The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 36

“That’ll be Kit,” Aircut said. “Come to see how we’re getting on.”

Betty went to the door and opened it. A man’s silhouette was framed in the doorway against the twilight.

“I hope I’m not intruding,” a voice said. “I wanted to find one or all of you, to thank you for saving my life. If you guys hadn’t been there I’d have perished for sure.”

“Alexander Grey!” Betty opened the door wide. “Please, come inside, we’re glad to see you. Have you recovered?”

“A few cuts and bruises but I’ll survive.” He smiled. “It looks cosy in here.”

“Would you like some tea?” Val asked.

“Nice of you to offer but I’m off to the Crab and Mermaid to thank whoever else was at the scene of my misfortune. I can’t stay long, I’ve got Polly outside.”

He glanced across at the kitchen area and walked over to the damaged wall.

“That’s a mess, and no mistake. It’ll need some renovation. Leave that to me. I’ll see it gets done soon as poss. After all, it was my fault.

“Hey, there’s a great hole over the sink.”

“We found something in there.” Val took the metal cash box off the table and showed it to Alex.

“Anything inside?” He took the box from her.

“We haven’t been able to get it open,” Betty said. “There’s no key and it must have been there for ages.”

“These old cash boxes are not very complicated. I could open it with a hairpin.” He grinned “Anyone got a hairpin?”

All three shook their heads.

“Well, any old bit of thin wire should do.”

“I don’t think we should attempt to open it,” Betty said. “Tangara belongs to Peter so whatever we’ve found belongs to him. Tempting though it may be, I don’t think we should interfere with it.”

“Betty, can’t we just open it, have a look and then lock it up again? Peter wouldn’t mind,” Val pleaded.

“He wouldn’t know,” Alex pointed out.

“That would be a bit sly.” Aircut shook his head. “I agree with Betty, we should wait until Peter sees it.”

“I shall burst with curiosity!” Val exclaimed.

“No, you won’t.” Betty laughed. “We’ll put it up on a shelf and forget about it until Peter comes. I’m sure he will when he hears about the accident.”

“You’re right.” Alex grinned. “I’m just naturally nosy, just like Val.”

“Cheeky monkey!” Val said as they all laughed.

“I must go. I’ll be riding home slowly tonight – doctor’s orders.”

Outside, with a wave of his hand, he mounted the horse and rode away.

“He’s not so bad, is he?” Val said.

“That,” Aircut said, “depends on a lot of things.”

They were all weary and Betty and Val accepted another night at Aircut’s cottage. It was very welcome to have a proper shower and to settle down in their comfortable beds.

“Sally must be interested in photography.” Val pointed. “Look, there’s a camera on top of the chest of drawers. A nice one, too. It looks professional.”

“Don’t touch it, Val,” Betty warned.

“There’s a pack of photographs beside it,” Val observed.

“Don’t touch them, either.”

“Not even just the top one?” Val pleaded.

“No. Sally will show us if she wants to.”

“I wonder why we didn’t notice the camera last night. It must be Sally’s. Maybe she’s as interested in photography as I am.”

“We were dog-tired, I expect. I just wanted to sleep.”

“I’m bursting with curiosity!”

“You always are.” Betty laughed. “Let’s forget about everything except the shanty singing tomorrow.”

Val sighed.

“With so much going on I don’t think I’ll remember the words.”

“You will. Wait and see.”

It began to rain. Val looked out of the window.

“We won’t get much done at Tangara today, and there’s still that old bath full of wet plaster to get rid of.”

“Rain before seven, fair before eleven,” Betty pronounced.

“Old wives’ tale.”

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.