In many of his Sherlock Holmes stories it was the practice of the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to illustrate his hero's powers of deduction early on, and then to illustrate them again at the end, when Holmes would explain his cold, clear reasoning to his friend Dr. Watson. During the middle part of the story it was not always practical to reveal what Holmes was thinking but only to describe what he was doing. In "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," for example, Holmes shows at the beginning how much he can deduce from examining a battered old hat belonging to a man he has never met. In "The Red-Headed League," Holmes surprises both Watson and his client Jabez Wilson by revealing what he has deduced from Wilson's appearance:
“Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else.”
In the first chapter of "
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