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.


49. 49

Mavis Bell was now fully competent to do everything asked of her within the library.

 She had been there for over a year now and was promoted. She was in charge of all the new editions that came into the library. Now nineteen, she was given another rise

She was able to send her mother and father regular sums of money to help them out.

 She paid her aunt back for the clothes she had bought her on arrival in New York and had increased her board money as well.

She had managed to save $2500 dollars; her diploma in business studies helped her tremendously when walking home one evening; she saw a shop with the windows covered in whitewash to obscure the view. There was a sign stuck to the window which read- To let; there was a telephone number underneath. Mavis quickly made a note of the number and headed for a call box.

Mavis agreed to meet the shop owner and they struck a deal. She hired a shop fitter to put in lots of shelves and she had a word with Mrs Purdy and told her that she was prepared to buy the books that were normally thrown away if they became tatty or the covers got ripped.

She rang other libraries and bought used books from them.” She called her shop “Cover to Cover” and word spread fast about this second hand book store on 12th Avenue. Mavis was now making over $600 dollars a week from the sales of her books all over the United States. The shop next door closed and she quickly rented that out and expanded her business. The following year she was making $2000 dollars per week she brought in staff to run the store then bought both stores out right six months later.

She began to advertise in the New York Times. The demand for used books was staggering. She had contracts with all the schools from Boston to Philadelphia.

By the end of 1952 she had turned eight shops into one big store and she was the biggest seller of used books in America. She had a turn over of $50.000 per week and bought her own apartment on 7th Avenue. She learned how to drive and bought her first car, a Lincoln convertible Coupe.

She travelled the length and breath of the country placing averts in news papers.

There was a sack full of mail when she returned all demanding books from her store.

She hired a warehouse to store even more books. Mavis hired fifteen staff to sort all the books alphabetically then to pack and get them to the mail service.

By the time Mavis was twenty years of age she had a business worth over half a million dollars. She sent money to her parents so they could come to America to live.

They flew over on the “Comet,” a four engine small passenger plane.

Mavis met them at the airport and drove them to her five bedroom apartment.

Mavis had adopted the American accent now but it was nice to hear her parent speak in her native tongue.

Both her parents embraced the American way of life and offered to help out in the book store.

You have toiled all your lives said Mavis now you are going to enjoy life.

Mavis brought her aunt Sarah to meet her mother and father and the three of them would go out together. Mavis was extremely happy.


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