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Illingworth House: Chance Child - Part One: 95 - Big, Busty And Brash

Sir Abe is gradually losing control of Illingworth Mills.

John Waddington-Feather continues his gripping novel concerning the lives of a Yorkshire mill-owning family. To read earlier chapters please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/illingworth_house/

Illingworths Mills went from strength to strength during the war. Harry Clemence negotiated some fat contracts with the Ministry of Defence and expanded his empire greatly. He was very popular with his fellow directors, many of whom he had appointed. Sir Abe, on the other hand, was not popular. The old man was out of touch. He had always been autocratic, but times had changed and he had to take a back seat more and more.

Clemence's property empire thrived, too. He spent more and more time in Blackpool with his fancy woman, Millicent Gainsford. She was his ideal front woman: Lancashire back-street born and bred, big, busty and brash. But she was also a shrewd business woman. She advanced their property venture by extending her favours to the forces billeting officer. When Clemence wasn't warming her bed, Major Warren Philips was. There were plenty of officers and their families needing rented accommodation and the major pushed them her way. When the Americans arrived, she took them for every dollar.

Her partners, Clemence and Grimstone, milked Keighworth for all they were worth, throwing wild parties for their black-marketeering friends either at Rosemary Nook or at Grimstone's house. When his parents died, their house was far too big for him and he sold it to the council for a fat profit. Then, when the Leach brothers died and the practice became his and his alone, he bought the two terrace houses next door to his office and converted them into roomy, bachelor apartments for himself. He had a string of mistresses, but he never married. Over the years the whole terrace was converted into offices, so his after-hour clients could come and go unseen.

No one lived near Rosemary Nook either; its nearest neighbours were half a mile away, for Harry had bought a five-acre plot to build his dream-nest on when he married Rosemary. They were not over looked and their parties could rave on undisturbed. He went right to the top in Keighworth, and between them, he and Grimstone had the town buttoned up.

They heard John Illingworth had been injured but knew nothing of his injuries and cared even less. He had gone right out of their lives, for neither his father nor Rosemary ever spoke to them of him. Sir Abe hardly spoke to Clemence at all if he could avoid it, and Rosemary and her husband had long led separate lives.

She still wrote regularly to her cousin, but never went to see him in hospital. Her uncle warned her off making a visit and she never knew how badly scarred he was until she met him a few months later.

So ghastly did he look when his wound began to heal, that John rarely went out. He spent much of his convalescence with Mary Calow, so that it was over a year before he returned home. By that time, Keighworth had forgotten him.

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