 1! She is a virgin and may fight!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I use this novel at a college level to teach the rhetorical modalities of writing. The plot, characterization, and typically Doyle plot movement allow the methodology to be taught is a more interesting way. Students like the story and, in the process, learn the writing modalities..much kinder than lecturing about them! As for the novel itself, anyone who like Arthur Conan Doyle will recognize his wit, his description, his plot development, and his utterly British environment. I have always loved Sherlock Holmes and hope that readers continue to visit him generation by generation.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Holmes' books!  Ah! The intrigue, such mastery of a mystery plot. And the twists! Yes, one of my favorite plot twists in all of literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rmattos More than 1 year ago
In this particular adventure, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson deal with a legendary hound who kills Baskervilles family members, a curse that Holmes and Dr. Watson are not buying into it. After the death of Charles Baskerville from pure terror, the legend get strength and the heir of the state (Hugo Baskerville) asks for Holmes help to solve the mystery involving his uncle's death. Dr. Watson accompanies Hugo at Baskerville Hall in Devonshire, as Holmes have to stay in London so finish some other cases he is working on. While there, Watson hear on the moor the creepy sound of a hound... All the relationship with the neighbors and the employees of the house are well developed and the surprising appearance of Holmes just in time to prevent another crime is superb.  If you enjoy reading mystery stories, definitely you cannot miss this one, a classic among mystery stories. Very entertaining and with surprising twists on the plot, it took me around 4 hours to read the whole book.
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East read, fun from beginning to end