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.


59. 59

He walked along side Jimmy Muirhead as they went to slop out for the last time. Once that cell door was locked he would be safe. He ate his supper and drank his tea. Tomorrow morning he would be eating a full English breakfast in Mickey Brown’s Café on Saville Street. The train would pull in at North Shields at ten past nine and he would be eating his breakfast at nine thirty. He couldn’t wait to eat some proper food. He would have to go to the NAB (National Assistance Board) to sign on and see if they would give him any money to live on until he started work. He wouldn’t tell them at the NAB that he was starting work with his uncle and would be claiming dole as well as working. He had it all figured out what he was going to do.

He gave all his toothpaste, soap, and new razor blade to Derek Watson his cell mate for the last two years. He wouldn’t need to shave tomorrow morning.

He finished reading a Louis L’amour novel and passed it to Derek.

The lights went out in his cell and Albert smiled knowing that he’d beaten Nasty Nick. He would be long gone before he could ever get to him. Albert dropped off to sleep He dreamt about the night of the robbery and how Butch had hit the guard over the head with the lead pipe and the blood that poured from the wound the blood seemed to never stop as the vision in his mind was so vivid. He didn’t realise that it was his own blood and that in fact he was dying.


Derek Watson heard Albert snoring away; he always slept on his back because of his bulk. He crept down from his bunk silent as a snake ready to strike. He eased the blanket away from Albert then took the razor blade that Albert had given him. He tore two pages from the middle of the book and had folded it neatly around one edge of the blade. He found the arm and the line of the vein and then sliced it open from wrist to elbow. The blood drained from the wound as Derek threw the pages of the book out the window once he’d got Reynolds prints on the blade. He dropped the blade down on the floor next to Albert’s bunk without touching it and then got back into bed as silently as he had got out.

By the time Albert realised his arm had been slashed it was too late. His bedding was soaked with sticky black blood. He tried to stagger to the door to press the alarm button and his vision began to blur. He fell to the floor then dragged himself along leaving a trail of blood upon the floor. He reached the door; summoning his last reserves of strength he got to his feet and pressed the Alarm bell over and over.

Mr Graeme Houghton the screw on night duty saw the light flashing from Albert Reynolds cell it was only five o’clock and Reynolds wouldn’t be released until 8 a.m. His cell would be opened at 6 a.m. Then he would be escorted into the main office and given his civvy clothes to wear if they still fit. If not he would be issued new clothes.

“They are always the bloody same when the day comes for them to be released said Graeme Houghton to his work colleague Ralph Mason. “ They just cannot wait to get out this place but it won’t be long before they are back again serving another sentence.’ 

“Should I go along and check said Ralph.’

“No.’ let the fat bastard wait until six o’clock like the rest.’

Graeme lit up a cigarette and took a drag from it. Well I’ve got two days off this weekend and we are taking the kids up to Edinburgh.’

Lucky bugger I’ve got another three days to do before I get a couple of days off. I forgot the last time I had a weekend off.’

Graeme stood up and then pressed the button on the wall which told him what cell had been calling for assistance then sat back down.

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