A nameless burglar from the East End of Victorian London finds himself being mistaken for the legendary faceless villain of Spring-Heeled Jack and so he begins chasing the infamy that comes with being recognized.
Synopsis:A chimney sweep by the name of William Wheeler grows up with the humble beginnings of the Industrial Revolution earning only the shreds of clothes on his back and nothing more than anyone would expect from the orphan. It isn't until he gets his first taste of thievery that he sees some reward for his hard work and so he spends his youth working alone with ups and downs until he's running with the Blackwall Brewery company of thieves. Still without a name of value in the city, Wheeler is 27 and earning only his keep in a routine burglary while looking to make the acquaintance of the young maidservant he's robbing, Jane Alsop. In telling of the robbery to her masters, Jane's story gets skewed by the press and the incident is connect to a recent string of attacks by a local boogeyman -- Spring-Heeled Jack.
This figure captures the imagination of the London public as the 'Terror of London' while the Metropolitan Police have no means of catching such an elusive icon. Wheeler continues to call on the young Miss Alsop until it's known to her masters along with her history of stealing from them and she's out in the streets. Guilt-ridden, Wheeler tries to get her work thieving with Blackwall while his guild of thieves warn him to stay low. Henry Halloway, the brute that runs the guild, wants him out while the others defend Wheeler's charming nature despite his faults. Being the sort up for a challenge, William Wheeler goes out to continue stealing in order to support Jane in her time without work, but is mistaken for Spring-Heeled Jack by constables chasing him. Wheeler continues, from this point on, to keep up with his image as "Jack" -- his new thrill.
The commissioner, Charles Rowan, leads an investigation with hundreds of leads and hundreds more stories and sightings that don't add up while the founder of the police force, Sir Robert Peel, pressures an arrest or two to please the public. With Wheeler's future in the guild being pushed to its limits by his recklessness, he convinces them that the more the police look for Jack, the less they'll look for burglaries, allowing him to work full-time as the persona crafting garments and boots to fit the growing legend while spreading his own version. He plans on being caught as Jack rather than as the no one that William Wheeler is in hopes that the reward can go to Jane for turning him in. Halloway gets wind of this dual personality in Wheeler and decides to attack Jane in the Spring-Heeled Jack garb as an attempt to alienate Wheeler from everyone.
Halloway succeeds, but Wheeler goes into hiding with the boots. Needing the spring-heels as an edge over other thieves, Halloway searches high and low for Wheeler and agrees to help him stay afloat with a few scams as a truce between them. Seeing as he never had allegiances before, Wheeler agrees as long as he gets to remain as Jack. The unlikely partnership travels to taverns throughout the city bragging that Wheeler is the legend and betting that he can leap to great heights. This goes well until the victim of an unrelated Terror of London attack is in a bar and starts a great commotion. A constable gets called in and Halloway sells Wheeler out for the boots.
On trial, Wheeler stands admitting to all of the accounts attributed to Spring-Heeled Jack while the commissioner stands on the side, knowing the search won't be over at this. Sir Robert Peel eggs on the conviction, but before he's sentenced, Jane Alsop races to defend Wheeler. She demands that he perform one of the absurd feats he admits to doing. Seeing as he's an ordinary man, Wheeler regretfully can't perform the superhuman abilities and is let go on the charges. Blackwall lets him back in seeing as Halloway had been caught by a less civil jury of peers who found him wearing the boots and meted out their own justice. Wheeler goes back to thieving with his guild and Jane joins him for a relatively normal life with the occasional night entertaining his fantasy as the Terror of London.