Three Broken Threads.

Essay by Ashleya October 2005

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Arriving at Sir Henry's hotel, Holmes examines the register. Tricking the clerk into thinking he knows the two names added since Sir Henry, he gleans information that excludes the two from suspicion. So, the detective concludes, the watcher has not settled in Henry's hotel, and as such, wants very much to see but not to be seen.

Heading upstairs, the pair runs into a flustered Sir Henry, enraged at the theft of a second boot, this time an old one. Denouncing the hotel staff, Sir Henry is surprised at Holmes' suggestion that the thefts may have something to do with the case.

At lunch, Holmes, Watson, Henry, and Mortimer discuss Sir Henry's decision to go to Devonshire, and Holmes assents given the extreme improbability of unmasking the stalker in crowded London. Holmes asks if there is not anyone up at Devonshire with a full black beard, and learns that the butler, Mr.

Barrymore, fits that description. Intent on assessing whether Barrymore is at home or in London, Holmes sends a telegraph to Mr. Barrymore that will be delivered to his hand or else returned to sender. Barrymore, Mortimer relates, stood to inherit 500 pounds and a cushy, work-free setup upon Charles' death. Asking about other heirs and beneficiaries, Holmes learns that Mortimer himself received 1000 pounds, and Sir Henry got 740,000. The next in line, Mortimer states, is a couple named Desmond, distant cousins. Holmes declares that Sir Henry needs a more attentive bodyguard at Baskerville Hall than Mortimer. Citing previous commitments in town, Holmes declines to go himself and surprises everyone by suggesting that Watson accompany the baronet. Holmes insists that Watson keep him updated. While they are getting ready to leave for their office, they are surprised by a cry from Sir Henry. Diving under...