The Coldfall Sanction
Crime Reporter for The Evening News
Carmichael Openshaw has worked for The Evening News going on now for a little more than a year, having changed his position more times than it was worth attempting to keep a tally. His too frequent change of employment owes to the inevitable rows he would eventually find himself engaging in with his fellow reporters. These rows always accompanied a story which Openshaw felt was being neglected by either the City Editor or the publisher owing to political considerations. In most cases he would conclude his gin induced diatribes with the critique that although the paper itself was a good one, the reporters were so doss they were soon to drag the whole of the publication down. “If there was a penny’s work of talent with a pencil behind their ear then the paper wouldn’t have to put in all the bloody nonsense, the cartoons, the puzzles, the prizes, the bloody pointless classifieds, so as to squeeze a halfpenny from the poor reader’s hand for lack of proper investigative reportage. Instead, it is all muck about charity teas and who attended with whom in the blooming Society pages; and oh yes, we all need the Ladies Lifestyles & Current Fashions so as to keep abreast of the latest trends during wartime, and let us not forget the bloody frivolous articles about the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain, where one can go to ring up cousin Billy who got his bloody arse gassed in the trenches, so as to see if he’s met up with his chums.”
Whereas, for all their inane column inches, his reportage was essential. He wrote about crime. About the battle of Good and Evil. Justice. And the punishment of Sin – for were not the wages of Sin death! It was his investigations that gave everyone the equality that all the sod off socialists just gather in meeting halls to debate and winge about.
A man of two extremes, vehemence and silence, he was not only tolerated but was sought after even by the papers he had thundered and stormed out of – for when it came to crime, Carmichael Openshaw was a dogged Sherlock.