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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The two officers came back with a statement for him to sign then he was released on bail pending further enquiries.

McNally had a big grin on his face as he left the station.

“I’m going to have that bastard even if it takes me twenty years said the big Scot.”

 

At the court inquest Robin McNally was exonerated of all charges; he could not be tried again for the same offence under the double jeopardy law. He was free to go.”

 

A few weeks later Brenda Boyle was buried in Preston Cemetery Anne Clay and a host of other friends came to say goodbye. They held a wake in the Pineapple which was full. Jimmy Bridget played his accordion and everyone sang the night away.

“When everyone left Nelly and Billy came home.

“What are we gan a dee aboot the bairn Billy; we cannot just leave him in hospital can we?

“What ever you want to pet is fine by me.”

“I know I’m fifty eight years old Billy; but I will manage you know that.

“He’s our grandson and he hasn’t even got a name.”

“Well what would you like to call him?

“I thought Jackie; after my late brother.”

“I and Kevin after my brother God rest his soul.

“Alright then pet we will call him Jackie, Kevin, Boyle.”

“The next day they went to collect their grandson who they would bring up as their own. Over the months and years they watched as Jackie crawled then learned to walk.

By the time he was two Jackie was able to recite the alphabet and count up to a hundred. He called them mam and dad and was a happy child. Every weekend his adopted father would take him down to the fish quay sands where he would play with his bucket and spade making mud pies and sand castles.

Jackie was fascinated by boats he watched as the big Merchant Navy boats sailed down the Tyne. The tug boat one on the North side and the other on the South side of the Tyne would wait upon the high tide before leading the ships slowly up or down the river. Billy would take Jackie on the ha’penny dodger up to White Hill Point and back again just for the ride. Then they would go to Innes’ and have a hot sarsaparilla.

Other time they would go on the horse and cart ferry to buy French onions from the sellers. There was always’ a fry to be had and a hand woven raffia bag full of herring that was taken home to be soused in vinegar.

When Jackie was four years old he would go with his father to Whitley Bay light house and pick willicks and mussels when the tide was out. They would take off their boots and socks and walk across the slippery moss ridden rocks; they had to be quick because the incoming tide came in so fast and they would be cut off.

They were coming home from one of their adventures when Billy found Nelly on the kitchen floor; she had collapsed.

“Here Jackie; Stay with you mam I wont be long.”

Billy ran up the street as fast as he could; even though he was now sixty three years old.

 

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