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First of Two Installments: THE HEAVEN BELOW
Clare Boothe Luce
August 11, 1958
It lay in the crystal waters of a Bahamas reef and was found after days of storm. It was, as always, a place of beauty and adventure, a new world
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August 11, 1958

First Of Two Installments: The Heaven Below

It lay in the crystal waters of a Bahamas reef and was found after days of storm. It was, as always, a place of beauty and adventure, a new world

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We heard the whine and the thud of the wheels coming down. Ahead, the airstrip glistened like a canal.

We made a two-point landing in stiff wind. A disorderly array of big dripping mushrooms was marching toward us from the airport. Behind one of the umbrellas was Mr. Roger Tyler, the American consul. He greeted us, his shrewd friendly face full of sympathy.

"You've come to skin-dive?" he condoled. "It's been like this for 10 days. But this is the worst."

"This storm ought to clear it," I said.

Mr. Tyler smiled enigmatically. "We've got a little pool at our house...always glad to have you use it."

THURSDAY, MAY 22

When Sir Victor Sassoon cabled me in March that he would be in London for the races all during May and June and generously offered me the use of "Eve's," his "little beach cottage" during my Nassau stay, I accepted with alacrity and pleasure.

Eve's bore no faint resemblance to a "little cottage." Its two spacious stories of newly poured, gleaming cement were reflected in an enormous, round, blue-tiled, heated swimming pool. In its fluorescent-lighted, air-conditioned interior there were an elevator, a telephone-intercom system, TVs, radio, and hi-fi music piped into every room; there were ceiling-to-floor-tiled bathrooms, one equipped with an electric pump which turned the tub into a whirlpool of massaging water, and a contour vibrating chair; two kitchens gleaming with stainless steel cabinets, electric ranges, wall ovens, deep freezes, refrigerators, dishwashers, electric egg-boilers, rotis-series, waffle irons, beaters, mixers, heaters, ice-makers, hot cups, hot plates and electric blankets; movie cameras, screens and automatic slide projectors. But, as we could see through a long series of smooth-sliding glass and chrome doors on the sea side, it was certainly right on the beach.

Toward evening the storm stopped abruptly, and dying sun brought the color of life back to the shore's gray flanks. Hastily we got into our suits, grabbed fins and flippers and slid back the glass doors. We ran down to the sea-wall steps and flopped into the surf.

One happy fact emerged: the buoyant water was deliriously warm. Cold would not be my diving enemy as it had been in Bermuda and in the Mediterranean. We breasted the waves, bouncing and floundering aimlessly as surface swimmers do, for almost an hour. I tired before Louisa did. I sat on the sea wall looking at the great Salt Curtain of the ocean's surface and thought of the world waiting there below.

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