Study Guide

The Hound of the Baskervilles Chapter 13

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Chapter 13

Fixing the Nets

  • Holmes is impressed at how Stapleton's so cool under pressure.
  • Yeah, he's cool—it's not like Holmes can prove any of his ideas in a court of law yet. 
  • (This is just like that Columbo episode where he knows the plumber's lying but—oh, sorry, we digress…)
  • Holmes believes that Laura Lyons will be the key to this stage of the case.
  • Watson brings Holmes to Baskerville Hall, and Sir Henry welcomes him.
  • Watson breaks the news to the Barrymores that Selden's dead.
  • Holmes tells Sir Henry that he'll soon have the answer to his mystery, as long as Sir Henry does exactly what Holmes says without asking why. More control-freak stuff.
  • Holmes suddenly jumps up to look at one of the portraits on Sir Henry's wall.
  • When Holmes points to the portrait of a man in black velvet and lace, Sir Henry identifies him as than Hugo Baskerville—the original victim of the Hound.
  • After dinner, Holmes leads Watson back over to the portrait.
  • When Holmes covers Hugo's ridiculous hair, Watson can finally spot what Holmes noticed so long before: that the face of Hugo Baskerville hugely resembles Stapleton's.
  • In other words, Stapleton must be a member of the Baskerville family.
  • Sir Henry comes in, and Holmes tells him that he and Watson are planning to go back to London.
  • Sir Henry's disappointed (and probably scared silly), but Holmes reassures him that they'll be back soon.
  • They were all supposed to go over to dinner at Stapleton's house together, but now Sir Henry will just have to go alone.
  • Holmes tells Sir Henry to drive over to Merripit House, but then to have the groom bring the carriage home.
  • Sir Henry should then tell his host, Stapleton, that he plans to walk home that night.
  • At the train station in Coombe Tracey, Holmes and Watson meet the boy, Cartwright, who was bringing Holmes' food to the moors over those many days.
  • Holmes orders Cartwright to take the train into London. 
  • From London, Cartwright should send a telegram to Sir Henry asking about a pocketbook Holmes might have forgotten at Baskerville Hall. (This is all to "prove" that Holmes really is in London. This guy doesn't miss a trick.)
  • Cartwright agrees, and he also gives Holmes a telegram.
  • It's from "Lestrade," who's coming down to Devonshire on the 5:40 train with a warrant.
  • Holmes explains that Lestrade's a policeman, and they may need his help tonight.
  • Holmes and Watson head over to Laura Lyons' house.
  • Holmes tells Laura Lyons that he is involved in a case which implicates Stapleton and "his wife" (13.114) in murder.
  • Holmes shows her pictures of the people now calling themselves Jack and Beryl Stapleton.
  • The pictures were taken several years ago in York, where they were called Mr. and Mrs. Vandeleur (13.121).
  • Laura Lyons is shocked that Stapleton has lied to her about his wife. First time in history that's ever happened.
  • She admits that Stapleton told her what to write in the letter to Sir Charles.
  • She also says that, after she sent the letter, Stapleton appeared to change his mind about her borrowing money from Sir Charles.
  • After she agreed not to meet with Sir Charles, she didn't hear anything more about him until she read about his death in the newspaper.
  • Stapleton then frightened Laura into promising not to say anything about the scheduled appointment with Sir Charles, since his death was so mysterious.
  • Holmes and Watson go to the train station to meet Lestrade.
  • Holmes promises that this case is the "biggest thing for years" (13.140).

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