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Jim and his friends were digging around for me, trying to find the truth, but they hadn't found anything that might tell me who'd set me up. Someone had arranged with senior cops to have me arrested. The same person had arranged to have me beaten while I was in prison.

1) Would it be better to replace was with 'had been'? Why?

2) Would it be better to replace might tell with 'might have told'? Why?

3) Why is it hadn't found, and not the past simple? Is it suggesting that perhaps they were eventually found?

4) When dealing with infinitive and modals in the perfect form, for example 'might have told' & 'could have arranged', what tense does it convey?

Thanks
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1-- Not necessarily; the other events could precede the digging-- I cannot tell from this excerpt.
2-- Not necessarily; it depends on the time frame within which 'telling' may occur.
3-- To make it clear that previous to that moment of the search nothing had yet been found.
4-- Past.
Comments  
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Mister Micawber1-- Not necessarily; the other events could precede the digging-- I cannot tell from this excerpt.

I'm not sure I follow... Do you think it's because the arranging happened before he was in prison?
Mister Micawber
2-- Not necessarily; it depends on the time frame within which 'telling' may occur.

Could you explain this in another way, please?

Mister Micawber
4-- Past.

What about if we are using modals that already are past form, such as would? Do modal perfects not show completed action?
Do you think it's because the arranging happened before he was in prison?-- Yes, and the 'not finding'.

Could you explain this in another way, please?-- When might the telling have happened? The sequence of events is unclear unless I rely on the tenses applied in the original text, so I cannot comment on preferable tenses unless I am aware of the whole story-- but don't give it to me! I have other things to do.

What about if we are using modals that already are past form, such as would? Do modal perfects not show completed action?- Not those-- they are potentialities within any time frame.