Before retiring, he used to be a actor in dramas written by William Shakesphere, and had acted as Hamlet in Shakesphere's popular play, Hamlet, several times.
Three weeks before Billy Shakesphere's disappearence, Fentriss had bought Billy from a peddler, who was a "small man with a strong Mexican accent who had driven up to the house in a little Mexican donkey cart". He was sent by Irma Waggoner, one of Fentriss' friends, when she heard Billy quote William Shakesphere. He bought Billy for fifteen dollars, as no one else was willing to buy him, as he stuttered.
About two weeks later, while going for an evening stroll, Fentriss left the door unlocked and the window open. When he returned to the house, Billy disappeared. He noticed tire tracks in his house's driveway, and as he didn't have a car, he deduced that someone had driven to his house and stolen Billy.
Afterwards, when he had tried to complain to the police, they were sure that Billy flew away himself. However, when Fentriss insisted, they "hinted that since he was an actor, he was seeking publicity".
Some days later, a fat man came to his house, introduced himself as Claudius and claimed that he was from the police, and that he came to investigate the disappearence of the parrot. He asked Fentriss some questions, whose answers "seemed to interest him very much". When Claudius mentioned Blackbeard as Fentriss told him about the "dark bird that seemes ill", Fentriss was convinced that Claudius was not from the police. Fentiss deduced that Claudius was the thief who stole Billy, and when Claudius heard a noise outside, he "bound Fentriss, gagged him, and hurried out". Fentriss "lay there" until Jupiter Jones and Peter Crenshaw saved him.
After Jupiter and Pete saved him, he told them all that happened before they came, and everything about Billy Shakesphere. Promising that they would not contact the police, and that they would find the parrot, they left.
After the mystery was solved, Claudius returned Billy to Fentriss.