“You know my methods in such cases, Watson. I put myself in the man’s place, and, having first gauged his intelligence, I try to imagine how I should myself have proceeded under the same circumstances. In this case the matter was simplified by Brunton’s intelligence being quite first-rate, so that it was unnecessary to make any allowance for the personal equation, as the astronomers have dubbed it."
“It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital. Otherwise your energy and attention must be dissipated instead of being concentrated. Now, in this case there was not the slightest doubt in my mind from the first that the key of the whole matter must be looked for in the scrap of paper in the dead man’s hand."
"Now, I make a point of never having any prejudices, and of following docilely wherever fact may lead me….”
(Jody Baker is a Chattanooga attorney, who specializes in Sherlock Holmes lore. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)