To Sherlock Holmes, the owner of a small loan fund named Jabez Wilson, who has an unusual red hair color, applies for help. The affairs of Mr. Wilson did not go well and he had to fire his workers. Some time ago, he hired an assistant to Vincent Spalding, who agreed to work for half the salary to study the case.
The assistant was quick and dexterous, but he was too fond of photography. After making cadres, he climbed into the basement to show the film. Once Spaulding showed the owner a newspaper announcement about a certain Union of Redheads. One American millionaire, who possesses fiery red hair, founded this union to facilitate the fate of the redheads. At the moment there is a vacancy in the union. Works practically do not require anything, 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 color, but Spaulding dragged his master to the office with force. Checking whether his hair was dyed, Mr. Wilson was taken to the Red Union. He was offered to rewrite the “British Encyclopedia” with the proviso that before lunch he would not leave his workplace.
Two months, Mr. Wilson conscientiously carried out the assignment and regularly received the promised salary, but when he came to work this morning, he saw an announcement that the “Union of Redheads” had been dissolved. Attempts to learn anything to no avail. Spaulding advised
In the evening, Holmes visits his client’s loan office. On the way, he is tapping the stones with a walking-stick. The door is opened by Vincent Spaulding. Having pretended to get lost, the great detective examines his knees. Going out into the street, Holmes examines the neighboring buildings.
At ten o’clock in the evening a great detective accompanied by a policeman and nothing that does not understand Dr. Watson comes to the basement of the bank branch located next to the loan office. Holmes is confident that today there will be a robbery, which is prepared by one of the most dangerous criminals, hiding under the guise of Vincent Spalding. After a while, one of the slabs in the ceiling of the basement is moved away, and the police are arresting two criminals trying to enter the vault.
On Baker Street, the great detective explains to Dr. Watson what happened. Strange Union and the rewriting of the British Encyclopedia were invented to remove the not-so-smart loan-holder from the house. One swindler took down the room for the office, the second got a job with Wilson. Hearing that a person is willing to work for half the salary, the great detective felt that something was being started. For the sake of Wilson’s enterprise, there was no point in starting something up, but when he found out that the assistant spent a lot of time in the cellar, and when he saw the bank nearby, Holmes guessed that Spaulding is digging a tunnel. Noticing that his pants are crumpled and dirty on his knees, the great detective made sure that his guess is correct.