Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle Image source: National Portrait Gallery

Image source:
National Portrait Gallery

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a physician and British author whose many works included the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Quotes by Arthur Conan Doyle in Time One

Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.

You remember … that some little time ago when I read you the passage in one of Poe’s sketches in which a close reasoner follows the unspoken thoughts of his companion, you were inclined to treat the matter as a mere tour-de-force of the author.

“The string is exceedingly interesting,” he remarked, holding it up to the light and sniffing it. “What do you make of this string Lestrade?” “It has been tarred.” “Precisely, it is a piece of tarred twine. You have also, no doubt, remarked that Miss Cushing has cut the cord with a scissors, as can be seen by the double fray on each side. This is of importance.” “I cannot see the importance,” said Lestrade. “The importance lies in the fact that the knot is left intact, and that this knot is of a peculiar character.” “It is very neatly tied. I had already made a note to that effect,” said Lestrade complacently.

We must fall back on the old axiom that when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Here all other contingencies have failed.

Each fact is suggestive in itself. Together they have a cumulative force.

[O]ne true inference invariably suggests others.

“The principal difficulty in your case,” remarked Holmes, “lay in the fact of there being too much evidence.”

I could not disguise from myself that even if Holmes’s explanation were incorrect the true theory must be equally outré and startling.

What a blind beetle I have been!

Singularity is almost invariably a clue.

I knew … that his mind, like my own, was busy in endeavouring to frame some scheme into which all these strange and apparently disconnected episodes could be fitted

It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognise out of a number of facts which are incidental and which vital.

Well, of course, if the case were not an odd one we should not have been driven to ask you for an explanation.

“Or towards it?” “No, no, my dear Watson. The more deeply sunk impression is, of course, the hind wheel, upon which the weight rests. You perceive several places where it has passed across and obliterated the more shallow mark of the front one. It was undoubtedly heading away from the school.”

You remind me of Edgar Allen Poe’s Dupin.

This murder would have been infinitely more difficult to unravel had the body of the victim been simply found lying in the roadway without any of those outré and sensational accompaniments which have rendered it remarkable. These strange details, far from making the case more difficult, have really had the effect of making it less so.

[T]hings which have perplexed you and made the case more obscure have served to enlighten me and to strengthen my conclusions.

“What is the meaning of it, Watson?” said Holmes, solemnly, as he laid down the paper. … “It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable.”

"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." "The dog did nothing in the night-time." "That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.

See the value of imagination,” said Holmes. “It is the one quality that Gregory lacks. We imagined what might have happened, acted upon the supposition, and find ourselves justified. Let us proceed.”