Error: No ...Sub action routine found for action: "Talk"


I ran into the following problem: When I try to compile (Inform 6.41 macOS) my code I get this error:

Inform 6.41 for MacOS (22nd July 2022)
"tell_npcs.h", line 16: Error:  No ...Sub action routine found for action: "Talk"
Compiled with 1 error (no output)

In my main file I import the following libs:

Include "Parser";
Include "VerbLib";
Include "tell_classes";
Include "tell_rooms";
Include "tell_props";
Include "tell_objects";
Include "tell_npcs";


Class       NPC
    with        life [;
                        print_ret "Just use T[ALK] [TO ", (the) self, "]."; 
    has     animate;


NPC         stallholder "Helga" below_square
    with    name 'stallholder' 'greengrocer' 'monger' 'shopkeeper' 'merchant' 'owner' 'Helga',
                "Helga is a  woman. ", 
            initial [;
                print "Helga pauses from sorting potatoes to give you a cheery wave.^";
                if (location hasnt visited) {
                    move apple to player;
                    print "^Hello, Wilhelm...^";
            times_spoken_to 0,  
            life [;
                    print "TALK";
    has     female proper;

Any ideas what I’m doing wrong here? As most of you probably recognized, I’m doing the “The Inform Beginners Guide 3rd edition” …

Thanks in advence.

It sounds like you are missing the action handler for Talk, specifically TalkSub listed on page 231.

As there are no Includes in the original listing, I gather that you have broken the code into separate files. Check that you have a TalkSub in one of those files and that the files are being included in the correct order. You should Include "Grammar"; after all your object definitions, then provide the custom grammar and action handlers.

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Thanks for the hints Garry. Of course it was the missing “[ TalkSub; ];”.
The Guide provides hints at the end of every chapter on how the code can be modified with stubs and mocks, so that it can be compiled (which I did not recognize)…


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It looks like Roger Firth’s interactive fiction pages are no longer accessible. Pity. It was a great resource. Fortunately, it is available on the Internet Archive. The source code for the original listings can be downloaded from