The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 45

“I came as soon as I could. Thanks for your phone calls, Alex, and for the repairs.” He held out his hand to Alex.

“It’s the least I could do, considering I nearly dropped my pick-up into your kitchen sink!”

“Kit told me. I’ve been staying at the shop and he filled me in on the whole story. You had a narrow escape.”

“I was rescued by a bunch of heroes. These ladies have been staying with Aircut while the repairs were carried out.”

“Thank goodness no-one was badly hurt.”

“Thanks for caring for Betty and Val.” Peter shook Aircut’s hand.

“I couldn’t leave two new members of my Shanty Group out in the cold.”

Peter smiled.

“You’ve settled into the place very quickly.”

“Tangara seemed to accept us straight away,” Val said. “We never imagined this place would be so beautiful.”

“I think so, too. So did my dad and his father before him; they were artists, too.”

“Were your exhibitions in London successful?” Betty asked.

“Very! I sold almost all the paintings, so I can easily reimburse Alex for all the extra work he’s done. The shower will be a vast improvement; the electric, too. I never seemed to have the funds or the time to get around to it.”

“Forget it,” Alex said firmly. “It’s my gift to make up for all the commotion I’ve caused. But I’d like to have a talk with you about Tangara.”

“The answer will be no. I’m not interested in selling.”

“You’ve jumped the gun.” Alex grinned. “I’d make you a good offer and I’ve had a rethink about pulling it down.”

“No sale,” Peter repeated.

Betty felt that the atmosphere was growing tense.

“We’ve had a mystery to solve but we decided to wait until you were here.”

“What’s that?”

“When the plaster fell off over the sink it left a large hole and inside was an old tin cashbox. Do you have it, Val?”

Val rummaged in her holdall.

“Yes, here. We couldn’t get it open because there was no key.” She handed the box to Peter. “We decided to wait until you were here because it really belongs to you.”

Peter took the box.

“It’s very old. I wonder if it belonged to my grandfather. But why wall it up over the sink? They wouldn’t have had much money. They used to sell a few paintings in St Ives to make ends meet.”

He shook it.

“There’s something inside, all right.” He attempted to open it. “We’ll have to smash it open.”

“Don’t do that!” Val wailed. “You might damage whatever’s inside.”

Alex laughed.

“I suggested a bit of wire or a hairpin when we first found it. I could open it easy.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“Because the girls said it wouldn’t be right, as it was your property. Besides, no-one had a hairpin.”

“I admire your honesty. But you must have been bursting to know what was inside.”

“You bet we were!” Val exclaimed.

“OK.” Alex grinned. “Who has a hairpin?”

“I do.” Sally reached up to her long tied-up hair.

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.