"Nobody's Child" Cassie is an eleven year old girl who has been in a children's home since she was four years old. Very bright, Cassie excels in most subjects and can play Brahms and Mozart on the piano at the age of only six. Because of her age nobody wants to adopt her. Mrs Cummings the manager of Auton House is a wicked woman who treats Cassie and the rest in her charge badly and beats her with regularity. One day she is sent to clean out the toilet and bathroom and Mrs Cummings comes along to inspect them. Running a white glove over everything and looking for dirt. When she doesn't find any she then reaches up on the door - Cassie is only three feet six inches tall and was unable to reach up to the top of the door and Mrs Cummings sets about her with a cane. She beats her so badly that Cassie runs at her forcing her back where she hits her head on a wash basin. Cassie in her panic rushes out and runs away.- It is there that she meets Don a ex docker who takes pity on the girl - rea


12. 12

Leaving the library Cassie walked down a back lane and found a cardboard box she split the box so she could fold it up to make it easier to carry. She walked with the box back to the Jarrow Slacks. Cassie could see that the Sword Fish is back and has been moored and the men had gone. Looking around she finds a place to put the cardboard to make a camp for the night. She hoped that it wouldn’t rain and that the big rats that she had seen the night before didn’t make an appearance. She had folded the back of the big box to seal one end. Cassie was able to sit up in it and where she had placed it among the shrubs and she was totally concealed from everyone. As the night wore on she saw two men carrying fishing rods and tackle boxes. They chatted away as they set up the rod on the rod rest. They were obviously well averse with this procedure as they were casting into the incoming tide within ten minutes. They sat on the wall not far down from where she was observing them and they opened their thermos flasks and poured out coffee. The smell of Nescafe filled her nostrils and she yearned for a hot drink and something to eat.

They opened a Tupperware box and began to eat sandwiches that they had wrapped in cling film. They then prepared another hook and trace with Crab and what looked like mussel. Using an elasticated thread the bait was tied on then left over the rod stand.

Each bait trace was left out for twenty minutes before it was swiftly brought in.

Cassie learned more about fishing that night than she ever had. The LED tip lights shone brightly and she was able to see every movement from her hideaway camp.

The men chatted away mostly about fishing and the girls that they’d been out with. Cassie never knew men talked like that about women. It was a real eye opener for the eleven year old who was not even in puberty yet.

“All of a sudden one of the men jumped up as his rod bent and he struck into a fish.

“Fish on Tom?

Aye he’s on and trying to make bottom. Keep away from those shopping trolley’s then mate. Tom walked further down to where she was. He reeled in as fast as his hand would allow. Her breathing was so loud with excitement she wondered if he had heard her she was only twelve feet away. His friend held his rod as Tom hand lined the Fish onto the grass. It was still kicking as he unhooked it then held it up.

“Now that’s a canny cod Bob.’ “That’s going to do my tea tomorrow night.’

“Quick lets bait up and see if I can get another.’

Bob brought his line in and they both changed the bait then with a whoosh as they casted the baits out, and they disappeared over one hundred yards with a gentle plop.

They both wound in the slack line then sat down again. The fish that Tom had caught had been dispatched using a wooden truncheon. That was what Cassie saw on board the Sword Fish she said to herself.

The men both went on to catch two fish each and the used the flattened wall to fillet them then discarded the skeletons over the side.

Both rods were quickly unscrewed then the reels dried and put away once they were wrapped in a dry rag. The rods were disassembled and then the tackle boxes secured.

They then walked to the rubbish bin and put what was left of their sandwiches and pork pies and a half bottle of Coke inside then made their way to the parked car up the hill.

Cassie waited until they disappeared before coming out and going to the bin and retrieving the food and the bottle of pop that the two men had left.

Cassie smiled as she tucked into two ham and tomato sandwiches and two chicken and stuffing one’s. She opened the bottle of coke and drank from the bottle. 

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