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Miles McTavish likes old bicycles, new music, and (don't say it too loud), model railroading. As the only child of wealthy Dallas executives, it appears that a life of ease is his birthright. All those expectations are upended, however, the day Miles is summoned to the hospital bed of his friend Morgan Davies. Professor Davies has a secret to share: he is a time traveler. He also has a task for his young friend:Miles is to travel back in time to 1928, and across the sea to England. Once there, he is to find "a girl with a gift, a girl born out of her time" and a "secret that was not meant to be" and then return home with them both. Miles must first find the courage to pass through the strange portal in the Vermont woods that will launch him on this mission, and then to face down a series of do-or-die crises (including a crisis of confidence). Miles' quest for the girl and the secret carries him from a great estate in England's beautiful countryside to London's jazz-age cabarets, and from terrified boy to heroic young man.