Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tour de Hound - Chapter 8 - the missing page

Tensions must be running high on the moor.
Watson has everybody to worry about.
Sir Henry is worried about everyone but Watson, but mostly Beryl.
Beryl is worried about her brother.
Her brother is worried about his sisters interest in Sir Henry.
The Barrymore's are worried that what ever they are hiding may keep them from opening there pub someday.
Seldon is worried about finding food.
Dr. Mortimer is worried he may be sued for digging up skulls.
The Postmaster is worried his boss may find out about him not following directions.
Jack is worried he may have to get a real job.
The locals are worried about Seldon.
The warden is also worried about his job.

The only one that seems happy is Mr. Frankland.

That's a lot of tension.

So. why the break in narrative style at this point? Are the details we will find in this chapter that much harder to remember than the previous chapters?
Nothing unusual takes place. No great clues come along.
Watson's suspicions are elevated of all the suspects on our list, but no one new comes along to add to the list.
Sure Mr. Frankland is added to our list of characters, but he is pretty well dismissed as a suspect by the way Watson handles his involvement in the narrative.

The Barrymore's continue in their seemly deceptive ways, implying something sinister is going on, with the little light show by the window the only new incident in their list of digressions.

Stapleton continues in his "cool and unemotional' manner, but nothing new is attributed to him, other than his coldness to Sir Henry when Sir Henry shows interest in his sister.

So why the change in narrative style?

Why not continue the story the way he started?
Did something happen to his journal where this part of his notes had gone missing or been damaged?
If the letters contained something that his dairy may not have, there inclusion would be important. Or if the why something was worded or transcribed had to be replicated completely, it would make sense. But I don't get the impression that was the case.
So why change styles?

And is the missing page from his pile of letters of any import?

I haven't a clue at this point.

The moor itself still lacks any appeal to Watson. It continues to 'sink into one's sole' with a grim charm he says. You have to wonder if the supernatural implications resonate with Watson.
Even his descriptions of the stone pillars is in keeping with the legend.'In the middle of it rose two great stones, worn and sharpened at the upper end until they looked like the huge corroding fangs of some monstrous beast.". Or hounds?

Is this the calm before the storm, did we miss some detail that later may prove relevant?


  1. The missing page? As these are reports Watson sent to Holmes, it is probably to Holmes we must place the blame. Another example of Watson's sly and pawky humor. "From this point onwards I will follow the course of events by transcribing my own letters to Mr. Sherlock Holmes which lie before me on the table. One page is missing, HOLMES, but otherwise they are exactly as written..."

  2. Remember Holmes was living in a stone hut out on the moor with no amenities. When one considers that outhouses in the Old West were frequently supplied with newspaper back issues...

    1. Ha, I love that. Or maybe he had to light a fire.