Boekverslag : Arthur Conan Doyle - The Hound Of The Baskervilles
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The Hound of the Baskervilles

On the 14th of June the body of Sir Charles Baskerville is found lying in the garden of his Dartmoor house. Everybody thinks he died of a heart attack because he had a very weak heart. But his friend and doctor does not know what to think. He has seen the footprints of a large dog close to Sir Charles's body. Maybe the old man died of fright, because he has seen the ghostly animal called the Hound of the Baskervilles. A long time ago that dog murdered one of Sir Charles's grandparents. Now the Hound of the Baskervilles is the subject of a legend. However, Dr. Mortimer doesn't believe in ghosts, so he visits Sherlock Holmes to clear up this mystery.

Sir Henry was the only living member of the Baskerville family. One day after his arrival in London, he and Dr. Mortimer go to see Holmes to discuss the whole case. Sir Henry tells Holmes that somebody has stolen one of his boots the day before and that he received a letter. There was only one sentence in the letter: "If you value your life keep away from the moor." The letter sounded like a warning that something was going to happen. So Holmes asks his assistant, Watson, to accompany Sir Henry and Dr. Mortimer to Baskerville Hall.

At the station of Baskerville, they hear that an escaped prisoner is hiding in the moor and that he is very dangerous.

At Baskerville Hall, Watson and Sir Charles meet Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore, the servants of the house. They also meet the Stapleton’s, brother and sister, who live in Merripit house close to Baskerville Hall. Mrs. Stapleton warns Sir Henry that something terrible is going to happen. One day Mrs. Barrymore comes to Watson with a burnt paper she found in the fireplace of Sir Charles’s study. He looks at the paper and reads: "Please, please, burn this paper and be at the gate of the moor by ten o'clock. L.L.". Watson finds, with a little bit of research, that the letters L.L. mean Laura Lyons, a lady who lives in Coombe Tracey and who is in love with Mr. Stapleton. When Watson pays her a visit and tells her about the letter he has found, she says, she wrote that letter because she had a money problem and Sir Charles would help her. However, that night, she never went to the gate because something happened but the woman would not tell what it was.

Watson finds, with the help of a friend, the hiding place of a man. He had been in Baskerville all the time but it was safer if nobody knew he was there. Holmes has discovered that Stapleton is the enemy of Sir Charles, and that his sister actually is his wife. When the both of them walk to Baskerville Hall, they hear a terrible scream. When they arrive at the scene of the crime, they find a dead body. They recognise the clothes of Sir Henry Baskerville. They turn the body over and notice that it is not Sir Henry but the escaped prisoner. When it all comes out, the escaped prisoner got these clothes from Mrs. Barrymore. She is his sister and the house cleaner of Baskerville Hall.

Afterwards they go for the second time to Miss Lyons and they tell her that her fiancé is married. Now she's very upset and she begins to tell everything she knows. Mr. Stapleton pushed her to write the letter and he also said after she has written the letter not to go to the gate because he wanted to help her with her money problem.

Back in Baskerville Hall, Holmes looks at the picture of one of the grandparents of Sir Henry and he recognises the face of Mr. Stapleton, who's actually a member of the Baskerville family. Therefore, he must have been hoping to get Baskerville Hall and the

fortune after Sir Henry dies. That evening Mr. Stapleton has invited Sir Henry for dinner. After dinner, Sir Henry walks home across the moor. But what he doesn't know is that Stapleton wants to kill him.

When he is about 200 metres from the house, a very large dog rushes out of the fog. It is the Hound of the Baskervilles. Luckily for him, Watson and Holmes are hiding behind the rocks and when they see the dog they start shooting, and finally kill the animal. Now, the hound is dead but they haven't caught the murderer yet.

Mr. Stapleton must have heard the shots and he hides somewhere in the moor. They look for him but they do not find him. So they guess that he's fallen into one of the bog-holes on the moor.

That evening Holmes tells the whole story of Sir Charles's death. The evening of his death he went to the gate of the moor, but there was no Laura in sight.

Only Stapleton was hiding behind the hedges with his large dog. When he saw Sir Charles, he let his dog chase after him. Sir Charles Baskerville was killed because he had to run very fast.

And so the mystery of the ghostly Hound of the Baskervilles is solved.
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