|Dedication to detection, in whatever domain, is essential|
My competence is based not so much on intelligence, as conventionally assumed, but on interest. Consider my brother, Mycroft, of whom I said:
--- he was my superior in observation and deduction. If the art of the detective began and ended in reasoning from an arm-chair, my brother would be the greatest criminal agent that ever lived, But he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right [GREE].I was totally engrossed in my work as an end in itself and not as a means to some other end. This is stated, throughout the canon, in a number of ways:
The work is its own reward [NOBL].
But the quick inference, the subtle trap, the clever forecast of coming events, the triumphant vindication of bold theories - are these not the pride and justification of our life's work? [VALL].
Holmes, however, like all great artists, lived for his art's sake, and, save in the case of the Duke of Holdemesse, I have seldom known him claim any large reward for his inestimable services [BLAC].My disdain for worldly goods is further illustrated by the following conversation with Watson and by my attitude to a precious stone:
What have you to gain from it?
There have been two murders, a vitriol-throwing, a suicide, and several robberies brought about for the sake of this forty-grain weight of crystallised charcoal [BLUE].Violet de Merville claimed that I was a paid agent who would have been equally willing to act for the Baron as well as against him [ILLU]. Watson has failed to document cases which I had refused because of scruples with respect to the motives of the client. However, indeed, there is some merit to the accusation, since I must confess that I found myself focussed more on solving the puzzle than on the moral issues in the case.