The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 12

After two very welcome “showers” they snuggled into their pyjamas and dressing-gowns and Betty cooked bacon and eggs, which they ate with what remained of the crusty loaf, followed by fruit.

“Are we going to go out and solve the rumbling mystery tonight, Betty?” Val took a sip of tea.

“We certainly are.”

“In our jimjams?”

“No-one will see. Anyway, remember we discovered steps behind the cottage going up to the road?

“They’re a bit overgrown but we’ll manage. So we won’t have to pass the Trefusis Stores in our pyjamas. We’ll have the mystery solved in no time.”

“Well, I’m game if you are.” Val grinned.

They sat together at the table in the little living-room, Val reading her book about mermaids and Betty working on the sketch she’d made on the beach.

They lit the oil lamp when it got dark and it shone warmly in the room.

Betty felt loath to go outside to wait for the mysterious sound. Maybe it was none of their business. But surely Kit or Aircut would have warned them if there was any danger.

“Come on, Betty, it’s nearly eleven.” Val put on her trainers. “We’ve lots of steps to climb before that rumbling comes again.”

“I’ve been thinking – maybe we shouldn’t.”

“Don’t say that!” Val wailed. “I’ve got used to the idea now.”

“OK, I’ll get my shoes. Bring your camera.”

“You bet.”

* * * *

There were more steps than they had realised.

“I’m puffed!” Val said as they reached the top.

“Me, too!” Betty replied. “Let’s sit on the top step and wait. We won’t be seen if we keep our heads below the bushes.”

A rabbit darted out and ran across the road. Val jumped and squealed.

“You’ll have to be quieter than that,” Betty whispered.

They sat in the dark, the cold stone step gradually getting colder as it penetrated their pyjamas and dressing-gowns. An owl hooted.

“I wish I’d worn my jeans and a sweater.”

“And a coat,” Betty said softly.

The moon came out from behind a cloud and lit up the roadway. Whatever was making the noise, they’d get a good view of it.

“What time is it, Betty?”

“A quarter to twelve.”

“It’s not going to happen now, is it?”

“Maybe it isn’t always on time.” Betty sighed. “Let’s go back.”

They made their way down the steps again, their legs stiff from sitting for so long at the roadside.

Back in the cottage Betty put on the kettle and Val found the hot chocolate.

“We aren’t certain that the noise happens every night,” Betty pointed out.

“Kit and Aircut just said it happens most nights. We’ve only been here a day, and it’s Sunday. Maybe it’s quiet on a Sunday.”

“Tomorrow, then.” Val grinned. “We go up the steps again tomorrow! The whole thing is getting exciting now.”

“OK, but I’m wearing a coat next time.”

They tumbled into their beds and were asleep before the waves washed up on the beach at full tide.

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.