Study Guide

The Hound of the Baskervilles Chapter 8

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Chapter 8

First Report of Doctor Watson

  • As the narrator of this story, Watson then describes the telegrams he's sent to Holmes so far.
  • The first telegram reports that it looks like Selden (the psychotic killer) has left the area.
  • Anyway, no one's seen him, which is a big relief.
  • Watson has also noticed signs that Sir Henry is totally falling for Beryl Stapleton.
  • Weird, though—you'd think Stapleton would be happy to have his sister marry the local rich guy.
  • But in fact, Stapleton seems to be trying to find ways to keep Beryl and Sir Henry apart.
  • Watson also mentions another neighbor: Mr. Frankland of Lafter Hall.
  • He's a litigious (lawsuit-loving) old man interested in astronomy who has a telescope on his roof.
  • These days, Mr. Frankland spends a fair amount of his time scanning the moors with his telescope looking for Selden the murderer.
  • And now, for the last bit of news: weird stuff has been happening with the Barrymores.
  • Watson told Sir Henry that Barrymore may not have received the telegram Holmes sent from London himself.
  • So Sir Henry asks Barrymore if he read the telegram and replied to it himself.
  • He answers that, since he was busy, he let his wife answer.
  • Later on in the day, Barrymore asks if Sir Henry suspects him of something.
  • Sir Henry says no, and offers Barrymore some of his used clothes to prove his faith in him. 
  • Sir Henry's lost 75 lbs. on Jenny Craig, and anyway now that he's a baronet, he needs classier clothes. (A baronet is a pretty low rank in the British aristocracy. Sir Henry inherited the title when Sir Charles died.)
  • Watson can't forget that first night when he heard Mrs. Barrymore sobbing. He's seen signs of crying on her face several times since then.
  • Watson's suspicions of Barrymore have only gotten worse since a strange incident the night before.
  • At around two in the morning, Watson heard someone sneaking around outside his room.
  • He woke up and looked out to see Barrymore creeping along the hallway to an empty room.
  • Watson watched Barrymore standing in front of a window with a lamp in his hand.
  • Barrymore stared out onto the moor for several minutes before groaning and putting out the light.
  • Something is going on with that guy.

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