Chapter 2

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

It took me only one day to realise that I would only find answers once I inspected my new inheritance. Surely I could gather some of the facts regarding the tragedy if I were to spend time in the world of my unknown relative. The preparations for my journey took another day with the expert help of Berkley.

Caz and I set out the very next day to Cornwall. I might now be a man of substance, but frugality never did us wrong in the past. It also gave me time to ponder the mystery surrounding my sudden good fortune.

As I rode through Cornwall, no one would have recognised me as a man of substance. A week in the saddle gave me a rugged appearance. The Gwynn Goodh Inn in Condurrow assisted with a tailor and all the amenities that I would have found in London. Within a fortnight I received a new set of suits. Once attired as befitting my station, I called upon a Mister Humphry Davy, whom I had been told to see regarding my inheritance.

The offices of Mister Davy were not quite as splendid as that of Mister Crumley’s, but the smell of paper and candle wax was the same. “Master Jeddler, I am sure that you are anxious to see the tin mine and house. However, I do need to explain some of the finer points regarding your inheritance. I am unsure if Mister Crumley explained the conditions regarding the mine.” Davy’s voice had a faint accent that betrayed his Cornish origins.

As confused as I was after Crumley gave me the news, I was also sure that no conditions regarding the inheritance were discussed.

“Could you explain the conditions, Sir?” I should have remembered that good fortune never came without a price.

Davy, more portly than Crumley, got up with a huff that indicated their profession favoured men with this stature. Davy returned with the papers. He settled a monocle on his eye before he read.

“The bequeathed must stay in the house and facilitate the management of the mine for at least one year and a day. Once this period has expired the bequeathed may not be absent for more than 3 months out of the year. Should this not be achieved the inheritance will fall to the Bal Maidens at the mine.”

This increased my interest in the reason for my inheritance. “Tell me Mister Davy, did my uncle not have any other family?”

“In fact he did, Sir. He had a wife and four children, but they passed away before Mister Dench.” This was interesting. I had to know more. “Mister Davy, what year did my uncle arrive in Condurrow?”

Davy’s visage suddenly dropped in astonishment. “Mister Jeddler, I thought you knew! Mister Dench was born here.”

Before I could recover from this astounding news, Davy continued. “Sir, there is also a minor matter concerning the bal maidens”.

Comments

Loved this. The story is gathering momentum and the mystery getting deeper by the page turn. What is even more interesting is seeing how the language is tackled and every writer is different. Sumanda injects just enough to get us in the mood but without going over the top. The script reads smoothly and puts us into the 18th century as we read the first paragraph. It's a joy to read. Loved this, Sumanda. Two hooks at the end - a shock and then a mystery. Great stuff.
Thanks Ray, this is a huge compliment coming from you. I'll admit that I was quite daunted having to follow in your footsteps.