The Mystery Of Macgregor’s Cove – Episode 41

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

Ethel and Amaryllis were hanging curtains in the inn-house when Betsy came in from the yard. 

“It’s from Dorcas!” Betsy cried, waving a letter. “It’s come with the mail coach.” 

Setting aside the curtains, Ethel took the letter, gazing at Dorcas’s familiar writing. 

Hurriedly breaking the seal, Ethel unfolded the page and scanned its lines. 

“Dorcas is wed.” She beamed, looking up to Amaryllis and Betsy. “And she’s signed her letter Mrs Adam Whitlock.” 

Ethel went on to relate its contents in detail. 

“They were married at the blacksmith’s forge, and Mr Adam gave her a ring and a bejewelled bracelet. After the ceremony, they set off on their wedding trip. 

“Dorcas wrote this letter on the way to Harrogate, where they’re to visit friends of Adam’s. Then they’re going down to London. 

“They’re to stay in Bath a while before coming home, then they’ll live at the Grange before establishing their own household in Castlebridge. 

“Oh!” Ethel broke off, her thoughts racing. “They’ll not have had a wedding cake, nor anything like.  

“Girls, we need to bake them a proper Lancashire marriage cake. We’ll do that straight away.” 

Ethel made a list of ingredients and since Noah and Amaryllis had arranged to drive into St Agnes for the Bell’s errands, Ethel seized the opportunity to accompany them. 

Upon reaching the market town, the three went their separate ways. 

Ethel made a beeline for a fine grocery with well-stocked shelves and was always busy. 

She wasn’t in the least surprised to find a cluster of womenfolk in the shop and knew all of them. 

Nodding to her friends and neighbours, Ethel didn’t notice their conversation falling silent as she entered. Nor their sly nudges and glances. 

“’Afternoon, Mrs Macgregor.” Annie Pickersgill coughed. “What can I get you?” 

“I can’t jump my turn.” Ethel protested, smiling at the ladies. “Besides, I’ve a very long list today.” 

“You go on ahead of us, Ethel,” the churchwarden’s wife Peggy urged. 

“Shopping for something special?” a woman in a poke bonnet queried, craning her neck to glimpse Ethel’s lengthy list. 

“Dorcas and Mr Adam Whitlock are married.” Bursting with pride, Ethel could not help but tell everybody all about it.  

“I’m baking a proper Lancashire marriage cake to celebrate their homecoming.” 

“Mercy, Ethel. Now you have two new members of your family,” the lady in the bonnet said. “Mr Whitlock, and Sandy’s baseborn son from Jamaica.” 

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.