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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“No Mrs. Thompson, not today.

“Well he will be busy preparing for the Kings funeral no wonder he hasn’t rang me.

“Is there any shopping that you need?

“I think you’ve thought of everything Rose thank you.’

“Do you mind if I slip out to my house and check on it, I must also visit the church, I haven’t said mass for three days? I will pick up Deborah Jane on my way back.

Rose put on her coat and head scarf and her gloves because it was getting colder. The February winds blew from the North Sea making it feel colder than it actually was. Her breath came out in a stream of steam as she hurried to the bus stop in Northumberland Square. There were several other people standing at the stop and she asked how long they’d all been waiting.

“It’s due in a few minutes. Are you in a hurry?’

Well as a matter of fact I am. I have to go home then go to mass then pick up my employer’s little girl from school.

“So, you’re a nanny then.’

“Yes, I am.’

“Have you no children of your own?

“No, unfortunately not I live alone.

I see so where is your husband?

Oh, he died during the war you know.’

“How tragic it must have been for you.’

“Yes, it was.’

My Alfie was killed too, his ship took a direct hit they said. He was a Royal Navy Engineer.

“What was your husband?

“He was a pilot, he was shot down during a bombing raid over Holland I believe.’

“Do you not have any family living in England?

 “Unfortunately, not, they are all in Belfast.’

Rose found the woman’s questions very intrusive and when the bus came go on it and found a seat away from her. She stared out of the window looking out and her mind wondered back to Glenburn Manor house and Patrick Connor. How she wished she’d been born of noble birth maybe then Patrick would have loved her. Instead he looked down on her because she had only been a common housemaid. Her heart was broken and it would never mend. She hoped one day to return to Ireland. Not to visit the manor house but to see her family again. So many years had passed unnoticed. She felt old before her time.

She got off at her stop and hurried to her house. Her neighbour Alice Rowley came out as Rose walked down the path.

Hello Rose, are you alright?

“Yes, I’m fine Alice.’

“Well I hadn’t seen you in church and was wondering if everything was alright.’

I’ve been looking after my employer’s daughter whilst she was in hospital.

“Nothing serious I hope.’

“No, she was having her second child.’

“That’s lovely, new life brought into the world. What did she have, was it a girl or a boy?

“She had a son, she’s called him Alan.’

“Marvelous, praise be to God.’

“I must rush Alice I want to catch mass.’

“Alright, give the mother and the new born my best.’

Rose opened the door to her house and went inside she picked up the mail from the mat then walked into the kitchen and took off her coat and hat. She looked at the post and one had come from Ireland. She took a bread knife and opened it and quickly read it. Her mother had taken I’ll and her brother had asked that she come as soon as possible.

She put on her coat and hat again then rushed out to the phone. She opened her purse and placed money in the slot and waited for a dialing tone then rang the number of her parent’s house.

Barry her brother answered.

Hello Barry how is mother I’m sorry but I just got the letter today I’ve been looking after my employer’s little girl she’s just had her second child.’

Mammy’s gone Rose, she died yesterday said Barry softly.

 Rose began to cry uncontrollably, she went to her pocket of her coat and took out a handkerchief.  She wiped her eyes then asked her brother how her mother had died.

“The doctor said it was liver failure.’ The funeral is this Friday at St Mary’s Church at 2 p.m.

“I will be there Barry, I’ll pack a bag and be with you tonight. Can you meet me off the plane because it will be late when I get in.

Are you flying in?

Yes, I’ll have to use my savings but needs must. Look Barry I’m going to have to go, I have to ring Mrs. Thompson who I work for and then the agency to tell them to send a replacement.

Ring me when your flight gets in and I’ll come and pick you up alright?

“Yes, I will to be sure.’ Bye.’

Rose hung up then rang the agency and then Mrs. Thompson who told her that she was sorry for her loss not to worry about money. She said that she would pay for her flight to Ireland and any taxi fares that she would incur.

Rose thanked her then hung up and rang Newcastle Airport. They told her that there was a flight at 4pm that afternoon to Belfast. She made the booking and told the receptionist that she’d pick up the tickets and pay for them when she arrived.  Rose walked back over the road then knocked on Alice Rowley’s door.

Alice came to the door and Rose explained that her mother had died and that she was going back home to Ireland for the funeral and would be away for a week.’

“I’m so sorry Rose, look don’t worry, I’ll take care of things here for you.’

“Thank you, Alice, I must go because my flight is at four and I have to pack. If I give you two weeks rent will you pay it for me?

“Of course, I will, I have to go and pay mine so I’ll pay yours for you whilst I’m there.’

“Thank you, Alice I’ll drop it in before I leave.’

Alice hurried to her house and went inside and got her case from the cupboard and began to pack a few things that she’d need. The fact that she’d been kept busy kept her mind off the death of her mother. She would grieve later she thought. Now she was needed and her sense of duty took over. She made a meat paste sandwich and drank a cup of tea then called in at Alice’s house on her way out. She checked to make sure she had both passports, her savings, and her rent book. She gave Alice the money and the book then went to call the taxi cab to pick her up from the phone box.

At two thirty the taxi arrived and she got in and told the driver to take her to Newcastle Airport.

Are you flying off somewhere nice?

I’m flying back home to Ireland, there’s been a death in the family.

I’m sorry, my condolences to you and the family.

“Thank you.’

“Were you close?

Not really, I never knew a day when my mother wasn’t drunk on whiskey. I’m actually surprised she lasted as long as she did; her liver must have been pickled.

Have you lived in England long?

“A fair while yes.’

“So how do you rate Newcastle?

“I like the people but it’s not Ireland is it?

“Well there’s no place like home is there.’

It was a cliché but it was true.

 

The taxi arrived in good time and Rose paid him and asked for a receipt which he gave her.

Rose then walked to the terminal building and went to the reception to pick up her tickets and paid with cash. After checking in she waited in the departure lounge until her flight was called. She sat watching from the large glass fronted window as planes came into land and others taking off

Rose boarded the plane at 3.50 p.m. walking down the aisle took her seat and waited until the plane was given clearance to take off.  The flight would take I hour and 30 minutes approximately. Rose closed her eyes she was tired.

It was only when the plane touched down that she woke with a jolt. She gathered herself as the plane taxied to the terminal building and she waited until the doors were opened by the cabin crew before getting up and collecting her hand luggage from compartment above her.

Walking to the carousel where she waited until her case arrived Rose looked for a telephone. She saw her case coming around on the belt and picked it up then made her way through customs 

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