In the novel They Came to Baghdad, Dr John Pauncefoot Jones is a well known archaeologist. Early in the story, Victoria Jones reads in a newspaper that Pauncefoot Jones is about to excavate the site of the ancient city of Murik at Tell Aswad. Ever the fibber, Victoria decides to style herself as his niece, in order to impress people and hopefully secure a job and passage to Iraq.

A forgetful person who is ever preoccupied only with his scientific work, Pauncefoot Jones is expecting an anthropologist by the name of Venetia Savile to join the expedition. When Victoria turns up at the dig, he thinks she must be Venetia. Victoria, Venetia, Veronica... all sound the same to him and he can't remember the exact name. Even thought Victoria fears being exposed, he welcomes her to the dig and gives her various jobs such as photographing and showing visitors around.

Pauncefoot Jones is expecting his wife to join him at the dig, only the woman who turns up at the end of the story is not his wife but his wife's sister Anna Scheele. Anna Scheele had to evade various threats on her life to get to Baghdad to meet with British intelligence officials and travelled in disguise using Mrs Pauncefoot Jones' passport.

Anna Scheele noted that "Dear old Pauncefoot Jones doesn't notice much that goes on...." but he proves perceptive enough to notice that Richard Baker, his archaeological colleague is attracted to Victoria. When he offers Victoria a firm job at the dig and brings her back to Tell Aswad at the end of the story, Pauncefoot Jones welcomes "Veronica ... I hope you'll both be very happy."

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.