The People's Friend
The Story So Far
MAGGIE CARGILL tells grocer SAMUEL CAMERON she will no longer wash the windows of his shop. She must help her grandmother LILIAS with their lodginghouse for stoneworkers labouring on the new Bell Rock lighthouse.
Her sisters, AMY and CATHY MARY, refuse to leave their jobs. Amy sews piecework for sailors from offcuts of sails, and is sewing a very special pouch for a young Naval recruit called WILLIAM.
Cathy Mary sews trousers for sailors. When she discovers a supply of lighter cloth she begs to be allowed to make women’s clothing and her employer agrees.
Their brother, ALEC, tells his sisters he must work on the Bell Rock. It’s dangerous, living aboard ship a month at a time, working on the rock only when tides permit.
The first group of workers arrive from Aberdeen. The youngest, NOAH, has a roving eye, Lilias notes, seeing his interest in Maggie.
On the way to the grocery shop Lilias sees businessman MURDO MCDOUGAL in the fishing coble he has hired from Lilias. When she gets to the shop Samuel’s sister, BEATRICE, introduces her reclusive mother, MARION. Lilias learns that Beatrice was once engaged to smith JEREMIAH CUTHBERT . . .