The Secret Of The Silver Locket – Episode 22

HARRY Gresham walked past the gates of Admiral’s Rest on his way to the beach. He’d spent three whole days in Lyme Regis and taken a liking to the place. The fossils and shells he’d obtained were safely stored in cases inside his house and he needed to spend time writing up his notes.

Now he was back at Sea Breezes and Grace and the others had returned to London, he felt strangely bereft. All he could think about was Grace… and the strange desire he had to investigate a situation that not only intrigued him but also gnawed at him.

Clearly, Grace was uncomfortable about his theory that she might be linked in some way with his friends. She’d come clean over the fib she told him about her name. As it happened, he couldn’t care less what her name was, except her first name, Grace, suited her so well, fitting her serenity and her sweet personality. She had a feisty side to her too. He liked that.

He knew exactly what he had to do. He needed to visit Edinburgh and see if he could solve this mystery over Grace Walker’s startling likeness to Lady Iona Maxwell. If he was totally out of order then fine! He could tell her he’d been mistaken, apologise for worrying her and beg her forgiveness. He might even be able to discover stuff about Grace’s late parents that she would treasure for the rest of her life.


Grace walked into the kitchen to find Cook sitting at the head of the table, staring into space, her shoulders slumped.

“Are you all right, Mrs Potter?”

“I’ve had better days, my dear.”

Grace pulled out a chair but remained standing.

“Is this something to do with Emma’s news?”

Mrs Potter nodded.

“I’m pleased for her and for Alfred too, of course I am, but I never thought they’d be the ones leaving before I cook my last dinner at Seymour House.”

“Why don’t I make us a cup of tea? I see you’ve got the kettle simmering.”

“Yes, I’m sure a cuppa will make me feel better. But I can’t bear the thought of trying to get used to new staff.”

“They say no one’s indispensable but I have to agree with you. There’s going to be a big hole to fill.”

“And who are they going to take with them? Alfred will need staff too. Maybe Matthew will go with his uncle. And what about young Polly? Anyone with half an eye can see she’s head over heels about Matthew even if he can’t see it.”

Grace felt a jolt, part pleasure and part surprise. Why she felt like this, she didn’t really know, except that if Matthew felt the same, there seemed no reason why these two shouldn’t become a couple.

“My Ernest wants me to give up working soon. Maybe it’s best I give my notice in too.”

“Oh, no!” Grace couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “You can’t leave us now, Mrs Potter. I’m not at all sure Matt will want to leave Seymour House. He’s sure to take over from his uncle and move into the accommodation above the old stables. Don’t you think so? And if you’re right about Polly, she’s hardly likely to give in her notice.”

“I suppose you’re right.” Mrs Potter watched Grace pour boiling water into the big brown teapot. Tell me, dear, if Alfred and Emma asked you to go with them and help build their new business, would you be tempted? I won’t tell anybody what you say but with all this chatter about Miss Rowena’s new beau and whether she might marry him later on this year, I’ve been wondering if you’re feeling this could be the right time to make a break?”

“My goodness, it’s far too soon to wonder about Miss Rowena and whether she’ll marry soon. I’m sure you’ve heard her views on the role of a wife almost as often as I have.”

Mrs Potter laughed.

“We’ve had the occasional conversation. She did say to me that her wish to learn to drive was a way of impressing this young gentleman of hers.”

“That’s as maybe. Now, should we think about the menus for the next few days?”

Mrs Potter reached for her big red notebook, its cover marked with greasy thumbprints and dulled by years of proximity to countless pounds of flour being sifted and hundreds of eggs whisked to a froth. She riffled through the pages until she reached her latest entry.


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!