What does Holmes learn by examining the stick that Dr. Mortimer left at Holmes's apartment?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The book starts with Holmes and Watson examining the walking stick that Mortimer has left.  Watson, as so often is the case, reads the clues in the stick all wrong and Holmes has to correct him.  Holmes deduces that

  • The doctor has done something for Charing Cross Hospital (deduced from the initials on the stick).
  • That he must have worked for the hospital before going into private practice (that is why they would give him a present).
  • That he had to be under 30 years old (from the date on the stick and the position he was likely to have held).
  • That the doctor has a curly-haired spaniel.  (Figured out from the depth and spacing of the teeth marks and, amusingly enough, from the fact that Holmes could see the dog on his doorstep at that moment.
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vmpjg | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Dr.Mortimer left his bolbous-headed stick there which he always kept with him.Sherlock Holmes and Watson deduced many things such as he was a young man, he had a spaniel(dog), he was a medical man, the stick was given to him by a friend of Charing Cross Hospital, he was a country practitioner who does a deal on foot, he was absent minded,unambitious and amiable man.

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