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Chapter 19: La Rambla

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The three left the restaurant in the dark of night. Barcelona was six hours ahead of New York, so the moon was already full and near the horizon. The dislocation—from afternoon to late evening— made Turtle's head spin.

Turtle was glad he brought a jacket. A chill, wet air had settled over the city, and light fog flitted between the throngs of people on La Rambla, a wide boulevard flanked on either side by smaller roads. They walked toward Agata's house, Mr. Kincaid in the lead. Turtle pulled Agata back to him.

"Mr. Kincaid," he said, loudly enough, he thought, to be heard over the din. However, Mr. Kincaid kept walking; he couldn't hear them. Turtle turned to Agata.

"I don't know if we can trust Mr. Kincaid. I overheard him talking in the kitchen. He knows you have the coin. I have no idea what's going on. Just act normal."

Mr. Kincaid turned around to look at them.

"You guys look tired," he said as they negotiated the crowds on La Rambla. They passed a newsstand and then ended up in an area with stalls selling parakeets and finches, their songs clashing wildly with the car horns in the road and the rapid-fire Spanish.

"We're fine," said Turtle. "At least I am."

"I'm fine, too," said Agata.

Turtle read the neon signs they passed: Tapas, Cigarillos, Pan. It

was all wildly foreign to him, and he wished he had a camera to

take a picture for his grandmother. His grandmother! She would be waiting for him, he was an ocean away from her, time was ticking away, and whatever they were doing here involved grown men with guns. He wanted desperately to go home.

Turtle looked over at Agata. She was alone. Her parents were gone, she had no one to protect her, and clearly Mr. Kincaid was up to something. As they walked along La Rambla, he decided he would see this to its end with her.

Even so, Turtle thought for a moment about bolting—grabbing Agata's hand and running into the crowd. Mr. Kincaid knew how to use the Mytro, and he probably had people all around the city watching for him. A vision of the net they had fallen into was forming in his mind, although he was barely able to believe that Mr. Kincaid could be a danger to him or Agata.

Agata grabbed his hand and squeezed it.

A turn between two stalls selling rich, pungent roses brought them to Agata's street. They stopped at her front door where a small metal sign above the bell read Llorente.

Agata looked at Turtle, then at Mr. Kincaid.

"You're going to have to trust me," said Mr. Kincaid. "We're going to find them, Agata. I promise."

She pulled her key out of her stuffed backpack and turned it in the lock. The door swung slowly open. After an afternoon of sudden, rushing winds coming from behind wooden doors, the silence behind this one was a welcome relief.

"Up the stairs, guys. Let's figure this out," said Mr. Kincaid.

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