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Claudius was an English art dealer, John Silver's former employer, Olivia's husband, one of the only people who knew the real meaning behind the parrots' speech, and the owner of the lost painting hidden by Silver.[1]


Two years before he came to California in search of the lost painting, he was an art dealer, who bought and sold rare pieces of art. Silver had come to him in search of a job. Claudius hired him to attend auctions and buy objects that he thought would be valuable.[2]

One day, Silver had bought a ordinary painting of "two yellow-headed parrots on a branch", and Silver had paid a lot of money for buying it. Claudius discharged him for this, calling him a fool. However, after being discharged, Silver revealed to Claudius that he was sure that the ordinary painting was painting on top of an older and much more valuable painting. In a "few days", Silver returned with an "absolutely lovely little painting of a young shepherdess tending a baby lamb". However, as Claudius had discharged Silver, Silver argued that the painting now belonged to him. As Claudius debated back that the painting belonged to him, due to Silver using Claudius' money to buy it, they agreed to share it half and half. However, Claudius threatned Silver with arrest, in anger.[3]

He, evetually, received a little from Silver. The letter said that "the receipt of the latter meant tha he was no longer alive, but that he had put the picture in a safe place". It also informed Claudius that he would have to solve a riddle, Silver's last joke, to find the painting. It then informed him about the message told by the parrots. Unfortulately, Claudius was in Japan on a buying trip, and the letter had "waited weeks for him at his London shop". When he finally read the letter, he rushed to California. However, he was too late, and Ramos Sanchez had sold all the parrots. When he learned that he had lost the parrots, he "went insane with frustration". After insulting Sanchez, and being shown the neighbourhood where Sanchez had sold the parrots, he started going "from door to door, asking is anyone had recently bought a parrot from a Mexican peddler. He managed to find and buy the two parrots, Sherlock Holmes and Captain Kidd.[4]

Then, later, while seeing Billy Shakesphere in Malcolm Fentriss' home, he wanted to buy him, too. However, he became afraid that the owner would not sell the parrot this time, and so, he "broke in and stole the parrot". But Billy refused to talk.[5]


When Billy refused to talk after Claudius had stolen him from Fentriss, Claudius could do nothing except meet Fentriss himself. He, thus, pretended to be from the police, and went to Fentriss' house. Fentriss told him about Billy's speech (but he didn't tell Claudius that Billy stuttered), and that a black bird which looked ill was with the Mexican peddler. Claudius made himself suspicious when he exclaimed that the bird must have been Blackbeard. Fentriss then accused him of stealing his parrot, just as Jupiter Jones and Peter Crenshaw arrived at Fentriss' house. To not be caught, Claudius tied Fentriss up and gagged him, albiet loosely, so that he could escape, pretended to be Fentriss, and convinced the sleuths that Billy had returned. When they went, he made his escape, and was nowhere to be found when they realised what had happened.[5]

When he somehow realised that Huganay was on his trail, he hid his Ranger, and hired a grey sedan, from the Rent-'n'-Ride Auto Rental Company,[6] as Huganay knew that Claudius liked Rangers.[7]

While Bob and Pete had gone to buy Robin Hood, Claudius went to a corner store and called the mobile phone inside the Rolls-Roys sedan, as he had come to know about the sedan when he was renting his grey sedan. His wife then, acting as if she was giving a lift to the boys, took them to the house he had rented. There, after being convinced that the boys weren't working for Huganay, he told them his history with John Silver, and about the painting.[8]

As they were going to The Jones Salvage Yard, Huganay was able to locate them, and was able to get the parrots and their speech from Claudius. The sudden excitement triggered a health problem, and Claudius had to be admitted to the hospital.[9]

After the lost painting was found, Claudius returned Billy Shakesphere and Little Bo-Peep to their respective owners, apologised to them, and was forgiven.[10]


He was described as being very short tempered, and quickly angered person. When Silver proposed a half share of the painting, Claudius became angry and threatened Silver with arrest. This was what, actually, caused Silver to smuggle the painting, and flee to California.[3]