Under Scrutiny

A story of back street abortion in 1948 and how the change came about where women were given contraception and could go to a clinic to have a termination. A doctor who's ex- wife dies of cancer is left to bring up his daughter who has downs syndrome. His perception of the disability is changed when he discovers that his daughter is brighter than he first thought. This is a story of acceptance and the love between a disabled girl and her father. The story includes prize fighting when Billy Tugg Fawcett and his friend a black heavyweight fighter called Bill Peters fight their way to a title fight but gangsters and racketeers are after Bill when he refuses to throw a fight.


20. 20

Leaving that afternoon was the hardest thing that Mavis Bell had ever done; hugging her mother and father who had given her a hundred pounds to add to the money she already had to help her out what would be a busy time for her over he coming months.

She only took the one case as advised by the captain of the” Bountiful Harvest”

It was three fifteen as she took the bus that would take her to the ferry.

She looked upon every building and land mark for the last time as the bus turned into Northumberland Square then down onto Bedford Street then down Coach Lane and along onto the ferry landing.

“Several people were waiting to board the “Nothumbrian; Mavis waited in line to get on then went into the sitting area. She paid her money for the crossing which only took ten minutes.

Then she walked along the dockside until she came to the ship that would take her across the Atlantic Ocean.

The captain saw the girl standing on the dockside and came out to welcome her on board.

“Hello Miss; I am Captain Peter Mitchell.”

“Hello captain my name is Mavis Bell.”

Come with me Miss Bell and I will show you to your cabin. You have got your passport with you before we set sail haven’t you?

“Yes I have it here in my bag.”

“May I see it?

“Certainly, said Mavis; as she took the passport out to show the captain.

The Captain checked to see that everything was in order and saw the visa as well which would allow her to work in the United States.

“Now Miss Bell if you can pay me then we can carry on.”

Mavis gave the captain twenty pounds.

“Thank you Miss Bell; now a word of warning; do not at any time leave money or valuables lying around because I cannot account for my crew; Do you understand?

“Yes Captain.”

Good now come ahead and we will get you a cabin. I have taken the liberty of putting you in the cabin next to mine. I hope you don’t mind Miss but it is for your own safety. I would appreciate it if you stay in your cabin at all times unless I say so. You can eat with me in my cabin which is larger than yours.

“Thank you Captain.” “Do you have medication for sea sickness?

The Captain of The Bountiful Harvest told me to bring root of Ginger.

“Good but it that does not work I have medication prescribed by a doctor.

“That is a comforting thought.”

Captain Mitchell led to her cabin which was bigger than she anticipated. There was a hand basin in her cabin and a small space where she could pack her case there was a small table and one chair for her to sit on. She stowed away her case as the ships ropes were released and the “Moonbeam slipped slowly away from its mooring  two tug boats waited to navigate her down the Tyne and out to the North Sea.



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