The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 10

Not being up to tackling the tin bath yet, they each had a good wash at the old stone sink, cleaned their teeth and put on a slick of lipstick.

“Best to wear trainers, Val, the lane looks a bit bumpy.” Betty tied her cardigan around her waist, went out on to the porch of the cottage and waited for her friend.

“I’ll be with you in a tick,” Val called.

They strolled together along the path and past the Trefusis Stores which, surprisingly, was busy with people.

At the top of the lane they were on the rough road that they had come along on the previous night. It continued on and ran above the stores and Tangara Cottage. They walked along it until they could look down and see the roof of the cottage below them.

“So,” Betty said. “Whatever that noise was, it would appear that it may have come from this roadway.”

“Maybe it was a truck?”

“It was too rhythmic. And no engine noise.”

“Betty, I can’t bear the suspense.”

“You’ll probably have to. It was obvious that Kit was not interested in telling us. It’s probably one of those things that are none of our business.”

“That’s why I want to pry!” Val groaned.

“Wait.” Betty parted some undergrowth at the side of the road. “Look – there’s some stone steps leading down the slope to our cottage. We can get up to the road without having to walk past the stores.”

“We’ve got the car, Betty. We’ve no need of all those steps.”

They continued walking for a while until the road seemed narrower and they came on to a grassy meadow. In the distance there was a building with a tall chimney, dark against the sky.

“Oh!” Val said excitedly. “It’s a tin mine, a real Cornish tin mine! I must get a photo. Stand there, Betty, I can see the building just behind you.”

“Do I have to?”

“Yes. It’s called a bit of human interest.”

“There is also a notice with PRIVATE written on it,” Betty observed. “I think we should turn back.”

Val protested, took two more photographs then followed Betty back the way they had come.

They passed the stores again and continued following the road that they’d driven down the night before.

There were a few cottages built against the hillside that they hadn’t noticed last night, which explained the customers in Trefusis Stores.

Bearing to the left, they discovered Aircut’s cottage which faced the most beautiful view across the bay. Val’s camera was working overtime.

“Betty, I’m certain to get a photo in the Countryfile Calendar!”

“Good morning, ladies. Fine day, isn’t it?” Aircut stepped out on to the path in front of them. “Did you have a good night?”

“Yes, thank you. We were very tired,” Betty replied.

“No disturbances, then? No mermaids calling from the sea?”

He laughed.

“There was a rumbling. A rhythmic rumbling sound, going along the road above our cottage. We don’t know what it was. Can you –?”

Before Betty could finish the sentence Aircut scratched his red beard and laughed.

“You’ll soon be accustomed to that. It’s nothing at all. Just forget it. You don’t have to get yourselves involved with the likes of that.”

He blinked and gave a little cough as if he thought he had said too much.

“I must be off to get the newspaper from old Kit, then out in my boat before the tide turns. I have to check my lobster pots, see.” He set off towards the Trefusis Stores.

“Curiouser and curiouser.” Val had read “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” more than once.

“Strange, indeed. However, I have a plan to find out the answer to the mystery ourselves. I’m now just as willing to pry as you are, Val.”

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.