vrijdag 30 oktober 2015
There was one thing that remained for Roberta to do before she left the Institute for the last time. She had never forgiven or forgotten Miss Deans’ callous treatment of her that night she had been left to stand on the chair in the dark. Left there until she was forced to urinate on the floor. She had a plan of revenge, that would also involve Miss Deans favourite and her name was Eileen Dawson.
Roberta had not slept much through her last night at the Institute, as her mind went over and over her plan of revenge. Around four o’clock in the morning she silently rose from her bed. In her hand she clutched a candle stub and a taper. She groped her way in the dark outside the dormitory and down the stairs to the lavatories. A lighted lantern was left on a table at the bottom of the stairs in case any one needed to answer the call of nature. Roberta crept into the lavatory where a white enamel bucket was kept for cleaning purposes. She picked it up and went into one of the cubicles and with a deep breath and with a small dipper, scooped out urine and faeces from the sanitary pan and into the bucket. She then went outside to the broom closet next door. She lit her candle with a taper from the lantern, then carried the bucket into the closet. She looked up at the skylight over the door, turning the handle which opened it up fully. She took two long handled brooms, carefully balancing the brush end of the brooms over the architrave of the doorway, the other end of the brooms rested on a shelf at the back of the closet. Next she reached up and took a bottle of carbolic acid from the shelf and sprinkled it around the closet, the acrid smell making her gag. She then reached over and took the small wooden ladder used for window cleaning, placing it against the wall. She picked up the bucket and climbed two steps up the ladder and placed the bucket on the two broom handles. Now all she had to do was to climb out of the skylight and at the same time be careful not to disturb the brooms and the bucket. In her time at the Institute she had not grown a great deal and it was no problem for her to squeeze through the small opening. But as they say the plans of mice and men - or in this case a wee girl - sometimes go astray. She knew it would be a tight squeeze, but she wasn’t worried as her head and shoulders went through easily, but as she pushed a little further her buttocks became stuck. She struggled and struggled clamping her buttocks together, then releasing them. Slowly but ever so slowly and painfully she was nearly through. At that point most of her body was pointing downwards perpendicular to the door, with just her back end stuck. For support she was holding onto the door knob. Suddenly she tensed, she thought she heard movement. Sure enough she heard footsteps coming down the stairs. She froze hoping that in the dim light she would not be seen. She didn’t dare look up. The lavatory door opened and she listened while someone relieved themselves. She scarcely dared to breathe waiting for the door to open again. It did, then a voice alongside of her said, “What on earth are you doing there Roberta?” She breathed a sign of relief it was Rosy.
“Quick, help me get down from here, you will know all about it in the morning.”
Rosy took hold of her shoulders, Roberta heaved and she was free. Rosy helped her down onto the floor. She picked herself up took Rosy by the hand and quickly they returned to their beds.
Author: Frederick Atwood
Genre: Historical Romance
Handsome Englishman Marcus Southey is running from the law after an illicit affair goes wrong.
As he flees across the Scottish border, his path crosses that of fiery red headed Roberta Kyle, herself desperate to escape from the clutches of the loathsome Hamish McGheill. A partnership is born out of desperation, their mutual destination Glasgow. Along the way they meet up with a prize fighting troupe. Roberta encourages Marcus – against his better judgement – to partake in a bout. He wins and this sets him on the road to boxing success. Taking them from the slums of Glasgow to the halls of the aristocracy. Theirs is a strange relationship, at times tempestuous and at others contemptuous, layered over with an abiding care for each other.
The 82 year old author has seen many changes in his long life. As a boy growing up in pre-war Australia, the horse and cart were still commonly used by tradesmen. Women, by and large were home makers, while the man went out and earned the daily bread. It was a time when left handed children such as himself were made to write with their right hand. Life as we now know it, came about when war was declared in 1939, bringing vast changes to our daily lives. The emancipation of women, which began in WWI, escalated during WWII. After the war he saw the industrialised nations, switch from building warships and planes, to cars, and refrigerators. He saw the landing of a man on the moon. In fact he played a part in the Apollo space probe in 1968, when he was assigned to supervise the land line link between the Carnarvon Earth Station and the facility at Tidbinbilla, situated near Canberra. He was at one time Media Liaison Officer with Telecom Australia, attending many major sporting events. Later on he was appointed Senior Traffic Officer-in-charge of Telegraphs West Australia.
As a young man Frederick was an excellent cyclist and won many major cycling events. Upon his retirement he was able to indulge his love of history with his love of writing. With a long life comes a fund of knowledge and experience of the frailties of human kind, but also the innate goodness in most people. He has put these ingredients together to produce a number of historical/drama/romance novels. Frederick and his wife of fifty four years have three children and seven grandchildren.