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Hal is described in the books as being 'the oldest man' the Baudelaire children have ever seen. He has white hair and beard and uses the tiniest pair of glasses the orphans have seen, the lenses looked like "two peas". His eyesight is very poor, but his glasses do not help as they are very small. Hal says his eyesight is "not what it used to be.."
Hal worked as the record keeper for the Heimlich Hospital's Library of Records featured in The Hostile Hospital. He was also the eighth and first unofficial guardian of the Baudelaire orphans. In the The Hostile Hospital, Hal is disgraced by the Baudelaire children, when they steal his glasses and trick him into giving them the keys. The Baudelaires try to apologize, but Hal does not accept it. In the end, however, he forgives the children.
When Dewey Denouement's partner went to the remains of the hospital to find any information/evidence, she found Hal in a dismal state, for the Library of Records was destroyed and there was no place for him to go. She then gave him shelter and a job as both cook and researcher at the Hotel Denouement
He returns in The Penultimate Peril, working as the owner of an Indian Restaurant at The Hotel Denouement. His food is terrible. Sunny catches him in the middle of a suspicious conversation with one of the Denouement triplets. It is hinted that Hal may be a V.F.D. member, as he says the code "I didn't realize this was a sad occasion" to Mr. Remora, who failed to understand.
It is unknown if he survived the Hotel Denouement fire.
- His name, Hal, could be a reference to a computer in an old movie.
- He may be a member of V.F.D as Heimlich Hospital could have been one Of V.F.D's Safe Places