"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"


28. 28

“You be a good girl for Rose now won’t you Deborah Jane.’ Janet rushed over the road to work.

“Looks like there’s just you and me Deborah Jane said Rose.’

“Why’s daddy gone?

“Well he has an important appointment back at the base darlin.’

“Will he be going away again?’ he told me he’d teach me how to ride my bike.’

“I can teach you how to ride your new bicycle if you like?

“Will you Rose.’

“Yes, we’ll go down to the park; there’s some pathway where you can ride around on.

You will have to wait until I ring the school first to see if you are to go in. You see the King has died and they may not have school on today.’

“Will we get a new King?

“No, there will be a Queen this time.’

“So, a Princess will become Queen?

“Yes, it will be Princess Elizabeth the second because she is the Kings oldest daughter.’

 “Wow, that must be a great job being in charge of the whole country.’

“It is certainly a great responsibility Deborah Jane. There will be no more days off for her now.’ She has no time to herself now, she will have to rule the country and that takes up a lot of her time.’

Does that mean she cannot go to the park and ride her bike?

“That’s right. She has advisors who tell her what to do.’

“Why can’t she make her own rules.’

“Because she will have to swear an oath to care and protect the people of the British Empire.’

“I don’t think I’d like to be a queen, even though daddy calls me his princess.’

“I don’t think I’d like to be a queen either said Rose smiling as she asked Deborah Jane to help her clear away the breakfast dishes after she had washed them. She then asked her to help make the beds. Using a cylinder vacuum cleaner, she cleaned the carpets and put the washing in the tub and added some soap flakes. Rose found the process of washing with the machine so much easier than doing it by hand as she did her own washing at home. Looking at her watch she saw that it was now nearly eight thirty. She picked up the phone and rang the school.

Mrs Mathews, the school secretary informed her that the school was closed today and would reopen tomorrow as usual.

“I thought it might be, that’s why I rang. I’ll bring Deborah Jane Thompson in tomorrow Mrs Mathews.

Rose placed the receiver onto the cradle then told Deborah that they were going to the park.

“Now you have to put on some dungarees and some old shoes because we don’t want you scuffing your new ones, do we?

“Yes Rose, I’ll go change.

Once she was ready Deborah Jane wheeled her bike down the passage and out onto the street. Rose closed the front door then they headed down Church Way and into the town centre. They turned right at Railway Terrace and then along to Scots Park. Once inside she allowed Deborah Jane to get on the bicycle. She held onto the back and asked Deborah Jane to place her feet on the pedals as Rose pushed her along.

“Now I’m going to let go Deborah Jane so keep pedalling do you hear me?

“Yes Rose.’

Rose released the grip on the seat and away Deborah went.

“Keep pedalling Deborah, Rose shouted. The bike wobbled at first then as Deborah Jane peddled it straightened up then she cycled right around the park.

“That’s it, you’re doing it encouraged Rose.’

After a good five minutes there was no stopping Deborah Jane, she went around and around on her own. She let out a whoop every time she passed Rose. Some other children on their bikes came to the park and they joined Deborah Jane as they raced around the park. Rose held her hand to her mouth as Deborah Jane kept pace with the others.

“Careful now Deborah warned Rose as she got up off the seat and just using the strength of her legs she pedalled ever faster, overtaking some of the boys.

Rose was glad that after an hour of watching her go around and around Deborah Jane came to a gentle halt pulling the brakes.

“Thank you Rose, that was fun.’

“Can we go home now before you give me a heart attack said Rose jokingly.’

“Okay, can I ride the bike on the road?

“No, not until you do your cycling proficiency test.

“Where can I do that?

“The Priest at my Church does them. I’ll ask him if you can come along and do yours.’

“Great, so soon I will be riding on the road.’

“I will get my bicycle out and we can go down to the beach and take a picnic.

“Have you got a bike Rose?

“Yes, I’ll have you know when I was in Ireland, I cycled everywhere on my bike.’

I have my cycling proficiency award, I beat all the boys on Kent Street as we raced down Chapel Lane when I was your age.’

Deborah Jane laughed then said “I bet you were a right tomboy when you were younger.’

“You had to be tough on the streets of Belfast because the kids there took no prisoners I can tell you.’

“Did you get into fights with boys?

“Oh yes, many times.’

My Uncle Mickey was an army boxing champion, he taught me how to look after myself.

I would go into his back yard and he’d put these gloves on my hands and show me how to throw straight punches and then hooks. I never lost a fight against anyone.

My uncle said that I would have been a world champion if I’d been a man.’

“Will you teach me how to box?

“You don’t need to learn how to fight, you’re not being bullied are you?

“Some kids called me a bastard at school Rose, what does that mean?

“Well that’s a nasty word that people use to say you haven’t got a daddy.’

“I have two daddies’ though Rose, my real daddy lives in Portsmouth.

“Have you met him?

“Yes, I went to see him not long-ago Rose. He lived in this house. He was very poor and had dirty clothes. You could smell the toilet and dirty washing as soon as you walked in. it was horrible.’

“Some people are very poor Deborah Jane, you are one of the lucky ones. You have a nice house and a mammy and daddy who love you.’

“Did you come from a poor house Rose?

“Yes, there was six of us in my family and I went to work in a big house for this rich family as a maid.

“Was it there that you learned to be a nanny.’

“No not really, I used to babysit for neighbours when I was only nine years old. The babies I looked after weren’t much older than myself.

There were five or six sleeping in one bed and there was a baby in the drawers like where you keep your clothes.

Some of them used to wet the bed so much that the mattress rotted and they were sleeping on the springs. It left imprints on their bottoms and on their backs. The smell was dreadful, just like what you mentioned Deborah Jane when you visited your real father.’

“Not everyone has the money to live like you do. There’s a story I want to tell you about a young boy who was given a donkey by his relative and he rode it until he saw his friend who didn’t have a donkey struggling with water from a well.

He gave the boy the donkey and was happy that the boy now had a donkey to ride.

“But the boy had no donkey to ride himself because he’d given it away.

“Yes, that is unselfishness Deborah Jane. He could have just kept the donkey and let his friend struggle. But he gave the boy his donkey willingly. It was the only thing he owned but gladly he gave it away. He saw he was more fortunate than his friend he was and the difference it made by giving the donkey away.

“I see said Deborah Jane, he appreciated what he had and what others hadn’t.’

Just because your real father has not got money, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you. He gave you all he had because he loves you.’

They got back to the house and Deborah Jane wheeled the bike into the passage and placed it into the cupboard. Rose washed her hands then made Deborah Jane a sandwich and a drink. Then started the vegetables for that evening’s dinner.

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