Holmes initially compliments Watson's detective skills, but then clarifies that he is only complimenting the way that Watson has stimulated his own thought process. Holmes examines the stick himself, and concludes that Mortimer received the stick as a gift from a hospital, rather than from a hunting club. He deduces that Mortimer was a student at this hospital, not a physician, and that he must therefore be young, not old. Further, he believes that Mortimer has withdrawn from a town hospital to begin his own practice in the country. He adds that Mortimer must be absent-minded, amiable, unambitious and a dog owner.