There is only one provision which I must make. You certainly must not go alone.

Dr. Mortimer returns with me.

But Dr. Mortimer has his practice to attend to, and his house is miles away from yours. With all the good will in the world he may be unable to help you. No, Sir Henry, you must take with you someone, a trusty man, who will be always by your side.

Is it possible that you could come yourself, Mr. Holmes?

If matters came to a crisis I should endeavour to be present in person; but you can understand that, with my extensive consulting practice and with the constant appeals which reach me from many quarters, it is impossible for me to be absent from London for an indefinite time. At the present instant one of the most revered names in England is being besmirched by a blackmailer, and only I can stop a disastrous scandal. You will see how impossible it is for me to go to Dartmoor.

Whom would you recommend, then?

Holmes laid his hand upon my arm.

If my friend would undertake it there is no man who is better worth having at your side when you are in a tight place. No one can say so more confidently than I.

The proposition took me completely by surprise, but before I had time to answer, Baskerville seized me by the hand and wrung it heartily.

Well, now, that is real kind of you, Dr. Watson, said he. You see how it is with me, and you know just as much about the