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The Best of Sherlock Holmes

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Student Question

What does the hat Sherlock inspects in "The Blue Carbuncle" reveal about its owner?

Expert Answers

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  1. Holmes claims, at least, that it shows that the man was an intellectual.  He says this because the hat is big.  (We know now that brain size does not equal intelligence, though.)
  2. The man was well-off a few years ago because the hat is really high quality, but he's not now because the hat is old.
  3. He has foresight because he ordered a loop on his hat to prevent it from blowing away.
  4. But he's getting lazy because he let the loop break and hasn't fixed it.
  5. But he hasn't completely lost his self-respect because he has tried to use ink to cover up some stains.

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