|The capacity to collaborate with colleagues is an important aspect of detection|
My most important collaborator was, of course, Dr. John H. Watson. He was not an official collaborator but then I was not an official detective. His role was more important than I first gave him credit. He was indeed a sounding-board, as he modestly professed:
The relations between us in those latter days were peculiar. He was a man of habits, narrow and concentrated habits, and I had become one of them --- If I irritated him by a certain methodical slowness in my mentality, that irritation served only to make his own flame-like intuitions and impressions flash up the more vividly and swiftly, Such was my humble role in our alliance [CREE].He is too modest. Not just anyone can be an ideal help-mate. While it is difficult not to be ironic with such a solid but stolid companion, my compliments are genuine:
A confederate who foresees your conclusions and course of action is always dangerous, but one to whom each development comes as a perpetual surprise, and to whom the future is always a closed book, is indeed an ideal helpmate [BLAN].
And here it is that I miss my Watson. By cunning questions and ejaculations of wonder he could elevate my simple art, which is but systemized common sense, into a prodigy. When I tell my own story I have no such aid [BLAN].
You have a grand gift of silence. --- It makes you quite invaluable as a companion [TWIS].
Good, Watson. You always keep us flat-footed on the ground. [CREE].
There is a delightful freshness about you, Watson, which makes it a pleasure to exercise any small powers which I possess at your expense [HOUN].
It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light [HOUN].Having written some cases of my own now, I am better able to appreciate the contribution of the writing of the criminal cases by Watson. The act of writing is not a mopping-up operation after the case is solved but is an intrinsic part of the solving of the case. In writing my scientific cases, I realize that I often do not know what I think till I read what I write. I had indeed appreciated Watson as a sounding-board in the criminal cases because I did not know what I thought until I read what I said. However, I had underestimated the role of reading drafts of Watson's cases during the solving of that case. What I had dismissed as frills gave the cases a dramatic quality which helped me tell the true story.
You have attempted to tinge it (detection) with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you had worked a love-story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid [SIGN].
--- you have erred perhaps in attempting to put colour and life into each of your statements, instead of confining yourself to the task of placing upon record that severe reasoning from cause to effect which is really the only notable feature about the thing [COPP].
I have often had occasion to point out to him how superficial are his own accounts and to accuse him of pandering to popular taste instead of confining himself rigidly to facts and figures [BLAN]
--- to chronicle and, if you will excuse my saying so, somewhat to embellish so many of my little adventures [REDH].