The Sign of Four
Lippincott's Magagine、1890, 2
Francois Le Villard
Captain Arthur Morstan
Major John Sholto
The Baker Street irregulars
Lieutenant Bromley Brown
Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere.
The only unofficial consulting detective. I am the last and highest court of appeal in detection. The work itself, the pleasure of finding a field for my peculiar powers, is my highest reward.
He possesses two out of the three qualities necessary for the ideal detective. He has the power of observation and that of deduction. He is only wanting in knowledge.
I never guess. It is a shocking habit, ---- destructive to the logical faculty. What seems strange to you is only so because you do not follow my train of thought or observe the small facts upon which large inferences may depend.
I have heard you say that it is difficult for a man to have any object in daily use without leaving the impress of his individuality upon it in such a way that a trained observer might read it.
I cannot live without brain-work.
A client is to me a mere unit, ---- a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning.
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
I never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely.
One of our greatest statesmen has said that a change of work is the best rest.
Love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things. I should never marry myself, lest I bias my judgment.