Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tour de Hound - Chapter 7 - Brighter days - Watson very Lucy Liu like? - contradictions

Having depleted most words describing a bleak environment in the last chapter, Sunday morning could hardly start off anyway but brighter.
Where last night all seemed "shadowed and gloom" and everything seemed "hushed and subdued", we now find the morning sun making things glow and seem bronzed. We must have been very tired and chilled to ever think this wonderful old hall could serve up despair.

I think we would have all slept well if not for the dripping of the tap or crying of a women somewhere in the house.

Barrymore said he heard no crying and that it was probably a drippy gutter or swallows in the chimney.
You could tell be the look of Mrs. Barrymore's face that something had kept her awake also.

So we begin another day.

It would seem in this chapter that Watson has started to make some astute observation that would practically elevate him to a level well above Lestrade.

But when it comes right down to it, given the information he already has, they become pretty obvious.
Yet he is very resolute in his investigation.

His first deduction of the morning, correctly I might add, is that there was definitely a women crying in the night. And Barrymore's lying about this also convinces Watson that he, Barrymore, is hiding something.
Watson satisfies this observation by noting Mrs. Barrymore's face shortly after the interview with the butler.

In an attempt to once again try to prove Barrymore's culpability in the death of Sir Charles he pursues an inquiry into the possibility that the telegram sent to Barrymore was never actually given to him in person.
He follows up on this with the Postmaster of Grimpen.

James, the postmasters son, finally confesses that indeed Barrymore did not receive the letter himself, leaving open the possibility that he, Barrymore, was not at Baskerville Hall at all.

Watson is doing what most detectives have to do and that is follow any and all leads till they prove useful or not in the resolution of a crime.

As the above investigation shows, in this chapter, for every bit of good we find in Baskerville Hall and the surrounding moors, something questionable takes place. For every pleasant image we see, one cloudy appears right after it.

We are not left for long satisfied that the Hall is casting a more pleasing atmosphere, before we are reminded of the mournful weeping we heard in the night.

(Dr. Moritmer's place?)

We aren't long allowed a quiet stroll to the village Post Office before we learn requested chores were not carried out as directed,  leaving us to question our inquiry.

And so it goes throughout this chapter. For each seemly pleasant image we observe or are introduce to, we just as quickly are required to make a complete one eighty to observe an image of suspense, sorrow or question;

Net in hand, Stapleton first appears to be charming and friendly, but Watson soon finds reason to doubt first impressions.

A wonderful introduction and history lesson to the moors, only to be tainted be the death of a moor-land pony.

Beautiful island like refuge for flora and fauna, surround by sucking bog-holes.

A beautiful "proud, finely cut" women comes running up the lane, only to dash poor Watson's heart with an ill-timed warning to Sir Henry. (Twice I might add.)

A short chapter, with many contradictions. One to keep us off balance and not relaxed. We are never allowed to just have a peaceful day in our new surrounding, no break, completely, from the suspense the legend created. More tantalizing clues, but none resolved. I can not think in this chapter an image described that is not two sided.

(Merripit House?)

(And how come I never noticed the "strange, wizened, rusty-coated old manservant" before.
And does he smell of dog food? And will we meet him again?)

What we also see here is a Watson very much trying to meet up to Sherlock's implied expectations and come up with details Holmes can use in this case. While I on the other hand would just find a nice pub and wait for Sir Henry to finish his paper work.

The whole exchange at the post office is cut from the Granada episodes, with there being a post mistress instead.


  1. I enjoyed this leg of the tour immensely. Watson really does shine in this book as an investigator and he'll even get some rare Holmesian complements on his skill later. Thanks to your list of gloomy adjectives in the last chapter I was highly conscious of "fresh beauty" and sunlight of the morning, but how after talking with the postmaster in Grimpen, Watson finds deeper mysteries and doubts in his abilities to plumb them: " I prayed, as I walked back along the gray, lonely road, that my friend might soon be freed from his preoccupations and able to come down to take this heavy burden of responsibility from my shoulders." Despite the sunshine, it's a "gray, lonely road' Watson treads, weighed down by a "heavy burden". Great writing by Doyle. I also love your photos. I'm assume you took them yourself on a tour of Dartmoor?

    1. It is so easy to read this chapter without realizing the yin and yang quality of it.
      I am afraid those are borrowed pictures, but they seemed to fit. I still need to hunt up my Devon photos.