Jabez Wilson, a red-haired London pawnbroker, comes to consult Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. He tells them that some weeks before his young assistant, Vincent Spaulding, urged him to respond to a newspaper want-ad offering work to only red-headed male applicants. The next morning, Wilson had waited in a long line of fellow red-headed men, was interviewed and was the only applicant hired, because none of the other applicants had hair to match Wilson’s red locks.
Wilson, whose business mainly operates in evenings, was well-paid, receiving four pounds a week for several weeks (equal to £330 today); the work was obviously useless clerical work in a bare office. Finally one morning, a sign on the locked office door inexplicably announced that “THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE IS DISSOLVED”…
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