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John Clay, also known as Vincent Spaulding, is the villain in the short story "The Red-Headed League".

He was working under the alias of Spaulding for Jabez Wilson, a pawnbroker, whose pawn shop was situated in the perfect spot for Spaulding/Clay to use to tunnel to a store of French gold Napoleons, sitting unguarded underground in a bank not too far away. He was caught in the act by Sherlock Holmes. Clay claims to be of noble blood, and was well educated. Holmes called him the fourth smartest man in London.

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