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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“Sounds good to me.’

“Okay how you fixed for this weekend?

“No problem.’

Look forward to seeing you then. Bye for now.’

“Bye and thanks again.’

Peter replace the receiver then told Rose to pack a bag she was going out with a load of young army recruits.

“Thank you, Peter.

 “It’s the least I could do.’

Rose went to her room and took out the case from the bottom of the wardrobe and lay it on the bed and began to pack some clothes. She didn’t know how long she was going to be away this time. “What about dinner tonight said Rose when she came out of the bedroom.

“Janet and Elizabeth can come out to dinner tonight don’t you worry yourself.’

“I don’t know how long I’m going to be away Peter.’

 

“You come back whenever you are ready to and not before.’

“I can go get some shopping in before I leave said Rose.’ but Peter asked her to just sit and relax.’ An hour later and Peter carried her case to the car and she got in. For the second time she was going back home. The letter from her sister Maggie said that her father Ray had had a stroke but it didn’t say how severe it was.

They knew that she had no family to look after unlike them who were both married with children; even though they were about the same age as Elizabeth Rose She would be expected to look after her father.’ There was little conversation apart from where Rose had to go when she reached the airport. At the terminal Peter carried her bag to the entrance and said goodbye. Peter gave Rose twenty pounds to get herself a taxi from Belfast airport to her house. Because of the troubles that had escalated over there with the IRA that was why British troops were being deployed there. There had been sectarian violence between the loyalist supporters and the sin Fein. Marchers every other weekend were being attacked as they walked along the Shank hill and Falls Roads. One man and two young boys had been killed in Davis Street. Bomb threats were an everyday occurrence. Some were hoax calls and others not. A special code word was used so that the police knew straight away if the call was genuine or not.

Rose was not looking forward to returning to Ireland under these circumstances. If the IRA knew that she was working for a British officer she would have been shot, no doubt about it, so she had told no-one not even her own family who she knew were IRA. She lied and said that she was working for an eminent surgeon and his wife as a house keeper. She showed her passports and was searched thoroughly by two police women before being allowed to go through to the departure lounge.

Rose was met by Sergeant Robin Knox who escorted her to the waiting plane. She had a seat up at the front of the plane and never saw a single soldier as they marched quickly into the back of the plane. It was another security measure. Some soldiers earlier that year had become friendly with some Irish girls who agreed to meet them for a drink with the promise of something more. They were lured to a secluded spot and shot dead. The fight took off once everyone was on board and it lasted one hour and ten minutes. When the plane landed Rose had to wait until all the troops got off the plane first and went through the special area assigned to them. Then Rose was met by one of the cabin crew who escorted her through customs at the other end. Again, she was searched and made to open her case.

The case was scrutinized for explosives before finally she was allowed to leave. She called her brother Shaun who said that he would come and pick her up as some taxi drivers could not be trusted. Rose sat in the terminal building because it was pouring with rain. Ireland always seemed to get a lot of rainfall no matter what time of the year it was being on the coastline.

Thirty- five minutes later Shaun arrived wife his wife Kelly. ’He embraced his sister and took her case and placed it into the boot.

Rose got into the back seat, Kelly not saying a word until they had been in the car for several minutes turned and said glad to be back then Rose?

 “It’s always nice to come home said Rose.’

“Wait until you’ve been here a while, you’ll wish that you’d never came.’

“As bad as that is it?

By the time they got back to her house they had been stopped twice by British army road blocks. They searched inside and under each car before being allowed through.

 The smell of smoke and petrol was in the air as Rose stepped out into her old street. Again, nothing had changed since the last time she was here for her mother’s funeral.

The house was in dire need of a good clean as she asked where her father was.

The smell of excrement and urine hit her nose and she was forced to open the windows to let in some fresh air. The rain had eased off as she made her way to her father’s room.

She hardly recognized the man who was her father. His hair was totally white at the sides now and the left side of his face had collapsed. Saliva ran down his chin and onto his pyjamas that looked in need of a good wash. Shaun told her that he was paralysed down his left side and could not speak. The doctors said his mobility could return as would his speech with intense therapy.  When he opened his eyes, Ray saw his daughter and he made a grunting noise.

“He’s pleased to see you Rose said Shaun.’

“Where’s our Maggie?

“I think she’s gone to the shop, we’ve been taking turns to look after Da.’ 

“When was the last time he had a bath, he stinks?

 “You weren’t here Rose, it’s been feckin hard, I cannot lift Da’ into the bath on my own.’

“I hope you don’t expect me to do it on my own.’ “Right Kelly, you go run Da’ a bath.’

Shaun help me get these soiled pyjamas off him. Where’s our Finbarr anyway?

“He’s working away Rose.’

 “How bloody convenient she said slipping back into the Irish brogue.’ Has Da got a wheelchair?

“Yes,’ it’s in the kitchen.’

“Right can you go and fetch it and we’ll lift him into it.’

Rose supported her father’s frail body until she had removed his pyjama top. Her father’s breathing was very shallow as she held him. He had lost a lot of weight and Rose wondered if they had been feeding him properly.

When Shaun retuned with the wheelchair she asked him to help her lift her father into his chair.

His pyjama bottoms were soaked where he’d wet himself.

There was a brown rubber sheet underneath the sheet he had been lying on and after they had lifted him into the chair using a towel for him to sit on. She removed the soiled sheet and then went to get disinfectant. She returned and washed the rubber bed sheet down completely then dried it and replaced a clean white sheet and clean blankets.

“These are going to have to be washed. They stink.’

“Have care workers been coming in?

“A couple of nurses came when he first came home but haven’t been since.”

Rose pushed her father into the bathroom where both her and Shaun had to remove her father’s bottoms and lift him into the bath.

“You hold him Shaun, whilst I wash him.’

Rose took a sponge and lathered it with soap and washed her father down. Using a jug, she washed and rinsed his hair. Once that was done they had to lift him out of the bath when it was emptied and then Shaun had to hold him whilst Rose washed and dried his bottom. He was covered in bed sores that needed attention. Luckily the nurses had left some cream and a spray to rub into his bottom to stop this from getting any worse.

The spray stung her father’s behind and he groaned loudly and struggled to break free but Shaun held him until Rose had finished. It was degrading having to do this for her own father but until she organized someone to come in then she would have to do it. Her father had a catheter which had burst because it had not been emptied. They sat him on the toilet to see if he wanted to use his bowels. Fifteen minutes later Rose cleaned him and then put on his clean underwear and pyjamas.

Once that was done Rose made him some tomato soup, she allowed it to cool a little and tried to use a table spoon she placed a tee towel under his chin for spillages but it was no good. So, she went into the draw and found a box of straws she took one out and then popped it into her fathers ‘mouth then held the bowl so that the end of the straw was immersed in the soup. Ray managed to suck the soup up the straw. It was most probably the best meal he’d eaten in weeks.

She used another straw using the same method so he could drink a nice cup of tea.

It’s alright Da’ I’m here now to look after you.’

Using his good arm, he took her by the hand and gently squeezed it.

Da’ can you hold a pen in your hand? Just blink once for yes twice for no.’

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