The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 07

When Betty and Val were settled comfortably in Kit’s people carrier, he drove them just a short way to his little beach shop where they’d left the car.

“If you’ll let me have the keys I’ll take your car down to Tangara, then walk back and drive you down there.”

Betty breathed a sigh of relief as she handed over her car keys.

Val was almost nodding off beside her and she was glad that she wouldn’t have to drive any further in the dark.

“I’ll be back in a jiffy.” Kit disappeared and soon they heard the familiar sound of the motor starting up and the rear lights of their car receding into the distance.

Betty must have fallen asleep for a moment or two, for soon Kit had returned and was already in the driving seat starting the car.

“OK, ladies, nearly the end of the line. You’ll soon be warm and cosy inside Tangara.”

“Wake up, Val, we’re almost there.” Betty nudged her friend.

“I’ll give you a hand to unload.” Kit came to a stop behind their car. “I lit the logburner before I went over to Aircut’s just in case you turned up tonight.

“It should still be alight – anyway, it’ll be warm. I’ve made up your beds and put hot-water bottles in, too.” He handed Betty the key to the door.

“That’s very kind of you.”

“You two go on inside. It won’t take long to unload your bits and pieces.”

He went round to the boot and began to take out their suitcases and a box that they’d added with groceries for their immediate needs.

In the dark Betty found the keyhole with her finger, put in the key and turned it. The door creaked as she pushed it open to reveal a shaft of light from the window in the stove flickering across the bare wooden floor.

It was warm inside the cottage. Kit came in carrying two suitcases and holding another one under each arm.

“Where’s the light switch?” Val asked, feeling along the wall by the door.

Kit laughed.

“No electrics, I’m afraid. Hang on a bit while I get the rest of your stuff and I’ll light the oil lamp.” He returned to the car.

“Oh, lor’, Betty, no electricity, how will we manage?” Val wailed. “I’m desperate for a shower.”

“Peter warned us it was basic,” Betty said, “but it’ll be habitable. We’ll soon get the hang of it. There’s bound to be a bathroom.”

Kit returned with the remainder of the luggage. By this time the two friends had become accustomed to the gloom and by the light coming from the window in the stove they could see a lamp on a table with a box of matches beside it.

“Now, then. Let’s have some light on the subject.”

Kit removed the glass globe, turned up the wick and lit the lamp. A golden light caressed the room, which was tidy and neat with two armchairs, one on either side of the stove, and four chairs at the table.

Kit strode over to a curtained area.

“This is the kitchen. I’ve given it a good clean as the place has been shut up all winter. There’s a cooker that runs on bottled gas and a gas water heater over the sink.”

“Is there a bathroom?” Betty dared to ask.

“Bathroom?” Val echoed.

“There’s a tin bath hanging on the wall outside, next door to the privy.” Kit grinned. “It’s basic but it works.”

Opening a door, he revealed a small bedroom with two single beds.

“I’ve put you two in here,” he said. “There is another bedroom but it’s chock-a-block with Peter’s arty stuff.”

“You do more for Peter than just hold the key to the cottage,” Betty observed.

“Peter’s a good friend; we’ve known one another for years. It’s no bother.”

“It’s nice to know that there’s someone around who can show us how to turn the lamp off again.” Betty laughed.

“Just turn that little knob at the side,” Kit replied. “Don’t ever blow it out – it’ll make smoke if you do. There are candles in the kitchen to light your way to bed. The gas stove is simple. I’ll show you how to work it before I leave.”

He was as good as his word.

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.