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Mr. Wilson, a red-headed man, was convinced to apply for a job offered by an American millionaire, Ezekiah Hopkins, who when he died left an enormous fortune in the hands of trustees with instructions to apply the interest to finding easy jobs for men with red hair. Mr. Wilson showed up at the interview and was immediately hired by a Mr. Duncan Ross. His job was to copy the encyclopedia for four hours a day. He was not allowed to leave the building the whole four hours . If he did, he would forfeit the job. For this he was paid four golden sovereigns a week. One day he showed up and there was a sign on the door that read " The Red-Headed League is Dissolved". Mr. Wilson was shocked. He asked the landlord and was told that the man had never heard of the Red-Headed League. He asked about Mr. Duncan Ross, and the landlord told him the name was new to him. Then he asked about Mr. William Morris, who was an attorney and using his old office as a temporary place while his new place was getting readied, but when he went to the new offices to see him, he found a place that manufactured artificial knee-caps and no one knew Mr. William Morris. Mr. Wilson's assistant told him to wait and see what arrived in the mail, but Mr. Wilson feels that something is very mysterious about this and has come to Sherlock Holmes for a solution. This is what drives the plot --- the conflict or problem.
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