In the morning hours of a day in 1889, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson awake to discover that a visitor had been to their apartment the previous nightbut departed before seeing either man. However, he left behind a walking stick. The walking stick bears the inscription: "To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H." This allows thetwo to begin making some deductions about his character and occupation using Holmes’s methods (basically picking out details of an object and making likely inferences from it).
Watson describes alikeable old country doctor who received the stick from a local hunt, a theory that Holmes has several objections to. He argues instead for the case of a young practitioner presented with the stick whenhe left London’s Charing Cross Hospital (C.C.H.) to move to the country. Watson checks on some of the details and, with the appearance of the curly-haired spaniel whose teeth marks are imprinted onthe cane, followed shortly by his owner, James Mortimer, the rest of the deductions are able to be investigated. As it turns out, Holmes is only slightly off, as Mortimer had been given the cane when hewas married (which the detective had not guessed), and that in turn had brought about the departure from the city.
Dr. Mortimer is tall, though his frame is hunched over. He wears glasses andappropriate dress, if somewhat shabby. Though a man with scientific leanings (an M.R.C.S. is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons), he is also vulnerable to superstitions. He admits himself to be “anunpractical man” and so has come to get advice on his problem.
Though Holmes feels slightly offended at Mortimer’s ranking of him as secondary in “precisely scientific” matters to MonsieurBertillon, he asks him to expand on the trouble that has brought him there.
CHAPTER TWO: The Curse of the Baskervilles
Sir Charles Baskerville has died three months previous, leaving a...