The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 05

Together they moved forward into the darkness, the small beam of the torch lighting the way before them.

“Looks like some rocks up ahead,” Betty said. “Better take my arm, Val, we don’t want to trip and fall right at the start of our holiday.”

“I can feel that we’re walking on sand now.”

“There’s a huge rock formation here; we’ll work our way around it. The music’s started again so we must be getting somewhere.”

Betty spoke as confidently as she could.

Edging their way carefully around the rocky outcrop, they were surprised by a light in the distance on the other side.

“There’s a sort of cabin up ahead. I can just make out the shape of it.”

“I can see the light,” Val said. “It’s coming from a window, and the singing is louder now.”

“Civilisation at last!” Betty sighed in relief.

As they drew nearer the going became easier and they could see the way ahead by the light from the window.

“Blow the man down, bullies, blow the man down.”

The music and singing continued to flow out over the sandy bay from what seemed to be a very loud CD player. Betty felt that their cup of tea and bite to eat were nearer still.

Mounting some steps, they walked over to a door, and Betty knocked loudly. The music stopped and voices came from inside.

“Someone at the door, Aircut,” a voice said.

“All right, I can ’ear it.”

The door opened a crack and a pair of bright blue eyes appeared between a beard and a mop of unruly red hair, both sprinkled with grey. The eyes crinkled and a smiling mouth from the beard said, “You must be them artist ladies for Tangara.”

Betty smiled.

“Yes, we’re Betty Silk and Val Freeman. We were supposed to collect the key from the little shop, but there’s no-one there.”

The door opened wider and the small man with the abundant beard and hair ushered them inside.

“There ain’t no-one there because he’s here, you see. He’s our bass for the shanties.”

A large man got up from a semi-circle of chairs and stools upon which a group of men were sitting and came forward.

“I’m the man you want.” He grinned. “Kit Pelago. I’ve got the key right here in my pocket. It got so dark I thought you wouldn’t be arriving until tomorrow, so I came over to Aircut’s place for the music.

“Sorry you’ve had so much trouble, coming over the sand like that. You’re lucky the tide didn’t catch you out.”

“Oh, thank goodness.” Val sighed. “We’ve come such a long way and we’re so tired.”

“Come over and have a seat, ladies,” Aircut invited. “I’ve put a spark in the hearth, it being a bit chilly, like. I’ll make you a brew.”

There was a lot of shuffling around as all the men got up to offer their seats.

“You’re very kind,” a weary Betty said. “A cup of anything would be very welcome.”

“Jar coffee be OK, will it?” Aircut asked.

“That would be wonderful.”

Their host disappeared into a room at the back and they could hear the clatter of mugs and the running of water.

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.