(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Captain Ronald Dancy, D.S.O.

Captain Ronald Dancy, D.S.O., retired, an officer who thrived on the excitement of war and languishes on the placidity of peace. After creating his own excitement with horses and women, he gets himself into trouble by stealing some money from a house guest while he himself is a guest. His friends stand by him against the accusation of the man who has lost the money. In the end, however, it is clear that he is guilty. When the police come to arrest him, he goes to his room and shoots himself.

Ferdinand de Levis

Ferdinand de Levis, a prosperous Jew who has risen to wealth by degrees, having started very modestly. He sells for a thousand pounds a horse Dancy has given him, and Dancy steals the money. De Levis is unpopular with the set at the house where he and Dancy are guests. He shows poor form by openly accusing Dancy of theft before his friends. When Dancy drops his suit for defamation of character against de Levis, the latter is willing to let bygones be bygones.

Mabel Dancy

Mabel Dancy, Dancy’s wife, who is loyal to him even after she discovers that he is a thief.

Jacob Twisden

Jacob Twisden, Dancy’s attorney, who is tough and straightforward. He discovers that Dancy did indeed take the money and advises him to drop his suit against de Levis.

Charles Winsor

Charles Winsor, Dancy and de Levis’ host at Meldon Court, where the theft takes place.

Paolio Ricardos

Paolio Ricardos, an Italian wine merchant whose daughter has been intimate with Dancy. Ricardos threatens to expose Dancy if he does not provide for the daughter. To get the money to pay Ricardos, Dancy steals the thousand pounds from de Levis.

General Canynge

General Canynge, Dancy’s superior officer. When it becomes apparent that Dancy has stolen the money, he offers Dancy a billet in the Spanish war.