"The Rubber Bend" is a Gene Wolfe short story which parodies Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.
It first appeared in Universe 5 and also appears in Storeys from the Old Hotel.
The detective's client is an elderly scientist named Professor Louis Dodson, who has a 'daughter', Alice Dodson, who is in fact his lover.
Near the beginning of the story, Dr Westing (who is a robot) says to Mr. Wide (who is also a robot, and a detective, although he is not the Sherlock Holmes isomer) "would it be possible to sit in with you while you question his daughter?" to which Wide replies "You mean, his 'daughter'".
At the end of the story, Westing asks Street (his Holmes) "there are several things I don't understand about that case. Was that girl Dodson's daughter -- or wasn't she?"
The following paragraph is:
The rain drummed against the windows, and Street's smile was a trifle bitter. "I don't know why it is, Westing, that our society prefers disguising the love of elderly scientists as parenthood to regularizing it as marriage; but it does, and we must live and work in the world we find."
The relationship has no real bearing on the story, other than that Miss Dodson had reason to regularly visit her 'father's' laboratory after his dissapearance.
Why does Wolfe introduce this thread into the plot?