Short summary - The Red-Headed League
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
The owner of a small loan office is offered a job in an unusual office. Sherlock Holmes finds out that the criminals removed him from the cash desk to undermine and rob the bank located in the neighborhood.
The owner of a small loan office named Jabez Wilson, who has an unusual red hair color, seeks Sherlock Holmes for help. Mr. Wilson was not doing well and had to fire his workers. Some time ago, he hired an assistant Vincent Spaulding in his shop, who agreed to work for half the salary to study the case. The assistant was quick and nimble, but too keen on photography. Having done the frames, he climbed into the basement to show the films. Once Spaulding showed the owner a newspaper announcement about a certain Union of Reds. One American millionaire with fiery red hair founded this alliance to alleviate the fate of redheads. There is currently a vacant place in the union. Almost no work is required, but they pay excellently. On the advice of Spalding, Mr. Wilson turned to this union.
The whole street was packed with people with hair of all shades of red, but Spaulding dragged his master into the office by force. After checking if his hair was dyed, Mr. Wilson was admitted to the Red Union. He was asked to rewrite the British Encyclopedia on the condition that before lunch he would not leave his workplace.
For two months, Mr. Wilson faithfully completed the task and regularly received the promised salary, but when he came to work this morning, he saw an announcement that the Union of the Reds had been dissolved. Attempts to learn something have failed. Spaulding advised waiting for the mail, but Wilson decided to contact Sherlock Holmes. The great detective is interested in the efficient assistant and his signs.
In the evening, Holmes visits his client's loan office. On the road, he taps paving stones with a cane. The door is opened by Vincent Spaulding. Pretending to be lost, the great detective examines his knees. Going out, Holmes examines the neighboring buildings.
At ten o’clock in the evening, the great detective, accompanied by a police officer and Dr. Watson, who does not understand anything, arrives in the basement of a bank branch located near the loan office. Holmes is sure that today there will be a robbery, which is preparing one of the most dangerous criminals, hiding under the guise of Vincent Spaulding. After some time, one of the slabs in the ceiling of the basement is pushed back, and the police arrest two criminals trying to break into the vault.
On Baker Street, the great detective explains to Dr. Watson what happened. The strange Union and the rewriting of the British Encyclopedia were invented to remove the not-too-smart owner of the loan office from the house. One scammer rented a room for the office, the second got a job at Wilson. Hearing that a person is ready to work for half the salary, the great detective felt that something was up to. For the sake of Wilson’s venture, there was no point in starting anything, but when he knew that the assistant spent a lot of time in the cellar and saw a bank nearby, Holmes guessed that Spaulding was digging. Noting that his trousers were wrinkled and stained on his lap, the great detective was convinced that his hunch was correct.