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Illingworth House: Chance Child - Part One: 39 - Helen Leaves Home

Helen finds new lodgings.

John Waddington-Feather continues his story of a Yorkshire mill-owning family, and the people connected with them.

To read earlier chapters please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/illingworth_house/

When Helen walked out, the die was cast. No way could she go back and for a long time she didn't see Joe again. When John Illingworth brought Helen home, Mary was shocked when she saw what her husband had done to him. She helped clean him up as best she could, sponging the blood from his face and clothes. In time, his nose and gashed eye stopped bleeding but he still looked a mess. His nose had been broken and one eye was closing rapidly and going black. His face was red with bruising and had begun to puff up and there was blood all over his shirt.

Mary pleaded with Helen to stay, but she was adamant. She couldn't face Joe and his attack on John was the final straw. She had long been wanting to leave home and go into lodgings in Bradford. Since she had started working at Illingworths she'd changed, but her sister and Joe hadn't recognised it. Now she had the excuse to go, but it was an excuse she could have done without.

Her friend at work, Dorothy Simpson, had for some time been persuading her to go and lodge at her house. Her mother took in paying guests and there had been a vacancy for some time. She stressed that Helen would be a guest and not a lodger, because they lived in a very genteel part of Bradford. The late Mr George Simpson, Dorothy's father, had been an assistant bank manager in the city and his widow had a reputation and status to keep up.

Helen had dreamed of being independent. Now, her dream had come true, but she had had to live through a nightmare first. She could now start a new life, which would be more in keeping with that of a secretary in a head office.

She said she'd had a row at home and walked out. The Simpsons quite understood and took her in but she said nothing about John Illingworth, who parked his car well out of sight down the road and stayed in it till Helen was safely inside the house. Then he drove off, hoping Mrs Simpson hadn't seen him, but she was too busy fussing over Helen to notice anyone outside.

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