"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


18. 18

they needed. They had three main callers and they alternated each night. Some did the main calling on stage whilst the others did the table board games.

“What ever you played the Gala Bingo was there to squeeze every last penny from you. It was big business and there is no sentiment in business.

Don was supervising in the arcade tonight. So he went around getting change for people. He carried a float and when that was exhausted he handed in his notes which were counted then signed for he was then given more change. The bandits paid out very little and people playing kept feeding them in the hope of winning the jackpot.

In the end though the bandit was the only winner as the person who had just won would try and win more on another machine and end up losing the lot. Don had to supply customers with free tea or coffee; this was another inducement to keep them playing. The night was a steady flow of customers who were all hoping to win. The Halls would be thick with cigarette smoke and even if you didn’t smoke you were still inhaling smoke from others in the hall. Don tried to stand under the air conditioning so he got some clean air. Ten hours on your feet was a very long day and at the end of it you were glad of a sit down. Don felt bad about lying to Linda but what could he do; he couldn’t tell her that he’d brought home a orphan who had ran away from a children’s home. She might also think he was some kind of pervert, given she was a child and he a young man. All these things were going around in his head and he didn’t know what to do for best. One thing was certain he couldn’t keep on lying to his friend; he had to tell her the truth. Don had never been a religious man but he said a silent prayer as he stood under the air conditioning. If he had a wife there wouldn’t be a problem really. Yes, the authorities would say that he should have informed them but they wouldn’t have laid the finger of suspicion at his door as they would now. Christ he was in a mess he thought; he was just like the gamblers who dug themselves a bigger hole and couldn’t find a way out of it.


Emily and Cassie played well together they shared stories and she laughed about the teachers that Emily told her about in her school. “Do you think you will come to our school Cassie?’

“I don’t know it depends on mister Don.’

“Do you not call him Uncle?’

“No, he likes to be called mister Don.’

“Linda made them some pizza to eat and a cup of horlicks which would help them both sleep.’

Linda asked questions about her mother but Cassie was prepared for that and answered each one thoughtfully and carefully not to create suspicion.’

“Mister Don is such a nice man said Cassie.’

 “Yes he is, some nice woman is going to come along, and she will make him happy.’ “He’s a real kind man too.’

Linda was right when she mentioned that Don was handsome.’

 His black wavy hair and an infectious smile made him stand out from the rest. He stood five feet nine which wasn’t that tall for a man but he was lean, athletic looking. She had seen qualities in him that she liked. He was good and kind to Emily too, bringing her sweets in from the bingo. Don was so helpful that customers brought sweets and chocolates in for him which he kept for Emily. The two girls were still playing in the bedroom when Don returned. He had brought in supper from the fish and chip shop so Linda invited him in and they sat around the table that Don had restored for her. She was going to throw it out as it had seen better days. 

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