The Baby Farm Murderer

28-01-2014 Tuesday

22.30

‘I hope you know what baby farms are,’ Mr Bent Continued,’ because I am going to talk about one. A baby farm is not a farm where you can pet babies and look at them from behind a fence. Baby farms were places where they’d put unwanted babies. Some of these babies came from wealthy women who, for instance, were not married and would be a disgrace to the family if anybody were to find out about the kid. Other babies would come from prostitutes. Having a baby is not a very good selling point, is it? So these women would put their dumplings into the hands of a baby farm.

Babies were left there for good; parents would never have to come and visit the kids. They’d pay the baby farm a large amount of money – some would pay monthly or yearly instalments, others would pay everything at once – and the lady at the baby farm would take care of the kids. This way no one was to find out about the unwanted babies and you could live the rest of your life as if you had never given birth.

Amelia Dyer had her own baby farm. She also had a problem. Amelia really loved money … a lot. She loved money more than anything. That, as you will understand, is not the problem; there’s nothing wrong with loving money. However, she hated … no … she loathed babies. From their tiny little feet to their disproportionally large heads, she hated every inch of them. But, she loved the money. Money … babies … money … babies.

As you can see, she had a problem. There she was with all that money, but also all those kids. What to do? She did what every baby-hating-but-money-loving woman would do in the 19th century: kill the babies. That’s what she did. She would choke the babies and dump their tiny little bodies in the river Thames. Problem solved.’

This is where I had to swallow. I got a bit of a lump in my throat. Who would do such a thing? What kind of woman would do that? Is money really that important? I couldn’t really grasp it. Mr Bent stared out of the window a little bit as he drank his tea and waited for the right moment to continue. Which in my case will be tomorrow, as I need to get some sleep. See me tomorrow. 

I Don’t Like Mondays

06-01-2014 Monday

19.00

I don’t like Mondays. Well, actually, I do, as long as they are holidays. First day of school in a new year, well it’s not really our first day yet. We still have this day off, but school is open. Things probably haven’t changed a bit. Some of those kids are most likely still being their same old selves. My guess is most of them did not see the need for good years resolutions when it comes to their personalities.
There are some kids that are okay in my book, but I don’t really have any friends as you may have gathered from the story so far. By the way, I am not going to name any names in my story. Not real names I mean. I am giving everybody fake names, because I don’t know whether they want to be mentioned in here, and I don’t want people to find out who I am and I don’t really feel like being bullied by others because of this book. I will also have to make up the name of the school I am going to, although I am not sure if it is going to be possible for me not to give anything away as I am writing way too many details about everything that is going on in my life.
We’ve got some big tests coming and I haven’t even begun studying. I should, but I can’t help thinking about the story of Sarah and Philip. Mr Bent was really horror struck at the end of the story. He looked as white as a ghost himself. He was trembling, although that could also have been the cold or his age, but I think it was fear. After he had finished the story he walked out of the room. He left me sitting at the table with an empty teapot and some crumbs on a plate. Either he was throwing up, taking a dump or he had scared himself shitless.
After some five minutes or so he came back into the room. At least he had some colour in his face again. He put a glass of water on the table and sat down in the chair, looking outside. I have no idea what he was looking at as there was not much to see out there. It was mostly dark. He murmured something, but I couldn’t makes heads or tails of it.
I looked at him and asked him whether he had ever seen Sarah. He turned his head round quite quickly. It startled me a little. He has got these big bushy eyebrows and his look can be quite scary sometimes because of these hairy monsters just above his eyes.
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘as a matter of fact, I have. Although I wish I hadn’t. She scared the living daylights out of me. And ‘no’ I hadn’t seen her brother. That woman was frightening and yet saddening, too. To see a dead woman still looking for her long departed brother is not something you’d like to see everyday.
After her death, they buried her behind the bank. There used to be a church there called St Christopher le Stocks. That was even before Sarah’s death. The churchyard was still there until 1867. They started moving the bodies to Nunhead Cemetery because of work. Still, Sarah must have been very special to being buried there. She was buried amongst some very important bankers.
That’s all I have to say tonight. It’s been a long day and a very long evening. I hope you enjoyed yourself, because I am going to have to throw you now. Well, not literally, of course, but you know what I mean.’
So, there you have it. That’s it and that’s that. Even though I have the feeling Mr Bent didn’t give me the entire story about his encounter with Sarah. It may have been too scary for him. I don’t know. It was too scary for me just listening to it.
Unfortunately, it’s time for homework. Thanks for reading, see me tomorrow.

Mr Bent’s House

03-01-2014 – Friday

7.00 am

I am not going to talk about my night and how I slept. What was I thinking wanting to become a ghost hunter!? I nearly wet my pants after Mr Bent’s stories. Nearly! I am a big boy now, I am in total control of my bladder. 

Mr Bent’s house is much like ours on the outside, but on the inside it’s totally different. Think of very old furniture, like, the oldest furniture you can think of and then just a little bit older. Mind you, not 14th century old or anything, just 20th century, but – much like his muscles – overused and worn out. He has got this grey and scruffy looking couch, all worn and torn and if you sit down on it you sink all way down to the ground and you can hardly get up from it. That kind of old. Old, but very comfortable (comfortably old?).

When I came in he was just about to make some tea. I asked him if he needed any help, but he just said,’ It’s no use, love, I’m beyond repair.’ I should have known. I keep falling into the same trap, I will never learn. As he put the kettle on, I sat down in the old couch and looked at all the books he has. It’s amazing. Not only must it have cost a fortune, most people would need at least three lifetimes to read all these books.

When Mr Bent came in with tea we sat down at the dinner table. It took me some help to get out of the couch. We filled our cups with typically English tea (you know, with milk and such) and we had some wonderful biscuits with chocolate  on them (ooooh yeah!), then Mr Bent – who’s already quite grey and wrinkled – gave me this old man’s look of a grown-up who wants to tell you something but they’re not really sure whether they should and how to begin. I tried to mimic his expression, but stopped after Mr Bent burst out in laughter. Guess I will have to practise on that look before I get old and grey.

After he had finished laughing, he finally started talking. Mr Bent has got one of those lovely deep dark voices that make you want to listen to him no matter what he’d be talking about. Mum says it’s the liquor talking; I just like to think of him as a natural. I don’t know if Mum was talking about the voice or the stories, though. Anyways, while I was sipping my milky tea, he told me the story of Philip and Sarah Whitehead.

Before I tell you the story, I’ll have to walk Cheddar. Mum has been calling me five times now and I don’t want to find another one of his little presents on the carpet for me to clean up. Next time we’re taking a cat.