Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are in their home office. Holmes asks Watson what he thinks of a walking stick that someone left behind. The cane reads, "To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H."
Dr. Mortimer arrives and shows the detective pair and old manuscript. This written document, dated 1742, reveals the myth of the Baskerville curse.
Mortimer explains that the latest inhabitant, Sir Charles, had recently died on the property. Many suspect that it was from the curse, meaning that he had passed away because of a monstrous hound.
Holmes Asks Mortimer to describe more of what he remembers. Mortimer says that there were footprints that had appeared to have been left by a hound.
Strangely, the footprints never seemed to come near Sir Charles's body, leaving Moritmer to believe it was a supernatural occurance.
Watson returns at night to find the office filled with smoke, or as Holmes refers to it, a "concentrated atmosphere". Holmes is thinking about how Sir Charles was likely waiting at the Yew Alley gate before running away from his house.