Dereliction of Duty

This weeks writing prompt for the Friday Fictioneers site, is a photograph from Piya Singh.

Copyright Piya Singh

Copyright Piya Singh: Duty

Young Amos had worked hard below Hebden Moor to earn a living as a lead miner. Yesterday his friend Tobias had found him dead. Whilst unconscious in the door of the managers office lay Jeremiah another mine worker. Of the mines manager, there was no sign. As it was pay day, the manager should have been present.

Worse the wheel which slowed the flow of water from the tarn and so stopped it from flooding the mine had been tampered with, allowing water to enter the mine uncontrolled.

Now Tobias found himself locked up in the jail at Grassington. Charged with: Dereliction of Duty. To protect the mine and its payroll.



Foot Note

It has come to my notice that Tobias was sent to the assizes at York, but before he could be tried, he was given into the hands of a naval press gang. He now resides in Chile after being shipwrecked on the Chilean coast. Tobias married and now manages a gold mine. His oldest son has recently written to me, as he intends to visit England and prove his fathers innocence.



This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    This sounds like it’s a real event. It has that reportorial quality

  2. Sandra

    Yes, it does have a ring of truth about it. Well done.

  3. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    It seems that Tobias has suffered a terrible injustice. Well done.



  4. creatingahome

    Someone please call inspector Barnaby.
    This is a well written mystery.

  5. Claire Fuller

    Definitely sounds like reportage, but a nice set-up for a mystery.

  6. Lynn Love

    Are we near Hebden Bridge here? Picture certainly looks right, doesn’t it? An intriguing set up – I wonder if Tobias will be found guilty?

    1. Michael Humphris

      It certainly does, however the Hebden I had in mind is a couple of miles from Grassington. It is a village with fond memories for me, I was a regular in the Clariden Pub in the 1970s.! Tobias is being used as a scapegoat by the mines senior management.

  7. Joe Owens

    Is there more of this mystery to come? Will poor Tobias find justice?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sadly I am not so sure he will, he gets sent to the assizes and then the navy press gets him.

  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    I have a feeling this is a true account… like one of this lesser news on the side.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It certainly could be, I have heard that he was sent to the assizes at Leeds then taken by a navy press gang!

  9. helenmidgley

    Reads like a true story, nice 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Helen.

  10. Clare Hempstead

    Poor Tobias! Let’s hope the future brings him better fortune. 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sadly so far it has not, he was sent to the assizes at Leeds then transferred to York, were the Navy press gang somehow were allowed to get hold of him. He is now on the high sea, somewhere off the coast of Chile.

      1. Clare Hempstead

        Oh dear! Things go from bad to worse!

        1. Michael Humphris

          I agree, but I do believe things will improve now.

  11. ceayr

    I admit that it took me a moment to get to grips with the style, but then I grew to rather like it.
    Good job.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, it did take me quite a while to sort out where I was going with this story, at times for me it did not flow to well. So I am pleased that you grew to like it.

  12. spicedmullings

    Hmmmm. Happens all the time!

    1. Michael Humphris

      It was a tough life working in lead mines

  13. d3athlily

    Yikes! Dereliction is an understatement

    1. Michael Humphris

      It could be a tough life, poor Tobias was innocent.

  14. Patrick Prinsloo

    Did Tobias do it all? Wow! A hard life in those days.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Tobias was innocent, he arrived just after the crime occurred.

  15. Josslyn Rae Turner

    This is a well thought out mystery.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you very much. One day soon hopefully the mist will clear,for Tobias’s son is on this way to England to clear his dad’s name.

      1. Josslyn Rae Turner

        You’re welcome! 🙂

  16. jellico84

    Hahaha, love the footnote…

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you. This story like some other just would not lie down. The ideas just coming, so I added the foot note that fixed it, thankfully. Mike

  17. gahlearner

    Poor Tobias, such injustice. But his luck turned. I love the footnote, too.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The you, the story would just not shut down till I wrote the footnote.

  18. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    A scary world i am glad I am not a part of.

  19. athling2001

    Amazing that your story is based on truth. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, that is how it should feel with historical fiction, i am pleased to say that this story came out of my head, except for the place names. Mike

  20. patriciaruthsusan

    It seems injustice rules in some cases. Good realistic story, Michael, and well written. 🙂 — Suzanne

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