NOBODY’S CHILD

"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

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14. 14

Ten minutes later the girl emerged from the bathroom. He couldn’t believe the transformation; her hair was a mass of blonde curls and her pink coloured skin gleamed now that she had washed herself.

“Here sit down and I will bring you in your soup and some bread to eat.’

Fart followed the girl and sat down on the floor next to her. The puppy seemed to have found a playmate and it had calmed him down. Don brought in a tray that he had bought from a car boot sale in the grounds of Burnside School in Wallsend he had stripped off the old varnish then lovingly restored it by sanding it down and then giving it a fresh coat of clear varnish. They held one each Sunday and he would be going again tomorrow morning. Don always got there early to get the best stuff as it went pretty quick. He got there around eight as they were setting up and he would walk around each stall and pick out items that he wanted. They would set them aside for him and when they were finished; he would come and collect them.

Cassie picked up the spoon and began to eat as Don asked her how she had ran away from the children’s home and Cassie began to cry as she explained how she had pushed Mrs Cummings and she had hit her head on the wash basin. “I think I may have killed her. There was blood on the floor and it was coming from her head.

“How long ago was this?’

“Two weeks ago but I have been at Auton House since I was four years old.’

Did your mother or father never try to find you?’

“No I was told that they both died in a car crash; that’s why I was sent to the home because there was no one to look after me.’

“What about your grand parents are they not still alive?’

“I’m sure that they would have been informed after the deaths of my parents. They didn’t want me or they would have come to take me away from that horrible place.’

“I see said Don wondering what he should do.’

“Can I stay here with you mister Don; I’ll be a good girl.’ Please don’t send me back.’ Cassie began to cry and Don came to her and she flung her arms around him.

“Don’t let them take me mister Don.’

Don took out a handkerchief from his pocket and told the girl to wipe her eyes and finish her soup before it got cold. He turned the television onto a channel that the girl could watch and an episode of the “Flaxton Boys” by Syd Waddell was showing. He was about to turn over to BBC when the girl asked him to leave it on. “This is good she said we got to watch it at the home. It’s about two boys one is an orphan the other a squire of Flaxton Hall who become friends during the Crimean War 1890. This episode was called “The Deserter” and Cassie watched intently as she dipped the stottie into her bowl of soup.’

“Can you stay here a moment with the dog. I have to go out.’ I won’t be long I promise.’

“Your not going to the police are you mister Don, you promised.’

“No, I’m going out to get you some underwear and a toothbrush so you can clean your teeth.

Don wheeled the bike out of the passage where he kept it and went outside. He opened the gate and rode down the street. The curtains of number 94 moved and the face of Sylvia Crowe looked out. She was a sixty year old spinster who had lived in the street for over thirty years. She knew every bodies business as she sat at the window most of the day looking out.

She had seen Don come into the house with the young girl and her mind was working overtime as she thought whose child it could be. She knew one thing, it certainly wasn’t his.

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