The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 43

“Well,” Sally began. “As I say, I’m a marine biologist. I’m here studying the cove in the hope of finding something that will make Alexander Grey’s plans very difficult, or impossible.”

Betty nodded.

“Something that will make sure this place is not to be disturbed?”

“Exactly!” Aircut grinned. “Sally has been doing a lot of diving and underwater photography. We think that, soon, what we hope for will be revealed so that we can submit it as proof to the powers that be”

Betty looked at Aircut.


“Absolutely right.”

“Hippocampus,” Sally added. “Their habitat is in eelgrass and there’s a huge clump of it at the entrance to the cove.”

Val turned to Aircut.

“You said you’d seen them as a boy but we only half believed you.”

Aircut laughed.

“I was doing my salty seadog act. I added my belief in mermaids to give you an extra thrill.”

“I’m sure that in the next couple of days I’ll get the shots I want. It’ll involve a lot of diving.” Sally smiled. “That’s another thing we ought to tell them, although I think it will disappoint Val. Remember the seal you saw resting on the rock?”

“Of course!”

“It wasn’t a seal,” Sally replied. “And the mermaid with arms wasn’t a mermaid, either.”

“Do you know what it was? Have you seen it?”

“I’m sorry, Val, but you see – it was me.”

“But it was grey and shiny and it had no hair!”

“I’m a free diver. I can hold my breath for long periods of time. That’s how I get the shots I need without disturbing them.

“I train at night when the tide is high, and get my photos in the early morning if the tide is right.”

Betty nodded.

“So you have one of those grey diving suits. And you tuck your hair away?”

“Yes, and I wear a large flipper to propel me along in the water. You nearly caught me out a couple of times, that’s why Uncle Harry and I decided to let you in on the secret.

“If the seahorses are there the eelgrass must not be disturbed, because if mooring ropes are put out – which is part of Mr Grey’s plan for pleasure boats – the movement of the ropes with the tides would act like a mower and destroy the habitat. It would be disastrous.”

Betty held out her hand.

“We wish you all the luck in the world, Aircut.”

Aircut shook her hand.

“It’s good to have you two on our side.”

Val was quiet.

“Alex won’t like this.”

“He can’t think we would give up without a fight. He’s a battler himself.”

“He’ll find a way to foil your plans,” she answered. “He’s clever and there’s still Tangara and the land behind it.”

“Ah,” Aircut said. “But he hasn’t got a marine biologist on his side. Letting holiday homes without boats on the water won’t be such a good deal.”

“Aren’t you on our side, Val?” Betty asked.

“I don’t know whose side to be on.”

“What about the seahorses, the rabbits?” Sally asked. “Small creatures need someone to fight their cause. And the folk who live here – what about them?”

Val covered her face.

“I don’t know what to think. Alex is set on seeing his project through.”

Betty felt nervous. What if Val told Alex?

Val must have seen her expression.

“Of course I won’t tell. I promise. But goodness knows what Alex will do when he finds out.”

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.