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.

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After almost a week at sea Mavis thought that she had escaped the dreaded sea sickness until the Sunday morning when she looked out of the port hole to see the waves crashing against the Moonbeam’s bow. Her stomach began to churn and her head began to pound.

Captain Mitchell had left a bowl in her cabin for such an eventuality. She hung onto it tightly as she fought back the urge to vomit. By nine o’clock her head was spinning she could not stand in her cabin as the ship dipped and rolled. She voided the contents of her stomach.

When Captain Mitchell discovered she was sea sick he immediately went to his locked medicine cabinet.

After opening it with the key he found what he was looking for and poured the white power into a glass.

“Here Miss Bell drink this.”

Mavis took the glass but only drank a few sips.

“You must drink it all Miss Bell and soon as possible for it to work.”

Mavis lifted the glass to her mouth then finished the contents; she lay back and tried not to think about the ships movement.

Now you must try and eat some dry toast and some milk; this will line your stomach and make you feel better.

The very thought of eating something now made her vomit again. The captain assured her once she had eaten something that the sickness would disperse.

Mavis forced herself to eat the dry toast and drank half of the milk that was brought her.

Within an hour of eating the food the symptoms had abated; she drifted off to sleep.

When she awoke the pains in her stomach had gone and she was able to get out of the bunk and go to the toilet. She washed her face in the sink then looked at herself in the small mirror on the wall. Mavis thought she looked a mess; she took out a comb from her bag and redid here hair using some clips to hold it in place. She changed the blouse she was wearing and her under garments. At lunch time Mavis managed to eat little chicken soup. She asked if there was a laundry on board where she could sponge out her clothes. The captain asked if she could trust him to make sure all of her clothes were washed for her. They would be returned to her as soon as possible.

“Thank you, captain.”

Later that day the captain returned; he brought her a pair of trousers; a white woollen jumper, a woollen hat, and some rubber soled deck shoes that were a little bigger than her feet size but with a pair of woollen socks they stayed on.

“Miss Bell would you like to accompany me on deck for some fresh air.

“I would like that; thank you.

The captain led her up the first flight of stairs then along a corridor then another fight of stairs until she could feel the sea breeze as the metal door was opened.

It was nice to just use her legs to walk around after a week of being cooped up in her cabin.

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