Janice Villeverde was out hanging washing in the back lane when Mildred Stephenson a neighbough came out along with Elsie Mather.
They were talking together and pointing in Janice’s direction.
“Can I help you with something ladies asked Janice knowing full well that the two women were discussing something about her?
“We were just saying how hard it must be you know for you looking after three men and a baby to boot especially when you’ve got no man around.’
“I do alright as it happens; my brothers and my father look after me alright.’
“I know that hinny but you know how people talk around here like. The rumours are spreadin’ like wild fly.”
“What are they sayin’ like Elsie?
“Well I was in the post office the other day you know; just after you’d been in for your family allowance and your rations like and old Winnie Thompson from Dereham Terrace was sayin’ how you’d brought shame on the town because you got yourself knocked up.”
“Well the old bag has room to talk because her man has been havin’ it away with Mary Bruce for years and as for you two I would think on before talkin’ about me because you’s are now bloody angels either; My mother told me all about you’s two when you were younger.’
“No need to be like that Janice we were only sayin’
“Well mind your own business in future.
Just then the gate opened and the postman brought a letter which had to be signed for.
The two women were breaking their necks trying to find out where the letter was from.
Janice went into the house then sat at the table with a kitchen knife and slid it inside and then along.
Then she opened the letter and began to read it. It was from Newcastle Crown Court asking her to come to the court with the child known as Jackie Barrett on the 28th November. George Barratt was after custody of his son. He sited that the woman known as Janice Villeverde was an unfit mother who smoked and drank to excess; further more the child wasn’t being cared for properly.
Mr Barrett being in a position of wealth and property was better suited to look after the child.
She read on until the letter was finished and couldn’t believe what she was reading.
Janice put on her coat then took Jackie by the hand down to the phone box and rang her friend Miriam and explained everything.