The Mystery Of Macgregor’s Cove – Episode 24

Cast of characters dressed in 18th Century clothing stand in front of white cottage

Carrying the parcel carefully, Amaryllis sped up the steps and was about to enter the Bell when Noah came out to meet her, his gaze upon the Baldwins’ departing carriage. 

“You’ve been out with Simon,” he commented. 

Amaryllis nodded, her face becomingly flushed. 

“We had morning coffee in St Agnes and Simon gave me this silk for an early Christmas present! Isn’t it beautiful?” 

Noah drew a sharp breath. 

“Wherever did he get something like that?” 

“Moseley’s,” she murmured, unable to tear her gaze from the rose-hued fabric. “Simon bought it from Moseley’s, the big haberdashery in Liverpool.” 

“I’m sure he did,” Noah remarked drily, eyeing the silk. “Anyhow, I’d best be off. Are you coming to the carolling practice tonight?” 

Without a word, Amaryllis shook her head and hurried away, the warmth of Simon’s parting kiss still lingering on her lips. 

*  *  *  * 

Ethel prided herself upon being a good knitter, but this particular pattern was not only testing her, it was slowing her down. 

Although she’d begun the day Mathilda had unearthed the old family pattern and passed it on, Ethel knew it would be nip and tuck completing the garment and getting it sewn up and pressed in time. 

Needing to knit in secret wasn’t helping, either, but Ethel wanted it to be a surprise and had set her heart upon giving the gansey to Sandy at Christmas. 

Catching the creak of approaching footsteps, Ethel draped her shawl over her knitting as the parlour door opened. 

“It’s only you!” she exclaimed, casting aside the shawl and taking up her pins once more. “There’s fresh tea in the pot, if you want to help yourself.” 

“My word, the front’s coming along beautifully, isn’t it?” Mathilda commented, sitting across from Ethel and leaning closer to admire the gansey’s intricate pattern and variety of stitches. 

“When I was a wee girl,” she went on, settling into the rocking-chair, “I remember my grandmother telling me that gansey pattern was unique to the Macgregor family and had been passed down through generations of womenfolk. 

“I remember watching her knitting it, and I remember my grandfather wearing it,” Mathilda concluded. “But since Grandfer’s time, it’s been forgotten. Sandy’s going to be delighted with his present, Ethel.” 

“I’ve struggled to get the tricky stitches right, but I’ve enjoyed making it,” she replied with satisfaction, her eyes upon her work. “Have you finished lessons for today?” 

“We have. Betsy completed the mathematics exercise well within the time I’d allowed,” Mathilda responded. “I’ve left her showing the map she drew of the Macgregors’ journey from Scotland to Mr Chesterton. He’s paying great interest. 

“He seems a very kindly, young man, doesn’t he?” 

“He has a good heart,” Ethel agreed, putting away her knitting. “Betsy doesn’t take easily to strangers, but she’s really warmed to Mr Chesterton.” 

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.