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Mr. John Clay, whose blood runs a royal red, can also be seen in these previous issues of Electro-Graphic Monthly courtesy of her literary agent David McAllister:

February 2004 . . . upon beggars

 

A Letter From Dr. Watson
Regarding Mr. John Clay

To Whom It May Concern,

This will introduce, or rather warn you against, the bearer, Mr. John Clay. He is at the head of his profession, which seems to be a wide variety of felonious activities. Despite his education and breeding (E&O don't you know, like all the miscreants, not a good old solid Wykehamist such as Phelps and myself), Mr. Clay has apparently decided to set his hand against society and become an adventurer. He should take a lesson from that upstanding sporting chap, AJ Raffles, as a fine example of an English gentleman; we all know he would never crack a crib. The ignominy of John Clay is therefore all the more exasperating. Mr. Clay has been implicated in at least one attempted crime that I personally know of: the attempt on the City and Suburban Bank. I am not sure whether he escaped from Pentonville, or merely served a short sentence for attempt (mitigated by all his so-called good works - orphanages in Cornwall indeed- more like Fagin's Factories for Felons)(I think the judge was an Old Etonian, too). He has also been associated with other members of fallen society and the demimonde, such as Col. S. Moran, Sir Geo. Burnwell, Lord Blackwater, Fitzroy Simpson, and James Wilder (another sad story of the scion of a noble family born on the wrong side of the blanket). I therefore must warn all and sundry against Mr. Clay. He has a facility with disguise that rivals my friend Holmes, and can affect an amiable manner when he chooses, although a little touchy about his honor and the deference due him. He has been described by Holmes as the fourth smartest man in London and for daring, the third. I beg you to be careful in dealing with him, as you can not trust his bona fides to be uniformly on the side of right and justice. That being said, he does seem to have convinced many people of his propriety and wit. Mr. Holmes has had one or two scores to settle with him, which shows that he is both clever and able to out-maneuver Holmes on occasion. I would be careful of subscribing to his orphanage schemes, although he is very familiar with financial dealings. Especially banking practices.

Yr Obt Svt
J. Watson, MD