Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Sherlock Holmes, the greatest living detective and therefore the logical person for Dr. Mortimer to approach in the case of Sir Charles Baskerville’s death and the possible danger to his heir. As usual, Holmes dazzles Watson and his visitor with his ability to deduce personal history from observable clues, and he is quick to test the possibility that Mortimer and Sir Henry are being followed. Despite this apparent interest in the case, he pleads prior commitment and sends Watson to Devon in his place. This, it turns out, is a ruse that allows Holmes to spend the next days camped in a neolithic ruin on the moor, where he can observe everyone and everything, while receiving Watson’s reports and initiating investigations into Stapleton’s background. When he finally enters Baskerville Hall and sees the family portrait of Sir Hugo, he realizes instantly from the resemblance that Stapleton is a throwback to the evil Hugo, whose death through a demoniac hound occurred while he was trying to rape the daughter of a neighbor. Holmes arranges that Sir Henry’s visit to the Stapletons will be the occasion to flush out and capture Stapleton.
Dr. John Watson
Dr. John Watson, Holmes’s friend, colleague in detection, and chronicler of his adventures. He reports to Holmes by letter from Baskerville Hall, helps to solve the mystery of Barrymore’s odd behavior, observes the odd behavior of Stapleton and his...
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