The next day dawned showery and dismal. Taya went out to Bascombe’s Point with her father to check the web cameras he had set up to record the movements of the local birdlife. Steven Bayliss walked briskly, leaning into the fresh breeze blowing in from the sea. Taya followed, stepping carefully as they moved down the path that snaked its way down to the water. She didn’t want to have another close encounter with the sea.
The web cameras were installed at points all around the outermost edge of the headland so that Steven was able to observe the seabirds as they set up their nests and raised their young.
While her father checked each camera, made adjustments and took notes, Taya’s mind was busy with thoughts of Mae and the story of her lost love.
What a sad life the old lady is living. Michael Shaw seems to be the only one to show her any kindness. Otherwise, she is alone, constantly worrying about those stupid boys, because of a treasure rumour from fifty years ago. The only treasures she has are her memories and, of course, Davey’s watch and the lighthouse picture.
‘When did they demolish the lighthouse, Dad?’ she asked, looking at the remains of the tower.
‘They didn’t actually demolish it,’ her father replied, coming to stand beside her.
‘When the automatic system was installed in about 1987, the old lighthouse was left standing, but, over the years…well, you know how it is with a vacant building.’
‘Do you mean it was vandalized? Deliberately wrecked?’ Taya was shocked. ‘But it was beautiful. I saw a photo of it in the village. Oh, that’s horrible.’
‘Yup, I agree. It’s been completely torn apart, almost as if someone was looking for something. Someone’s been here with a sledgehammer. Look at the holes,’ Steven Bayliss remarked, shaking his head. ‘All that’s left now is the foundation and part of the lower room. I’ve got a camera there actually. Some gulls are nesting on the ledge where the old staircase would have been.’
As they picked their way through the rubble surrounding the strong foundation of the old tower, Taya wondered about her father’s words.
Is it just idle vandalism that has caused all this damage? She thought. Is there some connection between this lighthouse and the lighthouse picture that Davey had sent Mae?
Could Garnett or his grandfather have had anything to do with the destruction of such a beautiful building? Is there really a treasure?
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