Dr. John Watson serves as the narrator as well as a character in the short story, and a dedicated friend to Sherlock Holmes—one who would even be willing to break the law to help Holmes solve a case. A recently married man who formerly worked as Sherlock’s assistant, Watson is impressed with Holmes's powers of deduction. Watson is so impressed that he sometimes writes and tells the stories of his and Holmes's most enthralling cases. Watson is a medical doctor who has stopped working with Holmes so that he can focus on his own practice. He serves as a classic foil character, meaning that his main purpose in the story is to illustrate Holmes’s personality by contrast. Where Holmes is clever and brilliant, Watson is consistently astonished and fascinated. Watson is a doctor, so readers can presume he is a smart and capable man, yet the fact that he is so often amazed by Holmes’s deductions implies that Holmes's intelligence must be particularly extraordinary if a well-educated doctor can barely keep up. Watson's presence and interest also require Holmes to explain his deductive reasoning to the readers so they can follow along, rendering Watson a stand-in for the audience.