The girls stood around me as I explained again to Yolanda what I had found. She seemed sleepy at first, but as soon as I started to show her the article she woke up and adapted the same reaction as the others.
'Around fifty years ago, in this city, a man was wrongly convicted for a murder. His name was Thomas Trenton-he was an "alliteration child", 19. There was no real evidence that he had done it, but a police officer at the time, a Mr Heldon, generated enough hatred and back stories on this man that he was executed.' I looked up to see Yolanda bunching up her cardigan, with a bitten lip. 'Within a course of the next twenty years, Heldon had three more "alliteration children" killed, and all of them were under twenty-five. Each had little evidence against them. Heldon was a hero, everyone loved him. But one year a twenty-six year old man came to town. He was called,' I took a gulp-this detail always made me stop. 'George Golding.'
'What?' Yolanda looked confused. Rightly so. 'That's not possible, you're only...'
'He's my grandfather. You know how I said I prefered to be called by my middle name, David?' Yolanda nodded (I'd had the same reaction from the others, who were now just watching). 'Well..it was because my great-grandfather had abandoned his wife and his young child at the age of twenty-six. I'd always thought he was doing it for himself, or he had another family...My father had always thought the best of him, though. That's why I took the name.' I had to stop again. My father always gave people the benefit of the doubt. What a man...it was hard to live up to him, but I was trying.
'Anyway...George Golding-my ancestor, the first George Golding- he became on officer, and he was promoted straight away to a position higher than Heldon. A month later he was assaulted on his way home..the newspaper puts it down to a younger mob, but I have my suspicions it was Heldon who put them up to it. Six months later...the records of George Golding and Theodore Heldon completely disappear. For a while there was no mention of "alliteration children"-I'm not sure whether there were any but if there were there was certainly no bad press. And now...well. I did a check of the staff at all the local stations.'
Yolanda watched expectantly.
'There's a record of a Mr Heldon working nearby. Apparently he moved about two years ago.' I pointed to Dakota. 'The first case of a homeless alliteration child. See any correlation?'