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the task

November 30th  1948. 11am.

A suitcase is lodged at Adelaide Central Station.

December 1.

An unidentified man is found dead on Somerton Beach. His body is transferred to the city morgue. His clothing and the items found in his pockets are taken into police custody.

Prior to December 11

Tibor Kaldor leaves Melbourne with two suitcases.

December 11

Tibor Kaldor checks into the Victoria Hotel, Adelaide.

December 15 1948.

Tibor Kaldor discovered dead in his Adelaide hotel bedroom. His body is transferred to the city morgue. His clothing and two suitcases are taken into police custody.

January 10 1949

The unidentified body is embalmed.

January 14th 

The suitcase lodged on November 1 was examined by the police at the railway station, certain items (a stencilling kit and tie labelled T Keane) were removed by DS Leane for photographs. The suitcase was put back into the rack.

January 19

DS Leane takes the suitcase from the luggage office to the police station and lists its contents for the first time, including the card of Barbour thread, the only link to the unidentified man.

February 23

Kaldor is buried.

April 19

Professor Cleland informs DS Leane he has found a Tamam Shud slip in clothing taken from the body found on December 1st. It is not known where the clothing had been taken to for Cleland’s examination or the precise date he found the slip.

June 2nd

Paul Lawson, taxidermist, is taken to the city morgue to view the embalmed body. He is asked to make a cast of its head and shoulders.

14 June

The unidentified body is buried.

21 June

The Inquest is adjourned.

July 23

Mr Francis hands the police a copy of the Rubaiyat with the Tamam Shud ripped out. Jessica Harkness’s Moseley Street phone number is written on the back.

July 26

Jessica views Lawson’s cast, she almost faints and answers no questions.



Smiley looked up.

‘You ready, Peter?’

‘Fire away, George, never readier.’

‘Your task is to make a Tamam Shud slip torn from a Rubaiyat find its way into the fob pocket of a man found dead on Somerton Beach two weeks before the book and its owner arrived in Adelaide.

Use what men you can.’


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