The Mystery Of Macgregor’s Cove – Episode 31

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

On the first morning of the New Year, Amaryllis stirred to see Betsy and Flossie sitting on the linen chest beneath the window. 

The little girl was breathing on the glass, using the sleeve of her nightgown to rub a clear patch on the frosted pane and peering out at thick, softly drifting snowflakes. 

Amaryllis closed her eyes again. She’d lain wakeful most of the night. Yesterday, Ma had taken her, Dorcas and Betsy aside and told them Kit was Pa’s son. 

It wasn’t until that afternoon the three sisters settled down together in the back-parlour. 

While Betsy toasted her toes at the hearth, Amaryllis and Dorcas sat with sewing-baskets at their feet and mending on their laps, making the most of this opportunity to discuss Kit. 

Betsy hadn’t spoken. She’d curled up beside Flossie, her arm about the dog’s neck, watching her sisters. 

“I keep seeing Ma’s face while she was telling us,” Amaryllis murmured, brushing a tear from her cheek. “That awful sadness in her eyes.” 

“I’m furious with Pa,” Dorcas blurted out, stabbing her needle into the seam of Betsy’s smock. “When Kit turned up at the Bell, Pa should have sent him away. This whole disaster could have been avoided if Pa had put his proper family first.” 

“Ma must be hurt and unhappy,” Amaryllis reflected, her head bowed over the stocking-heel she was darning. “Last night all she could think about was comforting us, but it’s Ma who needs comfort.” 

“If this scandal gets out our reputations will be ruined. Adam won’t marry me,” Dorcas returned. “I’ll end my days at the Bell, an old maid cleaning up after other people. 

“If I lose Adam, I swear I’ll never forgive Pa or Kit.” 

“Ma told us everything would be all right, didn’t she?” Amaryllis reasoned. “I haven’t heard a cross word between Ma and Pa, have you?” 

“Ma did stress this news must be kept inside the family. As long as nobody else finds out, Pa’s having a happen-chance offspring hardly matters, does it?” Dorcas considered, calmer now.  

“Once the canal cut is finished, Kit will leave and we’ll never see him again. 

“I liked Kit, and regarded him a friend,” Amaryllis confessed. “But I’ve been avoiding him today. I can hardly bear seeing him, much less talking to him. 

“I wish that he’d never come to Macgregor’s Cove.” 

“You’re mean and selfish, both of you!” Betsy rounded on them, her outburst shocking her sisters into silence. “Kit’s mother died when he was a baby and he didn’t know who he really was until this year. 

“We’re his family!” she declared stoutly, her eyes wide and earnest. “Kit’s our brother – the only brother we have – and I love him.” 

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.