The Mystery Of Macgregor’s Cove – Episode 49

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

During the darkness of a hot summer’s night, the merchantman Wilhelmina, bound for her home port of Liverpool, was wrecked north of Macgregor’s Cove and her valuable cargo pillaged. 

Come morning, Amaryllis Macgregor and Noah Pendleton discovered a lifeless stranger upon the sands; his were not the only remains to be borne ashore during that day, nor to be washed up amongst the breakers of subsequent tides. 

“Soldiers found the makings of the false light that drew Wilhelmina into shallow water and broke her over Gibbett Rocks,” Sandy Macgregor was relating when he called at Haddonsell Grange the following evening. “There had been passengers as well as crew aboard. 

“Them who didn’t drown were murdered, Elias. Cut down as they struggled ashore. Every last one of them stripped of their valuables.” 

The elderly man pushed a generous tot of rum towards his old friend, and Sandy downed it gratefully. 

“We’ve had Wilhelmina’s owner up from Liverpool today,” he went on grimly. “Man called Protheroe. He’s staying at the Bell. Marched right in, asking questions. Demanding to know everything. 

“It was Protheroe who put a name to the body Am and Noah found. He was a Dutchman,” Sandy finished, frowning. 

“Wilhelmina’s entire cargo was plundered, yet the only thing Protheroe quizzed Am and Noah about was them finding the Dutchman. He asked them over and over if they were sure they saw none of his belongings nearby. 

“I reckon that Dutchman was carrying summat particular, and Protheroe’s desperate to get it back.” 

“Happen you’re right,” Elias opined shrewdly. “If the Dutchman was his agent – carrying who knows what? – it’s small wonder Protheroe’s posted a hefty reward for the capture of the wreckers.” 

“His brass would be better spent investing in Kit’s lighthouse. A permanent light would make this coast safer all round.” 

Sandy rose wearily, taking his battered hat from a highly polished table. 

“Wilhelmina’s cargo and whatever the Dutchman carried are long gone, Elias. Like the thieves and murderers who lured that vessel and every soul aboard her to their graves!” 

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.