The Return of Sherlock Holmes
How we cite our quotes:
"If I shot the man and he had his shot at me, and there's no murder in that. But if you think I could have hurt that woman, then you don't know either me or her." (Dancing Men.185)
Abe Slaney takes a gunslinger idea of murder and seems to feel that it's only murder if the other guy doesn't get a chance to shoot back. This is one of many instances where a character quibbles with legal definitions of crime and criminals.
"He asked me if I would stand by the bargain. I said I would not. [...] I said I would have nothing to do with violence. So he went off cursing, like the foul-mouthed blackguard that he was." (Solitary Cyclist.146)
We get a good depiction of a falling out among a criminal gang here, which essentially boils down to issues of morality.
"I am convinced," said I, "that this Reuben Hayes knows all about it. A more self-evident villain I never saw."
"Oh! he impressed you in that way, did he?" (Priory School.1.153-4)
Watson's tendency to "read" people appears again here, as he suggests that the mean and rude Reuben Hayes must be a "villain" because he looks and acts like one. Watson is right actually, which is rather thematically telling.