The Mystery Of Macgregor’s Cove – Episode 26

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

The purse of coins was tucked inside the drawer of Penelope’s writing desk and she was checking her list to ensure no-one at the pottery would be left out, when Lydia bounded into the sitting-room. 

“What filthy weather!” she exclaimed, and with a sigh collapsed into one of the armchairs. “Adam and I had planned upon driving over to Castlebridge, but I refused. 

“He was disappointed, of course.” Lydia beamed at Penelope, her eyes sparkling. “But I insisted. Told him I’d rather curl up with my book and keep my dearest friend company.” 

“Where is he?” Penelope enquired, slipping the list into the desk’s drawer. 

She’d avoided Adam since their argument, and was determined he should neither discover nor thwart her intentions. 

“I couldn’t say,” Lydia murmured. “This is such a comfortable room. I’m so enjoying my stay here. 

“I’m also relishing Adam’s attentions.” She laughed. “Is that wicked of me? I’m almost four-and-thirty, and under no illusion he’d be wooing me with such ardour were it not for my fortune and the prospect of the Unsworth inheritance. 

“But marry I must. I can imagine no better husband than your brother, Penny!”

* * * *  

“That’s a snow wind and no mistake.” Iain grunted while he and Sandy were clearing a ditch in the quarter-field at the back of the Bell. 

“You’ve been saying that for days,” Sandy retorted, his face reddened by hours of work in the cold. “Have you looked at the sky?” 

“Ah, here’s a welcome sight,” Iain said as Ethel emerged from the inn-house and headed their way, a basket across her arm. 

“I reckoned you’d be ready for your snap,” Ethel replied, taking two bundles from the basket. “Pasties straight from the oven, so get them eaten. They’ll not stay hot for long out here.” 

“This is just the job, thanks,” Sandy said, without meeting his wife’s eyes. “But you shouldn’t have brought it out, Ethel. We’d have come in.” 

“What? And have you tramping muddy boots over my clean floors?” she cried and, clutching the flapping shawls more tightly about her, strode back indoors. 

“Ethel looks to be taking it well. What did she say,” Iain asked, “when you told her about Kit?” 

“I . . .” Sandy cleared his throat, following his brother into the hedgerow’s windbreak and fixing his attention upon the pasty. “I haven’t said anything to Ethel yet.” 

“You haven’t told her?” Iain echoed, aghast. “What are you thinking? You’ve got to tell her, Sandy!” 

“I know that, but I can’t find the words, Iain. I can’t fathom how to tell her summat like this,” Sandy confessed. “I’ve never mentioned Marietta to Ethel – let alone told her the two of us had a boy. 

“It’s different now,” he concluded, expelling a measured breath. “I’m only waiting for a good time to talk to Ethel . . .” 

“A good time?” Iain snorted. “And when’s that going to come along, eh? 

“Ethel’s alone up at the inn-house. There’ll be no better time,” he urged. “Get over there now and tell her Kit is your son!” 

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.