Study Guide

The Hound of the Baskervilles Chapter 11

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Chapter 11

The Man on the Tor

  • Watson travels into Coombe Tracey to see if he can track down Laura Lyons.
  • She's actually pretty easy to find (lucky for Watson, since he—unlike Holmes—isn't the World's Greatest Detective).
  • Watson asks her straight out if she knew Sir Charles.
  • She reluctantly admits that she has received financial assistance from him.
  • Laura goes on to say that a friend of hers, Stapleton, used to speak to Sir Charles on her behalf. 
  • She denies that she ever wrote asking to meet him, though.
  • That is, she denies it until Watson quotes her own letter back to her. Oops.
  • She finally admits that she wrote to Sir Charles asking to meet him. 
  • She explains why she kept it secret: hello, it's rural England in 1901, a married woman can't just visit an unmarried guy at night without it being a huge scandal.
  • The one thing she won't explain is why she never went to the meeting. She just swears that she made the appointment, but she never went to Baskerville Hall.
  • She says she received the help she needed from "another source" (11.66).
  • Watson is sure there's more to the story than Laura will tell him, but she never changes her answers.
  • He realizes she must have been asking for money for a divorce, but why so urgently right now?
  • Watson goes back to Baskerville Hall.
  • Mr. Frankland sees him passing by in his carriage and calls him over for a drink.
  • Mr. Frankland starts bragging because he knows something the cops don't know—and he won't tell them.
  • Apparently, there's a boy that has been carrying food to a man hidden near a large hill called Black Tor.
  • Mr. Frankland has been keeping watch with his telescope because he thinks the man is the murderous Selden.
  • Even as they're talking about it, the boy appears on his twice daily errand of sneaking over the moors with food for the mysterious man.
  • Watson ditches Mr. Frankland and goes out onto the moors to follow the boy's tracks.
  • He finds a circle of old stone huts, and he discovers one that's clearly being lived in.
  • Inside the hut, there's a note: "Dr. Watson has gone to Coombe Tracey" (11.112).
  • Watson realizes that the mystery man has been following him.
  • But he can't find any other signs of the man's identity. (Any guesses?)
  • Watson sits and waits nervously for the man to return.
  • Finally, he hears the sound of someone approaching.
  • And he hears a familiar voice inviting him to come outside, where it's more comfortable.