"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"


16. 16

Edward was surprised that they allowed Alayna to drink wine.

“I like the rabbit stew said Elizabeth to Amaline.’

“I will give you the recipe and one for coq au vin.

Edward cut some bread then used it to mop up the stew. When they were finished Charles showed Edward around the small holding. He tried to explain how to manage a farm as they walked around.

“Don’t worry Edward, the villagers here will all help you.’

As you can see we have four cows that supply us with milk which we make butter and cheese from we have a bull that produces a nice calf every year and if we are lucky to produce another bull, we can raise it and then slaughter the other for our meat supply.’

“As you can see we have plenty of geese, ducks and chickens here. I will give you some chicks to raise and before long you will have a good supply of poultry and eggs.

 What about the fields?

“I have a book that I will give you, it tells you everything that you will need to know about farming.’

“Thank you, it looks very complicated.’

It can be a daunting task to begin with but you will soon pick it up Edward. You are both young and have time to learn. Now, let’s walk back to the chateau where I will ring Antione and see if he will accept your offer. I suggest that you buy a good pair of boots and wellington’s because you will be wearing them a lot around the farm. A good rain mac and a hat too because we get rain here just like in England. Cows need to be milked twice a day so you have to bring them in from the fields where they graze. It is all in the book anyway. I don’t want to bombard you with things because it may put you off from buying a farm.’

“It seems a lot of work Charles?

“Yes, but it very rewarding once you get the hang of it.’

By two that afternoon Charles had spoken with Antione who asked them to come and take a look at the farm. Again, Charles drove them to Loire Atlantique which was just a mile away.

Antione was feeding the cows with hay when they arrived. Charles loaned Edward some wellingtons as they walked around the farm. He kept his shoes in the back of Charles’s car to change into once they had walked around.

The farm was certainly bigger than Charles place and Antione who was now sixty- two years old told him that he wanted to sell the farm so that he could go and live in California with his daughter who had met and married an American pilot during the war. His wife Marie had died two years before from cancer and he was alone. They came back after an hour and Edward and Charles changed into their shoes.

Antione’s cottage was beautiful, it had white walls with grey stones and the floors were terracotta tiled. All the furniture was oak. There was a wood burning stove that heated water and the biggest bath he’d ever seen that was made from a converted cattle trough. There was an inside toilet and wash basin with a large mirror on the wall. The three bedrooms had metal framed beds. Each had a wooden wardrobe and bedside tables with small lights at each side. After seeing the property Edward felt guilty asking Antione to accept £4.000 pounds in cash but the old man was desperate to see his daughter and he shook on the deal. He asked if Edward would give him a few days to arrange his passage to America and to pack his belongings.

Edward said that he would move in on the Saturday after his wedding and he paid Antione the money then took the deeds to the property. They sealed the deal with a bottle of fine wine

And some freshly baked bread and liver pate and brie.

It was nearly seven o’clock when they drove back. Edward explained everything to Elizabeth about the farm and what the cottage looked like. He told her that they were going to be very happy there once they were married.

Charles gave Edward the book on farming to read and Edward retired to his room leaving Elizabeth alone in her room.


When the car pulled up outside of Brian Denny’s house Janet got out and then opened the door for Deborah Jane who stepped out.

“Do you want me to wait in the car until you come out asked Peter?

“Certainly not, you are my husband and I’m not ashamed of you.

Peter got out of the passenger seat then walked with his wife to the door. Several curtains were swept aside as the neighbours looked to see who it was going to Brian Denny’s house.

The door they knocked on was in dire need of a coat of paint and Janet waited for an answer.

A woman dressed in ragged clothes and a pinafore came to the door and said “I’m Aggie Brownlee Denny.’

“I know who you are said Janet as she dismissed the barmaid and asked if Brian was in.

“Come in if you can find your way said the woman. Immediately the smell of dirty washing and sweat filled her nostrils as they walked along the passageway and into the living room.

Nothing had changed, the house was exactly the same at she had left it five years ago.

Brian sat at the table in his vest with braces to hold up his trousers.

You got here then he barked. Where’s the kid?

Deborah Jane had now retreated behind her mother.

Janet told Deborah Jane to go to her father and she walked slowly towards him nervously with a finger in her mouth.

“Well Debbie, he said let’s have a look at you.’

“My name is Deborah Jane she told her father.’

Brian looked at the child as she stood in front of him, he looked for some sign that she would look like him but there was none. She was the image of her mother.

“Would you like a cup o’ tea asked Aggie nervously, not knowing really what to say.

“No thank you we are not staying.’

“We will leave Deborah Jane with you for a n hour or so and come back for her.

Brian was asking the child various questions and she answered him. He turned to look at Janet and then at Peter. Then said “Seems as though you’ve done alright for yourself since divorcing me.’

“You’ve never changed she added.’

“You always had ideas above your station didn’t you Janet.’

“Unlike you who had no ambition. You lost more than your leg during the war Brian, you lost your pride, your dignity and self- respect as a man. I will never forgive you for what you did to me.

“I was drunk, I didn’t know what I was doing.’

“You’ve been a nothing but bloody drunk since said Aggie.’

“Well, I think we’ve seen enough here don’t you Peter.’ “Like I said we will be back in an hour.’

Deborah Jane went to the window where there was a goldfish in a bowl. Brian had a cat called Smokey and she stroked it as it walked around her legs purring and rubbing itself against her.

Brian lowered his head as Janet and Peter left the house and got back into the car. They drove to a nearby café she remembered where they sat and had a pot of tea.

Brian asked Deborah Jane if she was at school and she told him that she was and that she could read. She showed him her book, and began to read it to him fluently.

“You’re going to be a clever little girl you is.’

“I want to be a doctor when I grow up, Mummy is a sister at the hospital over the road from where we live.’

“Where do you live?’

“We have a cottage in Alma Place in North Shields, it’s on the River Tyne. I have a summer house in the garden where I play. Do you have a garden?

“No, we don’t have a garden here, just a back yard. Suddenly he realised that Deborah Jane was far better off with her mother. He couldn’t give her the life that she was living now.

Brian went on to tell her how he’d been at sea and how he’d lost his leg. Suddenly without warning Deborah Jane asked him “Why did mummy leave you?’

“Well, Brian rubbed his chin thinking of an answer. Finally, he said your mother and I just didn’t love each other anymore sweetheart, that is why she left. Deborah drank a glass of lemonade and ate some broken biscuits from a barrel. They chatted freely and Deborah jane was more relaxed than she had been when she had arrived.

The time passed all too quickly and there was a knock on the door.

Again, Aggie let Janet into the house.

“I have written down my address, I doubt we will be coming down here again.

“Say goodbye to your father Deborah Jane, we have to be heading back. 

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