In The Hound of the Baskervilles, how would Mr Stapleton explain to the police if his plan was successful?

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hi1954 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Had Stapleton succeeded in the death of Henry Baskerville, he would still have had a long way to go to achieve his aim of inheriting the estate.  First of all, both his sister (wife really) and Mrs. Laura Lyons knew his secrets, and such a ruthless character surely would have found a way to get rid of them both.  A simply murder of Mrs. Lyons, followed by the Stapletons moving away would have sufficed, and then he could have killed his wife while away from Devonshire.  Of course, he would have had to get rid of the dog and all traces.

But he would then have had to completely disguise himself and his entire manner, to enable him to return and present himself as Rodger Baskerville, nephew of Sir Charles and cousin of Henry Baskerville.  He would have had to succeed at not being recognized by anyone in the district, and have managed the legalities as much as possible from somewhere else, say London.  Needless to say, he would have had to pretend to other interests than entomology.

But how in the world could he have kept Holmes and Watson from continuing their investigation?  Even had they not found him out before his final attempt on Henry's life, the two would surely have refused to believe in the spectral hound.  This has always seemed to me a weak spot in the story.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

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