Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. "Watson" he says, "look up in the sky and tell me what you see." "I see millions of stars, Holmes, " says Watson. "And what do you conclude from that, Watson?" Watson thinks for a moment. "Well, " he says, "astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meterologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful, and we are small and insignficant. Uh, what does it tell you, Holmes?" "Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!
Do you remember, " he said, "one of Holmes's little scores over Watson about the number of steps up to the Baker Street lodging? Poor old Watson had been up and down them a thousand times, but he had never thought of counting them, whereas Holmes had counted them as a matter of course, and knew that there were seventeen. And that was supposed to be the difference between observation and non-observation. Watson was crushed again, and Holmes appeared to him more amazing than ever. Now, it always seemed to me that in that matter Holmes was the ass, and Watson the sensible person. What on earth is the point of keeping in your head an unnecessary fact like that? If you really want to know at any time the number of steps to your lodging, you can ring up your landlady and ask her.
All right, Watson. Don't look so scared," he muttered in a very weak voice. "It's not as bad as it seems." "Thank God for that!" "I'm a bit of a single-stick expert, as you know. I took most of them on my guard. It was the second man that was too much for me." "What can I do, Holmes? Of course, it was that damned fellow who set them on. I'll go and thrash the hide off him if you give the word." "Good old Watson!(...)
Arthur Conan Doyle
Are you prepared to be the complete Watson?" he asked. "Watson?" "Do-you-follow-me-Watson; that one. Are you prepared to have quite obvious things explained to you, to ask futile questions, to give me chances of scoring off you, to make brilliant discoveries of your own two or three days after I have made them myself all that kind of thing? Because it all helps." "My dear Tony, " said Bill delightedly, "need you ask?" Antony said nothing, and Bill went on happily to himself, "I perceive from the strawberry-mark on your shirt-front that you had strawberries for dessert. Holmes, you astonish me. Tut, tut, you know my methods. Where is the tobacco? The tobacco is in the Persian slipper. Can I leave my practice for a week? I can.
Why should you go further in it? What have you to gain from it?' 'What, indeed? It is art for art's sake, Watson. I suppose when you doctored, you found yourself studying cases without thought of a fee?' 'For my education, Holmes.' 'Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Exactly. She does not shine as a wife even in her own account of what occurred. I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind, as you are aware, Watson, but my experience of life has taught me that there are few wives having any regard for their husbands who would let any man's spoken word stand between them and that husband's dead body. Should I ever marry, Watson, I should hope to inspire my wife with some feeling which would prevent her from being walked off by a housekeeper when my corpse was lying within a few yards of her.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Although I'm not prepared to move up my prediction of a computer passing the Turing test by 2029, the progress that has been achieved in systems like Watson should give anyone substantial confidence that the advent of Turing-level AI is close at hand. If one were to create a version of Watson that was optimized for the Turing test, it would probably come pretty close.
But there can be no grave for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson... Shall they not always live in Baker Street? Are they not there this moment, as one writes? Outside, the hansoms rattle through the rain, and Moriarty plans his latest devilry. Within, the sea-coal flames upon the hearth and Holmes and Watson take their well-won case... So they still live for all that love them well; in a romantic chamber of the heart, in a nostalgic country of the mind, where it is always 1895.
But there can be no grave for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson...Shall they not always live in Baker Street? Are they not there this moment, as one writes? Outside, the hansoms rattle through the rain, and Moriarty plans his latest devilry. Within, the sea-coal flames upon the hearth and Holmes and Watson take their well-won case...So they still live for all that love them well; in a romantic chamber of the heart, in a nostalgic country of the mind, where it is always 1895.
Watson is a cheap, efficient little sod of a literary device. Holmes doesn't need him to solve crimes any more than he needs a ten-stone ankle weight. The audience, Arthur. The audience needs Watson as an intermediary, so that Holmes's thoughts might be forever kept just out of reach. If you told stories from Holmes's perspective, everyone would know what the bleeding genius was thinking the whole time. They'd have the culprit fingered on page one.
two slate-colored gravestones settled at a slant into the lower corner of the field beside the lane. She could not read the names engraved on them, but she knew what they were. Joseph Watson, 1820-1891, and James Watson, son of Joseph and Hannah Watson, 1844-1863. The grave of Hannah Watson lay beside her husband's and because she had died last, she had no marker, unless the pine tree growing there might count as one. To-morrow two men would drive up and leave a basket of flowers and a flag for Joseph because he had fought in the Civil War, and for James because he had died on his way home from it, but they would not have anything for Hannah because she had only identified her son James one hot summer day on the platform of North Derwich Station, and raised all the food her husband ate for twenty years as he sat in a chair in her kitchen, and done washings for Mrs. Hale to buy monuments for them at the end. But the flowers would die in the boxes; even if Jen found time to go down and set out the pansy plants in the ground, stray cows were sure to eat them off before the summer was over; and the Forrest children would take the flags to play with. Nothing would interfere with the tree.
Gladys Hasty Carroll