Sorry about the short hiatus! Real life intervened, in the form of a birthday party for my son, who turned seven this month. Back on track now!
We say good-bye to Holmes in this chapter, and head off to Baskerville Hall. This whole chapter is really about atmosphere, isn't it? We move from the bustling, modern city out through the idylic, pastoral countryside until we hit the moor. And then everything gets increasingly bleak and foreboding and gloomy. It's a masterful piece of using setting to create a tone, and I love it to bits.
We also learn there's a killer on the loose, a convict named Selden. He doesn't seem to be connected with the death of old Sir Charles, but definitely ups the scare factor, huh? Especially when Watson uses phrases like "wanton brutality" and "peculiar ferocity" to describe the murders he committed (p. 615). And then says Selden's sanity is in doubt? Great! Now we have an insane killer wandering loose on the moor. Glad Watson has his trusty service revolver in his pocket!
Random moment of cuteness: Watson spent his train trip playing with Dr. Mortimer's spaniel! How sweet! I would love to have a spaniel some day.
Rolling pasture lands curved upward on either side of us, and old gabled houses peeped out from amid the thick green foliage, but behind the peaceful and sunlit countryside there rose ever, dark against the evening sky, the long, gloomy curve of the moor, broken by the jagged and sinister hills (p. 614).
...two copses of trees moaned and swung in a rising wind (p. 618).
Possible Discussion Question:
There's a bit of foreshadowing going on when we leave the station, with Holmes telling Sir Henry not to go places alone anymore because "[s]ome great misfortune will befall you if you do" (p. 613). Do you like foreshadowing, or not?