The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 18

“One crusty loaf and two pints of milk.”

Betty looked up from sketching to see Kit.

“I had two pasties left over from this morning’s delivery. I thought you two would like them. On the house.” He sat on the grass beside her deckchair.

“That’s kind of you, Kit. Who’s minding the shop?”

“Closed for lunch. Where’s your friend?”

“Val’s on the beach. She’s snapping the seaweed and shells.”

She pointed to a figure in the distance, crouching with camera poised.

“Val’s determined to secure a winning shot before the tide comes in.”

“I’ve no doubt she will.” Kit grinned. “I see Aircut checking his moorings, keeping a weather eye on her. When the tide turns it comes in with a rush.”

“We had an adventure last night,” Betty confided.

She told him the whole story, including today’s visit by Alexander Grey.

Kit was angry.

“He’d no right to shout at you like that! You could have fallen . . .”

“We didn’t. And we did give him a fright.”

“Want me to have a word with him?”

“No, thank you all the same. Let it be. We’ll just avoid him. You’ve enough worries with all the changes he intends to make here.”

Kit sighed.

“We like the place just as it is. No-one wants change, especially Peter John. But I think he’ll be forced to sell Tangara. Grey will make things uncomfortable.”

“I can’t bear to think of it,” Betty said. “We’ve only been here a short while but we love the calm and beauty of the place.”

“It’s money.” Kit sat up and gazed across the bay. “He wants his inheritance to pay for itself.”

“Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

“You’re right. Whealgrey has a lot of history.”

“Tell me.” Betty put down her drawing pad.

“Well, it’s mostly old memories mingled with a lot of gossip, but there’d be truth in it, I daresay.”

Kit sat up and faced her.

“The old mine was thriving and it passed down through the same family of Greys. Then, in the Sixties, it ran dry of tin and Alexander’s uncle sold off all the equipment, leaving only the engine house, chimney and the homestead in which he lived until he died. It became a ruin.”

“Did he have no family?”

“Yes, one brother who had emigrated. That’s where the story begins.”

Betty was all attention


“The brothers, Simon and John Grey, were the last inheritors of Whealgrey. They worked hard together. Then they fell in love with the same girl, Lyndsy Morgan. She agreed to marry Simon and a date was set.

“John was heartbroken and made plans to go to Australia. He sold his share of the mine to Simon.”

“Did he ever come back?”

“No, never. But he didn’t go to Australia alone.”

“He didn’t?”

“Someone went with him.” Kit’s eyes twinkled.

“Tell me.”

“Lyndsy Morgan! She upped and went with John. Simon was broken-hearted. He never married but ran the mine until it failed.”

“Poor man.”

“Yes, he was a lonely one. Folk said he stood on the headland gazing out across the waves for hours. He became a recluse. Children would creep up there of an evening, knock on the door and run away. Kids do that kind of thing.”

“A very unkind thing.” Betty frowned.

“They swore they could hear noises coming from the old mine – that it was haunted.”

“Who were the children?”

“Me, Aircut and the rest,” Kit admitted.

“Naughty! I hope you’re ashamed of yourselves.”

“We are. The last time we went up there we peeked through the window and he was asleep. So we knocked on the door and ran but nothing happened.”

“Was he . . .?”

“Yes. We ran back and raised the alarm, and to cap it all we were praised for our part in finding him. We’ve felt guilty ever since.

“It took years to find the next of kin, Alexander Grey. Now he’s inherited a place of no value except for the land. I still feel bad about teasing that poor old man.”

“We can’t change the past, but we can try to improve the future.”

Kit shrugged.

“What can we do?”

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.