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.


7. 7

Kathleen brought the loaf that she had made earlier and cut two large slices for her husband then another two for Mavis and herself.

Mavis was surprised at how hungry she actually was she finished the bowl of soup and the bread as well.

“Why Mavis; you ate that quick you must be on the mend pet.”

 “I’m feeling a little better mother.”

“Good; we hate to see you bad felled.”

“Is it alright if I go to my room then as I want to read?

“Of course it is; you go ahead.

Mavis got up from her seat then told her mother to leave the dishes as she would wash up later.

She walked down the passage then into her room. She picked up the book from the bedside table; she opened the page that she had placed a marker into then began reading. She was reading “Seabird” by Hollings C Hollings. The story was about whaling and the first few pages tell how the whale is caught then stripped of its blubber to make oil.

Mavis liked adventure stories they let her live in a world where imagination took her anywhere she wanted to go.

Mavis dreamed of a better life she hoped to meet someone one day who would whisk her away from all of the poverty and hardship that she found herself in.

She now knew that Bill Peters was not that man and what had passed between them was not real love.

She lay down and fell asleep; the book was left open on the side of the bed.


The next morning she got up and felt better than she had before her termination. She got herself ready as if she was going to work again then headed out and took the bus again. The morning dragged its heels as she waited outside the ferry landing again.

Bill came out alone then walked towards her.

“Here he said as he handed her the money.”

Mavis shoved the money into a clasp hand bag.

Bill looked embarrassed as he asked if he would see her again.

“I don’t think so Bill; we are not for each other, you know that, as well as I do.”

Mavis turned away from Bill and walked towards Isabella’s house.


Isabella met her at the door; “come in lass; how are you feeling?

Much better Isabella I’m going back to work tomorrow.

“Be careful Mavis; you know what the doctor said.

I know but I feel alright now and to be honest there is only so many times you can look in Woolworths.

They both laughed out loud then Mavis told her friend that she had finished with Bill and that she had the money to pay the doctor. “Right come with me young lady we are going round to Sylvia’s now lets get this out of the way and we can move forward and forget the past.


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