HE WHO RIDES A TIGER

"HE WHO RIDES A TIGER" Chief petty office Peter Thompson the upstanding, charming gent hides a secret, he is an abuser of children. How long can he evade the law. one young girl, his daughter finds the courage to come forward to tell all after years of torment.. based on a true story. "A must read"

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it up and put it in the bin then went to his room and packed a small haversack with a clean shirt and clean socks and underpants in it just in case he had to stay over.

“What time is the next bus from town Da?

“They run every hour.

Brian looked at the cheap watch he’d worn since he was fifteen which told him it was now twenty minutes to two.

 “Do you want me to tell Ma’ anything Da?

 

“No, I have nothing to say to her. If she comes back it will be for you two not for me.’

Brian put on his coat then his cap and headed out the door.

He ran down the street. The heavy meal he’d eaten slowed him down some- what but he got to the stop that would take him into town just in time. He jumped on and sat down as the clippie came around to take his fare. The young girl flashed him a smile as she took his fare.

“You’re Brian Thompson, aren’t you?

“Yes, do you know me?’

My sister Pauline knows you.’

“I’m Lorraine Lennox, I’ve just started a few weeks ago on the buses.’

“I see, how old are you then?

“Old enough.’

“Maybe you’d like to come out with me when I get back.’

“Where you going like?

 “I’ve got to go to Croydon on a bit of business you know, said Brian with a wink and touched the end of his nose.’

“How long are you away for?

“I might be back today or it may take a couple of days, look give me your number and I’ll call you when I get back Lorraine.’

Taking out a small notebook Lorraine scribbled her name and number onto it then folded the paper. She handed it over seductively to Brian.

 

 

 

Brian looked at it then smiled. Lorraine had drawn a heart and a X in the centre of it.

She walked down to the front of the bus and Brian checked her out. She was about five feet six in her shoes with curly blonde hair and big blue eyes. She had a pretty face and nice curves. He figured she was about twenty years old. She had nice legs he thought as she stood near front with her back to him.

Someone rang the bell to get off and she turned around and saw Brian was looking at her. She smiled. Her teeth weren’t perfect, there was just a slight gap between her front two teeth but they were white which meant she didn’t smoke he thought. He hated brown teeth or girls with smelly breath. Lorraine was chewing Beech Nut chewing gum so she obviously cared about how she looked. Brian smiled back he ran his comb through the thick mouse coloured hair. He had the look of a young Marlon Brando with his bomber jacket and cap on. He had been to see the film “The Wild One’ at the picture house and he liked it. The bus pulled in at the terminal and asked Lorraine when the bus for Croydon was due.

“It’ll be in now, it leaves in three minutes.’

Thanks, I’ll call you when I get back.’

You had better, I don’t give everyone my phone number.’

Brian stepped off the bus then ran to the stop where the bus was parked. He turned and saw Lorraine walking to the canteen. She smiled and waved as he boarded and watched as he took his seat.

He was captivated by her and couldn’t wait to get back again. The bus pulled away slowly, Lorraine entered the canteen but her face was etched into his brain and he couldn’t help thinking about her. All the way to Croydon he played back their meeting and he imagined her lips on his and his hands caressing her body.

 

 The number 68 bus took him though Croydon high street he looked out onto the shops and stores as he past. F.W Woolworth, J. Sainsbury, Nobles, Dunlop Cycles, Millets Clothing Store and the Piggly Wiggly Store. It had changed some as he remembered it before WW2. There was a new road that led to Waddon Marsh where his Aunt Alma lived. He asked the conductor if he could direct him. When he neared Canterbury Road, the conductor told him to get off and walk down the road and Waddon Marsh he said was some three hundred yards on his right.

He crossed the road and walked down the road he passed Fairholme Road and carried on until he reached Waddon Marsh.  The Street hadn’t changed as he remembered it. each house had a bricked arch that led to the back garden. The privet hedge had been trimmed as he opened the gate to number 17. He knocked on the door and waited.

It was opened by his Aunt who asked him what he was doing there.

“I’ve come to see my Ma’ is she here.’

“Here, why would she be here Brian? You’d better come in and explain.’

After an hour and a cup of tea Brian was no further forward. He still didn’t know where his mother was. He explained to his aunt that his mother had written a letter explaining that she had left them.

“To be quite honest Brian, I’m not surprised that she’s gone, she told me at your brother’s funeral that she was sick of slaving after you all. Especially your father. I’m pleased that she has found the courage to leave that no good for nothing man. He has never treated my sister properly ever since they first met, he just used her. I kept on telling her that he was bad news but she would never listen.

Both you and your brother were no better either, your brother Edward was the only one who treated her with some respect and now he’s gone. Your mother had no one else to turn to apart from me but she is proud and would not come here. She wouldn’t allow herself to admit I was right about your father you see. Very proud is our Elizabeth.’

“So, you have no idea where she is then?

“No,’ and even if I knew I wouldn’t tell you.’ This is the kick up the bloody pants that you all need. It’s time you stood on your own two feet. You are twenty- two and George twenty- seven. Christ, you should have been married off long ago. You want to sort yourselves out. Get your act together and get yourself a proper job instead of living off ill- gotten gains from your father.’

“I had better be going Aunt can I use your phone before I go. I have to ring my gran to ask if my mother is there.’

I’ve not long come off the phone to your gran and she’s not there either. She would have told me if she was.’

I wonder where she is then? We are going to have to ring the police soon if she doesn’t turn up.

I hardly think the police are going to bother looking when she left you all a note.

“We need to know if she’s alright.’

“Had you showed that you cared about her before- hand she might not have left you.’

“I guess you’re right Aunt Alma, if she calls tell her that I send my love that we all miss her.

There was a tear in Brian’s eyes as he left and walked back up the road to get the bus back home.

Once on the bus, Brian took stock of what his Aunt had told him. He realized then that he’d not been a very good son to his mother. He decided that if she ever came back, he would change the error of his ways. When he got back home it was just after six o’clock. The four- hour journey both there and back again had made him feel tired.

George and his father were out at the Red Lion for the evening session and he would have been with them if it hadn’t been for the stark reminder from his Aunt.

Brian spent the evening tidying up the house he gathered the washing ready to be taken to the Chinese laundry down on Halfpenny Lane.

 Then he went to the phone box across the road. Walking down to the corner of the street he pulled open the heavy cast iron door and picked up the receiver and dialed the number Lorraine Lennox had given him on the bus earlier. He inserted some coins as he heard her voice on the other end.

Hi, it’s me, you know, the handsome chap you met on the bus today.’

“You’re pretty sure of yourself, what do you want said Lorraine?

“What you doing tonight, I was wondering if you like to come out with me for a drink or something. There was a long silence as Brian waited for an answer.

Hello, are you still there?

“Yes, I’m here said Lorraine. I was just going to stay in tonight and wash my hair.’

“Look we can “We can do this another night if you want Brian said despondently.’

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