An Adventure at Smugglers Cave – Part One
Tom, Susan, Tilly, and their dog Patches, came to their uncle’s Manor house by the sea every summer. Each year was full of excitement, adventure and lashings of lemonade. Driving up towards the front of the large brick house, Tom turned excitedly to the others.
“I wonder what excitement we will have this year.” he said.
“Well I heard Daddy talking to Mummy, and he was telling her about smugglers in the cove” replied Susan.
“Ooh I bet they use the large cave there to hide their contraband” offered Tilly.
“We shall have to investigate” announced Tom.
“Woof!” agreed Patches.
Jenkins stopped the car and the children piled out, and straight through the large door open at the front of the house. They dashed to their respective rooms and climbed in to their adventuring gear, while all the time Patches excitedly jumped at Tilly.
“Stop it patches” she giggled “you’re slowing me down.”
Tom called out, “Tilly do come on, we’re ready”.
“Coming!” Shouted Tilly as she pulled on her sturdy walking boots.
The children dashed out of the back door of the main house, only just remembering to shout greetings to aunt and uncle on the way. They ran across the back field to the cliff edge. Beneath it was the great cave Tilly had spoken about. It was large and dark, hewn out of the rock face over years of winter storms.
“Look!” Said Tom. “There seems to be a path carved into the cliff face over there”.
Sure enough just ahead of them, partially covered by scrubby plants, was a rough track leading to the base of the cliff.
“Come on,” shouted Susan, rushing ahead, “let’s go!”.
The children clambered down the slope. The footing was very loose and they had to take great care. Even Patches was unusually cautious as they made their way down.
When they were two thirds of the way Tom whispered. “Look! A boat”. Sure enough in the distance a small boat was making its way towards the cave.
“Look Tom,” said Tilly, “we can hide behind this rock and see what they are up too.”
“Good idea,” replied Susan, “quickly now, before they spot us”.
The children and Patches huddled behind the large rock near the bottom of the path way. From there they had a fine view. As the boat drew closer they could see that it was a small fishing boat with three swarthy looking men on deck. The boat was crammed with boxes. As it pulled into the mouth of the cave the occupants looked around nervously.
After about twenty minutes the children could once again hear the engine of the small boat. It emerged from the cave entrance. But rather than laying low in the water under the burden of all those boxes, it looked light and buoyant.
“Look,” whispered Susan, “the boxes have gone. They must have unloaded them in the cave”.
“If we wait,” said Tilly, “the cave becomes more accessible at low tide.” Patches barked his agreement.
“That’s settled then” said Tom. “At low tide we shall investigate”.
As the sea started to drop, a cut in the edge of the cave could be clearly seen.
“Come on” said Tom.
They moved forward, being sure to keep an eye out for the smugglers. The cave was very deep, and they were unable to make out its end. Tom flicked on his torch. “Look there are the boxes” he announced. Sure enough the boxes they had seen in the boat were right in front of them. The children managed to prise one open. Unable to control his excitement Patches jumped in.
“What’s that boy?” Asked Tilly. Patches had a funny white powder on his nose. Tom dipped his finger into the box.
“I think it’s a sort of foreign sherbet” he said. “It’s making my gums all tingly”. Susan opened another box.
“Goodness,” she cried “guns!”. Patches started barking and the children turned to see what the fuss was.
“Oh dear” said Tilly, “I think the smugglers are coming back.”
Sure enough the smugglers where returning in their little boat, once again stacked with boxes. “Oh Tom” said Susan “whatever will we do?”.