The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 46

The atmosphere was tense as Alex placed the box on the table. Betty was engrossed. A few little twists of the hairpin and the lock clicked open.

Alex handed the box to Peter.

“Now you can solve the mystery for all of us.”

There was not a sound in the room as Peter opened the lid. They gathered around.

“It’s an envelope.” Peter took it from the box. “It’s sealed and it’s marked Whealgrey. You should be reading this.” He handed the envelope to Alex.

“No, you go ahead.”

“There’s something else,” Val said. “Something shiny.”

Peter reached inside and took out a ring set with a tiny sparkling stone.

“That’s a diamond!”

“Let’s see.” Alex examined the ring. “Yep, it’s a diamond. That envelope should tell more.”

“Open it,” Val begged.

Peter turned the envelope over and ran his thumb under the seal. He removed a letter and began reading.

“This is older than any of us.” He looked at Alex. “I think you’d better read it. There’s something else in the envelope, too.”

Puzzled, Alex took the letter and opened it.

“Please!” Betty was beside herself with curiosity. “Read it to us – it can’t be that private after all these years.”

There was a chorus of agreement from the others. Alex cleared his throat and began to read.

“Dear Simon, I’m asking my mum to take this to you after I’m gone. I know she feels the shame of what I’m doing and Dad is furious.

“The truth is that I can’t marry you when I love your brother John. I can’t live a lie, and if I went ahead with the wedding that’s what I’d be doing. Forgive me for not having the courage to tell you to your face.

“Mum will return the ring you gave me. John and I are going away to the other side of the world.

“I will always remember beautiful, unchanging Trefusis Cove where I was born, and my life at Tangara. It is part of my life I will never forget, nor my deep friendship with you which I mistook for love.

“You will always be in my prayers. Lyndsy Morgan.”

“There’s a photo.” Peter handed Alex a small print.

Alex paled.

“It’s my mum. She never spoke of this, nor did she tell us anything about the past before they came to Oz. But I always thought that there was something.

“Then she passed away and it was all lost. Dad never spoke of it.” He sighed. “So that letter was never delivered. Her folks walled it up and moved on.”

“Everyone around here knew about the jilting,” Aircut said.

“No-one told me. I just inherited an uncle out of the blue. I never even knew Dad had a brother.”

“Just imagine,” Val said. “Your mother’s feet walked on this floor.”

Alex stood up and put the letter and photo in his pocket. The ring he placed on his little finger, where it only reached halfway.

“I have to get my head around all this. I’ll be in touch.” He left the room.

“Lyndsy’s parents must have left Tangara soon after the scandal,” Peter said. “That must have been when my folks bought it.”

They stood around the empty box.

“I’ll make some tea,” Betty said.

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.