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Illingworth House: Chance Child, Part Two - 19

...He was staying the night at the Clemences by courtesy of Rosemary and as the green light glowed brighter from the mother, he tried it on with the daughter and kissed her. She reacted by slapping him hard across the face.

"Don't you dare come near me or do that again!" she hissed. "Ever!"...

Ann Clemence convinces the horrible Robin Clough that he is wasting his time.

John Waddington-Feather continues his unmissable story of the rise and fall of a Yorkshirer mill-owning family. To read earlier episodes please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/illingworth_house/

Ann Clemence was furious when her brother bundled her into his car after that university dance. She was even more livid when Robin Clough climbed in beside her and started to get fresh. He put his arm behind her and cupped her shoulder, pushing close and breathing whisky all over her.

"Come on, Ann. Give us a kiss," he slurred. "You've hardly spoken to me all night." He'd got blood on his shirt and she guessed at once what had happened.

"Where's John Greenwood ?" she asked. "What have you done to him?"

It was her brother who replied, turning round from the wheel and grinning.

"He got his come-uppance, sis. He's a no-gooder and you know it. And you know what mum thinks about him. Anyhow, he knows what's coming to him now if he doesn't back off." He turned back to the wheel and she sank back seething and worried sick what they'd done to John.

Rodney's fiancee began giggling and snuggled up to him in the front seat as they drove off. Robin Clough took his cue. They'd a long drive back and he'd plenty of time to get to work in the back seat. He was staying the night at the Clemences by courtesy of Rosemary and as the green light glowed brighter from the mother, he tried it on with the daughter and kissed her. She reacted by slapping him hard across the face.

"Don't you dare come near me or do that again!" she hissed. "Ever!"

Clough rubbed his face ruefully. "All right," he said grimly and pulling his arm from behind her. "Play it your way, Ann. There's plenty more pebbles on the beach and I can't wait for ever."

They didn't say another word all the way back and as soon as they reached Rosemary Nook she rushed straight to her room and slammed the door behind her, ordering her mother away when Rosemary tried to find out what had happened. Next morning she didn't join the rest of them for breakfast either and kept to her room till Clough had gone. That didn't please her mother at all.

She learned later that day what had happened to John. So did her mother.

There was a blazing row and her mother came the heavy with her, saying none of it would have happened if John Greenwood hadn't bullied Rodney. It was the way he'd been brought up down Garlic Lane and all Robin Clough had done was put him in his place. She forbade Ann to see John Greenwood ever again. He was nothing but trouble, always had been.

Rosemary couldn't get any sense from her and stormed out, but Harry tried the friendly father tack. "Look, Ann," he said, "you've got your future to think about and you don't want to waste it on that lad Greenwood. He's got nowt an' he's never likely to have. He's not your sort at all. I haven't sent you away to school to pick up with the likes of him. He's after your brass, Ann, or what brass you'll have in the future, 'cos I'm worth a bob or two, but I don't want to see it going in his pockets. Believe me. I know his sort."

"I'm sure you do!" she retorted, but the irony was lost on him.

Nothing they said changed her and during the rest of the year she continued seeing John as before, in secret. When the fine weather came in the spring, they resumed their long walks across the moors, watching the colour return as the ling and heather burst into life, sharing the thrill of sap-rise as the spring swept over the heights.

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