That, unfortunately, is what I cannot tell you. Have you among your neighbours or acquaintances on Dartmoor any man with a black, full beard?

No -- or, let me see -- why, yes. Barrymore, Sir Charles's butler, is a man with a full, black beard.

Ha! Where is Barrymore?

He is in charge of the Hall.

We had best ascertain if he is really there, or if by any possibility he might be in London.

How can you do that?

Give me a telegraph form. 'Is all ready for Sir Henry?' That will do. Address to Mr. Barrymore, Baskerville Hall. What is the nearest telegraph-office? Grimpen. Very good, we will send a second wire to the postmaster, Grimpen: 'Telegram to Mr. Barrymore to be delivered into his own hand. If absent, please return wire to Sir Henry Baskerville, Northumberland Hotel.' That should let us know before evening whether Barrymore is at his post in Devonshire or not.

That's so, said Baskerville. By the way, Dr. Mortimer, who is this Barrymore, anyhow?

He is the son of the old caretaker, who is dead. They have looked after the Hall for four generations now. So far as I know, he and his wife are as respectable a couple as any in the county.

At the same time, said Baskerville, it's clear enough that so long as there are none of the family at the Hall these people have a mighty fine home and nothing to do.