Tom Eaton: The problem with Silent Cyril

At the end of a railway line‚ in the middle of a dusty town‚ there is a bank.

It is small‚ little more than four stone walls‚ but it is vital to the townsfolk‚ because inside those walls is a vault; and inside the vault is the money that represents all the work‚ the careful plans‚ the small triumphs and the secret hopes of the town.

And then‚ one day‚ a horrifying discovery: the town’s newspaper learns that the bank has been robbed by the Gupta gang. Even worse‚ it looks like the Gupta gang has a man on the inside. And it’s the bank’s own manager‚ Laughing Jake.

The townsfolk are enraged. Many of them had doubts about Laughing Jake when he took over the bank in 2009‚ and when he used some of their money to build himself a dream house it looked like their fears were coming true; but still‚ nobody expects a bank manager to be a bank robber.

Laughing Jake isn’t arrested (he has quietly shut down the sheriff’s office), but pretty much everyone agrees that this is bad and he needs to be fired as manager.

And that’s when Silent Cyril steps forward.

A local rancher‚ Silent Cyril has also been deputy manager of the bank since 2014. Now‚ he says‚ he is ready to take over as manager.

Some of the townsfolk like this idea. Silent Cyril is very rich‚ which seems to suggest he knows how banks work.

A few‚ however‚ have doubts. Big doubts. Because here’s the thing.

Silent Cyril either knew the bank was being robbed or he didn’t.

If he did know‚ he either refused to act‚ or was powerless to act. If he refused to act‚ the townsfolk have to assume he was either an accomplice or an enabler. If he was powerless to act against a crime he was specifically employed to prevent‚ then he is entirely useless as a bank manager.

And if he didn’t know‚ then just how stupid is he?

No‚ the facts are very clear‚ and the townsfolk should heed them. Silent Cyril is either a bank robber‚ an enabler of bank robbers‚ the worst bank manager in the land‚ or a moron.

And you still want to hand him the keys to the vault?

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