Carlton Tallis RIP.
This is the intro to a longer longer story about the demise of Carlton Tallis…
My name is Bob Coburn, I am a detective inspector of police and live just outside a smallish village in Yorkshire called Grasswick. I don’t work in the area (if at all possible) where I live – for fairly obvious reasons – police officers always try to avoid living or working too close to home. So when a serious crime occurred in the village a colleague of mine Jim Coates (also a Detective Inspector) was given the job. The serious crime was a Murder. The victim was one Carlton Tallis. I was in line for promotion to Chief Inspector, but only because of length of service, Jim was certainly as efficient. Nobody in the village had appeared to shed any tears for the demise of Tallis. He had been a quite unassuming character in the village, something of a loner, and it seemed that not much was known about him. Why he had been dispatched, and by whom, was now up to Jim Coates to sort out. Jim had a Detective Constable to assist him with his investigation.
It was about three weeks later, I had been working miles away from the village, and had not seen or heard from Jim, nor did I know how the investigation was progressing. I was called into the office of Superintendent Mason at the town’s police headquarters. “Bob, I want you to take over the investigation of the murder of Carlton Tallis. Jim has got nowhere. I know it’s a bit near to home for you, but maybe that could be to your advantage. Who do you know in the village that could possibly help a little?”
“Blimey Super you’re making me stick my neck out a bit here, it’s my back yard. I’m in the village chess club which I try to get to on a Wednesday night, and I call in to the post office occasionally, but other than that I never go near the village; I do all my business here in the town. My wife goes into the village much more often than me. The local doctor and vicar are in the chess club, and the headmaster from the school, the librarian too. I know them all quite well – but I’m going to have to be very discreet with any questions and as you know discretion is not my strong point.”
“Maybe not Bob but you are our top guy – let’s see what you can come up with. Make a start straight away. I will give you three weeks to come up with something; I am starting to feel some pressure.”
I was rather pleased that Jim had got nowhere with his enquiries, but I really didn’t think he would.
Three weeks? Well clearly I would have some work to do, but I knew that even if I had been given three years I still wouldn’t be able to give Supt Mason the news that he would want to hear. You see, I was the one who had dispatched Carlton Tallis.