The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 48

“He hasn’t even left a note on the door.”

“He must have been informed by now,” Betty replied. “He’ll have gone somewhere to cool off.”

“He might have spoken to me,” Val said. “He must have known I’d be worried.”

“He’s bound to turn up soon unless he’s gone back to Australia and written off his whole plan.”

“Not without telling me!”

Betty didn’t reply.

Sally and Aircut came to show the prints of the seahorses and anemones to Betty and Val.

“Good work, Sally. Everything will move fast now.” Betty beamed.

“It already has,” Aircut said. “Applications for the development of the land and the laying of moorings are going to be cancelled and a preservation order has been declared.”

“Does Alex know?” Val asked.

“Yes, he does.” Alex entered the room and held out his hand to Sally. “May I see the pictures of the little guys who got the better of Alexander Grey? And congratulations to the mermaid with the camera.”

Sally handed him the prints.

“We had to do it.”

“I know. I’ve fought many a battle of wits myself.” He held out his hand. “Well done, Sally, and I congratulate all of you.”

They were stunned.

“You were so set on changing everything!” Val said.

“I know. When I came and saw my inheritance I saw only land and opportunity. Since I’ve been here I’ve become aware of the needs of people, the small unseen things and the beauty of Trefusis.

“Val taught me a lot, even when she got mad at me. I admire folks who’ll stand up to me.”

“What will you do now?” Betty asked.

“Already done! First I took Polly back to the stables where I hired her. Then I did a lot of signing and rubber stamping with men in suits.”

“There’s more, isn’t there?” Val put a hand on his arm.

“I cancelled all my applications. The land is to go to the inhabitants of the cove so no one person can make decisions without the approval of all. Whealgrey I’ve given to Kit – it’s little enough for saving my life.”

“But that leaves you with nothing!”

“It leaves me with everything. The whole place will be just as Mum wanted to remember and I’ve gained a sense of values that were missing from my life.” His hand went to the ring on a chain around his neck.

“Will you go back home now? Aircut asked.

“Soon. I’ve something to settle first.” He took Val’s hand. “Come up to Whealgrey, Val. We have something to talk about.”

As Val and Alex left Aircut beckoned to Betty.

“Bit of a romance, eh?”

Betty nodded.

“I’ve got something to confess,” he said. “Can you keep another secret?”

“Of course.”

“Do you remember the shell Val found – the one with the carvings on it?”

“Yes, clearly,” she whispered back.

“Well, it was me who put it on the clump of seaweed where she could find it.”

“Oh, Aircut! Val believes it was from the mermaids. Where did you get it? Did you do the carving?”

“No, no. I found it years ago washed up on the beach outside my cottage. I’ve no idea where it came from. Don’t tell Val. A person needs a little magic, don’t you think?”

* * * *

“We’re still going to be friends,” Val said as they sat together in Betty’s little car. “We’ll write, of course, and he wants me to send him the painting I did of the sunflower and the ladybird.

“But I couldn’t bring myself to say yes to his proposal. The romance of this place and Alex swept me off my feet. It couldn’t have worked out.

“I’ll never forget him, but I don’t think my love would travel well, because my family are my love. I know he understands.”

It was early in the morning and they’d said their goodbyes the evening before. Betty started the motor and put the car into gear.

“We’ll come again one day, won’t we, Betty?” Val was tearful.

“Of course,” Betty replied. “But now we must go home.”

“We’ve still one mystery that hasn’t been solved.” Val placed the carved shell on the dashboard. “We’ll never solve this one.” She sighed.

Betty smiled.

“I don’t suppose we ever will.”


The End.

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.