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How could I ask for any better than these two during this time of triumph, this time of sorrow, this time of reflection?

My eyes were drawn to a girl moving up the beach toward us, barely visible in the twilight. The closer she got the more familiar: her easy stride, the back and forth swing of her body, the sureness of her head.

“It’s Jeannie. It’s really Jeannie. Thank you Beejay. Thank you Jungle Boy.”

“How’d you get here?” I asked, rising from my hollowed-out seat in the sand below a little coconut palm.

“Isaenam told me I should come,” she said in her familiar, cheerful way. “This is really a nice place. Where are we?”

“Didn’t they tell you?”

“No. They just brought me through the caves then on some underground rivers.”

“Well this is Yucatan country, the land of the wild turkey and of the deer, u luum ceh yetel cutz, the land of the wonderful Maya,” I proclaimed.

“And this is?”

“This is the Caribbean sea.”

“It’s really warm,” she said as we walked ankle deep in the slapping surf.

“Everything is warm here.”

We walked in silence, two young teenagers–best of friends–far, far from home in the peaceful world of post-World War II.

“Did you find it? Did you find Atlantis?” she burst from the pent-up silence.

“Yes, I found it,” I answered softly.

“Was it wonderful?” she asked even more excited.

“Yes, it was wonderful,” even softer.

“Beejay. Jungle Boy. Who is this guy? He looks like Max, but he sure doesn’t sound like him.”

Turning to me she asked, “Are you okay? You should be talking a mile a minute, telling me everything about your adventures all at once. You don’t sound like the Max I know.”

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