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Robinson Crusoe (Робинзон Крузо)

Автор: Daniel Defoe (Даниель Дефо)
Дата выхода: 1719
Жанр: Приключения
Вид книги: Адаптированная книга
Языковый уровень: B1 Средний уровень (Intermediate)

Роман о жизни Робинзона Крузо на необитаемом острове, о его приключениях, о кровожадных пиратах и об обретении верного друга Пятницы английский писатель Даниель Дефо написал на основе реальных событий. Самому Дефо пришлось пройти через многие испытания, и в своем романе он дает нам урок житейской мудрости, стойкости и оптимизма.

«Робинзон Крузо» в адаптации для уровня Intermediate (около 1200 уникальных слов).

Chapter one (глава 1)

1. Robinson's adventures at sea (Приключения Робинзона в море)

I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York in England. My father was of a good family. He was a merchant from Bremen in Germany. He settled in England and made his fortune in trade, then he married. My mother’s family name was Robinson. I was baptised Robinson Kreutznaer. However, in England we were always called Crusoe, so my friends call me Robinson Crusoe.

I had two brothers. One became a soldier and was killed in a battle against the Spaniards. I do not know what happened to my other brother. My father hoped I would study law, but I wanted to go to sea. Although my mother and father did not want me to go, my desire was so strong that I ignored their wishes.

My father was a wise and serious man. He said that if I stayed at home my life would be easy and pleasant. Only desperate men or very fortunate men went abroad, he said. I was neither desperate nor very fortunate. Mine was the middle state, and he thought that the middle state was the best. The poor had a difficult life, and the rich were hated by the poor, said he. In the middle state a man could be happy. Kings often regretted that they were not born in the middle state, and wise men prayed to have neither poverty nor wealth. He said that the greatest misfortunes in life were suffered by the rich and the poor. Only the man in the middle state can live in peace. He said that moderation, quietness, and good health were the conditions of the middle state.

He begged me not to abandon this happy condition. He told me that he had begged my brother not to become a soldier for the same reasons. However, my brother had run away to the army, and now he was dead. He said that God would not bless me if I went to sea, and that I would be sorry I had ignored my father’s advice.

During the last part of his discourse the tears ran down his face, especially when he spoke of my brother. When he said that I would regret my choice, he was so moved that he could say no more.

I was sincerely affected by his words and decided not to think of going abroad any more. But alas! In a few days I began to dream of the sea again. I spoke to my mother. I told her that I still desired to go to sea and that nothing else would make me happy. I said that I was eighteen years old, too old to begin another profession. I asked her to persuade my father to let me go to sea.

This made her very angry. She said that it would be useless to speak to my father. If I wanted to ruin myself, she said, there was nothing she or my father could do to stop me. However, they would never agree to it.

A year later, I ran off to sea. This is how it happened. One day I went to the port of Hull. A friend of mine was going by sea to London in his father’s ship. He asked me to go with him. Since it would cost me nothing, I decided to go, without even telling my mother and father. Thus on the first of September 1651 I went on board a ship for the first time.

As soon as the ship was at sea, the wind began to blow. I felt very sick and frightened. I thought that God was punishing me for leaving my father’s house. The storm grew worse, although it was not as bad as many I have seen since. It was not even as bad as the storm I saw just a few days later, but it frightened me then. I thought the sea would swallow us. I swore to God that, if I lived, I would return to my father’s house and never go to sea again.

The next day the sea grew calm and the sun shone. I no longer felt sick or frightened. My friend said. ‘Well, Bob, how do you feel? Were you afraid?’

«It was a terrible storm,» said I.

‘Do you call that a storm?’ said he. ‘That was nothing. Let’s drink some rum and forget about it.’

We drank the rum, and I forgot my promise to God. A few days later, there was a really terrible storm. The waves were as high as mountains. I was very frightened. I felt sorry that I had forgotten my promise to God.

The sailors began to cry out that the ship would founder. Fortunately, I did not know what the word ‘founder’ meant. I saw the captain and some others praying to God. At last we were rescued by a boat from another ship. As we escaped, we saw our own ship go down. It was only then that I understood the word ‘founder’.

When we reached the shore, the people were very kind to us. They gave us money to return to Hull or continue to London, as we pleased. If I had returned home, I would have been happy. My father, like the father in Christ’s story of the prodigal son, would have welcomed me. But I was foolish, and I did not go home.

The captain, who was my father’s friend, said to me, ‘Young man, you should never go to sea again.’

‘Why, sir?’ said I. ‘Will you never go to sea again?’

‘That is different,’ said the captain. ‘The sea is my profession. It is my duty to go to sea. But you made this voyage to see if you liked it. God has shown you that the sea is not for you. Perhaps that is why my ship foundered. You are like Jonah of the Bible story. I am sorry I ever allowed you on my ship!’

I went to London by land. How unwise young people are! They are not afraid to sin, but they are afraid to seem foolish! I signed up for a voyage to Africa. I should have signed up as a sailor. I could have learned the sailor’s profession. In time, I might even have become a captain. However, I always made the worst choice, and I chose to go to sea as a gentleman. Therefore I had no duties on the ship, and I had no chance of learning to be a sailor.

I met the captain of a ship that had been on the coast of Africa. He had made good profits from the voyage and was eager to go again. He asked me to go with him as his companion. He said that I need not pay for the voyage. If I had any money, he said, he would show me how to make a profit in trade.

I accepted the offer, and became friends with the captain, who was a good and honest man. Following the captain’s advice, I spent about forty pounds on things of little value. These I could trade for gold on the coast of Africa.

The voyage was a great success for me. Indeed, it was my only successful voyage. My friend the captain taught me the skills of both a sailor and a merchant. I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold, which I sold in London for nearly three hundred pounds.

Soon after our return to England, my friend died. I decided to do the same voyage again and signed up on the same ship with its new captain. As we approached the coast of Africa, we were pursued by a Turkish ship. After a short battle, the Turkish ship was victorious, and we were all taken as prisoners to the port of Sal lee.

The captain of the Turkish ship made me his slave. I was horrified by this surprising change from merchant to miserable slave. I remembered my father’s prophesy that I would be miserable, and I realised that it had indeed been fulfilled.

After about two years of slavery, I saw my chance of escape. One day, my master sent me out fishing with his brother Ismael and a black slave boy called Xury. The fishing boat was full of food, guns, and fresh water. While we were fishing, I pushed Ismael into the sea. He cried for help. I pointed a gun at him and said, ‘I will not hurt you, if you do as I say. You swim well enough to reach the shore. Go! Swim to the shore and leave us alone. If you do not. I will shoot you in the head, for I want my liberty.’

Ismael swam away from the ship, and I turned to the slave boy. ‘Xury.’ said I, ‘if you will be faithful to me, I will make you a great man. If not, I will throw you into the sea too.’ The boy smiled and promised to be faithful to me.

We sailed along the coast of Africa, close to the shore. Sometimes we heard lions and other wild beasts. We needed fresh water, but we were afraid to go ashore, for fear of wild beasts and savages. Xury said that he would go ashore to get water, and I should wait in the boat.

‘Why should you go, Xury?’ I asked. ‘Why should I not go, and you wait in the boat?’

Xury replied in words that made me love him ever after: ‘If wild men come, they will eat me, and you will escape.’

‘Well, Xury,’ I said, ‘we will both go. If wild men come we will kill them, and they will eat neither of us.’ We went ashore and got fresh water. As we were returning to the boat, we saw a lion on the beach.

I aimed my gun and shot. Xury and I took the skin off the lion, for I thought it might be of some value. We sailed along the coast for ten days. I hoped that we would meet a European trading ship and be saved, but we did not meet one.

Sometimes we saw people on the shore. Their skin was black, and they were naked. Once I thought of going ashore to meet them, but Xury advised against it. I made signs to them that we needed food. They brought meat and grain and left it on the beach for us. I made signs to thank them but had nothing to give them in payment.

However, we soon had the chance to do them a great service. Just as we reached our boat, a leopard came running down from the mountain towards the beach. I shot it dead. The Negroes were amazed and terrified by the sound of my gun. When they saw that the leopard was dead, they approached him. They wished to eat the flesh of this animal. I made signs to tell them that they could have him, and they began cutting him up. They cut off his skin and gave it to me.

Leaving my friendly Negroes, I sailed on for eleven days. As we approached Cape Verde, Xury cried out, ‘Master! A ship!’ I saw that it was a Portuguese ship. I sailed towards it, and in three hours I reached it.

The men on the ship asked who I was. When I told them my story, they were very kind. They took me on board their ship with all my property from the boat. I offered all my property to the captain, to thank him for saving me, but he would not take it. He said they were sailing to Brazil. He said that my property would be returned to me when we arrived. He offered to buy my boat from me. He paid me eighty pieces of eight for it. He also offered me sixty pieces of eight for my boy Xury. I did not want to sell the poor boy’s liberty because he had helped me to escape from slavery. Then the captain offered to set Xury free in ten years if he became a Christian. Xury said he was willing to go with him, so I let the captain have him.

About twenty-two days later we landed in All Saints’ Bay in Brazil. I will never forget the captain’s kindness. He bought a lot of my property from the boat. I left the ship with about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight.

In Brazil I saw how well the sugar planters lived. They grew rich quickly. I decided to settle in Brazil and become a sugar planter. The first two years were difficult, but then my plantation grew prosperous. I was sorry that I had sold my boy Xury, for I needed help.

I was not happy in my new life. This was the middle state of which my father had spoken. I often said to myself, ‘I could have done this at home, instead of coming five thousand miles to do it among strangers and savages.’

I thought I was like a man stranded alone upon an island.

Never compare your situation to a worse one! God may place you in the worse situation, so that you long for your old life! I say, God was just to leave me on an island, where I really was alone! If I had been content to stay as I was, I would have been rich and happy. By leaving me on an island, God made me understand this.

The captain of the Portuguese ship advised me to send for some money. I had left my money with a friend in London. My friend sent me the money in the form of English goods. When they arrived, I thought that my fortune was made. I sold the goods at a great profit for about four hundred pounds. As soon as I got this money, I bought myself a Negro slave.

After four years, I had learned the language and made some friends among my fellow planters. I told them of the trade in Negro slaves on the African coast. ‘If a merchant takes knives, hatchets, and other things of little value,» I said, ‘he can easily trade them for gold and Negro slaves.’

They listened very attentively, especially to the part about buying slaves. There were very few slaves in Brazil at the time, and they cost a lot of money. Three planters came to me the next morning. They said they planned to buy a ship and sail to the African coast to buy slaves. They wanted to make one voyage only, then share the slaves among their plantations. They asked me if I would go on this voyage, and they promised that I would have a share of slaves without spending any money.

I agreed to go. I went aboard the ship on the first of September 1659, exactly eight years after my first voyage from Hull. We sailed up the coast to Cape St Augustino, then we lost sight of land. Twelve days later, a hurricane hit our ship. For twelve days the winds blew strongly. Every day I expected the sea to swallow us.

On the twelfth day, the weather was a little calmer. The ship was filling with water, so I advised the captain to sail for Barbados. As we sailed another storm hit us. The wind blew us far away from the trading routes. If we came to land, we would probably be eaten by savages.

One morning, a sailor cried out, ‘Land!’ We ran out to look, but at that moment the ship struck sand. The waves broke over the ship, and we thought we would all die.

We could not move the ship off the sand. We were sure that the ship would soon break into pieces. Therefore, we climbed into a boat and left the ship. We rowed through that wild water towards the land, knowing that we were rowing towards our greatest danger. Then a great wave came and the boat turned over.

Though I was a good swimmer, I could not get my breath in this stormy sea. A wave carried me along towards the shore. It left me on the sand, half-drowned. I stood up and walked fast towards the beach. I knew another wave would soon break over me. The sea rose behind me like a mountain. I held my breath, and the wave carried me closer to the shore. I tried to stand up and get my breath again, but another wave broke over me. I was carried with great force and speed towards the shore. Then my head shot above the water, and I was able to breathe for a moment. I was covered with water again, then that wave too began to withdraw.

I felt the earth under my feet. I ran towards the shore, but twice more the waves came over me. The last time nearly killed me. The sea threw me hard against a rock. I held on to the rock as the next wave broke over me. When the wave withdrew, I ran to the beach, climbed over the rocks, and lay down on the grass.

Chapter two (глава 2)

2. The Curse of the Baskervilles (Проклятие Баскервилей)

Dr Mortimer sat down. Sherlock Holmes and I listened to his story.

‘I am a doctor and I work in the country,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘I live and work on Dartmoor. And, as you know, Dartmoor is a large, wild place. There is only one big house on Dartmoor — Baskerville Hall. The owner of the house was Sir Charles Baskerville. I was his friend as well as his doctor.’

‘I read of his death in The Times newspaper,’ said Holmes.

‘That was three months ago,’ said Dr Mortimer. The newspaper reported his death, but it did not report all the facts.’

‘Was there something strange about his death?’ asked Sherlock Holmes.

‘I am not certain,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘There was a story about a curse on the Baskerville family. Sir Charles believed this old story.’

‘A curse?’ I asked. ‘What do you mean?’

‘Here is the story,’ said Dr Mortimer. He took a large piece of paper out of his pocket. ‘Please read this. It is the story of the Curse of the Baskervilles.’

Holmes took the paper and read it. ‘It is called The Hound of the Baskervilles,’ he said. He showed me the paper. This is what it said:

In the year 1645, Sir Hugo Baskerville was the owner of Baskerville Hall. Sir Hugo was a cruel man who did not believe in God. Every day he went out hunting and drinking with a gang of wild friends.

A farmer on Dartmoor had a beautiful daughter. Sir Hugo wanted to marry the girl, but she was afraid of him. The girl’s father told Sir Hugo to stay away from his farm. Sir Hugo was very angry.

One day, when the farmer was working in his fields, Sir Hugo rode to the farm with his friends. They caught the girl and took her to Baskerville Hall.

The poor girl was terrified. Sir Hugo locked her in a bedroom. Then he started drinking with his gang. When he was drunk, he became more wild and cruel. He shouted at his men and hit them.

The frightened girl waited until it was dark. Then she opened a window and escaped from Baskerville Hall.

Her father’s farm was about four miles away. It was night, but she was able to follow the path in the moonlight. She started to run across the dark moor.

Sir Hugo went to the girl’s room. It was empty and Sir Hugo was terribly angry. He ran to his men and jumped onto the table where they were drinking. He kicked the plates and glasses off the table. ‘Fetch the horses!’ he shouted. ‘Get the girl!’

They all ran outside and jumped onto their horses. Sir Hugo kept a pack of wild dogs for hunting. ‘Let the dogs find her!’ he shouted. ‘The Devil can take me if I do not catch her!’

The dogs ran out across the dark moor. Sir Hugo and his men rode after them. The dogs barked and Sir Hugo shouted.

Then they heard another noise. It was louder than the noise of barking and shouting. The dogs stopped and listened. They were afraid.

The men heard the noise too. It was a loud and deep howling sound — the sound of a huge dog howling at the moon. The men stopped their horses, but Sir Hugo rode on. He wanted to catch the girl.

Sir Hugo did not catch the girl. Suddenly his horse stopped and threw him to the ground. The horse ran away in terror.

In the moonlight, the men saw a strange, black animal. It looked liked a dog with huge, fiery eyes. But it was as big as a horse. All the men became very frightened.

The huge black dog jumped on Sir Hugo Baskerville and killed him. The other men ran away into the night and Sir Hugo was never seen again.

Since that time, many of the sons of the Baskerville family have died while they were young. Many of them have died strangely. This is the Curse of the Baskervilles. The black dog — The Hound of the Baskervilles — still walks on the moor at night.

‘Well, Mr Holmes, what do you think of this story?’ asked Dr Mortimer.

‘I do not think it is a true story,’ said Sherlock Holmes. ‘Why do you show me this story? Do you believe it?’

‘Before Sir Charles Baskerville’s death, I did not believe the story,’ Dr Mortimer answered. ‘But Sir Charles believed the story. It worried him. He became ill and his heart was weak.’

‘Why did he believe this story?’ I asked.

‘Because he saw the hound on the moor,’ answered Dr Mortimer. ‘Or, he thought he saw it. When Sir Charles told me this story, I told him to take a holiday. I told him to go to London for a few weeks and forget all about the curse.’

‘Did he take a holiday?’ I asked.

‘No,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘He planned to go to London the following Friday. But, on the Thursday evening, he went for a walk on the edge of the moor. And he never returned.’

‘How did he die?’ I asked.

‘He died of a heart attack,’ answered Dr Mortimer. ‘His servant came to fetch me. I found Sir Charles near the house, on the edge of the moor. He was running away from something when he died. I am sure of that. I think he was terrified of something.’

‘Terrified?’ asked Holmes. ‘What was he running away from?’

‘I looked at the ground where Sir Charles had walked. I saw his footprints,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘But there were other footprints on the ground. They were not the footprints of a man. They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!’

Chapter three (глава 3)

3. The Problem (Проблема)

Holmes and I were surprised. This was a very strange story. I did not believe that Sir Charles Baskerville had been killed by a gigantic black dog. But I wanted to know the truth.

Who else saw these footprints?’ asked Sherlock Holmes. His bright eyes shone and he leant forward in his chair.

No one else saw the footprints,’ answered Dr Mortimer. ‘There was a lot of rain in the night. By morning, the footprints had been washed away.’

How large were the footprints? Were they larger than the footprints of a sheepdog?’

Yes, Mr Holmes, much larger. They were not the prints of an ordinary dog.’

Also, you say that Sir Charles ran away from this dog? How do you know?’ asked Holmes.

The ground was soft,’ answered Dr Mortimer. ‘I saw Sir Charles footprints outside Baskerville Hall. His footprints were close together as he walked along a path at the edge of the moor. Then he stopped and waited by a wooden gate. After that his footprints changedthey became wide apart and deep. I am sure he began to run. He ran towards the house. I believe that something came from the moor. I believe he saw the Hound of the Baskervilles.’

Yes, yes,’ said Holmes, ‘but how do you know that Sir Charles waited by this wooden gate?’

Because he smoked a cigar,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘I saw the white cigar ash on the ground.’

Good,’ said Holmes, ‘goodyou are a detective.’

Thank you,’ said Dr Mortimer, with a smile.

But you believe that Sir Charles was killed by a gigantic hound?’

‘I know he ran away from something,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘I know I saw those strange footprints of a huge dog. But…’ He looked at his watch. ‘… I am meeting Sir Henry Baskerville at Waterloo Station in an hour. Sir Henry is Sir Charles nephew. He has come from Canada. Sir Charles had no children, so Sir Henry is now the owner of Baskerville Hall. And now I have a problem.’

What is your problem?’ asked Holmes.

‘I believe that Sir Henry is in danger,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘Is it safe to take him to Baskerville Hall?’

‘I must think,’ said Sherlock Holmes. ‘Stay in London tonight. Come and see me again tomorrow morning. Please bring Sir Henry with you.’

‘I shall do so,’ said Dr Mortimer. He stood up. ‘Now I must go to meet Sir Henry at Waterloo Station. Good day.’

When Dr Mortimer had left, Holmes said to me, ‘We have a problem here, Watson. There are three questions. What is the crime? Who did it? How was it done?’

Chapter four (глава 4)

4. Sir Henry Baskerville (Сэр Генри Баскервиль)

The next morning, Dr Mortimer brought Sir Henry Baskerville to Baker Street. Sir Henry was about thirty years old. He was not tall, but he was broad and strong. He looked like a boxer.

How do you do, Mr Holmes,’ said Sir Henry. ‘I arrived in London yesterday and two strange things have happened already.’

Please sit down, Sir Henry,’ said Holmes. ‘Tell me what has happened.’

No one knows that I am staying at the Northumberland Hotel,’ said Sir Henry. ‘But I have received a letter. Here is the letter. You see, the words are cut from a newspaper except for the word «moor«.’

YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER KEEP AWAY FROM THE MOOR

The words are cut from The Times newspaper,’ said Holmes.

But how did this person know where I am staying?’ asked Sir Henry.

‘I do not know,’ said Holmes. ‘But you said that two strange things have happened. What is the other strange thing?’

‘I have lost a boot,’ said Sir Henry. ‘Someone has stolen one of my boots at the hotel.’

One of your boots?’ asked Holmes. ‘Someone took only one?’

Yes,’ answered Sir Henry. ‘The boots are new. I bought them yesterday and I have never worn them. But why take only one?’

That is a very good question,’ said Holmes. ‘I would like to visit your hotel. Perhaps I shall find the answer.’

Then, please join us for lunch,’ said Sir Henry. ‘Now, if you will excuse me, I have some other business. Shall we meet at two o’clock for lunch at the Northumberland Hotel?’

We shall come at two,’ said Holmes.

Sir Henry Baskerville and Dr Mortimer left the house and walked along Baker Street. Sherlock Holmes watched them through the window of his study.

Quick, Watson, we must follow them,’ said Holmes.

I put on my hat and followed Holmes into the street. ‘Why are we following them?’ I asked in surprise.

Because, my dear Watson, someone else is also following them,’ said Holmes. ‘Look! There is the man. There in that cab!’

I looked where Holmes was pointing. A horsedrawn cab was moving slowly along the street. A man with a black beard was sitting in the cab. He was watching Sir Henry and Dr Mortimer as they walked towards Oxford Street.

The man with the black beard turned round as Holmes pointed at him. He saw us and shouted to the cab driver, ‘Drive! Drive quickly!’ The cab driver whipped the horse and the cab disappeared round a corner.

I think we have the answer to one of our questions,’ said Holmes. ‘That man with the black beard followed Sir Henry to the Northumberland Hotel. He is the man who sent the letter.’

Chapter five (глава 5)

5. The Stolen Boot (Украденный ботинок)

We arrived at the Northumberland Hotel at ten minutes to two. Sir Henry Baskerville was talking to the hotel manager.

Two boots in two days,’ Sir Henry said loudly. ‘Two boots have disappeared from my roomone new boot and one old boot.’

We shall look everywhere, sir,’ said the manager. ‘We shall find your stolen boots.’

Sir Henry was silent while we ate lunch. He was angry about his stolen boots.

Tell me, Mr Holmes,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘Is it safe for Sir Henry to go to Baskerville Hall?’

It is safer than staying in London,’ said Holmes. ‘Do you know that a man followed you this morning?’

Followed us!’ said Dr Mortimer in surprise. ‘Who followed us?’

‘A man with a thick black beard,’ said Holmes. ‘Do you know a man with a black beard?’

Yes, I do,’ replied Dr Mortimer. ‘The servant at Baskerville Hall has a thick black beard. His name is Barrymore. I can’t think why he is following us. But I am sure Sir Henry is in danger. It is better if Sir Henry stays here in London.’

No. You are wrong,’ said Holmes. ‘There are millions of people in London. We cannot watch them all. There are not as many people on Dartmoor. Everyone will notice someone who is a stranger.’

But this man may not be a stranger,’ said Dr Mortimer.

‘I agree,’ said Holmes. ‘That is why Sir Henry must not stay at Baskerville Hall alone. I myself will be busy in London, but my good friend Dr Watson will go with you to Dartmoor.’

‘Ohyes, of course,’ I said, ‘I will certainly go to Dartmoor.’

Thank you, Dr Watson,’ said Sir Henry. ‘You will be very welcome at Baskerville Hall.’

Good,’ said Holmes. ‘Now, Sir Henry, tell me about the other boot which has been stolen.’

It is one of an old pair of boots,’ said Sir Henry.

How strange,’ said Holmes. ‘And, tell me Sir Henry, if you die, who will become the owner of Baskerville Hall?’

‘I don’t know,’ replied Sir Henry. ‘Sir Charles had two brothersmy father, who went to Canada, and a younger brother called Roger. But Roger never married and he died in South America. I have no living relatives. I don’t know who will get all my money if I die today.’

And, may I ask, how much money do you have?’

Certainly, Mr Holmes. Sir Charles left me a fortune of one million pounds,’ said Sir Henry.

Many men will murder their best friend for a million pounds,’ said Holmes.

Chapter six (глава 6)

6. Baskerville Hall (Баскервиль-холл)

On Saturday morning, Sherlock Holmes came with me to Paddington Station.

This is a dangerous business, Watson,’ he said. ‘Stay near to Sir Henry. Do not let him walk on the moor alone at night.’

Don’t worry, Holmes,’ I said. ‘I have brought my army revolver.’

Good,’ said Holmes. ‘Write to me every day. Tell me what you see and hear. Tell me all the factseverything.’

I said goodbye to Sherlock Holmes and met Sir Henry Baskerville and Dr Mortimer at the station. The train journey to Devon took three hours. We looked out of the windows at the green countryside. At last, we reached Dartmoor. Then the countryside changed from green to grey and we saw broken hills of black rock.

We got off the train at the small station in Grimpen Village. A driver was waiting with a carriage and horses to take us to Baskerville Hall. As we rode along the narrow country road, I saw a soldier on a horse. The soldier was carrying a gun and was watching the road.

I spoke to the driver. ‘Why is that soldier guarding the road? Is there some trouble?’

Why is that soldier guarding the road? Is there some trouble?’

Yes, sir,’ the driver replied. ‘A prisoner has escaped from Dartmoor Prison. He‘s a very dangerous man. His name is Selden. He is a dangerous murderer.’

I looked across the empty moor. A cold wind blew and made me shiver. Holmes believed that someone wanted to murder Sir Henry Baskerville. Now, another murderer was out on the moor. I felt that this lonely place was very dangerous. I wanted to go back to London.

There were thick trees all round Baskerville Hall. It looked like a castle. It stood alone on the empty moor.

We stopped outside Baskerville Hall. ‘I must leave you here,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘I have a lot of work to do. And my wife is waiting for me at home.’

‘I hope you will come to dinner very soon,’ said Sir Henry.

‘I will,’ said Dr Mortimer. ‘And if you ever need me, send for me at any timeday or night.’ Then Dr Mortimer rode away in the carriage.

A man with a thick black beard and a pale face came out of the house. He greeted Sir Henry.

Welcome to Baskerville Hall, sir. I am Barrymore. I have been a servant here for many years. My wife and I have prepared the house for you. Shall I show you around the house?’

Yes please, Barrymore,’ said Sir Henry. ‘This is Dr Watson. He will be my guest for a few days.’

Very good, sir,’ said Barrymore. He took our cases into the house.

I looked carefully at Barrymore. Was he the man with a black beard who had followed Sir Henry in London? I was not sure.

Mr and Mrs Barrymore had looked after the house well.

Everything was in order. But the house was a cold and lonely place. There was trouble here.

That night I wrote a letter to Sherlock Holmes. I told him all that I had seen and heard. While I was writing, I heard a sounda woman crying. The only woman in the house was Mrs Barrymore. I wondered why she was so unhappy.

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