Mr Athelney Jones

Athelney Jones

Mr Athelney Jones is the official police inspector. He is presented as being considerably less capable than Holmes, though the private detective allows the policeman to take the glory for solving the crime.

He arrives at Pondicherry Lodge after the murder of Bartholomew Sholto is discovered. He quickly jumps to conclusions about the crime and arrests Thaddeus Sholto. Holmes is neither surprised nor concerned by this and promises Thaddeus that he will be able to clear him.

Mr Jones admires Holmes and happily agrees to follow his orders when his first arrests turn out to have alibis.

How is Jones like this?EvidenceAnalysis
PompousThe police inspector is dismissive of Holmes' theories about the perpetrator of the crime, and makes a wrongful arrest."Confirms it in every respect," said the fat detective, pompously.The word 'fat' suggests a somewhat comical appearance and contrasts with Holmes. He speaks 'pompously' implying that he has jumped to his conclusion too quickly.
ComicMr Athelney Jones is presented as a somewhat comic character. His blustering nature is in contrast with the composure of Sherlock Holmes.When he 'discovers' the trapdoor to the roof at Pondicherry Lodge, he is quickly 'crestfallen' when Holmes explains that he was the one who opened it.Holmes responds to Jones' attempts to find the murderer with a calm manner that makes the police detective appear foolish and slow-witted.
ApologeticWhen it turns out that Thaddeus Sholto has a firm alibi for the night of Bartholomew's murder, Jones returns self-effacingly to ask for Holmes' help.His expression was downcast, and his bearing meek and even apologetic.This contrasts to earlier meetings with Jones, when he has appeared as overly confident and self-assured.
CommonThe police are presented as being of a lower social status in this novel."There is nothing more unaesthetic than a policeman."Thaddeus shows a snobbish attitude to the police and Holmes is also dismissive of their intellectual capabilities.
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