The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 27

“I’d like you to see the signpost at the land’s end. There’s a bright moon and the signs are very interesting. But first I’ll ask them to pack up the remains of the pavlova. I’ll put it in the car for Betty.”

“She’ll love that.”

“It might make up for the sniffles.” He grinned.

The air struck chill as they emerged from the restaurant and walked to the signpost. There were more people there, reading the signs and having their photographs taken despite the darkness. The sound of the sea was all around.

“I wish I’d brought my camera,” Val mourned.

“You can always come back in daylight. Look, it tells you how many miles to America. My home is more miles than that.” He sighed.

“The moon’s making a path across the water.”

“It’s called a moonfleet,” he replied.

“It’s beautiful.” Val shivered in the cool night air. Betty’s blouse didn’t provide much warmth.

“You’re cold!” He noticed. “Here, take my jacket.”

He removed it and put it around Val’s shoulders. It still held the warmth of him and the smell of aftershave.

She shivered a little again, but not from the cold. It had been a long time since she had experienced the shared warmth of a man’s jacket and his thoughtfulness.

“That better?”

“Much better, thank you,” she replied. “But what about you?”

He laughed.

“I’m just trying to live up to that disreputable intrepid Aussie image that we all seem to carry. I’ll be OK.”

Val sensed he was playing down his kindness. She held the jacket round her as they read the signs on the post.

It was a strange feeling, standing on the edge of Britain, not wanting the evening to end.

“Will Betty wait up?” he asked. “I promised to return you safe and early.”

“She’ll probably go to bed.” Val settled herself into the passenger seat of the car. “Would you like your jacket back now?”

“Keep it around you, I’m fine.” He started the motor.

“We didn’t know you had a car like this.”

“I have a pick-up, but I hired this one for the evening, for a treat and also to impress you two. Show I’m not just a barbarian!”

* * * *

 “Oh, look at the bay – it’s so lovely in the moonlight when the tide’s up.”

They were back at Tangara. Val unclasped her seat belt, opened the door and stepped out.

Alexander came and stood beside her.

“I’ve never spared the time to stop and look.”

“Then you’ve missed a lot. It won’t be the same with moorings and pleasure boats lined up for hire. The magic will melt away.”

“Things change.” He shrugged. “They have to.”

“They don’t – well, not much.” Val laughed. “I wouldn’t mind a new bathroom at Tangara.”

“I’ve other plans for it.”

Val suddenly remembered his plans for the cottage and the pressure he’d be putting on Peter John in order to acquire it. She changed the subject.

“I love the way the tide surges around that big rock opposite Aircut’s place.” She pointed out to the large grey rock silhouetted against the moonlight.

“Yes,” he agreed. “What’s that on top of it?”


“It looks like some sort of sculpture, right on the edge.” He pointed.

“I see it now. It wasn’t there before . . . it moved! It’s alive!” Val gasped.

“Probably a seal.”

“No – I believe it’s got arms,” Val whispered.

Alexander looked at her.

“I don’t think it’s a mermaid, Val.”

“Stay here – I’m going to get my camera.”

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.