(from p. 218 of novel)

     Could a post-exam tour of Coral Gables breathe magic into the last two days before Rebecca left for New York? I showed her the crown jewel of Merrick's vision of the Venice of the South: The Venetian Pool, carved from coral rock in the 1920s. We swam around barber poles, under arched bridges and aside low-lying Mediterranean-style buildings. We swam along the coral rock walls and into a grotto where we played prince and mermaid until Rebecca got cold. Then, sitting at a table overlooking the pool, we drank cappucchinos. Light-heartedly, we studied the photographs of the 1920s bathing beauties. Rebecca discovered the plaque that told how William Jennings Bryan, namesake of our medical school, had "lectured" there on the virtues of Florida living.


     The next morning in the cab, Rebecca put her head on my shoulder and sighed, "Oh, Ben." I kissed her cheek and tasted a salty tear. She cradled her head on my shoulder and I held her hand, wordlessly.

Picture is courtesy of the Otto Richter Library, University of Miami.

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