“Ah, now that might prove a bit difficult you see. When you rang George and gave me details about Mrs White I did some checking; and found that Sarah Jane was indeed a resident here herself.’
“I thought as much Sir;
“What led you to that conclusion George?’
“Well I found her birth Certificate in a copy of a Charles Dickens’s novel.’
“Yes Sarah Jane was always reading some book or other.’
“So you knew her then, said George taking a sip from the cup and saucer and trying not to spill any in the process.’
“Yes I knew her, she was a pretty little thing she was five years old when she came here; abandoned by her mother we were informed; who went to the workhouse I believe and died of consumption some months later.’
“So did anyone adopt her after she came here Sir?’
No; its complicated George, you see adoptive parents are less likely to take children of her age. They would prefer new born babies as they are easily passed off as their own if you understand.’
“Perfectly sir; so did Sarah Jane stay here?’
“Yes, she lived here until she got a job working in a cotton mill at the age of thirteen.
The reverend Donald Carr took her in from St Thomas’s Church in Ponteland.
Poor girl got herself in trouble by one of the workers there at sixteen years of age and had the baby here. She left soon after and we never saw Sarah again.’
“Well, she did marry a wealthy Banker called John James White and bore him two sons they were both killed in the Second World War. Her husband died in 1948
I believe, and my wife and I looked after her because she knew me from a boy when I used to run errands for her.’
“If you could bring the property that belongs to Elizabeth Emily Stephenson I will make sure that she gets it.’
“I’m sorry but I cannot do that Sir, I would rather give it to her personally because I would like to tell her about her mother.’ plus the funeral will have to take place within the next week.’
“What if Miss Stephenson does not wish to see you?’
“I will take my chances Sir.’
“Very well,’ leave this with me and I shall endeavour to deal with it.’ Do you have a contact number?’
“You can contact me at work Sir; I work for Matthew Hogg’s the Carpenters in North Shields.’
George gave him the number then shook Gerald Fox by the hand and thanked him for his time.’ Leaving the home George tried to imagine the life that Sarah Jane must have had here. His mother had told him stories about adoption agencies how the older children were abused by the nuns and other staff who were meant to be looking after them. They were constantly beaten by nuns and had to work long hours and were fed very little. George had his suspicions about Gerald Fox; George neither liked or trusted the man. George was usually right with first impressions. He walked back to the train station and bought another ticket.