"...Remember Marceline, until we hear from our lawyers as to our rights concerning this water, in regard to the State of California; keep it under your hat. In fact, since my legs are 'cured,' after my call, I'll come over to you and the guys and show everyone what is so medically important about this place?
I want to swim in this water in case my arthritis needs an Arboria Island Pond water treatment."
Marceline tried to get her uncle to change his exploiting and marauding ways, by pleading with him, "The water is very special and only those who understand and accept its significance can benefit from it."
"I understand what you are saying completely, Marceline. You know; I went around the promenade pool for hours in the mineral waters at Bath, England a few years ago and that was very effective, but it was never like this. I imagine a couple of strolls around Arboria Pond will beat my arthritis down to tiny twinges. For many years, I was thinking of going back to Bath but, hell no; not now, I'm going to bathe in the riches of this incredible water forever. Now that I have this mineral bath to bottle and sell, big time, my success is assured. It's all right here; it will be my greatest success caper of all, when I bottle it for the entire world. After my call to the office I will see you later Marceline, I'll be back for a good soak. After that soak I'll be a new man; no old wrinkles just clear smooth skin."
Marceline went back to the swimmers, wondering, what scheme her ever-loving uncle was planning next and why the call at this hour of the day to back East. Nonetheless, the group of Marceline, Kent and Darôk swam about like kids in their favorite swimming hole. Noticing that the bottom sloped gently from the edges toward the pond's middle area, the 'boys' took up the deep diving challenge. Then they swam out to its center and surface dived down into its deeper colder sections.
As Kent, the bravest of divers hit the frigid bottom layer at twelve feet, he quickly returned to the warm surface waters, gasping for air and reveling in the water's warmth. Kent then relied on his inner strength and shifted into California surfing mode as he said, "Damn it, that water is cold, but the challenge is there at the bottom of the pond, and I'm going to find out where this place gets its artesian spring or freeze trying."
Marceline held up an admonishing finger, "You be careful Kent. I don't feel like resuscitating you when you come up unconscious from too much cold."
"Don't worry my dear, I surfed California's coast in winter and summer; that place is always cold."
After his call, Phillípe ambled down the hill to the center of the island to have a soak in Arboria Island Pond; his secret weapon against arthritis and old age shimmered in the distance.
As she sat on a large, rock admiring 'the boys' as play, Marceline noticed a bit of extra dampness on the right side of her swimsuit. Then she thought, I was drying off nicely a few minutes ago, but the side of my suit is so wet.
She looked at her right side, and it appeared as if she was bleeding profusely. To check, she slid down the rock and stood behind a large boulder. And there in the shadows for a bit of privacy, Marceline located where she was bleeding. She slipped her right arm out of her bathing suit's shoulder strap and lowered her suit down below her waist. Then she muffled an incoherent scream; her side was all bloody.
My God, I'm severely wounded, but how can that be, with no hole in my bathing suit, no pain but lots blood; this is nuts!
There was what appeared to be a deep wound in her side, it looked like someone stuck a primitive spear into her; but it didn't hurt at all. Ideas and explanations raced through her mind as she thought, I would expect the blood would gush out of a wound such as this and I should be laying here in shock, but I'm just bleeding enough to make a mess, and stranger still, I feel fine.
Then Marceline looked at the palms of her hands; each palm was bleeding. It was as if someone stabbed both of her hands completely through...”
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