The Mystery Of Macgregor’s Cove – Episode 34

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

“I’ll fetch the horses, then we’ll be on our way,” Simon said as he and Amaryllis came down the stone steps from the Bell, adding with a sly glance back to the inn. “I’m looking forward to having you all to myself.” 

He kissed her cheek before striding toward the stables. However, Amaryllis’s gaze didn’t follow Simon as it usually did.  

She’d caught sight of Kit and Betsy down on the beach. They were collecting shells together, just as any brother and sister might. 

Amaryllis watched them in dismay, regretting her recent coldness toward Kit. She hadn’t been fair. 

The tide was far out, leaving pools and seashells in its wake. Betsy was wandering ahead of Kit and Amaryllis saw the little girl stooping to pick up a shell. 

Swishing it clean of sand in the saltwater, she ran back to Kit; her happy face upturned as she offered the shell to him. 

A lump came to Amaryllis’s throat while she watched Kit and Betsy examining the shell. 

He knelt on the wet sand and they held the buckie shell against their ears, listening for the sound of waves. 

“Kit!” Amaryllis called impulsively. 

Hitching up her skirts, she dashed down on to the shore. 

Emerging from the stables with their horses, Simon was too far away to hear whatever was said, but he saw Amaryllis gazing up at the man and witnessed the embrace that followed. 

“What’s going on, Am?” Simon demanded when she ran up from the beach and joined him. “I saw you in his arms.” 

“In his . . .?” she began incredulously, then laughed. “Oh, Simon. Don’t be so silly and cross. Kit’s my brother! He . . .” 

Amaryllis broke off, biting her tongue. The words could not be unsaid. 

“Simon, I shouldn’t have told you about Kit!” she cried. “You won’t breathe a word to anyone, will you?” 

“Of course not,” he responded, drawing her close, while casting a glance to the beach where Kit was strolling with the child and the dog. “You have my oath upon it, Am.” 

* * * * 

“Your carriage is being brought to the front door,” Penelope said, coming into her sitting-room where Lydia was waiting. “Adam insists upon escorting you to Skilbeck.” 

“I thought he might.” Lydia sighed. “I wish I weren’t rushing off. But Papa is lining up our dull neighbour to be my husband. I must go back.” 

Penelope nodded sympathetically. The letter from Mr Unsworth was brief and stern, but not without affection. It arrived last evening, and Lydia had decided to return home. 

“I wish I could do something to help you.” 

“You already have!” Lydia exclaimed. “You gave me refuge when I was in despair. I’ve enjoyed my stay at Haddonsell.” 

She paused, a spark of mischief lighting her eyes. 

“Adam’s persistent wooing did wonders for my flagging spirits.” 

Penelope smiled. 

“Shall you be content with this neighbour your father’s chosen for you?” 

“Needs must, I suppose,” Lydia answered, matter-of-fact. “I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know Arthur Smedley. 

“He will never set my heart racing as Adam does,” Lydia admitted, “but he’s considerate and trustworthy, while Adam is selfish and unscrupulous. 

“At the ball, he flaunted that innkeeper’s daughter to pique my jealousy,” Lydia continued. “I suspect he intends making an offer of marriage during our long journey to Skilbeck. 

“I feel sorry for Dorcas. She truly loves him, Penny – and your ruthless brother will break her heart.” 

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.