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     "There it is, there it IS!" His voice cracked with an excitement he hadn't felt in twenty years, and his face reddened with self-consciousness. "It really looks just as I thought it would look," he added in a calmer voice.
     "Yes," she said, barely able to control her own bubbly feeling of stomach-fluttering anticipation, "it DOES look pretty," and she gasped back a choked laugh of sheer joy.
     The pennoncels whipped like hooked fish from the turret-tops of the entrance castle, and the old clanking drawbridge which lowered to allow them to enter the castle was straight from their vivid dreams of Child's World. Since they'd first seen the garish folder lying purposefully on their travel agent's desk, they thought of nothing other than this vacationers' land of enchantment, and at last they were there, rumbling over the rutted stones in their wooden-wheeled coach. A black hooded figure drove their white horses over the last few feet before the House of Welcome, and there was a satisfying whirl of dust as the horses stopped, stamping, and the carriage rocked to a halt.
     "Here you are," droned the driver, with just the right touch to give the chill of fear---the chill that came with the thought that they'd entered some destiny-laden adventure, from which they might never return.
     "It's so much better than the taxi down to the Street," he said, half to his wife, half to himself. He knew the sort of cutthroats he would meet down there, the dangers from goring bulls and tearing bears, and playing around with the dreaded Margin. But here there was the true unknown: what was through the House of Welcome? Who were the people who ran past the coach, hardly looking at them, with ribboned packages clutched under their arms?
     It looks more fun that Johnathon's play-school," she said, totally to herself, since she recognized more than he that they seldom spoke together, but only shot arrows of monologue in each other's direction, heedless whether they struck home or went unheard: the important thing was to speak the thought and race on to some other thought.
     "That will be two dragons," crooned the coachman, dangling a gnarled and scabbed hand in front of the husband's roughed lips, and the wife paid more attention to the exchange of money than she had ever done through the years of their marriage. Two gleaming green coins the size of watermelon slices were offered up from the packet on the end of the stick that the husband carried, and the black coach was gone in a whirl of dust, and they were on their own for the first time since their plane from Newer York had landed at the tiny private field in Florida. There they had been greeted by pirates, captured, gently tossed into their pirate ship (though they were quite sure they were actors), and they had sailed directly into the sunset before dining on Sloppy Joes and being locked into the dusty hold (though they were quite sure it was artificial dust) for the night.
     They had been awakened the next morning to the sounds of mutiny, and even before breakfast (he thought this was going a bit far: at least they could have had coffee) they had been sent ashore in a dinghy to what looked to be a desert island. But then they had found the footprints in the sand, and trailed them to the campfire, where they had broiled fish and hotcakes for breakfast under the morning sun, and then the coach had come to pick them up for the castle.
     So there had been over fifteen people administering to their every need during the past two days, and their three weeks in "Child's World" had barely begun. He stopped wondering why this particular vacation was only slightly less expensive than their trip to the Seychelles, even though they had to charter a flying boat to take them from Mombasa to the Vallee de Mai on Praslin Island.
     "Hi, I'm Gloria. Can I be your friend?" The pert lips and long-lashed eyes were straight out of walking-doll-land, but the greeting and invitation seemed absolutely sincere, and her childish smile when they dumbly nodded assent was breathtaking. "Good, let me show you where you

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