The hound of the baskervilles
原著 Conan Doyle
改编 Robert Ellis
The Death of Sir Charles Baskerville
When Dr. Mortimer had finished reading this strange story, he looked across at Sherlock Holmes. I was surprised to see that Hoknes looked bored, but also looked as if he thought the letter was funny.
"Do you think this is an interesting story, Mr. Holmes?" asked Dr. Mortimer.
Holmes laughed. "My dear sir, only a story teller or a child would find this story interesting!"
Dr. Mortimer did not answer him. Instead he took a newspaper from another pocket in his coat.
"Now, Mr. Holmes, let me read you something else. This was written only three months ago. It is from the Devonsltire County Newspaper, and it is about the death of Sir Charles Baskerville. "
Hoknes looked more interested. Dr. Mortimer began to read:
People in Devonshire country feel much sadness at the terrible death of Sir Charles Baskerville. Sir Charles was an extremely good man. Although he had lived at Baskerville Hall for only two years, everyone in thearea liked him very much, because of the great help he gave to the people of Devonshire. Sir Charles had lived in a foreign land, and made his money there. He returned to England to repair Baskerville Hall and the villages around it. These places were old, and in very bad condition, but with Sir Charles' help they became beautiful once again. He was a friendly and kind man, who gave much help to the poor.
It is unfortunate that the police report on Sir Charles' death does not tell us everything that happened. However, we can be sure that he was not murdered. The strange stories the village people tell about his death are not true! His friend and doctor, Dr. James Mortimer, said that Sir Charles' heart had been week for a long time. It is likely that he died of a sudden heart attack.
The facts of this death are simple. Every evening, Sir Charles went for a walk in the gardens of Baskerville Hall. His favorite place to walk was down a path, between two rows of trees. This path is the famous "Yew Alley" of Baskerville Hall. On the night of June 4, he went out to walk and to smoke his cigar, as he often did. Sir Charles was going to London the next morning, and Barrymore, his head servant, was insidethe house packing his suitcases. But by midnight, Barrymore realized that Sir Charles had not returned. So he went to look for him. He saw that the door of the house was open. That day had been rainy and wet, so Barrymom could see the footprints left by Sir Charles' shoes as he had walked down the path of trees. Half way down this path is a gate, which leads to the moor. There were signs that Sir Charles had stood at this gate for some time, before continuing his walk Barry- followed the footprints to the end of the path and there he found Sir Charles' body.
Barrymore told the police an interesting detail about these footprints. He said that they changed between the gate leading to the moor and the end of the path of trees. As far as the moor gate, all the footprints were normal. But Barrymore saw only toe prints in the ground after Sir Charles passed this gate. Barrymore thought that Sir Charles had walked on his toes.
A man called Murphy, who buys and sells horses, was close to Baskerville Hall when Sir Charles died. This man is known in the town for his drunkenness, and that night he had been drinking a lot of beer as usual. However, he swore that he heard sommne shouting, as if they were calling for help. The shouts came from the direction of Baskerville Hall.
Dr. James Mortimer was asked to look at Sir Charles' body. After he examined the body, Dr. Mortimer decided that Sir Charles had not been murdered. However, Dr. Mortimer told police that Sir Charles had a look on his face of surprise and fear. But Dr. Mortimer decided this was normal. Sir Charles' weak heart had failed suddenly, and this had caused his death.
Now that Sir Charles is dead, there will be a new head of the fiaskerville family. He will own Baskerville Hall. The people of Devonshire hope very much that this person will move into Baskervdle Hall as soon as possible. The people would like Sir Charles' good work in this area to continue.
The new head of the Piaskerville family is a man named Sir Henry Baskerville. At this time we do not know if Sir Henry is still alive, or if the lawyers can find him. He is the son of Sir Charles Baskerville's younger brother, who died some years ago. This young man has been living in the United States of America. At this time, the Baskerville lawyers are trying to find him, to tell him of his inheritance.
The article was finished. Dr. Mortimer put the newspaper back into his pocket.
"Well, Mr. Holmes, those are the facts about the death of Sir Charles. Everyone knows these things, he said.
"Thank you for reading me this paper, Dr. Mortimer. It is very interesting to me," Holmes said. " I read about Sir Charles' death in our London newspaper, but I did not know the details. The newspaper gives us the facts that everybody knows.
Now I want you to tell me all the other facts that only you know. What do you really think about Sir Charles' death, Dr. Mortimer?"
Dr. Mortimer sighed. "I haven't told anyone what I really think," he said. "I am a man of science, as you know. I have always believed that there is a good reason for everything. And certainly, I did not want to say anything that might stop Sir Henry from going to Baskerville Hall. But I will tell you some things that were not in the report.”
"In the months before his death." Dr. Mortimer certain that the Hound would find and kill him, as it had killed Sir Hugo. He believed the Baskerville family was cursed because of Sir Hugo's evil acts. He would not go out on the moor at night. Often, he would ask me if I had heard the howl of a hound on the moor at night. He was always very excited and nervous when he asked this question.
"About three weeks before Sir Charles died I went to Baskerville Hall. As I drove up to the house, Sir Charles was standing at the door, as if he was meeting me. I went up to him, but he did not say "hello." There was a look of horror on his face, and he was staring at something behind me. I turned around quickly and saw something moving between the trees. It looked like a small black cow.Sir Charles was so frightened that he looked as if he would die that minute! I went to look for the aninual, to make him feel better. However, it had disappeared. I stayed with Sir Charles all that evening. It was then he gave me the old papers I have just read to you. Mr. Holmes, Sir Charles' behavior that evening may be important, when you think about what happened on the night of his death.
"When Barrymore, the head servant, found SirCharles' body, he sent someone, to get me. I examined Sir Charles' body. No one had killed him. All the things in the newspaper I have just read to you are true.But Barrymore made a mistake." He said that there were no other footprints on the ground around Sir Charles' body. He did not notice any. But I did. These prints were not close to the body, but they were large, and very clear.”
"Were they a man's or a woman's footprints?" asked Hrimes.
Dr. Mortimer looked at us for a moment.
"Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a huge hound."