The Dividing Tide – Episode 41

Annie nodded thoughtfully as she adjusted her cap and tied the ribbons beneath her chin, ready for the day.

“Seems to me as if you’ve gone from boy to man since you’ve been here.”

“Seems I have.” Garren pushed back his chair and stood up. “I’ll tell the captain at the mine today that I’m leaving, and I’ll be out of your hair come Sunday.”

“As long as you come and see old Annie any time you’re back this way,” she said, standing up too and reaching for his crib. “Now, get along with you, lest they dock your pay.”

*  *  *  *

Garren was deep in thought as he strode across the moor to Wheal Daniel.

He didn’t notice the yellow flowers blossoming on the gorse bushes or the melodic notes of the skylarks as they rose into the blue sky.

He racked his brains as he walked, his boots ringing out rhythmically on the stony path. He had to get word to Jenna that he was leaving, but how?

An idea struck him, so simple he wondered he hadn’t thought of it before. Why not ask the master himself to pass on a message to Jenna?

He knew it was daring, but what was the worst that could happen? It would hardly matter now if he sacked Garren, for he was leaving anyway.

When he reached the mine he sought out the captain, who proved philosophical about the news that Garren was leaving.

“I’m sorry to lose you, Quick. You’re a good worker. But, the truth is, there are six men wanting your job. Your boots won’t be hard to fill.”

After that, Garren walked quickly across the yard to knock on Jago’s door. He knew the master was there, for he’d seen his horse hitched outside the blacksmith’s forge, waiting to be shod.

A musty scent of old ledgers and clay dust greeted him as he entered. Jago looked up at him from where he sat behind his desk.

“It’s a very irregular request, Quick, and one I wouldn’t normally consider,” he told him in response to his question. “However,” he continued, replacing his pen into the ink well, “I am well aware of the debt of gratitude we owe you in respect of what you did for my brother.”

To Garren’s surprise, his employer stood up and held out his hand across his desk. Garren stepped forwards. Jago’s grip was surprisingly warm and strong.

“What is it you wish me to say to Miss Goss?”

“Just goodbye, sir, if you will. Oh, and please give her this.” He reached up and untied the silver locket from his neck.

He had to swallow hard against the lump that rose to his throat as he held it out.

“If you’d be so good, sir.”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.