"Ride the Donkey"
“Ride The Donkey”
(The Biography of a Precocious Urchin turned killer COP.)
Book One - The Early Years.
(Birth to 18 years of age.)
This is Book One of the life and times of a COP (‘Covert Operator’), operating for his own country, and freelancing. To understand Book Two, and get a feeling of his disdain for 'Authority', his desire for adventure, amoral callousness, what drove him, and his outlook on life, it is necessary to read this first book. The term ‘Covert Operator’ is really a euphemism for ‘Government Assassin’.
What turns a normal human being into delighting in suffering the hardships, and the ever-present danger of torture and death – from not only his enemies, but his own employers? And what turns someone into an amoral, coldly calculating killer? Read on, but be warned you WILL be shocked.
It was purely by chance I attended that funeral. I happened to be passing the roadside cemetery and wondered who was being buried with only the minister and two mourners present...
My natural instincts as a reporter caused me to pull into the church parking lot and join the small group by the grave in silence. As the Minister reached the crucial point in the burial service, so two suitably attired members of the local funeral parlour staff moved out from the shadows and silently lowered the coffin into the grave.
Recognising one mourner as the local hospital Registrar, with the ceremony over, I walked the short distance to the parking area with her and her female companion. After a respectful silence, I asked the Registrar, “Who was he?” She stopped, looked enquiringly at me, and hesitated a moment before replying –
“You work for the Daily Herald don’t you?”
“I do some work for them, yes.” I waited for her to continue. She looked at me again, and then tapped her chin two or three times in thought. Having made up her mind she spoke again:
“Do you have time for coffee?” Something in her tone indicated it would be in my interest to make time. I replied in the affirmative.
Over a hot drink I learned from the Registrar that the deceased gentleman was something of a mystery. He had presented himself at Accident and Emergency some six weeks earlier, in a very weak state. He was suffering from cancer, which had spread throughout most his body organs. He refused to identify himself, and had no form of identification among his possessions.
He had obviously been a man of considerable means, and was used to being in a position of authority. All he would say was that he had no close relations, and those he did have were under the impression that he had died many years ago. He wanted it to remain that way
As it was obvious the cancer was too far advanced to treat, and it was a matter of days only before he would succumb to the inevitable, he was placed in the care of the St. Elizabeth Hospice nurses. He was a gentleman in every respect, and had asked and paid for, a quantity of writing materials. Receiving them, he set to work and first wrote a rather strange Will. He requested that a lawyer, religious minister, and hospital representative be present to witness his signing it, and to confirm that he was of sound mind.
The Registrar stated she had attended as representing the hospital. The deceased had signed the document with a cross, and thumb print. As near as she could recall, the Will stated the following:
“The owner of this thumb print, being of sound mind requests that the contents of the safety deposit box opened by the attached key be sold, and the proceeds used to build a new hospital to serve the underprivileged of the County. The balance is to be put into trust, and used to pay for the staffing of the hospital. A committee of five local residents of good character, and below average means, must be chosen by the witnesses here present, to oversee administration of the funds. As members of the trust leave or die, they are to be replaced by a person of similar standing, chosen by the remaining members. Members of the trust will pay themselves one new penny annually for their services.
In return for this bequest, I request the following: No mention is made of my bequest. No efforts will ever be made to trace my identity in any way. And my remains will be disposed of quietly in an unmarked grave.”
The Registrar continued, saying the mystery patient had produced the key, and had written down the location of the security box, and provided the two codes needed to gain access to it. She paused in her narrative, having departed that information, then said,
“Now comes the strangest part. Over the next days, he spent every spare moment, and virtually every last bit of his energy in writing a manuscript. He never let anyone read what he had written. He never finished it. I saw him the morning he died. He was too weak to write any more. He beckoned me close and whispered, ‘That writing of mine, can you – can you –‘. He never finished, but fell asleep. He never wakened from that sleep.” She paused again and moved uncomfortably before continuing –
“Well, I took charge of the papers there and then. Having read some of the writing later, I was at a loss as to what to do. At first, I thought I should burn them. You see they are – well – shall we say they contain some rather shocking disclosures. I really have no idea what he was going to ask me to do with them.” She hesitated again. “Perhaps you would like to see them? Maybe you may know what is best to do with them. You see I found them very shocking – yet he literally gave his last life’s breaths to get them written.”
My curiosity was fully aroused, and I had difficulty in containing my excitement. I asked, “What about the safety deposit box?”
This put her in a quandary. “I must ask that you treat what I say as given in the utmost confidence for the present. Can I have your assurance on that?”
I sensed she was almost afraid to tell me, yet bursting to share her secret with somebody. I assured her anything she said was completely off the record, and would remain so until such times as she may be happy for anyone else to know.
She moved closer to confide in a whisper, “That deposit box was in the Grand Cayman Isles. The lawyer and priest went to check it out. Well – well it – it contained dozens of diamonds.” She added as if unable to believe it herself, “There are millions of pounds worth. MILLIONS. At least FIVE HUNDRED MILLIONS they say.” She hissed the last mount out. “God knows. The lawyers are looking into it now, but it seems everything is totally legal. They say it will take some time, but they are confident the proceeds will legally end up being administered for the building of the hospital the blessed gentleman wished for.”
In a state of excitement, I returned with her to view the manuscript secreted in her safe. She handed it to me. In doing so, and bidding me to do with it as I thought best, I think a great load was lifted from her mind. I took it home, and that evening set to reading it.
Dawn was breaking as I read the final paragraph of the amazing manuscript. Letting the bulky collection of hand-written foolscap pages rest on my lap, I sat silently contemplating the author. Who was he? Could what I had just read be true? Could it be otherwise! Surely, nobody would make such a story up, or want to do so? With life leaking out of them fast, would anyone spend their last precious hours meticulously writing down a catalogue of lies with absolutely nothing to gain?
Stretching, yawning, rubbing tired eyes, I came to a sudden conclusion – I would get it published. There was bound to be some publisher somewhere that would take it on. Any man that donated enough money to build and equip a full sized modern hospital deserved to have his last words at least partially immortalised.
Being a freelance reporter has its drawbacks, but on this occasion I was pleased I owed no allegiance to any particular editor. I wanted this manuscript published word for word, just as it stood - including grammatical errors and Anglo Saxon expletives - not hacked about, added to, or edited to suite the whims of some national newspaper editor. The story you are about to read is a word for word copy of the one I read that night in early May.
Be warned: It is absolutely raw. It is a ‘no punches pulled’ and ‘just as it happened’ frank record of one man’s life. (And what a man). It is in no way reading suitable for minors, prudes, or the faint-hearted.
Whilst the early pages mostly give an illuminating historical insight into life in England during the 1930’s and 1940’s for those country kids born into poverty, do not be lulled into any sense of security. As the story unfolds, the many explicit sex situations are so graphically described in some profusion, that the combined contents of the Karma Sutra, Marquis de Sade, James Joyce, and Arthur Miller’s works pale into insignificance. This is ‘hands on’ and unexpurgated.
The first part - ‘Book One’ – is what many will consider a catalogue of evil. It is the biography of a youth hell bent on monetary gain and sexual self-gratification. And of the mostly teenage nymphomaniacs who formed his stable of call-girls, whores, and adult-show performers. He made the girls rich, and in doing so amassed a fortune of his own whilst still a teenager.
From the start he sets out the motives that drove him. Why he did what he did, and why he became what he was. He puts it all down to the corrupt society in which he existed. His outlook on life, disdain for ‘Authority’, his desire for adventure, amoral callousness, all stem from what he saw as abuse of authority whilst he was still a juvenile.
This record of the first part of his life goes some way to explain why he later chose the life of a COP (covert operator), working both for his country, and freelancing for others. And why he chose to undergo the rigorous training, then suffer the hardships and the prospect of living with death as an ever-present fellow traveller.
The title - “Ride The Donkey” can be taken as his alluding to the ‘Law is an Ass’, and how he rode it with disdain. Equally, it could refer to his ‘Sexual Pleasure Machine’ - in the form of a donkey, and used in bawdy female competitions to see ‘what a woman could take!’ Then again, it may refer to his own generous ten inches by seven inches sexual endowment, which was eagerly sought by many of the female gender - and just as eagerly used by him to pleasure them…
Truth? Fiction? You decide… but
Prepare to be SHOCKED
Chapter 1 – Shafted by Bastards. A Taste of Tit.
Now - an old man - I sit here alone with my thoughts…
Few ever think of what havoc the abuse of authority creates in a Juvenile mind, or the consequences it has on Society… with me, it all started when I was but nine years old: I was wrongly convicted by a lying farmer, a bastard police officer, and corrupt Judiciary. It led me into a life of danger, sex, pimping, theft, deception, ruthlessness, domination, and International intrigue. Despite that, always lurking beneath the surface, I like to think there was a great capacity for love, and compassion, which surfaced at unexpected times.
A smile softens my rugged face; eyelids close as memories erase the physical pain of cancer. My mind is full of wonderful memories. My life has been full indeed. Soon I will die, but I have nothing to feel unhappy about. Once I go - well that will be that. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell, and Life Hereafter. Having been given a life and lived it to the full – and then some - it is almost time to return to oblivion. Now you can all read my story.
Believing in those two adages - ‘Faint heart never fucked fair maiden’, and, ‘The Righteous are the most corrupt, and easiest to shaft’, brought me all the cash and cunt a man could desire - and enough excitement to fill a half-dozen average lifetimes.
Drawing a heavier breath, I relax, enjoying the flitting kaleidoscopic images pervading my mind’s eye. Like the disks of a One-armed Bandit, they revolve before me in a blur. Some briefly lock in a winning combination, and my reward is a secret smile. My head drops, as euphoric sleep threatens to engulf me, transporting me into times long passed. Eyelids flicker, jaw twitches: I am back there, reliving youthful events - seeing visions of Angie, the insatiable Sally, and all my other girls for hire.
‘My little mares’ - The thoughts and visions produce a sigh. Unconsciously, one hand reaches to caress a nubile breast, and then slowly lowers, as memory morphs into another mental image. In indecent haste, each in turn flashes vividly by – Patricia, who took my virginity, and the girls whose virginal cherries I plucked - the happy apparitions smile at me. I smile back, recalling sensuously their sexual expertise. My hand moves automatically to cover my stirring loins.
The visions change to even earlier memories: Blowing up a bridge; biting off a nurse’s nipple; attempting to demolish a house; playing truant; watching a pony burn to death; burning a boy at the stake; learning communal masturbation; early exploration, and exploitation of assorted females; Shooting a boy’s eye out, getting my first blow job, and first fuck. Incidents of thieving, being an Altar boy, a Boy Scout, a Black Marketeer. My early life as a gang leader; pimp; poacher - the memories helter-skelter onwards…
‘And all this before I reached my eighteenth birthday!’ I muse, in the twilight before sleep.
Weighing eleven pounds seven ounces at birth: at fourteen I stood over six feet two inches, owned a mass of long blonde curls, and tipped the scales at over fourteen stones. I was a boy with big ideas – and a penis to match - a real Jack the Lad, thinking I knew it all, and was the Bee’s knees.
Hovering just a whisker from all-encompassing sleep, I recall and review what I have written so far - a collection of my life’s memories. My brow furrows at the memory of that Courtroom. The words I’ve written pass starkly before me in ticker-tape fashion. Half-sleeping lips move silently, voicing the words… I slapped them down just as I thought them: No frills, no pandering to prudes, no whitewashing - Just raw truth.
I was nine years old when I first became acquainted with British Justice: We sat having tea, my Dad answered a knock at the door. It was the local police officer. He loomed half past Dad, and stuck out a finger pointing directly at me, “There, that’s one of them. Come here you. I want a word.”
What followed is just a haze. I was unaware of what I was supposed to have done. Both my parents appeared in shock. Dad gave him my name, signed a paper of some sort, and the police officer was gone…
Try seeing it from the perspective of a nine-year-old kid: There I was, looking up at this huge man in uniform. He stood six feet four without his helmet. To me he was an awesome brawny giant. He was hated and feared by all us kids. Most had felt his boot - or fist - at some time or other. Even at six feet two, Dad looked puny against him. I heard the accusations, but nothing registered. I was too busy watching for a fist, or boot to come at me.
Six weeks later, we cycled to the next town, to attend Juvenile Court. With me, were my Dad, cousin, and a boy from the same housing estate. Those two accused boys were eleven years old. We had to stand to attention below a raised dais, on which sat two elderly men, and an equally old woman. The police officer - locally known as PC Pisspot - read out the charge: For the first time the three of us became aware of what we were there for.
The charge was that, at a given time, on a given day, we had done criminal damage. Namely, we had whitewashed the outside of a new duck hut, and creosoted the inside, using materials purchased for the reverse actions. We then proceeded to wring the necks of a duck, and seven ducklings therein, and escaped with two pot eggs, which had been placed to encourage the ducks to lay eggs.
Pisspot produced two pot eggs he had retrieved from the family rubbish bin as evidence. We three lads were not asked anything.
It transpired that the owner claimed he’d come upon the scene of the crime, catching us red-handed. He falsely claimed he’d recognised us before we ran off. Despite giving chase, he had been unable to apprehend us. He once again identified us in the Courtroom.
The three Court Magistrates huddled together for about five seconds, and then the woman spoke. She almost spat at us:
“You are nothing more than brats, vagabonds, and young hooligans, and it is a pity you were ever born. Each one of you will pay the Court a fine of two pounds, and a further sum of sixteen shillings and eight pence, towards the costs of your actions.” She paused to blow the contents of her hooked nose into an inadequate handkerchief.
“Furthermore, you will be required to attend a Probation Officer, three times a week for the next two years. The Clerk of Court will provide the details.” Giving a look at her companions, the other two rose, and the three filed out of court in a flourish.
Our parents were devastated. It was the time before World War II, and the fine and costs amounted to over a full week’s wage for them. My own annoyance was that we had not been allowed to say we were innocent. It was obvious to me that the whole thing had been cut and dried before we ever went to Court. By no stretch of the imagination did they have time, in their short huddle, to either assess our guilt, or decide any punishment. That I was only nine years old at the time of the alleged offence counted for nothing.
That was my first – but by no means my last - taste of abuse of power. It decided the path my future would take. Never again would anyone talk to me - or about me - in such an unwarranted manner, and escape my wroth. From then on, it was to be ME against THEM: Getting caught for something I was guilty of was a fair due in my eyes, being used as a scapegoat, or railroaded, that was something else!
One of the male Magistrates was later found guilty of fathering his fourteen-year-old house cleaner’s child. The female Magistrate later happily bought poached game, and illicit petrol from us, together with Black Market flour, and clothing coupons from Dad, as wartime rationing took effect. Always, as I smiled, and took her money, I knew that the bitch was living on borrowed time – I would have my revenge – and I did…
As I write this, I forget the pain, and time passes more quickly. Truth? Fiction? Which is more or less believable? I was no angel, but then what kids are? However, my life would have followed a very different path, had I been born in a different decade, or if it had not been for others abusing power. My darker side has remained a secret to most until now. On reading this, rush not to judge me, for there is a bit of me in all of you.
* * * *
I was three years old when I started school. With Mum having two younger kids to look after, and another on the way, the school took pity on her, and accepted me early. They were already aware to some extent of my abilities, and some of my history. By then, I could read and write, thanks to a helpful older sister. I was a big lad, and very forward for my age. At that time, I had angelic looks, topped by a mass of blond curly locks.
It was not the first time I had visited the school. I had been there a few months earlier, along with other children under school age. A girl at the school had been struck down by poliomyelitis. The doctor insisted we all receive an inoculation. I was stuck in a queue with Mum, and we slowly shuffled forwards, and my turn came progressively nearer.
I was unsure of what was involved at first, but eventually saw what was happening up front. Kids were lifted up in turn by their mothers, and a nurse in a blue and white uniform jabbed something into the child’s arm. This resulted in cries from the child, and their mother carried them off as the next mum offered her child for sacrifice. I recall thinking, “No way – sod that”. - Or something to that effect.
This is a good point to inform you I have only ever been allergic to one thing: pain. Many say the measures I’ve taken to avoid this throughout my life, smacks of nothing but cowardice. I treat that remark with the same contempt as claims that I was bone-idle. Far from being lazy, I always viewed it as sensible conservation of energy. Why work if you don’t have to? Why endure pain if you can avoid it? - Unless you are an idiot, or into some form of bondage!
It was a sweltering hot summer day. Most everyone wore a minimum of clothing - the nurse was no exception. Any vest, bra, bodice, or slip, had been discarded, leaving her sporting a thin, starched uniform, and - presumably - a pair of knickers.
She was young, probably around twenty, and the owner of a very small waist. This was tightly nipped in by a red patent leather belt, which accentuated her protruding nubile breasts. Breasts fascinated me even at that age. I don’t remember much else; just the breasts, and a round smiling face surrounded by dark wavy hair, with a blue and white hat perched on top, matching the trimming on her short sleeves.
Almost abruptly, it was my turn. Mum raised me up, and rested me on her protruding stomach, (Mum’s, not the nurses!) and offered me forwards. I saw the menacing glass tube, tipped by an even more menacing needle, moving towards my bare arm…
Now there definitely come times in all men’s lives, when they think, ‘That is not for me,’ or to use a Suffolk expression, ‘Hell all round that. Fuck this for a game of soldiers’ - so I took evasive action. I guess I was born to instinctively think the best form of defence is attack. Lunging forwards, I clamped my teeth straight into one of the nurse’s breasts.
The ensuing consequences seemed to occur in a blur of action as all hell broke loose. The nurse screamed, and pulled back, instantly bowing with my weight as In the same split second my surprised Mum released me, and I slammed against the nurse’s body. I was, suspended in mid air - some would say, ‘hanging on by the skin of my teeth!’ Around us, adults, and children seemed struck motionless.
Fearing the pain of a fall, my teeth clamped tighter, and I clawed to grip something. The nurse screamed louder, trying to straighten, and pull me off. Her uniform front burst open revealing one bulging milk white breast, and partly displaying the other. The one pulled forwards was distorted and elongated. Blood stained the material around it, and I could feel and taste the warm liquid, as I hung on grimly.
Whether the blood weakened the material, the constant starching had done so, or it just could not cope with my weight, is debatable. Whatever - my teeth met. I was suddenly on the floor, choking on a section of blood-soaked uniform containing a nipple, and a generous amount of surrounding areola. The nurse collapsed alongside me.
It was pandemonium for a few minutes. Mum attended to me, as everyone else - it seemed - was smothering the nurse in their haste to assist her. Mum bent and prized out the offending matter, and glanced at it. Giving a quick, furtive look around, she tossed it away behind her. Somehow, she extricated us from a melee of legs. In moments, we were free of the turmoil, and on our way home. I never did get that jab, nor saw the nurse again…
Chapter 2 - Background. Early Memories. Niggers; WOGs; Yanks; Frogs; Men & Soldiers.
I was brought up during the ‘Great Depression’ years of the nineteen thirties, in a small market town of some three hundred inhabitants. It nestled in a wind gap at the foot of the Pennines, in Northern England. The seventh son of a seventh son, I was one of fourteen children - not an unusually large family for that period. Most married couples ended up having six or seven kids; many had nine or more. Two neighbouring families had nineteen and twenty-one children respectively.
Some believe being a seventh son of a seventh son gives a person extra powers, or insight. There have been times I have wondered. Somehow, on balance, I doubt it.
Dad was an Army Medic in World War I, and then worked as a corn miller. Mum - surprise, surprise, - was a full-time homemaker. I could rabbit on, to the strings of a violin about how poor we were: That us kids went to sleep in shifts; took it in turns to wear the one pair of clogs we possessed; queued to warm our hands at the candle in winter, etc. That would only bore you – some of it would be untrue anyway! However, times were hard, though us kids knew no different, and took it in our stride.
For sure, we did sleep on sheets made of sewn-together white linen flour bags. Our covers consisted of crocheted patchwork blankets made from thinly cut strips of anything from old dresses and shirts, to ladies stockings and bloomers - with hell knows what else mixed in. These home-made blankets were supplemented in winter by the addition of old Army, and other overcoats, scrounged from rummage sales. Most of our clothes were ex rummage sales, and handed down from one kid to the next. Despite this, we were no worse off than most around us.
It being the period between wars, and that following the Great Depression, most families were hurting. By some quirk of fate, I seemed to have been born with more brains than most around me, though I did have a very bright elder sister. She was the oldest child of our family.
My first definite memories are from when I was still two years old. I recall being released from the cupboard door to go to meet Dad. I’d better explain: Mum used to tie me to the cupboard door to keep me out of mischief. This was via a rope round my waist, tied to the doorknob just out of my reach. My being so secured must have made life easier for her, as she was inevitably pregnant.
It was not long before I learned to slip off my ill-fitting shoes, and place one atop of the other. Standing on them, I could reach the knob, and unscrew it. This afforded me freedom to get into mischief, and hastily resume my captive position at the first hint of danger. Dad cycled home for lunch. Mum would look out for him, and release me, so I could run the last few yards of the cobblestones to meet him. He would dismount, and lift me up onto the saddle, where I enjoyed riding those last few bumpy yards to our door. To little Frankie it was a great treat.
Our house was towards the end of a long terrace of houses. The row of dwellings had been converted, from what had once been a factory. Among other things that had been manufactured in there, were the sails of Lord Nelson’s Flag Ship, HMS Victory.
Each house had a small living room, kitchen, pantry, and a cellar. Above, there were four tiny bedrooms. Five steps led up to the front door. We were lucky, and had a cold-water tap of our own indoors, and a shallow sandstone sink, but of course no electricity. We had one gas lamp in the living room, and an ancient gas cooker in the kitchen. Feeding pennies into a meter operated that, and many times the pennies were not available.
We had no toilet or bathroom. We did have access to a row of communal bucket toilets. Those were in an outside block, facing the centre of the terrace. I never did find out who it was that emptied the loo buckets in there. They always seemed full anyway, and the aroma of stale piss and well ripened shit stank something rotten.
Our front gardens were on raised ground, behind those toilets. In common with the rest of the community, we tended to pee in pots, or buckets, indoors mostly. These were emptied down the sink. In winter, with snow and ice about, it was often more than just pee went in the pots. We had a shit-bucket in the cellar. The older family members used that, and as it filled, the contents were used to fertilise the garden.
On my fourth birthday, I was presented with a bottle of milk. That may seem odd to you, but it was the first I’d ever seen. Our milk was normally doled out from a milk kit carried by a horse and cart, and poured into jugs, or other receptacles provided by the householders.
Fred - the milkman - had acquired a small bottling plant for his farm. Of course, it was straight from cow to bottle, via a pail and jug. There was no pasteurising, or hygiene, in those days, other than washing the bottles. It was a case of filling the bottles up, sticking a cardboard disk in the top, and putting them in a crate for delivery later. Did it taste good though!
Later, he got an electric milking machine. It had a set of rubber vacuum tubes that were placed over the cows’ teats, and the milk was sucked out of each cow in turn, into a galvanised tank. This sucking was done with a rhythmic pulsing. It was not long before older boys found another use for those tubes - providing Fred was not around.
I do have some vague earlier memories; I recall being pushed in a baby carriage, and lifted out to sit on the grass verge to play with dothering grass (Alpine Cat’s-tail), and pick wild flowers. If I were very lucky, I would see a car passing on the road. That was something of a rarity; only the village doctor had a car at the time. A couple of years on, the local parson got one. It was an open-back Vauxhall, as I recall. He would pile a number of us kids into the back, and take us a mile or so, then drop the small ones off to walk home. He carried on a bit further with a couple of the older ones. They always returned with pocket money. It was only later, I found out how they earned it! Times may change, but people do not.
Occasionally we would see a charabanc (bus), loaded with holidaymakers bound for the sea at Morecambe. More often, we saw a bunch of a couple of dozen or more cyclists bound for the same spot: Cycling was a reasonably cheap hobby indulged in by many in those days. Cycling clubs existed in most of the larger towns. Members usually wore variously coloured caps, shorts, and vests covered in badges of towns the owner had visited, and clubs they belonged to. All would wave cheerily, and we waved back.
Yes, it was good being three. The world seemed wonderful and full of new adventures, and experiences - and everyone seemed to love me.
* * * *
My first year at school had its highs and lows - mostly highs. As an infant, I was put to bed in the afternoon, in a small folding canvas bed with a knitted blanket for a cover. Still in the classroom, I was able to watch the other kids playing with an assortment of toys. These were very fascinating to me. I had never seen such wonderful things.
There was one toy in particular I dreamed of playing with. It was a small wind-up tinplate car. It had wheels that could be steered. To me that was wonderful. There were many other toys of course, but that car is the only one that sticks in my memory. (I later found that if one dismantled those tinplate toys, you could see they had been made from recycled thin tins and cans, and still bore the original advertising etc.: I recall ‘OXO’, ‘BOVRIL’, and ‘JACOB’S CRACKERS’, on some. The Japanese manufacturers seemed to waste nothing.
I remember playing with whips and tops, bowlies (metal hoop and stick), beanbags, medicine balls, hopscotch, skipping. The female teachers were great - full of enthusiasm, compassion, and understanding. I quickly learned to manipulate them - as I did most adults - and the other children. Most of the male teachers I encountered were sadistic bastards. They all seemed to get great delight from dishing out corporal punishment for the slightest of demeanours, Fortunately females predominated.
In those early years at the tiny school, I rapidly developed many of the characteristics that stayed with me throughout life. I had a natural talent for accomplished lying, deceit, self-preservation, manipulation, and conning others - whilst at all times emanating an aura of total innocence. I believe all kids start out with these qualities, but grown-ups soon suss them out. In my case, I perfected them. I also developed into a natural athlete, and talented player of most games. I particularly excelled at anything requiring hand-eye co-ordination. Those talents, coupled with my total self-confidence, at the time, led me to being accepted as a natural leader.
By my third school year, I was acknowledged as ‘Cock of the School.’ It didn’t mean anything sexual, just that I could better any other pupils in a fight. Hence, even those kids two years my senior, refrained from engaging in any dispute with me. By the age of nine, I had formed my own gang. Initially, it followed the pattern of most kid’s gangs: We played together, did odd pranks, and had a friendly rivalry with other gangs. That changed drastically following my court appearance: Our goal became organised crime against the ‘Upper Classes’, and most anyone in authority.
Despite all the members being older than I was, they obeyed every order without question. All were sworn to secrecy on pain of death. I am convinced they really believed I would have killed them if they’d breached the rules. (Maybe I would have at the time.) We carried out various nefarious escapades in the following years. In return for their loyalty, they received half of any spoils – that was half between them, and half for me!
Most of us were from the poorer section of society. As such, money, and any small luxuries were always in short supply. The acquiring of these - by whatever means - became one of my gang’s priorities, especially as we moved into the war years. In common with most kids, we raided the local orchards. However, we also stole strawberries, cherries, grapes, tomatoes, and such from the gardens of the wealthy. Among other things, shoplifting was practised to a fine art. With the onset of World War II, the scope of our activities increased.
By the time I was twelve housebreaking was a gang norm. We always had watertight alibis arranged. Our victims were chosen via another lucrative scheme I had developed - the ‘Children’s Help Society.’ I got that idea from noting that people donated to occasional collections organised in the town for assorted good causes, or to help the War Effort. On the assumption that donating to us kids had to be a good cause, I arranged the acquisition of a number of collection boxes, and versed the gang-members on the patter to use. We regularly conned householders out of a few pence, in support of the ‘Children’s Help Society.’
That it worked so successfully, on a regular bimonthly rota between the adjoining villages, is a tribute to the gang members’ convincing performances, and the generosity of the less well-off Northerners. Whilst making these collections, houses of the better off, and shops, were noted and earmarked as targets for later break-ins. We did not operate the swindle in our own town. The old adage of ‘Not shitting on your own doorstep,’ held good for us even then.
* * * *
Those first school years also provided other highlights. I was privileged to watch one of the world’s great airships, as it flew over the school on its way to disaster. That was the Hindenburg - which came to a sad end on May 6, 1937. I remember another teacher bursting in on our lesson. She told our teacher to take us all out into the playground. It was a beautiful day, and we watched for what must have been several minutes, as the airship quietly moved towards us, flew almost directly overhead, and slipped like a silver ghost into the far distance. Thinking back, it must have been only about a thousand feet high.
In addition, we had all watched an almost complete eclipse of the sun. None I have witnessed since held such awe for me as that first one: As the sky darkened, all nature seemed hushed. I think it scared all us kids to some degree at the time.
Then - earlier - there was the abdication of the king. I recall everyone was singing, “What’s this coming down the street? It’s Mrs. Simpson’s sweaty feet.” There were other similar derogatory ditties. She was one unpopular Yank.
One of my most embarrassing moments will seem very trivial to you. At the time, it was quite devastating for me. Having been home to lunch, I returned to class. It was only when I noted some surreptitious glances from other children, that I realised I was still wearing a bib. Mother had stuck it round my neck to save food dribbles messing my shirt. Only my status saved me from a real ribbing by the other kids. I brazened it out, and continued to wear it, convincing them I was doing it to win a bet from my older brothers.
I have said little of my brothers, and sisters. In truth, this is about me, so, although they were ever-present in support, I will only mention them when they were actually involved in a particular event. Nevertheless, I loved them dearly. Sadly, I lost two of them early in the blood bath called World War II.
Other childhood highlights I remember, are seeing the incredibly skilled, and daring performances of ex-World War I air crew, who scraped a living by ‘barnstorming’, ‘wing walking’, and other daring-do. They had no ropes or safety harnesses in those days. It was just guts and skill. They did this, travelling from village to village, using any available meadow to land and take off on. Between displays, they provided short flights for the nobs, and well-to-do folk able to afford the half crown fare. There were also the visits from travelling fairs, and an occasional circus.
Our town always had cricket matches arranged against the International touring teams during our annual Show Week. I vividly recall the Australian and West Indies visits in particular. In my teens, I played against the likes of Sonny Ramadhin, Alf Valentine, Frank Worrell, Clyde Walcott, and Everton Weeks. I also played against the great Australian Don Bradman, and had the honour of catching him out on the boundary. It denied him moving from ninety-eight, to making a century against us. I felt really smug about that. As he left the pitch, he shook my hand, and congratulated me on making a difficult catch.
You must forgive me for flitting from one topic to another: I jot them down as recalled - one memory triggering-off another. I do attempt to follow some semblance of chronological order. So far, I have hinted at the mostly dark side of my character. There is of course a more acceptable side, and I like to think that, for all the ills I have done, I have equally brought help and happiness into just as many lives.
* * * *
If I have one pet hate, it is an overwhelming loathing for those who abuse the authority invested in them. Be it Armed Forces NICO’s, or Commissioned Officers, Police, Politicians, Employers, Attorneys, Local Government Officers, Teachers or Preachers, or whoever - I have had bad experiences of them all. The saying that power corrupts, is so often a very true one.
This aversion stems from my childhood initially, and permeates right through my adulthood. Whatever the explanation psychologists may give for the permanent ‘Big Chip’ I have carried on my shoulder throughout life, I have my own views: I think it stems from that first unjust brush with the law – when I was wrongly convicted, and punished for a crime I did not commit. Hell, I was only nine years old anyway!
Those war years bring back many memories. Many experiences then, influenced my thinking in later years. How I viewed different Races, for one thing. The actions and behaviour of visiting military personnel left its mark. As a teenager growing up in World War II, I encountered a number of members of other countries, and formed opinions of them. Those opinions have not changed all that much.
Originally they were the stereotypes indoctrinated into us through school, newspapers, films, and opinions expressed by the adults around me. These opinions were confirmed, or modified later. I soon developed my own very set views of the various world races as my experiences of them grew. Let’s take my own fellow citizens first: The locals - English, Welsh, Scots, the North, and Southern Irish:
The average English soldier was poor, pretty pissed off, envied the Yanks, and pitied Niggers. He feared and respected his Non-commissioned Officers. He considered his Commissioned Officers as inbred upper-class idiots that he was forced to salute. When it came to fighting on the battlefront, he would avoid it if he could. If not, he made the best of it, and his discipline tended to get him through.
In battle, he liked Aussies, or Canadians to be alongside - or covering his arse. He respected German soldiers, had total contempt for Italians, and never trusted the French. Yanks were useful for supplying cigarettes - and giving them a laugh, with the bullshit that oozed from them.
The Welsh, I saw as high-pitched-voiced, fast-talking, sly creatures. They were either short and thin, or short and fat, and always seemed to be begging a cigarette, or wanted to borrow something that would never be paid back. They sang patriotic Welsh songs loudly in pubs, took any drinks offered, and retired for a piss when it was their turn to buy a round of drinks. They tended to stick together, and play cards - unless they were in battle - where they kept crouched in the shelter of any bigger soldier’s body.
The Scots tended to be very loudmouthed; mostly drunk, and looking to cause trouble, or start a fight. In battle, they were like the English, and made the best of it.
The Northern Ireland soldiers were poor, loyal, and dependable. They liked a drink when they could afford one, and enjoyed a fight. I saw the Southern Ireland men as pitifully poor, good, hard-workers, and not to be trusted - as they did not fight for the Allies, and many aided the Germans.
The Polish to me seemed to keep to themselves a lot. However, they were polite if one started a conversation. They were quite meek, but once I had gotten them talking it became obvious they had suffered much. They seemed to bear no real hatred of anyone - other than Russian officers, and the Gestapo. I think I would have appreciated having them on my side in a fight.
The Wops (Italians) appeared to have the least stomach for warfare of any race. Hardly cowardly - more that they just did not want to be involved. I only saw them as POWs. (Prisoners of war). They integrated well, were respectful, rather than subservient, and appreciated the way they were treated. They were hard working, and skilful in various ways. They seemed to be family-orientated and loved kids.
Jerries, (Germans), hated and feared their own officers, fought hard because they had to, were glad to be prisoners and out of it. They were liked by the locals, and mixed well, bringing new skills to the area, which they shared with the populace.
The word WOG meant an Arab or Indian to me. I saw them as turbaned religious fanatics, bent on killing the ‘infidel’. Some were on our side, and some opposed us. They crawled about on their bellies, with knives in their mouths. The friendly ones would slit your throat if you turned your back - so would the others.
Yanks, (Americans) consisted of several different groups: There were the larger-than-life, loudmouthed caricatures of an officer; they usually had big bellies, bulging out from above low-slung army belts sporting a handgun. A few of these guns were service issue; many were ostentatious Wild West revolvers, or such.
A half-chewed cigar usually hung dribbling slaver from podgy lips. They must have seen themselves as the epitome of John Wayne, or Errol Flynn. Sad really, as although on films, those two won every war single-handed, in fact, I got the impression that those two managed to avoid any contact with military service – unlike other film stars who served willingly and with distinction.
Those Yank officers were all mouth and trousers to me. If they had a superiority of ten to one in battle, they were heroes. Any less odds than this, and they would retire to a safer Headquarters, and scream for the Air Force, or Navy, to bail them out. These officers would have been more useful to us if they had been in charge of the enemy.
The ordinary Yank soldier consisted of four main types. The first was the New Yorker. It seemed that any of those Americans that lived within two hundred and fifty miles of the place, claimed to come from New York. If they had an Aunt that lived there, had passed through it once - or maybe saw a picture of it as a kid – they were seemly New Yorkers!
Those tended to be similar, but lesser versions of their officers. They gave the impression they had popped over the ‘pond’, to spend a couple of weeks digging the British out of the shit, and whopping the ass off Hitler, and the Nipps (Japanese). In their spare time, which they expected to have plenty of, they would treat the English girls, by giving them what they believed, was a man-sized fucking. The girls thought they were piss-poor at it – but let ‘em anyway – in exchange for nylons and other goodies.
As a soldier, the ‘New Yorker’ would expect to be riding a Jeep, and driving a rabble of demoralised Germans - in full retreat - all the way to Berlin. In my opinion, it would have taken a whole bunch of those guys to replace any one wounded Commonwealth soldier - hopefully unaccompanied by officers.
The only soldiers able to rival these New Yorkers were the Texans – at least in their own estimation! They were, in general, tall and pathetic, badly educated, grown-up kids. Fortunately, for them, they were too stupid to realise what idiots they were.
Next came the non-Texan, non-New Yorker. He was a quieter person. Better paid than the British, in civilian life he was probably no better off than them. He was typically American, but had many things in common with the Limeys (British). He probably came from a smaller community than the New Yorkers, worked on the land, or in a factory – or was unemployed. He had no wish to go to war, but now he was there, would do his bit. He tended to be respectful, mix in, appreciated the company of the local females, and was generous with the extras he had as an American, without being Baghdad about it.
As a soldier, only his uniform would distinguish him from non-Americans around him. His hate, and fear of war, would be just as strong as theirs was. His dislike of officers and respect for his NCO’s paralleled the British. His willingness, and ability to adapt, and his preparedness to give of his best, would make him their equal in battle. Luckily, America was a big country, and there were many genuine GIs like those.
Niggers were something else. As a kid and church member, I had thought of Niggers as Africans - coming mainly from Nigeria. They were a poor race, lacking in schools, and medical services. We had monthly church collections, for church charities helping these people. Our local paper - in common with many - had a children’s ‘Nig Nog’ Club. We collected things to send to the poor children of Africa, and exchanged paintings we did at school with them. Calling them Niggers was anything but derogatory. It was just a collective name, used in the same way as we called ourselves British. It was only with the coming of the war, that I became aware of so many residing in America.
How did I see them? The ones I had any contact with, were quiet and subdued. They were surprised when we spoke to them as equals. Despite making up a considerable portion of the American army, they were, at best, tolerated by white Americans. Often being hated and despised by them – particularly Texans.
I saw them as on a par with the ones in Africa, and elsewhere that were giving their lives for freedom in general, and we kids in particular. They fought willingly, to help the very people that had in the past ravaged their women, enslaved their people, and robbed their land of its riches. As a kid, I had nothing but admiration for them. Since then, I have met a few real bastard Niggers. However, I have met many more bastards of other races. My opinion of those ‘Coloured Gentlemen’ in general, has not changed. I am proud to have many of them as friends.
As for Frogs - they were French weren’t they! There must have been some good ones among them, I suppose. I never yet met one. I saw them as having a born dislike for the British - having been whipped by them so often in battle. Like the soldiers I knew, I would not have sought to rely on them for anything.
Canadians, Anzacs (Australia and New Zealand), Ghurkhas and such were seen by me as, reliable, and good allies – the equal of any, and better than most.
I saw the Japanese as small, slit-eyed, swarthy characters, dedicated and fanatical, with no respect, either for their own life, or for that of the enemy.
So much for my views of others, formed as I lived through a world war. I wonder how much our views, and those of children from other countries at the time, have contributed to the wars, unrest, and hate between races since? More - I wonder what teenagers of various races think of the rest of us old-timers today!
Only by understanding, respecting, and tolerating each other, can we have any hope of world peace.
Chapter 3 - Revenge; A Pony Burns. We Bomb a House.
I later got revenge on all three magistrates, and PC Pisspot, and the farmer who made the charges. In the case of the farmer: I saw smoke emitting, from one of his huts near the footpath. I knew he kept his pony in it when the weather was wintry. A paraffin-oil stove heated the hut, and the fire must have started from that.
Normally I would not have hesitated to rescue the animal, and would have had plenty of time to do so. (In less than three years, I was to be awarded a medal by the R.S.P.C.A - for rescuing a sheep from a raging torrent.) Unfortunately for the pony, I had not forgotten I was attending probation because of its owner - so stood in glee watching, and listening to it’s death-cries.
The fire had all but demolished the hut and contents when the farmer came rushing up. The stench of burning flesh filled the air. He glared at me - and my two friends that had joined me - accusingly. He wanted to know how long we’d been there. Why we hadn’t tried to put it out? Was it us young buggers that started it? I felt sure he thought we were responsible.
Moving away from him to safety, I got great pleasure from saying, “It’s your own blood fault I did nothing. I never touched your shitty duck hut, or your bloody ducks. I was nowhere near the damn place. But we had to go without food, so we could pay the fine.” He stared at me, taking a step forward, and spat out, “Well if it weren’t you, it were one of your tribe.”
Even young kids can get angry. I leaned towards him, glaring, “Bloody wrong again. The lot that did that never even come from here. Sod your bloody pony. I wasn’t going to leave no footprints in the snow, just trying to help. You’d have bloody had me in court for that too.”
He glanced at the surrounding fresh snow, then quickly back, “You lot know more than you’re letting on. I’ll have the man in blue sort this out. And I’ll see your probation woman.” He threatened. I laughed in scorn, “Who? Pisspot? Even that bastard could see nobody’s been near.”
“I’ll tell him you said that too.” He gazed at me for a while; rage boiling inside him, “I know all your names,” He blustered", the police will hear about this.” He made to grab the nearest lad. We moved smartly to safety, and he shuffled away towards the heap of burning rubble. I grinned at my friends, and we left contentedly.
That was ONE bastard paid back. I knew I would get them all in turn. Nobody was going to fuck with me – young as I was – once was more than enough: And God help anybody that upset my mother, like that lot had done.
* * * *
We later found that it had been ‘The Pottery Boys’ - a gang from the next village - that were responsible for the crime we’d been convicted of. We bore them no grudge. They had only done what we may well have done ourselves anyway! In any case, they gave us the name and address of the other Justice of Peace on the Court Bench. Naturally, we gave him a visit…
Our target, lived on the outskirts of a nearby village, and we checked his place out. He had a substantial, detached house with double bay windows. It was set slightly back from the road. It had an entrance, and exit, joined by a curved driveway. A small clump of trees separated the house and driveway from the main road. These trees afforded us undetected access to the front of the dwelling.
The plan was to blow up his house using a large carbide bomb. We chose carbide, as it was easily obtainable. It was used for cycle and carriage lights, and we used it to poach salmon from a couple of rivers: Even a lemonade bottle containing carbide and water - with a secure stopper - was sufficient to produce a fair explosion. I figured that an earthenware flour bin, large enough to hold a hundredweight of flour, and possessing a large screw lid, should make a big enough bomb – and I knew just where to lay my hands on one.
That afternoon, armed with the flour bin, a number of tins of carbide, and a supply of water carried by ‘bogie’, (More on bogies later.) we journeyed to the site, and settled in the trees to prepare. We could see the man and his wife through the lace curtains, as the pair moved around the interior. We waited until they were sat quietly, and then assembled our contraption. For safety, we worked quickly.
Putting a couple of gallons or so of water into the pot first, then rapidly emptying four tins of carbide into it, we swiftly screwed the thick porcelain cap securely down. We manhandled the bomb to a position in front of the door. Making a hasty retreat to sanctuary behind the trees we waited… I suppose it never occurred to us that if it blew the house up, the bomb may well blow our protecting trees up also! We settled ourselves for a few minutes’ wait. It needed time for sufficient pressure to build up inside, before the container would finally explode.
It became a long wait. As the minutes passed, we grew increasingly impatient. It seemed the thing was not going to work. It was like watching a firecracker that had appeared to fizzle out. The urge was to go and check it out, but common sense prevailed - just.
* * * *
We’d almost given up when the bloody thing went off in a mighty explosion. My hair literally stood on end as the noise and blast reached us. The air seemed full of whining missiles, and a number of severed branches fell around us. Everything, including us, appeared covered in a substance similar to hoar frost. Once satisfied that we were all still alive, we looked at the house.
It was still standing, though the bay and upstairs windows, were a shattered mess. The porch and front door had disintegrated. A drainpipe, and several roof tiles, lay among the debris. There was just one thing left for us to do - get the hell out of there. This we did at full speed, ears still ringing, and half deaf. The four-mile journey across the fields was rapidly covered. We did our best to rid our hair, and clothing, of the light grey powder, before dispersing to our homes.
When I got indoors, Dad was out - fortunately. Mum made me strip, and put everything for washing, urging, “You had better get straight off to bed before your father gets back. I don’t know what you’ve been up too, but no good, I’ll be bound.” She knew I had been involved in something I shouldn’t have, but was as protective as ever - bless her.
It was a couple of days before news of the event reached our village. Word was, that some poachers - seeking revenge on the Magistrate - had launched the attack. It was rumoured that the culprits would be brought to justice very shortly. According to the newspaper report, considerable damage had been caused by the explosion to both house and contents. The wife had suffered severe shock. The owner had suffered a broken arm, and lost part of an ear. At our gang meeting that evening, we spent an enjoyable time reliving the adventure, and congratulating each other on a job well done - then set about planning our next escapade.
We were never suspected of involvement, and nobody else - surprisingly - was ever apprehended for it. That event was pushed back into history, as more pressing matters took precedence. What these were I do not recall, but I am sure there must have been some. Maybe it was avenging Paul. That certainly occurred around that time.
Chapter 4 - Burning at the Stake.
Paul was the next brother up from me. We were not twins, however, we shared the same age for part of the year. I was born under eleven months after him: Well, there was no television to watch, or contraceptive pills in those days, and condoms cost ten pence each. No workingman would pay that - unless he had extramarital use for such precautions. In any case, the accepted truism for keeping a wife under the thumb seemed to be, ‘Keep her barefoot and pregnant, and make sure she is well fed at both ends.’
Paul was different to me, being a quiet, and honest lad, and given to helping at home. He grafted hard at school to achieve. Sport was not one of his fortes, but he always tried his best. As a family, we fought a lot at home. At school and outside, we stuck up for each other. We had a reputation few dare test - even my sisters could fight like Spartans. Only the extremely foolhardy sought to cross us: the incident in question was one of those times.
It was over something I had done to one of the lads involved. He obviously bore a grudge. It had consumed him sufficiently to step out of line. They took advantage of the fact that Paul was inoffensive, and happened to be caught alone in the woods picking flowers for our Mum.
There were two other lads with the ringleader. They’d captured Paul, and after torturing him, left him tied to a tree. We came on him by pure chance some while later. He was in a sorry state; suffering from the torture they’d inflicted on him, and his vain efforts to release himself. There were five of us: I detailed one to make sure Paul got safely home. Us remaining four set out to bring the culprits to justice.
Searching all the usual haunts, we suddenly spotted one of them in the distance. Luckily for us, it was the ringleader. We gave chase, fanning out to cut off any retreat. A hectic few minutes later, we had him surrounded at the top of a sand quarry. (More about the quarry later.) We closed in from all sides, and he was ours for the taking.
* * * *
The top of the quarry had a fence running along the perimeter, to keep sheep, or cattle from straying over the edge. At the highest point was a sheer drop of some hundred feet plus, to the quarry floor. We secured our captured enemy to one of the topmost fence posts.
After a short debate on his fate, decided that a fit punishment would be burning at the stake. To this end, brushwood and dry grass were collected and placed around his lower body. A match was produced, and the grass set alight. We then proceeded to act like Red Indians, whooping and dancing, as the flames took hold. He was screaming in terror, as he frantically tried to free himself. It was a great feeling; watching the flames leaping up, and enjoying his terror, and hopeless attempts at escape.
Nature swiftly took a hand. The hill consisted of almost pure dry sand, with just a few inches of topsoil, and grass. The post was only a couple of feet from the edge. The victim’s violent action caused this to give way. He was suddenly plunged over the edge; to hang suspended some ninety feet from the ground by the two adjoining posts. I felt cheated at not seeing him roast, and had to be content with the sight of him dangling helplessly. We decided the fun was over, and started to head for home.
Extra loud yells caused us to look back. One of the other posts had succumbed to his struggles, and he had disappeared from sight. As we watched, two more posts tore out and flipped out of sight. Fearing he may escape, we chased down and around the side of the quarry. We were too late. By the time we got there, other posts had given way, and lowered him to within a few feet of the ground. Our ropes had loosened, and he struggled free. Dropping about fifteen feet, he was running as he hit the ground. He dived through a small hedge, and was crossing the railway tracks, by the time we started to get close.
Across the rails he went, and down a steep embankment, to the river below. Without hesitation, he dived in, to emerge soaked at the other side. Without a pause, he continued fleeing along the opposite riverbank. Not once did he glance back. He must have been totally consumed by terror. We watched from the rail-track, as he sped out of view.
* * * *
I suppose you could be forgiven for thinking Paul had been avenged, and we had been appeased. Far from it, I felt cheated, even if it was only temporarily: You see I knew he had still to get home. Better than that, I knew we had plenty of time to cut him off from reaching it.
We were soon well on the way to intercepting him again. Within ten minutes, we had him in sight, and the second chase was on - in the built up area of the town. In minutes, we had him cut off from his home, and cornered in the sawmill yard. Being chased, he did what most fugitives do, and headed for high ground. In that instance, it meant him scrambling up outbuildings, and getting onto the roof of the main building. He was then a sitting duck. We threw stones at him for a while, and had some successful strikes that drew shrieks of pain from him. I changed tactics, I wanted to catch him alive, and continue with our original plan of burning him at the stake.
I detailed two of my gang to climb on to the roof, one from either ends, so sandwiching him between them. They inched forwards to close the gap as Jack crouched in terror. At the last instant - having more fear of us than what lay in the unknown - he ran straight down the opposite side of the roof to us, and leapt into the void below.
The drop from the roof gutter was only about twenty feet, and quite survivable, so we chased round there. We could see him motionless, apparently impaled on one of a stack of ten-foot fence posts. These had been stacked points upwards, in a group against the side of the building. His jump had cleared him of all but the last row. Right then seemed a good time for us to do a disappearing act – and bloody smartly.
I seem to remember we went to the Movies after that, and saw ‘Cat and Canary’, starring Bob Hope. We didn’t pay, as it had already started, instead, we went around the back, and in through the fire doors in the men’s toilets: It was just a matter of waiting by the window until some kid came in, and getting them to push the bar open.
To those wondering: Jack survived. The post had gone up his trouser leg, and out via his armpit. Oh, he had a few scars and stitches, and a bust shoulder, but he felt he was lucky – and so he was. At least if our mission had not been a total success, it served as another reminder to all - it was tempting fate to fuck with MY family...
Chapter 5 - War. New Schools. Twits, Twats, and Perversion.
My life changed dramatically in the weeks that followed. I started a new school, and then left that in a matter of weeks to start another. I was sorry to leave my first school. I was almost God as far as the other kids were concerned, yet the teachers thought I was the perfect pupil, always helpful. I was just conning them of course for my own ends – even the Head Mistress succumbed to my angelic looks and charm.
She lived nine miles from school, and had a little Standard 8 car. I always stayed behind to close the gates for her when she left after school. In return, each Friday she presented me with a sixpence, and all the sweets she had confiscated during the week from children eating in class. Though I instigated most problems there, the teachers never dreamed I was responsible, or even involved.
All good things come to an end. Among other things, the outbreak of war caused the first break-up of our family. The moors and hills around us were filled with soldiers, Bren-gun carriers, tanks, and other Army vehicles. The air contained aircraft of friend and foe, bent on killing rather than entertaining. Night and day, our small rail station rumbled to the sound of trains crammed tight with Forces personnel, the vast majority being soldiers just fresh from Boot Camp. For most of them, a hard six weeks of training on the surrounding mountains and moors would culminate in them being posted to the Front Line.
There was the Blackout too, and all signposts were removed. Rationing started to bite. We learned to hate some nationalities, and become friends with others. There was also a large influx of child evacuees from the cities. For us kids it was just part of life and growing up. For those older, it was not so simple, or easy to adjust though. For many more it was a return to the living hell they had fought to free the world from, a few years previously.
* * * *
As kids, we lived quite an ideal life. We were free to roam the moors and mountains. We learned to knit purse nets, and make snares to catch rabbits. We became adept at trapping foxes, catching pheasants, tickling trout, and poaching salmon. We knew all the types of trees, plants, and flowers: How to make clothes pegs, wooden whistles, catapults, and bows - complete with lethal arrows. We knew which berries or fungi were edible or poisonous, and how to survive in the wild. We could all swim as soon as we could walk.
Any of us could skin a rabbit, pluck a pheasant, or cook a hedgehog, and we assisted in both legal, and illegal slaughter of pigs, sheep, and cows. We could recognise any bird and its nest. All of us had extensive egg collections. Most of us helped with hay making, milking and harvest. So many things we learned, and did that kids of today will never experience. For them, life seems to be mostly TV Soaps, and electronic games. They were bad times, but good times…
I learned to play chess, and was soon able to hold my own against all but the very best. During this period, I acquired a set of six throwing knives; hard practice soon enabled me to hit the inner circle of an old dartboard consistently from twenty paces or more. They were not the type of knives you saw used in circus acts. They had a five-inch blade, and were one inch wide, tapering to three quarters of an inch at the two-inch handle. Blade and handle were thin and flat, and each knife had a simple sheath - similar to a soft comb case.
It took a while to get the hang of throwing them correctly, but I had plenty of that. Once that knack was acquired, I made a simple band from broad elastic to hold one each concealed above my left and right wrists. Another basic harness kept two nestled between my shoulder blades. The other two, I wore on my belt – along with a hefty sheath knife. In those days, most country kids aspired to own a sheath knife. Knives were not classed as lethal weapons then. It was rare for them to be used to threaten, or assault anyone. I drew and threw my set umpteen times, until I perfected a swift, smooth, and accurate action. I was trying to emulate screen heroes, and villains to impress the gang. In my way I felt I was like a precursor of the later Sylvester Stallone character ‘Rambo’.
I was an avid reader, preferring science fact, and anything on magic - black or white - hypnosis, conjuring, electronics, or true survival stories to fiction. (The great escapologists like Harry Houdini had a particular interest for me.) Any old lock I could find was taken apart by me. I observed the way anything from Yale-type to padlocks, and car ignition locks operated, and fashioned keys to open any of them. Picking locks with safety pins, hair bob, or hat pins, and starting cars with a horseshoe nail became second nature - as did fashioning skeleton, and master keys from other old keys or blanks.
Another of my acquisitions was an old Daisy air rifle. I loved that, and shot several rabbits with it among other things. I was a naturally good shot, and one of my party tricks was to shoot a sixpence from between the finger and thumb of a volunteer. I could do this from a distance of twenty-five yards, using left or right shoulder. Volunteers were promised a half crown if I missed - I never had to pay out. This practice was later to stand me in good stead as a qualified marksman in the Royal Air Force, and later working with Special, and Covert Forces. And as a lone operator.
With the outbreak of war almost certain, Dad purchased a radio, via a mail order firm. It was powered by three batteries, and needed a 100-feet-plus aerial to receive anything. One battery was a large square 120 volt one - about 8”x10”x3” - and with extra terminals at 100 volt, 90 volt, and 70 volt positions. It weighed about 10lbs. Another was a Grid Bias battery: much smaller – the size of a VHS videocassette - with terminals at 1.5, 3, 5, and 7 volt positions. The final one was a 1.5-volt ‘Wet’ Battery. These varied in size and storage capacity – small ones about 4”x4”x6” – large ones, the size of a hefty car battery. They were made of glass, and constructed like a car battery internally, containing zinc-lead plates and acid. They could be recharged for a penny a time at the local cycle shop.
My older brothers fashioned a large ash tree trunk into a pole, and fixed it securely in the garden. An aerial wire was run from the top for about 160 feet, to a bedroom window, then down the wall, and into the house via a hole made in the window fame. It was insulated from window and wall by porcelain insulators.
There was great expectancy as the radio was switched on, and knobs twiddled, and connectors swapped about until a whistle, and howl emanated from it. By tuning a dial, this receded, and then we heard music. Dad took charge of it then, and only he was allowed to use it. (Or so he thought!)
The dry batteries were very expensive, and ran down comparatively quickly, so it was saved for special occasions; mainly news broadcasts, and that radio classic, ‘Dick Barton - Special Agent.’ It was the only radio on our row of houses for most of the war. The other families came round regularly to listen: lucky ones inside, others via the open door or window. When not involved in sex or other things, that radio, and how it worked, fascinated me, and to a great extent decided my future.
* * * *
At ten years old, I had to transfer - a year early - to a larger school for children aged eleven to sixteen years. Here I had to rapidly adapt to being a smaller fish in a larger sea. My prowess at games, innocent looks, and ability to con, and charm, soon had me feeling secure again. The Head Master was a small, portly man, wearing glasses with lenses akin to brassbound portholes. He was ex-Army, and was never without his old officer’s pacing stick, which he used freely on all and sundry: ‘A short-assed bastard,’ best describes him.
The deputy head was a tall, thin, sadistic swine, sporting a primitive grey toupee. He was never seen without his Bessie - a long, twitchy cane. He took great delight in making it whistle through the air a time or two, before slashing it down on a trembling hand or tightly bent behind. I think I was possibly the only boy at that school who never felt Bessie’s sting. It was simply a matter of conning him:
He was in charge of maths and gardening. (Growing vegetables for use in school dinners was a priority because of the war). Most boys loathed maths and gardening: Gardening in particular meant being out in inclement weather digging and weeding, etc. Compared with the rest I was good at maths, and always appeared eager to learn more, and pretended awe at his vast knowledge of the subject. As for gardening - I soon found that the best job was tending the large greenhouse - and stopping other pupils from eating the products. To this end, I read up on greenhouse care, and management of the plants within. I was not slow to display this knowledge to Bessie’s owner, or ask his help to make me a better gardener. As he spent a fair time in the greenhouse, so did I, and it was a natural progression to take over when he was otherwise occupied. In short, I ended up as his star pupil, and was used as an example to others.
Under normal circumstances, I would have been set upon by the other boys, for ‘crawling’, and being a teacher’s pet. However, my size, reputation, and the fact that I had four brothers in classes above me that would have beaten seven shades of shit out of anyone daring to touch a family member ensured my safety.
The female teachers were a motley mixture in age, shape, and size. They liked their pupils and were good at their job. My favourite was the science mistress - an Anita Ekberg look-alike: tall, blonde, and busty. If we had a query, or needed help in class she would stand in front of our desk, and lean right over, to explain a drawing or clarify something. This always revealed a hell of a lot of lightly tanned bust. I am sure she was not conscious of this. (Needles to say – with my particular preoccupation with nice tits - I had to seek her assistance frequently!)
There was an academic contest held every five years throughout the whole County. It was for twelve-year-old pupils. The Head Teacher entered me for it a year early. (I reckon he just wanted to get rid of me.) It was funded from some rich person or other’s legacy. The winning boy and girl received an all paid scholarship to attend a local private grammar school for five years.
I managed to come top. I often felt this was the biggest mistake of my life. It put a heavy financial burden on my family, and robbed me of much of my freedom. I missed out on much of what I now consider was a vital part of my natural education. I did gain insight into how the Gentry and Upper Classes lived, and of how little concept they had of the way the rest of us existed – or still do! My parent’s joy at my achievement was soon to be overshadowed by worry and extra hardship. The “ALL INCLUSIVE” did not cover school uniform, or necessary sport and gym gear for starters, and many other extra expenses soon started to appear on my end of term bill.
To the other parents and pupils, money was literally of minor importance. What mattered was the kudos of attending such a prestigious school - and the fact that it was away from the worst of the bombing. Among those attending were the offspring of Lords and Ladies, Senior Consuls of assorted nations, Members Of Parliament, and high-ranking Military personnel. It was all totally alien to me: I had to get my tongue around double barrel names like, Happisburgh-Featherstonehaugh (pronounced Haysboro-Fanshaw), and Death-Hawthornthwaite (Dee-Ath-Hwait.)
Boys were blessed with Christian names like Jasper Cardew, Emmanuel Sebastian, Hamilton Fortesque, and such. Girls sported what to us were exotic names like Penelope Roxanne, Amanda Gertrude, Pricilla Sunsette - God bless their cotton socks. These were the easier names to master, others included Japanese, Portuguese, Peruvian and - particularly - Polish names I will not attempt to spell or pronounce.
The other pupils found it impossible to comprehend that money was any problem for me. I don’t think a single one of them got less pocket money per week than my father earned as a wage. On top of this, they were always getting extra goodies, and tuck boxes from home.
Having turned twelve years old only days previously, I was younger by a couple of years than the youngest of them. Some of them were eighteen, and nineteen years of age. What made it worse was that we were assigned to classrooms not by age, but our academic ability. In the space of three weeks I had moved from one class to the other, until I was in class four of five. The only thing that held me from the senior class was that I had never been taught French. This, and Latin were two essential subjects. Latin was no problem, as I had been an Altar Boy for about four years. I could recite the whole of the Mass in Latin, and all the various hymns and prayers. Our prayer books had one page in Latin, with the English translation on the opposing one. Being curious and a quick learner, I was soon able to get the hang of the very simple language.
Being in the Fourth Form meant my classmates were all over sixteen, the Head Boy - at nineteen - being the oldest. Now to me - at just turned twelve - many of these appeared to be grownups. This presented a number of difficulties: the main one being that I was resented by a number of them. Believe me, I soon matured.
The school was just one of a number of private boarding schools in the area. Ours was of average size compared to all but the largest. We had about ninety pupils - mostly boys - in total. There were a few genuine students, mostly female and of foreign origin. Truth is, the vast majority were out and out upper-class twits. They bore an air of superiority; were bone lazy, and - saddest of all - they would mostly end up as Commissioned Army Officers and Civil Servants - thanks to Mommy and Papa, money, and the ‘Old Boy’s’ network. Thank God, we had NCOs!
To try to work in an atmosphere where I was either despised by the others, or totally ignored, was - to put it mildly - rather taxing. In fairness to the teaching staff, they did protect me to some degree. I boarded during the week, and went home for Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Describing the school more fully would give away its identity. This would be unfair: it is currently one with outstanding principles, and accomplishment. During my time there, things were less so. For instance, we were all forbidden to speak to the locals, and were not allowed to patronise any shops. Attending the local Cinema was banned, as was taking part in any local functions, or joining any Scouts, Guides, or Youth-club.
Part of this was almost certainly to help swell the Headmaster’s coffers, and assuage his sexual desires. For instance, he owned the school shop, where one could purchase items of kit, uniform, clothing, and some food - all at inflated prices. He also supplied a Cinema for us. It consisted of a sixteen-millimetre projector, six-foot screen, and an assortment of propaganda, and advertising films. These he obtained free from Government sources or firms like Shell and Michelin, plus a few short cartoons he had presumably scrounged from somewhere else.
Those picture shows were held twice weekly. All pupils had the price added to their fees whether they attended or not. It was sixpence per session: the local Cinemas only charged two pence - or three pence for the best seats! There were other dubious things of a very sexual nature took place at the school.
Some of the staff were related in one way or another. We did have a genuine mathematics teacher, who doubled for history, and one to teach chemistry. The local parson taught Latin. A well past sell-by-date unmarried woman handled French. An eighteen-year-old female ex-student taught Art (More of Angela later); a male ex-student – also eighteen years old - taught PE and Games. The Head, his wife, her sister, and a cousin handled all other subjects.
* * * *
We had a small, reasonably equipped gymnasium. Some of the time boys and girls exercised together. Males wore sleeveless vests, shorts, and plimsolls. Females wore loose-fitting blouses, panties, skirt, ankle socks, and sandals. No bras were permitted - as they restricted breathing!
We males always had to have our shower first, in the adjoining shower room. Whilst we did this, the girls were required to exercise on the horizontal bars lining one wall. Most of their time seemed to be spent hanging upside down by their feet, or dangling by their arms in a half somersault. They were awarded points, dependent on how long they could hang on.
On my first occasion I showered, and immediately returned to the Gym. The teacher quickly ordered me out, and made it very plain that boys waited in the shower-room until he called them. This was not before I had time to see all the girls displaying panties, and many of the blouses had fallen over the heads of the upturned girls, so revealing breasts in varying stages of budding, or fuller development. In the case of the girl nearest the door, I could see hair tufting out either side of her scant panties. It was only the second time I had seen female pubic hair, or uncovered breasts…
The first occasion had been seeing my older sister’s sexual treasures. I was nine I think - or maybe just ten. She was ten years older. One of the things she did was tell us ghost stories at bedtime. On that particular occasion, Mum and Dad were out, and Sis was baby-sitting. She’d told us some horror tale, and then gone to get ready for bed herself. We had more or less dozed off when she sneaked in, and stood over us on the bed. She was in home-made night-dress, and had a sheet over her head, and was emitting ghostly noises. She moved forwards and straddled right over me. Looking up I could see her whole body exposed beneath the loose night-dress.
With her legs wide apart, I viewed her fully. I was quite shocked to see she had a tight clump of dark brown hair between her thighs, and equally surprised to see her firm, and well-developed breasts, as erect nipples held the material clear of her body. She remained there for a few seconds, and then went off laughing. To this day I have wondered if that display happened accidentally, or if it was done deliberately to show off her body to me: I have never wondered about us boys having to shower first at school though - after all the gym master was only eighteen! Of course, he was by no means the only person involved in questionable activities.
* * * *
Being a local ‘Peasant’, and tolerated by the Head merely for the cash he received for me - and possibly because I boarded only part of the time - I was relegated to sleeping in a small box room. This actually suited me fine. I did not particularly want to be billeted with a bunch of older twits, and it gave me a freedom of which all the teachers and pupils were unaware. In the dead of night, I was able to roam the buildings in ghostly silence: A trapdoor in the ceiling of my room gave me unrestricted access to the whole building, via other trapdoors. I was able view the teacher’s sleeping quarters, and the girl’s dorm beyond - by easing opens their respective trapdoors. My door was also a gateway to downstairs, and in particular, the kitchen, and pantry. I may not have gotten the tuck boxes the other pupils got, but still ate well from the school stores.
My frequent nightly jaunts also opened my eyes and ears to many things. Among others, I was able to observe at leisure various sleeping female forms - often partly or fully exposed during the hot weather, as bedclothes became dislodged or discarded. On a number of occasions I witnessed different girls masturbating as the rest slept. One in particular used a hairbrush. She must have either had a very tough organ, or have been a pain- freak!
On one occasion, I was silent witness to a junior girl performing oral sex on one of the senior girl prefects - blissfully unaware she was being observed from above. I was also to witness homosexual activity for the first time - a senior boy buggering one of the juniors. I recall feeling quite revolted to think he was pushing his penis into shit.
My biggest surprise was to witness the younger sister of the Head’s wife being well and truly ridden by the Headmaster himself. I wondered for days what his wife would have thought, had she known - then I caught sight of her one night in the Head Boy’s bedroom. (As ‘Head Boy’ he had a private bedroom). They were both naked, and involved in some heavy petting. I watched as she pulled him on top of her to commence full sex.
Yes, there was strange goings on indeed. Not least was the school’s substitute for Guides, and Boy Scouts activities. These mainly consisted of camping out at a secluded meadow over the weekends. Boys and girls used it on alternate dates. The field was owned by one of the local gentry. He and the parson – surprise, surprise - shared responsibility for supervising the boy’s camp. Out of interest, you may like to know that - with no females around - the boys were required to go nude to toughen them up! This was deemed acceptable, as the only female visitor allowed was the Headmaster’s wife, and she didn’t really count!
Likewise, the girls were expected to indulge in a ‘nature weekends in the nude. It was a chance for them to absorb the rays of nature unhindered by the presence of males. Mademoiselle Frenchy, and the Art student - Oops sorry, Art teacher - oversaw them. In their case, the Headmaster was the only male allowed access, as he was naturally above suspicion of course…!
* * * *
My being aware of the camp, though not taking part, left my gang and me free to visit it on the girls only, weekends. We viewed them surreptitiously from not too far distant. On one occasion, we became aware we were not alone. The Headmaster - having just visited, and supposedly left - was observed by us to be squinting through binoculars, and furiously bashing his bishop (masturbating) before completely leaving the area.
On yet another occasion, we saw the Art teacher looking across towards us several times, and checking her watch. At first, we thought she might have seen something of us. Later, we heard someone approaching, and we faded into the background. The chap approached furtively, and sat down just out of sight of the girls, and us. We thought he was just watching them too. However, next time that Miss Arty looked our way, he raised a hand for a moment. She obviously saw it, and after speaking to a senior girl, she walked off to the side, out of sight. We soon heard her hurrying towards us. The chap moved back, and straightened as she rushed into his arms.
A lot of kissing followed, and he undid her dress. She’d always looked as if she was pretty flat-chested to me: once he had the dress clear, and removed her bodice, I saw she actually sported somewhat small, but very well proportioned breasts.
The heavy petting continued for a couple of minutes, and then she opened his fly buttons. It was obvious she wanted more. He obliged quickly by removing his trousers, and her knickers, and I saw his rigid penis. He placed a condom on it, and she eagerly assisted in fitting the tool in her hole.
I was quite struck by two things: I could see her vagina, and noted it was totally void of hair. (I knew nothing then of the habit some females have of shaving their private parts). The other was that his penis was very small. I may have been still a kid, but was way better equipped than him by a few inches, however, his size did not seem to worry her. She pounded her crotch up and down under him lustily. He didn’t last long, and withdrew to lie panting. She covered him in kisses, and masturbated herself hard for a minute or two, then crouched over him, and struggled to rouse, and force his limp penis back inside her.
Her efforts produced a semi-arousal, and she squat grinding and grimacing, moving in a varying circular, and forward-backward motion. He reached to fondle her breasts and twiddle her nipples. She suddenly started grinding more furiously, and one hand worked frantically between her thighs, and his. Then it was all over - She let out a few muffled “Aaarr, aaarr's," a louder "AAAAHRRRR" and became motionless for a second or two. (I had just witnessed my first female having a fuck-induced orgasm.) Then with a quick “Jesus I have to get back,” she was up and gone, dressing as she went.
Now there was a woman that knew what she wanted, took it, and was gone - until she needed it again. (She later became one of my best hookers). I recognised the chap as a local garage mechanic. His name - rather inappropriately - was Allcock. He threw his condom to one side, pulled up his trousers, and left the way he’d come.
Well, the foregoing gives you some idea of that school, and an inkling of why I chose to leave early, and return to my own kind. I may have been well aware of sex, and seen more of female parts than most kids, however I had little chance to be in actual social contact with girls in those important weeks, and months that kids change in puberty to being young adults. My friends all had progressed together: Mixing with the local girls; forming friendships; attending dances; getting the odd feel. All this had passed me by, and it took some while for me to integrate, and I don’t think I ever fully adjusted from this. It is partly resulting from this that I have always more sexually orientated towards teenage females - though rarely refused older pussy if offered.
I was a big lad, and when fourteen, stood over six feet two inches, and my blond locks hung over my shoulders. I certainly would have had no trouble in pulling girls. Many of them made it very plain they were mine for the taking - I just lacked the social skills to take advantage of it for a while. However, I made up for this with a vengeance, later. At the time, it was nigh impossible for me to mix with girls of my own class. I saw the girls at school as way out of my class. I was a bit of an enigma to them anyway.
Years later, some of them talked of how they had fancied me as a young teenager. More than one was happy to drop their knickers for me to make up for lost time. They were all married by then. Nevertheless they appreciated a bit of decent cock on the side - for the sake of old times.
However, even though at Grammar school, I was still remained master of the local boys. I still organised most of the escapades whilst home at weekends.
Continues with Chapter 6 - Robbing the rich. Losing brothers. Flames and planes. Black Market. Stitching a Bitch.
Full information on this first book and others in the biographical trilogoy of a true COVERT OPERATOR.
"Ride the Donkey" - "Blowjobs" - "Adventures With a 10" Lure" can be found at http://www.candidsonline.net/adultoffer.htm
WARNING: THESE BOOKS ARE STRICTLY ADULT READING AND MOST UNSUITABLE FOR MINORS.