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There was a plaque on the wall, from the citizens of Tampa, with the symbols of track and field, basketball and golf engraved on it. "Presented to Babe Didrikson Zaharias," it read, "accorded the outstanding woman athlete of the half-century."
"We call this house 'Rainbow Manor,' " Zaharias explained. "When we came down here, we were walking between those trees." He gestured toward two wooden sentinels standing stately guard outside. "There was a big double rainbow between them. Babe put sticks there marking it.
" 'Honey, this is it,' I said.
" 'Yeah, Rainbow Manor,' she said.
"Would you like to see the house?" he asked hospitably.
A guest room and bath opened off the back of the kitchen, and to the side was a double garage with two Cadillacs in it. One of them had a sleeping bed fixed up in back for the Babe to stretch out on, since sitting for too long a time is painful for her.
In the thickly carpeted living room, softly lit shelves were filled with silver trophies of all shapes and sizes. Over the fireplace was a portrait of the Babe, painted in 1934.
The face was young, eager, intense. Her light brown hair was brushed back in a boyish bob and she was wearing a sleeveless jersey.
To the right of the mantel, in what appeared to be a place of honor, a glass-enclosed shadow box held a red satin, heart-shaped candy box cover, decked in ribbons and roses and set on black velvet. On it, in gold, were the words, "To My Wife on Valentine's Day."
In the right wing of the house, there were two bedrooms, baths and a den. The door to the master bedroom was closed. There was still no sound from it.