Harlan Ellison

RFD #2

8 May 1975

Talmadge Services, Inc.

545 Fifth Avenue

New York 17, New York

Dear Sirs:

A friend of mine, whom I prefer not to name, has told me that your organization might be helpful. I am given to understand that your company has certain added services to offer, in addition to the useful private investigation.

There is a person I am very much interested in having located. He is a rather troublesome person, and if you have any service that might (I hope you’ll pardon my frankness) put him off me, I would be very glad to have all particulars.

I do not know if you have such an added service, but if you do, I would be most happy to send you any information you might need about this person.

It is quite a problem to me, and I worry about it continuously. I hope you will be able to do something for me.

I will wait impatiently to hear from you.

Yours very truly,

(Miss) Loretta Parish

May 10th, 1975

Miss Loretta Parish

RFD #2

Stimson, Ohio

Dear Miss Parish:

In reply to your letter of May 8th, we are not quite certain what you mean by an added service, but since Talmadge Services is equipped to handle all business of this type, from location of missing persons to detective work, I’m certain we can offer some help in this matter.

We are always ready to aid a client. If you wish to send us the particulars in this matter, please send them airmail, first class, in a sealed envelope. You will hear from us soon, at which time we can more readily discuss remuneration.

Hoping we may be able to assist you, we remain, most respectfully yours,

Harrison Talmadge,

for Talmadge Services, Inc.

HT:lt

12 May 1975

Talmadge Services, Inc.

545 Fifth Avenue

New York 17, New York

Dear Mr. Talmadge:

I have your letter of May 10th, and am herewith enclosing particulars concerning the man I wish you to find. Frankly, I’m not so concerned about locating him as I am in making certain that he does not trouble me again. The man’s name is Philip Grademan, and his last residence was Taunton, Massachusetts, where he was employed in the service of a Mrs. Margaret Constable.

Mrs. Constable, now deceased, was the widow of Leonard Constable, the restaurant man. She was a wealthy woman, and very fond of books; Mr. Grademan was a rare book expert who was employed to maintain and catalog Mrs. Constable’s library. I was also employed at that time by Mrs. Constable as a confidential secretary.

Philip Grademan and I worked for Mrs. Constable for two years and our relationship was always cordial. However, when Mrs. Constable died of acute enteritis, he accused me of falsifying her will. If you wish to learn the true facts of this affair, I am sure you will be able to unearth them in the inquest proceedings of her death, February 14, 1975, Taunton. It was a case of pure envy, since Mrs. Constable favored me in her will with a bequest of $6,000, and gave Philip Grademan only a very fine set of books.

Nevertheless, Philip was very incensed about what happened, and made several wild threats to me after the inquest. When a series of suspicious accidents began to occur to me, I was certain that Philip intended me harm. I did not take my suspicions to the police, and do not wish to do so now, as I have a horror of becoming involved in a public scandal. I’m sure you understand . Instead, I left Taunton and changed my name (if you check the court proceedings, you will find it listed as Elizabeth Fernig).

I am very happy here in my new surroundings, and have purchased a fine home, and would be completely content with my lot if it weren’t for Philip Grademan. I have no real evidence that Philip is actually looking for me, but I am convinced that he is, and that he means to do me harm. I can never be really happy until I know that Philip Grademan will let me live my life in peace. I am not a well woman. My heart is weak, and I suffer from high blood pressure. It is impossible for me to flee this man, and this sense of uncertainty makes life difficult.

I cannot supply you with a photograph of Philip Grademan, but your sources of supply must be better than mine. All I can tell you is that he is tall, dark-haired, and slightly balding at the temples. He has a small, pear-shaped birthmark on his left hand, above the knuckles. He has nice, even features, but I always thought his mouth was rather cruel. His one interest that I know about is his love of books; this might provide a clue for you, as to his whereabouts. I know that he is no longer in Taunton, because some friends of mine there informed me that he left town the week after I came to Stimson.

Please tell me if there is any other information you require and, most importantly, whether you can do more than just find this man.

Yours very truly,

(Miss) Loretta Parish

May 13th, 1975

Miss Loretta Parish

RFD #2

Stimson, Ohio

Dear Miss Parish:

Just this note to let you know we are looking into your problem, with an eye to definitely clearing this matter up to your satisfaction. Enclosed is a standard table of payment for our services.

However, while my sources are checking back — we have accepted your kind suggestion to check the coroner’s inquest transcript in Taunton — I should like to make certain precisely what services you will require of us.

My associates and myself, having reviewed your letters, are puzzled by your references to whether “ … we can do more than just find this man.”

We wish to establish that we are a reputable firm of some years standing. However, for special clients — such as we now feel inclined to consider you, in the light of your special difficulties — we have a number of special services.

If you would care to be more specific in this one particular, I am certain we can arrive at a mutual understanding.

A further statement of our progress will be sent you as soon as our sources have reported.

Checks may be made payable to the undersigned.

Most respectfully,

Harrison Talmadge,

for Talmadge Services, Inc.

HT:lt

enc: Rate Table

16 May 1975

Talmadge Services, Inc.

545 Fifth Avenue

New York 17, New York

Dear Mr. Talmadge:

I’m sorry not to have replied to your letter immediately, but I have not been well.

I appreciate your desire to have me make a specific request concerning Philip Grademan, but this is a delicate matter, as I’m certain you understand.

I can only repeat that unless this man is permanently prevented from bothering me, and accusing me of crimes, and actually threatening my life, that I can never look forward to a peaceful existence.

I’m afraid that this is the most I can say, and if it is not sufficiently clear, perhaps we had better conclude the entire transaction.

Yours very truly,

(Miss) Loretta Parish

May 18th, 1975

Miss Loretta Parish

RFD #2

Stimson, Ohio

Dear Miss Parish:

Please do not misconstrue, or take offense at my request for clarification. You must be aware, I am certain, of the delicacy of the nature of our business.

I feel impelled to reassure you that anything written or conveyed to us, in any form, will remain exclusively confidential, and at the termination of our business, all your correspondence will be returned. You can be assured our own reports remain in secret file, where no one will ever gain access to them.

The attitude of Talmadge Services, Inc. has always been: “The client’s confidence is sacred. We must assume the role of doctor or counselor. The confidence must never be violated.” We at the Agency hope you, too, will feel this way about us.

I believe we understand each other perfectly now, Miss Parish.

To be sure, we will handle this problem to its logical end, and publicity of any sort would be as damaging to us as to you. Discretion is all-important, to both of us.

In any event … the extra days during your indisposition have allowed us to procure the transcript of the inquest, and the preliminary reports of our field man. We are now preparing the latter for your consideration.

I wish to remind you that no check has been forthcoming, and while we wish to satisfy our clients, our field work is quite expensive. I’m sure this reminder will suffice.

Hoping you feel better-disposed, I remain most respectfully yours,

Harrison Talmadge,

for Talmadge Services, Inc.

HT:lt

May 22nd, 1975

Miss Loretta Parish

RFD #2

Stimson, Ohio

Dear Miss Parish:

I wish to thank you for your check, which more than covers our preliminary work. I am certain you will find our work as thorough as you might have wished.

Our primary report is enclosed. However, a brief summary reveals the following: there was some question, at the inquest and subsequently (which you could not have realized, having moved from Taunton so soon after Mrs. Constable’s unfortunate death) as to the circumstances surrounding her death. Now we certainly do not wish to pry, and have no desire to tread where it is not our province, but to more clearly establish for our own purposes just what action Mr. Philip Grademan might take, we must know all particulars.

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