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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By eight o’clock Jackie’s hands were hurting and badly blistered with buffing up the boots. He no longer had any spit left to clean the boots with and there was another twenty pairs left to do. He looked around for Sister Agnes who was nowhere to be seen so he got up and went to the shower room ran the tap and drank from it.

When he had finished he turned to see another nun standing in the doorway.

“You filthy animal she shouted; using a bamboo cane on his backside and legs she flailed away.

He was already sore from the beating he had received from Sister Agnes.

Jackie held back his tears.

What number are you and why are you not working?

“I am number fifty eight; I was cleaning boots Sister and I had no spit left to clean them with.

“Well in future you come and ask one of the sisters on duty. I am Sister Ruth.”

“Now get back to your work; there will be no supper for you tonight.”

Jackie reluctantly went back to the pile of boots that all had number tags on them.

He even had to clean the nun’s boots too.

By ten o’clock he was finished and worn out. He sat looking out onto the road at the back of the building. There was another two buildings further on and Jackie wondered what they were used for. The roads here seemed busier than in North Shields; there were buses, wagons, and cars going past here every few minutes.

“Don’t even think about running away from here fifty eight.”

“I, I wasn’t Sister Agnes I was just looking to see how busy the road was here compared with where I live.

“Where are you from fifty eight?

The Ridges in North Shields.

“The place is a hovel if ever there was one; come with me and wash your hands.”

Jackie followed the sister to the bathroom again then picked up the bar of carbolic soap. The whole place stunk of it.

He dried them on the towel then hung it back on the rail.

“Give me a look at them.”

Jackie showed her his hands.”

 Look at the dirt in those finger nails hold them out. Jackie did as he was asked and the strap came down upon them eight times.

“Now wash them again; we will not have dirty boys here.”

Jackie ran his stinging hands under the tap and then began to use a scrubbing brush to get the dirt out that he’d picked up whilst cleaning the boots. Jackie checked each finger to make sure they were clean before drying then again.

“Show me”

Nervously Jackie held them out so that Sister Agnes could inspect them.

“They are far too long. Taking out a pair of nail scissors she held Jackie in a vice like grip and snipped away. “You will not allow your nails to get this long again understood?

“Yes Sister Agnes.”

“Well don’t just stand there boy; follow me and I will show you your bed.

 

 

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