The hound of the Baskervilles was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is one of many stories about the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, and his right hand, Dr. Watson.
The novel begins when Dr. James Mortimer comes to visit Sherlock Holmes in Baker street. With him he’s got a story which he thinks might have a connection to a Sir Charles Baskerville’s recent death. The story is about one of Sir Charles’ ancestors, Sir Hugo Baskerville, who lived in the same mansion as Sir Charles a long time ago. The place is called Baskerville Hall.
The story tells that Hugo once fell in love with a poor girl that lived near the Baskerville Hall. The girl was afraid of Hugo, and she always avoided him. He was known to be an evil and wicked man and one day he caught her, and held her prisoner in one of the Hall’s towers. However, she escaped by climbing down the ivy on the walls of the buildings, and ran towards her home that lay on the big moor surrounding the building for many miles. When Hugo found out, he became furious. He swore that he would give up his body and soul to the Powers of Evil if he could catch the girl. He let out all his hounds, and rode after the girl on his black horse. All of his men rode after him, but a terrible sight met them when they found Hugo and the girl. The girl had died from fear and weakness, but also Hugo was found dead. His throat was slit and over him stood a gigantic black hound, with fire coming from its eyes and mouth.
Ever since that crucial day many of the members of the Baskerville family have met their death in a mysterious or violent way.
Sir Charles had died naturally from a heart attack while standing outside his house, but Dr. Mortimer had noticed something nobody else had. He had seen the footprints of a gigantic hound near the dead body. He was now afraid that the hound of the Baskervilles had returned.
The only heir to the Baskerville’s property is now Sir Henry Baskerville, Sir Charles’ nephew.
He soon arrives from the USA, and Sherlock Holmes immediately starts his questioning. He learns that Sir Henry has received a letter that warned him to stay away from Baskerville hall if he valued his life. One of his brand new boots had also been stolen, but it was returned later on. Then one of his used boots was stolen. Holmes and Watson then follow Sir Henry and Dr. Mortimer when they leave, and they spot a man with a fake black beard following Sir Henry in a cab.
The next day Holmes sends Dr. Watson to look after Sir Henry at Baskerville Hall. At the same time a criminal named Selden runs away from prison. He is believed to hide on the moor someplace. Dr. Watson here also meets the other persons living in and around the Hall. Mrs. and Mr. Barrymore, Mr. Stapleton and what is believed to be his sister, Ms. Stapleton.
Dr. Watson and Dr. Mortimer also catch the Barrymores in the act while feeding and giving used clothes to Selden, the escaped prisoner. They tell them that he is Mr. Barrymores brother.
Looking for Selden on the moor, Dr. Watson discovers that Holmes is hiding on the moor. He has been doing some investigation of his own, and can tell us that Mr. Stapleton is responsible for the hound thing. Ms. Stapleton is really his wife, and his name is really Baskerville. His motive is that he wants to inherit the mansion. He stole the boots to get the hound onto Sir Henry’s scent. He had persuaded a certain Ms. Laura Lyons to ask Sir Charles to wait for her outside the Hall, but not to show up. He knew that sir Charles both was aware of the old story and had a weak heart.
Suddenly Holmes and Watson can hear the cry of a hound. They follow the noise and find Selden killed by the dog. He was wearing Sir Henry’s old clothes, given to him by Mr. Barrymore, so the hound had smelled the scent of Sir Henry and attacked Selden. They meet Sir Henry, and then the hound shows himself and tries to kill Sir Henry. Fire is coming from his eyes and mouth, but Holmes and Watson shoot him anyway. As they examine the hound, they notice that it’s just a big ordinary dog with phosphorus around his eyes and mouth. They go after Stapleton, but he drowns in mire nearby and everybody is happy.