Alice fixed herself up the best that she could so she could then get into the back of the black Wolseley. The neighbours were all out in force as they had seen the police vehicle pull up outside number thirty six. They were curious to find out what had happened but before they could ask the Wolseley pulled away with the blue light flashing.
“It’s not going to be long before the bloody whole of North Shields know what’s going on Alice said Brian as he ran his fingers over the stubble on his chin.’
“Listen Brian; said the sergeant, your daughter is not the first and I’m sure that she will not be the last either to get herself in trouble so don’t you go worrying yourselves. “ Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers.’
The car sped up past Percymain Club then on towards Howdon. Alice knew where the hospital was; as it was where Heather had been born sixteen years before. The last time that she arrived here it was in an ambulance not by a police car.
When the car finally pulled up outside the hospital grounds Brian and Alice got out and went to the main entrance. The hospital was surrounded by trees and a large landed area. There was three wooden benches to sit on outside. Bill led them to the ward where all the mothers were being looked after but they had Heather in a room on her own.
The nurse came and Alice asked if she could see her daughter.
“You daughter is very weak Mr and Mrs Reid; you can see her but only for a few minutes I’m afraid.
“The Child is that alright asked Brian?’
“Yes the little one is doing nicely.’
“Was it a boy or a girl then?’
“Oh I’m sorry I thought that you knew said the nurse. Your daughter had a baby girl Mr Reid. She was seven pounds and two ounces.’
They were shown into the small room with a curtain around the bed and a wash basin situated in the corner.
Heather was lying there and breathing very shallow as her mother came to the beside
“Her mother began to cry and Brian put his arm around his wife to comfort her.
“Come on now lass don’t take on so.’
“Oh Heather she cried why didn’t you just tell us we would have understood.’
Heather opened her eyes briefly then whispered to her mother who bent down so she could hear what her daughter was saying.
“I’m sorry mam she repeated over and over, I want my baby; please get my baby.’
Her mother went to the nurse and told her what her daughter had asked.
Soon after the nurse wheeled in a crib on wheels and it was placed beside the bed.
Heather’s mother lifted the baby out and placed her in daughter’s arms. Heather looked down on her daughter then at her mother and whispered something again.
“What was that dear said her mother?’
“I want to call her Dawn mam because she was born just as the light was breaking in the windows of the hospital.’
Brian refused to look at the child; he stood by the window in the room looking out.
“I don’t suppose you are going to tell us who the bloody father is he said as he placed his hands behind his back holding onto his cap.
Heather said nothing; there were tears in her eyes knowing that her father would never accept the child. Heather’s breathing became laboured and her mother called for the nurse.