McMurdo’s Camp

-S&D in The Hound


While discussing Dr. Mortimer’s Penang lawyer with Watson, Holmes pushed back his chair and lit a cigarette. He leaned back and blew little wavering rings of smoke up to the ceiling.

Holmes observed from Mortimer’s forefinger that he made his own cigarettes. Holmes invited him to smoke one, and the man drew out paper and tobacco and twirled the one up in the other with surprising dexterity, using his long, quivering fingers.

One Michaelmas centuries before, Sir Hugo Baskerville and five or six of his idle and wicked companions kidnapped a maiden and brought her to the Hall where they sat down to a long carouse, singing and shouting terrible oaths. The words used by Hugo Baskerville, when he was in wine, were such as might blast the man who said them. More companions got involved, and some thirteen of them called for more wine and set off to pursue the maiden, who had escaped.

After hearing the legend of the hound, Holmes yawned and tossed the end of his cigarette into the fire.

Before his death Sir Charles Baskerville had smoked a cigar at the wicket-gate leading onto the moor. Mortimer observed that the ash had twice dropped from the cigar.

On the night of Sir Charles’ death, one Murphy, a gipsy horse-dealer, was on the moor at no great distance, but he by his own confession had been the worse for drink. He heard cries but was unable to state from what direction they came.

After hearing the story, Holmes told Watson to have Bradley’s send up a pound of the strongest shag tobacco. When Watson returned from his club that evening he found the room filled with the acrid fumes, which took him by the throat and set him coughing. Through the haze he saw Holmes in his dressing-gown coiled up in an armchair with his black clay pipe between his lips. Holmes had consumed an incredible amount of tobacco.

During their first evening meal at Baskerville Hall, Watson and Sir Henry Baskerville talked little. When the meal was over they retired into the modern billiard-room and smoked a cigarette.

While waiting up in Sir Henry’s room for Barrymore to sneak by, Watson and the baronet lowered the lamp and sat smoking cigarettes without making the least sound.

On a mission to track down the man on the tor, Watson passed Mr. Frankland’s house. Frankland told Watson to give give horses a rest, and come in to have a glass of wine to celebrate his successful litigation. Frankland said they would empty the decanter in honour of the great occasion. But having gotten a clue as to the stranger’s location, Watson declined.

Watson approached the prehistoric hut where he believed the stranger might be lurking, threw aside his cigarette, and closed his hand upon the butt of his revolver. The hut was empty but there were signs someone had been living there, including a pannikin and a half-full bottle of spirits standing in the corner.

Upon finding the body that turned out to be the criminal, Holmes and Watson observed a figure approaching over the moor, and saw the dull red glow of a cigar.

When Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade went to Merripit house to chase down the hound, they could look straight through the uncurtained window and observe Sir Henry and Stapleton sitting on either side of the round table. Both of them were smoking cigars, and coffee and wine were in front of them. Sir Henry filled his glass and leaned back in his chair, puffing at his cigar. As the evening wore on, they continued to chat over their cigars.

After Sir Henry was attacked by the hound, Lestrade thrust his brandy-flask between the baronet’s teeth, and his two frightened eyes were looking up at the rescuers. Then he recovered his courage and asked for another mouthful of brandy.

Then they rescued Beryl, who was in the attic, tied to a post. She had fainted from ill-usage and exhaustion, but Lestrade took care of that with his brandy-bottle.

So ended the Smokin’ and Drinkin’ in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

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