The Red-Headed League

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Archie / Duncan Ross / William Morris Character Analysis

Archie is the criminal accomplice of John Clay. He poses under the name of Duncan Ross as the employer of Jabez Wilson, as part of the scheme to get Wilson out of his house. He hires Wilson to copy out the encyclopedia for four hours every day, strictly instructing him not to leave the building during these times. Wilson therefore knows Archie, but only in the context of the Red-Headed League, not realizing that he is in fact a criminal. Archie later disappears, and it turns out that he had also been posing under the name of William Morris, claiming to the landlord of the building that he was a solicitor seeking a temporary office. The landlord had never heard of either Duncan Ross or the Red-Headed League, and the forwarding address Archie provided leads Jabez Wilson only to an artificial knee-cap factory. Although Archie initially escapes back through the tunnel during the robbery, he is presumably apprehended at the other end of the tunnel, where Sherlock Holmes has arranged for three policemen to be stationed.

Archie / Duncan Ross / William Morris Quotes in The Red-Headed League

The The Red-Headed League quotes below are all either spoken by Archie / Duncan Ross / William Morris or refer to Archie / Duncan Ross / William Morris . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Bizarre vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam Classics edition of The Red-Headed League published in 1986.
The Red-Headed League Quotes

“But we have to be careful, for we have twice been deceived by wigs and once by paint.”

Related Symbols: Red-Headed League
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:
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Archie / Duncan Ross / William Morris Character Timeline in The Red-Headed League

The timeline below shows where the character Archie / Duncan Ross / William Morris appears in The Red-Headed League. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Red-Headed League
The Bizarre vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
Once inside the office, the employer, a man named Duncan Ross , hired Wilson for the job almost immediately. First, though, he pulled Wilson’s hair to... (full context)
The Bizarre vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
Greed Theme Icon
Duncan Ross explains that the job is simply to copy out the encyclopedia for four hours every... (full context)
The Bizarre vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Wilson began his job, and at first, Duncan Ross came into the office several times each morning. This gradually decreased, until soon, Ross wasn’t... (full context)
The Bizarre vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...neighboring offices, hoping to find some explanation, but found that no one had heard of Duncan Ross or the Red-Headed League. The landlord didn’t know a Duncan Ross but said a solicitor... (full context)
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
Greed Theme Icon
...as John Clay, hoists himself up through the hole and calls down to his accomplice, Archie, to see if he has “the chisel and the bags.” (full context)
Logic and Rationalism  Theme Icon
Greed Theme Icon
Suddenly, Holmes springs from his hiding place and grabs the boy. The boy’s accomplice, Archie, plunges back down the hole, as Detective Jones fails to catch hold of him. Holmes... (full context)