Questions for Comprehension
Chapter 1 : Mr. Sherlock Holmes
Ans. Dr. Watson, Holmes’ assistant, is the narrator.
Q2. From what object did Watson and Holmes learn about James Mortimer? What clues did it provide?
Ans. They looked at the walking stick. It had a silver band which said, “To James Mortimer M.R.C.S. from his friends of the C. C. H. 1884.” The stick was well worn and it had tooth marks in the middle.
Q3. What did Holmes deduce from the clues on the stick?
Ans. Dr. Mortimer was “a young fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent-minded, and the possessor of a favourite dog,” which was larger than a terrier and smaller than a mastiff.
Q4. How did Mortimer inadvertently insult Holmes?
Ans. Mortimer called him the “second highest expert in Europe”; Holmes obviously thought of himself as the best.
Chapter 2 : The Curse of the Baskervilles
Q1. What was Dr. Mortimer’s relationship with Sir Charles Baskerville?
Ans. Mortimer was Sir Charles’ friend and medical attendant.
Q2. What did the manuscript dated 1742 say?
Ans. In the manuscript was the story of Hugo Baskerville who apparently kidnaped a maiden who apparently escaped before his plans were completed. He swore to give his body and soul to the Powers of Evil if he could catch her. He set his hounds on the maiden’s trail and went riding after her. Those who followed him found the maiden dead of fright and exhaustion, and a “foul thing, a great black beast . . . larger than any hound that ever mortal eye had rested upon” tearing out Hugh’s throat. The manuscript further told of other sudden, bloody and mysterious deaths in the Baskerville family and warned that the Baskerville sons should not cross the moor at night because of the hound that plagued the family.
Q3. What were the circumstances of Sir Charles Baskerville’s death?
Ans. He went for his nightly walk down yew alley of Baskerville Hall. He had stood at the gate to the moor for some time. His body was found at the end of the alley. The immediate cause of death was heart failure.
Q4. Who was Charles Baskerville’s next of kin?
Ans. Mr. Henry Baskerville, the son of Charles’ younger brother was the next of kin.
Q5. What were the “private facts” Dr. Mortimer told Holmes?
Ans. a. Sir Charles had taken the legend to heart and was obviously under stress
b. Mortimer had seen a large black animal on the moor. (He thought it was a calf,
but Charles thought it was a hound and he was greatly affected.)
c. There were no other footprints except Barrymore’s on the gravel.
d. Charles’ features were convulsed with strong emotion when he died.
e. Mortimer saw footprints of a gigantic hound twenty yards from Sir Charles’ body.
Chapter 3 : The Problem
Q1. Why had no one else seen the footprints of the hound?
Ans. They were twenty yards from the body. No one thought to look that far away for evidence.
Q2. Describe the creature on the moor that several people had seen prior to Charles’ death.
Ans. “. . . it was a huge creature, luminous, ghastly and spectral.”
Q3. What did Dr. Mortimer want of Holmes?
Ans. He wanted Holmes’ advice about whether or not he should advise Henry Baskerville to stay at Baskerville Hall.
Q4. Who were Charles’ other kinsmen?
Ans. Charles was the eldest of three bro
thers. The second brother, the father of Henry, died young. The third brother, Rodger, was the black sheep of the family. He looked like the family portrait of Hugo. Rodger fled to Central America where he died of yellow fever in 1876.
Q5. What advice did Holmes give Mortimer?
Ans. He told him to bring Henry Baskerville to Baker Street in the morning. This would give Holmes time to consider all the facts he had received.
Q6. What was Holmes’ theory about Charles’ death?
Ans. Charles had gone out for his walk, waited to meet someone by the gate, saw something or someone that frightened him out of his wits, and ran for his life. His heart failed him from the shock and exhaustion.
Chapter 4 : Sir Henry Baskerville
Q1. Henry Baskerville received a note at the Northumberland Hotel. What was the message?
Ans. “As you value your life or your reason keep away from the moor.”
Q2. What did Holmes deduce from the message?
Ans. The letter was composed by an educated person who wished to pose as an uneducated one. The writing might be known or come to be known to Henry. The composer of the message was in a hurry so as not to be interrupted or discovered. The address had been written in a hotel.
Q3. What had Henry lost at the hotel?
Ans. A boot had been misplaced or stolen.
Q4. Why did Holmes follow Henry Baskerville and Dr. Mortimer?
Ans. He wanted to find out if they were being followed.
Q5. Who did Holmes see in the cab on Regent Street?
Ans. He saw a man with a bushy black beard and piercing eyes apparently following Sir Henry and Dr. Mortimer.
Chapter 5 : Three Broken Threads
Q1. Why did Holmes want to look at the hotel register, and what did he find?
Ans. He wanted to see who checked into the hotel after Sir Henry. He was thinking that one of the later guests may have been the person following Henry, but the hotel clerk knew the other guests well and did away with Holmes’ theory.
Q2. Why was Holmes glad Sir Henry decided to go to Baskerville Hall?
Ans. The person following Henry would be easier to find away from the populated city.
Q3. Why did Holmes send a telegraph to Barrymore?
Ans. He wanted to verify that Barrymore was indeed at Baskerville Hall and not in London. It would prove that Barrymore was not the spy.
Q4. Who went to stay with Sir Henry at Baskerville Hall? Why?
Ans. Mr. Watson went to stay with Henry to help protect him and to relay information to Holmes, who could not leave London.
Q5. What were the “three broken threads”?
Ans. a. Barrymore was at Baskerville Hall, so he was not the spy.
b. Cartwright could not find the Times page at any hotel.
c. The cab driver could give no useful information about the spy’s identity.
Chapter 6 : Baskerville Hall
Q1. What people did Holmes want Watson especially to study?
Ans. He especially wanted Watson to study the Barrymores, the groom, Dr. and Mrs. Mortimer, Mr. Stapleton and his sister, Mr. Frankland, and a few other neighbors.
Q2. Why was there a mounted soldier along the road by the moor?
Ans. Selden, the Notting Hill murderer, had escaped from Princetown.
Q3. Why did Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore want to leave Baskerville Hall?
Ans. They were both very much attached to Sir Charles and his death gave them a great shock. They feared that they would never again be easy in their minds at Baskerville Hall.
Q4. What sound did Watson hear in the middle of the night?
Ans. “It was the sob of a woman, the muffled, strangling gasp of one who is torn by an uncont
Chapter 7 : The Stapletons ofthe Merripit
Q1. About what did Mr. Barrymore lie?
Ans. He said that his wife had not been crying, but Watson noticed her red and swollen eyes.
Q2. Why did Watson go to Grimpen? What did he find out there?
Ans. He went to Grimpen to see the postmaster to make sure the telegram had indeed been delivered into the hands of Mr. Barrymore. He found out that the telegram had not been delivered directly to Mr. Barrymore. It was, therefore, impossible to know for sure whether or not Mr. Barrymore had been in London spying.
Q3. Who ran up behind Watson on the road from Grimpen to Baskerville Hall?
Q4. Identify Merripit House.
Ans. Merripit House was Stapleton’s home on the moor.
Q5. What bad place did Stapleton claim to be able to cross?
Ans. He said he could cross Grimpen Mire.
Q6. What strange sound did Watson hear in the moor while at Merripit House with Stapleton? What explanations did Stapleton give for the sound?
Ans. Watson heard a long, low moan that swelled into a deep roar and sank back to a murmur. Stapleton said some peasants think the noise is the Hound of the Baskervilles calling for its prey. He also offered more scientific explanations that the noise was coming from the mud settling or water rising in the bog, or that the noise was made by a rare bird.
8. What warning did Stapleton’s sister mistakenly give to Watson?
Ans. She told him to go back to London and never to set foot on the moor again. She thought Watson was Sir Henry.
Chapter 8 : First Report of Dr. Watson
Q1. Watson said his “popularity would soon suffer” if he were to carry out Holmes’ orders to the letter. Why?
Ans. Henry was becoming romantically interested in Stapleton’s sister. Having Watson along to escort Henry at all times would not give the couple any privacy.
Q2. What did Watson tell Holmes about Frankland?
Ans. He told Holmes that Frankland loved litigation, seemed a kindly, good-natured person, and was an amateur astronomer who was using his telescope upon the moor to look for the escaped convict.
Q3. What strange event did Watson witness in the middle of the night?
Ans. Mr. Barrymore sneaked to one of the spare rooms. He put a candle and his face to the window and looked out into the darkness for a few minutes, gave a deep groan, extinguished the candle, and went back down the hall.
Chapter 9 : Second Report of Dr. Watson
Q1. What did Watson discover about the window Barrymore had looked out? What conclusion did he draw?
Ans. The window had the best view of the moor. He decided Barrymore was looking for someone or something on the moor.
Q2. What did Watson witness from the hill?
Ans. Henry met Stapleton’s sister and they were having a conversation. Stapleton appeared on the scene, had hot words with Sir Henry, and took his sister home.
Q3. What explanation did Stapleton give for his behavior towards his sister and Henry?
Ans. He said that his sister was everything to him and that the thought of losing her was terrible to him. Seeing Henry becoming attached to her gave him a shock. He had acted rashly and was not responsible for what he said on the moor. He offered a generous apology.
Q4. What explanation did Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore give for Mr. Barrymore’s late-night visits to the west window?
Ans. Mrs. Barrymore’s brother, Selden, the escaped convict, was hiding in the moor. Mr. Barrymore went to the window as a signal and looked in the moor for candlelight in response. He then took food to the place where the candlelight was in the moor.
Q5. Why did Watson and Sir Henry venture out onto the moor?
Ans. They were going to catch Selden.
Q6. What sound did Watson and Henry hear when they were out on the moor looking for Selden?
Ans. They heard the same moaning
sound that Watson had heard from Stapleton’s house.
Chapter 10 : Extract from the Diary of Dr. Watson
Q1. Why did Sir Henry agree not to pursue Selden anymore?
Ans. The Barrymores assured him that Selden would be going to South America soon. He would no longer make trouble in England, and he would not be a burden to the taxpayers.
Q2. What additional information did Barrymore give Mr. Watson?
Ans. He told them that Sir Charles was going to meet someone with the initials “L.L.” at the gate on the evening of his death.
Ans. “L.L.” was Laura Lyons, Frankland’s daughter, who lived in Coombe Tracey. She had married badly and had a broken relationship with her father. Sir Charles (and others) had helped her to earn an honest living.
Q4. What useful information about the “other man on the moor” did Barrymore give Watson?
Ans. He told Watson that Selden had said that the other man on the moor lived among the old houses on the hillside.
Chapter 11 : The Man on the Tor
Q1. How did Watson persuade Laura Lyons to answer his questions?
Ans. He threatened a public scandal.
Q2. Why did Laura Lyons write to Sir Charles seeking a meeting?
Ans. She wanted to tell him the story of her persecution from her husband and to ask him for money to meet certain expenses which would help insure her freedom and happiness.
Q3. Why didn’t Laura keep her appointment with Sir Charles?
Ans. Someone else had promised to give her the money after she wrote to Sir Charles but before the meeting.
Q4. What good information did Watson get from Frankland on his day of celebration?
Ans. Frankland had located a man on the moor. Frankland thought it was the convict, but Watson knew it was the man he had seen on the tor, the man for whom he was looking.
Q5. Who was the “Man on the Tor”?
Chapter 12 : Death on the Moor
Q1. How did Holmes know Watson was inside the dwelling?
Ans. He had seen Watson’s cigarette stub marked “Bradley, Oxford Street.”
Q2. Who was Miss Stapleton?
Ans. She was really Mrs. Stapleton.
3. Mrs. Stapleton deceived Henry (among others). Who did Mr. Stapleton deceive about his marital status?
Ans. He deceived Laura Lyons.
Q4. Whose death did Holmes and Watson witness on the moor?
Ans. The convict, Selden, fell to his death.
Chapter 13 : Fixing the Nets
Q1. Why didn’t Watson and Holmes have Stapleton arrested after Selden’s death?
Ans. They had no proof of their suspicions.
Q2. Why did Holmes find the portrait of Hugo Baskerville so interesting?
Ans. The face was the same as the face of Stapleton. Stapleton was a Baskerville!
Q3. What motive did Stapleton have for killing Charles and Henry?
Ans. He wanted the entire estate for himself.
Q4. How did Holmes get Laura Lyons to divulge all that she knew?
Ans. He showed her evidence that Stapleton was married and had deceived her.
Chapter 14 : The Hound of the Baskervilles
Q1. Who did Watson see at Merripit House? Who
Ans. He saw Stapleton and Henry. Mrs. Stapleton was missing.
Q2. What unexpected problem caused trouble for Holmes’ plan?
Ans. Fog rolled in causing limited visibility.
Q3. What surprised Holmes and Watson?
Ans. A huge black hound, just like the one described in the manuscript, was chasing Henry.
Q4. What happened to the “Hound of the Baskervilles”?
Ans. Holmes shot and killed it.
Q5. What made the hound appear to have a flaming mouth?
Ans. A preparation of phosphorus was used on the dog’s mouth.
Q6. Who did Holmes and Watson find in the upper floor bedroom of Merripit House?
Ans. They found Mrs. Stapleton.
Q7. What help did Mrs. Stapleton offer?
Ans. She took them to the place where her husband had gone, and she led them through the mire.
Q8. What happened to Mr. Stapleton?
Ans. Apparently in his haste he had made a wrong step and had been swallowed up by the mire.
Q9. What did they find at the mine?
Ans. They saw a staple and chain and the remains of bones the dog had chewed. Also, they saw a skeleton with a tangle of brown hair, which they thought was Mortimer’s spaniel.
Chapter 15 : A Retrospection
Q.What was disclosed in Chapter 15?
Ans. Holmes gave his summary of the Baskerville case.