Sherlock liked to present all of the evidence to Watson and then sit back and listen to Watson reconcile the evidence in his own way. Granted, most of the time Watson was wrong but Sherlock did this to not only involve Watson in the process but also to hear how a reasonable person would see all of the evidence. I do this all the time. I gather all my facts and arrange them into a logical sequence of events. I then present the case to another genealogist to get their feedback. Many times they see things that I haven’t noticed.
“Look here, Watson, just sit down in this chair and let me preach to you for a little. I don’t know quite what to do, and I should value your advice.” [Holmes to Watson, "The Boscombe Valley Mystery"]
“Now, I’ll state the case clearly and concisely to you, Watson, and maybe you can see a spark where all is dark to me.” [Holmes to Watson, "The Man with the Twisted Lip"]
“At least I have got a grip of the essentials of the case. I shall enumerate them to you, for nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person…” [Holmes to Watson, "Silver Blaze"]
“There you have it all in a nutshell, Watson, and if you can give me any light I shall be infinitely obliged to you.” [Holmes to Watson, "Silver Blaze"]
"Just sit down in that chair, Watson. I want to put you in touch with the situation, as I may need your help to-night. Let me show you the evolution of this case so far as I have been able to follow it." [Holmes to Watson, "Wisteria Lodge"]
Ah but dear Sherlock couldn’t help but tell poor Watson about his shortcomings when Watson
gave his opinions about the case. I certainly do not recommend this when you are having your own work critiqued but it is fun to see what Sherlock did.
“‘Pon my word, Watson, you are coming along wonderfully. You have really done very well indeed. It is true that you have missed everything of importance, but you have hit upon the method…” [Holmes, to Watson, "A Case of Identity"]
“I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasional guided towards the truth.” [Holmes to Watson, "The Hound of the Baskervilles"]
There are many instances where Sherlock made fun of Dr. Watson and he rarely complimented him but there is one passage where Holmes’ true feelings for his faithful friend are shown. Watson is narrating the scene right after he [Watson] had just been shot by suspect James Winter. [The Three Garridebs]
“You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”
It was worth a wound – it was worth many wounds – to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.
“It’s nothing, Holmes, It’s a mere scratch.”
He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket knife.
“You are right,” he cried with an immense sigh of relief, “It is quite superficial.” His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. “By the Lord, it is well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive.”