"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"


51. 51

“Will you Rose, thank you, I love you so much.’

Rose explained everything about how to mix and make the best Yorkshire puddings then showed her how to make a jam sponge.

“I think I can make that, it looks easy enough said Elizabeth.

When Alan and her mother came home Elizabeth Rose took great delight in telling them how she had made Yorkshire puddings and had helped to make the jam sponge.

“That’s good Elizabeth said her mother as she took off her coat and hung it on the peg the flopped down on the chair in the living room.

“Busy day then Janet asked Rose?

“I’ve never stopped all day honestly. I swear if I wasn’t there to keep them all in check that hospital would cease to operate properly.’

“No good working yourself into an early grave either is there.’

“Well at least I have tomorrow off.’

“Yes,’ and you want to make the most of it. Why don’t you go down to see your sister Mildred, I can look after Alan and Elizabeth Rose while you are gone.’

“That’s an idea, I haven’t seen her since Christmas so it would be nice just to go down and see her.

Elizabeth went fishing with Bobby Parkin and Elizabeth wants to go with him again tomorrow down at the fish quay. I can go down with her to make sure she is safe.’

“I don’t really like her to go down there, you know there are a lot of foreigners who might try and abduct her. She thinks that everyone is her friend. You know what she’s like.’

Yes, I do, but she nearly thirteen, a teenager almost. I started my working life in the big house when I was thirteen.’

“I suppose it will be alright as long as you keep an eye on her Rose, what about Alan?

Could he not use a handline and fish for dabs and coalfish, it will keep him occupied for a few hours.’ “Make sure that they wear their old clothes Rose or they will have the house stinking of fish.’

“Alan overheard the conversation as he walked into the living room and told his mother he was going to play football with his mates and that he didn’t want to go fishing.’

“Mam I will be alright, I can look after myself said Elizabeth.’

“The fish quay is a dangerous place for a young girl, there are a lot of foreigners down there.’

She’ll be fine said Rose, you have to let her go Janet, let her have some fun whilst she’s young. I never got the chance, I was too busy looking after kids and I was just a kid myself. Then I had to go and work at the big house. I had no childhood to speak of really. My Mammy used to make me go fishing with my brothers in the boat so she could drink alcohol without us seeing her. My brothers scared the hell out of me with maggots by putting them down my back. “I must admit I’ve hated fishing ever since.’

“Can we pick Bobby up tomorrow Rose, he has a lot of stuff to carry.’

“That depends if your mother can loan me her car for an hour Elizabeth Rose.’

“Yes, you can take the car Rose, I’m not going to my sisters until eleven- thirty.’

“What time are you going to the fish quay?

“Eleven o’clock mam, Bobby has to go to church first.’

“Alright,’ Rose can take you down there to make sure that you are both safe then pick you up later.’ Is that alright Rose?

“Yes Janet, you go and enjoy yourself.’

There was a letter for you Janet it’s from Deborah Jane. I left it on the table for you.’

“I’ll put the dinner out whilst you are reading it and you can tell us what’s she’s up to.

Elizabeth Rose helped to set the table and filled up a glass jug with water.’

What’s for dinner Rose said Alan. He was washing his hands in the sink and then drying them on a tea towel.

“Toad in the hole and sponge and custard for after’s.’

“Oh lovely.’

Rose plated the food and occasionally looked across to see Janet smiling as read the letter from her daughter.’

When she had finished she folded the letter and placed it back into the envelope then popped it into her bag.

They sat around the table and Rose said grace as she always did before they commenced eating.

Alan cut into his large pork sausage and then popped a piece into his mouth.

“Alan please chew your food, don’t just swallow it or you will choke.’

“Yes, Mam said Alan shoveling into his mouth mashed potato.’

“Was there any news from Deborah Jane asked Rose?

“Yes, apparently Deborah has a boyfriend.’

“Has she asked Elizabeth, what’s he called.’

He’s called Philip and he’s on the same course as her.’

“It had to happen sometime I suppose said Rose.’

“Let’s hope that she is careful, you know what I mean.’

She might get pregnant and have a baby you mean mam.’

“How would you know anything about having babies?

“They teach us sex education in school said Elizabeth nonchalantly.’

“They do, but you are only twelve years old, I mean they shouldn’t be teaching them that kind of thing until their final year.’

Better that girls are clued up Janet rather than an unwanted pregnancy on your hands don’t you think?

“Yes, you’re right of course.’

“I need to talk with you later about Elizabeth.’

“You do, what about?

“Woman’s things.’

“But she’s…

“Nearly thirteen Janet, Rose interrupted. Don’t worry, we had a little chat and she knows what to do.’

Alan looked over puzzled then continued eating as Janet took a large drink of water from her glass trying to take in what Rose had just told her. The years had gone by so quickly she thought. She could hardly believe that her daughter and son were going through puberty and now her first born had a boyfriend and would probably be having a relationship. She pushed her dinner plate away leaving a sausage on the plate and Alan asked if he could eat it. His fork snaked across the table and took the sausage. He bit the end off and chewed with a satisfied smile.

Janet looked at her children in a way she hadn’t for some time and she could she Alan sprouting up and Elizabeth Rose who had suddenly developed breasts that were almost as big as her own. Suddenly she felt old. She made a mental note to try and spend more time with her children. Working seventy hours a week didn’t give her a lot of time to socialize. Even when Peter was home on leave she was working God knows how many hours and was completely exhausted.

Most of the time. All she wanted to do was sleep. Peter was fine he didn’t demand that much of her. Then she began to wonder if he was actually going off her or had his eye on someone else.

Some young pretty wren back at the base. She was lucky if they made love once a week these days. It was hurried because she was tired, too tired to make an effort.


Rose put out the dessert into small bowls and Janet didn’t eat hers, she got up from her seat and went into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. Had she changed that much? There seemed to be lines on her face that had not been there before. There were bags under each eye and the beginnings of black circles. She ran herself a bath then got her robe from the bedroom.

Using some Johnson’s baby bath Janet swished the water around before undressing and getting in, she picked up the loofah and soap and placed it near so she could just lie back and soak away her troubles. Looking down at her body you would not have thought that she’d given birth to three children. However, she had noticed how her breasts seemed lower and had lost a bit of the fullness they once had. Her legs were still firm with all of the walking around the wards and corridors in the hospital. Janet closed her eyes and let the heat of the water soak her aching bones. She didn’t know how long she’d slept, the water had started to get cold and the skin on her hands and toes were wrinkled. Janet emptied some of the water out and topped it up with hot water then washed herself.

When she came out of the bathroom the house was quiet. Rose was knitting a cardigan for her and both her children were out playing. The kitchen had been cleared and all the dishes done and put away.

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