The Man in the Blue Cravat – Part One
February the 19th, 1871
To Superintendent Williamson, from Detective Sergeant Pinnocke:
Tomorrow I will submit my report on the death of Mrs. Mary Telfer of No. 6, Finch Street. The report will be one of a dozen or so that you will find on your desk in the morning, and it will certainly be the least interesting. Hardly a page in length, it can be summarized in one sentence: “Accidental death from a fall.”
It will seem an entirely ordinary affair: an elderly woman falls, dies, and a neighbor discovers the body. Why then do I write to you on this matter, and why do I send the letter by messenger in the night? Have you not said before that all matters of business should come through official channels? Yet here I break protocol to tell you about a commonplace tragedy. Why?
Do you recall a Mr. Harold Turville? Several months ago, that man walked into our offices and confessed to murdering his wife – three years after he had been declared innocent of the act. According to the man’s friends, he had once been healthy and jovial. As he stood there and described how he done it, how he had used the poison, he looked little more than a corpse.
Truth does that to a man when he locks it inside himself. It eats away at his soul, killing him or turning him into a monster. That is why so many criminals confess, though it is not always to us. It may be to a friend, a priest, or a pillow, but the guilty will whisper his secret to someone or it will torture him without end.
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