Four young boys are accused with robbery. one of them with murder, Hanging in Britain was still prevalent at that time. Can one of them escape the hangman's noose?'
Ruby White the petite honey blonde who works in a chemist shop spends her lunch break reading poetry in the local library. it is there that she meets Richard Llewellyn Shaw a writer and poet from Wales who has come to the North East to write a book. A relationship develops even though he is eight years her senior.
Then there is Jessie Longworth who has been saddled with looking after her father who is in the early stages of dementia. She is unable to cope with looking after her father, and her family and asks her brother Edward if he will take her father for a while. Joe Corder is an ex-dock worker. He worked hard all his life and gives his son his savings to help him start his own business. He meets Elizabeth who comes from a well to do family who all look down on Jessie and her father. She will not have him in her home.


56. 56


 “We’ve got some sweets and pop from Meggie’s, we will share them with you if you let us come with you.’

Ben Ardle looked at the other boys; then said alright let see what you’ve got.’

The girls all opened the sweet bags with toffees and chews. Sweets were now freely available in the shops since the end of rationing and all the kids made the most of them. The boys took a sweet from each bag and rammed them in their mouths. It mattered not that their hands and face were scruffy from playing in the ballast heaps.

They climbed through the break in the wire fence and headed towards the concrete tunnel. One at a time they crawled through the small space that led to the Cundy. The light was beginning to fade now and the lads turned on their torches to guide them on their way. They found the camp they had made out of old pieces of wood. It had a flap made out of tarpaulin which they could crawl through. The eleven of them squashed their way in and sat around even though it was cold outside they soon got warm huddled up together in a confined place. The camp was sheltered from the wind by some sycamore trees. The girls began to sing “My Boy Lollipop” recorded by the Cadillac’s.’ Dave Douglas had a book by Edgar Allen Poe which was his father’s book really. He told the girls to be quiet whilst he found the story he was looking for. It as only a few days away to Halloween so this story was perfect he thought to himself as he shined his torch on the first page.

It was now completely dark outside and the only sounds came from blackbirds roosting in the trees. Dave Douglas began to read the story of “The Black Cat”


The narrator of the story is insane Dave told them as they all listened intently. Dave told them that he man who was telling the story did not expect anyone to believe him as he told them that he was going to die the next day. He described his beautiful, large Black cat called Pluto who followed him everywhere. The man who is an alcoholic came home dunk one evening after a blazing row with his wife. He is angry with everyone and knocks over his wife’s bird cage.’ He never harmed Pluto though he loved his cat. Then on another night the cat nearly knocked him over when it moved around his legs purring. He picked up the cat in anger and it bit him. The man retaliates by cutting out the cat’s eye.

“Oh the poor cat say’s Rose.’

“Shut up Rose says Rob Black let him tell the story as he urged Dave to continue. Dave carried on reading once they were all quiet.

The man slept off the effects of the alcohol he had partaken in from the night before and is horrified when he sees that his beloved cat has only one eye. The cat avoided the man it once loved until its eye heals up.

“What happens next says Marjorie Taylor.’

“Giz a drink of yer pop and I carry on reading said Dave.’

The bottle of lemonade was passed over to Dave and he took a large gulp of it then burped loudly.’ before apologising

“Excuse me.’

“Carry on will yer said Ben Ardle who was getting frustrated by this time with all the interruptions.

Dave picked up the book again and found the place where he had left off. He read on.

The cat would no longer come to the man now after he has taken its eye out. And the man begins to despise the cat. He catches the cat one evening after chasing all over the house. He ties a cord around the cat’s neck and hangs it on a tree outside.

Later that night his house catches fire and he is lucky to escape alive with his wife and servant. On the only surviving wall left standing is the picture of a black cat. 

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