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Chapter Three

"Independent Traveller's Guide to Costa Rica, Lonely Planet: Honduras, The History of Panama..." Arnold sighed as he sifted through the smattering of books about Central America in the teen reference section.

There was nothing about Guatemala in here, not that Arnold had been expecting much. Not to be deterred, he walked up to the librarian's desk.

"Excuse me, but do you have any books on Guatemala?"

The librarian looked back at him. "Let me guess...this is going to be for an award-winning essay?" She teased in good nature.

"I hope so," he replied brightly before quietly adding, "...well probably not."

"Tell me what your essay's going to about and I'll see what I can find on the system."

Arnold nodded before beginning.

"My essay's going to be about the native peoples of Guatemala, namely the Mayans and one tribe in particular – The Green Eyed People. They're very obscure...Not a lot of people know about them."

The Librarian – Marjorie – smiled at him. "Sonny, don't you think that's a little ambitious? If they're not well-known, you're going to have to sift through academic texts, old books, journals...You'd have to go to the city library and do all your studying there."

"I'm willing to do that...I really want to do this essay."

Marjorie smiled at Arnold, "Okay...You're probably best going to the Esposito archive at Hillwood City Library...They keep journals, papers and old books about Central America there."

Arnold nodded before a quizzical look crossed his features. "Esposito?"

"Yes? Something wrong?"

"Nothing, just a funny coincidence...That was my mom's name before she married my dad."

An hour and a bone-jarring bus ride later, Arnold had arrived at Hillwood City Library, it was beginning to get dark and he decided to call Grandpa.

"Hey Grandpa! I'm gonna be a little late home tonight. I'm at the City Library doing some research for an essay."

"Okay Shortman. Don't get the bus home. Call me and I'll borrow the Packard." he paused, "Why did you need to go all the way into town to get books Arnold?"

"I'm writing about the Green Eyes. It's for a competition at school. If I win, the whole class gets to go on vacation!" Arnold held off from telling Grandpa that he would take his class to San Lorenzo.

"Mmm-hmm..." Grandpa sounded slightly wary of Arnold's plan, "Well if you want to, you could pick up your dad's thesis there. He published it and I think the library has copies. He and your mom wrote quite a bit about San Lorenzo, but your mom wrote under Esposito. She didn't publish anything after meeting your dad because she was doing aid work and having you."

"So I'll find more stuff mom and dad wrote?"

"You sure will! I doubt you'll understand a lot of it, especially your mom's with all the medical mumbo jumbo and what-not, but it can't hurt! See you later Shortman."

"Okay Grandpa...see you in a few hours!"

Arnold barely had time to put his phone away when it rang again.

"Hey Arnold! Where'd you disappear to?"

"Hey Gerald...I went to the City Library to get books."

"Oh, okay. See you tomorrow then."

"Yup, see you!"

Hillwood City Library was vast. The Library consisted of a special archive of Hillwood-related books and magazine, a borrowing library, a genealogy archive, and a huge reference library full of rare books, first editions, journals and articles. The librarian in charge of the Esposito Archive had given Arnold a funny look when he'd asked to look at some of the books. Nevertheless, she'd shown him how the archive was arranged, how to use the online search facility, and how to use the microfiche machine if he needed it.

Then he'd been left alone.

The room was dusty, but was still in use, with an older gentleman reading carefully through several articles and taking notes every few pages. There were smaller shelves full of new-ish books with kickstools to help people reach what they needed. But the walls were lined with huge bookcases full of old, thick books, and also volumes of academics' works. Most of the shelves on these bookcases could only be reached ladder, and Arnold sincerely hoped he wouldn't need to climb.

He moved towards the PCs in the corner of the room, and with his grandfather's suggestion at the front of his mind, he typed 'Shortman, Dr. Miles' into the search box. Immediately a shelf number was displayed – 13A. Arnold made a note of the number before putting 'Esposito, Dr. Stella' into the box. Again, a shelf number appeared – 13B – but it was accompanied by a text document on the computer:

"This library wing was dedicated to the late Dr. Paulo Esposito, who died pursuing his lifelong quest to learn more about the native peoples of Central America. The wing was reopened by his surviving siblings – James Esposito, Catherine Dullington, Stella Shortman, Darius Esposito, and Jacques Esposito.

May his spirit of adventure live on."

Arnold blinked, seeing the names of his mother, aunt and uncles. Uncle James was an investment banker who had made his fortune and no longer bothered to keep in touch with the family – Arnold had never met him – Catherine had dropped out of high school, married farmer Bob Dullington and called their son Arnie despite the confusion it would cause with their nephew. Darius worked in aerospace, and Jacques had just finished his PhD and was living at the Sunset Arms until he could find a job.

Arnold had never heard of an Uncle Paulo.

Who was he? What happened to him?

Maybe his mom's journals held the answer.

After looking round the room for a few minutes, he found the shelves he was looking for. To his relief, he only needed to climb a few steps. He looked along the length of the two shelves, and to his surprise and pride, he saw volume after volume under the name Shortman, and volume after volume under the name Esposito. Arnold picked up as many volumes as he could hold and took them to the nearest table, before beginning to sift through the masses of information. He cracked open the cover of a small book inside one of Miles' volumes, and discovered that it was his undergraduate thesis titled 'The Misinterpretation of Mayan Myths: Hidden Signs in the Carvings of the Temple of Kimba'.

So that's where Grandma got that name from! Arnold chuckled to himself.