HE WHO RIDES A TIGER

"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"

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“Sorry Paul, I’m fine now thank you. Have I been a sleep long?

Yes, a couple of hours, we are coming into Leeds soon.’

It was beginning to get dark as the sun got lower and lower turning the sky a bright orange red colour. Flocks of crows and pigeons were leaving the ploughed land to roost as the farmers called it a day after working in the fields.  The farmer headed home in the tractor on a pathway along the hedgerows. Janet watched as the tractor disappeared into the darkness. Paul had put on his headlights and some low lights on the bus so that people could see. There was now about twenty people on the 70-seater bus she must have been in a sound sleep because she never even heard them get on.

The noise level had risen now as people chatted away and Paul concentrated on the road ahead.

The cat’s eyes and motorway signs were the only thing they could see now and Janet saw that they were now only five miles from Leeds.

When the coach pulled into the service station Janet was the first off, she hurried to the toilet then washed her hands. She then went to the Little Chef and bought a take away cup of coffee and brought it back to the coach. Paul Talbot the driver was standing having a cigarette in one hand and a drink of coffee in the other.

“You were quick he said as he waited for the others who he knew would not hurry. He could make up time he thought on his way to Middlesbrough. It would take another two and a half hours to reach Newcastle he thought but that was his shift done. Tomorrow he would drive back again. He usually slept on board the coach, the back seat was comfy enough rather than go into digs. He brought a clean shirt, underwear, toiletries, and a towel to use. Paul used the bus station café changing rooms to change.

 Paul would grab a quick breakfast then be back on the road by 8 a.m. It was now just after eight that evening when the stragglers arrived and got back on board. Paul started the engine and then pulled out of the service station and back onto the motorway. The traffic was light and Paul drove unimpeded all the way.

Alan was waiting for Janet as promised. He had to park the car over the road because of all the buses in the station.

“Pleasant Journey asked Alan as he took her case and carried it to his black Morris Minor.

“Not too bad said Janet as she slid into the passenger side of the car.

Mildred has kept you some supper, I guess you’ll be hungry, are you?

“Yes, a little.’ I hope you and Mildred don’t mind me coming to stay Alan, I just wanted to get away and make a fresh start.’

“It’s no bother to us at all, Mildred and I haven’t seen you in years so it will be nice having you around.’

“It’s only until I find a place of my own to live.’

“You are welcome to stay as long as you like Janet.’

“Thank you, Alan, it’s appreciated.’ I’m hoping to get a job in one of the hospitals around here.’

“There’s always a call for nursing staff; you will find a job no problem at all.’

Driving down the Coast Road Janet noticed a lot of changes to the area. Factories and housing developments had sprung up since the last time she visited.

It seems like the North East has gone and got itself all modern.

 

 

“Yes, Janet there has been a few changes mind you there’s little change to Cullercoats, some of the old fisherman’s cottages are gone now and the seafront has been redeveloped apart from that it’s much the same as it was the last time you were here.’ I’ll take you along from Tynemouth Priory and you can see for yourself. Driving through North Shields Janet picked out certain shops and cinemas that she went to when she was just a teenager. Mildred her sister was 16 years older than her because her mother Deborah had her late in life, in fact she was going through the change at the time. Many of the locals looked at her mother strangely as she pushed a large wheeled silver cross pram that had been used for Mildred when she was born.

Then the remarks like “oh can we have a look at your granddaughter, or I didn’t know you had a granddaughter started flying around from the neighbours. Understandable when she was forty-eight years old.

Driving along the coast at Tynemouth Janet remembered the summers here with her mother and the donkey rides along the beaches and the ice cream, toffee apples, and all of her other childhood memories that came flooding back to her.

Alan was right there being little change since the war, there were still large terraced houses on the seafront, the church of St George and the Dove Marine Institute were as she remembered them. The cottages had been demolished and replaced by amusement arcades and shops.

 

Driving up towards Marden Terrace the streets that were once cobbles had been replaced with concrete. It had somehow had lost the nostalgic look it once had. The railway was still visible through the iron railings, there were now only a few allotment gardens. Vandals had smashed out some windows. Was this a sign of the times she wondered?

Her Sister Mildred came to the door and greeted Janet, she was now thirty- eight and looked no different to how she had remembered her. Acorn House had been painted and decorated but apart from that it was how she remembered it.

Come through into the dining room Janet said Mildred and I’ve made you something to eat. I bet you are starving. “Would you like a cup of tea or coffee we have both?

“Tea will be fine Mildred.’

Alan left his wife to chat with her sister he guessed they had a lot to catch up on.

I must find work Mildred, is there a hospital close by?’

Yes,’ there’s Preston Hospital which is the closest, the next one is the RVI in Newcastle.’

“I will give them a ring in the morning if you don’t mind me using the phone.’

“Look Janet, I want you to treat my home as if it were your own alright.’

After Janet had eaten Mildred showed her to her room on the top floor. It was only a single room but tastefully decorated and enough space for what she needed.

Mildred filled her in on what time that they served meals and Janet asked if she could help out until she found work and a place to stay.

“I’m not having my sister working here, you are my guest.’

“I brought food, Alan has put it in the boot of his car.’

 “Thank you but there was really no need Janet, we have plenty to eat here.’

“It’s the least I could do Mildred and thank you for letting me stay. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t agreed to let me come. Once I get a place of my own you will be able to let out the room again.’

“Don’t you worry about that, just get yourself settled in.

It had been a long day and Janet was tired. She kissed her sister then went to her room where she unpacked her clothes and hung up her coats in the built-in wardrobe. She put on a night dress then slipped under the sheets and turned out the bedside light.

This would be the start of her new life she thought as she closed her eyes.

 

 

It was the smell of bacon that awoke Janet, she looked at her wrist watch and it was 7.30 a.m. She had slept soundly and felt refreshed. There was a communal bathroom on the landing and Janet put on her dressing gown and went to it with some clean clothes and a toilet bag. She took a shower something she hadn’t done in a long time she was so used to using a tin bath. This was pure luxury. Mind the water was only warm, you had to beat the other guests if you wanted a hot shower. Mildred told her that the water would be heated in the afternoon if she wanted to use the shower then when most of her guests would be at work. Janet ate a cooked breakfast and then asked to use the phone. She looked through the directory until she found the number for both Preston and the RVI Hospitals. Dialling the number, she spoke to the receptionist who put her through to the hospital manager. She was told to bring in some references that afternoon.

Mildred said that she was going into North Shields to do some shopping and asked if Janet wanted to go with her. I could drop you off at the hospital along the way.

“Yes, of course Mildred.’

Alan and Susan, can take care of the place.’

 “How old is Susan now? 

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