The Mystery Of Macgregor’s Cove – Episode 53

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

Long shadows were falling when the three women emerged from their interview with Nicholas Fenwick. 

“Penelope, it was exceedingly rude of you,” Dorcas admonished, stepping up into the chaise. “Refusing Captain Fenwick’s gallant suggestion that an officer escort us home.” 

“We aren’t going to Rishton Place,” Penelope responded tartly, glancing over her shoulder at 12 mounted and armed Redcoats thundering from the garrison. “We’re following the soldiers.” 

Turning into Mount Pleasant, she manoeuvred through a noisy, jeering crowd congregating about the King’s Arms. 

Musket-bearing Redcoats were marching four men in chains from the tavern towards the waiting gaol wagon. 


Dorcas scrambled from the chaise, and in her desperation to reach her husband would have flung herself at the phalanx of soldiers guarding the prisoners had not Penelope forcibly held her back. 

“Take her to Haddonsell.” Adam Whitlock’s handsome face contorted with rage as he twisted round in the gaol wagon, yelling at his sister. “And stay there!” 

*  *  *  * 

“Adam Whitlock turned up at the Grange as though naught was amiss?” Noah exclaimed next morning. 

Amaryllis nodded, her shoulders bowed to the task of rowing up the precious hay crop in the long field beyond the Bell. 

“Adam told us since he was with the suspects at the King’s Arms, the Redcoats arrested him, too. Once at the garrison, the misunderstanding was speedily resolved and he was released with profuse apologies from Captain Fenwick.” 

“Despite the yarn he spun his sister,” Noah remarked, “I think Whitlock was going to that tavern to meet Gerrard and his other accomplices.” 

“No!” Amaryllis spun round, staring at him in horror. “That cannot be so!” 

“We’d had neither smuggling nor wrecking along our coast for twenty-odd years until he came back from India.” 

“Adam was spying on those men, Noah. He intended reporting them to the authorities in due course,” she reasoned quietly. “Why would he do that if they were in cahoots?” 

“Maybe there had been a falling out amongst thieves, or Baldwin and Killip were getting greedy and taking more than their fair share,” he speculated with a shrug. “But he’d never risk turning them into the law.  

“They know too much. Besides, we only have his word he intended reporting them. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.” 

The two old friends laboured on throughout the morning, speaking little. 

It was almost dinnertime when Sandy strode past the field to meet an incoming coach. 

“Thanks for offering to help, Noah,” he called, squinting up at the cloudless sky. “We need to get it in before this weather breaks.” 

He’d no sooner gone on his way than he was back again, sticking his head around the hedgerow and shouting. 

“News just come with the coach. Them villains Adam put in gaol escaped during the night! Like as not bribed the turn-key, if you ask me. 

“Redcoats killed two of them making a run for it,” Sandy went on, hurrying back towards the inn’s yard. “But Gerrard got clean away! 

“By now, he’ll be down to Liverpool and aboard the first ship leaving England.” 

Amaryllis’s mind was suddenly racing, her heart thumping. 

“Do you suppose Pa is right, Noah? About Gerrard, I mean?”

“I do. And it’s surely not mere chance Whitlock’s right-hand man is the one who’s gone free, while Baldwin and Killip have been silenced,” Noah concluded gravely.

“Dead men tell no tales, Amaryllis.” 

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.