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It was the end of November and Holmes and I sat, upon a raw and foggy night, on either side of a blazing fire in our sitting-room in Baker Street. Since the tragic upshot of our visit to Devonshire he had been engaged in two affairs of the utmost importance, in the first of which he had exposed the atrocious conduct of Colonel Upwood in connection with the famous card scandal of the Nonpareil Club, while in the second he had defended the unfortunate Mme. Montpensier from the charge of murder which hung over her in connection with the death of her step-daughter, Mlle. Carére, the young lady who, as it will be remembered, was found six months later alive and married in New York. My friend was in excellent spirits over the success which had attended a succession of difficult and important cases, so that I was able to induce him to discuss the details of the Baskerville mystery. I had waited patiently for the opportunity, for I was aware that he would never permit cases to overlap, and that his clear and logical mind would not be drawn from its present work to dwell upon memories of the past. Sir Henry and Dr. Mortimer were, however, in London, on their way to that long voyage which had been recommended for the restoration of his shattered nerves. They had called upon us that very afternoon, so that it was natural that the subject should come up for discussion. "The whole course of events," said Holmes, "from the point of view of the man who called himself Stapleton was simple and direct, although to us, who had no means in the beginning of knowing the motives of his actions and could only learn part of the facts, it all appeared exceedingly complex. I have had the advantage of two conversations with Mrs. Stapleton, and the case has now been so entirely cleared up that I am not aware that there is anything which has remained a secret to us. You will find a few notes upon the matter under the heading B in my indexed list of cases." "Perhaps you would kindly give me a sketch of the course of events from memory." "Certainly, though I cannot guarantee that I carry all the facts in my mind. Intense mental concentration has a curious way of blotting out what has passed. The barrister who has his case at his fingers' ends, and is able to argue with an expert upon his own subject finds that a week or two of the courts will drive it all out of his head once more. So each of my cases displaces the last, and Mlle. Carére has blurred my recollection of Baskerville Hall. To-morrow some other little problem may be submitted to my notice which will in turn dispossess the fair French lady and the infamous Upwood. So far as the case of the Hound goes, however, I will give you the course of events as nearly as I can, and you will suggest anything which I may have forgotten. "My inquiries show beyond all question that the family portrait did not lie, and that this fellow was indeed a Baskerville. He was a son of that Rodger Baskerville, the younger brother of Sir Charles, who fled with a sinister reputation to South America, where he was said to have died unmarried. He did, as a matter of fact, marry, and had one child, this fellow, whose real name is the same as his father's. He married Beryl Garcia, one of the beauties of Costa Rica, and, having purloined a considerable sum of public money, he changed his name to Vandeleur and fled to England, where he established a school in the east of Yorkshire. His reason for attempting this special line of business was that he had struck up an acquaintance with a consumptive tutor upon the voyage home, and that he had used this man's ability to make the undertaking a success. Fraser, the tutor, died however, and the school which had begun well sank from disrepute into infamy. The Vandeleurs found it convenient to change their name to Stapleton, and he brought the remains of his fortune, his schemes for the future, and his taste for entomology to the south of England. I learned at the British Museum that he was a recognized authority upon the subject, and that the name of Vandeleur has been permanently attached to a certain moth which he had, in his Yorkshire days, been the first to describe. "We now come to that portion of his life which has proved to be of such intense interest to us. The fellow had evidently made inquiry and found that only two lives intervened between him and a valuable estate. When he went to Devonshire his plans were, I believe, exceedingly hazy, but that he meant mischief from the first is evident from the way in which he took his wife with him in the character of his sister. The idea of using her as a decoy was clearly already in his mind, though he may not have been certain how the details of his plot were to be arranged. He meant in the end to have the estate, and he was ready to use any tool or run any risk for that end. His first act was to establish himself as near to his ancestral home as he could, and his second was to cultivate a friendship with Sir Charles Baskerville and with the neighbours. "The baronet himself told him about the family hound, and so prepared the way for his own death. Stapleton, as I will continue to call him, knew that the old man's heart was weak and that a shock would kill him. So much he had learned from Dr. Mortimer. He had heard also that Sir Charles was superstitious and had taken this grim legend very seriously. His ingenious mind instantly suggested a way by which the baronet could be done to death, and yet it would be hardly possible to bring home the guilt to the real murderer. "Having conceived the idea he proceeded to carry it out with considerable finesse. An ordinary schemer would have been content to work with a savage hound. The use of artificial means to make the creature diabolical was a flash of genius upon his part. The dog he bought in London from Ross and Mangles, the dealers in Fulham Road. It was the strongest and most savage in their possession. He brought it down by the North Devon line and walked a great distance over the moor so as to get it home without exciting any remarks. He had already on his insect hunts learned to penetrate the Grimpen Mire, and so had found a safe hiding-place for the creature. Here he kennelled it and waited his chance. "But it was some time coming. The old gentleman could not be decoyed outside of his grounds at night. Several times Stapleton lurked about with his hound, but without avail. It was during these fruitless quests that he, or rather his ally, was seen by peasants, and that the legend of the demon dog received a new confirmation. He had hoped that his wife might lure Sir Charles to his ruin, but here she proved unexpectedly independent. She would not endeavour to entangle the old gentleman in a sentimental attachment which might deliver him over to his enemy. Threats and even, I am sorry to say, blows refused to move her. She would have nothing to do with it, and for a time Stapleton was at a deadlock. "He found a way out of his difficulties through the chance that Sir Charles, who had conceived a friendship for him, made him the minister of his charity in the case of this unfortunate woman, Mrs. Laura Lyons. By representing himself as a single man he acquired complete influence over her, and he gave her to understand that in the event of her obtaining a divorce from her husband he would marry her. His plans were suddenly brought to a head by his knowledge that Sir Charles was about to leave the Hall on the advice of Dr. Mortimer, with whose opinion he himself pretended to coincide. He must act at once, or his victim might get beyond his power. He therefore put pressure upon Mrs. Lyons to write this letter, imploring the old man to give her an interview on the evening before his departure for London. He then, by a specious argument, prevented her from going, and so had the chance for which he had waited. "Driving back in the evening from Coombe Tracey he was in time to get his hound, to treat it with his infernal paint, and to bring the beast round to the gate at which he had reason to expect that he would find the old gentleman waiting. The dog, incited by its master, sprang over the wicket-gate and pursued the unfortunate baronet, who fled screaming down the Yew Alley. In that gloomy tunnel it must indeed have been a dreadful sight to see that huge black creature, with its flaming jaws and blazing eyes, bounding after its victim. He fell dead at the end of the alley from heart disease and terror. The hound had kept upon the grassy border while the baronet had run down the path, so that no track but the man's was visible. On seeing him lying still the creature had probably approached to sniff at him, but finding him dead had turned away again. It was then that it left the print which was actually observed by Dr. Mortimer. The hound was called off and hurried away to its lair in the Grimpen Mire, and a mystery was left which puzzled the authorities, alarmed the country-side, and finally brought the case within the scope of our observation. "So much for the death of Sir Charles Baskerville. You perceive the devilish cunning of it, for really it would be almost impossible to make a case against the real murderer. His only accomplice was one who could never give him away, and the grotesque, inconceivable nature of the device only served to make it more effective. Both of the women concerned in the case, Mrs. Stapleton and Mrs. Laura Lyons, were left with a strong suspicion against Stapleton. Mrs. Stapleton knew that he had designs upon the old man, and also of the existence of the hound. Mrs. Lyons knew neither of these things, but had been impressed by the death occurring at the time of an uncancelled appointment which was only known to him. However, both of them were under his influence, and he had nothing to fear from them. The first half of his task was successfully accomplished but the more difficult still remained. "It is possible that Stapleton did not know of the existence of an heir in Canada. In any case he would very soon learn it from his friend Dr. Mortimer, and he was told by the latter all details about the arrival of Henry Baskerville. Stapleton's first idea was that this young stranger from Canada might possibly be done to death in London without coming down to Devonshire at all. He distrusted his wife ever since she had refused to help him in laying a trap for the old man, and he dared not leave her long out of his sight for fear he should lose his influence over her. It was for this reason that he took her to London with him. They lodged, I find, at the Mexborough Private Hotel, in Craven Street, which was actually one of those called upon by my agent in search of evidence. Here he kept his wife imprisoned in her room while he, disguised in a beard, followed Dr. Mortimer to Baker Street and afterwards to the station and to the Northumberland Hotel. His wife had some inkling of his plans; but she had such a fear of her husband--a fear founded upon brutal ill-treatment--that she dare not write to warn the man whom she knew to be in danger. If the letter should fall into Stapleton's hands her own life would not be safe. Eventually, as we know, she adopted the expedient of cutting out the words which would form the message, and addressing the letter in a disguised hand. It reached the baronet, and gave him the first warning of his danger. "It was very essential for Stapleton to get some article of Sir Henry's attire so that, in case he was driven to use the dog, he might always have the means of setting him upon his track. With characteristic promptness and audacity he set about this at once, and we cannot doubt that the boots or chamber-maid of the hotel was well bribed to help him in his design. By chance, however, the first boot which was procured for him was a new one and, therefore, useless for his purpose. He then had it returned and obtained another--a most instructive incident, since it proved conclusively to my mind that we were dealing with a real hound, as no other supposition could explain this anxiety to obtain an old boot and this indifference to a new one. The more outre and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the very point which appears to complicate a case is, when duly considered and scientifically handled, the one which is most likely to elucidate it. "Then we had the visit from our friends next morning, shadowed always by Stapleton in the cab. From his knowledge of our rooms and of my appearance, as well as from his general conduct, I am inclined to think that Stapleton's career of crime has been by no means limited to this single Baskerville affair. It is suggestive that during the last three years there have been four considerable burglaries in the West Country, for none of which was any criminal ever arrested. The last of these, at Folkestone Court, in May, was remarkable for the cold-blooded pistoling of the page, who surprised the masked and solitary burglar. I cannot doubt that Stapleton recruited his waning resources in this fashion, and that for years he has been a desperate and dangerous man. "We had an example of his readiness of resource that morning when he got away from us so successfully, and also of his audacity in sending back my own name to me through the cabman. From that moment he understood that I had taken over the case in London, and that therefore there was no chance for him there. He returned to Dartmoor and awaited the arrival of the baronet." "One moment!" said I. "You have, no doubt, described the sequence of events correctly, but there is one point which you have left unexplained. What became of the hound when its master was in London?" "I have given some attention to this matter and it is undoubtedly of importance. There can be no question that Stapleton had a confidant, though it is unlikely that he ever placed himself in his power by sharing all his plans with him. There was an old manservant at Merripit House, whose name was Anthony. His connection with the Stapletons can be traced for several years, as far back as the schoolmastering days, so that he must have been aware that his master and mistress were really husband and wife. This man has disappeared and has escaped from the country. It is suggestive that Anthony is not a common name in England, while Antonio is so in all Spanish or Spanish-American countries. The man, like Mrs. Stapleton herself, spoke good English, but with a curious lisping accent. I have myself seen this old man cross the Grimpen Mire by the path which Stapleton had marked out. It is very probable, therefore, that in the absence of his master it was he who cared for the hound, though he may never have known the purpose for which the beast was used. "The Stapletons then went down to Devonshire, whither they were soon followed by Sir Henry and you. One word now as to how I stood myself at that time. It may possibly recur to your memory that when I examined the paper upon which the printed words were fastened I made a close inspection for the water-mark. In doing so I held it within a few inches of my eyes, and was conscious of a faint smell of the scent known as white jessamine. There are seventy-five perfumes, which it is very necessary that a criminal expert should be able to distinguish from each other, and cases have more than once within my own experience depended upon their prompt recognition. The scent suggested the presence of a lady, and already my thoughts began to turn towards the Stapletons. Thus I had made certain of the hound, and had guessed at the criminal before ever we went to the west country. "It was my game to watch Stapleton. It was evident, however, that I could not do this if I were with you, since he would be keenly on his guard. I deceived everybody, therefore, yourself included, and I came down secretly when I was supposed to be in London. My hardships were not so great as you imagined, though such trifling details must never interfere with the investigation of a case. I stayed for the most part at Coombe Tracey, and only used the hut upon the moor when it was necessary to be near the scene of action. Cartwright had come down with me, and in his disguise as a country boy he was of great assistance to me. I was dependent upon him for food and clean linen. When I was watching Stapleton, Cartwright was frequently watching you, so that I was able to keep my hand upon all the strings. "I have already told you that your reports reached me rapidly, being forwarded instantly from Baker Street to Coombe Tracey. They were of great service to me, and especially that one incidentally truthful piece of biography of Stapleton's. I was able to establish the identity of the man and the woman and knew at last exactly how I stood. The case had been considerably complicated through the incident of the escaped convict and the relations between him and the Barrymores. This also you cleared up in a very effective way, though I had already come to the same conclusions from my own observations. "By the time that you discovered me upon the moor I had a complete knowledge of the whole business, but I had not a case which could go to a jury. Even Stapleton's attempt upon Sir Henry that night which ended in the death of the unfortunate convict did not help us much in proving murder against our man. There seemed to be no alternative but to catch him red-handed, and to do so we had to use Sir Henry, alone and apparently unprotected, as a bait. We did so, and at the cost of a severe shock to our client we succeeded in completing our case and driving Stapleton to his destruction. That Sir Henry should have been exposed to this is, I must confess, a reproach to my management of the case, but we had no means of foreseeing the terrible and paralyzing spectacle which the beast presented, nor could we predict the fog which enabled him to burst upon us at such short notice. We succeeded in our object at a cost which both the specialist and Dr. Mortimer assure me will be a temporary one. A long journey may enable our friend to recover not only from his shattered nerves but also from his wounded feelings. His love for the lady was deep and sincere, and to him the saddest part of all this black business was that he should have been deceived by her. "It only remains to indicate the part which she had played throughout. There can be no doubt that Stapleton exercised an influence over her which may have been love or may have been fear, or very possibly both, since they are by no means incompatible emotions. It was, at least, absolutely effective. At his command she consented to pass as his sister, though he found the limits of his power over her when he endeavoured to make her the direct accessory to murder. She was ready to warn Sir Henry so far as she could without implicating her husband, and again and again she tried to do so. Stapleton himself seems to have been capable of jealousy, and when he saw the baronet paying court to the lady, even though it was part of his own plan, still he could not help interrupting with a passionate outburst which revealed the fiery soul which his self-contained manner so cleverly concealed. By encouraging the intimacy he made it certain that Sir Henry would frequently come to Merripit House and that he would sooner or later get the opportunity which he desired. On the day of the crisis, however, his wife turned suddenly against him. She had learned something of the death of the convict, and she knew that the hound was being kept in the out-house on the evening that Sir Henry was coming to dinner. She taxed her husband with his intended crime, and a furious scene followed, in which he showed her for the first time that she had a rival in his love. Her fidelity turned in an instant to bitter hatred and he saw that she would betray him. He tied her up, therefore, that she might have no chance of warning Sir Henry, and he hoped, no doubt, that when the whole country-side put down the baronet's death to the curse of his family, as they certainly would do, he could win his wife back to accept an accomplished fact and to keep silent upon what she knew. In this I fancy that in any case he made a miscalculation, and that, if we had not been there, his doom would none the less have been sealed. A woman of Spanish blood does not condone such an injury so lightly. And now, my dear Watson, without referring to my notes, I cannot give you a more detailed account of this curious case. I do not know that anything essential has been left unexplained." "He could not hope to frighten Sir Henry to death as he had done the old uncle with his bogie hound." "The beast was savage and half-starved. If its appearance did not frighten its victim to death, at least it would paralyze the resistance which might be offered." "No doubt. There only remains one difficulty. If Stapleton came into the succession, how could he explain the fact that he, the heir, had been living unannounced under another name so close to the property? How could he claim it without causing suspicion and inquiry?" "It is a formidable difficulty, and I fear that you ask too much when you expect me to solve it. The past and the present are within the field of my inquiry, but what a man may do in the future is a hard question to answer. Mrs. Stapleton has heard her husband discuss the problem on several occasions. There were three possible courses. He might claim the property from South America, establish his identity before the British authorities there and so obtain the fortune without ever coming to England at all; or he might adopt an elaborate disguise during the short time that he need be in London; or, again, he might furnish an accomplice with the proofs and papers, putting him in as heir, and retaining a claim upon some proportion of his income. We cannot doubt from what we know of him that he would have found some way out of the difficulty. And now, my dear Watson, we have had some weeks of severe work, and for one evening, I think, we may turn our thoughts into more pleasant channels. I have a box for 'Les Huguenots.' Have you heard the De Reszkes? Might I trouble you then to be ready in half an hour, and we can stop at Marcini's for a little dinner on the way?"
那已经是十一月底了,一个阴冷多雾的夜晚,在贝克街的寓所里,福尔摩斯和我在起居室中坐在熊熊的炉火两旁。在我们到德文郡去经历了那场结局悲惨的案件之后,他已又办了两件最为重要的案子。在第一件案子里,他揭发了阿波乌上校的丑行,因为他与出名的“无匹俱乐部”纸牌舞弊案有关;而在第二件案子里,他保护了不幸的蒙特邦歇太太,使她免于身负谋害其丈夫前妻之女卡莱小姐的罪名——这个大家都还记得的年轻小姐,在那件事发生了六个月之后依然活着,而且还在纽约结了婚。我的朋友因为在一连串困难而又重要的案件里获得了成功,故而精神奕奕,因此我才能诱使他谈起了神秘的巴斯克维尔案的详情。我一直在耐心地等待着这个好机会,因为据我所知,他是不允许各案互相搅扰的,以免他那清晰的头脑由于回想过去的事而分散对目前工作的注意力。亨利爵士和摩梯末医生都在伦敦,正准备出发作一次长途旅行,以便恢复爵士那深受刺激的神经。就在那天下午,他们来拜访了我们,因此,很自然地谈起了这个问题。 “事情的全部过程,”福尔摩斯说,“从自称为斯台普吞的那人的观点来看是简单明了的。虽然对咱们说来,一开始的时候无法得知他那些行动的动机,就连事实也只能知道一部分,因此就使得全部经过显得极为错综复杂了。我和斯台普吞太太已经谈过两次话了,这个案件现在已经完全搞清楚了,我不知道还会有什么不解之谜。在我那带有索引的案件统计表的B字栏里,你能找到几条有关这件事的摘记。”东西 “也许你愿意根据记忆把全案的梗概谈一谈吧。” “我当然愿意谈一谈罗,虽然我不能保证全部事实都能记住,思想的高度集中很能淹没对于过去的记忆。一个正在处理案件的律师能够就本案的问题和一个专家进行辩论,可是经过一两个星期的法庭诉讼之后就又忘得精光了。因此,在我的脑子里,后来的案子不断地代替了以前各案的地位,而卡莱小姐的事也就模糊了我对巴斯克维尔庄园案案情的回忆。明天也许又要来了什么小问题了,同样也会代替了美丽的法国姑娘和臭名远扬的阿波乌两案的地位。可是关于猎狗这个案件,我倒愿意尽可能正确地把它告诉你们,如果我遗忘了什么的话,你们再加以补充。 “我的调查毫无疑问地证实了,那巴斯克维尔家的画像并没有骗人,那个家伙确是巴斯克维尔家的人,他就是那个查尔兹爵士的弟弟罗杰·巴斯克维尔的儿子。罗杰曾带着极坏的名誉逃到南美洲去,传说他在那里没有结婚就死了。实际上,他结了婚,并且生了一个小孩。这个小家伙和父亲同名,他和一位哥斯达黎加的美人贝莉儿·迦洛茜娅结了婚,在一次偷取了大批公款之后,他就改名凡戴勒逃到英格兰来了。在这里,他又在约克郡的东部开办了一所小学。他所以想搞一下这种事业是因为他在归途中偶尔结识了一个患有肺病的教师,他想利用这人的能力作一番成功的事业。可是这位福瑞泽教师死了,弄得这学校由名誉不佳直到变得臭名远扬了。凡戴勒夫妇感觉最好还是改姓斯台普吞,于是他就带着剩下的财产,带着未来的计划和对昆虫学的爱好迁到英格兰南部去了。我由大英博物馆得知,他在这一门学问里还是个公认的权威呢,而且有一种飞蛾是由于他在约克郡居住时期首先发现的,所以也就永久以凡戴勒为名了。* “咱们现在谈到他的那一段生活,确实会使咱们感到极大的兴趣。那家伙显然是在经过调查之后发现了,只有两个人有碍于他获得庞大的财产。我相信,在去德文郡的时候,他的计划还很模糊,可是从他带着自己的太太而又使她以妹妹的身分出现这一点来看,显然他从一开始就是居心不良的。虽然他可能还没有确定整个阴谋的细节,可是显然他已想到将她用作钓饵了。他下定决心要把财产弄到手,为了达到这一目的,他不惜采用任何手段或是冒任何危险。他的第一步行动就是,首先把自己的家安置在邻近祖宅的地方,愈近愈好。 第二步就是培养起与查尔兹·巴斯克维尔爵士和邻人们的友情来。 “准男爵亲口告诉了他关于家族的猎狗的传说,因此也就为自己铺了一条死亡的道路。斯台普吞——我就还这样称呼他吧——知道了老头的心脏很衰弱,稍一惊吓就能致死,这些都是他从摩梯末医生那里知道的——他还听说,查尔兹爵士很迷信,并且十分相信那个可怕的传说。他那灵敏的头脑马上就想出了一个办法,既可置准男爵于死地,而且又几乎没有可能追究真正的凶手。 “心里有了这个念头之后,他就费了相当的心机设法使其实现。一个普通的阴谋计划者,利用一只凶恶的猎狗也就满足了。可是他还采用了人工的方法使这动物变得象魔鬼一样的可怕,这就要算是他的机智和天才了。那狗是他从伦敦福莱姆街的贩狗商人罗斯和曼格斯那里买来的,是他们所有的货色之中最强壮、最凶恶的一只了。他坐北德文郡铁路的车把它带回家来,为了怕引起别人的注意,他牵着狗穿过沼地走了很长的路。他已经在捕捉昆虫的时候学会了怎样走进格林盆泥潭去,因此能给那只猎狗找到一处安全的藏身之所。他就把它关在那里,待机使用。 “可是好机会不是很快就能来到的,夜间没法把那老绅士从家中引出来,好几次,斯台普吞带着他那猎狗埋伏在外面,可是毫无结果。就在这些次一无结果的跟踪追寻当中,他,或者不如说是他的同伙,被农民看到了,因此,那段魔狗的传说就又得到了新的证实。他曾希望过,他太太也许能将查尔兹引向毁灭,可是在这问题上,她竟表现出意想不到的不听话。她不肯把老绅士拖进情网,因为这样一来就可能把他交给了他的死敌,恐吓、甚至我连提都不愿提起的殴打,都没能动摇她的决心,她丝毫也不愿参预这件事,有一段时期,斯台普吞甚至到了一筹莫展的地步。 “可是他在困难之中终于抓到了一个机会。由于查尔兹爵士对他已经产生了友情,就在帮助那可怜的女人劳拉·莱昂丝太太的那件事里请他负责掌管那一笔慈善金。由于他以单身汉的身分出现,所以他才能对她产生决定性的影响。他向她表示,如果她和丈夫离婚能获成功,他就和她结婚。可是他那计划突然面临了一个紧要关头,在摩梯末医生建议之下,查尔兹爵士正准备离庄园他去,他本人也假装同意这个意见,但他必须马上采取行动,否则他所要加害的人一远离,他就会弄得鞭长莫及了。因此他就迫使莱昂丝太太写了那封信,恳求老头在去伦敦之前的晚上和她见一次面,随后又用听来似乎很有道理的一套理由使她未去赴约,这样一来,他就得到了一个久候未得的好机会。 “在傍晚的时候,他从库姆·特雷西坐车回来,有足够的时间弄回他的猎狗来,抹好发光涂料,再带着那畜生到栅门附近去,他知道,他一定能看到老绅士在那里等着。那狗受到了主人的怂使,跃过了栅门就向不幸的准男爵追了过去,他被追得一边喊叫一边顺着水松夹道飞奔下去。在那样阴暗的夹道里看到那只又大又黑、嘴眼都冒火的家伙在身后跳跃前进,确实是万分可怕,因此他就由于心脏病和恐惧过度的缘故在夹道的尽头倒地身亡了。那猎狗顺着多草的路边跑,而准男爵则在小路上跑,因此除了人的脚印之外看不到任何其他痕迹。那狗看到他躺下一动不动之后,也许走近前来,闻了一闻,可是发现他已死去之后就又转头离开了,就是在那时,它留下了摩梯末医生所看到的爪印。猎狗被叫了回去,并急忙地被赶回设在格林盆泥沼的狗窝去。这件神秘的事件使官厅感到莫名其妙,使乡下人大为吃惊,最后我们就接手调查了这件案子。 “关于查尔兹·巴斯克维尔爵士的死就说到这里为止吧。 你们能看得出来,这里面的手段用得狡猾之至,确实,几乎无法向真正的凶手提出控诉。他那唯一的同谋永远也不会泄露他的秘密,那古怪而难以想象的手法使得他那阴谋进行得更加顺利。与此案有关的两个女人,斯台普吞太太和劳拉·莱昂丝太太都对斯台普吞极为怀疑。斯台普吞太太知道他在暗算着老头儿,也知道有那只猎狗;莱昂丝太太对这两件事都不知道,可是她记得,暴死发生的时间正是并没有取消的约会的时间,而这个约会只有他知道,因此她也不无怀疑。但是,她俩都是在他的控制之下,而他对她们则一无所惧。全部阴谋的前一半是成功地实现了,可是剩下的还有更困难的呢。 “可能斯台普吞并不知道在加拿大还有一个继承人。可是不管怎样,他很快就能从他的朋友摩梯末医生那里知道了。摩梯末医生后来就详细地告诉了他关于亨利·巴斯克维尔到来的消息。斯台普吞的第一个念头就是:也许根本就不用等这个来自加拿大的陌生青年到德文郡来,在伦敦就可以把他弄死。自从他太太拒绝帮他设阱陷害老头儿以后,他已不再信任他的妻子了,他甚至不敢使她长时间离开自己,因为他怕这样会失去左右她的力量,正因为如此,他才带着她一起到伦敦去。我发现他们住在克瑞文街的梅克司波柔私人旅馆里,我曾派人到那旅馆去搜集证据。在那里,他就把太太关在房间里,而他就装上假胡须,跟踪着摩梯末医生,先到贝克街,后去车站,还到过诺桑勃兰旅馆。他太太对他的阴谋计划多少知道一些,可是她对丈夫怕得厉害——一种由于遭受过残暴的虐待而产生的恐惧——因此她不敢写信去警告那个她知道正处在危险之中的人,因为如果那封信落入斯台普吞之手的话,她的性命就会发生危险了。最后,我们都已知道了,她采取了权宜之计,她用从报纸上剪下来的字凑成了那封信,用伪装的笔迹在信封上写了收信人的地址。那封信到了准男爵的手里,对他发出了第一次危险警告。 “弄一件亨利爵士的衣物对斯台普吞说来是非常重要的,因为他一旦到了不得不用狗的时候,他就能有使狗闻味追踪的东西了,他马上以特有的机敏和大胆动起手来,我们可以肯定,旅馆的男女仆人一定都接受过不少的贿赂才来帮助他达到目的。可是碰巧,第一只弄到的皮鞋竟是新的,对他毫无用处,后来他就把它送还,并窃取了另一只——这件事对我们最有帮助了,因为他在我心里肯定地证实了和我们打交道的是一只真正的猎狗,因为没有别的假设能够解释,为什么要急于弄到一只旧鞋,而对一只新鞋竟这样不感兴趣。越是稀奇古怪的事情就越值得仔细地加以检查,那看来似乎会使全案复杂化的一点,如果给以适当的考虑,并加以科学的处理,往往却正是最能说明问题之处。 “后来,第二天早晨,咱们的朋友又来拜访了咱们,他们一直都受着坐在马车里的斯台普吞的跟踪。从他对咱们的房子和我的面貌知道得那样清楚和他一般的行为来看,我感觉,斯台普吞的罪恶历史决非仅仅限于巴斯克维尔庄园案这一件事。据说在过去三年里,西部曾发生过四次大盗窃案,可是没有一件捉到了罪犯。最后一件是五月间在弗克斯吞场发生的,其特殊之处是:一个僮仆因为想要袭擒那带着面具的单身盗贼而被残酷地枪击致死。我相信斯台普吞就是这样地补充了他那日渐减少的财产,而且这些年来他一直就是个危险的亡命之徒。 “那天早晨,当他成功地从我们手中逃掉并通过马车夫将我的姓名传达给我的时候,咱们已经领略了他的机智和大胆了。从那时起,他就知道我在伦敦已经接手办这件案子了,因此,他知道在那里再也得不到下手的机会了,他才回到了达特沼地,等待着准男爵的来临。” “等一下!”我说道,“无疑的,你已经如实地描述了事情的经过,可是有一点你还没有解释到。当主人在伦敦的时候,那只猎狗怎么办呢?” “我曾注意到这件事,而且无疑是重要的。毫无问题,斯台普吞有一个亲信,虽然看来还不象是斯台普吞已经把自己的计划都告诉了他而受着他的左右。在梅利琵宅邸中有一个老男仆,名叫安东尼,他和斯台普吞家的关系可以追溯到数年以前斯台普吞做小学校长的时期,因此他一定知道他的主人和女主人确是夫妇,这人已经从乡间逃跑不见了。‘安东尼’这个姓似乎在英格兰很不普通,而‘安托尼奥’这个姓在所有说西班牙话的国家和美洲说西班牙话的国家里同样也不普通。这个人,象斯台普吞太太一样,英文说得很好,可是带着奇怪的大舌头的味道。我曾亲眼看到这个老头经过斯台普吞所标出来的小路走过格林盆泥沼。因此,很可能是当他的主人不在的时候就由他来照顾猎狗。虽然他或许从来也不知道养这只畜生是作什么用的。 “随后,斯台普吞夫妇就回到了德文郡。不久,亨利爵士和你就在那里跟上了他们。还要说一下我个人在那时的看法,也许你还能想得起来,当我检查那张上面贴着报纸铅印字的信的时候,我仔细地检查了纸里面的水印。在检查的时候,我把它拿在离眼睛只有几英寸的地方,感觉出有一种象是白迎春花的香味。香水一共有七十五种,一个犯罪学专家应当每种都能分辨得出来。根据我个人的经验,在不只一件案子里,全靠能迅速辨别出香水的种类才破的案。那股香味说明,案子里面牵涉到一位女士,当时在我心里已经开始想到了斯台普吞夫妇。我就是这样地在到西部乡下去之前肯定了那猎狗,并且猜出了罪犯。* “我玩的把戏就是监视斯台普吞。可是,显然,如果我是和你在一起的话,我就会干不成这件事了,因为那样一来,他就会大加小心了。因此,我就把大家——连你在内——全都欺骗了,当人家以为我还在伦敦的时候,我已秘密地到乡下来了。我所吃的苦,并不象你所想象得那样多,决不能让这些细微末节扰乱案件的调查工作。我大部分时间都呆在库姆·特雷西,只有当必须去接近犯罪现场的时候,我才去住在沼地上的小屋里。卡特莱和我一同来了,他假扮成农村小孩,对我的帮助太大了。靠着他,我才能弄到食物和干净衣服,在我监视着斯台普吞的时候,卡特莱经常在监视着你,因此我的手就能抓住了所有的线索。 “我已经告诉过你了,你的报告都能很快地送到我的手里,因为它们一到贝克街马上就被送到库姆·特雷西来了。那些报告对我有极大的帮助,特别是有关斯台普吞身世的碰巧是真实的那篇。我已能证明就是那个男人和那个女人了,并且总算准确地知道了我应当怎样去了解。那个逃犯和他与白瑞摩之间的关系确曾使案情相当复杂化起来,这一点已被你用很有效的办法澄清了,虽然我也通过自己的观察得到了同样的结论。 “当你在沼地里发现了我的时候,我已把全部事实都弄清了,可是我还没有足以拿到陪审官面前去的罪证,甚至那晚斯台普吞企图谋杀亨利爵士,但结果却杀死了不幸的逃犯的事实都难以证明他有杀人罪。看样子除了当场捉他之外是别无他法了,而要这样做,咱们就得利用亨利爵士作为诱饵,使他处于单身行路和显然受不到任何保护的状况之下。咱们就这样做了,虽然使咱们的委托人受到了严重的惊吓,可是咱们终于凑全了罪证,并把斯台普吞驱向了毁灭。使亨利爵士暴身于危险之中,我承认,这只能说是我在处理此案过程之中的一大缺点,可是咱们无法预知,那畜生竟会显出那样可怕和骇人欲绝的样子,咱们也无法预知那使它能那么突然地向我们窜来的大雾的出现。咱们的任务的完成是付出了代价的,可是专家摩梯末医生向我保证说,这一代价的影响只是暂时的。一次长途旅行,不仅能够恢复咱们朋友深受打击的神经,并能医治他那心灵上的创伤,他对那位女士的爱情是深挚的。对他说来,在这件倒霉的事情里,最使人伤心的就是,他竟也受了她的骗。 “现在剩下需要说明的就是她在此中所扮演的角色了。无疑地,她是受着斯台普吞的左右的。其原因也许是爱情,也许是恐惧,更可能是两样都有,因为这决不是两种不可以同时存在的感情。这种控制的力量,至少是绝对有效的,在他的命令之下,她同意了装作是他的妹妹,虽然在他想要使她直接参加谋杀的时候,也发现了他对她的控制力还是有限的。 只要不把她的丈夫牵连进去,她就准备去警告亨利爵士,而且她也曾一再地确想这样做。看来斯台普吞似乎还有着嫉妒心,当他看到准男爵向女士求婚的时候,虽然这一点也是在他自己的计划之内,他还是忍不住要大发雷霆地出面干涉,这样一来就把他聪明地靠着强自抑制而掩盖起来的火暴性格暴露出来了。他用笼络感情的办法使亨利爵士经常到梅利琵宅邸来,以便早晚能获得他所期望的好机会,可是在事情危急的那一天,他太太突然和他对立起来。她已稍知那逃犯死亡的事,而且她也知道,亨利爵士来吃晚饭的那一傍晚,那只猎狗就关在外边的小屋里。她谴责了她丈夫预谋要干的罪行;他狂怒了,他第一次向她透露他已另有所爱。她那往日的柔顺突然变成了深深的仇恨,他看得出来,她会将他出卖的,因此他就把她捆了起来,以免她一得机会就去警告亨利爵士,无疑地,他是希望当全乡的人都把准男爵的死归之于他家的厄运的时候——他们当然会这样想——他就能争取他太太接受既成事实,并要她保守秘密了。在这个问题上,我想,无论如何他是打错算盘了,即使咱们不到那里去,他的命运也同样是注定了的。一个有着西班牙血统的女人是不会那么轻易地宽恕这样的侮辱的。我亲爱的华生,不参考摘记,我是无法更详细地给你叙述这一奇异的案件了。我不知道是否还剩下了什么重要的东西没有解释到。” “他是不能指望用他那只可怕的猎狗,象弄死老伯父那样地吓死亨利爵士的。” “那畜生很凶猛,而且只喂得半饱。它的外表即使没有把它所追踪的人吓死,至少也能使他丧失抵抗力。” “当然了。还剩下一个难题。如果斯台普吞继承了财产,他怎样来解释这样的事实呢:他——继承人——为什么一直更名改姓地隐居在离财产这么近的地方呢?他怎么能要求继承权而不引起别人的怀疑和要求进行调查呢?” “这是一个绝大的困难,想要让我去解决这个问题,恐怕你是要求过高了。过去和现在的事我都调查过了。可是一个人将来会怎么样,这倒是个很难回答的问题。斯台普吞太太曾经几次听到她丈夫谈论这个问题,有三条路可走:他也许要从南美洲要求继承这份财产,让当地的英国当局证明他的身份,这样可以根本不来英格兰就把财产弄到手;或者住在伦敦的短时期内采取隐蔽身份的办法;或者,还许找一个同谋,带着证明文件的证物,证明他的继承人的身份,可是对他收入的一部保留所有权。根据咱们对他的了解,他总是能设法解决这些困难的。啊,我亲爱的华生,咱们已经干了几个星期严肃认真的工作了,我想,咱们还是换换口味,今晚想些愉快的事吧。我在虞格诺戏院订了一个包厢。你听过德·雷兹凯[让·德·雷兹凯:波兰歌剧演唱家,1853年生于华沙。——译者注]演的歌剧吗?请你在半小时之内穿戴好,途中咱们还可以到玛齐尼饭店吃晚饭呢。”