The Orphan

A woman is found unconscious in the street with a severe head wound; she is also pregnant.
The woman gives birth to a son but later dies- her dying words was the Name Robin McNally- Police sergeant Bob Cole is out to get McNally a petty thief for murder but he manages to get off in court. The grand parents of the woman bring up the boy as their own. Jackie Boyle has an unusual talent- he has the ability to remember everything he see's. he can read a book in minutes and remember every word. Jackie watches his Grand Mother who he calls mam cooking and when she dies of a stroke is forced to cook and clean so that his father who is really his Grandfather; can go to work down the pit at Battlehill Colliery. The five year old does this until his father is killed in the pit rescuing his friends- Jackie is sent to Oakridge Children's Home where he suffered at the hands of the Matron and the nuns strict regime. The Orphan is a fast paced story that will leave you wanting to read more.

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Jackie undressed and his case and clothes were taken away. He stepped under the shower which the water was freezing cold. Then looked for the controls to make to water temperature warmer; there was none.

“Hurry up boy we haven’t got all day.

“The water is cold matron.”

“No it isn’t; stop being soft you will soon get used to it.”

When he came out he dried himself on a rough towel.

“Here put these on said the matron handing him a grey flannel shirt and trousers and a grey tweed coat.

“Put these boots on.”

“I have my own boots matron.”

There was another whack across his face so now he had two hand prints on his cheek.

He began to sob.”

“There is no crying allowed here so shut up and sit here.

Jackie sat on the chair where a metal comb was dragged through his hair looking for nits and dickies.

Then a pudding basin was placed on his head; all of the hair around it was cut off. Then it was sheared at the back and his entire fringe cut off.

“You will now be known as number fifty eight do you understand?

“Yes Matron.”

“Come with me and I will give you a job to do.”

The matron took him to the work house where he saw other boys not much older than himself scrubbing floors.

Jackie was introduced to Sister Agnes.”

“This is number fifty eight sister he will be on boot cleaning duties for a week.”

“Yes matron.”

 The matron left the nun to it and it wasn’t long before he found out about the Sisters of Mercy.

“Come with me said Sister Agnes who was dress in a nun’s habit. She carried a leather strap which was attached to her belt around her waist; the other side of her waist hung a rosary and a wooden cross.”

He went to a room where there were over sixty pairs of boots to clean all he had was an old rag and some spit to clean them with.

“Now get on with it.”

“Where is the polish Sister Agnes?

The sister took off her strap and began to welt Jackie with it.

“We obey the “Spirit of Omerta” here; that is the “Code of Silence”

“You only speak when spoken to; do I make myself clear fifty eight?

Jackie nodded in response.

“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness” get on with it and if those boots are not clean when “I come back; you will get no supper tonight.”

Jackie set about his task.

 

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