Study Guide

The Hound of the Baskervilles Chapter 14

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Chapter 14

The Hound of the Baskervilles

  • As Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade drive over to Merripit House, the suspense is killing Watson.
  • Holmes and Lestrade hide about two hundred yards away from the house.
  • Holmes sends Watson to spy through the dining-room window.
  • Sir Henry and Stapleton are sitting together and smoking.
  • Beryl's nowhere to be seen.
  • The Grimpen Mire is covered with fog, which is a bummer for Holmes—fog is the one thing that could really endanger Sir Henry's life.
  • They hear the sounds of Sir Henry leaving the house.
  • And then, Holmes hushes Watson—there's another sound of pattering feet coming.
  • It's a black hound covered in flickering flame, with fire coming out of its mouth.
  • Oh no, it's running toward Sir Henry.
  • Holmes and Watson shoot the dog, which howls but keeps running.
  • Sir Henry is looking behind him at the dog—and he looks terrified. Duh. The dog leaps at Sir Henry and starts biting him. Bad dog!
  • But Holmes catches up and empties his gun into the dog.
  • The dog falls dead.
  • Sir Henry faints, but he's still alive.
  • When Sir Henry comes to, he, Holmes, and Watson inspect the body of the dog.
  • It's an enormous beast with huge jaws, and it's been covered in some kind of weird glow-in-the-dark stuff.
  • Watson touches the stuff on the dog's fur and realizes that it's phosphorus (a glowing chemical).
  • Holmes apologizes for putting Sir Henry in so much danger—he didn't expect either the fog or the dog.
  • Sir Henry's so freaked out that Holmes and Watson leave him sitting on a rock while they go off after Stapleton.
  • Back at Merripit House, there's a locked bedroom door.
  • Holmes breaks down the door. They find a woman bound and gagged: Beryl Stapleton.
  • She's furious and heartbroken that Stapleton has been abusing her and using her as his tool in his schemes against Sir Henry.
  • Beryl says that Stapleton has a hiding place in the middle of the Grimpen Mire. The fog is so dense that he won't be able to leave his hiding place that night.
  • The next morning, Beryl leads Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade through the dangerous bog.
  • As the three men walk deep into the Grimpen Mire, Holmes spots something: Sir Henry's black boot.
  • Stapleton must have been using the boot to teach the hound to track Sir Henry's smell.
  • But they don't find any other sign of Stapleton.
  • Watson believes that Stapleton probably got lost in the fog that night and fell into the Mire, never to emerge.
  • On the island in the Mire, they find traces of the dog: this must be where Stapleton kept it.
  • Sadly, they also find the skeleton of Dr. Mortimer's little spaniel.
  • There's a pot full of the glowing stuff that Stapleton had been using to create the fire-breathing "Hound of the Baskervilles," which frightened Selden into running over a cliff and scared Sir Charles to death.

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