The Red-Headed League Characters

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Archie

See Duncan Ross

John Clay

Clay's apparent desire to learn the pawnbroking trade and his hobby of photography, like the assumed name of Spaulding, mask his intent to rob the City and Suburban Bank. Identified as a "murderer, thief, smasher, and forger," he is skilled enough at crime to have eluded the police for years. Holmes seems almost respectful when he identifies Clay as "the fourth smartest man in London" and compliments him on the ingenuity of his scheme. Clay's acid-splashed forehead and pierced ears hint at a colorful past, but the reader learns little about him aside from his royal blood, aristocratic education, and extreme pride. These attributes suggest that Clay was led to crime by the challenge, rather than the need for money. He may even have a Robin Hood-like motive of stealing from the rich to aid the poor, since police agent Jones mentions that...

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This section contains 707 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Red-Headed League Study Guide
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The Red-Headed League from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.