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The Adventure of the Venetian Pearls (part 29)

Mike fastened his boat, then led the three friends up to the Turk's Head Inn.

Port Conger, St. Agnes

He ordered a cider for himself and bought lemon squash and ice creams for the children. They were sitting on plastic chairs, lazily blinking into the sunshine. Suddenly Mike began to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Nicky asked.

"I've just remembered a story."

"Come on," Daniel pressed him. "Tell it!"

"A hotel guest once asked me, what trips I would recommend. I like it here, so I advised her to spend a day in St. Agnes. I even gave her a map of the island. When I met her in the evening, I asked her whether she had enjoyed the trip. 'Yes' she said, 'but we couldn't find the second pub.'

'But there is no second pub,' I told her. She produced the map and tapped with her forefinger on a spot near the coastguard houses where it read 'The Nag's Head'."

Mike chuckled into his cider. "It took some time to explain that it isn't a pub but the name of a rock that looks like a horse's head."

They begged him to have a look at that rock but Mike shook his head decisively.

"My original plan is better."

They boarded again and headed west around the north coast of St. Agnes.

It was a hazy day and Bishop Rock, which had looked so near yesterday, was out of sight.

Mike took them to Annet. When they approached that uninhabited island, they soon noticed funny little birds floating on the swell or taking off with rapid wing-flapping.

"Puffins!" cried the children and leaned over the rail to have a better view.

Every visitor to the Isles of Scilly knew the tiny sea-parrots with the black coat and the colourful beak. They were depicted on cups, T-shirts, socks, and even on a non-smoking sign
that read 'no puffin!'.

"Can't we land and have a closer look?" Chris asked.

(To be continued)